Maui Real Estate Blog

August 2014 Maui Real Estate Statistics

September on Maui marks the start of the quiet season for visitors. The beaches and restaurants are a little quieter. Most years the real estate market slows as well. September also brings the first Northwest Swells of the season much to the delight of island wave riders. The air also starts to get a little cooler at night. I live Upcountry and I have found myself reaching for a sweater at night over the last week. The start of September also means it is time to look at the August Maui Real Estate Statistics. As usual, this post features a comparison of the number of sales and median prices verses what we saw in August a year ago. I also highlight some of the interesting notes and numbers that I came across while compiling the stats. I give my thoughts on the state of the market and what it means for buyers and sellers. This post also gives some insight into what we might expect to see in terms of sales in the coming months by looking at the pending sales for August. Without further ado, here are the numbers for August.

August 2014 Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes and Median Prices

This table shows the real estate sales volumes in Maui County, Hawaii during August 2013 and August 2014
This chart compares real estate sales volumes in August of 2013 and August of 2014 in Maui County, Hawaii

There were 68 homes sold in Maui County during August with a median sales price of $567,500. Last August, there were 81 homes sold with a median price of $585,000. That is a 16% drop in volume and a 3% drop in median when comparing this August to last August.

During August, there were a total of 94 condo sales reported by Realtors in Maui County with a median price $410,000. The August 2013 condo sales figures were 113 transactions closed with a median price of $420,000. That is a 17% drop in volume and a 2% drop in median comparing this August to last August.

The August 2014 land transactions in Maui County totaled 14 with a median price of $395,000. Last August, there were 25 sales with a median price of $350,000. That is a 44% drop in volume and a 13% increase in median price comparing this August to last August.

Other Interesting Notes and Numbers from the August Maui Real Estate Stats

While compiling these numbers, I found a few other numbers that I thought were worth passing along.

  • The highest priced home sale last month was $2,500,000 for a 5,222 square foot home on 2.58 acres in the Launiupoko subdivision in Lahaina.
  • It was a quiet month for luxury home sales with only one other transaction recorded above $2,000,000. That home was located in Ka’anapali Hillside.
  • Believe it or not, the lowest priced home sale in Maui County for month and this year for that matter was $1. The leasehold home in Molokai was bank owned. Its lease is set to expire in December when the property will revert back to the lessor who owns the underlying land.
  • While luxury home sales were relatively slow, luxury condo sales were strong in August. The high sale for the month was $8,250,000 for a four bedroom condo at Montage in Kapalua. That is the highest ever sales price for a condo in West Maui.
  • That was one of eight condo sales last month priced over $1,500,000. There were three additional big sales at Montage including closes of $7,750,000 and $7,500,000. There is a buzz about Montage and we recently looked at the resort’s impact on the market in our Kapalua Real Estate Update. There were also two sales at Papali in Wailea, one sale at Wailea Elua and one at Honua Kai.
  • There were only 8 bank owned sales this year compared to 14 sold last year. This isn’t necessarily due to a lack of inventory. June and July saw more bank owned inventory hit the market than what we had seen at any time in the last 24 months. However, the banks have different pricing strategies at this stage of the market. Many of the bank owned listings are being priced above market values.
  • There were six successful short sales completed last month compared to 14 completed in August of 2013.
  • While land sales were relatively quiet, there were 2 transactions that closed for over $2,000,000 in Kapalua.

Thoughts on the August Stats

This was not exactly a robust month for sales on Maui. This is the fifth straight month where condo sales have been lower than same month in 2013. Home sales have been a little stronger than condos, but we have still seen fewer sales overall compared to last year. Land sales are also down compared to last year after two straight months of lower sales. Inventory or lack thereof is clearly playing a part in the reduced activity. Prices are higher and the selection at the entry levels of the market is limited. That is leaving some buyers on the sideline. A reduction in the percentage of cash purchases on Maui suggests that we may be seeing fewer institutional and professional investors buying properties as well.

There are also some sellers who have overshot the market. They are pricing well above what the market is willing to pay. That may also be reducing the volume of sales. Prices in some parts of Maui have surged from market lows at high rates of appreciation. Limited inventory and pent up demand helped bring prices up rapidly. However, the initial rates of appreciation weren’t sustainable over the long haul. The memories of the last real estate bubble are a little too fresh in the minds of some buyers. This phenomenon is apparent in the Kihei entry level condo market. Places like Kihei Villages and Southpointe were selling in the low $100,000s at the bottom of the market with a handful of units in particularly poor shape closing below $100,000. We started to see sales prices as high as the low to mid $200,000s by the second half of 2013. Prices have since held in that range with little or no upward appreciation. Inventory has increased and days on market has gone up significantly. We are seeing this in other parts of the market as well. Kapalua Golf Villas is a nice vacation rental friendly property in the Kapalua Resort. It saw prices bottom out in 2012 when a large assessment was required to address a big maintenance project. Prices began to rise again rapidly in 2013 with the median price rising from $480,000 to $650,000. The median for this year’s sales has pushed all the way into the $700s. Each significant increase in median has been accompanied by a decrease in sales volume.

Are there any other factors at play with the decrease in sales volumes? That is tough to say at this point. The broader economic picture appears to be good at this time. National sales of existing homes continue to increase as of the last National Association of Realtors report in July. However, California saw a decrease in the number of properties sold compared to the same period last year. That is a continuation of a trend for that state. California is far and away the biggest feeder state for Maui Real Estate buyers. Maui tends to follow the same trends as the California market albeit a few months behind.

August Pending Sales

In addition to tracking closed sales. We also like to keep tabs on the number of properties that went under contract during any one month. This gives us some sense of what the stats might look like in the next couple of months.

This chart compares the number of properties that went pending in August of 2014 in Maui County with the number that went pending in August 2013.

After seeing an uptick in land and condo pending sales in July, the pending sales are down again. It appears as if the continued trend of lower sales activity will continue in the September and October sales numbers for Maui.

What Buyers and Sellers can expect under Current Market Conditions

While the market has slowed in terms of sales volume, buyers will find that well priced properties remain competitive. This is particularly true with lower priced homes. Buyers looking in this market should be pre-approved by a qualified mortgage professional as they are starting their home search. When the right property comes on the market that meets their needs, buyers will need to be decisive and act quickly to improve their odds of a successful offer. Sellers can see some of the cautionary tales reflected in the paragraphs above. Buyers are balking at overpriced properties and rates of appreciation appear to be slowing. That makes determining your go to market pricing that much more important. Both buyers and sellers should also be aware that market dynamics vary throughout the island depending on price points and neighborhoods. If you are a buyer or seller interested in Maui Property, we would welcome the chance to sit down with you for a free consultation. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team today to discuss your real estate needs.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Sneak Peek June 2013 Maui Real Estate Statistics

The Fourth of July is just two days away. I can already taste the gluten free apple pie, smell hot dogs on the grill and visualize the star bursts of fireworks in the night sky. Of course, that means another month is in the books for the Maui Real Estate market. This month’s sneak peek at the June Maui Real Estate Estate market is coming to you from the mainland where I am visiting friends and family. There is a lot to report this month as the end of June also marks the midway point of 2013. It is a good time to gauge overall market trends. Since I am also trying to balance some vacation time, I am going to break down my commentary into bite sized chunks. Today, I wanted to take a look at the June sales numbers followed by a brief commentary. In the next couple of days, I will take a broader look at the year to date with a video commentary. Last month, I posted my first video commentary on the Maui Market. I had pretty good feedback so we are going to make that a more regular feature on the blog. Without further ado, here is my sneak peek at the June 2013 Maui Real Estate Statistics.

This Table Compares Real Estate Sales Volumes for Homes, Condos and Land in Maui County During the Months of June 2012 and June 2013
This Chart shows the Relatively Similar Real Estate Sales Volumes During June of 2013

By my count, there were 85 homes sold at a median price of $618,000 during June of 2013. By comparison, there were 86 homes sold at a median price of $575,500 during June of 2012. That calculates to a 1% decrease in home sales volume and a 7% increase in home median price when comparing the two Junes.

To date, Maui Realtors have reported 124 condo sales at a median price of $390,000 during June of 2013. In June of 2012, there were a total of 122 condo sales reported with a median price of $372,990. That equates to approximately a 1.6% increase in condo sales volume and a 4.5% increase in the median condo price.

The June 2013 land sales totaled 17 with a median price of $469,260. Last June, there were 13 sales reported with a median price of $352,500. That calculates to approximately a 31% increase in land sales volume and a 33% increase in land median price when comparing this June to last June.

Here are a few other tidbits I found while compiling the numbers above.

  • The Median Sales price for homes on Maui rose over $600,000 for the first time since 2008. The increase in medians is due to a combination of an increase in home values and a shift in price ranges where sales activity is occurring. With fewer homes for sale at entry level price ranges, it makes sense that the mid-point for sales is that much higher.
  • The higher median sales price came despite a modest month of activity in the ultra luxury home market. There were four sales over $2,000,000 last month. By comparison, last June there were 9 home sales over $2,000,000. I will have more on the Maui luxury home market in the mid-year update.
  • The highest sales price for a single family home in June was $5,790,000 for a luxurious home in Wailea Golf Estates.
  • The highest sales price for a condo was $3,725,000 for a unit at Wailea Point.
  • The Wailea Point condo was one of four condos sold for over $1,500,000. Last June, there were three condo sales over $1,500,000.
  • The high sales price for land was $10,000,000 for 159 acres in Makena.
  • There were only 4 bank owned or REO sales last month. There were 27 REO sales last June. This was the slowest month for bank owned sales dating back to 2008.

After May 2013 clearly outpaced May of 2012, the June 2013 and June 2012 Maui Real Estate Sales volumes were strikingly similar. There were only five more properties sold in June of 2013 than June of 2012. That being said, the market feels a lot stronger now then it did last June. We really didn’t start to feel the market kick into another gear until early fall of 2012. If the market is stronger, why isn’t there more sales activity? The answer lies with the inventory or lack thereof. The bottom third of the market has really seen a contraction of available listings. The combination of owners who are still underwater or have limited equity, the big reduction in bank owned activity and strong demand from both first time home buyers and investors make it a challenge to find homes in these bottom price ranges.

The decrease in bank owned sales has been steady over the last year. That being said, it was still surprising to see only one bank owned home close and three REO condos close in all of June. The steady shrinking of inventory doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t see future inventory. There are still homes that are going through the judicial foreclosure process that will come to market at some point in the next year or two. The number that will eventually hit the market is something of an unknown. Some owners may resolve their debts with lienholders or complete a short sale. We also continue to hear that some of the bank inventory is being purchased by institutional investors before going to the open market. Buyers who are laser focused on just bank owned properties may find limited options and stiff competition.

Stay tuned to the Maui Real Estate Blog over the next couple of days for our mid 2013 Maui Real Estate market report. We will take a look at the first six months of 2013, compare them to the first six months of 2012 and give a few thoughts on the outlook for buyers and sellers for the rest of 2013. We hope to give a few community specific mid year updates a little later in the month. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team with questions or for for a free consultation to discuss your Maui real estate needs.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Unofficial February 2013 Maui Real Estate Statistics

February came and went in the blink of an eye. Wasn’t Valentines day just yesterday? It seemed like a busy month for the Maui Real Estate Team and the market in general. That being said, I want to provide more than just anecdotal evidence of market activity. That’s why I take the time to create our monthly unofficial Maui Real Estate statistics. This is a sneak peek at last month’s sales volumes and median prices before the Realtors Association of Maui releases their official sales numbers. In addition to the median prices and sales totals, I wanted to highlight a few other numbers that caught our eye while I was compiling the statistics. I also wanted to give my thoughts on the market and what buyers and sellers entering the market might expect. Without further ado, here are this month’s statistics.

Real Estate Sales Volumes for Maui County during February 2012 and February 2013.
This chart compares the February 2013 and February 2012 Real Estate Sales Volumes for Maui County, Hawaii

By my count, there were 64 home sales on island in February with a median sales price of $550,000. By comparison, there were 79 sales during February 2012 with a median sales price of $492,500. That means a 19% drop in activity compared to last year with a twelve percent increase in median prices.

I counted 100 condo sales in February of 2013 with a median price of $364,950. By comparison, there were 83 condos sold last February with a median price of $287,000. That calculates to a 20% increase in activity over 2012 with a 27% increase in median prices.

There were 12 land transactions reported last month with a median sales price of $575,000. The February 2012 numbers were 12 sales with a median price of $575,000.

Here are a few other numbers that I thought were worth sharing from when I was compiling this month’s stats.

  • The high sale for the month was $4,750,000 for a 5,018 square foot home in Wailea Golf Vistas.
  • That high sale was one of four single family homes that closed for more than $2,000,000 last month. By comparison, there were five $2,000,000 home closes on island in February 2012.
  • The high condo sale last month was $4,196,500 for a beachfront three bedroom at Coconut Grove in Kapalua.
  • That was one of two condo sales over $1,500,000 last month. By comparison, there were no sales over $1,500,000 last February.
  • There were 9 bank owned (REO) sales on island last month. There were 28 REO sales in February 2012. That is a 68% drop in bank owned sales activity. This is a continuation of a trend of diminished REO activity.
  • There were 15 short sales that closed in February. The February 2012 sales numbers included 26 short sale closes. That is a 43% drop in short sale activity. Short sale activity has fluctuated over the last year with no clear decline like we have seen with REOs.

After looking at the numbers above, I wanted to start with my thoughts on the condo market. There was a huge surge in condo sales towards the end of 2012. Some of that was driven by sellers anxious to close in 2012 due to uncertainty over taxes in 2013. Last month, we had a post new year hangover for condo sales. The condo market rebounded in February with a healthy bump in activity. I would anticipate a continuation of strong sales for condos over the next couple of months as we continue our peak visitor and real estate season. The two factors most likely to constrain sales are economic uncertainty due to the sequester and reduced inventory. There is more demand than there is supply when it comes to low priced condos on Maui.

The home market did not fare as well this month compared to last year. I can’t provide a definitive reason why, but I surmise that some of it may be related to reduced inventories. Most Maui communities are seeing tight inventories particularly when it comes to price ranges below $600,000. Last year, there were 625 sales in Maui County under $600,000. There are currently only 103 properties active for sale in that range. Based on last year’s absorption rate, that is just under two month’s supply of property. Supplies get even tighter as you go down in price. I would surmise we might be seeing more sales with more supply. There is strong demand at this point.

The lack of inventory on the low end is also having an impact on median prices. Fewer lower priced transactions means a higher median sales price. Last February, 40% of the transactions were priced below $400,000. This year, that number dipped to 33% of the transaction volume. There may also be some upward movement in median pricing due to price increases. The limited supply of homes is helping to slowly bump up pricing in the lower and middle ranges of the market. The upward price pressure is greatest were supplies are most constrained. That being said, there are some barriers in place that should cool the rate of appreciation. Many financed transactions are having a tough time with appraisal if the purchase price is much above recent comparable sales.

What does this all mean for buyers and sellers? Inventory remains the driving force in the market. Buyers who are looking in areas of tight inventory can expect a highly competitive market place. If you require financing, get pre-approved for your loan. Sellers are looking for strong buyers and that will help your cause if you are bidding in a competitive situation. Sellers are finding that market conditions are slowly turning in their favor after the difficulties of the last five years. That being said, buyer behavior isn’t the same as it was during the real estate boom. Most overpriced properties are sitting. I have seen a few properties with high listing prices go under contract. That being said, they may have challenges closing. We are seeing more than a few properties fall out of escrow due to low appraisals.

Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are considering buying or selling property on Maui. We would welcome the opportunity for a free consultation to discuss your real estate needs.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Unofficial February 2012 Maui Real Estate Statistics

February appears to have been a pretty good month for Maui real estate activity. There was a strong uptick in pending sales over the course of the month. With March upon us, we now have an opportunity to take a sneak peak at the February 2012 Maui Real Estate Statistics. These numbers are largely a reflection of activity dating back to December and January. If the closes were short sales, the date the property went under contract could have been quite a bit earlier. The numbers presented below are our unofficial statistics for sales volume and median prices for February. We can expect the local Realtor’s association to release their own numbers some time in the next week. These unofficial numbers are followed by a few observations on the market. Drum roll please! Here are the figures…

A Comparison of Real Estate Sales Volumes for February 2011 and February 2012, Maui County, Hawaii

I counted 78 home sales with a median price of $513,750 for February 2012. By comparison, the February 2011 numbers were 59 sales at a median of $440,000. That is a 32% increase in volume and a 17% increase in median.

There have been 81 condo sales reported at a median price of $287,000 for February. By comparison, the February 2011 numbers were 98 sales at a median price of $371,200. There was a 17% decrease in volume and a 23% decrease in median price.

There were 12 pieces of land sold at a median price of $333,925 this February. That compares to 7 sales at a median of $282,500 in February 2011. That is a 71% increase in sales volume.

Short sales and REOs remain a significant component of the monthly transaction volume. There were 54 closes that were either bank owned or short sales last month. Of the home sales, 29 of 78 closes were REOs or shorts. That is 37% of the volume. Of the condo sales, 24 of 81 were REOs or shorts. That is just under 30% of the total sales for the month. There was one bank owned sale among the 12 land transactions.

We are continuing to see quite a bit of variability in our monthly real estate statistics. Last month, condo sales outpaced January of 2011, while homes and land sales sagged. This month we saw the opposite occur. Those that are expecting consistency in our recovery will be disappointed. It reflects the statistical variability you often see with smaller sample sizes.

Last month, we identified a potential trend to keep an eye on in the unofficial Maui real estate stats. There were comparatively fewer REO transactions and an increase in short sale transactions. We saw the same thing occur this month. For the first time I can remember, there were actually more short sale closes than REO closes among condos. I surmised that the cause might be the increasing impact from Hawaii foreclosure legislation. With foreclosures harder to process and fewer foreclosures coming on the market, we are seeing fewer REO sales. With the time and expense to foreclose increasing, banks are becoming more and more cooperative when it comes to short sales. This means more and more successful short sale closes. As a side note, this does not mean we are at the end of the foreclosure activity on island. There are still large number of properties on island where sellers are underwater and need to sell or are delinquent with mortgage payments. It appears that some of these properties will be handled via the short sale process, some may see loan modifications and others may still be foreclosed upon albeit on a much longer time scale.

The luxury real estate market statistics were interesting. There were five luxury home sales over $2,000,000 compared to only 2 last February. The condo market was the exact other end of the spectrum with no sales in February over $2,000,000. In fact the highest condo sale was $1,323,000. Last February, there were six sales over $2,000,000. I imagine this may be more of an anomaly then a trend, but it will be interesting to monitor overall luxury sales activity.

Overall, the Maui Real Estate market conditions are schizophrenic. It is getting harder to brush in broad strokes when giving advice to buyers and sellers. The low end of the market is seeing vigorous sales activity. There are entry level condos that are seeing prices stabilize or even increase. I would be hard pressed to call this segment of the market a seller’s market as prices are still significantly off the peak. A majority of homeowners in many of these complexes are underwater. The message to buyers in this segment is that they need to be prepared when they are ready to buy. Buyers should be pre-approved in advance. They should also be prepared to make strong offers out of the gate. Well priced properties are selling for or in some cases above list price. As you go up the price chain, competition begins to thin with smaller buyer pools. That being said, higher priced segments of the market with tight inventory or fewer quality properties to choose from may also see competitive bidding. Sellers in most price segments still need to look closely at recent comparable sales when trying to determine how to price their property. Overpriced properties just aren’t getting nearly as many showings in this market. Market conditions make good representation more important now than ever. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team today if you are need assistance buying or selling Maui Real Estate.

Pete Jalbert