Maui Real Estate Blog
Unofficial March 2013 Maui Real Estate Statistics
How is the market? That’s a question that Realtors are asked frequently. I know I hear it when I am in Mana Foods, walking down the street, out socially and even when I am in the lineup surfing. The unofficial Maui Real Estate statistics are my place to provide market numbers and a little bit of context as to what they mean. In other words, they are my way of speaking to current market conditions. March is typically a busy month for real estate activity both in terms of properties going under contract and properties closing as this is Maui’s busy season for visitors and real estate. This March was no exception. Without further ado, here are the numbers followed by my thoughts on what it all means.
I counted 78 homes sold in March at a median price of $509,500. By comparison, there were 82 homes sold in March of 2012 at a median price of $435,000. That is a 5% drop in sales activity and a 17% increase in median prices when comparing this March to last March.
There have been 101 condo sales reported thus far for March of 2013 with a median sales price of $375,000. The March of 2012 numbers were 130 sales at a median price of $368,043. That is approximately a 22% drop in sales volume and a 2% bump in median prices when comparing this year and last year.
There have been 25 land sales reported for March of 2013 with a median price of $535,000. In March of 2012, 22 sales were reported at a median price of $467,500. That is a 13% bump in land sales volume and a 14% bump in median prices.
Here were some other interesting numbers that I came across while compiling the sales volumes and medians.
- The highest single family home sale was an oceanfront home on an acre of land in the Kuau area of Paia.
- The Paia sale was one of six closes over $2,000,000. Those included two sales in Wailea, two in Paia, one on Lanai and one in Kaanapali
- The high condo sales was $3,100,000 for a three bedroom/four bath unit at Wailea Point
- This was a good month for luxury condo activity with 11 sales over $1,500,000. Ka’anapali Ali’i saw the most high end activity with four sales over $1,500,000 during March.
- There were 13 bank owned (REO) closes last month. There were 40 bank owned sales during March 2012. That is a 68% drop in bank owned activity for this year.
- There were 19 short sale transactions that closed last month. There were 28 short sale transactions that closed in March of 2013. That is a 32% drop in activity for short sale closes.
- The 25 land closes was the second busiest month for land transactions in the last five years. The only month with more activity was December of 2012.
Last month’s numbers on the surface appear to be a mixed bag. General economic news has featured headlines proclaiming a strengthening real estate market. The general buzz on the street locally is that the Maui market is coming back. So why did we see the dip in activity in the home and condo market? The answer lies with the inventory. Plain and simple, there are buyers in many segments of the market who are having a tough time finding property. This is especially true when you look at properties for sale under Maui median prices. I looked at the number of homes that came on the market under $500,000 during the first quarter of 2013 compared to the first quarter of 2012. There was 40% less new inventory in the first quarter of this year. There was 56% less new inventory under $400,000. Looking at the condo market, there was 22% less new inventory under $300,000 in the first quarter of 2013 vs the first quarter of 2012. If you look at new inventory under $200,000 the decrease in inventory is more pronounced. You are looking at 45% less new inventory under $300,000.
Decreasing inventory is a factor in the increasing median prices as well. The effect is two fold. First, there are fewer lower priced properties on the market and consequently lower priced sales. With fewer lower end properties, the median sales price is going to be higher. Second, values are increasing modestly in many parts of the market. The rate of increase is varying widely based on the type of property, price range and geographic location. Lower priced condos are seeing the strongest increase in values. As you get to higher price points and greater inventory, the increases in value are more modest. At the highest price points in the market, values are flat with some segments potentially still decreasing
As I mentioned previously, land and luxury condos were two segments that stood out this month. The land market has been sputtering for the better part of six years on Maui. That being said, three of the last five months have seen more than twenty closings. While it is clear that we are not seeing a linear recovery in the Maui land market, the dynamics are in place for more months of better sales. Low housing inventory is drawing more buyers to look for alternatives in the vacant land market. The luxury condo market was relatively slow through much of 2012. Sales volume decreased at the high end while the overall condo market increased. While it was just one month of activity, it was encouraging to see a higher number of closes in the luxury condo market.
What does it all mean for buyers and sellers? Buyers looking at the lower and middle parts of the market will find a very competitive market place. Well priced properties can attract multiple offers and above asking offer prices. Buyers who require financing in this segment are advised to get pre-approved for their purchase prior to beginning their search. As you progress higher in the market, the breadth of inventory increases. Some parts of the luxury market have abundant inventory. That being said, don’t expect to find many distressed sellers in the luxury market. Sellers who have equity in their home, but have been waiting for market conditions to improve may find that now is a good time to enter the market. Strong buyer demand and limited inventory make for improved sales conditions. Sellers should be mindful though that not all parts of the market are behaving the same. You may contact The Maui Real Estate Team for a free consultation to discuss local market conditions and how your property might be received by buyers. We would welcome the opportunity.
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.
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.
Maui Real Estate Blog
Official January 2013 Maui Real Estate Statistics
February is off to a busy start for the Maui Real Estate Team. That has translated into less time available for blogging. I have been in the process of working on our “unofficial” stats for over a week. In the meantime, the good folks at the Realtors Association of Maui beat me to the punch when they released their “official” January Maui Real Estate Statistics. This isn’t the first time that RAM was first out of the gate and it won’t be the last. As a result, I am going to do something of a hybrid official/unofficial post for this month’s stats. In addition to the link to the official stats above, I want to point out a few more numbers that I thought were interesting and provide some context and analysis to this month’s sales data.
There were 63 homes sold in Maui County during January with a median sales price of $550,000. Last January, there were 50 sales at a median price of $399,000. That is a 26% increase in sales volume and a 38% increase in median price.
I counted 61 condo sales on Maui this month with a median price of $287,000. That is actually one more sale than what was reported by RAM. The January 2012 numbers were 91 sales at a median price of $330,000. That is a 33% drop in sales volume and a 13% drop in median price.
There were only 7 land sales reported in Maui County during January 2013 with a median sales price of $615,000. The January 2012 numbers totaled 9 sales at a median price of $350,000. That is a 23% drop in sales activity. I am reticent to comment on the change in median price for fear that it will be misconstrued as a sign of a massive appreciation in land values.
Here are a few other numbers of note Maui’s January Real Estate Sales.
- There were 6 REO or bank owned sales in Maui County during January of 2013. By comparison, there were 29 REO sales in January of 2012. That calculates to a 79% drop in activity.
- The lack of REO activity may have contributed to some of the more frenzied bidding activity I have seen on a property. An entry level REO in Napili was listed for $225,000. By the time the smoke cleared, the sales price for the property was $390,299. That sales price was 73% over the original asking price.
- There were 14 successful short sales that closed during January of 2013. There were 19 short sale closes during January of 2012. That is 24% drop in short sale activity.
- The highest sales price for a home last month was $9,200,000 for a beachfront residential condo at Makena Place. This was the only sale over $2,000,000 last month.
- The highest sales price for a condo was $3,500,000 for a three bedroom/three bath beachfront unit at Honua Kai in the Kaanapali area. This was the only condo sale over $1,500,000. In fact, the next highest condo sale was $790,900.
There were quite a few interesting numbers above. That being said, I wanted to delve into the condo numbers first. Since we were late to the presses with our stats, I have the advantage of seeing some of the local headlines for this month’s stats. One local publication had a sensationalistic headline proclaiming a big drop in condo sales. Was this dip in activity headline worthy? Better yet, what caused this drop? Well, it is hard to say definitively but it is worth noting that the previous two months saw significant condo sales activity. Many sellers were anxious to close before the end of the year to avoid potential tax increases. I would surmise that this may have accelerated the condo activity at the end of the year at the expense of sales after the first of the year. As RAM executive Terry Tolman pointed out in the official stats, when you average the December and January Sales totals you come out to around 100 sales which is in line with what you might expect for an average month this time of year. I do not think the drop in sales numbers is in any way a reflection of future market trends. There have been 171 condos that have gone under contract since the first of the year. That is a pretty healthy number.
The drop in medians is also out of line with recent trends. I think part of that stems again from sellers trying to close before the first of the year. This was a particularly slow month for condo sales in the luxury market. It was pretty eye opening when I saw that the second highest condo sale for the month was $790,900. There are usually a few sales over $1,500,000 each month and quite a few more over $1,000,000.
While the median condo price plummeted, the home median was up substantially over January 2012. If you are a frequent reader of our stats, you will have read about the inventory crunch occurring at the lower ends of the market. Entry level homes are particularly scarce. There were only 14 sales under $400,000 this January. Last January, there were 24 homes sold under $400,000. I would imagine we are going to continue to see elevated median sales prices unless there is an influx of lower priced home inventory.
The land market regressed after a strong close to 2012. Perhaps, that may have been due to my over exuberance in the Unofficial December stats. More likely, we may have seen a similar scenario to the condo market with some sellers trying to close before the end of the calendar year resulting in fewer sales right after the new year. Again, I don’t necessarily see this as a sign of decreasing activity in the land market. As it stands, there are already seven land sales that have been recorded since February 1.
What does this all mean for buyers and sellers? Limited inventory continues to have a significant impact on the Maui Real Estate market. Entry level homes and condos are particularly scarce, but there are shortages of listings in some communities going all the way up to the $1,000,000+ range. Buyers need to be prepared to act quickly when the right opportunities come on the market. If you require financing, getting pre-approved on your loan is a must. It helps you determine your budget and it improves your standing in the eyes of sellers. Sellers are facing an interesting market place. While the situation for sellers is improving, there are things to be aware of if you are listing your property. I have seen a few properties go on the market well above recent comps. The Limited inventory has created enough of a frenzy that buyers are willing to submit offers at or near these premium prices. The challenge comes with appraisal. Appraisal standards are a lot tougher than they were in the boom times. If the comparable sales aren’t there, you won’t get the appraisal you need to move forward on a sale. Other listings that are going on the market for well over recent comparable sales aren’t getting as much interest. Market dynamics are proving to be complex. Either way, well priced properties are going to have a much higher chance of closing successfully.
We would welcome the opportunity to talk to buyers and sellers who are interested in entering the Maui Real Estate market. We look forward to discussing how we can assist you in achieving your goals in the Maui market. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team for a free consultation today.
Maui Real Estate Blog
Official/Unofficial April 2012 Maui Real Estate Statistics
May is off to a busy start for The Maui Real Estate Team. Sales activity and other obligations put us a little bit behind schedule for our “Unofficial Maui Real Estate Stats.” This is one of the months where the Realtors Association of Maui (RAM) beat us to the punch with the release of their official numbers. As a result, this is going to be something of a hybrid between an unofficial and and official stats post. I will provide the same data, thoughts and commentary as one of our traditional unofficial posts with a link to the additional data of the RAM stats. Without further ado, here are the monthly numbers.
There were 79 home sales reported on Maui during April of 2012 with a median sales price of $469,000. There were 87 sales reported last April with a median price of $488,000. That is a 9% decrease in volume and a 4% decrease in median when comparing this year to last year.
There were 128 condos sold last month with a median price of $399,000. That compares with 120 sales with a median price of $336,102 for last April. That is roughly a 7% increase in volume and a 19% increase in median price when comparing the two Aprils.
There were 8 lots sold in Maui county during April with a median price of $365,000. By comparison, there were 14 sales at a median of $382,500 last April. That is a 43% decrease in volume and a 5% decrease in median value when comparing the months of April.
Here is a link to the full Official RAM April Maui Real Estate Statistics.
One thing that you won’t see in the RAM stats is specific data on Bank Owned (REO) and short sale transactions. We have been keeping track of these types of transactions as they have had a major impact on market dynamics since 2008. There were a total of 53 bank owned or short sale closes during April of 2012. Of the 79 homes sold, 24 were REOs or shorts. That is 30% of the sales volume. Of the 128 condos sold, 29 were REOs or shorts. That is approximately 23% of the total sales volume. There were no bank owned or short sale land transactions this month. It is also worth noting that there were more short sale closes than REO closes this month. This is something of a recent trend that I will discuss a little more below.
There were no earth shaking stats this month. The thing that stood out to me was the decrease in REO sales and the relative strength of short sale transaction volume. As noted in other unofficial stats posts this year, we have seen a shrinking REO inventory over the first half of 2012. Banks also seem to be more open to short sale transactions than they have in the past. That has led to this shift where short sale transaction volume is equal or greater to bank owned closes. This may well be something of a temporary shift. While I suspect banks will remain more open to processing short sales, it is likely we will see more bank owned inventory coming to market this summer. The foreclosure/robosigning settlement between the banks and the federal government is likely to unclog a portion of the bank owned pipeline. We may also see some of the foreclosure inventory that has been backlogged due to Hawaii’s ACT 48 fallout.
Home and condo sales were very similar to last month. As with last month, condo volume is slightly outpacing last year’s totals while home volume is down a little compared to last year. While land sales saw a brief day in the sun last month with 20+ closes, this month’s numbers regressed to 8 total sales. I may have been premature when I speculated that we could coming out of the worst of the land market doldrums in the March unofficial stats post. It will be interesting to watch the land market to see if March truly was an anomaly.
My advice for buyers and sellers entering the Maui Real Estate market varies based on your price point and property type. The Maui market is not monolithic. The biggest differentiator between market segments is inventory. This month’s official RAM release indicated that home, condo and land
inventory shrank across the board. The inventory at the entry level of the market is extremely tight. Home buyers entering into this market will find prices way below peak prices, but they will also find that the limited inventory is leading to upward price adjustments and competitive bidding. Buyers who want to get into the market should be pre-approved for a loan prior to beginning their search. That will put the buyer in a better position to move quickly when the right home or condo comes on the market. Land, East Maui and the luxury market are a few areas where inventory is higher and you will find more of a true buyers market.
Sellers will need to closely evaluate their segment of the market place prior to listing. Sellers at the lowest priced segments of the market will find a ready pool of buyers albeit they will likely be disappointed with sales prices when compared to the peak. In the market segments where buyers are fewer, sellers need to look closely at recent comparable sales when determining their price point for market entry. Sellers should also be aware of recent changes to the Hawaii Purchase Contract. Sellers now have greater disclosure obligations that are further incentive to do a home inspection or even a survey prior to listing. Keep an eye peeled for more discussion of the new purchase contract and it’s implication for sellers on The Maui Real Estate Blog and www.MauiRealEstate.com. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team with questions on the market or for assistance buying or selling Maui Property.
Maui Real Estate Blog
Unofficial March 2012 Maui Real Estate Statistics
April is here and that means it is time to check in on how the Maui Real Estate market performed in March. Market activity is a frequent subject of conversation on our island. I have had more than a few interactions this month where people have asked, “Is it true the market is on fire?” Others have stated unequivocally that the Maui Real Estate market is booming again. Needless to say, there appears to be quite a bit of hype about Maui property sales. The question I have is whether the market meets the hype. That’s what I am hoping to answer with this month’s Unofficial Maui Real Estate statistics. Without further ado, here is what I found after sorting through the Maui MLS data for the month of March.
By my count, Maui Realtors have reported 80 home sales for March 2012 at a median price of $432,500. That compares to 89 homes sold in March 2011 at a median of $450,000. That is around a 10% dip in volume and a 4% dip in median prices when comparing this March to last March.
Maui Realtors have reported 128 condo sales last month at a median price of $370,000. By comparison, there were 124 condos sold at a median of $289,000. That represents a 3% increase in volume and a 28% increase in median prices for March 2012 over March 2011.
Land transactions for March 2012 stand at 21 sales at a median price of $455,000. Last March, there were 10 sales reported at a median of $517,500. That is a robust 110% increase in sales volume and a 12% decrease in median price.
The Maui Real Estate market continues to be impacted by the sale of Bank Owned Properties (REOs) and Short Sales. There were 66 bank owned or short sale closes on Maui last Month. Of the 80 homes that sold, 34 were REOs or Short Sales. That is 42.5% of the sales volume. Of the 128 condos that sold, 30 were REOs or Short Sales. That is 23% of the condo sales. Of the 21 land sales that closed, 2 were REOs. There were an additional four bankruptcy sales among the 21 closes.
Looking at the numbers above, the land sales volume is the big stand out for the month. The ugly step child of my unofficial stats posts is getting a day in the sun. Land sales started to slump from a volume stand point in the middle of 2007. Over that span of time, there had been only one month with 20+ sales. That was in early 2008 when there were 24 sales. The majority of those sales were a bulk purchase in a single development. What drove the market resurgence and is this the sign of increasing health in the land market? I would venture that value and opportunity are what drove an upswing in buyers. We are starting to see sellers adjust their pricing to levels where buyers are willing and able to purchase. The question remains whether March will start the beginning of an improved land market or if it is just an anomaly. There is still between 4 and 5 years worth of land inventory on the market so there is quite a ways to go before we see the dynamics in place to substantially raise values.
The condo market produced the second most eye catching number of the month with a 28% increase in median over March 2011. To be clear, this jump does not mean condo values have increased 28% over the last year. The biggest reason behind the change relates to where market activity is occurring. During March of 2011, much of the sales activity was lower priced bank owned properties. This year, there is less bank owned inventory and tighter entry level inventory. This has actually led to some modest price increases for some entry level condos. This shouldn’t come as too big a surprise as this segment of the market was the first to see prices decrease and was the hardest hit segment of the Maui market.
While lower priced activity has slowed due to lack of inventory, we have seen more activity in the middle ranges of the condo market. The increase in middle range sales is helping to push up medians. Buyers appear to be responding well to new development properties with 30 sales that were new developer offerings last month. Much of this new development activity is happening in the middle price ranges of our market. We are also seeing a little more activity in the middle ground of the second home and vacation rental market. This is part of a national upswing on vacation rental properties and second homes. Canadian buyers continue to have an impact as currency exchange remains favorable. While the middle ground has been stronger, the ultra luxury condo market is off a little over last year. There were 4 sales over $1,500,000 this March compared to 7 sales last March.
The dip in home sales numbers may just be a reflection of monthly variability. Home sales have been alternating between better than the year prior and a little slower than the year prior for the last few months. While the numbers are by no means poor, they do contradict the word on the street. The Maui market appears to be making some strides to a slow recovery, but it may not meet be experiencing the booming recovery that some are proclaiming. It will be interesting to see what the next few months bring us. We are rapidly approaching the end of peak buying season for Maui which should lead to a decrease in demand. On the other side, we continue to see tightening inventories in some segments of the market.
For those that are thinking of sticking their toe in the Maui market, my advice hasn’t changed. Buyers who want to enter the market will find that there are properties priced well below peak market values. The best opportunities can be competitive with multiple offers and above asking sales prices on some of the better values. With that in mind, buyer’s who need assistance with financing should take the time to get pre-approved with a bank up front. It is best to get approval with a bank with experience lending in Hawaii. Buyers should be prepared to strike quickly when they see properties that meet their needs at good prices. Sellers will find that there is still competition via lower priced REOs, short sales and motivated conventional sellers. The Maui Real Estate team works closely with their sellers to look at comparable sales and evaluate their niche of the market. Sellers who have the means should address deferred maintenance and other issues that could deter buyers. If you are interested in buying or selling property on Maui, Contact The Maui Real Estate Team for market knowledge, professionalism and responsive service. Aloha!
Maui Real Estate Blog
706 Hana Highway, Paia-Great Kuau Location
The Maui Real Estate Team has another great new listing along Maui’s North Shore. This property is situated in the heart of Kuau, just a short walk to Mama’s Beach and the water sports of Kuau Point. You are short bike ride to Ho’okipa Beach Park and Paia town. The main home is classic, 1950s Plantation style with fir floors and an open floor plan. Outbuildings include a detached carport, an old detached ohana and a separate garage with a laundry and bath that serves the ohana. The property has two water meters in place and the sellers have received preliminary subdivision approval. This offers some interesting possibilities for buyers with patience and capital.