Maui Real Estate Blog

May 2016 Maui Real Estate Statistics

Don’t be surprised to see a big spike in median home prices in Maui in the near future. Read on to find out why. This is our look at the May Maui Real Estate Statistics. We take a look at median prices, sales volumes, new pending sales in May and notable numbers. We also give a few thoughts on what it all means. Without further ado, here are the May numbers.

Maui Sales Volumes and Median Prices

This chart compares real estate sales volumes by property type for May 2015 and May 2016

By my count, there were 94 homes sold in May with a median sales price of $622,500. In May of 2015, there were 88 sales with a median price of $607,097. That calculates to a 7% increase in sales volume and a 2.5% increase in median price.

There were 118 condos sold in May with a median sales price of $423,500. Last May, there were 110 sales with a median price of $459,500. That calculates to a 7% increase in sales volume and an 8% decrease in median price.

There were 14 land sales with a median price of $378,500 in May. There were 12 sales in May of 2015 with a median price of $380,000. That is roughly a 17% increase in sales and around a half of a percent drop in median price.

Notable Numbers from the May Maui Real Estate Sales Activity

  • The highest priced home sale last month on Maui was $6,000,000. The oceanfront estate in the Kuau area of Paia included a 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath home with 6,258 square feet of living space, a separate 1 bedroom, 1 bath cottage with 1,0125 square feet of living space on a 1.28 acre lot.
  • That was one of 7 home sales over $2,000,000 in Maui during May. The other big closes included 2 sales in Wailea, 2 sales in Kapalua, and one sale each in Kula and Lahaina.
  • The highest priced condo transaction last month closed for $4,150,000. That was a 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath condo with 2,789 square feet of living space at Montage Kapalua.
  • The Montage sale was one of seven condo closes of $1,500,000 or greater in May. The other closes included 4 sales at Honua Kai, a Kapalua Ironwoods and a Mahana. I thought it was notable that all of those sales were in West Maui.
  • The highest priced land sale for the month of May closed for $2,700,000. That lot is .429 acres of beachfront in North Kihei.
  • There were 9 bank owned sales that closed in May of this year. Last year, there were 13 bank owned sales reported on the MLS.
  • There were only 4 short sales this May. That was the same number as last May. Short sales remain a relatively small percentage of the total sales. With continued appreciation, that should remain the case for the remainder of this market cycle.

New Pending Sales
The bulk of the sales reported above went under contract sometime in March or April. To give us a sense of more current market demand, the chart below shows the number of properties that went under contract in May compared to the numbers in May of 2015.

A comparison of the number of properties that went under contract by property type in Maui County during May 2015 and May 2016.

This is the second month in a row when pending home sales have gone down. I would expect that we might see a dip in actual sales volume in June. Condos saw an increase in pending sales in May. That marks the 4th straight month of increased pending sales for condos compared to 2015. That bodes well for sales over the next couple of months. Land pending sales were down slightly after a slower April. Land pendings have been more up and down this year. We are also talking about a much smaller sample of sales so we may just be seeing some month to month variability.

Thoughts on the May Numbers
I started this post with a teaser that Maui Median home prices are likely to see a healthy increase sometime in the coming months. That might sound like a contradiction to my suggestion that sales volume is going to be decreasing based on the dip in pending home sales. In fact, the decrease in sales and the increase in median prices are likely tied together.

Anecdotally, it feels like inventory has been shrinking significantly for homes. The local real estate association keeps track of this information. When I looked at their data for the last few months, inventory is down almost 9% compared to earlier this year. That said, this is actually fairly typical. It mirrors shifts in inventory that we saw last year. So what makes the current market look different?

I decided to take a deeper look at the current inventory. Currently, there are 517 homes that are active. Of the 517 homes that are active, 307 of the homes are priced $1,000,000 or higher. That is an impressive 59% of the inventory. In May, the median price for a home was $622,500. Of the 517 active homes listed, there were only 83 homes priced for at or below the median sales price of $622,500. That is just 16% of the inventory. I also looked at the pending home sales. There are currently 277 homes under contract. Of that total, 147 homes of the 277 pending homes are listed for at or below the median price of $622,500. That is 53% of the pending sales. Of the 277 pending sales, 52 of the homes were priced $1,000,000 or more. That is roughly 19% of the pending sales.

Chewing on the numbers above, it is clear that there is strong demand and shrinking inventory at or below the median of $622,500. While the pending sales will likely help keep the median prices in check next month, it is likely we will see median prices start to rise unless the inventory of homes at or below the current median increases significantly. The increase will stem from fewer lower priced sales and to a lesser extent upward price pressure from the lack of inventory. The lack of inventory will likely also keep sales volumes down.

While the home market under $700,000 appears to be continuing to be tight marketplace, that is not true of other price points and property types. The market conditions also differ in different geographic areas of the island. Overall, there is a lot of variability in this market. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team to discuss your specific real estate needs. We will give you our take on market conditions particular to your interests.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

April 2016 Maui Real Estate Statistics

As we hit the midpoint of May, I wanted to give an update on the April Maui Real Estate Statistics. April is the last month of Maui’s “peak” home buying season. Once we get past April 15th, visitor numbers typically dip reducing the number of potential buyers. That said, the bulk of the sales that we see in April are from contracts written earlier in the buyer season. These stats take a look at the number of properties sold, median prices, properties that went under contract in April and notable numbers from the April sales activity. I also give a few thoughts on the state of the market and the numbers that stood out to me in April. Without further ado, here are the April numbers.

April Maui Real Estate Sals Volumes

This chart compares the real estate sales volumes for Maui County during April 2015 and April 2016

There were 99 home sales reported in Maui County during April with a median sales price of $680,000. In April of 2015, there were 87 homes sold with a median price of $581,000. That calculates to roughly a 14% increase in sales activity and a 17% increase in median price.

There were 125 condo sales reported in Maui during April with a median price of $445,000. Last April there were 105 condos sold with a median price of $410,000. That is a 19% increase in sales volume and roughly a 9% increase in median price.

There were 10 land sales reported in Maui County for the month of April with a median sales price of $453,500. In April 2015, there were 12 sales with a median price of $417,500. That calculates to a 17% decrease in sales and an 8% increase in median price.

While compiling the median sales prices and sales volumes, I came up with some numbers that I thought were worth sharing from the April numbers.

Notable Numbers from the April Maui Real Estate Sales

  • The highest priced home sale in April closed for $6,550,000. This Kula Estate included a 4 bed, 4 bath home with 7,809 square feet of living space, 2 cottages, a 9 car garage building and a lot more on 23 acres.
  • It was a busy month for luxury home sales with 13 closes more than $2,000,000. In addition to the big Kula sale, there was one additional Kula sale, 3 sales in Wailea, 3 sales in the Launiupoko area of Lahaina and one sale each in Paia, Haiku, Kapalua, Kihei, and Ka’anapali.
  • The highest priced condo sale in April closed for $5,490,309. This Honua Kai Condo has 3 beds, 3.5 baths with 2,770 sq feet of living space and a 2,200 square foot lanai.
  • The big Honua Kai close was one of 13 condo sales over $1,500,000. Other sales included 4 more closes at Honua Kai, 2 Wailea Point Condos, a Montage Kapalua Bay, a Polo Beach, an Alaeloa, Mahana, Kaanapali Shores and a Masters Ka’anapali Unit.
  • The highest priced land sale in April closed for $850,000. The 1.45 acre condominiumized agricultural lot in Launiupoko has the entitlements to build the main house for the condo.
  • There were 11 bank owned transactions that closed in April. That is up slightly from the 9 bank owned sales in April of 2015. There were 4 successful short sales that closed in April 2016. That is the same total as April 2015.

Pending Real Estate Sales in April
Sales are a lagging indicator. They do not show current buyer demand. That is why our stats posts include the number of properties that go pending in that particular month.

This chart compares the number of properties that went under contract in Maui during April 2015 and April 2016

The number of properties that went pending in April was lower compared to April of 2015. New contracts for homes and lots were down while condos were up. I am not sure that is indicative of any sort of trend. As a whole it is something of a reversal of what we saw during the first quarter of the year where home sales were up significantly, land was up slightly and condo sales were down. One month of varied market activity is one thing. If we were to string a few months together, we might be seeing a trend.

Thoughts on the April Sales Number and The Maui Real Estate Market
Of all of the sales figures from April, the luxury property sales stood out the most to me. There were more homes sold over $2,000,000 in April than the previous three months of the year combined. The 13 condo sales over $1,500,000 wasn’t too far behind the 17 total sales during the first quarter of 2016. After a slower start to the year, there appears to be a little bit of a bump in high end sales activity. It makes some sense as the stock market has seen a recovery from the doldrums of earlier this year. It will be interesting to see if that was just one month or if this increased activity will sustain itself.

The high median sales price for homes was noteworthy. This was the second highest median sales price since the recovery of the real estate market. The high median is related to the high number of higher priced sales. It is also due in part to a shrinking inventory of lower priced homes. Rising values and just a tight overall market have resulted in a shrinking pool of homes available for sale for less than $500,000.

The condo market numbers were also somewhat notable in that sales were up and pending sales were up compared to April 2015. The condo market was slower during the first quarter of 2016 when compared to 2015. This may be a blip or it may be the start of an uptick in activity in the condo market. It will be interesting to see the numbers in the next couple of months.

While the April condo market bucked the first quarter trends, the home market continued the momentum of the first quarter. April home sales were well above the totals for April 2015. That made it something of a surprise to see April pending home sales were well below April 2015. As mentioned above, one month may just be due to variability in the market. We will see what unfolds in the coming months.

If you are a buyer or a seller thinking of entering the Maui Real Estate market, you will find that market conditions are not monolithic. While this blog post discusses the generalities of the Maui market, market demand and inventory varies by geography and price point. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team to discuss market conditions specific to your real estate needs. We look forward to being of service.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

The Year in Numbers, The 2015 Maui Real Estate Statistics

Before we head into February, I wanted to take a quick look back at the 2015 Maui Real Estate market. This is a review of sales volumes, median prices and other notable numbers. I also wanted to address a few questions that arose in my own mind while compiling the statistics. Without further ado, here are the 2015 statistics.

This chart compares the volume of homes, condos and lots sold in Maui County during 2014 and 2015.

Maui Sales Volume, Median Prices and Total Dollar Volume
There were 1090 homes sold on Maui during 2015 with a median sales price of $580,000. The total dollar volume of homes sold in 2015 was $931,646,757. There were 942 homes sold in 2014 with a median price of $570,000. The 2014 total dollar volume was $825,770,160. That means we saw almost a 16% increase in sales volume, just under a 2% increase in median price and a 13% increase in dollar volume when comparing 2015 to 2014.

There were 1,199 condos sold in Maui County during 2015 with a median sales price of $410,000. The total dollar volume of condos sold was $763,806,071. The 2014 condo totals were 1,201 sales with a median price of $414,750. The 2014 total dollar volume was $755,031,268. That means sales volume dropped two tenths of a percent, median price dropped just over one percent and the total dollar volume rose one percent in 2015.

There were 154 land sales in Maui County in 2015 with a median sales price of $447,650. The total dollar volume of land sold was $136,353,541. The 2014 sales figures for land were 166 sales and a median price of $520,000. The total dollar of land sold in 2014 was $119,330,455. That is just over a 7% drop in volume, a 14% drop in median price and a 14% increase in the total dollar volume.

Notable Numbers from the 2015 Maui Real Estate Sales

  • The highest priced home to sell on Maui during 2015 closed for $41,775,000. This was by far and away the highest ever priced paid for a home on Maui. The subject property consists of 6,737 square foot house on 4.23 acres in Makena. More than a few eye brows were raised by a sale that was priced well above other comparable properties in the area. The property was not listed at the time that it sold.
  • That was one of 56 homes to sell for more than $2,000,000 during 2015. The 56 homes sold over $2,000,000 was down by 14% from 65 sold in 2014.
  • The Makena and Wailea area were busiest part of the island for sales over $2,000,000 with 13 total closes.
  • There were 17 beach or oceanfront homes that sold in Maui County during 2015. That was a 29% decrease from the 24 oceanfront sales in 2014.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, the lowest priced home to sell in Maui County closed for $94,750. That home is located in the Maunaloa Village area of Molokai. The lowest priced home to sell on the island of Maui closed for $210,000. The three bedroom, one bath home in Wailuku was situated on a tiny 2,370 square foot lot.
  • The highest priced condo to sell on Maui during 2015 closed for $8,500,000. The beachfront, three bedroom unit at Wailea Beach Villas has over 2,900 square feet of living space.
  • That was one of 91 condos sold for over $1,500,000 during 2015. That exceeded the 83 high end condo sold in 2014 by almost 10%.
  • The Honua Kai Resort saw the most high end condo sales activity with 25 closes over $1,500,000. Montage Kapalua Bay was notable with 9 sales over $3,950,000.
  • The lowest priced condo to sell closed for $20,000. That was a 1 bedroom, 1 bath unit at Harbor Lights in Kahului.
  • The highest priced land transaction to close in 2015 sold for $10,800,000. That was for a half acre lot in the Maluaka Homesites area of the Makena Golf and Beach Club.
  • That was one of 6 land sales in this neighborhood for $7,800,000 or more.
  • There were 25 total land transactions of $1,000,000 or more in Maui County during 2015. That was up slightly from 24 sales over $1,000,000 in 2014.
  • The lowest priced lot to sell in Maui County closed for $20,000 for a 5,351 square foot lot on Molokai. The lowest priced lot to sell on Maui proper closed for 26,000. That was a leasehold lot in the Hawaiian Home Lands in Kula.
  • There were 168 bank owned or REO transactions that closed in Maui County during 2015. That was up from the 116 bank owned sales in 2014. That is almost a 45% increase in bank owned sales.
  • There were 49 successful short sales that closed in 2015. That is down 49% from the 97 short sale transactions in 2014.
  • Of the properties that closed in 2015, 36% were reported to have been cash sales. That is down from 2014 when 42% of the sales were said to have been cash transactions.

Some Questions and Answers About the Numbers
While reviewing the numbers above, a lot of questions came up in my mind. In the paragraphs below, I wanted to address some of these questions and give my thoughts on potential answers.

What drove the increased home sales activity this year?
When looking at the numbers above, homes were the only property type to outperform the 2014 numbers. What drove the increase in sales? There were a couple of factors that came into play. I believe a lot of the activity was driven by on island buyers. Island rents have soared over the last few years. Lower interest rates made the buy vs. rent argument that much more compelling. The threat of increased rates in the near term added to buyer urgency. Evidence of the increased demand from local buyers could be found in the big bump in activity in Central Maui. Home sales in that part of the island were up 33% over last year. The Upcountry area also saw a bump with Pukalani, Kula and Makawao sales up 28,31 and 7% respectively. These are communities that tend to draw on island vs second home buyers. A couple of strong years for tourism helped put local buyers in a better position to afford their purchase.

If sales activity was so strong, why did the median home price only increase 2%?
The first thing to note when answering this question is that changes in median price are not a direct reflection of changes in property values. Median price is also driven by shifts in where sales activity occurs. More high end sales can push up the median sales price while more low end sales can push down the median price. While values increased quite a bit more than 2% in many parts of the market, that was offset by a shift in where sales were occurring. There was a 14% decrease in sales over $2,000,000. As mentioned in the paragraph above, we were also seeing higher levels of activity in more affordable communities around the island. These shifts in market activity helped to offset stronger appreciation in some of the lower and middle priced communities on island.

As a follow up question, one might ask exactly how much Maui home values increased in 2015? That is a really tough question to answer. First and foremost, the rates of appreciation varied largely by price point and location. Homes at or below the median saw the most appreciation due to simple supply and demand. These price points had a much larger pool of buyers and supply was relatively limited. Higher end homes have much more inventory and a much smaller pool of buyers. As a result, upward price pressure has been far more limited.

Why did the condo market see a dip in activity?
If home sales were so strong, why were condo sales down? Condo sales are driven more by off island buyers. I would say the weakening Canadian Dollar played a big part in the decrease in condo sales activity. Maui has seen a significant number of Canadian Condo Buyers since about 2007. That was the first year that the Canadian Dollar was on par with the U.S. dollar. The emergence of Canadian buyers in 2007 helped to buoy the Maui market while a lot of mainland markets were already starting to see big decreases in sales and pricing. They continued to be buyers through the downturn and into the start of the recovery. Around 2013, the Canadian dollar started to dip below par and more substantial decreases occurred in 2014 and 2015. At the time of this post, the Canadian dollar is currently worth 72 cents in American dollars. Less buying power means fewer Canadian buyers. It doesn’t help that a lot of the previous Canadian buyers were coming from Alberta. The weakening Canadian dollar is a reflection of weakening oil prices. The drop in oil prices is a double whammy for buyers from the oil rich province of Alberta.

Final Thoughts
I know tomorrow is the first of February, but I still plan on putting out more posts specific to how different communities around the island performed during 2015. Those posts will also include some thoughts on what we might expect to see in those communities during 2016. Feel free to contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you have any questions on the numbers above, or if you need assistance buying or selling property on Maui. We welcome the opportunity to be of assistance.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

December 2015 Maui Real Estate Statistics

If prompt and punctual blogging was my New Year’s resolution were my New Year’s resolution, I would have already failed. I am a little slow out of the gates this year. The good news is that the delay is due to a busy start to the year with clients. If you have already seen the December Maui Real Estate stats elsewhere, there is still reason to keep reading. We report on a few things that other outlets don’t, and we don’t treat fluctuations in median prices with breathless hyperbole. Without further ado, here are the December 2015 numbers.

December Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes and Median Prices

This chart compares the Maui County Real Estate Sales Volumes in December of 2014 and December of 2015

There were 93 homes sold on Maui in the last month of 2015 with a median sales price of $550,000. By comparison, there were 63 homes sold during the last month of 2014 with a median sales price of $565,000. That is almost a 48% increase in sales activity and a 3% decrease in median price.

There were 101 condos sold in December with a median price of $410,000. Last December there were 125 condos sold with a median price of $380,000. That is roughly a 20% drop in sales activity and an 8% increase in median prices.

There were 16 lots sold with a median price of $281,750 in December of 2015. In December of 2014, there were 12 lots sold with a median price of $650,000. That is a 33% increase in sales volume and a 57% drop in median price.

Notable Numbers from the December Maui Sales
While compiling median prices and sales volumes, I came across some other notable numbers from the December Maui Real Estate Sales activity.

  • The highest priced home sale was for an oceanfront property on Front Street in Lahaina. The 3 bedroom, 3 bath home with 3,747 square feet of living space sold for $4,375,000.
  • That was one of four home sales over $2,000,000 in December. The other three sales included another oceanfront home on Front Street and two closes in Kula.
  • The highest priced condo transaction was for a three bedroom, three and a half bath unit at Montage Kapalua Bay. That 2,789 square foot condo sold for $4,625,000.
  • That was one of eight total condo sales over $1,500,000. The other closes included one sale at the the Ritz Carlton Residences and two sales each at Wailea Point, Wailea Beach Villas and Puamana.
  • the highest priced residential land transaction was $1,100,000 for 67 acres in lower Kula. There was also a commercial land transaction that closed in Kahului for $1,510,000.
  • There were 18 REO or bank owned transactions that closed in December of 2015. That was up from 13 REO sales in December of 2014. There were only 2 short sale transactions in December compared to 4 last December.

December Maui Pending Real Estate Sales
December is usually a pretty quiet month for properties going under contract. Many buyers will put their home buying on hold while they negotiate the already hectic holidays. Maui tends to see a slight uptick at the end of the month when an island filled with holiday visitors means more potential buyers.

This chart compares the number of properties that went pending in Maui County During December 2015 with the number of pending sales in 2014.

This December, we saw a little more home buying activity. I would surmise that there are two factors at play. Buyers trying to lock in rates at the beginning of the month before the fed rate increase, and buyers who kept their focus looking for new listings in an otherwise limited inventory.

This is another shorter than usual stats post. I want to save the analysis for some forthcoming 2015 overviews. Stay tuned for those posts in the next week. In the meantime, please contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you have any questions about the stats or buying and selling Maui Property. We would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you and learn more about your real estate needs for 2016.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

September 2015 Maui Real Estate Statistics

It has been a busy month for me and the rest of the Maui Real Estate Team. We have seen more buyer activity than usual for our “slow” season and we have some exciting new listings that we have brought to market. Our busy fall is reflected by the fact that I am not putting out a monthly stats post until October 28th. Since it is so late in the month, this is going to be more abbreviated than usual. That said, I will still have information on sales volume, median prices, pending sales and some notable numbers from the September sales activity. Without further ado, here are the numbers.

Maui Sales Volumes and Median Prices

This chart compares the real estate sales volumes for Maui County for the months of September 2014 and September 2015

There were 97 homes sold in September with a median price of $573,000. During September of 2014, there were 95 homes sold on Maui with a median sales price of $570,000. That calculates to 2% increase in sales volume and a .5% increase in median price.

There were 109 condos reported sold in September with a median price of $399,000. Last September, there were 80 condo sales with a median sales price of $462,500. That calculates to a 36% increase in sales activity and a 14% drop in median price.

There were 17 land sales reported in September with a median sales price of $625,000. Last September, there were 12 land sales with a median price of $520,000. That is roughly a 42% increase in sales activity and a 20% increase in median price.

Notable Numbers from The September Sales Activity
While compiling the median prices and sales volumes, I came across some other numbers from the September Real Estate sales activity that I thought were worth sharing.

  • The highest priced home sale during the month occurred Upcountry. A 22 acre estate in Kula with a 4,972 square foot main house and a 1,268 square foot cottage sold for $6,500,000.
  • That was one of five total home sales of $2,000,000 or more in September. There was one other sale in Kula, 2 sales in Wailea and one sale in Kapalua.
  • The highest priced condo to sell in September was located at Montage Kapalua Bay. The 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath condo with 2,789 square feet of living space sold for $4,900,000.
  • The Montage sale was one of 8 sales over $1,500,000 during September. The other 7 transactions included another sale at Montage, 2 Hoolei, a Honua Kai, a Kai Malu, a Ritz Carton Residence, a Wailea Point and a Kai Malu.
  • There were two separate lots in the Maluaka Estates neighborhood of the Makena Golf and Beach Club that closed for $9,000,000 a piece in September. The lots were 19,602 and 17,340 square feet respectively. It is safe to say that the Makena Golf and Beach Club is continuing to see the highest per square foot prices for land on the island.
  • There were 15 bank owned transactions that sold on the Maui MLS in September. In September of 2014, there 13 bank owned sales.
  • There were 4 successful short sale transactions in September of 2015 which is down from the 6 short sales that closed in September of 2014.

Pending Sales in September
The majority of the September sales were based on contracts that were written in July and August. With that in mind, we wanted to see what type of activity we were seeing from buyers in September. The following chart shows the number of homes, condos and parcels of land that went under contract in September compared to the number of properties that went under contract in September of 2014.

This chart compares the number of properties that went under contract during September of 2014 and September 2015

It was a strong month of buyer activity in September with the number of homes that went under contract significantly higher than the number in September 2014. Condos activity is up slightly and land contracts mirrored what we were seeing last year. I would surmise the big increase in home activity is still related to the low interest rates and buyers wanting to obtain properties while those low interest rates last.

Thoughts on the September Stats and the State of the Market
This is the fourth month of a row where the 2015 sales volumes were higher than the sales numbers for the same month of 2014. As mentioned above, I believe most of this can be attributed to buyers trying to “get in” before interest rates increase. The urge to get in is heightened by a difficult Maui long term rental market that has seen rents increase drastically over the last 3 years.

What does all of this mean for buyers and sellers? Well priced properties continue to be very competitive, particularly with properties below or near the median home price. The last three offers I submitted were for homes located in Upcountry Maui that were near or below the median sales price. All three offers were competitive bidding situations. This type of activity is common throughout the different geographic areas of the island. This means buyers will need to be prepared to act quickly when a good opportunity comes on the market. If a buyer will need a mortgage for their purchase, they should get pre-approved before they even start looking at homes. Sellers, particularly those with homes that are valued near or below median prices, will find that this is a good time to sell. To be clear, that doesn’t mean sellers have carte blanche when it comes to pricing. Overpriced properties are still sitting in this market. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are interested in buying or selling a property on Maui. We would welcome the chance to sit down with you and listen to your real estate needs.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Sneak Peek at the March 2015 Maui Real Estate Statistics

The beginning of April means our peak visitor season is wrapping up. It is also time to bid farewell to the bulk of the Humpback Whales that winter in the waters off our coastline. The end of another month also means another opportunity to take a look at how the Maui Real Estate market is performing. This sneak peek at the March Maui Real Estate Statistics includes information on sales volume, median pricing, pending sales, notable numbers and a few thoughts on the stats and the state of the market for buyers and sellers. Without further ado, here are the March numbers.

March Real Estate Sales Volumes and Median Prices

This chart compares the real estate sales volumes for Maui County during March of 2014 and 2015

By my count, there were 83 homes sold in March 2015 at a median price of $625,000. There were 70 homes sold in March of 2014 with a median price of $590,500. That calculates to a 19% increase in sales volume and a 5% increase in median price.

I counted 122 condos sold in March 2015 at a median price of $442,500. By comparison, there were 127 sold with a median price of $420,000 in March of last year. That is a 4% decrease in volume and a 5% increase in median price.

I counted 14 lots sold in Maui county during March with a median sales price of $528,500. That is the exact same number of sales as March 2014 when there were 14 land transactions with a median price of $507,500. That calculates to a 4% increase in median when comparing this March to last March.

Other Notable March Maui Real Estate Sales Numbers
While compiling the sales volumes and median prices, I came across a few other numbers that were worth sharing from the March Maui Real Estate sales activity.

  • The highest priced home sale on Maui in March was $14,500,000 for a beachfront home in Kihei. The 5,682 square foot home is located on a half acre lot directly on Keawakapu Beach.
  • This was one of five home sales over $2,000,000 for the month. In addition to the Keawakapu home, there were sales in Kapalua, Spreckelsville, Olinda and one additional sale in Kihei.
  • The highest priced condo transaction last month was a 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath unit at Montage Kapalua Bay which sold for $3,995,000.
  • It was a busy month of sales for luxury condos on Maui with 13 closes over $1,500,000. There was one additional close at Montage, 4 sales at Honua Kai, 2 at Ka’anapali Ali’i, 2 at Wailea Point, a Wailea Elua, a Na Hale O Makena and a Masters.
  • The highest priced land sale last month was $1,250,000 for a 5.12 acre lot in Launiupoko.
  • There were 12 bank owned sales that closed in March as compared to 4 bank owned sales last March. There were 4 short sales that closed in March compared to 12 successful short sales last March.

Some Quick Thoughts on the March Stats
March saw a resurgence in home sales activity with sales outpacing both last month and the same period last year. The strength of the market varies by price range with homes below and close to the median sales price seeing the greatest amount of demand and activity. While Luxury home sales improved last month, we are still behind the pace of sales for 2014. This is an interesting market segment as there is a lot of inventory providing abundant selection for buyers. That said, it isn’t a true buyer’s market in the sense that there aren’t a lot of really motivated sellers. The majority of home owners in the higher price ranges tend to have additional staying power that thus far has enabled them to hold out for higher prices.

Condo sales activity dipped below the levels that we saw during March of 2014. Overall sales volume is being impacted by a soft middle of the market specifically in the vacation rental condo market. I would surmise that some of the dip stems from a lack of activity among Canadian buyers. The weakened Canadian Currency has put a good number of potential Canadian buyers on the sidelines. You could also argue that some of the decreased activity in the middle of the condo market may be due to inflated asking prices. With demand down, it is surprising to see how many condos are priced well above recent comparable sales. That said, this is another area of the market where seller motivation appears to be lacking. There are quite a few sellers with enough means and sufficient rental revenue to enable them to hold out for higher pricing. The lower price points of the market continue to see pretty healthy demand. The high end of the market condo market was particularly strong last month with 15 sales over $1,500,000. There is a good selection of high end condos on the market and buyers appear to be taking advantage of the quality available.

The land market continues to chug along at about the same clip as what we were seeing in 2014. Limited financing options and a lack of inventory at lower price points have been the biggest constraints to increased sales activity.

March Maui Pending Sales
Sales are always a lagging indicator of current demand. With that in mind, we started tracking pending sales in our monthly statistics posts. Here is a comparison on what we were seeing going under contract in March of 2015 compared to March of 2014.

This chart compares pending sales in Maui County during March of 2014 and March of 2015

It appears as if March was a pretty strong month for buyer demand for all but land, as both home and condo pendings outpaced what we saw in March of 2014. It is good to see the last full month of buyer’s season end on a good note. It will be interesting to see if the market sustains itself as we transition out of peak buyer’s season later in April.

What Does it Mean for Buyers and Sellers?
Maui market conditions have not seen any significant changes throughout our peak winter sales season. Buyers will find that market conditions vary pretty widely based on price point and geography. The greatest competition among buyers is occurring at or below the median sales price for each community. That said, buyers shopping at higher price points may find that well priced properties can go quickly at almost any price point. It all depends in part on demand within the specific community. As a result, buyers should prepare themselves so they can act quickly when the right opportunity comes along. We strongly advise buyers who will need financing assistance to get pre-approved prior to their search. Prospective Sellers should consult with a Realtor to better understand market conditions specific to their neighborhood and community. While some parts of the market are strong, other parts still have a glut of inventory. Sellers who want to sell quickly should take a strong look at depth of inventory and recent sales prices when developing their go to market pricing. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you have questions about buying or selling property on Maui. We would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you to learn more about your real estate needs.

Pete Jalbert