Maui Real Estate Blog

Sneak Peek at the April 2015 Maui Real Estate Statistics

Friday was Lei Day in Hawaii. The first of May is a celebration of the Hawaiian Lei and Hawaiian culture in general. The passing of the first of the month also means that it is time to take a look back on the April Maui Real Estate Statistics. Our sneak peek at the April Maui Real Estate stats includes information on sales volumes, median prices, notable sales numbers, pending sales activity as well as a few thoughts on the stats and what they mean for buyers and sellers. These numbers were compiled on May 2nd so there may be a few sales reported after we publish this post. If there are any substantial changes, we will make note in the comments. Without further ado, here are the April numbers.

April Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes and Median Prices

This chart compares the Real Estate Sales Volumes on Maui during April 2014 and April 2015

By my count, there were 84 home sales that have been reported thus far for April of 2015 with a median sales price of $574,625. In April of 2014, there were also 84 homes sold at a median price of $583,000. That is a 1.5% decrease in median prices with volume unchanged when comparing the two Aprils.

There have been 103 condo sales reported to date for April of 2015 with a median sales price of $405,000. That is significant decrease in volume from April 2014 when there were 136 sales with a median sales price $403,500. That calculates to a 24% decrease in activity and a less than 1% increase in median price.

There were 12 land sales last month with a median price of $417,500. Last April, there were 19 sales with a median price of $510,000. That represents a 37% decrease in sales activity and an 18% decrease in median price.

Other Notable Numbers from The April Maui Real Estate Sales Activity
While compiling the numbers above, there were a few other notable numbers from the April Sales activity that are worth sharing.

  • The highest priced home sale last month was $9,750,000 for a 39.7 acre estate in Haiku. The home is known in the community as the Baldwin Estate after one of its previous owners. The property includes two parcels of land and a main house with 10 bedrooms, 10.5 bathrooms and over 9,600 square feet of living space. In addition to the main house, there are multiple outbuildings, a pool area, tennis court and sumptuously landscaped grounds. This was the highest ever sales price for a home in the community of Haiku.
  • The Baldwin House was one of five home sales over $2,000,000 in April. There were 2 sales in Ka’anapali, a sale in Wailea and a home on Keawakapu Beach in Kihei. The value of the $7,700,000 Keawakapu sale was almost exclusively in the land.
  • In addition to the sales reported above, there are rumors of a sale in the Makena area for $41,750,000. That would be a new record high for Maui. This has not been published on the MLS and the details are sketchy. We will provide updates if we learn anything new.
  • The highest priced condo transaction in April was for a 3 bed, 3.5 bath unit at Wailea Beach Villas. It closed for $6,100,000.
  • While overall condo sales were down, the market over $1,500,000 remained strong. The Wailea Beach Villas transaction was one of 9 sales over $1,500,000 in April. The other transactions included 2 at Honua Kai, 2 at Makena Surf, a Hoolei, a Montage, a Palms at Manele, and a Ka’anapali Ali’i.
  • It was notable that there were no land sales over $1,000,000 last month. The high sale was $718,291 for 4.54 acres on the ocean in the Paukukalo area of Wailuku.
  • There were 9 bank owned (REO) sales on Maui sold via Realtors last month. That is the same number as April of 2014.
  • There were 4 successful short sale transactions last month. Last April, there were 10 short sale transactions that were completed successfully.

Some Quick Thoughts on the April Sales Activity
Looking at the numbers above, this was a stinker of a month for condo sales activity. This was the slowest April for condos sales since April of 2009. It clearly wasn’t due to the top of the market. The 9 sales above $1,500,000 was higher than the 6 sales in that price range during 2014. Below, $1,500,000, there was a decrease in activity at all price points. Condo sales under $300,000 were down from last April by 27.5%. Condo sales between $300,000 and $800,000 were down from last April by 28%. Sales between $800,000 and $1,500,000 were down from last April by 24%.

I don’t have any great quantitative data that points out why these different market segments were down. My guess is that the under $300,000 market is driven in part by decreased inventory. There are fewer condos under $200,000 available and fewer vacation rental condos available under $300,000. As you get up into the next price brackets, I suspect we are feeling the impact of decreased activity from Canadian buyers. With the Canadian dollar down significantly from two years ago, we are seeing fewer Canadian buyers. We are also seeing some sellers failing to adjust to the market. Activity has been down, but there are still a number of sellers trying to push the envelope on pricing with asking prices way above recent comparable sales.

Land numbers were down even more significantly on a percentage basis than condo sales, but those numbers tend to appear more dramatic due to a small sample size. I would argue that this month’s drop is a reflection of monthly variability than any sort of substantive change in market conditions. That said, the land market on Maui remains a lot slower than it was during the last real estate boom.

It is important to note that sales are a lagging indicator. Since the average Maui Real Estate transaction takes somewhere between 30 and 60 days to close, sales activity does not speak to more current buyer demand. That is one of the reasons why we like to keep an eye on pending sales activity in a month.

Pending Maui Home Sales

This chart compares the number of properties that went under contract in April of 2014 and April of 2015 in Maui, County Hawaii.

A grim month of condo sales is partially offset by a better month of pending condo sales. March pending sales for condos were also pretty good so I would expect that we may see an uptick in condo sales for May. Land and homes also saw solid months for pending sales activity. It looks like our last month of peak season was a pretty busy one for buyers.

What Does This Mean for Buyers and Sellers?
The Maui Real Estate market remains schizophrenic. There are strong parts and there are soft parts. Buyers will find that well priced properties priced at or below the median sales price are the most competitive. Those types of properties tend to go quickly and they can attract multiple offers. Well priced properties above the median sales price may also attract heavy buyer interest. Buyers who require financing should get pre-approved prior to their search so that they can better define their budgets, and they can show financial qualifications to sellers. Sellers need to continue to look closely at market activity for their particular neighborhood, community and price point. Overpriced properties are sitting in this market. Pricing above market can cost you money in the long run. It is worth sitting down with an agent to determine a go to market strategy and price. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team today to talk to an agent to discuss your real estate needs. We look forward to being of assistance.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

July 2014 Maui Real Estate Statistics

We are a little late getting out our monthly real estate statistics for July. Like most Maui residents, I spent a good portion of last week readying for the two hurricanes that were approaching from the East. Iselle hit the islands on Thursday and Friday. Fortunately, she brought relatively limited damages to Maui. The second storm Julio is slated to pass to our North tomorrow with little or no impact on Maui. Now that the threat appears to have passed, it is time to get back to work and back to blogging. There is no better way to get back in the saddle than with our monthly stats post. We give a look at sales volume, median pricing and other notable number from the July Maui Real Estate Sales activity. We also give our thoughts on some of the more notable numbers, a look at the pending real estate sales in July and some thoughts for buyers and sellers. Without further ado, here are the numbers.

A comparison of Real Estate Sales Volumes in Maui County During July of 2013 and July of 2014
This chart compares the difference in sales volumes for Maui County during July 2013 and July 2014

July Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes and Median Prices

There were 98 homes reported sold in July with a median price of $537,000. That was up compared to July of 2013 when there were 93 sales at a median price of $475,000. That calculates to a 5% increase in sales volume and a 13% increase in median price.

There were 82 condo sales last month with a median price of $387,500. Last July, there were 112 sales with a median price of $357,625. That is a 27% drop in sales volume and an 8% increase in median volume.

There were only 9 land sales reported in July of 2014 with a median price of $425,000. By comparison, there were 13 sales reported in July of 2014.

Other Noteworthy Numbers from the July Maui Real Estate Market Activity

These are some of the other noteworthy numbers from the July Real Estate sales on Maui.

  • The high sale was $8,050,000 for an estate on one acre across the street from the ocean in Makena.
  • The Makena sale was one of six homes that closed for over $2,000,000 last month. The other sales were in Kahana, Wailea, Launiupoko, Kihei and Ka’anapali. It was an equal split with three sales in South Maui and three sales in West Maui.
  • The high condo sale for the month was $4,800,000 for a three bedroom at the Montage Residences in Kapalua. Montage has taken over the management of the former Ritz Carlton Residences in Kapalua. Montage has put their own touches on what may well be the nicest physical plant of any condo on Maui. The combination of a great facility and Montage management has made for a compelling offering for luxury condo buyers. We will have a little more on Montage Kapalua in an upcoming post on the Kapalua Real Estate Market.
  • The Montage sale was one of 4 condos sold for over $1,500,000. There was another sale at Montage, a Ka’anapali Ali’i and a Sugar Cove condo up in Spreckelsville that all closed.
  • This is the first time we have seen less than ten land sales in a month dating back to January 2013. Of note, the 9 sales included two commercial lots and three parcels of land priced for $1,000,000 ore more.
  • There were 11 bank owned sales last month. That is up over the 7 bank owned sales last year. We are continuing to see a modest uptick in Bank Owned Activity with 19 new bank owned listings coming on the market in July.
  • There were only 7 short sales completed last month compared to 20 last year. More sellers are in a better equity position and the end of tax breaks are likely to be the two biggest contributing factors in the diminishing number of short sales.

Numbers that stood out from the July Stats

For the second consecutive month, the condo sales volume was the most eye catching number of the statistics. This is now three months in a row where sales were significantly lower than the same month last year. As mentioned last month, we are surmising that price increases and diminishing inventories at lower price points have helped slow the condo sales totals. There are just fewer and fewer options below $200,000, an area of the market that saw quite a few sales last year. One thing that is worth noting is that we are seeing a slow down in the number of sales in the low and mid $200,000s as well and it isn’t due to lack of inventory. Last year, we saw rapid appreciation among entry level condos geared towards owner occupants and long term renters. Some of these condos came up 60% or more from the bottom of the market. The appreciation was fueled in part by limited inventory. Now that many of those same condos have crossed the $200,000 value barrier, more sellers have come on to the market. A big growth in inventory and unsustainable rates of appreciation are allowing buyers to be more choosy and slowing down market momentum.

As mentioned above, we are seeing more bank owned inventory coming on the market. It is worth noting, that the bank owned listings haven’t proven to be the best values lately. A couple of years ago, bank owned properties typically had shorter days on market. They were priced below recent comparable sales making them a sought after commodity with buyers. It is clear that most banks have changed their pricing strategies in a rising real estate market. Many of the bank owned listings are coming on the market above recent comparable sales. I thought it was noteworthy that of the 38 bank owned properties that have come on the market in the last two months, only 2 have sold and 11 have gone pending. One of those sold properties was sold prior to being listed on the MLS.

July Pending Sales

On the Maui Real Estate Blog, we like to keep an eye on the number of properties that went under contract in the last month. That gives us some sense of what type of sales figures we may see in the next couple of months. It also gives us a better sense of current market demand.

This chart compares the number of properties that went under contract in July of 2014 with the number of properties that went under contract in July of 2013.

One bit of good news is that the number of pending condo sales is higher for July of 2014 than July of 2013. That would suggest we may be seeing an end of the recent condo sales slump. While land sales were off last month, it appears that we may see a bounce back in either the August or September sales with an increase in the number of pending properties compared to last year.

What Buyers and Sellers Can Expect Under Current Market Conditions

Maui continues its long term trend of sustained appreciation in real estate values. That said, the rate of appreciation and market conditions vary throughout the island based on both geography and price point. Entry level home buyers will find that they are searching in the most competitive part of the market. Well priced entry level homes in good condition are selling quickly and garnering multiple offers. Buyers in this segment should seek pre-approval from a lender if they are going to require financing. Buyers will need to move quickly if they identify a property that they like that will fit their needs. There are other higher priced pockets of the market where similar decisive action may be required by buyers. It all depends on the scarcity of inventory and demand in that particular market segment. Buyers should work closely with a Realtor to get a better sense of the current market conditions relevant to their interests. While conditions are favorable for sellers, sellers should look closely at competitive inventory and recent sales when developing a go to market price. As more sellers are coming on the market, rates of appreciation are slowing. That makes it easier to overprice a property. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team for assistance buying or selling Maui property. We would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you for a free consultation and to discuss your real estate needs.

Pete Jalbert