Maui Real Estate Blog

Unofficial AND Official November 2011 Maui Real Estate Statistics

November came and went pretty quickly. The Maui Real Estate Team was sporting a little more facial hair for the month as Billy and I observed Movember. We also had a lot of fun attending and sitting at a booth for the EA Sport Maui Invitational. The end of November means shaving time and time for the unofficial Maui Real Estate statistics. November is typically a slower month for real estate sales as September and October are the off season for visitors and buyers on island. Was that the case this month? How did we stack up verses last month? Find out below as I present the preliminary sales data for November.

Comparison of November 2010 and November 2011 Real Estate Sales Volume for Maui County, Hawaii

Thus far, Maui Realtors have reported 73 home sales at a median price of $450,000 for November of 2011. By comparison, there were 58 sales in November of 2010 at a median of $445,000. That calculates to a 26% increase in sales volume and around a 1% increase in median price.

There have been 74 condo sales reported thus far for November 2011 at a median sales price of $261,750. The November 2010 numbers were 66 sales at a median of $349,000. That calculates to a 12% increase in volume and a 25% decrease in median price when comparing this November to last November.

There have been 8 land sales reported for November 2011 at a median price of $427,500. There was little difference with the November 2010 numbers which totaled 7 sales at a median price of $425,000.

We like to keep an eye on activity in the short sale and bank owned (REO) market as part of our unofficial statistics. There is no denying that these types of properties continue to have a significant impact on the local real estate market. Last month there were 37 REO sales and 21 short sale transactions that closed. Of the 73 homes that closed, 29 were REOs or short sales. That calculates to approximately 40% of the total home sales volume. The 74 condos that are reported to have sold included 28 short sale or REO transactions. That equates to roughly 38% of the sales volume. There was one bank owned sale among the land transactions.

Looking at all of the numbers above, there were two stats that jumped off the page. The first is the uptick in home sales. During 2011, home sales in Maui County have consistently outpaced the 2010 numbers. That being said, the 26% increase is the largest difference to date when comparing the same month in 2010 and 2011. It will be interesting to see if there is a similar difference in December and/or January. Maui is a small enough market that random fluctuations in market activity can produce “outlier” months. I would want to see at least a couple of months of heightened activity before declaring anything a trend.

The other thing that stood out to me was the big dip in median condo prices. If you have read my unofficial stats posts in the past, it is possible you may have encountered my cautionary tale on Maui medians. Shifts in median prices are not always a great indicator of changes in property values. Median pricing is determined in part by values and in part by shifts in where market activity may be occurring. While we have seen values decrease in the last year, it is safe to say that that values haven’t fallen 25% in that time. This November there were a total of eleven sales under $100,000. This higher volume of lower priced transactions was the main reason behind the drop in median.

While looking for the reasons behind the lower condo median, I found a few other numbers that I thought were worth passing along. The November median for REO condo sales is $75,250. The median for short sale condo transactions is $216,250. The median sales price for conventional (non REO or Short sale) condo closes is $348,990. While I don’t know that this low a number is typical for REO medians, I can safely say it is common for the median for REOs to be lower than the median for conventional properties. In that sense REOs are having a twofold effect on Maui median prices. It is clear that REO and short sale activity have had an impact on values in Maui. REOs can drag neighborhood values down as banks will frequently sell properties for below recent comparable sales in the area. That is one way it impacts Maui median prices. REOs attract a disproportionate number of buyers when compared to the overall inventory due to asking prices that often below recent comparable sales. It is also true that REO activity has been highest in the lowest price ranges. In that sense REOs are also contributing to the decrease in medians by increasing activity at lower prices.

For those that are interested in buying and selling Maui Real Estate, December marks a shift in seasons. The winter months are considered to be peak buying season for Maui properties. If you are a buyer or seller getting into the market what can you expect? Maui remains a buyer’s market although you will see a wide range in market conditions depending on the market segment. Buyers looking for entry level homes and condos will find a competitive market place. Well priced properties are often attracting multiple offers with sales prices above asking common. Other segments of the market have less competition, but well priced property in any market segment can attract multiple sellers. Buyers should be prepared to act quickly when the right opportunities come along. If you require financing, getting pre-qualified with a mortgage broker is an important step to take before you look at properties. Sellers fishing for high prices may best be advised to stay on the sidelines in this market. Sellers who want or need to sell should be looking closely at recent comparable sales when determining where they want to enter the market. If a seller has the means, they should also consider having their home or condo inspected prior to going on market. It is better to address potential problems with your home or condo up front than when you are under contract. If you are interested in diving into the Maui market, contact The Maui Real Estate Team for professional representation and market knowledge. We look forward to being of assistance.

Note: As I was about to publish these stats, Billy let me know that RAM beat me to the punch with their official numbers this month. Apparently while I was shaving and Christmas tree shopping, Terry at RAM was working diligently through the weekend. I figured I might as well do a two for one post and include the RAM numbers. Here is a pdf of the Official Realtors Association of Maui November 2011 Real Estate Statistics.

Pete Jalbert