Maui Real Estate Blog
Wailea and Kihei Vacation Rental Condo Sales Surge
The Maui Real Estate market has seen a healthy bump in condo sales during 2017. Sales volume for the first five months of the year are about 10% higher than the same period of 2016. Much of that growth can be attributed to the vacation rental condo market in Kihei and Wailea. After a couple of relatively slow years, this year has seen a resurgence of buyers interested in South Maui. I wanted to take a look at the numbers specific to Wailea and Kihei, the condos that are seen the biggest increase in demand, and provide a few thoughts on what might be driving the increase in activity.
Wailea and Kihei saw a 56% increase in vacation rental condo sales between January 1st and May 22nd, 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. There were 173 units sold this year vs 111 sold last year. That increase in activity occurred across all price ranges. Condos priced $500,000 and under saw the most activity with 78 transactions. There were 65 closes during the same period of 2015. The 20% increase in sales compared to 2016 was actually the lowest percentage increase in activity for any price range. The price range from $501,000 to $1,000,000 saw a larger increase in activity with 63 sales compared to 33 sales. That calculates to a 91% increase in sales activity. While the $1,000,001+ price range experienced the biggest percentage increase in activity compared to last year with 38 units sold compared to 13. That is a whopping 292% increase in sales activity.
Wailea Condo Sales
Which condo complexes saw the biggest gains? In Wailea, the increases were across the board. Every single condo complex in Wailea that allows vacation rentals has seen more sales in the year to date than they did over the same period of time last year. That said, there were a few condos that stood out over the others.
Wailea Elua is a low density complex with 25 two story buildings located on 24 beachfront acres. Prices in the complex range from roughly $1,000,000 for one bedroom units up to over $3,500,000 for front row, beachfront two bedrooms. The property is valued by owners for its low density, location and beautiful Elua Beach. To say that the start of 2016 was not busy for Wailea Elua would be an understatement. There were no closes by this point of the year. As of the 22ndd of this month, there have been 6 closes.
Wailea Ekahi is the biggest beachfront complex in Wailea. There are 296 units spread over 54 buildings on 35 acres. It has studio units through two bedrooms in a variety of floor plans. Prices range from the $600,000s for studios all the way up to just under $2,000,000 for two bedrooms close to the beach. Owners like the location, the green belt that goes through the middle of the property, the beachfront pool area and Keawakapu Beach. Ekahi saw decent market activity in 2016 with 5 sales in just under 5 months. There has been double that amount of activity with 10 sales reported this year as of May 22nd.
Wailea Beach Villas
Wailea Beach Villas is home to the highest priced vacation rentable condos in Wailea. The property has 9 buildings on just over 10 acres. Wailea Beach Villas has larger 2 and 3 bedroom floor plans with some units having as much as 2,900 square feet of living space. Prices range from the low $2,000,000s to over $9,000,000. Owners like the bigger floor plans, amenities, newer construction and central location within Wailea. It is situated right behind the shops of Wailea and next to the Grand Wailea. It only had one sale during the first 5 months of 2016. There have been 4 sales to date this year.
Kihei Condo Sales
When I first started in real estate, I met with a vacation rental manager to discuss popular Kihei vacation rentals. Kamaole Sands was the first condo he mentioned. Kamaole Sands has 440 units spread over 10 buildings on 15 acres. It has one, two and a handful of three bedroom floor plans. Prices range from the mid $300,000s up to the $700,000s. Condos located on the “inner circle” green space and condos closer to the ocean sell at a higher premium. Owners appreciate the large green space running through the center of the complex that features a pool, fountains and tropical landscaping. It is located across the street from Kamaole Beach Park III. It is a big complex and it typically has higher occupancy. Over the last few years, there has been an abundance of inventory and relatively few buyers. In 2016, there were just 5 units sold through the first 5 months of the year. This year, there was a clear market shift. Sales increased over 300%, with 16 closes for the year as of May 22, 2017.
If Kamaole Sands was first on the list of condos mentioned when I talked to the vacation rental manager, Maui Banyan was mentioned shortly thereafter. There are 256 units spread over 8 buildings on 8.6 acres. There are one and two bedroom floor plans. The popular two bedrooms have a lock off that allow the units to be rented as a studio and one bedroom. Prices range from the $low $400,000s up to the high $600,000s. View and high quality remodels tend to distinguish the higher priced properties. The lock off option, two nice pools, the location across from Kamaole II Beach Park and proximity to shops and restaurants are typically some of the first things that owners mention about the property. In the first five months of 2016, there were only 3 sales. As of the 22nd of May, there have been 11 sales reported for the year to date. That is an impressive 366% increase in activity.
Maui Vista offers one of the lower entry points into the South Kihei vacation rental condo market. The complex has 280 units spread over three buildings on 8.82 acres. Each building has its own pool and set of tennis courts. There are both one and two bedroom floor plans. Prices range from the high $200,000s for fixer units up to the mid to upper $400,000s for two bedrooms. Maui Vista offers good amenities and close proximity to shops and restaurants. It is a block from Charley Young Beach Park. Maui Vista has seen a little more activity over the last couple of years compared to places like Maui Banyan and Kamaole Sands. It had 7 sales through the first five months of 2016. That said, it was another place that experienced a healthy jump in activity. As of May 22nd, there have been 16 sales reported this year.
Why the surge this year?
While the overall Maui real estate market experienced fairly strong years in 2015 and 2016, the vacation rental condo markets in Wailea and Kihei were not seeing the same strong levels of activity. Inventories were high and sales volumes were low. A significant factor in the slower sales over the last couple of years was a lack of demand from Canada. The period between 2007 and 2013 was an era of stronger Canadian Currency. With the Looney at or near par with the U.S. dollar, Canadians were flocking to South Maui. They remained pretty consistent buyers through the recession. The slip in oil prices in 2014 pushed down the Canadian dollar and a significant pool of buyers shrank considerably.
While that explains why sales have been lower the previous couple of years, I don’t think that speaks to why we are seeing the increase this year. The Canadian dollar is still well below par with the U.S. dollar. We have seen some Canadian buyers start to come back, but it isn’t enough to juice the market to the extent that we have with this year’s sales increases. I did my best to look at the geographic composition of buyers this year in some of the Kihei and Wailea complexes over the last five years. I say that I did my best in that more recent sales within the last month may not show the geographic origin of the buyer yet. With some of the older sales, the condos may have already resold preventing me from seeing where the previous owner resided full time. In Kamaole Sands, just 1 out of the 16 buyers this year is Canadian. By comparison, in 2013, 3 out of 10 were Canadian and 2 out of 4 units sold in 2012 were Canadian buyers. Maui Vista had a few more Canadian buyers this year with 3 out of the 16 sold. That is still well below the 4 out of 7 and 4 out of 10 Canadian buyers we saw at Maui Vista in 2012 and 2013 respectively. The one place where we did see a little more Canadian activity this year was among the higher priced Wailea condos. At Wailea Elua 2 out of 6 buyers were Canadian, and 1 out of 4 buyers were Canadian at both Polo Beach and Wailea Beach Villas.
If the Canadians played only a small part in the resurgence, what were the other factors at play that drove the sales increase? I can’t say definitively, but I would suggest there were a few factors at play. The strength of our feeder markets play a part. Real estate markets in the Western United States remain strong. Buyers coming from strong real estate markets may be empowered both psychologically and financially to purchase a second home on Maui. The stock market continues to achieve near record highs. Strong stock returns may enable buyers to make a discretionary second home purchase. The last factor is pure speculation on my part, but I wonder if the growing strength of the Airbnb brand might also play a role. With Airbnb doing more and more advertising, maybe just maybe that is planting the bug in some people’s ear to consider a vacation rental condo purchase. The last factor that enabled the upsurge is more tangible. We had supply to sell. Home sales volumes are down this year on island, but not due to a lack of demand. There just isn’t enough inventory for buyers particularly in the price ranges below $1,000,000. There was plenty of inventory in the condo market after the previous two to three slow years. In Kihei, there are also some pretty good values. Places like Kamaole Sands are still selling for prices a fair amount below the last market peak.
While the market has absorbed some of the inventory during the first five months of the year, there is still a good selection of condos available to sustain healthy activity in the South Maui condo market. I would suspect that we will continue to see stronger sales this year unless something in the overall economic picture cuts back demand. Contact the Maui Real Estate Team if you are considering a vacation rental condo purchase on Maui. We would welcome the chance to talk to you about some of the options on the market that might fit your needs. You can also search MauiRealEstate.com for the full inventory of Kihei Condos for Sale and Wailea Condos for Sale.
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
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.
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.
Maui Real Estate Blog
January 2016 Maui Real Estate Statistics
I have to admit, I have been struggling to keep up with the blog as of late. It has been a busy start to the year between transactions and listings. On a personal level, we are finishing the remodel of a home and planning to move in on Friday. Needless to say, cobwebs and dust have been forming on the little corner of cyberspace known as our blog. I started the research for this post on the 6th and began to write this post over ten days ago. That said, I have a quick window this afternoon to finish up a look at the January numbers. January was a little bit off from last year’s numbers. I will give all the details below as well as a few thoughts on what it all means. Without further ado, here are the January 2016 Maui Real Estate Statistics.
January Sales Volumes and Median Prices
There were 73 homes sold in January with a median price of $630,000. Last January there were 75 homes sold with a median price of $577,000. That is roughly a 3% drop in volume and a 9% increase in median price.
Maui County Realtors reported 82 condos sold last month with a median price of $397,500. In January of 2014, there were 83 condos sold with a median price of $378,000. That is just over a 1% drop in volume and a 5% increase in median price.
It was a particularly slow month for land sales with 5 closes and a median of $850,000. Last year, there were 11 sales with a median price of $750,000. That is a 55% drop in volume and a 13% increase in median price.
Notable Numbers from the January 2016 Maui Real Estate Sales
While compiling the numbers above, I came across some other notable numbers that I thought were worth sharing.
- The highest priced home to sell in January closed for $3,975,000. That house is an oceanfront home in the Baby Beach area of Lahaina. That was the only home sold for more than $2,000,000 last month.
- The highest priced condo transaction closed for $3,300,000. That was a 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath top row unit at Ho’olei. It was one of the better located units in the complex.
- That was one of four condo sales for over $1,500,000 in January. The other sales included two transactions at Polo Beach and one sale at the Honua Kai Resort.
- There were no land sales for more than $1,000,000 in January. The highest priced land transaction for the month closed for $865,000. It was a 1.42 acre condominiumized lot in Launiupoko with entitlements to build a main house.
- There were 9 bank owned sales in Maui during January. There were also 9 bank owned sales in January of 2014.
- There was just one short sale that closed in January. Last year, there were 6 short sales that closed in January.
Pending Sales Activity in January
With the January Sales numbers down from last year, I was interested to see how many properties went under contract in January.
The number of homes that went pending in January was up 8% compared to January of 2015. The number of condos that were pending went down 8% compared to last year. Land was also down 26% compared to last year. That said, the 17 land pending sales is a nice improvement from the 5 closes in January.
Thoughts on the January Maui Real Estate Statistics
This is the first month since August 2014 where all three property types saw a decrease in sales volume compared to the year before. I can’t say that I am horribly surprised to see the decrease in activity in home sales. We saw accelerated demand in the later parts of 2015 as buyers were trying to grab properties before the anticipated bump in interest rates. After the rates bumped, albeit modestly, there was a a dip in demand. Looking at the pending numbers, this drop in activity for homes appears to be relatively short lived.
The condo market may be experiencing influences above and beyond fluctuations in interest rates. After seeing a decrease in sales compared to last January, condo pending sales were also down compared to January 2015. I would postulate that there are two additional factors at play. January was a bumpy month for the stock market. Purchasing a condo as a second home on Maui is a discretionary purchase that is more likely to occur when the potential buyer is feeling flush. If a potential buyer takes a big hit to their stock portfolio, that typically isn’t when they are reaching for their wallet to make a big discretionary purchase. The other factor that is dragging on our condo market is the weakened Canadian Dollar. From 2007-2014, the Canadian Dollar was at or near par with the U.S. Dollar. It is now sitting at roughly 70 cents on the dollar. A significant number of the Canadian buyers were from Alberta. The big dip in oil prices, one of the big drivers of the decrease in the Canadian Dollar, has been an extra hit to the oil driven Alberta economy.
The five land sales recorded in January was the second lowest monthly total since 2010. That said, we saw a pretty healthy number of land listings go under contract in January. The land market has never come close to reaching the sales numbers we saw during the last boom. Financing is harder and that is a factor. There also appear to be fewer lower priced lots on the market. We saw a little more activity a couple of years back as there were some lot prices that made more sense when doing a build vs. buy preexisting analysis. I am not saying there aren’t lots like that still on the market, but they appear to be fewer in number.
Overall, this remains a somewhat schizophrenic market with some parts of the market scorching hot while other segments are chock full of inventory with limited demand. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are considering buying or selling property on Maui. We would welcome the change to listen to your needs and give you our thoughts on market conditions for the type of property that might fit your needs.