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
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.

An aerial view of Wailea Elua and Elua Beach.

Wailea Ekahi
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.

The popular beachfront pool at Wailea Ekahi.

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

One of the pools at Wailea Beach Villas.

Kamaole Sands

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.

An Aerial shot of Kamaole Sands shows the central green belt, pool area and Kamaole Beach Park III across the street.

Maui Banyan
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.

One of the buildings at Maui Banyan

Maui Vista
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.

One of the three buildings at Maui Vista

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.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

July 2016 Maui Real Estate Statistics

Why is the Maui condo market showing signs of improvement in 2016? That is one of the questions, I asked myself in this post and did my best to answer by taking a deeper dig into this year’s condo sales. You will find all of those thoughts and a rundown on the overall July 2016 Maui Real Estate Stats. Without further ado, here are the July numbers and some thoughts and context on the market.

July 2016 Median Prices and Sales Volumes

There were 93 home sales with a median price of $600,000. In July of 2015, there were 129 sales with a median price of $590,000. That is a 28% decrease in volume and approximately a 2% increase in median price.

There were 110 condos sold for a median price of $440,000. Last July, there were 94 sales with a median sales price of $394,000. That is a 17% increase in median price and a 12% increase in median price.

There were 7 land sales with a median price of $490,000. There were 13 sales in July of 2015 with a median price of $250,000. This is a 46% decrease in volume and a 96% increase in median price.

Notable Numbers from the July Real Estate Sales Activity
While compiling the sales volumes and median prices, I came across some other noteworthy numbers.

  • The highest priced home sale in July closed for $18,000,000. The Beachfront Oli Oli Kai Property on Stable Road in Spreckelsville closed for a new North Shore record. That said, it could of or maybe should have been classified as three separate sales. The property was condominiumized into three separate units. The three units included a total of three homes and approximately 3.6 acres.
  • This was one of 7 home sales over $2,000,000. The six other sales included three properties in Lahaina and one sale each in Wailea, Kula and Ka’anapali.
  • The highest priced condo sale closed for $3,850,000. The 3 bed, 3.5 bath unit at Montage Kapalua has 2,789 square feet of living space.
  • That was one of 10 sales over $1,500,000 to close in July. The other sales included 2 closes at Ho’olei and one each at Ka’anapali Ali’i, Sugar Cove, Wailea Elua, Makena Surf, Honua Kai, The Whaler and The Palms at Manele.
  • The high land sale for the month closed for $1,800,000. The four acre lot is located in Kapalua Plantation Estates. There was one other $1,000,000 plus land sale this month. That 17.47 acre lot is located in the Makila Ranch Area of Launiupoko.
  • There were 13 bank owned properties that closed in July. That is down from the 20 that closed in July of 2015. There was only one successful short sale completed last month compared to the 8 completed in July of 2015.

New July Pending Sales Contracts
We track the number of properties that go pending in a particular month. It gives us a more recent data point on buyer demand and it also helps us to better suss out whether the prior month’s sales activity is something of a one off event or part of a broader trend. I will spell that out a little better as we review last month’s pending data.

Looking at the pending sales activity, the number of homes that went under contract in July was down compared to last year. The number of condos that went under contract was the same as last year and land pending sales were up ever so slightly. The decrease in home sales is part of what appears to be a continuing trend that we have seen over the last few months. Shrinking home inventory, particularly at lower price points, has led to a reduction in sales activity. The condo market appears to be continuing a recent trend of sales at or above last year’s totals. I will delve into that in more detail below. While land sales aren’t exactly booming, it was good to see that they were up slightly from last year. That would suggest that the low July land sales numbers were more of an outlier than the start of any sort of trend.

Thoughts on the Market
We have discussed the decreases in home sales volumes over the last few posts, but I haven’t talked a whole lot about the increase in condo sales activity. Of the 7 months of sales this year, one month had the same sales volume as the same month from 2015, and one month was down from the same month last year. Five of the months have experienced greater sales volume than the same month of 2015. The last four months have all seen an increase over the same month of 2015. Over that period from April-July, sales volumes are up 14% compared to the same period of 2015. That raised the question of why we may be seeing an increase in activity. I dug into the sales data a few different ways to try to see if I could come to any conclusions as to what is driving the increase in sales activity.

The first thing I did was break down the sales volume over the last four months by price point.

I can’t say that this breakdown provided me with a clear picture of the driving force behind price increases. We can see an increase in sales below $300,000 and an increase in the $1,500,000 and higher range. The middle price ranges tend to be a mixed bag. The biggest increase in activity of any price range occurred between $500,000-$749,999. I can’t say off the top of my head why that would have occurred. The middle of the market, so to speak, also included the only two price points where sales were down compared to last year. The remaining price ranges saw relatively limited increases over 2016.

Not feeling like I had a clear answer, I took a look at two other data points. The first data point is is whether or not the property allows short term rentals. This data is somewhat flawed as it is not a mandatory field in our multiple listing service. In other words, not every condo sale that occurred over the last month reported whether or not the condo allowed vacation rentals.

It is pretty clear that there was an increase in sales for properties that are reported to be vacation rentals. I calculated a 26% increase over the period between April 1, 2015 and July 31, 2015. It was interesting to note that the increase in vacation rental condo sales was particularly evident in the $500,000-$749,999 price range. That appears to point to a significant driver for sales activity in that price range.

The one other data point I wanted to look at was new developer sales. New developments can be market drivers that boost the overall sales activity. In some cases, the boost can mask other market trends. An example of this is when Honua Kai started to close a lot of condos while we were still in the thick of the downturn. Overall condo demand was low, but sales numbers were relatively high as buyers were closing on contracts that were originally written pre-construction during the peak of the real estate boom. From what I could glean, we haven’t seen a similar phenomenon over the last four months. There was an uptick in new development sales. I counted 29 new development sales from April 1, 2016-July 31, 2016. That is up from 23 sales during that same period last year. However, the vast majority of these contracts were written recently.

While I can’t say I have definitive answers on what is driving the recent uptick in condo sales, the data above points to three price ranges where the improvement was most prevalent and a type of condo that saw more activity. Based on anecdotal evidence and the quantitative evidence, I am going to postulate a few reasons for the increases in each of these segments. The increase in sales at the low end is a reflection of the continued strength of the buy over renting argument on Maui. Maui rental rates have soared. Low borrowing costs make owning a number of Maui condo less expensive than renting. As long as rents remain high and rates remain low and inventory is sufficient, that part of the market should continue to be busy. I can’t say definitively why the high end market is outperforming last year in terms of sales. When I look at the luxury home market, sales totals between 2015 and 2016 have been almost identical. It just seems as if high end buyers are gravitating more towards condos this year. I believe the increase in vacation rental condo sales, and in the $500,000-$749,999 range in particular, is a reflection of pretty strong consumer confidence among some mainland buyers. West Coast real estate markets have been strong and the stock market has performed well. This means more cash for discretionary purchases like a vacation rental condo on Maui.

A Few Closing Thoughts for Maui Buyers and Sellers
I think there are some things to be learned for the overall Maui market from my review of the condo numbers. The biggest is that there is variability in the strength of the market by price point. I think you can also add geographic variability as another factor. Not all communities are seeing equal levels of buyer demand. While these stats tend to paint the market in broad brushes, how buyers and sellers approach the Maui market is going to be a reflection of their specific segment of the 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 hear about your needs and to discuss market conditions that are most relevant to you.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

June 2016 Maui Real Estate Statistics

It’s almost the end of the month so I wanted to make sure I squeezed in a June stats post.This is something of an abbreviated post with more numbers and less analysis. I will give a few more thoughts on the state of the market in the July stats. Without further ado, here are the numbers.

June Real Estate Sales Volumes

This chart shows the June 2016 Maui County Real Estate Sales Volumes compared to June of 2015.

There were 98 homes sold in June with a median home price of $657,000. Last June there were 101 homes sold with a median price of $650,000. That is a 3% drop in sales volume and a 1% increase in median price when comparing this June to last June.

There were 110 condos sold in June with a median price of $384,000. In June of 2015, there were 99 condos sold with a median price of $355,000. That is an 11% increase in sales volume and an 8% increase in median price.

There were 13 lots sold in June with a whopping median price of $1,200,000. Last June, there were 14 sales with a median price of $420,000. That is a 7% decrease in volume and a 285% increase in median price.

Notable numbers from the June Real Estate Sales Activity
While compiling the stats above, I came across some other notable numbers worth sharing from the June sales activity.

  • The highest home sale price in June was $7,000,000. This Makena property includes almost 10 acres of land and two pole homes. It is close to Big Beach.
  • That was one of 5 home sales over $2,000,000. The other sales were for properties in Kihei, Kapalua, Launiupoko (Lahaina), and Hana.
  • The highest price condo to close in June is located in Wailea. The 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath condo Ho’olei in Wailea sold for $2,850,000.
  • That was one of 8 condo sales in June sold for $1,500,000 or more. There was one more Ho’olei sale and two sales in Wailea Elua. There were individual sales of $1,500,000 or higher at Ka’anapali Ali’i, Maui Ka’anapali Villas, Honua Kai and Makena Surf.
  • The highest priced land transaction closed for $2,950,000. This oceanfront lot in the Kuau area of Paia consists of 18,861 square feet of land.
  • This was one of 7 land sales over $1,000,000 in June. That is a pretty extraordinary number. Five of these sales were in Launiupoko. They were part of the new Makila Ranch subdivision of Launiupoko. The one other sale was in Haiku.
  • There were 12 bank owned sales that closed in June. That was down just a little from the 13 REO sales in June of 2015.
  • There were 2 short sales that closed in June. That is down significantly from the 8 short sale transactions that closed in June of 2015.

June Pending Sales
All of the numbers discussed prior to this point were from properties that sold in June. We also wanted to take a look at the properties that went under contract with buyers in June. This will give us a little better sense of more recent market activity and demand.

This chart compares the number of properties that went pending in June of 2016 with the pending sales from June of 2015.

June marked the second month in a row where pending home sales were down. I don’t believe this is a reflection of decreased demand as it is a reflection of limited inventory for first time home buyers. I expect this trend to continue with lower sales volumes and higher median prices due the decreased number of entry level homes available for sale. The condo market continues to follow recent trends of outperforming 2015. The land market pending sales are skewed a little by new development sales that showed 0 days on market. These were contracts that were likely written before this month.

Wrapping it all up
I don’t have a whole lot of in depth analysis to offer this month. We have seen fairly steady market demand overall with pockets of greater activity based on geography and price point around the island. As mentioned directly above, I believe the lack of lower priced home inventory will continue to impact the total numbers of homes sold. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are thinking of sticking your toes into the waters of the Maui Real Estate market. We would welcome the chance to sit down and learn about your real estate needs and give our thoughts on market conditions specific to the properties that might fit your needs.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Maui Luxury Condo Market Update

Earlier this month, we took a look at Maui’s Luxury Home Market. Today, I wanted to turn my sights towards the high end condominium market. This post will include totals on all of the condos sold for the year to date (as of September 20), notable numbers from this year’s sales, and market conditions specific to the three resort areas of Wailea/Makena, Ka’anapali and Kapalua.

When we have discussed luxury condos on our blog, we have used the $1,500,000 and above price point as the threshold for pricing. When we first started to look at the luxury condo market, that was something of a starting point for some of the really high end condos. To be clear, there are some very nice condos below this price point. That said, we want to be consistent with our methodology. So all properties discussed in this particular blog sold for $1,500,000 or more.

Maui Luxury Condo Sales Volume and Median Price
There were 69 condos sold thus far this year as of September 23, 2015. The median price for those sales was $2,250,000. Between January 1, 2014 and September 23, 2014, there were 63 sales at a median price of $2,575,000. That is roughly a 10% increase in volume and a 13% decrease in median price.

Notable Luxury Condo Sales Numbers for the Year to Date.
Here are some of the most noteworthy numbers from the luxury condo sales this year.

  • The highest priced condo to sell thus far this year closed for $8,500,000. This is a three bedroom, three and a half bath, beachfront unit with 2,919 square feet of living space at Wailea Beach Villas.
  • Including the sale at Wailea Beach Villas, there were a total of 12 condos sold over $4,000,000.
  • Honua Kai saw the most sales activity of any condo complex on the island. There were a total of 20 sales at Honua Kai over $1,500,000 including 11 new developer sales.
  • The Wailea and Makena Market saw the most sales activity over $1,500,000 with a total of 28 sales. Kaanapali saw the second most activity and Kapalua was third.
  • In addition to the sales activity in the major resort markets, there was one sale in Lahaina, one in Kihei, one in Spreckelsville and two on Lanai.
  • There were no bank owned condos or short sale transactions among this year’s sales

Wailea and Makena Condos
Wailea and Makena have had a good year for sales to date. The 28 sales reported exceeded last year’s total of 20. That is a 40% increase in activity. Much of that increase in activity occurred in Makena. While there was only one sale in Makena during the same period last year, this year there were 6 sales. Five of the six Makena sales were at Makena Surf. The remaining sale was at Na Hale O Makena. This was a particularly busy year for Makena Surf with the five sales reported thus far more than any year since 2004.

The Wailea sales over $1,500,000 were spread out among a variety of complexes. There were 7 sales at Hoolei, 1 at Andaz, 2 at Kai Malu, 1 at Papali, 1 at Wailea Ekahi, 3 at Wailea Elua, 3 at Wailea Beach Villas and 3 at Wailea Point. Hoolei continues to lead the way in high end sales in Wailea. The size of the condos combined with their price point and the potential to access amenities at the Grand Wailea continues to be an attractive option to buyers. While Wailea Beach Villas did not have the same sales volume, it was noteworthy for the fact that it had the top two highest priced condo sales on the island thus far this year.

This chart compares looks at the sales in Wailea for the year to date compared with the current active inventory on the MLS.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the Wailea and Makena market for the rest of the year and into 2016. There is still a good selection of variety to choose from on the MLS. There is plenty of active inventory on the MLS with 40 condos on the market. There are unlisted properties available at Andaz and the new Keala O Wailea development. There is also a chance that we might see pre-construction sales at Makali’i at Wailea before the end of the year. You can see all of the current Wailea and Makena Condos listed on the MLS on MauiRealEstate.com. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you have questions on any of the unlisted properties.

Kaanapali Condos
The Ka’anapali Condo market has also had a fairly strong year with 26 sales reported to date. That is down 7% from the 28 units sold during the same period last year. The Ka’anapali market has been buoyed over the last several years by activity at the Honua Kai Resort. Honua Kai has been a big draw as the first fee simple whole ownership new development along this stretch of coast for over 20 years. Of the 26 condos sold in Ka’anapali for $1,500,000 or more, 20 were at Honua Kai. Ka’anapali Ali’i has had 5 sales thus far this year. There was also one sale at the Masters.

This chart compares the year to date sales in the Kaanapali area with the current inventory of Kaanapali listings on the MLS.

The Ka’anapali luxury condo market is starting to see shrinking inventory with only 20 active listings over $1,500,000. A big part of that stems from Honua Kai. The developer is getting close to selling out their remaining units. There are only 3 new developer listings left on the MLS. I believe there are still a handful of additional new developer units in addition to those posted on the MLS. There are only three units active at Ka’anapali Ali’i with the remaining listings located at Ka’anapali Shores and the Whaler. It will be interesting to see if the dwindling inventory at Honua Kai will have an impact on places like the Whaler and Ka’anapali Shores. Buyers have shown a preference for the newer Honua Kai Condos leading to depressed sales at the other places. Will some of the older condos nearby start to see an uptick in activity? You can see the full inventory of Kaanapali Condos listed on the MLS via MauiRealEstate.com.

Kapalua Condos
The Kapalua Market has seen pretty similar activity levels to what we saw last year. There have been 10 sales reported in the year to date this year. There were 9 sales reported over the same period last year. The focal point for luxury condo sales in Kapalua has been the Montage Residences on Kapalua Bay. Montage came on the market last June. This property was formerly the Ritz Carlton Residences. The Ritz Residences went into foreclosure and the property was purchased by Lantern Capital. Lantern appointed Montage to manage and revamp the property. Montage has seen steady sales since it has come on the market despite pricing that starts in the mid three million dollar range. There have been 8 sales reported at Montage thus far this year.

The other notable sale was at Ritz Carlton Residences. To be clear, this is a different animal from the Ritz Residences Kapalua Bay that was previously foreclosed upon. These condos are part of the Ritz Carlton Hotel. The Ritz condos had been on the market closer to the downturn and weren’t getting as much traction. They are back under the market with a new sales team. It will be interesting to see how these condos are received by the market going forward. From what I have heard, they are getting a pretty good response.

While the two new developments have been relatively well received, some of the older complexes have seen slower activity. High end Kapalua condos like Coconut Grove and the Ironwoods are traditionally condos that see limited inventory and limited sales volume. There was one sale in the Ironwoods this year. Kapalua Bay Villas is a condo that seems to be getting poor market feedback by luxury buyers. There have been 4 sales over $1,500,000 at Bay Villas since 2009. There are currently 7 active listings in the complex with none pending. It appears as if sellers in this complex may need to adjust pricing if they are going to generate interest from buyers.

This chart compares the year to date sales vs the active MLS inventory for condos in the Kapalua Resort.

For the rest of the year, I would anticipate that we will continue to see activity at Montage and the Ritz. Buyers in Kapalua have a good selection of inventory to choose from. You can see the full inventory of Kapalua Condos on the MLS on MauiRealEstate.com. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team directly if you would like us to assist you with buyer representation at either the Montage or the Ritz. There is more inventory available at both of those condos than what is showing on the MLS.

Other Condo Sales Around the Island
In addition to the activity at the resort communities, there have been a handful of sales from other communities around the island. There was one sale in Spreckelsville at Sugar Cove, one in Lahaina at Puamana and one at the Royal Mauian in Kihei. There were also two sales over on Lanai including one at the Terraces at Manele and the other was at the Palms at Manele. The two Lanai purchases were both Larry Ellison buys as he continues to expand his holdings on the island. We tend to see limited activity on higher priced condos outside the main resort areas not so much due to lack of demand as it is a lack of inventory. There are only a handful of condos outside the resorts that can sustain prices of $1,500,000 or greater and they tend not to have a ton of inventory.

Overall Thoughts on the Maui Luxury Condo Market
Buyers still have a great collection of condos to choose from around the island. There are both new development opportunities and condo resales in more established condominiums. While the depth of the inventory may provide options, sellers in this price range tend to have more staying power. The challenge is finding potentially motivated sellers who might want or need to redeploy their money elsewhere.

I would expect that the luxury condo market will continue to be perform at or near the levels we have seen for the year to date. While interest rate increases have been postponed, this isn’t a part of the market that is as interest rate sensitive. The bulk of the buyers are using cash or private banking. The biggest potential impacts to the market come from the greater global economy. Poor performance in the stock market is a potential threat. There seems to be something of a correlation between the DOW and high end sales on the island. We have not seen any significant influxes of buyers from China like some cities in the Western U.S. and Canada. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are interested in buying or selling a luxury condo on Maui. We would welcome the chance to sit down with you for a free consultation and to discuss your interests and 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

Maui Real Estate Blog

February 2015 Maui Real Estate Statistics

February is smack dab in the middle of our whale season and our visitor season on Maui. Lots of visitors on island also typically means a fair amount of real estate activity. This is our look at how the Maui Real Estate Market performed in February of 2015. Included among the numbers below are sales volumes by property types, median sales prices, notable sales and pending sales. We also give a few thoughts on the stats and what it all means for buyers and sellers. Without further ado, here are the numbers.

February Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes and Medians

This chart compares the Maui Real Estate Sales volumes during February 2014 and February 2015.

By my count, there were 59 homes sold on Maui in February with a median price of $567,250. That is the same exact number of homes sold as last February. The February 2014 median was $550,000. That is a 3% increase in median prices comparing this February to the same month last year.

There were 92 condos sold last month with a median price of $477,500. In February of 2014, there were 88 condos sold at a median price of $345,000. That is just under a 5% increase in sales activity and a 38% increase in median price.

There were 14 lots sold in Maui County during February with a median sales price $490,000. Last February, the total was 12 lots sold at a median price of $447,500. That is roughly a 17% increase in activity and a 9% increase in median price.

Notable Numbers from the February Maui Real Estate Sales
While compiling the sales volumes and median prices, I came across some other notable numbers from the February Maui Real Estate activity that I believe are worth sharing.

  • The highest priced home to sell in Maui last month was located in the Ka’anapali Coffee Farms subdivision. The four bedroom, four bath home has 3,599 square feet of living space and a pool on 5.58 acres.
  • That was one of three home sales over $2,000,000 that closed in February. The other two homes that closed were also located in Ka’anapali with one home closing in the Summit and another in Ka’anapali Golf Estates.
  • The highest priced condo sale last month was a 3 bed, 3.5 bath condo at the Montage Residences on Kapalua Bay.
  • That was one of ten condos sold for more than $1,500,000 last month. The other big sales included 3 closes at Honua Kai, 2 at Wailea Elua and one each at Makena Surf, Andaz and The Terraces at Manele Bay on Lanai.
  • The highest priced land sale last month was $1,430,000 for a homesite in Makena Papa’anui.
  • There were 13 bank owned transactions that closed last month in Maui County. There were 8 banked owned sales last February.
  • There were 3 short sales that closed last month compared to the 8 short sales that closed in February of 2014.

Quick Thoughts on the February Stats
While February wasn’t the busiest month for closed sales, it was positive to see that homes, condos and land sales volumes outperformed the February 2014 numbers. This hasn’t occurred all that often over the last 6-10 months with condo and land sales typically lagging behind the same month of the year prior. While the increase in one month of sales activity is generally a good thing, I am not sure it is a sign of any substantial shift in the market.

The Maui luxury property market saw another strong month of condo sales in February. Buyers have a good selection of inventory to choose from with a variety of high end resales on the market and new developer units still available at places like Montage Kapalua, The Residences at Andaz and Honua Kai. The luxury home market has seen a slower start to 2015 with sales over $2,000,000 down compared to the same period of 2014. There is also a good inventory for buyers searching in this price range so you can’t chalk up the reduction of activity to limited supply. It will be interesting to see if sales activity picks up for luxury homes during the rest of the year.

Sales activity for bank owned properties was stronger than February of last year, but the impact of bank owned properties on the market remains limited. Rather than dragging down prices with below market sales prices, most banks are pricing properties high with the hope of achieving maximum value for their assets. This means many banks are having to make one or more price reduction before they actually find the market. Buyers searching for bank owned bargains may be disappointed with the selection of properties available.

February Pending Sales

This chart compares the number of properties on Maui that went pending during February 2014 and February 2015.

While the February sales provided good news, the February pending sales were a mixed bag. There were 20 more homes on island that went pending this February compared to last February. Pending land sales were exactly the same as last February. The condo market was a lot quieter with 28 fewer condos going under contract compared to February 2014. The lower condo sales activity in February is more typical of what we have seen since the middle of 2014. Limited inventory has been a factor in the lower sales volumes. I surmise we may also be seeing some impact from a weakened Canadian dollar. I was showing condos in South Kihei last week and was struck by both the depth of inventory and lack of activity at some complexes that are traditionally popular with Canadian buyers.

What Does it All Mean for Buyers and Sellers?
Buyers and sellers will find that market conditions have changed little over the better part of 18 months. At a broad level, the Maui Real Estate market is continuing to experience modest price appreciation with limited inventory at and below the median price points of the market. As you hone in on the different communities and neighborhoods, you will find a little more variability in conditions. Depth of inventory and buyer demand may vary. Buyers will find that well priced properties regardless of location or price point can go very quickly and may attract multiple offers. Buyers should be pre-approved if they require financing on their purchase so they can put their best foot forward with sellers. Sellers need to look closely at recent sales activity when determining go to market pricing for their property. Over priced properties are sitting even if that part of the market may have more limited inventory. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team with questions or if you are interested in buying or selling Maui Property. We would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you for a free consultation.

Pete Jalbert