Maui Real Estate Blog
Rising gas prices. A more chaotic climate. Improved health and wellness. There are a lot of reasons why driving less has more appeal these days. Maui is a pretty rural place. As a result, it is not exactly an easy place to live car free. That said, there are parts of the island where there are more conveniences and amenities accessible by foot or by bike. We recently created a handful of Walkable community pages on MauiRealEstate.com that highlight areas within a higher concentration of amenities within walking distance. This is a quick overview of those new pages on the site and a few communities that are worth an honorable mention.
Featured Walkable Areas of Maui
- Walkable Paia : For a small town, Paia has a lot going on. It has restaurants, a great grocery store, a Bank of Hawaii Branch, a yoga studio, massage studios, coffee shops, a post office, the beach and more all in and around town. If you live in the neighborhoods to the East and North of town, almost all of this is accessible via your own two feet. As an added bonus, the North Shore bike path runs to the West of town, through Spreckelsville and into Kahului. Paia is the one area of the island where you really could go for longer stretches without driving.
- Walkable Wailuku : Downtown Wailuku is the seat of Maui County Government. It is also home to federal and state agencies, medical facilities, law offices and other professional services. The homes and condos in the downtown area give options to those who work downtown that want to avoid commuting by car. Add in restaurants, the Iao Theater, shops, a library and other amenities and there are plenty of things accessible by foot. While you will still find yourself driving to some amenities, your odometer is less likely to get a workout.
- Walkable Makawao : Upcountry Maui may not be the first place you think of when it comes to walkability. That said, downtown Makawao is another small town with a lot going on. There are restaurants, a public library, Eddie Tam Park, a post office, shops, coffee, yoga and more. There are quite a few neighborhoods within walking distance of these attractions. Again, this is a place where it may be difficult to completely avoid car dependence, but you could get away with driving less when you live close to Makawao.
- Walkable Lahaina : Front Street is a renowned tourist destination. That said, residents living in the neighborhoods close to Front Street are located close to restaurants, shops, grocery stores, the beach, surfing and more. Put on your walking shoes or grab your cruiser bike. This is an area where you can leave your car parked in the driveway more often than not.
The Kulamalu area of Pukalani wouldn’t have received a mention 10 years ago. While there was a Long’s Drugs and a Fitness Center, this was a convenient but car dependent community. Then came the Saturday’s Farmer’s Market, followed by Food Trucks. A new brewery and a great pizza place in the last year are two great new additions. The Cottages at Kulamalu and Kulamalu Hilltop are now two neighborhoods where owners now have some great amenities within walking distance.
There are parts of Kihei where you may not need a car as much depending on your lifestyle. Areas of South Kihei and Central Kihei offer restaurants, shops, grocery stores and beaches within walking distance.
Contact The Maui Real Estate Team
Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are looking for a home that decreases your car dependence. We would welcome the chance to help you find a home or condo that might help change your lifestyle.
Maui Real Estate Blog
Upgraded Ohia at Kehalani
Maui Real Estate Team agents Tina and Angelynn Bair have a beautiful new listing in the Ohia at Kehalani subdivision. The three bedroom, two and a half bath home has 1,766 square feet of living space with 268 square feet of covered lanai and an additional 324 square feet of uncovered lanai. The 12 year old home was built with a lot of upgrades including tuscan travertine floors and central air conditioning. The seller recently installed all new stainless steel appliances in the kitchen.
The home offers inviting outdoor living spaces. The large second floor covered lanai has beautiful views of Haleakala. It is a relaxing space for morning coffee and watching the sun rise. The back yard lanai is a nice place for back yard barbecues. There is also a hot tub for relaxing star light soaks. The well landscaped yard is irrigated to keep things lush throughout the year.
Ohia at Kehalani offers a convenient Central Maui location. It is just minutes from downtown Wailuku. Wailuku offers coffee shops, restaurants and the popular First Friday town party. Maui Memorial Hospital and other medical facilities are located close by. You are also within a five minute drive of the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, movie theaters and more. Being centrally located in Wailuku, the home is also within a 20 minute drive of beaches along the North Shore, South Maui and West Maui coastlines.
This home is offered for sale for $715,000. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team to talk to someone about the property or to arrange for a showing. This home is sold. Check out other listings in Ohia at Kehalani.
Maui Real Estate Blog
The Year in Numbers, The 2015 Maui Real Estate Statistics
Before we head into February, I wanted to take a quick look back at the 2015 Maui Real Estate market. This is a review of sales volumes, median prices and other notable numbers. I also wanted to address a few questions that arose in my own mind while compiling the statistics. Without further ado, here are the 2015 statistics.
Maui Sales Volume, Median Prices and Total Dollar Volume
There were 1090 homes sold on Maui during 2015 with a median sales price of $580,000. The total dollar volume of homes sold in 2015 was $931,646,757. There were 942 homes sold in 2014 with a median price of $570,000. The 2014 total dollar volume was $825,770,160. That means we saw almost a 16% increase in sales volume, just under a 2% increase in median price and a 13% increase in dollar volume when comparing 2015 to 2014.
There were 1,199 condos sold in Maui County during 2015 with a median sales price of $410,000. The total dollar volume of condos sold was $763,806,071. The 2014 condo totals were 1,201 sales with a median price of $414,750. The 2014 total dollar volume was $755,031,268. That means sales volume dropped two tenths of a percent, median price dropped just over one percent and the total dollar volume rose one percent in 2015.
There were 154 land sales in Maui County in 2015 with a median sales price of $447,650. The total dollar volume of land sold was $136,353,541. The 2014 sales figures for land were 166 sales and a median price of $520,000. The total dollar of land sold in 2014 was $119,330,455. That is just over a 7% drop in volume, a 14% drop in median price and a 14% increase in the total dollar volume.
Notable Numbers from the 2015 Maui Real Estate Sales
- The highest priced home to sell on Maui during 2015 closed for $41,775,000. This was by far and away the highest ever priced paid for a home on Maui. The subject property consists of 6,737 square foot house on 4.23 acres in Makena. More than a few eye brows were raised by a sale that was priced well above other comparable properties in the area. The property was not listed at the time that it sold.
- That was one of 56 homes to sell for more than $2,000,000 during 2015. The 56 homes sold over $2,000,000 was down by 14% from 65 sold in 2014.
- The Makena and Wailea area were busiest part of the island for sales over $2,000,000 with 13 total closes.
- There were 17 beach or oceanfront homes that sold in Maui County during 2015. That was a 29% decrease from the 24 oceanfront sales in 2014.
- On the other end of the spectrum, the lowest priced home to sell in Maui County closed for $94,750. That home is located in the Maunaloa Village area of Molokai. The lowest priced home to sell on the island of Maui closed for $210,000. The three bedroom, one bath home in Wailuku was situated on a tiny 2,370 square foot lot.
- The highest priced condo to sell on Maui during 2015 closed for $8,500,000. The beachfront, three bedroom unit at Wailea Beach Villas has over 2,900 square feet of living space.
- That was one of 91 condos sold for over $1,500,000 during 2015. That exceeded the 83 high end condo sold in 2014 by almost 10%.
- The Honua Kai Resort saw the most high end condo sales activity with 25 closes over $1,500,000. Montage Kapalua Bay was notable with 9 sales over $3,950,000.
- The lowest priced condo to sell closed for $20,000. That was a 1 bedroom, 1 bath unit at Harbor Lights in Kahului.
- The highest priced land transaction to close in 2015 sold for $10,800,000. That was for a half acre lot in the Maluaka Homesites area of the Makena Golf and Beach Club.
- That was one of 6 land sales in this neighborhood for $7,800,000 or more.
- There were 25 total land transactions of $1,000,000 or more in Maui County during 2015. That was up slightly from 24 sales over $1,000,000 in 2014.
- The lowest priced lot to sell in Maui County closed for $20,000 for a 5,351 square foot lot on Molokai. The lowest priced lot to sell on Maui proper closed for 26,000. That was a leasehold lot in the Hawaiian Home Lands in Kula.
- There were 168 bank owned or REO transactions that closed in Maui County during 2015. That was up from the 116 bank owned sales in 2014. That is almost a 45% increase in bank owned sales.
- There were 49 successful short sales that closed in 2015. That is down 49% from the 97 short sale transactions in 2014.
- Of the properties that closed in 2015, 36% were reported to have been cash sales. That is down from 2014 when 42% of the sales were said to have been cash transactions.
Some Questions and Answers About the Numbers
While reviewing the numbers above, a lot of questions came up in my mind. In the paragraphs below, I wanted to address some of these questions and give my thoughts on potential answers.
What drove the increased home sales activity this year?
When looking at the numbers above, homes were the only property type to outperform the 2014 numbers. What drove the increase in sales? There were a couple of factors that came into play. I believe a lot of the activity was driven by on island buyers. Island rents have soared over the last few years. Lower interest rates made the buy vs. rent argument that much more compelling. The threat of increased rates in the near term added to buyer urgency. Evidence of the increased demand from local buyers could be found in the big bump in activity in Central Maui. Home sales in that part of the island were up 33% over last year. The Upcountry area also saw a bump with Pukalani, Kula and Makawao sales up 28,31 and 7% respectively. These are communities that tend to draw on island vs second home buyers. A couple of strong years for tourism helped put local buyers in a better position to afford their purchase.
If sales activity was so strong, why did the median home price only increase 2%?
The first thing to note when answering this question is that changes in median price are not a direct reflection of changes in property values. Median price is also driven by shifts in where sales activity occurs. More high end sales can push up the median sales price while more low end sales can push down the median price. While values increased quite a bit more than 2% in many parts of the market, that was offset by a shift in where sales were occurring. There was a 14% decrease in sales over $2,000,000. As mentioned in the paragraph above, we were also seeing higher levels of activity in more affordable communities around the island. These shifts in market activity helped to offset stronger appreciation in some of the lower and middle priced communities on island.
As a follow up question, one might ask exactly how much Maui home values increased in 2015? That is a really tough question to answer. First and foremost, the rates of appreciation varied largely by price point and location. Homes at or below the median saw the most appreciation due to simple supply and demand. These price points had a much larger pool of buyers and supply was relatively limited. Higher end homes have much more inventory and a much smaller pool of buyers. As a result, upward price pressure has been far more limited.
Why did the condo market see a dip in activity?
If home sales were so strong, why were condo sales down? Condo sales are driven more by off island buyers. I would say the weakening Canadian Dollar played a big part in the decrease in condo sales activity. Maui has seen a significant number of Canadian Condo Buyers since about 2007. That was the first year that the Canadian Dollar was on par with the U.S. dollar. The emergence of Canadian buyers in 2007 helped to buoy the Maui market while a lot of mainland markets were already starting to see big decreases in sales and pricing. They continued to be buyers through the downturn and into the start of the recovery. Around 2013, the Canadian dollar started to dip below par and more substantial decreases occurred in 2014 and 2015. At the time of this post, the Canadian dollar is currently worth 72 cents in American dollars. Less buying power means fewer Canadian buyers. It doesn’t help that a lot of the previous Canadian buyers were coming from Alberta. The weakening Canadian dollar is a reflection of weakening oil prices. The drop in oil prices is a double whammy for buyers from the oil rich province of Alberta.
I know tomorrow is the first of February, but I still plan on putting out more posts specific to how different communities around the island performed during 2015. Those posts will also include some thoughts on what we might expect to see in those communities during 2016. Feel free to contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you have any questions on the numbers above, or if you need assistance buying or selling property on Maui. We welcome the opportunity to be of assistance.
Maui Real Estate Blog
Waiehu Terrace Home, Back Up Offers Welcomed
Our new listing in Waiehu Terrace has only been on the market for four days, but it is already under contract with a buyer as of this morning. This three bedroom/two bath home received strong interest from the market due to the combination of a quality remodel, views and a convenient location. The home was remodeled with a new roof, new windows, and updated kitchens and bathrooms in 2013. The home offers beautiful ocean views. You don’t need to stand on a ladder from the lanai to see blue. There are nice views looking towards Kahului Bay from the living room. The property also has nice views of the West Maui Mountains from the front yard.
You can tell that there are ocean views as you walk up to the front door of this home in Waiehu Terrace.
There are ocean views from the living room of the home.
This is the kitchen and dining area of the home in Waiehu Terrace. The kitchen was remodeled with new cabinets, counter tops and appliances.
The bathrooms of this Waiehu Terrace Home were remodeled in 2013.
These are the views of The West Maui Mountains from the front yard on a clear day.
Waiehu Terrace offers a very convenient Central Maui location close to the Hospital, downtown Wailuku, UH Maui College and the shopping and movie theaters of Kahului.
The home is listed by The Maui Real Estate Team, Inc. for $465,000. This home is under contract, but the seller would still entertain back up offers. Check out our Waiehu Terrace Opportunity listing page for additional photos and details on the property. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team for additional information or to arrange a showing of the property.
Maui Real Estate Blog
Sneak Peek at the November 2014 Maui Real Estate Statistics
The last of the turkey sandwiches have been consumed and Mele Kalikimaka is playing on the local radio stations. That means it is early December and it is a time to take a sneak peek at the November 2014 Maui Real Estate Statistics. This post takes a look at median sales prices, November pending sales and the sales volume for November as compared to November of 2013. I highlight some of the notable numbers from the November sales. I also provide a few thoughts on market activity and what it means for buyers and sellers who are thinking of entering the Maui Real Estate market. Without further ado, here are the November 2014 Maui Real Estate Stats.
November Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes and Median Prices
By my count, there were 73 homes sold in Maui County during November of 2014 with a median sales price of $590,000. Last November, there were 75 homes sold with a median price of $515,000. That calculates to a 3% drop in sales activity and approximately a 15% increase in the median sales price.
I counted 67 condos reported sold in Maui County this November at a median price of $372,500. In November of 2013 there were 96 condos sold at a median price of $350,000. That is a 30% decrease in sales volume and a 6.4% increase in median price when comparing this year to last year.
There have been 10 lot sales reported in Maui County during November of 2014 with a median sales price of $411,500. Last November, there were 23 sales with a median price of $547,371. That is a 54% drop in sales activity and a 25% drop in median price comparing this November to last November.
Notable Numbers From The November Maui Real Estate Sales
While compiling the November sales volumes and medians, there were some other notable numbers that I came across that I thought were worth sharing.
- The highest priced home sale of the month was $2,350,000 for a 5,529 square foot home with a pool on a two acre lot in the Wailuku Country Estates Subdivision.
- That was one of three home sales over $2,000,000 last month. There was one more sale in Wailuku Country Estates and one sale in the Maunaolu Subdivision located between Makawao and Paia. This was a fairly unusual month for high home sales with no activity occurring in the more traditional resort communities. The two Wailuku Country Estates sales were only the second and third homes to ever sell in Wailuku for over $2,000,000.
- The Montage Residences at Kapalua Bay was home to the highest priced condo sale in November. Since coming to market in June, they have accounted for 80% of the condo sales over $4,000,000. This month’s high sale closed for $4,750,000.
- The Montage sale was one of six closes over $1,500,000. The other five closes included one more transaction at Montage, a sale at Honua Kai, a sale at the Whaler, a Wailea Point close and a close at Hoolei.
- The 67 condo sales this month represented the lowest sales total of the year and the second lowest total in the last two years.
- The highest priced land sale last month occurred in the One Palauea Bay subdivision in Makena. The 1.089 acre lot sold for $3,500,000.
- There were 12 bank owned sales this November compared to seven bank owned sales last November. There were 4 short sales this November compared to 13 last year. This is a continuation of a trend where we have seen a slight increase in bank owned inventory and sales compared to last year, while short sales continue to play a decreased role in the market.
Thoughts on The November Stats
The November sales activity followed recent trends on island. Maui’s home sales totals continue to be very close to what we saw last year. Condo sales are down substantially. Land sales are also down substantially. As discussed in the September and October statistics, this drop in condo activity is driven in large part by a reduction in the inventory of properties for sale at the entry levels of the market. I think volumes may also be dwindling due to the pricing strategies of some sellers. There are still quite a few sellers shooting for prices well above recent sales. If some sellers were to be more realistic about their sales prices, we may get a little bit of a bump in condo sales activity.
The drop off in land sales that we saw this month may not be quite as significant as it appears. Land statistics include both commercial sales and lots that might be used for residential purposes. The November 2013 sales included six commercial new development lots in the Maui Lani subdivision. There was only one commercial sale this November. The Peahi Hui subdivision also had an impact last November with five new development sales.
It is worth making a brief note that changes in median prices are not a direct indicator of changes in value. Medians shift due to changes in values AND shifts in market activity. More high priced sales push medians higher and more low priced sales push medians lower. Small sample sizes can make changes in median particularly dramatic. This difference in Land Medians between this November and last November is a great example. It is safe to say that land values have not dropped 25% compared to last year.
November Pending Sales
While the November Sales weren’t very inspiring, are there brighter days in store for the Maui Real Estate Market? That’s tough to say, but we do have some sense of what future sales might be based on the number of properties that went pending in November.
It was encouraging to see pending home sales were up compared to November of last year. It was even more encouraging to see that the number of pending condo sales was higher than November of last year. I am not sure that this is a sign that the condo market is going to see sustained growth or a turn around from it’s recent activity, but it beats the alternative as we head in to our buying season. Pending contracts for land sales are down again compared to last November.
What Does it All Mean for Buyers and Sellers in The Maui Condo Market.
What does this all mean for buyers and sellers? December officially marks the start of peak buyers season. The increases in visitor numbers during winter months means an increase in potential buyers. Buyers will find varying market conditions depending on the part of the market where they are shopping. Market inventory is greatest at the highest price points in the market. Luxury home and condo sellers will find a good selection to choose from. That said, sellers in the luxury market tend to have deeper reserves so they may or may not be as negotiable on price. The entry level vacation rental condo market has seen inventory decrease significantly over the last 12-18 months. Well priced condos in this segment of the market are tending to go quickly. Conditions are similar for entry level homes with buyer competition particularly fierce for well priced properties. Buyers should be pre-approved before looking at homes and prepared to act quickly when the right opportunity becomes available. Sellers should look closely at current market conditions in their price range and community when looking at go to market strategy. Overpriced properties are sitting in this market. These mixed market conditions require thoughtful representation. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team today for a free consultation. We would welcome the opportunity to learn about your real estate needs and discuss the market.
Maui Real Estate Blog
Things to do Around Maui on the Weekend of May 3rd
It looks like it will be another beautiful weekend on Maui for the first weekend of May. Mostly sunny skies and light breezes are forecasted as an unusually late season cold front approaches from the North. There is a chance of showers on Saturday afternoon with showers more likely Sunday afternoon as the front passes through Maui County. The weather shouldn’t interfere too much with a few fun events that are planned this weekend.
- For those looking to kick off their weekend on a high note, head over to Wailuku Town for First Friday. Wailuku First Friday is Maui’s longest running continuous Friday town party. There will be food, music and other entertainment. Market Street closes to vehicular traffic around 5:30 and the event officially runs from 6:00-9:00 PM. That being said, I see music scheduled for as early as 4:00PM at Wailuku Coffee Company if you want to get a head start on your Aloha Friday celebrations.
- Saturday, head on over to Whaler’s Village in Ka’anapali for the 24th Annual Maui Onion Festival. This free event features recipe contests, games, live entertainment, onion eating contests, food booths, chef demonstrations and a competition for best Maui Onion recipe featuring some of the best chefs on Maui. The event starts at around 9:30 AM and runs until about 7:00 PM. Come enjoy this celebration of some of the sweetest onions of the world.
- If you like to standup paddle, paddleboard or paddle OC-1s, you can do so and support a good cause at the Paddle Imua Race tomorrow on Maui’s North Shore. The race starts at Maliko Gulch and heads down the coastline to Kahului Harbor. The event benefits Imua Family Support Services annual Camp Imua which is held every summer. The camp provides an opportunity for students with “special abilities” a chance to try new activities and interact with others. You can still register for the event tomorrow morning in Maliko Gulch starting at 10:00 AM. The races start at approximately 1:00 PM.
We hope everyone enjoys a beautiful weekend on Maui. If you have real estate on the brain this weekend, Contact The Maui Real Estate Team to arrange a free consultation.