Maui Real Estate Blog

The Housing Crisis Is Over. Or Is it?

A few weeks ago, in a commentary in the Wall Street Journal, Cyril Moulle-Berteaux, managing partner of Traxis Partners LP, a hedge fund firm based in New York, argued that the housing market is approaching the bottom. Click here. This article has been getting a lot of play and I am sure many optimistic (or desperate) Realtors / Mortgage Lenders, Homeowners are hoping that Mr. Mouelle-Berteaux is correct. Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for The National Association of Realtors, is also quite sanguine about the prospects of a near term recovery. I’ll save my rants about the track record of economists from the National Association Realtors for another post.

Are they right or wrong? How is the housing crisis impacting Maui? Do we lag the market? Is the Maui market somehow “different” than the general markets?

These are excellent questions. The team is a full time real estate team. We live the market. We study the facts. We hear the rumors and we try to interpret the data.

For the record, we don’t think the housing crisis is over on the mainland or on Maui. There are encouraging signs, such as the first jump in home sales in Southern California in 24 months. However, inventory levels, lack of financing options and the state of the overall US economy present a fairly strong argument that this market will not launch into the stratosphere any time soon. The Maui Real Estate Market has been buoyed by International Buyers and affluent Baby Boomers. We don’t have anywhere near the level of excess inventory or sub-prime loan issues. But that does not mean things are all rosy. Volume and prices are down pretty much across the board. The greatest bull market in real estate history needs to be followed by a period of adjustment, otherwise known as regression to the mean.

So should you buy, sell or wait? As always, the answer is, it depends. If you are looking for a second home on Maui, a property that you will hold for 5 or more years, it might be a very good time to be looking. There are sellers who “need” or want to sell for one reason or another and your negotiating power is better than it has been in a long time. It certainly isn’t a bad time to try to identify and purchase your slice of paradise. We have assisted some very happy buyers this year.

Should you sell? If you need to relocate, downsize or reduce your exposure absolutely. Contact the Team to discuss a market appropriate strategy. We will provide you with hard data / facts that will help you pinpoint a price to enter the market. We will provide our recommendations on how to prepare your home for sale, and of course you will get access to one of the most powerful marketing tools around,

Pete Jalbert

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