June is the middle of fruit season on Maui. Local mangoes, lychee and lilikoi can all be found in farmer’s markets and grocery stores. June is also a month of Festivals and celebrations with the Wailea Film Festival, the Kapalua Wine and Food Festival, The Slack Key Guitar Festival at the MACC and more. The start of June also means that it is time to take another look at the performance of the Maui Real Estate market. We take a look at last month’s sales volumes, median sales prices and a few other notes and numbers from May sales activity. Sales are a lagging indicator that don’t reflect current demand so we also wanted to take a look at the number of properties that went under contract last month. Without further ado, here are the real estate sales numbers for May on Maui.
By my count, there were 85 homes sold in Maui County last month with a median price of $540,000. By comparison, there were 109 homes sold in Maui County during May of 2013 with a median price of $549,000. That is a 22% drop in sales activity and a 2% drop in median price compared to last May.
There were 116 condo sales reported in May of 2014 with a median price of $476,000. Last May, there were 139 sales reported in Maui with a median price of $380,000. That is a 17% drop in sales activity with a 25% jump in median price when comparing this May to last May.
There were 20 land sales reported in May at a median price of $575,000. In May 2013, there were also 20 sales with a median of $267,500. That is a 215% increase in median price.
While compiling the numbers above, I came across some more numbers and data from the May Maui Real Estate Sales that I thought were worth sharing.
- The highest priced home sale last month was $3,150,000 for the Rainbow House in Ka’anapali Coffee Farms.
- That was one of five home sales over $2,000,000 last month. The other four sales were geographically diverse with closes in Haiku, Launiupoko, Wailea and Maui Meadows.
- The highest priced condo transaction was $5,000,000 for a beachfront unit at Coconut Grove in Kapalua.
- That was one of 15 condo sales over $1,500,000 last month. Honua Kai Resort led the way with seven sales over $1,500,000. There were also two sales at The Whaler, one sale at Ka’anapali Ali’i and one sale at Ka’anapali Shores. The Ka’anapali area condos were a hot ticket for luxury buyers. The other big sales occurred at Kapalua Bay Villas, Wailea Point and Na Hale O Makena.
- The highest priced land sale last month was $1,600,000 for 42 acres on the ocean between Wailuku and Kahakuloa.
- There were only 8 bank owned closes all of last month. That is down 50% from the 16 bank owned closes we saw last May. Buyers looking for bank owned bargains will find that the pickings slim.
- There were 10 successful short sales last month. That was done 58% from the 24 completed in May of 2013.
The thing that stands out most to me about this month’s stats is the drop in sales activity. As noted in the April stats, there was a drop in the number of properties that were pending in April as compared to the same time last year. That makes the drop in sales a little less of a surprise. We are also mirroring some trends that have been occurring on the mainland. The National Association of Realtors Reported that April existing home sales were down 6.8% compared to the same time last year. It is hard to pinpoint all of the factors that have led to the drop in sales activity in Maui County. That said, I think a significant driver has been the lack of inventory. The decrease in homes and condos at lower price points in our market has meant not enough supply to meet demand.
There were a few other things worth noting about the stats. The median sales price was down a little from last year. That seems counter intuitive with less low end inventory and clear signs of price reductions. The bigger driver may be a little less activity on the high end of the market. There were 7 fewer sales this May compared to last May over $1,000,000. On the other end of the spectrum, the condo medians were way up this month. Some of that gain could be attributed to price increases. The rest is due to shifts in market activity. Less inventory on the low end plays a part as does a big increase in activity on the high end. There were 26 condo sales over $1,000,000 this year compared to 12 last year. That is in spite of a 17% drop in overall condos sold. The huge jump in land medians can be attributed to a decrease in low end sales, an increase in high end sales and modest price increases. The small sample size for land sales contributes to big fluctuations in medians.
Does it look like the slow down in sales activity will continue into the summer? Right now, the numbers are mixed. The chart below compares the number of properties that went under contract in May of 2014 to what went pending last year in May of 2013.
It looks like we might see an uptick in home sales. Home pending sales were up a whopping 27% over last May. While condo numbers appear to be continuing their recent drop in activity with a 21% drop in pendings. Land pending sales were down 55% compared to last May. I did a little digging behind that number and some of that difference can be traced to a solid number of commercial land listings that went under contract last May. Commercial and residential land are lumped together in our MLS. It will be interesting to see what happens with activity as we move into the summer months. It is safe to say that Maui is experiencing an unpredictable market.
What does this all mean for buyers and sellers? Buyers will find that prices are still below peak market levels in all but a very few neighborhoods around the island. That said, buyers will also find that we have seen significant appreciation from the bottom particularly at the lower price points of the market. Those that are expecting to find rock bottom deals will be challenged by the limited inventory and the smaller number of distressed and bank owned properties. Buyers should expect that well priced properties will go under contract quickly. If it is in a particularly desirable part of the market, those properties may attract multiple bids. Sellers should expect improving market conditions, but those that are swinging for the fences on their prices may be disappointed. Overpriced properties are sitting. There are also some communities and price points that are softer than others. Go to market pricing strategies should take into account recent sales prices and activity levels. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team for a free consultation to discuss the specific market conditions for the communities and price ranges that fit interests and budget. We welcome the opportunity to be of assistance.