Unofficial April 2008 Maui Real Estate Statistics

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I spent a little time today poking through our MLS database to come up with the unofficial April Maui Real Estate statistics. The Maui board of Realtors should be posting the official stats in the next ten days. Their numbers are a little more granular in that they show comparative data among the different communities. They also may catch a few solds that have yet to be input into the database. In the interim, here is what I was able to find.

Thus far, it looks like 74 homes sold in the month of April. The median sales price was $570,500. The average days on market was 135 days. The April 2007 numbers were 96 homes sold at a median price of $625,000. Average days on market for April of 2007 was 150. This means a 22.9% reduction in volume of sales from last year and an 8.7% decrease in median sales price.

Thus far, we have seen 92 condos sold for April 2008. The condos had a median price of $606,000 and average days on market was 207. This compares to April 2007 numbers of 116 units sold, a median sales price of $487,500 and 176 days for the average days on market. This is a 20.7% decrease in volume of sales and a 24.3% increase in median price.

There were 7 parcels of vacant land sold in Maui County in April 2008. The median price was $569,000 and the average days on market was 136 days. Last years figures were 26 units sold at a median price of $843,750 and an average days on market of 197.

Before I discuss these stats, I need to give my usual caveat on Maui Real Estate statistics. If you have read my take on Maui statistics before, you can skip to the next paragraph. If not, it is worth noting that Maui has a relatively small sample size. With our lower volume of sales, you will tend to see pretty significant fluctuations in median and average numbers. These may or may not be an indication of market trends. Bundles of closings associated with new developments and the sales of a few higher priced homes can have a strong impact. Volume of sales seems to be the best way to track trends, but that too can be influenced when there is a concentration of closes in a new subdivision or condo complex. Days on market is a number that is frequently manipulated. Sellers can reset their days on market to zero if they pull their property off the market for 30 days or more. This happens with some measure of frequency on Maui. That means that the statistics are lower than the actual days on market.

That being said, we are continuing to show a decrease in volume of sales from 2007. Condo sales for 2008 had been roughly approximate to those from 2007 in previous months, but April appears to show a slow down. It will be interesting to see May’s numbers to determine if this is a trend or an anomaly. Land sales continue to be particularly slow with only 7 sales in the entire month. Land has seen lower demand as prices have been slower to adjust. Factoring in building costs, a number of lots are still priced at levels that it is the same price or even cheaper to buy an existing home than it is to buy a lot and to build a new home. This is going to be a deterrent to both owner/builders and developers. That being said, I am starting to see a little more price adjustment in the land market. It will be interesting to see if that stimulates sales or if more adjustment is needed.

As per my cautionary paragraph above, this month’s median stats should be viewed with a lot of skepticism. Land sales volume is way too low to discern any trends on median pricing. The condo median is up 20.7% from 2007! However, when you compare sales within the same complex over a one year period, you will likely see lower prices in 2008 than 2007. It appears that more high end condos are selling pulling the median numbers up. The median price for homes is down. This appears to follow the reality of the market, but it is hard to say if the 8.7% decrease is an accurate reflection of how much the market has decreased.

I have one last observation on this month’s statistics. The days on market for condos really caught my eye. We broke the 200 day barrier. My initial inclination was that there had to have been some project sales where the days on market included the time from contract signing to the completion of construction. There were two listings with long days on market that fit that criteria. They were more than offset by the ten listings that were new project sales that showed zero days on market. That quickly shot down my original theory. So I dug a little deeper. I found that there were 18 condos that had sold that had been on the market for more than 300 days. Seven of those sales had been on the market for over 500 days. That raised the question, why did those condos sell after being on the market for so long? For the most part, the answer appears to be price adjustment. Most of the listings were originally priced above comparable sales prices. These properties did not go under contract until the sellers adjusted their prices to at or below recent sales prices. Perhaps this is a lesson for sellers who has been waiting a long time for the elusive buyer who will love their property at its current list price.

I will post the official real estate stats for the month when they become available. In the interim, don’t hesitate to call or contact us for via e-mail to discuss the current Maui Real Estate market conditions and what it may mean to you as a buyer or seller.

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