February came and went pretty quickly on Maui. It was a great month with beautiful weather, lots of Whale sightings, a big concert by Elton John at the MACC and a decent volume of real estate transactions. I spent some time yesterday searching through the MLS to come up with this month’s unofficial February Maui Real Estate statistics. It is still pretty close to the end of the month so we may see some additional sales reported, but this can at least give you a barometer of recent activity. Without further ado, here are the numbers that I found.
This February there were 57 homes sold in Maui county at a median price of $440,000. This compares to 54 homes sold at a median price of $504,150 in February 2010. This translates to just under a 6 percent increase in sales volume when comparing the two Februaries.
There have been 93 condo sales reported to date for February 2011 at a median price of $372,500. This compares to 95 condos sold at a median price of $424,000 over the same period last year. This means we saw 3% less sales at this point verses what was reported in February 2010.
There have been 7 land sales reported at this point for February at a median of $282,500. Last February, there were 7 parcels of land sold in Maui County at a median price of $350,000.
Bank owned properties (REOs) and short sales continued to have a significant impact on the market last month. There were a total of 38 bank owned transactions and 23 completed short sales. By comparison, last February there were 30 REO sales and 21 short sales. For the first time during this real estate downturn, we saw bank owned and short sales constitute the majority of home sales. There were a total of 18 REOS and 14 Shorts out of the total of 56 homes sold. The math on that comes out to 57% of the total sales volume. There were 18 REO sales and 9 short sales among the condo transactions last month. That translates to 29% of the sales volume for condos. Two out of seven land transactions were bank owned. That is also 29% of the total transaction volume.
Looking at this month’s statistics, it appears as if there is little change between this year and last year’s numbers. Homes are up slightly, condos are down slightly and land sales came in just the same. I was a little surprised to see lower condo sales numbers so I thought this outcome warranted a little digging and discussion. Over the last couple of years, condo sales volumes have been impacted significantly by what I like to call the Honua Kai effect. Honua Kai is a new large two tower development in Ka’anapali. Sales at this complex boosted Maui condo sales volume anywhere from to 10-40+ closings a month. Most of those closes were based on long term contracts penned back in 2005-2006. In that sense, they may not have been an accurate reflection of current market demand. Most of the long term contracts have closed at this point. This February, there were no long terms closes at Honua Kai. That compares to 17 back in February of 2010. So while our condo sales numbers were down, this February did not have the luxury of any Honua Kai tail winds so to speak.
The bank owned and short sale numbers are worthy of discussion as well. I was just looking at the current overall active and pending inventory. There are 1060 homes active or pending on Maui right now. There are 106 REOs listed and 157 short sales listed. That means just under 25% of the market inventory is short sales or foreclosures. What is eye opening is that 57% of the sales last month for homes were REOs and shorts. The condo inventory as of this morning includes a total of 1460 active and pending listings. Of that number 96 are REOs and 168 are shorts. That translates to 18% of the condo inventory being REO or short sales. Again, there is an imbalance between inventory and closes with 29% of the closes last month being REOs or shorts. It is clear that these distressed property types and REOs in particular are getting a disproportionate share of the sales. A good number of buyers are attracted to the value or REOs and short sales whether it be real or perceived.
While compiling these stats, I took a glance at the luxury segment of the market. There were 3 homes, 9 condos and one parcel of land sold for over $1,500,000. The luxury condo market appears to be bouncing back a little stronger than luxury homes and land. That being said, the land and home market both had a couple of eye opening sales. A home in Plantation Estates sold for $14,000,000. This is the highest ever sale for a home in Kapalua. A beachfront lot at Maluhia in Wailea closed for $7,300,000. This is the highest price for residential lot in the last 15 months.
This brings me to the “what does it all mean?” segment of my unofficial stats. I am tempted to cut and paste my conclusions from the last few months. Market conditions remain relatively unchanged. Buyers will find opportunities in this market as prices have adjusted well below market peak. That being said, buyers will need to be prepared to act quickly when the best opportunities come on the market. Well priced quality properties can still generate multiple bids and will frequently close above asking price. Buyers that require financing should also be prepared for a challenging loan approval process. Sellers still need to price aggressively and closely monitor recent comparable sales. Deferred maintenance offers leverage for buyer negotiations so it may be worth sprucing up your property as funds allow. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team with questions or for assistance buying or selling Maui Real Estate.