Unofficial Maui Real Estate Statistics for August 2008

It has been a busy start of September for me so it wasn’t until today before I had the chance to comb through our Multiple Listing Service to come up with the Unofficial Maui Real Estate Statistics for the month of August. June was the previous low point for sales volume in Maui County for the last five years. June wasn’t able to hold that crown for too long as August is now officially the slowest month on record going back through to January of 2003. Without further ado, here are my findings.

By my tally, there were 65 homes sold on island for the month of August. They averaged 161 days on market at a median sales price of $625,000. This compares to 83 homes sold for August of 2007 at a median price of $639,996 and an average of 112 days on market.

Condos continued their cooling trend with 50 condos sold throughout the county. The median sales price was $632,500 and the average days on market was 123. This compares to last year’s August sales numbers of 115 units sold at a median price of 599,000 and an average of 175 days on market.

Land sales were almost non existent. We only saw 3 sales for the entire month. With that small a sample size median price and average days on market are for all intents in purpose useless.

There is not much to say about this month’s stats other than the fact that May, June and July were slow months. Very few properties were going under contract over this time. This is not unexpected as these months were very slow from a tourism perspective. The combination of slower tourism, the credit crunch and an overall slower economy is leading to a less active market. If there is a silver lining to be had, I need to draw from a statistic that I have not reported on in the unofficial real estate statistics. The number of pending properties or properties under contract declined steadily through May, June and July. This was an indication of decreasing activity in the market. In early August, the number of pending sales stabilized and actually began to increase at the end of the month. This suggests that by the end of the summer market activity was stabilizing rather than deteriorating. This may well be short lived as fall is traditionally our slowest season for real estate.

What do the stats mean for buyers and sellers? For buyers, there are of course opportunities in this market. While median prices would seem to suggest we aren’t seeing price decreases, the stats are deceptive. The current medians are holding due to better activity on the high end of the market. In actuality, we are seeing price decreases in all but the highest reaches of the market. Some motivated sellers are making big price cuts to attract buyers. Patient buyers with capital are being rewarded in this market. Buyers who are interested in the market, but require financing should get preapproved with a lender sooner rather than later as financing is still challenging unless you have strong credit and a good down payment.

Sellers that are motivated will need to price their homes accordingly. With values decreasing, sellers should be positioning themselves at or below recent comparable sales. Sellers that can offer owner financing may find that this can be attractive for buyers. Sellers that are just fishing for high prices may be better served by pulling their homes from the market. If you aren’t serious about selling, now is not a time where you should expect much activity on your property.

I will have the official Maui Real Estate statistics posted on the blog as soon as they become available through the Realtors Association of Maui. In the interim, please feel free to contact us for additional information or assistance with buying or selling Maui Real Estate.

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