Unofficial September 2010 Maui Real Estate Statistics

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I took some time this morning to look through our MLS database so I could get a better sense of the September Maui Real Estate Statistics. I have included the numbers I was able to put together below followed by a brief commentary. These are preliminary numbers with the potential for more closes to be reported early next week. The local Realtors association will be publishing their official statistics some time later next week. We will post those numbers as they become available. In the interim, here are my unofficial Maui Real Estate statistics.

By my count, there were 61 homes sold at a median price of $440,000. This compares to 54 homes sold in September of 2009 at a median price of $440,000. That is approximately a 13% increase in sales volume when comparing September of 2010 to 2009.

I totaled 95 condos sold last month at a median price of $302,000. In September of 2009, there were 63 condos sold at a median of $307,500. This translates to a 51% increase in sales from year to year.

Land sales continue an anemic pace with only 6 closes in September of 2010 at a median of $285,000. The September of 2009 numbers were 10 sales at a median of $712,500. This marks a 40% reduction in sales year to year.

As short sales and bank owned listings have increased in the market, we have continued to keep tabs on sales figures for these types of properties. We continue to see a strong percentage of REO and short sale closes every month. There were a total of 41 REOs and 20 short sales that closed in September of 2010. REOs and short sales constituted 43% of all of the home sales. Thirty-seven percent of all condos were either REOs or Short Sales. There were no REOs or Short sales among the 6 land closes.

There were a couple of other statistics that I thought were pretty interesting concerning REOs. The median list price of REO home sales was $392,950 while the median sales price was $390,500. For condos the median list price for bank owned properties was $163,900. The median sales price was actually higher at $164,200. These stats suggest that in general the banks are pricing properties pretty well. It also supports the notion that there is demand for these properties. Buyers should factor this into their offer strategy when bidding on REOs.

Overall, this was a solid month for sales. In particular, Condos appear to stand out with the 51% increase year to year. It is worth nothing that the September condo numbers are quite a bit below what we saw during our busy spring. That being said, the spring numbers were boosted substantially by long term contracts while there were only 3 long term new developer sales all of last month. Home sales were also up verses last September, but down from the higher sales figures we were seeing in the spring. Some of the dip in sales can be attributed to seasonal fluctuations that are customary in even more robust markets.

The luxury market had a healthy month in September. There were 7 home sales over $1,500,000. Two of those home sales were over $5,000,000 with one just under that threshold at $4,995,000. There were also 3 condo sales over $1,500,000. There are still ultra luxury buyers who are choosing to purchase in the Maui market. That being said, there is still a fairly substantial volume of luxury inventory. Buyers seem to be willing to pay a premium for exceptional properties, but there are other beautiful homes out there where the sellers still need to sharpen their pencils. If the luxury home does not offer a clear value and/or is a “best of show” type of property, it will have a difficult time attracting buyers.

Overall, the landscape remains similar for both buyers and sellers. Buyers are going to continue to find pricing well below the peak market. There are some good opportunities among bank owned properties, short sales and even conventional sales. That being said, buyers will find that some of the best opportunities are competitive. Sellers are going to continue to find a tough market. There is a lot of competition out there from REOs. There are also some new developments that are offering nice incentives to buyers particularly in the condo market. Sellers need to continue to price at/or below recent comparables to enhance their odds for sales.

There are a couple of interesting things that will bear watching in the coming months. It will be interesting to watch year to year comparisons for the last three months of 2010 as the last quarter of 2009 was boosted in part by the first time home buyer tax credits. It is also worth keeping an eye on the REO market. We have seen REOs grow in the market and there is still a significant pipeline of pending foreclosures. That being said, Hawaii is one of the 23 states impacted by the four banks that have admitted they processed foreclosure documents without ever reviewing said documentation. This may lead to additional moratoriums on foreclosures. We will continue to keep track of these issues and sales statistics on The Maui Real Estate blog.

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