Wailea and Makena Market Report: 2013 Year in Review and 2014 Outlook

A comparison of real estate sales volumes in Wailea and Makena during 2013 and 2012
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Earlier this winter, I decided to do some in depth market reviews on a handful of communities around the island. I was able to publish posts on Paia and Spreckelsville, before getting sidetracked. I have wanted to take on the resort markets of Wailea and Makena for quite some time. This is a post that has been sitting in some form of a draft for the better part of the month. A busy schedule as a Realtor and a new dad, combined with the breadth of this market has made it tough to put the finishing touches on this post. Today, I finally got over the hump.

The Wailea and Makena resort communities are home to some of the more expensive real estate on island. Homeowners are drawn by the weather, the incredible beaches, shopping, dining, resort amenities and golf courses. In this post, we wanted to compare 2013 sales to what we saw in 2012. We also want to provide a few thoughts on what you might expect for the rest of 2014 in the Wailea and Makena market. Since we are almost to the end of the first quarter of 2014, we have the advantage of being able to review some of the initial sales data for the year. Without further ado, here are the numbers for Wailea and Makena in 2013.

A comparison of real estate sales volumes in Wailea and Makena during 2013 and 2012

There were 27 homes sold in the Wailea area with a median price of $2,750,000 during 2013. There were 26 homes sold during 2012 with a median price of $1,387,500. That is roughly a 4% increase in sales volume and a 98% increase in median price.

During 2013, there were 123 condos sold in the Wailea area with a median price of $1,100,000. The 2012 numbers were 114 condos sold with a median price of $757,500. That is approximately an 8% increase in sales volume and a 45% increase in median price.

During 2013, there were 13 lots sold with a median price of $1,225,000. There were 5 lots sold during 2012 with a median price of $875,000. That is a 260% increase in sales volume and 40% increase in median price.

In addition to the numbers above, here are a few other numbers that I thought were worth sharing regarding the Wailea and Makena Real Estate market during 2013.

  • Of the 27 homes sold, six were in the Makena area.
  • The high sale was $9,200,000 for an oceanfront home at Makena Place.
  • The Makena Place transaction was one of 14 sales over $2,0000,000. It was one of 7 sales over $5,000,000. In 2012, there were 8 sales over $2,000,000 with 3 sales over $5,000,000.
  • There were only 2 homes sold for under $1,000,0000 in Wailea during 2013. That is way down from the seven sold under $1,000,000 in 2012.
  • The high condo sale was $11,395,000 for a Villa at The Andaz Residences.
  • The Andaz close was one of 34 condo sales over $1,500,000 in 2012. That was an increase over the 27 sold for $1,500,000 or more in 2012.
  • Kai Malu and the Palms at Wailea were the condos that had the most sales activity with 23 sales and 16 sales respectively.
  • Only 3 of the 123 condos sold were in Makena. There was one unit sold in Na Hale O Makena and two units at Makena Surf.
  • There were only 2 condos sold in Wailea for less than $500,000 in 2013. That was down significantly from the 15 sold under $500,000 in 2012.
  • The high sale for land was $10,000,000 for 159 acres across the street from the ocean in Makena.
  • There were 5 bank owned sales (REO) in Wailea in 2013. That is a 50% reduction from the 10 that sold in 2012.

Looking at the Wailea and Makena sales data for 2013, the big jumps in median prices are arguably the most eye catching numbers. All too often the change in median prices can be misrepresented as a representation changes in property values. While it is safe to say there was some appreciation in Wailea, it is also pretty clear we didn’t see 98% increases in home values, 45% increases in condo values and 40% increases in land values. The big bumps in median come from a decrease in sales activity at the low end of the market and an increase in ultra luxury sales.

The inventory of homes under $1,000,000 and condos under $500,000 decreased sharply in 2013. Buyers searching for lower priced opportunities had options in places like Wailea Fairway Villas and Grand Champions. In 2013, inventory in both of those complexes decreased and prices increased. That pushed prices on all but two sales in those complexes above $500,000. The same trend was evident with Wailea Homes. In 2012, there were quite a few opportunities to get into the market below $1,000,000 in neighborhoods like Wailea Kai, Wailea Pualani and Wailea Kialoa. Those opportunities were far more limited in 2013 with only 2 home sales below $1,000,000.

While there were fewer bargain hunting opportunities, more buyers were willing to dish out a premium for Wailea and Makena Properties. There was a 26% increase in the number of condos sold over $1,500,000 and a 75% increase in the number of homes sold over $2,000,0000. This was part of an island wide increase in luxury sales activity. As we have postulated in other statistics posts on our blog, big years on the stock market tend to make for big years for luxury real estate sales on Maui.

Being that we are almost done with the first quarter, there is more opportunity to comment on current real estate market dynamics in Wailea and Makena. The chart below compares the number of properties sold this year as of March 17th with the number of properties sold last year through March 17th.

This chart compares the volume of real estate sales in Wailea and Makena for the year to date up until March 17th with the same period in 2013.

As you can see from the chart, the sales activity looks pretty similar to what we saw during the start of 2013. Home sales are up modestly by 2 transactions, condo sales are the same and land sales are off by 1 from last year’s pace. There were a few other things that I thought were worth sharing from year to date sales activity.

  • As mentioned previously, we saw a decrease in sales under $500,000 for condos and under $1,000,000 for homes in Wailea during 2013. That trend has continued into 2014. There have been no condo sales under $500,000 and no home sales under $1,000,000 to date. There are no homes listed or pending for less than $1,000,000. There are only two pending sales under $500,000 for condos with no active listings in that price range.
  • For the most part, the Wailea market is still trading for less than peak market prices. There is one exception though as Wailea Elua saw its two highest ever sales prices in the last couple of months.
  • The high home sale thus far this year was $9,300,000 for an oceanfront home in Makena Place. As of March 17th, that was one of 4 home sales to date this year over $2,000,000 in Wailea and Makena.
  • The high condo sale thus far this year is $4,450,000 at Wailea Point. As of March 17th, that was one of 9 condo sales over $1,500,000 in Wailea and Makena for the year to date.

What can we expect for the rest of the year in Wailea and Makena? Demand thus far appears to be close to what we saw last year. I would anticipate that to continue if the stock market and overall economy stay the course. We have seen a decrease in Canadian luxury home buyers with the Canadian Dollar off 10% from last year. That has the potential to decrease sales volume. With the exception of lower priced homes and condos, there appears to be a pretty healthy inventory for buyers to choose from. There is over a year of active inventory for homes and land. There is just under a year of active inventory for condos, but that inventory is likely to increase. New developments are likely to have some of the biggest impact on the market. We have seen two new development go to market thus far, with at least one more and possibly three more coming to market before the end of 2014.

The first new development to hit the market was small in listings and big in price tag. Makena Sunset will consist of four condominium homes located directly across the street from Maluaka Beach. The homes will be 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms with approximately 4,200 square feet of living space. There will also be an additional 1,400 square feet of lanai space. Each residence has its own private pool. There is a laundry list of additional amenities offered with each of these spectacular properties. One of the four listings is under contract. The remaining three properties are offered for $10,250,000 through Makena Wailea Real Estate. The Maui Real Estate Team may represent interested parties as their buyer’s agents.

The second new development to come to market this year was the Ridge at Wailea. This is a vacant land offering with homes sites up near the Hotel Wailea. Pricing ranges from $1,550,000 to $2,800,000 for the 9 lots that are roughly a half acre in size. This development is being represented by Wailea Realty. The Maui Real Estate Team can represent interested parties as their buyer’s agent. It will be interesting to see how well this development is received by the market. The last land offering in this range was the Bluffs at Wailea. That development came out during the market doldrums of the last real estate downturn and was not well received by buyers. That land is now going to be developed as condos (more on that below).

There is the possibility of one additional land offering hitting the market this year. A second phase of Wailea Golf Estates is planned and that would include 16 additional luxury home sites. The time frame to go to market has yet to be announced.

There is at least one condo development that should hit the market this year as well. Keala O Wailea will consist of 70 condos spread over 7 three story buildings. It will be built next to the Wailea Gateway Center at the site of the aforementioned Bluffs at Wailea. The 70 condos will include 4 floor plans ranging in size from 1196 square feet to 1510 square feet. The top floor penthouse suites will be the largest units. The Keala O Wailea will prohibit vacation rentals. The community will have a nice pool area and should have big views from that location. Pricing for the development has not been announced, but it has been suggested that the prices will be “affordable for Wailea.” To be clear, that doesn’t mean affordable housing by any standard definition, but we should see starting prices under $1,000,000. Additional information on the development and sales reservations should be coming some time around the middle of this year. As with any new development on Maui, it is not out of the realm that those dates could be pushed back. If the pricing holds true to what has been insinuated, I would expect Keala O Wailea will receive strong interest from buyers.

Makali’i at Wailea is a condominium development that is scheduled to be built across from the Fairmont Kea Lani Hotel in Wailea. This complex is supposed to go to market in the last quarter of 2014 with construction planned to start in 2015 and run through 2017. Preliminary plans for Makali’i call for 68 units spread over 17 buildings of four units each. The condos will feature a modern design with a lot of glass. I saw the preliminary sketches for the condos and they will be very unique from the current inventory in Wailea. It is expected that there will be two and three bedroom floor plans with roughly 1,500 to 1,700 square feet of living space. The condos should have excellent views. The community will have a pool and club house area for residents. Makali’i will also prohibit vacation rentals. I haven’t heard anything regarding the pricing for the condos, but I would expect that they will be at a higher price point than anything at Keala O Wailea.

The impact of the new developments on the Wailea and Makena markets will be interesting to watch. I have found that activity at new developments may mean slower activity at comparable existing condos. I would think places like Kanani Wailea, higher priced units at Wailea Fairway Villas and potentially Kai Malu could be impacted by a place like Keala O Wailea. We may see an overall decrease in sales volume as the new condo developments will be unlikely to see units close until construction is complete.

Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are interested in buying or selling property in the Wailea and Makena area. The Maui Real Estate Team would welcome the opportunity to sit down for a free consultation. You can also search the current inventory of Makena and Wailea Condos for Sale and Makena and Wailea Homes for Sale on MauiRealEstate.com.

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