Wailea Real Estate Market Update

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The Wailea Film Festival ended last night after a great five days. After spotlighting, the cultural events happening in Wailea for the better part of the week, I thought it might be worth giving an update on the resort community’s real estate market. Last month, I took a look at the overall luxury real estate market above $1,500,000 to see how it had performed in the year to date. The luxury market continued to be pretty healthy. The ultra high end properties above $5,000,000 were doing about the same in volume as last year. Home sales were down overall about 30% and condo sales were up. My look at Wailea is going to be a little broader in that it will incorporate condos and homes under $1,500,000. It includes both Wailea Resort and the neighboring resort area of Makena.

I broke the Wailea market into six segments and compared sales between January 1, 2008 and June 16, 2008 and January 1, 2007 and June 16, 2007. The results are as follows.

    • Homes less than $1,500,000

Sales between January 1, 2007 -> June 16, 2007 = 3
Sales between January 1, 2008 -> June 16, 2008 = 2

    • Homes between $1,500,000 and $4,999,99

Sales between January 1, 2007 ->June 16, 2007 = 16
Sales between January 1, 2008 ->June 16, 2008 = 10

    • Homes over $5,000,000

Sales between January 1, 2007 – >June 16, 2007 = 4
Sales between January 1, 2008 – >June 16, 2008 = 2

    • Condos less than $1,500,000

Sales between January 1, 2007 – > June 16, 2007 = 81
Sales between January 1, 2008 – > June 16, 2008 = 27

    • Condos between $1,500,000 and $4,999,999

Sales between January 1, 2007 – > June 16, 2007 = 26
Sales between January 1, 2008 – > June 16, 2008 = 77

    • Condos over $5,000,000

Sales between January 1, 2007 – > June 16, 2007 = 2
Sales between January 1, 2008 – > June 16, 2008 = 1

This data was taken from a search of our MLS database. It does not capture by owner sales that don’t use an agent or sales yet to be input in the listing database. It does not provide information on contracts signed on new projects. It is a small enough sample that comparing medians and averages may not necessarily speak to the market. That being said, there were a few data points worth commenting on, and a few numbers that spurred me to do a little digging.

The home sale numbers show a noteworthy decrease in volume. We have seen a 39% decrease in sales volume vs. last year. There were no new project sales in either year so you can’t argue numbers were inflated one year vs. another. The decrease occurs along all price ranges. Makena has been quiet thus far this year with zero sales to date vs. 2 sales over the same time last year. This contributed to the lower number of sales in the ultra luxury market above $5,000,000.

On a side note, Keawakapu beach continues to be a premier address for luxury buyers. The highest sales price for the year to date is $10,000,000 for a beautiful property on Keawakapu Beach with a large house, cottage, pool and over a half acre of land. The home was a little older so I wouldn’t be surprised if the new owner does a little updating. The stretch of homes that runs along Keawakapu Beach may offer the highest concentration of high end homes on the island. There are two properties along this stretch currently listed for $25,000,000 including this estate.

The difference in the year to year numbers for condo sales is certainly eye catching. There are big differences in the number of sales under $1,500,000 and between $1,500,000 and $5,000,000. The first thing I look at when I see this type of discrepancy is new project sales. A little digging shows that new projects do account for most of the differences. In 2007, there were two major projects that recorded sales. They were Kai Malu and Kanani Wailea. For 2007, 46 of the 81 sales below $1,500,000 were in these new projects. That compares to only 3 new project sales in this price range in 2008. Looking at the 2008 numbers and you can see the influence of new project sales at Ho’olei, Kai Malu and Papali. For condos priced between $1,500,000 and $5,000,000, 65 of 77 sales were new project. That compares to 18 of 26 for 2007.

This is a great illustration of why you may want to be wary of median numbers on a small market like Maui. It looks like there was a huge increase in median sales price for Wailea condos. In 2008, the median price for the year to date is $1,962,716 compared to a median of $1,157,492 over the same period of 2007. Without looking behind the numbers, one might surmise drastic price increases. Instead, you are just looking at a difference in the price points of the projects coming on the market year to year. The 2008 market saw a couple of really high end condo complexes in Ho’olei and Papali that helped push the median up significantly.

When we strip out the new project sales, it is interesting to note that sales below $1,500,000 are down for 2008 when compared to 2007 while 2008 sales above $1,500,000 are up. It does appear that the more expensive projects are seeing a little more demand while the low end of the high end has cooled off a little more. We are also seeing more price adjustments on the low end of the Wailea Condo market. Our low sales price between January 1 and June 16, 2007 was $680,000 for a 1 bed/2 bath at Grand Champions. There are 6 comparable units priced below $680,000 currently on the market in Grand Champions.

While there is a little less luster in the 2008 market, it is by no means dead. Wailea remains a premier travel destination for the globe. Many high end buyers are still looking for second homes in this area and there is good inventory to choose from in all segments of the market. Check out MauiRealEstate.com for the current inventory of Wailea and Makena Homes for Sale, Makena and Wailea Condos for Sale and land for sale. Contact us directly for information and assistance with reservations for new developments in the Wailea and Makena resort area.

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