Maui Real Estate Blog

Weekly Real Estate Activity Report for Maui County April 16, 2020

Time for my weekly overview on activity in the Maui Real Estate market. This week’s post provides a glance at both pending sales activity and closed transactions.

Last Week’s Pending Sales

Needless to say, market activity on Maui continues to slow. After a busy January and February, the Covid-19 Pandemic first impacted the market in early March. Each successive week brings a further decrease in activity. The dip became more pronounced after the stay at home advisory went into effect on March 25th.

Weekly new pending sales for Maui Properties from late February to mid-April. The chart shows a steady decrease as the market feels the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The chart above documents weekly new pending sales of homes, condos and land listings. My weeks run from Wednesday to the following Tuesday. I used that unusual time frame due to the timing of the stay at home order which went into effect on Wednesday March 25th.

Between Wednesday February 26th and March 3rd, 63 properties went under contract. More accurately, 63 properties went under contract and either remain under contract or have since closed. The breakdown of sales for that week included 28 homes, 30 condos and five lots.

Between March 25th and March 31st, the first week of official stay at home, new pending sales decreased to 21. The breakdown includes 10 homes, 9 condos and 2 lots.

As of this week, Realtors reported 8 new pending sales to date. That total includes 4 homes and 4 condos. That number could jump a little over the next day or two as more updates are made to our MLS.

The number of properties going under contract is clearly slowing significantly from the level of activity earlier this winter. Limited showings and overall and personal financial uncertainty all play a part in the decrease. From my discussion with lenders, financing is starting to tighten as well. Self employed buyers are having a tough time qualifying due to uncertainty over income. Investors are finding fewer loan options.

Tracking Closed Transactions

If there is one bit of good news in the market, buyers and sellers are still getting deals across the finish line. The numbers are starting to dwindle, but that is a reflection of the shrinking number of pending sales. While there are some transactions that have cancelled, the vast majority are closing.

Sales of Maui properties by property type between late February and Mid-April. The chart shows the increasing impace of Covid-19 on the market.
This chart depicts weekly sales of homes, condos and land in Maui County between late February and Mid-April.

Property sales between February 26th and March 3rd were strong. Condos led the way with 47 units sold, followed by 32 homes sold and 3 lots closed.

On the first week of Maui’s stay at home order between March 25th and 31st, sales remained relatively strong with 47 condos sold, 22 homes sold and 2 lots closed.

It is just in the last two weeks that the slowdown in sales activity became a little more pronounced. Between the 8th and the 14th of April, closes dropped to 18 homes, 13 condos and 2 lots. The 33 total sales in the last week is just 40% of the sales between February 6th and March 3rd.

Another Shift We Are Seeing in the Market

Looking at both the pending and the sales charts above, there is one other change in the market that stands out. For most of the winter, condo sales led the way in the market. Buyer demand was particularly strong for vacation rental condos. It comes as no surprise that a tourism shut down would impact the demand for vacation rental condos. I hoped to delve into the vacation rental condo market in depth today. As tends to happen with these posts, they get a little long. I will have to save that for another post.

There is another important factor in the slow down in condo activity. Entry level condos on Maui are workforce housing. There are condos in places like Kihei, Kahului and Wailuku that offer the chance for home ownership for people who make their living in the tourist industry. The reality is that large numbers of Maui’s working class are now unemployed with tourism shut down. This is really slowing demand for these condos. It is notable that the only four condos that went pending between the 8th and 14th were vacation rentals.

I know there are a lot of homeowners and home buyers out there who have questions about the market. Don’t hesitate to contact The Maui Real Estate Team for assistance. This is a tough time to prognosticate with so much uncertainty. That said we will do our best to provide you with data and information. He hope everyone who reads this is staying safe.

Pete Jalbert

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