The Big, Bad & Ugly of Home Decor

Portions taken from June 10, 2010 by Melissa Tracey
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Design blunders that made the “not to do” list.

■Antlers:  Mounted horns displayed on walls became popular accessories in magazine home design spreads. But it’s now best to leave the horns on the animals, not the walls.
■Inspirational decor:  Inspirational sayings like “Keep Calm and Carry On” or lettered decals such as “dream” or “friends” are no longer inspiring for home decor.
■Boutique hotel chic:  It’s no longer a good idea to take pointers from hotels to guide your decorating. You’ll be left with “stiff minimalism, dull neutrals” — a quick way to achieve a blah room design, according to the article. (You might want to channel those inspirational sayings before starting your design!)
■Accent walls:  Yes, surprisingly, accent walls made the list. Accent walls were once touted as a great way to bring in splashes of color, without committing to painting the entire room. But there’s no half-way now: It’s all or nothing. According to the article: “When all-white rooms were in fashion, one brightly painted or wallpapered wall was a great way to break up the monotony. But now, with bolder paint colors the norm, accent walls have less purpose and can break up the flow of a room. Plus, what was once an unpredictable pop of color is now, well…predictable.”

May 2010 Maui Real Estate Stats

Maui’s Unofficial May 2010 Real Estate Statistics
81 homes were sold @ a median price of $442,000. 60 homes sold in May, 2009 @ a median price of $482,500. This is a 35% increase in volume when you compare May 2009 with May 2010.
104 condos sold @ a median price of $457,000. 52 condos sold in May of 2009 at a median of $455,000. This is a 100% increase in sales volume when you compare May 2010 to 2009.
There were 16 vacant land sales @ a median price of $560,000. In comparison, May 2009 had 8 sales reported @ a median of $665,000. This is a 100% increase in volume when comparing the two months.
Maui does have a steady supply of bank owned (REO) properties. These listings are often priced below comps.  For May, there were 28 REO sales and 24 short sales. 38% of home sales were REOs or short sales. Of condo sales, 23% were short sales or REOs. There were also 2 bank owned land sales that closed. The REO sales were down a little and the short sales were up a little as compared to last month. Industry experts report an improvement in the short sale approval process. We’ll have to wait and see.
All in all, May was a healthy month for sales. Land sales were up over last month by a slight margin. The total was one of the better sales months we have seen since 2007. Home sales were down slightly from last month. Condo sales were down by a solid margin compared to April 2010. However, at least part of that difference can be attributed to a less pronounced “Honua Kai Effect.” There were 20 less developer closings at Honua Kai this month.

May saw a significant surge in luxury condo sales. There were 17 total condo closings over $1.5M. Luxury condo sales included the most expensive sales price for a Maui condo at $12.5M and the 3rd most expensive sales purchase price at $9.9M. Both sales were large oceanfront luxury Wailea condos. The luxury home market also saw some healthy activity with 7 home sales over $1.5M, including the 3rd most expensive residential sale in Maui County’s history at $17.5M. Cheers!
What does this all mean? Maui’s real estate market continues to reflect signs of an improving market. Sales activity in all market segments reflect a solid improvement over the doldrums 2008 and 2009. Prices continue to adjust driven in large part by the lower prices coming out of the bank-owned segment. Sellers have had to sharpen their price offerings to remain competitive. The ultra-luxury market may present a few exceptions as upscale buyers continue to be willing to pay premium prices for some of Maui’s premier island properties. Astute buyers will continue to find investment opportunities in this market. Buyers will also enjoy historically low interest rates.
Contact Michele Muir White, R(S), SFR, Coldwell Banker Island Properties, Wailea Gateway Office for exceptional assistance whether you are looking to buy or sell Maui Real Estate.