June Maui Real Estate Sales Stats

Home sales rose from 73 to 77 with the median price also rising to $499,000 from $495,000. Condo sales increased from 103 to 105 with the median price rising to $430,000 from $425,000. Land sales were unchanged from what I reported in the unofficial statistics.

In addition to the updated stats, the official numbers also include historical data, community level data and overall sales data for the first half of the year. The first half of the year sales data shows how how much sales volume has improved when compared to the absolute doldrums of the first half of 2009. The increase in activity was the main focal point an article today’s Maui News. Home sales volume was up 42.6% and condo sales volume was up 63.6% respectively over the first six months of 2009. At the same time, median prices continued to adjust downward.

Terry Tolman, RAM executive, publishes the total inventory in each property classification. There was a negligible uptick in home inventory with only one additional unit over the end of May. There was a decrease in condo inventory. Ten additional land listings came on the market. I have always viewed a reduction in overall inventory as a necessary component for market recovery and price stabilization.

Brief Maui Statistics Overview:
June’s Sales Volume – Residential Sales came in with 77 homes sold, while Condo Sales
had 105 units sold. NOTE: This month’s condo figures includes 35 New Developer sales in a
variety of projects island-wide ranging from $199,000 to $2,150,000 which affect both Average
and Median Condo prices. Land sales slipped to 9 lots.
June’s Median SALES prices – Home and Condo median prices rose to $499,000 and
$430,000 respectively. Land median price was $360,000.
Days on Market for Residential homes = 131 DOM, Condos = 187 DOM, Land = 174 DOM.
(General DOM Note: this is the average DOM for the properties that SOLD. If predominantly OLD
inventory sells, it can move this indicator upward, and vice versa. RAM’s Days on Market are calculated
from List Date to Closing Date [not contract date]. As such, it includes approximately 60 days of escrow
time.) Also – Short Sales transactions can often take 4-6 months to close thereby extending the
marketplace’s average DOM.
“Year to Date Sales” numbers only compare January – June 2010 to January – June
2009. Short timeframe (monthly) views do not necessarily reflect the longer timeframe trends. Better
overview is available from these pages at the end of each year such as 2009’s Year End (Dec. 2009)
available at: http://www.ramaui.com/UserFiles/File/Stats/All-December2009.pdf
Year to Date: Residential unit sales rose (+43%), average sold price = $768,866 (+2%), median price
= $469,000 (-7%) and total dollar volume sold = $324,461,345 (+46%).
Condo unit sales increased (64%), average sold price = $756,119 (-11%), median price = $427,750
(-32%). Total Condo dollar volume sold = $503,575,075 (+45%).
Land – NOTE: Land Lot sales are such a small sampling that statistics in this property class are
not necessarily reliable indicators. Land lot sales increased (+42%), average sold price = $535,792
(-62%), median price = $450,000 (-32%), Total dollar volume = $38,041,200 (-46%).
Also, total sales for immediately past 12 months: Residential = 817, Condo = 1,083, Land = 132.
July 6, 2010 – Active/Pending/Contingent status inventory:
July June May April Mar. Feb. Jan. Dec. Nov. Oct. Sept. Aug. July
Homes 1,008 1,007 1,040 1,059 1,043 1,040 996 1,022 1,018 1,036 1,063 1,084 1,087
Condos 1,412 1,423 1,449 1,494 1,567 1,541 1,495 1,496 1,508 1,529 1,581 1,609 1,616
Land 601 591 579 585 568 561 522 585 592 603 606 615 644
Current Absorption Rate base on this month’s inventory divided by June Sales is:
Residential = 13 months, Condo = 13.4 months, Land = 66.7 months.
IN A NUT SHELL…… the good, the bad….. AND THE ROAD AHEAD ……
The market is starting to turn, indicated by the recent increase in unit sales. While the Homebuyer Tax
Credit program has ended, the deadline to complete eligible transactions has been extended to
September 30, 2010. Anecdotal evidence from Agents, Lenders and Escrow personnel indicate strong
buyer-showing activity which should result in future sales. The inventory includes many short sales and
REO (bank owned) properties which will need to be absorbed as sales before we can move ahead to a
more normal marketplace, at which time prices will start to rise. Interest Rates are remaining near
historic record lows which may help motivate would-be Buyers to go ahead and buy.
Sharpen your pencil, talk to your CPA and Realtor® to explore the hidden benefits or
consequences. Make no assumptions that will sting later.
To be successful, Sellers need to beat competing properties with better property condition, REALISTIC
pricing, good marketing, and flexible, creative terms (Seller Second Loan, Agreement of Sale, Leasewith-
option-to-buy, and Sale-with-lease-back to seller). Days on Market figures show that properties
priced right will sell in a reasonable timeframe. “Priced Right” is still the determining factor.
BEST Deals are selling, everything else is getting old.
Pro-Active Sellers are getting their properties appraised, inspected and surveyed in advance to
encourage knowledgeable offers from realistic Buyers. This can prevent unanticipated escrow fallout or
Buyers whittling your price down during the transaction when previously unknown facts come to light.
Unrealistic Sellers continue to be ignored by the market and miss current opportunities that later
become woefully apparent. They may even end up in a Short Sale or Foreclosure situation that could
have been avoided.
FOR BUYERS: Low interest rates may start to inch up. Buyers should get Pre-Approved so they can
shop in confidence (fewer last minute disappointments due to non-funding loans).
More “short-sales” and foreclosures are happening in the marketplace, yet they can be less of a bargain
than they seem, requiring more hurdles to leap and more time (often 4-6 months) to close, if at all. Be
prepared, but BE REALISTIC.
First-Time Home Buyers – While the Tax-Credit program has expired, many other programs are
available….. attend a First-Time Home Buyers workshop, get familiar with the process, get
qualified/approved, do your homework to get your own home. Many current owners never thought
they would be able to own until they attended a workshop, discovered they could, and are glad they
did. This low point in the market is your rare chance, so check it out carefully.
Disclaimer: Zooming in on the figures of a specific geographic area or property type may lead to
different conclusions that the overall view.
Maui’s market place is much smaller than Oahu’s, and a few high or low sales have a greater effect on
the statistical numbers without necessarily indicating a big market swing one way or another.

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7 Things Buyers Should Know About FHA Loans

FHA Pros, LLC, a national FHA condo approval service, has developed a list of facts speaking to the top misconceptions associated with FHA loans in order to help home buyers better navigate an already confusing market. FHA loans are mortgages issued by qualified lenders and insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

“We have seen home buyer interest in FHA loans go from practically zero three years ago to upwards of 87% today,” said Christopher Gardner, founder and president of FHA Pros, LLC. “Despite this rapid rise in popularity, many buyers still do not fully understand the benefits of these loans, and we believe it’s time to change that.”

1. FHA loans are not only for lower-income borrowers. FHA loans are available to everyone. There is no maximum income restriction associated with FHA loans, but borrowers do need to substantiate income and assets by submitting proper documentation. This requirement ensures that borrowers are well-vetted and truly able to afford their future homes.

2. FHA loans are not only for first-time buyers. Many people believe FHA loans are available only to first-time home buyers, but this is not the case. Whether borrowers are making their first home purchase or their fifth, they can look to FHA loans as a home financing option.

3. FHA loans are not just small loans; in fact, loan amounts can be as high as almost $800,000. The government recently raised the maximum loan amount from its original cap of $362,790 to $793,750 as a way to help stabilize the housing market. The amount a buyer can borrow varies from county to county though. Later this summer, condo buyers interested in FHA loans can visit www.checkfhaapproval.com to instantly identify FHA-approved condo associations and review maximum loan amounts for a given location.

4. FHA loans are not affiliated with the section 8 housing program. While both programs are administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), FHA loans have nothing to do with low-income subsidized housing. FHA loans are simply mortgages insured by FHA. This insurance provided by the federal government allows lenders to lend more freely by assuring them that they will be repaid in the event of default. Most traditional lenders, including Wells Fargo & Co., JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup are able to provide FHA loans to their customers.

5. FHA loans are often more affordable than conventional loans. While FHA loans typically offer the same interest rates as other loans, borrowers benefit from a much lower down payment of as low as 3.5%.

6. FHA-approved condo developments are more desirable to buyers. With 87% of home buyers indicating that they plan to use FHA loans, condo associations that are not FHA approved are missing out on a significant pool of prospective buyers. Under rules in place since February 2010, an entire condominium development must now apply to HUD and be granted FHA approval before a buyer can purchase a unit in an association with an FHA loan or before an existing unit owner can refinance into an FHA loan.

Due to the general unwillingness of today’s lenders to extend credit with respect to conventional loans, many borrowers find that FHA is their best bet. Lenders don’t mind lending when the federal government (FHA) assures them of repayment.

Homeowners associations (HOAs) should note that although FHA-insured mortgages might be easier to obtain, they are not “risky” loans, due in large part to the strict “full documentation” requirements placed on borrowers. Individual buyers or sellers can initiate the approval process or current owners can encourage their HOA to apply.

7. FHA loans are assumable. In addition to lower down-payment and credit-qualifying requirements as compared to conventional loans, FHA loans are assumable. This means that when a seller with an FHA loan sells his or her property, the loan and its financing terms (interest rate) can be transferred to the new buyer. This unique feature will certainly make a property more valuable in times of rising interest rates.

“Now, more than ever, buyers and sellers need to understand the options available to them when it comes time to buy a home,” continued Gardner. “At FHA Pros we have worked with countless HOAs, attorneys and individuals to easily and efficiently navigate the historically tricky FHA-approval process.”