March 2013 Real Estate Stats

78 single family homes sold in March at a median price of $509,500. By comparison, there were 82 homes sold in March of 2012 at a median price of $435,000. This is a 5% drop in sales activity and a 17% increase in median prices when comparing this March 2013 to March 2012.

101 condo sold with a median sales price of $375,000. Comparing March 2012, there were 130 sales with a median price of $368,043. This is approximately a 22% drop in sales volume and a 2% bump in median prices.

25 land sales closed in March of 2013 with a median price of $535,000. In March of 2012, 22 sales were reported at a median price of $467,500. This is a 13% increase in land sales volume and a 14% increase in median prices.

Here were some other interesting numbers:

This was a good month for luxury condo activity with 11 sales over $1,500,000. Ka’anapali Ali’i saw the most high-end activity with four sales over $1.5M.
There were 13 bank owned (REO) closings. There were 40 bank owned closing during March 2012. This is a 68% drop in bank owned activity for this year.
There were 19 short sale closings. There were 28 short sale transactions that closed in March of 2012. This is a 32% drop in activity for short sale closes.
The 25 land closing was the second busiest month for land transactions in the last five years. The only month with more activity was December of 2012.

General economic news proclaims a strengthening real estate market. Maui’s real estate market is making a come back. The reason why we are seeing the dip in activity in the single family home and condo market is directly related to our low inventory. Buyers in many segments of the market are having difficulty finding properties. This problem is more pronounced at the lower end price points of our market.

Decreasing inventory is a factor in the increasing median prices as well. The effect is two fold. First, there are fewer lower priced properties on the market and consequently lower priced sales. With fewer lower end properties, the median sales price is going to be higher. Second, values are increasing modestly in many parts of the market. The rate of increase is varying widely based on the type of property, price range and geographic location. Lower priced condos are seeing the strongest increase in values. As you work up to the higher priced properties and greater inventory, the increases in value are more modest. At the highest price points in the market, values appear flat.

The luxury condo market was relatively slow through much of 2012. Sales volume decreased at the high end while the overall condo market increased. While we have just seen one month of activity, it is very encouraging to see a significant number of luxury condo closings.

So, what does it all mean for buyers and sellers? Buyers looking at the lower and middle segments of the market will find a very competitive market place. Well priced properties can attract multiple offers and above asking offer prices. Buyers who require financing in this segment are advised to get pre-approved for their purchase prior to beginning their search. As you progress higher in the market, the breadth of inventory increases. Some parts of the luxury market have abundant inventory. That being said, don’t expect to find many distressed sellers in the luxury market. Sellers who have equity in their home, but have been waiting for market conditions to improve may find that now is a good time to enter the market. Strong buyer demand and limited inventory make for improved sales conditions. Sellers should be mindful though that not all parts of the market are the same.

Please contact Michele Muir White R(S), ABR, SFR, Maui Real Estate Guru, Coldwell Banker Island Properties (808) 298.8448; for a free consultation and to discuss local market conditions.  I look forward to hearing from you.