January 2011 month end stats

53 homes sold during the first month of 2011 at a median price of $507,308. This compares to 48 sold in January 2010 at a median of $464,500. This equates to a 10% increase in sales volume when comparing this January to the same time last year.

87 condos sold in January 2011 at a median price of $295,000. This compares to 75 sold in January 2010 at a median of $404,000. This represents a 16% increase in volume when compared January 2010.

9 parcels of land sold in January at a median price of $300,000. This compares to 12 sales at a median $516,300. This represents a 25% decrease in volume when compared to January 2010.

As we progess into the new year, we continue to see the impact of REO (bank owned properties) and short sales on the Maui Real Estate market. There were 48 REO closes and 11 short sale closes in January of 2011. This compares to 17 bank owned and 7 short sale closes during the same time last year. That reflects a 282% increase in bank owned closes and 57% increase in short sale closes. 47% of all home sales were REOs or short sales. 37% of all condos sales were short sales or REOs. 22% of the land sales were bank owned.

January appears to have been a fair month for sales. While land sales continue to languish, home and condo sales saw a nice little bleep above what we saw last January.  Last January, sales dipped a little from the previous months due to what I would call the tax credit hangover.

Home medians appear to be up by a healthy margin. This increase has occurred with no clear indication that home values are increasing on the island. I suggest that this is a result of increased sales activity in higher price ranges at least for the last month. The condo median for January is 27% lower than what we saw in January of last year. While it is evident that condo values have decreased over that time frame, I would surmise that the drastic shift in median is weighted heavily by more activity at lower price points in the market. There is a lot of low priced short sale and REO activity closing below $300,000, and that is trending the median lower.

Finally, the REO numbers for January were the highest we have seen to date. The fact that 42% of all home sales were bank owned is noteworthy. It is a particularly telling when you consider that only 9% of the active and pending inventory of homes is owned by banks. In other words, REO transactions are being absorbed at much higher rates than the rest of the market.

What does this all mean for buyers and sellers? Sellers might want to read the paragraph directly above twice. Bank owned properties are seeing a disproportionate share of the market. If there are a signifcant number of bank owned comparables to your market, you will need to price accordingly. Buyers are going to continue to find good opportunities in this market both among bank owned, short sale and well priced conventional inventory. That being said, buyers will also find that some of the better priced opportunities are quite competitive. Buyers may encounter bidding wars that drive sales prices above list prices.

Please contact Michele Muir White R(S), ABR, SFR, Coldwell Banker Island Properties, Wailea Gateway Office, 808.298.8448, michelewhite@hawaii.rr for your buying/selling questions, comments and particulars.