January 2011 Real Estate 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 price of $464,500. This is a 10% increase in sales volume when compared to January 2010.

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 is a 16% increase in volume when compared to January 2010.

9 parcels of land sold in Maui County this January at a median price of $300,000. That compares to 12 sales at a median $516,300. This constitutes a 25% decrease in volume from January 2010.

As we progress 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 translates to 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% percent of all condos were short sales or REOs. 22% percent of  land transactions were bank owned.

Judging from the numbers above, 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. Part of it may stem from increased buyer activity. Another component may be attributed to the varying impacts of the first time home buyer tax credit.

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 clear that condo values have decreased over that time frame, the drastic shift in median is weighted heavily by more activity at lower price points in the market. There is substatial low priced short sale and REO activity below $300,000, and that is what is moving the median lower.

REO numbers for January were the highest I have seen to date. The fact that 42% of all home sales were bank owned is noteworthy. It is a particularly impressive number when you consider that only 9% of the active and pending inventory is bank owned. Put simply, REO transactions are being absorbed at much higher rates than the rest of the market.

So what does this information mean for you buyers and sellers? Sellers might want to read the paragraph directly above twice. Bank owned properties are seeing a disproportionate share of the current buyers on the market. If there are a lot of bank owned homes comparable to your property on the market, you will need to price it 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. You may also encouner bidding wars that drive property sales prices above list price. Please contact Michele Muir White R(S), ABR, SFR, Coldell Banker Island Properties, Wailea Gateway Office, 808.298.8448, michelewhite@hawaii.rr.com for  questions, information or assistance with buying and selling Maui Real Estate.