There were 80 residential sales for March 2012 at a median price of $432,500. That compares to 89 homes sold in March 2011 at a median of $450,000. This reflects a 10% dip in volume and a 4% dip in median prices when comparing this March to last March.
There were 128 condo sales last month at a median price of $370,000. By comparison, there were 124 condos sold at a median of $289,000. This represents a 3% increase in volume and a 28% increase in median prices for March 2012 over March 2011.
21 land sales closed at a median price of $455,000. Last March, there were 10 sales reported at a median of $517,500. This is a healthy 110% increase in sales volume and a 12% decrease in median price.
Maui’s Real Estate market continues to be impacted by the sale of REOs and Short Sales. There were 66 bank owned or short sale closes on Maui last Month. 80 homes that sold, 34 were REOs or Short Sales. This reflects 42.5% of the sales volume. 128 condos that sold, 30 were REOs or Short Sales. This is 23% of the condo sales. Of the 21 land sales that closed, 2 were REOs. There were four bankruptcy sales among the 21 closings.
Land sales volume really stands out for the month. Wondering what has driven the market resurgence and is this a sign of increasing stability in the land market? We are seeing sellers adjust their pricing to levels where they attracting buyers. There is still between 4 and 5 years worth of land inventory on the market so we have quite a ways to go before we see any dynamics in place that would substantially raise values.
The condo market produced the second most notable numbers for the month with a 28% increase in median over March 2011. This does not mean that condo values have increased 28% over the last year. The biggest reason behind the change relates to where the sales are occurring. During March of 2011, most of the sales were lower priced bank owned properties. This year, there is less bank owned inventory and tighter entry level inventory. This has led to some modest price increases for some entry level condos.
While lower priced activity has slowed due to lack of inventory, we have seen more activity in the middle ranges of the condo market. The increase in middle range sales is helping to push up medians. Buyers appear to be responding well to new development properties with 30 sales that were new developer offerings last month. Much of this new development activity is happening in the middle price ranges of the market. We are also seeing a little more activity in the middle market of the second home & vacation rental market. This is part of a national upswing on vacation rental properties & second homes. Canadian buyers continue to have an impact as currency exchange remains favorable. While the middle market has been stronger, the ultra luxury condo market is off a little over last year. There were 4 sales over $1.5M this March compared to 7 sales last March.
The dip in home sales numbers may just be a reflection of monthly variability. The Maui market appears to be making some strides to a slow recovery.We are rapidly approaching the end of peak buying season on Maui which should lead to a decrease in demand. On the other hand, inventories are tightening in some areas.
For those of you that are contemplating entering the Maui real estate market, my advice remains the same. Buyers will still be able to select from properties priced well below peak market values. The best opportunities can be competitive with multiple offers and above asking sales prices on some of the better values. With that in mind, buyer’s who need financing should take the time to get pre-approved with a local bank before submitting offers. It is best to get approval with a bank with experience lending in Hawaii. Buyers should be prepared to move quickly when they see properties that meet their needs. Sellers will still find that there is competition via lower priced REOs, short sales and motivated conventional sellers. Sellers who have the means should address deferred maintenance and other issues that could deter buyers. If you are interested in buying or selling property on Maui, contact Michele Muir White R(S), ABR, SFR, Coldwell Banker Island Properties (808) 298.8448, email: Michele.email@example.com for market knowledge, professionalism and responsive service with aloha.