Wow, what a month! March started off with some guests arriving on Maui at a slow, steadily increasing rate, and then - BOOM! It suddenly felt like 2019 again, and as it turns out, a report today says there were actually more arrivals on Maui in the final week this month that in 2019. It was noticeable by the number of people on Front Street, the people on the beaches, and the challenge of getting into a restaurant or even getting a reservation. Most of the restaurants are open, and the available reservation times were either very early or very late. There are some restaurants that are closed now, but we are hoping they will be opening soon under different ownership.

Our granddaughter came to visit, and she loves Honu. When we tried to get a reservation, the times were either 2:30 or 8:00pm. And since she likes Art Night on Friday's in Lahaina, we checked out the action on the street. There were lines out the doors of the popular eating and drinking establishments. Most notably among them was Down the Hatch.

And traffic? That was back too. However, even as heavy as it was, it could have been heavier. You see, they ran out of rental cars at our spiffy new rental car complex at the airport with its fancy trolley car (shortest trolley ride ever!). That was great for the taxis and Uber drivers, but even they have been in short supply.

And what happens next for all you off island guests? Well, there are 2 stores of interest. One is that even though you are supposed to have a negative COVID test to come to Maui, some don't. So the Mayor is proposing a program requiring that, upon arrival, you will have to get in line and get a "rapid COVID" test at the airport. The other story is that the Governor is proposing implementation of a vaccine passport program. Is there a potential clash of programs on the horizon? Stay tuned.

So, how's Maui real estate doing in the midst of all this visitor activity? Let me tell you.

Sales

Sales are the number of properties that actually closed escrow. These are properties that likely went under contract anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks before closing.

We are constantly amazed at the pace of sales for homes and condos in light of the inventory situation which continues to be a challenge. The number of sales for homes and condos has continued to increase at the same time that prices have increased, and the number of escrows is soaring to a level never seen before.

Pending Sales:

Pending sales represent properties that are under contract but have not yet closed. Pendings are the pipeline that tell us how many sales are likely to happen in the next couple of months.

The number of escrows on Maui has put a strain on all the title and escrow companies, lenders, and other service providers needed to get sales closed. The level of activity is unprecedented and has created a backlog with buyers and sellers frustrated, in many cases with delayed closings.

Inventory:

Inventory tells us how many units are available for sale in each category, not including properties already in escrow. While new listings continue to come to market, the new listings cannot keep pace with the continued demand for homes and condos. At the current pace, we have less than 2 months of active inventory. We continue to see multiple offers on properties on the first days of listing in many cases.

Existing home seller and new construction activity are below levels necessary to bring the market back into balance, and the buyer demand in coming months is expected to continue. While homebuilders are working to increase their activity, backlogged supply chain issues have increased construction costs significantly.

Selling Prices: average and median sold prices

We look at Average and Median prices in all categories. A lot of people like to know the average price; however, we tend to use median for most of our analysis, because the median is less likely to be skewed by outliers of a few very high priced or low priced sales.

On a year-to-date basis, average home prices have increased 54.2%, while median home prices have increased 23.6%. Year-to-date condo prices have increased 22.9% on average with a median increase of 7.9%. Average home prices for the last four months have hovered well above $1.5 million, while median home prices have ranged from $865,000 to $989,500. Average condo prices have ranged from the low $800 thousands to almost $1 million, while median condo prices have ranged from a little over $550K to $645K in March.

Days on Market

The days on market (DOM) is the number of days a property has been on the market until close of escrow.

Average days on market for homes sold has fallen from the 160's in early 2020 to 117. The last time the days on market for homes was this low was in the spring of 2019.

While the days on market increased a bit for condos sold, it's probably a function of increased demand and confidence in COVID restrictions being lifted, resulting in properties being sold that had been listed since before COVID, in addition to delays due to backlog in escrows. The majority of condo sales in March were short term rental properties in West and South Maui.

Thanks for reading, see you next month and feel free to pass this along to any friends looking for real estate information on Maui.

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Get more information and details

To get more information on property and trends, you can search all properties listed for sale at www.AlohaGroupMaui.com.  If you can’t find what you’re looking for there, send us an email to lee@alohapotts.com, and we’ll do our best to get an answer for you.  As we get more requests for information, we’ll add new sections to the website, newsletter or both.

 

About Aloha Group Maui

Aloha Group Maui was founded by L. Lee Potts, MBA, REALTOR® R(B) and Barbara S. Potts, MBA, REALTOR® R(B) and former California CPA. Our team consists of talented professionals; Cheri Miller R(S), Beau Dyer R(B), Angie Liu R(S), Suni Novotny R(S), Keri Nicholson R(S), Myra Plant R(S), Paul Goodman R(B), Jamie Martin R(S), Anthony Freda R(S), Courtney Stice, R(S), and Tony Brown R(B). We are businesspeople, and we treat our clients with the same care and service attitude that we would like to receive when we do business.  We are in business for pleasure and profit.  We expect that most of our clients will enjoy the property they own in Maui (pleasure), and it would be nice for everyone if your property performs well for you (profit).  Real estate can be highly speculative, and profits are never guaranteed.  So if you are buying property in Maui, it’s a good idea to surround yourself with a professional team.

 

Lee Potts is the former President of an international software company and former Marketing VP of a publicly traded franchise organization.  Lee and Barbara are both licensed under Keller Williams Realty Maui.  

 

Barbara Potts was a CPA with Ernst and Young before joining Apple Computer back when both Steve’s were there (Jobs and Woz).  She was also Director of Strategic Marketing for Grass Valley Group, a division of Tektronix, and a business broker in California.

 

Copyright 2021 L. Lee Potts

Statistical information in this newsletter is based on actual sales information reported to the Realtors Association of Maui, Inc.  While this information is deemed reliable, it is not guaranteed.  This newsletter is for informational purposes only and not intended as advice for investment or any other purposes.  Real estate is considered to be highly volatile, and purchasers and sellers of real estate should always seek expert outside advice before investing.