It seems like Maui had a pretty good plan and we were moving forward with business and life in paradise as semi-normal. Maui is once again awash with visitors, restaurants and attractions were able to increase capacity and live, in person school reopened. Then this stupid little delta deviant raised its ugly head and said, "not so fast." Restaurants were just reduced back to 50% occupancy from 75%. Schools were still in session earlier this week, but with the Governor's mandate that indoor gatherings cannot exceed 10 people, that could change.

We've let our guard down, dropped our masks and it seems like we have a lot more unvaccinated people than we thought. On Wednesday, August 4, Lt. Governor Josh Green, MD, announced that there were 655 new cases in Hawaii, a new single day record for the state. He said we are seeing "widespread community transmission along with clusters in groups of people that unvaccinated."

Governor Ige said in a press conference this week that businesses will remain open. Masks are going to be required indoors, but he said he didn't want to punish businesses that did all the right things, so we'll stay open. So far.

So, how's the real estate market? We're hearing from mainland markets like California, Colorado, and the East Coast that the market is slowing down. Realtors are reporting that they are seeing fewer multiple offers, listings on the market a bit longer and they are seeing a bit of new inventory. However, there is no evidence that there will be enough new inventory to impact prices, yet.

On Maui...


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

In July there were 106 single family homes sold, continuing a streak of 9 months straight with 100 plus homes sold. That looks like a record and what makes it amazing is that for the last 7 months we have averaged just 212 homes for sale on Maui at any given time. In a balanced market in order to make 100 sales, there would be 600 homes for sale. So, homes are coming on the market and moving off very quickly.

In condo sales, we saw 203 sales. We've been above 200 condos sales per month for 5 straight months. With inventory down to just 138 units, which seems unbelievable, that pace cannot be sustained.

Supply is limited and demand continues to be high.

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.

Overall pending sales are coming down slowly. We hit the high back in March, when, at one point, pending sales exceeded 900 units for a few days. Since March, pending home sales have dropped 13.5% and condos have dropped over 20%. When there are fewer pending sales in the pipeline, we would expect to being to see a decline in the number of sold properties. That could be a few months out for homes, but with the lack of inventory so severe, I'd expect to see condo sales drop more quickly.


Inventory tells us home many units are available for sale in each category.

Inventory is still the big story. That line may be getting old, but it's still true. Single family home inventory hasn't been above 206 homes for 5 of the last 6 months. And the number of sales, as noted above, have exceeded 100 homes every single month.

To put that in some historical perspective, in July 2012, another strong market, we had 76 home sales. At that time there were 525 homes for sale, 6.9 months of inventory and median selling price of $488,000.

The condo situation is just as historic. The condo business was hurt badly during the COVID shut down in 2020. Sales hit bottom in May 2020 and started to trend up, slowly at first. Inventory topped out at 743 units in August and has been on a steady decline ever since. We are down to just 138 condos for sale at the end of July. With 203 sales in July, we have about 3 weeks of inventory at that pace.

Historically 800-900 units on the market was not uncommon and we've never seen 200 sales in a month before this year. Low supply!

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 prices; 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 very low-priced sales.

At $1,927,998, the average selling price for a home on Maui is seriously flirting with $2,000,000. A year ago the average selling price was just $1,048,433. That's about an 84% increase in one year.

The median price remained over $1,000,000 for the second month in a row. One year ago the median was at $770,250, so in one year the median price has increased about 32%. Today less than half the homes on the market are priced under $1,000,000, and as of 8/11 only 20 actively listed homes are priced under last year's median of $770,250.

Condos used to be viewed as an affordable way to get into the real estate market on Maui. A fair number of people, including us, bought a condo or condos as kind of a stepping stone to get into the Maui market and eventually move here. With the average condo selling price topping $1,000,000 and the median at $724,000 that might be changing.

At one point last year, in September, the median dropped below $500,000. The current median represents a change of over 50% from last September.

Days on Market: (avg-sold listings)

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

The question on everyone's mind is, "will prices start to decline?" One of the leading indicators we noted back at the start of this newsletter was the number of days a property stays on the market, what we call days on market. The idea is that if the average time that properties remain on the market begins to increase, it is a signal that the market is slowing down.

In Maui's case the days on market for homes and condos remains fairly consistent. This combined with such low supply, evidence of high demand and selling prices increasing, I don't see a decline in prices. I do think we could see some stabilization in pricing. However, a survey of the major real estate data and service companies see prices appreciating at greater that 5% into 2023.