Feb. 16, 2021
Aloha all, February on Maui is the same as always, but different. I'm finding it interesting that I'm still being asked by many folks if Maui is open. Some have even told me that they are not coming over, "because nothing is open". Most of the restaurants are open. Occupancy of up to 30% is allowed and most are open air. Many of the tours and attractions are open as well.
February is the best month for whales, and this year has not been disappointing in the least. We were just out on Pac-Whale and happened across the largest competition pod I've ever seen. In case you don't know what a comp-pod is, it's sort of like a barroom brawl at closing time. It consists of one female and, in this case 8-10 males, all fighting for the dominant position, on the off chance the female has any interest in the winner. Our captain spotted them about halfway through our whale watch and we followed them until it was time to head back to the harbor.
We also strolled down Front Street on Friday night "Art Night". Yes, the galleries are open, and some had musicians playing inside. Masks and hand sanitizer are required at the door, and they are not handing out cheese and wine, but they are open and ready.
Front Street itself was less busy than it was over the holidays in December, but stores are still open and most people are wearing mask.
Maui is ready for you, whenever you are ready for Maui.
And what's happening in real estate? Let's look at the numbers.
Sales are the number of properties that actually closed escrow. These properties likely went under contract anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks before closing.
Singe family home sales are defying gravity or something similar. As our inventory levels hit another record low and prices continue to climb, sales still hit 100 homes. Oh, and almost half of the 100 purchases, 48 to be exact, were cash sales. More about prices and inventory to follow in the report.
Condo sales for the month were down compared to December, and this January has 12 fewer sales than last January. About half the sales were vacation rental units or condo-tels. A lot of us expected that sales of condo-tels would drop and prices would soften due to the lack of visitors which would reduce rental income. However, prices seem to be holding up.
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.
Total pendings soared. They hit 674 at the end of the month and at this writing are already up to 764 and seem to be climbing. New contracts on single family homes held pretty steady. We'll discuss inventory later in the report.
The number of condos in the pending sales category jumped from 214, already a strong number, to 314. That's a 50% increase. So, despite the lower mont to month sales pace, condo sales are staying strong.
Inventory tells us how many units are available for sale in each category.
The number of homes for sales on Maui continued to fall in January. With just 253 homes for sale and the rate of sales still running at 100 or more per month, we're just plain and simple running out of houses. Further, of the houses for sale only about 1/3 of them are priced at or below the median selling price. And with the median selling price all the way up to $989,500, well that's not in the affordable range for the average buyer.
Although condo inventory has dropped every month since August, which was also at its peak for 2020, there was a huge drop in January. Even with a 100 unit drop, 577 condos for sale still topped the number for sale last January by, oddly enough, 100 units. At the current pace of sales we have only 5 months of condo inventory.
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 very low-priced sales.
As I noted earlier, the median selling price for homes is all the way up to $989,500. The average selling price of a home on Maui is over $1.5 million. Between high demand, low supply and cheap money, I don't see any slowdown in the near future. And at the current price points, and current income levels on Maui, I don't see how it can continue either.
Days on Market:
The days on market (DOM) is the number of days a property has been on the market until close of escrow.
The days on market stat seems to be returning to what I think of as normal for Maui. The 142 days on market is a bit quick for condos, but the timeframe has been even shorter in some months.
Thanks for reading. We're really looking forward to a healthy 2021 and getting folks back on Maui. Be well, stay safe and we'd love to hear from you anytime.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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), 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.