By HARRY EAGAR, Staff Writer
WAILUKU – It might be hard to persuade anyone that there is a national housing meltdown when the
Multiple Listing Service offers deals on Maui like this:
“Two bedroom, 1 bath older home on a small lot that is zoned industrial – access to property is by
footpath only. Being sold as-is – fixer upper. $200,000.”
The aggregate statistics for the third-quarter of 2008 released by the Realtors Association of Maui on
Thursday also do not portray a cratering housing market.
True, the number of transactions for the first nine months of the year is down by about one quarter, but
prices received for houses and condominiums that do sell are holding up.
For single-family houses, the median price this year is $594,500. That is down $44,000 from last year,
but is only a 7 percent decline, compared to hard-hit areas of the Mainland where prices are down 15
percent, 20 percent and in some neighborhoods much more.
Average prices for single-family properties are down by the same percentage, but since Maui’s average
was so high last year, $945,000, the fall as measured in dollars is $70,000, down to $876,615.
Condos averaged $783,000 last year and are up 21 percent to $947,000 this year, but thousands of Maui
condos are not in the million-dollar class.
The biggest concentration of middle-class condos is in Kihei, where the average is up 9 percent this year
The median for condo units, the point where half sold for more, half for less, is up 7 percent, to $570,000
countywide, although only 5 percent to $415,000 in Kihei.
The most expensive condos are in Wailea-Makena, averaging $2,184,013 this year, which is up an
impressive 37 percent, but that may reflect the late recording of sales contracts that were inked for new
construction years ago.
Still, there is little sign that the South Maui luxury condo market is swooning. The number closing this
year is 160, only 16 fewer than in the first three quarters of 2007.
As a resort, Wailea is an outlier, commanding room rates almost a third higher than any other luxury
resort in the state. It may be an outlier in luxury condominiums as well.
The average condo sales price in Kaanapali this year is off 18 percent to $1,164,364, and the average in
Kapalua is down 30 percent to $1,070,794.
In Kaanapali, the number of closings has fallen from 45 to 33, and at Kapalua from 27 to 17.
Lanai is also a market unto itself, where there were only two transactions, but for nearly $2 million on
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POSTED: October 10, 2008
Although prices received are waffling around what sellers received last year (which was down from 2006),
the smaller number of transactions means the aggregate value of the turnovers is well down.
The total of condo transactions this year (672 closings compared with 916 at this point last year) is down
by $80 million to $637 million.
The number of single-family closings is down from 893 a year ago to 706, and the aggregate transactions
are off $226 million to $619 million.
Notice that the number of single-family closings topped the number of condo closings. That is a dramatic
change from any year before 2006. when the number of condo sales was often nearly double the number
of single-family sales.
The number of days on market is also down sharply from last year. In 2007, it ranged between 74 and
131 for single-family and between 73 and 115 days for condos.
This year, the wait has been between 57 and 95 days for house sellers, 48 and 95 days for condo sellers.
Terry Tolman, the chief staff executive of the association, said that the drop in days on market shows that
“properties priced right will sell in a reasonable time frame.”
He also noted that the number of active listings “has grown considerably in the last 12 months,” though
the rise has leveled off recently.
Active condo listings this month are up to 1,600, compared with 1,283 in October 2007. Active singlefamily
listings are 1,114, up from 1,016 a year before.
Tolman said median prices in September were down across the board, which might be because buyers are
now not able to qualify for as much or because sellers are willing to accept lower offers.
* Harry Eagar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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