Time and time again, Maui residents and visitors ask, “How is the real estate market doing these days?” The answer is: “Improving! Maui real estate is fairing much better than 12 months ago and certainly better than 2 years ago”. However, the absorption of the home and condo inventory has shrunk our inventory and it’s becoming difficult to find the right property for some buyers. This situation leaves the market in a bit of a quandary or transitional stage. On one hand values have dropped 30 to 50% from the peak of 2006 and yet with limited inventory it’s becoming apparent that it is no longer a true buyer’s market. Properties in more desirable areas are being absorbed and properties in the less attractive areas remaining on the market. While the average and median values as a whole are continuing to decline, within the more desirable neighborhoods, Maui oceanfront homes and luxury resort condos inventory is minimal. Eventually this should interpret to an increase in demand and property values. The other half of the quandary is “buyer perception” of the market. Buyers are holding on to the thought process that Maui real estate values are flat and are rather surprised and in resistance to grasp that some neighborhoods and sectors of the market are in demand.
Throughout Maui County, 186 properties exchanged hands in the month of August. A slight improvement from August of 2011 with 178 sales. Currently there are 1,693 homes, condos and vacant land available on the market. The inventory of active listings on the market has dropped 22% since the first week in January 2012, while the number of distressed properties available has dropped into the single digits. These figures are improved news for those considering marketing their property and should be considered a call to action for prospective buyers.