As many of you know, I take great pride for continually being able to come up with new, and I hope at least somewhat interesting, topics for my Monthly Newsletter after all these many years. Well, this month I have “hit the wall”.
What I have been saving for this month is an article I found interesting in RIS Media, one of the resources I follow for real estate news. Like many others, I am interested in the big picture and what the experts are predicting in the way of trends. RIS Media solicits opinions from a group of 500 of the largest brokerages in the U.S. whom they refer to as the “Power Brokers”.
Without belaboring the point, the short answer/consensus seems to be a state of homeostasis, or balance, in the marketplace. The link below will take you to the full article, but this quote sums it up pretty well if you’re not motivated to read the whole article:
"I think 2019 will be a year of pause," says Pat Riley, CEO of Allen Tate Companies. "For us, builders are still way behind demand, appreciation rates are sliding back to normalcy, days on market are increasing, boomers are squatting, and first-time homebuyers are having a tough time getting out of their leases financially. What this all adds up to is an adjusting market, which means cautious optimism and a return from a seller's market to a balanced market."
Click Here for Power Brokers article.
Of course, real estate sales and stats in Maui do not necessarily follow national trends. And sample sizes here are relatively small so it’s difficult to identify trends on a month-to month basis. For the past couple of months I have been sensing just a bit of a slowdown in activity, and now to start the month of April things have gone crazy again! Pending sales have increased rather dramatically. Now that the weather is getting a little warmer on the continent, visitors are starting to head back home and it’s as if they wanted to take a piece of Maui Real Estate with them. And I don’t mean just sand from the beach (which is a no-no anyway)!
Click Here for complete March statistics.
For the last several months, a higher percentage of buyers seem to be looking for single-family homes rather than condos. Predictions for many years have suggested that baby-boomers would begin looking for retirement nests in warm-weather places like Maui, and Gen X, Y, (no Z?) and even some millennials seem to be following suit. To honor all these homeseekers, this month’s Featured Properties will offer some savory choices.
MLS #380434—this elegant, high-fashion Wailea-style home with swimming pool will impress even the most discriminating buyer. Easy care bamboo and wooden floors throughout and even your own private media room says “come buy me quick before somebody else does!”
MLS #380972—This stunning custom-built plantation style oceanfront home with a 3,751 sq. ft. interior on a 10,000 sq. ft. parcel features 16’ tall Fleetwood receding doors that open up to a large poolside seating area for the ultimate in Hawaiiana lifestyle. The 1BR/1BA attached ohana creates caretaker or rental income options for its lucky owner. $4,175,000!!!
MLS #380107—I guess a 5,468 sq. ft. home on a ½ acre+ lot in one of Maui’s most exclusive oceanfront neighborhoods would impress everyone except your housekeeper! Wiggle your toes in the sand with beverage in hand and enjoy year ‘round sunsets and visits from our iconic Humpback whales from December through March. Reduced to $9,800,000!!!
Getting back to my original premise at the beginning of this Newsletter, this is where I like to share upcoming Art and/or Cultural events on Maui—Concerts, Film Festivals, even some dining tips. I often source Maui Time entertainment news (MauiTime.com) for my inspiration, but even that cupboard is relatively bare this month. Geesh. But while searching options, I did come across an unsettling review of the remake of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. If you like scary movies and /or Stephen King, check this out.
On that note, mahalo again for taking a moment to read my Newsletter, and I look forward to sharing with you again next month!
A hui hou,
Brrrrrr…a cold and windy day here on Maui, perfect for writing my Monthly Newsletter. Of course, when I say “cold” it’s actually 73 degrees at 10 am, but with our strong Maui winds that visit us from time to time there’s actually a little chill in the air.
As I mentioned last month—more of a prediction if you will—there’s just a touch of “chill” in our Real Estate market. Nothing really even quantifiable at this point, and could be just a blip on the radar screen, but I’m seeing more and more price reductions in my inbox every morning. Good news is, once these price adjustments are made escrows are being opened soon after, so there is no lack of buyer interest. One interpretation could be that serious sellers are reducing their expectations to get their properties sold while the island is still buzzing with visitors from the frozen tundras. Perhaps there’s a good deal out there for you!
Those of you who have followed my Newsletter over the years know that I’m inclined to share not just real estate information but lots of Maui lifestyle, as well. From rock concerts to farmer’s markets; yoga classes to ocean activities; fine dining to Maui brewed beers, I hope to make this beautiful island ever-more appealing to prospective buyers. One of the most significant lifestyle, life-changing events to occur on this island in the past 150 years took place this past November.
After nearly two years of Alexander and Baldwin’s (A & B) sugarcane fields lying fallow, a joint venture between California based Pomona Farming and a Canadian Pension Fund purchased 56,000 acres of combined sugar land and watershed from A & B at a cost of $262 million. A major portion of this land—approximately 41,000 acres—had been dedicated to sugarcane farming throughout Maui’s central valley.
For weeks conjecture swirled amongst the community as to the intended use of this land, i.e. retain it as Ag land or sub-divide and build homes. Ultimately it became clear that the new owner’s group aptly named Mahi Pono* plan to retain the 41,000 acres as Ag land to grow food for the community. Some of their plans include preparing the soil for organic farming and leasing small plots to local farmers to grow their own crops.
For more details about plans for this property, including a great Q & A session with General Manager Larry Nixon, click here
* Mahi—Hawaiian name was given to baby girls meaning The Great; Earth Goddess.
* Pono—righteousness, morality, goodness, excellence—one of my favorite Hawaiian words!
Stepping back to look at the bigger picture, Maui County is considered one of the most progressive Green communities in the country with a goal of total sustainability within the next 20-30 years. More wind turbines are being located around the island and the rooftops of more and more residential and commercial properties are adorned with photovoltaic solar panels. I know I enjoy getting my $20 electric bill from Maui Electric every month to run a 4-bedroom 2-story home, thanks to my rooftop panels! Maui No Ka Oi!
With all that, I will forego Featured Properties this month and simply tout a couple of my personal listings that need attention:
For starters, my 1BR/2BA at Wailea Ekahi has gone from a good buy to a great buy with a recent price reduction to $799,000. Video; MLS #379474
Next, a stunning 2BR/2BA ocean view unit at the Mana Kai in south Kihei Video; MLS #380730
And last but not least, a cute-as-heck 1BR/1BA vacation rental condo in south Kihei with a modest ocean view and good rental history that will be coming back online in mid-April priced in the mid $400,000’s.
Unfortunately, I must end this month’s Newsletter on a sad note. After 40 years of serving Makawao and Upcountry residents and visitors, the iconic Makawao Steak House has closed.
My personal pleasant memories of this restaurant go back to 1992 when I first moved to Maui from Oahu. I had rented a house in Makawao with my teen-aged daughter and it was definitely the community meeting place, with its self-serve salad bar and juicy rib-eye steaks. One could enjoy a great meal and glass of wine in a friendly paniolo-style atmosphere. May you R.I.P., Makawao Steak House.
That’s a wrap for the March Newsletter! I always look forward to your feedback, and I look forward even more to helping you find that perfect Maui property some day.
Ok—the Super Bowl is over so let the New Year begin! Real Estate activity continues at a fairly torrid pace here on Maui, fueled by perhaps our busiest visitor season of all time. If the amount of traffic, long lines at supermarket check stands, lack of parking spaces at Costco are any indication, I’d say it’s pretty much a given. The entry level of our market (condos under $500,000) is experiencing a near feeding-frenzy with Days on Market before going into escrow often fewer than ten! Mid-range and higher-end properties are getting lots of attention, as well. Please click these links if you would like to read a couple of articles that consider the market in general (not just Maui) continuing through 2019:
Although I pay close attention to statistics and try my best to anticipate trends, I must say that my intuition has served me well many times in the past. In spite of what I see now—a strong seller’s market—the word “caution” is front and center in my thinking. Not a lot of caution; just a little. No doubt our sales numbers for the 1st quarter will be strong, and the 2nd quarter will benefit from closings that were contracted in the first quarter. More to the point, if you’re anticipating buying Maui Real Estate this year, you may want to wait until 3rd or 4th quarter. By then, activity will have likely slowed, and sellers may be a little more negotiable. On the other hand, as I’ve said many times before, the best time to buy is when it’s best for you.
As always, there is no shortage of fabulous properties to give special attention to, so here is a potpourri of Featured Properties for your viewing pleasure:
MLS #381154—Polo Beach Club remains unique in its proximity to the ocean—truly a “toes in the sand” property. This 7th-floor unit has undergone a recent exciting new remodel—light, bright, open and airy to the max. Please don’t consider this property if hearing the waves gently roll up to the sandy beach at night will disturb your sleep…$2,395,000!!!
MLS #377350—If the ultimate in location and luxury sounds just about right to you, then this stunning 5th-floor Penthouse unit at the prestigious Wailea Beach Villas will be perfect! Renowned for its on-site amenities and fronting the Shops at Wailea, unforgettable sunsets will greet your day’s end and gourmet dining is a short walk away. $4,500,000!!!
MLS #380695—Prefer the cozy comfort of owning your own home in a gated community? Look no further than this glamorously remodeled custom home in Wailea Golf Vistas for impeccable quality and design. With nearly 3,000 sq. ft. and 3BR/3.5BA under roof living will be easy and breezy. $2,989,880!!!
MLS #380079—Were you a Leg-O’s fan as a kid? Well, here’s your chance to design/build a prestigious home on nearly ½ acre in the highly coveted Wailea Highlands community. Homes in this gated enclave have historically sold in the $5-$10 million price range, so this luxury building site should pencil out pretty well at $1,689,880!!!
Click here for January statistics
No question Maui is a mecca for healthy lifestyle advocates. Our year-round beautiful weather offers endless opportunities for ocean sports, hiking, biking, golf, tennis, and more. Here’s a nice little piece about four entrepreneurial local women who have followed their dream and are now anxious to share their passion for health and fitness with one and all:
Maui is a vortex for yoga, water sports, and other body-first training movements. With our year-round tropical weather, people can take advantage of the outdoors for a healthy lifestyle. Here are four women on the island who are offering Maui their own slice of fitness and health.
And for the less ambitious fitness addict, there are plenty of South Maui restaurants with opulent wine lists that can help you burn a few calories by raising and lowering that glass.
Mahalo, as always, for checking in with my Monthly Newsletter. I must admit, some month’s it is a bit challenging, after so many years, to keep this newsletter fresh and read-worthy. If any of you have suggestions—things you’d like to see (or not see, for that matter…other than my picture), please feel free to share your thoughts.
Mahalo nui loa,