I know many of you who receive my Monthly Newsletter either own a short-term (vacation) rental unit on Maui or aspire to own one in the future. As a reminder, and as defined by the County of Maui, short-term rentals are any time period less than six months. You may or may not have heard rumblings about legislation that is just now in the “discussion” stage that could change the landscape of vacation rentals on Maui in the foreseeable months for the foreseeable future.
At this time, let’s refer to them as the 800 pound gorilla(s) in the room. I use the plural because there are two separate discussions; one directed at short-term rental single-family homes and the other, much bigger issue, directed at vacation rentals of all types including condos.
Let me start with the meeting that was held this past Friday, March 6, in the County Council (legislative body) chambers. It was expected that Council members would seek testimony from the public regarding a discussion to phase out permits for single-family home vacation rentals by not renewing them (the last will expire in 2024) when they come due. Such was not the case. The meeting was more than well attended and became heated at times. At last count, there are only 229 such homes currently permitted on the entire island. A bit hard to imagine how big a problem it can really be.
A lovely vacation rental home in Wailea
Opponents, of course, of short-term rental homes (STRH) express concerns of negligent owners, late night parties, cars blocking driveways, late night parties—oh, did I already say that…? Point is, I’ve lived here for nearly 25 years and I can tell you late night parties on Maui are about as rare as a good snowfall.
County Council was very clear, though, that this is merely a discussion at this time and no bill has been drafted.
Like any complicated topic, though, there are pros and cons to support both sides. Of bigger concern is an attempt, once again, to re-classify apartment-zoned condos (in other words, not hotel zoned) that were nonetheless built to be resorts back in the 70’s and 80’s and have been used as short term rentals since their inception.
I say “once again” because every ten years or so, depending on the make-up of the County Council at a given time and their particular slant on the subject it comes up like a “bad penny”. In the past, the Realtors Association of Maui (RAM) has flexed its muscles and political clout and the whole thing fades off into the sunset for another period of years.
But it is by no means a small matter. Approximately 8,000 condo units currently operated as STR’s and zoned Apartment could be affected. Without getting into too much detail here is the basic narrative:
In the 1980’s when the Japanese economy was booming, buyers from Japan were scooping up condos and even building new ones in an effort to get into what they thought was a lucrative vacation rental market on Maui. In a very short-time, long-term rentals were virtually extinct and a housing shortage was the immediate result. So in 1989, the County Council initiated a law that would disallow all but properties that were zoned Hotel from being rented short-term.
Due to some conflicting language in the existing code the law was not passed, but two years later in 1991 the Council did pass an ordinance restricting short-term rentals for all properties built after 1991 that were not zoned “Hotel”. For about 10 years after that ordinance was passed it was largely ignored.
Then a new administration came along and basically buckled to the pressure being applied by the non-vacation rental owners who wanted the ordinance enforced. Richard Minatoya, Deputy Corporation Counsel, then wrote an opinion that negated the 1991 County Council ordinance and basically “grandfathered in” units built before March 4, 1991 and have allowed those owners to continue short-term rentals since that time. Thus we now operate under the auspices of the Minatoya Opinion. And this is what once again may be challenged.
Meanwhile, the Realtor’s Association continues to work with the County to codify the Minatoya Opinion to protect against future challenges.
With both of these “discussions” the likelihood of a bill being even drafted is extremely slim. Passage of such bills would reduce the tax base by many millions of dollars. Jobs related to the Visitor Industry would cease to exist. The County would be virtually bankrupt.
If you have questions or concerns about any of this, give me a call.
Moving right along, I will be featuring two properties every month going forward that I think are unique and/or special in their own right—one under $1 million and one over. As you may recall, I’ve been experimenting with different formats over the last few months and I hope you like this latest version.
MLS #385414—The “A” building at Makena Surf was one of the two buildings last built when the property was developed. Whereas all the other buildings were completed in 1985 using wood frame construction, the “A” and “C” buildings (1992) are concrete and offer larger floor plans than the original five. Makena Surf is one of the few properties that sits right out on the sand in south Maui with totally unobstructed access and views of the ocean. Some would consider the fact that all buildings are 3-stories high and do not include elevators as a drawback, but this ground floor unit does not present that problem. Wiggle those toes in the sand! Functional now, but with your personal touches could become a real gem! $2,488,800!!!
For more selections please visit my website at www.MauiRealtyAssociates.com and use my customizable property search option.
Click here for complete February statistics.
And my new feature, click here for Kathy Rosales’ Monthly Financial report.
DIANA ROSS IS COMING! DIANA ROSS IS COMING!
Maui does it again! Another top tier entertainer will be gracing the island for two fabulous Mother’s Day shows on May 10 and 11 at the fabulous outdoor Yokouchi Pavilion at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. The weather is rumored to be pretty fantastic in early May on Maui so an amazing evening under the stars is virtually guaranteed.
Book your trip now, and plan to pick up a couple of condos for your portfolio while you’re here!
As I mentioned last month, a whole new look and Marketing Campaign is in the works as we speak. I am chomping at the bit to roll it out, including a facelift to my website, but these things do take time. In the meantime, stay well and keep warm if you’re in the cold country--and keep Maui Dreamin'! Realtors—you know the drill; I love writing those Referral checks!
Mahalo Nui Loa!
Aloha! 🍹 (ah…those Mai-Tais!)
Sorry 49’er fans (me included) but it was a great run. Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs (from Missouri!), and let’s move on to Real Estate.
Year-end statistics for 2019 are in so here’s a quick overview:
The quick read shows median Home prices up 4% year over year from 2018, Condos up 3%, and Vacant Land up 4%. Numbers of sales were down an insignificant 2% and 3% in Homes and Condos, while dollar volume was actually up—reflecting the rise in prices across the year. For those who would like a much more in-depth report, click here. All in all, 2019 was a good, solid year for Maui Real Estate sales, with more of the same expected for 2020.
While we’re on the subject of statistics, I also receive financial market updates from a local Mortgage Broker, Kathy Rosales, twice monthly. I have been working with Kathy for some time now and find her to be astute and responsive, offering a complete portfolio of loan options from jumbo loans to no down-payment first-time homebuyer programs and everything in between. Here is a link to her most recent report. Some of the highlights include:
In a unanimous decision, the Fed left rates unchanged. They noted that the labor market remains strong, economic activity is rising at a moderate pace, job gains are solid, and unemployment remains low.
It seems like the Fed will be purchasing Treasury Bills for quite some time.
Inflation does remain muted in the reports the Fed follows closely, which is good news for fixed investments like Mortgage Bonds and the home loan rates tied to them.
Kathy’s contact information is firstname.lastname@example.org; (808) 250-2077.
As you know, I often include articles I receive from various online resources as they relate to Real Estate. One of particular interest to me crossed my desk a couple of days ago. Although it was directed to the Realtor community, it certainly has a much broader application in the everyday lives of many. Numerous studies have shown that people of all ages and all walks of life can benefit from the companionship and emotional support derived from pets.
Feeling a little burned out? Stop what you’re doing and go pet a dog or a cat.
Here are just a few ways that pets are beneficial to our lives:
Pets are good for your health. According to The Human Animal Bond Research Institute, pets are responsible for saving their owners $11.37 billion on doctor visits. From walking pets alone five times per week, owners have saved $419 million in healthcare costs, and often have lower obesity levels…Pets make you more social…A pet can bring out your personality…and more! Click here to read the full article.
So, I have had pets most of my life—dogs mostly until I reached mid-life, and cats since then. They’ve always been there, I’ve always loved and cared for them, I’ve always mourned their passing. I’m pleased to say that our Maui Humane Society is a “no kill” facility, meaning that no animal that is not a danger to the community is euthanized.
Of course, this requires much support from the community, providing homes for the animals and financial assistance to help support the non-profit. It all started for me some years ago when I began making an annual donation. Then I made donations on behalf of my children’s and grandchildren’s birthdays instead of giving them gifts, which they all greatly appreciated. Then MHS became my designated non-profit for my Amazon Prime smile.amazon donations. Recently I became a monthly donor, and now I’m working on a whole new branding for my business as the “Pet Friendly” Realtor. I’m very excited about this and hope to be able to introduce my plan to the marketplace within the next 30-60 days. This will be a significant benefit to the Maui Humane Society and give me a great deal of personal satisfaction.
Here’s a look at some great homes and condos for all of you out there who are still “Maui Dreamin’”:
OV* This one is really special; be sure to take a look!
Here’s some important information for those of you with short-term rental (less than six months) properties on Maui:
New vacation rental fines for unpermitted transient vacation rentals on Maui took effect on Dec. 27, 2019.
Section 13-10 of the County Charter was updated after the 2018 election, to specifically state, “the penalty for the operation of a transient accommodation without a necessary permit shall not exceed a civil fine of $20,000 plus $10,000 per day for each day the unlawful operation persists, unless a higher fine is authorized by State law.”
The prior version of the Charter limited penalties to $1,000 initial and $1,000 per day.
These new fines are primarily directed at residential properties that do not have B & B permits or zoning for short-term rentals. If you have questions regarding compliance for these or any other vacation rental properties on Maui, feel free to give me a call.
As always, mahalo for following my Monthly Newsletter. I look forward to the day the rubber actually hits the road and I can take you out in my swanky Subaru Outback to find the perfect Maui property for you. And Realtors—let’s kick the year off with a nice Referral Fee, yes?
Until next month, a hui hou!
Mahalo Nui Loa!
Yes, a slightly new look for the new decade. I hope the emoji doesn’t cause this to go into your spam folder!
A new year always presents with great expectations and high hopes, and a new decade even more so. Of course, few of us were around for the Roaring 20’s of the 20 th Century, but now we have the opportunity to make our own Roaring 20’s. In spite of itself at times, the economy remains strong and the stock market has embellished many a 401K or private portfolio. Whereas there were some indicators in the 4 th quarter of last year that Real Estate sales were wavering, early predictions for 2020 would have one believing otherwise.
Here is an article from one of the many feeds I get in my inbox almost daily that I found interesting. A quick overview may pique your curiosity—opinions pro and con:
Home-Building —Although homebuilders remain optimistic, housing starts may not keep up with demand due to shrinking inventories of existing homes. Predictions range from 4%-10.6% comparing year-over-year home starts from 2019.
Home Prices —After a brief lull, home prices are expected to increase in 2020, with predictions ranging from a high of 3.6% to a low of .8%. Zillow came in at 2.8% to 2.5%.
Home Sales —Despite continued low mortgage rates with the possibility of them dropping even lower during 2020, buyers will continue to grapple with limited options (like you really have to qualify for a loan now!). Home sales inched up by 2.7% last year with more of the same expected for this year.
Markets to Watch —“Top ten markets to watch” see Charleston, SC and Charlotte, NC topping the list of hot markets with Raleigh-Durham, NC and Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL coming in at 9 and 10.
For that and more, including Mortgage Rates, Odds of a Recession, “Takeaways”, and comments from some of the top Real Estate Economists from around the nation click here .
And as a side note, please keep in mind that these are national statistics and Hawaii/Maui don’t necessarily “run with the crowd”, so to speak. Further into the body of this Newsletter you will find statistics specific to Maui, and I will be keeping you updated on trends in Maui throughout the year.
Here are some of my top picks going into the new year with something for every budget:
MLS #385553 $464,900 1BR/1BA OV (Pending)
MLS #384565 $550,000 1BR/1BA OV
MLS #385144 $589,000 1BR/2BA OV
MLS #384168 $699,000 2BR/2BA OV
MLS #385304 $879,900 1BR/1BA OV
MLS #385021 $899,000 2BR/1BA OV
OV = Ocean View
MLS #385524 $1,174,000 1BR/1BA OV
MLS #383908 $1,475,000 3BR/2BA OV
MLS #384330 $1,595,000 2BR/2BA OV
MLS #385414 $2,488,800 2BR/2BA OV
MLS #384423 $2,900,000 3BR/3.5BA OV
MLS #380427 $3,825,000 3BR/3.5BA OV
MLS #385188 $1,378,000 4BR/4BA OV
MLS #385403 $1,898,000 4BR/3,5BA
MLS #385214 $3,650,000 3BR/3.5BA
MLS #383405 $12,900,000 3BR/3.5BA
MLS #385437 $27,498,000 4BR/5.5BA OV
As you know, I always like to close with a little Maui lifestyle. On March 29 th , the iconic duo of Daryl Hall and John Oates ( Hall and Oates ) will be performing at the Yokouchi Pavilion--our 5,000 seat outdoor stadium—in what will be a bit of a reunion show for them. In addition to numerous #1 hit records, the Record Industry Association of America recognized Daryl Hall and John Oates as the #1 selling duo in music history, a record they still hold today. There’s nothing like a concert under the stars on a balmy evening in Maui!
In parting, I would like to mention that many of you have probably heard about the spate of fires we suffered here on the island this past year. Like many places worldwide, warmer temperatures and drier weather contributed to these incidents. But due to a number of factors, damage was minimal—confined primarily to open areas with dry brush and a fire department that responded quickly.
Again, I hope 2020 is a fabulous year in every way for you and yours. Let’s all do our share to make it happen! And as always, thank you for following my Monthly Newsletter!
Mahalo Nui Loa!