One of the recent news items that impacts Real Estate is the announcement that the Feds are cutting interest rates to as low as 2%. Sighting “sagging business confidence, concern about trade disputes and tariffs, and slower economic growth” the move was made in an effort to get out in front of a possible recession.
Surprisingly, The Fed has not cut interest rates since 2008 (seems like just yesterday). Mike Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association says, “The statement signaled that the Fed will continue to be data dependent, and that this cut does not lock them into a path of future rate cuts—but we expect they will cut rates once more this year and once in 2020.”
Of course, lowering the cost of money can be a boon to big corporations and businesses, but oftentimes has little if any effect on mortgage rates. In fact, the current 30-year fixed rate of 3.75% remains unchanged. That could change in the future but not likely. Your interest-earning accounts may suffer a bit, though.
To read the article in its entirety, click here .
And while we’re on the subject of economic news as it relates to Real Estate, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic/Case-Shiller indices rise in home prices slipped just slightly year-over-year from April’s 3.5% to 3.4% in May. Indeed, not a significant difference, but the increase in the country’s 20 major markets was a softer 2.4%. Nuances from city to city can be significant though, as Atlanta and Las Vegas, for instance are chugging along at 4.7% and 6.4% respectively.
Perhaps most unexpectedly, Seattle experienced the first negative year-over-year change reported in a major city in many years. Could this be a trend that will spread to other cities?
Not likely. “The U.S. housing market cooldown continued in May, signaling the longest period of price growth anemia since the Great Recession,” says Ralph McLaughlin, deputy chief economist and executive of Research and Insights at CoreLogic. “However, coupled with the recent drop in mortgage rates and incomes rising faster than inflation, the transition to a more balanced market should allow the industry to enter a period of sustainability into the foreseeable future.” In other words, nothing to worry about quite yet.
To read the entire article and see where your city ranks among the top 20, click here .
Let’s get a little closer to home (my home) and take a look at some Featured Properties for August. In case you missed last month’s Newsletter, this new format allows you to peruse more offerings and in categories more specific to what you may be interested in. Please enjoy the following selections in Vacation Rental Condos over and under $1 million, and Single family Homes over and under $1 million. As always, if you have something specific in mind, don’t hesitate to ask.
Vacation Rental Condos under $1 million
Vacation Rental Condos over $1 million
Single Family Homes under $1 million
Single Family Homes over $1 million
Click here for complete July statistics
We are getting our fun summer weather here on Maui and the first two “Tropical Storms” large enough to get named just passed us by, one to the south, one to the north. Always a little stressful these times of year but land masses (islands) above and below seem to keep Mother Maui well protected. I will be heading to sunny (and HOT!) Scottsdale next week to help celebrate my best friend’s mom’s 104th birthday. I think of her as my Hanai mom—a term in Hawaiian that means “adopted” of sorts—not of blood but a special kindred spirit. She is truly an amazing woman. The Personal Trainer she sees three times a week would no doubt agree.
Mahalo for checking in on my Monthly Newsletter, and may your days be warm and your nights cool.
A hui hou,
Honestly, there is just not much to report in the way of Real Estate news this month on Maui. It is midsummer, families with school age kids are taking advantage of our warm sunny weather and flocking to the beaches, and Real Estate sales take somewhat of a backseat for the next couple of months. I hosted an Open House yesterday and nobody came!
There are some fun things coming up on the island in the near future, though, highlighted by a post goodbye-nation-wide-tour concert from Paul Simon. Paul has joined the ranks of many other celebrities—mostly musicians—who call Maui their home either full or part-time. Names like Steven Tyler, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Dave Mason, Michael McDonald, Alice Cooper, Mick Fleetwood, and Carlos Santana come to mind, along with actors Clint Eastwood, Owen Wilson, and Woody Harrelson to name a few. From time to time, any one of these artists is likely to do an impromptu and special performance for the residents of Maui. And, yes, lucky visitors are welcome as well!
While Paul has indicated his touring days are over, he will continue to perform on a limited basis for causes that he supports. On the nights of August 13 and 14 he will be doing shows here and donating all proceeds to the Auwahi Forest Restoration Project and Kua’aina Ulu’Auamo (KUA)—both committed to preserving natural and cultural resources.
In addition, one of my all-time favorite musicals—Mamma Mia—will be performed by our excellent theater troupe Maui OnStage beginning this Friday night, July 12, and running every weekend until August 4. I have mentioned many times in the past that for a small island our Performing Arts talent goes above and beyond, and the musical productions are always outstanding. If you’ve seen the show (or movie) before, and/or are old enough to remember the iconic group Abba, you know this will be a fun evening of music and dance.
As some of you may recall, I have been posting my Monthly Newsletter faithfully every month now since April, 2003. Part of my format has always been to feature a handful of properties that I felt were at least above average for value, upgrades, location, etc. Sometimes I would feature vacation rental condos, or single family homes, new projects, or occasionally vacant land. Realizing that not everyone is interested in all of those categories, I have decided to offer links to Featured Properties in categories so you can choose your pleasure and only take the information you want from this Newsletter. Your feedback on this new concept would be greatly appreciated!
Vacation Rental (income) Condos over $1,000,000
Single Family Homes under $1,000,000
Single Family Homes over $1,000,000
As always, I am happy to customize a search just for you to get as specific as possible. The more detail you can give me, the better the search criteria will be.
Click Here for complete June statistics
No question Maui is experiencing climate change over the past few years, whether you believe it is the work of Mother Nature or the work of mankind. Whereas summer temperatures used to hover in the high 80’s to low 90’s, mid 90’s has now become the norm. Nonetheless, you can’t beat the sunsets and the cooling tradewinds that still grace us as the sun goes down. So bring lots of sunscreen, rent a car with A/C, and enjoy one of the greatest vacation destination spots in the world. Mahalo for following my Monthly Newsletter.
A hui hou! (‘til we meet again)
The focus of my Newsletter has always been geared more towards buyers than sellers. That stems from the fact that my data base is primarily derived from prospective buyers to whom I have shown property over the years or have somehow indicated an interest in owning Maui Real Estate someday. It occurs to me, though, that often time’s buyers have to be sellers before they can be buyers.
A recent analysis by ATTOM Data Solutions—a multi-sourced national property data warehouse for over 155 million US properties—reports that 19 of the 20 best days to sell a house all year occur in May and June. The majority of those days fall in June, so there’s still time!
Not only are the most home sales recorded in June, but the median price point is the highest, as well. And, as a point in fact, I seem to be meeting with more and more buyers who are looking to relocate to Maui—not just a second home. Perhaps this is a timely bit of information for you.
We often speak of median home prices as the yardstick by which to measure current market conditions. Again, “median” is different than “average” in that it represents the price point right in the middle of all sales based on the price of the home or condo in the exact middle of all sales. In other words, if 99 homes sold, the price of home #50 would become the median price point. Statistically, the “average” is usually not far removed from the median price, for what it’s worth. In either case, factors such as sample size, numerous sales in a high or low end subdivision, or one or two homes at the very top of the market can skew these numbers.
I mention all this because our median home price recently passed the $800,000 mark for the first time. While month-over-month, or even year-over-year statistics can be somewhat misleading, one can look back over the past several years on Maui to 2010/2011 to see a steady, consistent increase in median home prices. Point is, unless something unforeseen occurs, the longer you wait, the more you will likely have to pay to own Maui Real Estate.
So let’s take a look at a couple of properties at that $800,000 median, then a couple at what double the median can buy.
Here are this month’s Featured Properties:
MLS #382353 —Don’t let the photos of the lawn fool you on this one. The home has been beautifully remodeled and is awaiting your best offer. Great south Kihei neighborhood and a special outdoor pergola in the backyard to enjoy a cool beverage on a sunny Maui afternoon. $798,000!!!
MLS #383072—Cute, private, homey. Hawaiiana at its finest. Close to parks, restaurants, and shopping with some of south Maui’s favorite beaches within walking distance. Not ready to make the big move? Then make the cozy little 1BR detached cottage your own and rent out the 3BR house to pay the mortgage! $799,000!!!
MLS #382685—Wailea anyone? Located in one of Wailea’s most revered gated communities this 3BR/2BA spacious single-level home has it all, including heated pool and large patio/entertainment area. Be the proud owner of this one. Sold fully furnished. $1,598,000!!!
MLS #380730—Ok…if you must have arguably the best ocean view in all of Maui, then check out this 7th floor elegantly remodeled and fully furnished oceanfront condo at the gateway to Wailea. Make life easy; no lawns to mow, pools to clean. Top-of-the-line restaurant, fitness facility, and yoga studio on premises. Recently reduced. $1,590,000!!!
Click here for complete May Statistics.
Once again it’s that fabulous time of year when the Maui Film Festival blesses residents and visitors alike with its presence. Having long since established its niche amongst the hallowed Film Festivals in the world, ours here on Maui has a feeling of intimacy, spirituality, and cultural significance second to none. Now in its 20th year, my first experience of the festival was in 2004 when my friend and I boarded a Roberts Hawaii tour bus, beach chairs in hand (actually in lap) and journeyed to the now iconic outdoor theater under the stars. The feature film that night was the adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook. I sat there hoping my date wouldn’t notice the moisture building in the corner of my eyes as I watched this classic tear-jerker.
All these years later, I still enjoy this galactic experience. As times have changed, I now make dinner reservations at the adjacent Gannon’s restaurant, which includes parking passes and a private seating area with high-back chairs for movie watching. A true Maui experience; life is good!
Please enjoy. If/when the time is right it would be my joy to help you realize the dream of owning a piece of Paradise.
A hui hou (‘til we meet again),