Maui Real Estate Newsletter

Aloha!   

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:

Gains in Home prices Soften
Winter real estate and mortgage news…

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,


Michael Blaz
(808) 283-9093

Aloha!   

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to jump into this new year with both feet.  One of my trusted sources for economic prognostications relating to real estate sent me this: 

The new year has started with some favorable news: a blockbuster jobs report and favorable commentary from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Also to be noted, home prices increased nationally by 5.1% year-over-year from November 2017.  On a month-over-month basis, prices increased by 0.4% in November 2018. As for the future, the CoreLogic HPI Forecast predicts home prices will increase by 4.8% on a year-over-year basis from November 2018 to November 2019.

While the information I get from many of my Realtor friends on the west coast and other large market areas suggests slowdowns, price reductions, and longer days on market, activity here on Maui is continuing at a steady and positive pace.  Year-end statistics will show prices on all properties combined—single-family homes, condos, vacant land—have increased at a healthy (not too high or low) rate of about 5% (December stats are not in as yet with the writing of this newsletter, but the link below will show December/year-end totals).

Click Here to view December and year-end statistics.

Our new Mayor Victorino (yes, Shane’s dad) and County Council members have been sworn in.  In my opinion, we now have a good mix of progressives and conservatives on our Council, many of whom have worked well with the Real Estate community here on Maui in the past.  All indications are that the “green” movement here on the island will continue to move forward in an effort to become energy independent, with wind and solar resources being maximized, within the next couple of decades.

In an effort to get this January newsletter out before it’s February, here are some Featured Properties for your perusal.  All four offer eye-popping ocean views and are arguably the best each of their complexes has to offer:

MLS #380730—Say what you will, you would be hard pressed to find units with bigger, better ocean views that also include a toes-in-the-sand location than the iconic Mana Kai.  Boasting 98 2BR/2BA units covering 8 stories, all with the option to lock off one of the bedrooms as a separate studio to maximize rental potential.  This designer remodeled 7th-floor unit has it all and represents the best of the best.  $1,650,000!!!

MLS #381040—This is not just any 1BR/1BA condo priced at $2,000,000 in the gated and secure Wailea Elua complex.  No, it is one of the best 1BR/1BA units featuring near-ocean location and fabulous ocean views from the first floor (no steps)!  Make an offer on this one before someone else beats you to it!  $2,075,000!!!

MLS #377016—They can’t build them like this anymore.  Polo Beach Club sits directly on the sand and features a beach that, though not private (no beaches are private in Hawaii) certainly feels like it’s your very own.  This 2nd-floor unit sits in the middle of the complex and is direct ocean facing south while still enjoying a taste of the gentle trade winds that often grace our island.  $2,675,000!!!

MLS #377350—If opulence is your thing, then Wailea Beach Villas is your place.  This top floor Penthouse unit offers unobstructed ocean views, framed by Maui’s outer islands, that reach as far as the eye can sea (an intentional misspell!).  With nearly 2,000 sq. ft. under roof, and an expansive lanai, this must-see condominium lives like a house—with no lawn to mow!  $4,500,000!!!


Short but sweet this time.  My best wishes to you all that 2019 will be a banner year for you and yours in every way—perhaps the year that you make a piece of Maui your very own!  If I can help facilitate that in any way, I am at your service.

Mahalo nui loa,

Michael Blaz
(808) 283-9093

Aloha!   

As yet another year is about to come to an end, there seems to be a good amount of confusion and uncertainty in the housing market on a nationwide basis—including Hawaii. My inbox is constantly filled with reports from various noteworthy sources, and for the first time in memory there’s quite a difference in opinions and interpretations of statistical trends and what the immediate future holds.

For instance, nationally home sales are down with only the Northeast having a slight increase in pending home sales at 0.7%. On the other hand, and in a more positive light, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun commented, “… mortgage rates are much lower today compared to earlier this century, when mortgage rates averaged 8 percent. Additionally, there are more jobs today than there were two decades ago… the long-term prospects look solid, we just have to get through this short-term period of uncertainty.”

Another resource suggests that in Hawaii, California, and Massachusetts--due to the erosion of affordability in these higher priced markets--growth rates have declined by 1.7%, 0.7%, and 1% respectively. Predictably, affordability for younger millennials and first-time home buyers has been impacted by rising prices and somewhat higher interest rates.

In speaking with many of my peers and friends in Real Estate in California, the consensus seems to be that things are slowing down and price resistance is causing reductions and/or longer days on market—which seems consistent with aforementioned reports. Conversely, the Maui News reported on November 13 (based on October statistics) that the median price for single-family homes reached $774,223, just $6,000 less than the record high set in May of 2005 and tied in July of 2006. As I track the market on a daily basis here, I’m frequently seeing new home listings go “pending” in less than 10 days on the market, while condo sales remain consistently good, as well.

Explanation? Your guess is as good as mine. One thought might be that for many years we have been touting Maui as the ideal place for Baby Boomers to purchase homes for their ultimate retirement. While many have already taken that step and become owners here, this may be that time when Boomers, average age early to mid-60’s, are realizing that the time has come—before all those X and Y gens snatch them all up!

Click Here for November Statistics

Not everyone interested in owning Maui Real Estate is looking for a single-family home, though. Many still appreciate the convenience of condo living—no more lawns to mow, roofs to repair, fences to build. So, this month’s Featured Property is south Maui’s iconic Mana Kai Hotel/Condos.

The Mana Kai features 98 individually-owned condominiums in an 8-story high direct oceanfront structure that simultaneously offers the amenities of a fine hotel, starting with the convenient check-in desk at the entry. Each unit has two bedrooms and two baths ensuite, and offers the option to lock-off one bedroom and bath and use or rent it as a hotel room, maintain the other suite with bedroom, bath, and full kitchen—and ocean views that will take your breath away!


Built in 1973 with funding from a hui (group) of United Airlines pilots and employees, each taking ownership of one unit—and including a brand new Ford Fairlane in each of 98 reserved parking spaces.  Ah, those were the days.  Today, the building and units have gone through numerous remodels and upgrades.  The Fairlanes are gone and most original owners have sold their units or deeded them to their children.

On-site amenities include a full-service casual dining restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner; a bar with plenty of seats and tables for Happy Hour and fresh sushi, a large swimming pool with waterfall feature, deli, fitness center, yoga studio, and business center.  You can even rent kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and bicycles right on the property.

As if that weren’t enough, the Mana Kai is an extremely popular destination location for vacation rentals and generates some of the best rental incomes in south Maui.  And, there are two units currently For Sale!

MLS #380105—This fifth-floor unit has been extensively remodeled and shows extremely well.  You’ll love the light and bright tropical colors and décor.  Of course, ocean and beach views stretch forever down the .7 mile stretch of Keawakapu Beach.  Make this one your own for $1,550,000!!!

MLS #380730—Two floors up to the highly coveted seventh floor you’ll appreciate the different look that this richly decorated and elegantly furnished unit will provide.  Subtle yet sophisticated colors will provide the perfect backdrop to swaying palm trees and magnificent sunsets.  Don’t hesitate if you’re looking for something exceptional $1,650,000!!!

The great weather is still here even as we roll into December.  No rains yet and temperatures hovering slightly above normal in the mid 80’s daily.  Not so great for us locals who look forward to a little rain and cooler days (and nights), but great for visitors coming from the frozen tundra for a one or two-week winter thaw.  If you’re coming for a visit, don’t forget to give me a call.

Best wishes for a safe and joyous holiday season.  Perhaps 2019 will be your year to make the dream of owning Real Estate on Maui come true.  It would be my joy to help make that happen!

Warm regards and “a hui hou” until next year,

Michael Blaz

Blogs for February 2019

Maui Real Estate Sales are Hot! Hot! Hot! But is a Little Patience in Order?

Posted on February 01, 2019

Aloha!   

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… Continue Reading