So, my Social Media coach is encouraging me to be less “wordy” (are those cheers I hear in the background?), so I’m going to start with this Maui recap of sorts by just hitting the highlights for April:
- Median sales price for single family homes, $983,500, just slightly lower than last month’s record $985,000. The median for April 2020 was $754,523, although we were all still reeling from the pandemic at that time.
- Inventory of available homes, 208 (1.9 months supply), compared to 452 (5.3 months supply) last year April.
- Median sales price for condos, $695,000, compared to $602,494 last year.
- Inventory of condos for sale, 292, compared to 580 last year.
The general overview confirms that lack of inventory is finally taking a toll on the number of sales. Like many areas, we are experiencing a fairly significant number of multiple offer/over asking price sales. Of the 94 homes available in the South (Kihei, Wailea, Makena) and West sides (Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kapalua), only 15 are priced under $1 million.
for an interesting article on what buyers and sellers can expect for the rest of 2021.
As things begin to slowly normalize here on Maui, we have seen two “waves”, if you will, of visitors returning to our island—around October 15th when Covid 19 pre-tests gave an opportunity to avoiding quarantines, and again once vaccines began entering arms.
Things are leveling out a bit now, in part because April 15 has always signaled the end of our winter high season, but more likely due to many folks who are still reluctant to travel and/or deal with the hassle of getting pre-tested. Nonetheless, predictions that it would take as many as 5 years for our visitor numbers—and thus our economy—to normalize, seem to no longer have a basis in reality. Many owners of vacation rental condos are reporting advance bookings deep into this year and already filling up for the first and second quarters in 2022.
And just a word of self-promotion here–if any of you are coming this way with thoughts of shopping for the perfect condo or home you can call your own don’t be scared off by the competitive nature of our real estate market at this time. Rather align yourself with a Realtor who is a veteran of many markets like this where negotiating skills and strategies can give you an edge up on the competition. Needless to say, my 32 years in the business could be that little extra advantage you need to make that home or condo yours!
You may find this recent article in The Residential Specialist most helpful if you are thinking of buying a home here or anywhere…
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that a semblance of “normalcy” is here to stay. Like most every state in the Union, our numbers for Hawaii are coming in at well under 100 new cases per day, and stabilized back to single digits here in Maui. Even though we remain far short of the herd immunity numbers the experts are touting, the 40+% of those who have been vaccinated seems to be making an impact.
This morning’s CDC report, as always, clarified some things and contradicted others. The big question seems to be around whether or not masks are still required outdoors (and indoors?) for those who have been fully vaccinated. What I took away from it was that it would be perfectly ok to not wear a mask, whether out or in, around people unless it was a large group of people who had perhaps not been vaccinated; and are not wearing masks. So…if you’ve been vaccinated all you need to do is ask anyone you see who’s not wearing a mask if they’ve been vaccinated or not, and then when they punch you in the face you’ll have your mask ready to cover up the swelling.
As for what you can expect on your visit to Maui—even I cannot keep up with the continually nuanced rules for your arrival. I know the Governor has been keen on the idea of showing your vaccination card, assuming it is dated 14 days or more prior (and not counterfeited), with no Covid test required for entry. Our Mayor, on the other hand, implemented a new requirement about ten days ago that now you need an immediate post-arrival Covid test at the airport in addition to the 72 hr. pre-arrival test. Best bet is to check the Hawaii Safe Travels website a few days before your visit.
While things have lightened up more and more here on Maui—theaters have re-opened; I heard a rumor I was not able to confirm that now restaurants are allowed 75% occupancy, and most of the ones I’ve been to lately are not really differentiating between 75% and 100%. Those barstools that used to be roped off between every two are now fair game it seems.
Having said that, though, don’t be fooled. Virtually all places of business are still requiring masks for entry, including supermarkets, retail stores, professional and County offices, etc. Just last week, I witnessed a rather large and ominous looking man attempting to “exercise his First Amendment rights” by not wearing a mask into Costco, while the store manager—a woman half his size—dug her heels in and absolutely refused him entry. As far as I know, police are still issuing citations for failing to mask up in restricted areas. And it seems they are the only ones who know exactly where the restricted areas are.
As you know, I always try to end my Newsletter with a little Maui Lifestyle. This story is admittedly a bit esoteric but it’s worth acknowledging, I believe.
Hawaii does not have any professional sports teams so most of us cling to our favorites from years before Maui became our home. And as a result, UH (University of Hawaii) is a rallying point for us. For example, The Men’s NCAA Volleyball team—a sport UH often excels at for both men and women—just won the National Championship last weekend.
But I harken back to 2007. Something happened that year that had never been done before and may never be done again.
The UH football program plays in a division of like-sized schools—not like the Big Ten or the powerful Southeastern Conference—although every year a team like Notre Dame or USC will come to Hawaii to play a token early season game with our Rainbow Warriors, who would invariably get their clock cleaned.
But in 2007, like the story of a Field of Dreams, a young quarterback transferee from Colorado State, magically showed up. His reputation of being a very talented, though very troubled young man preceded him; thus why he was cut from the CS team. His name was Colt Brennan. Yes, what a name; it’s impossible to make things like this up.
Well, the young Colt beat that big-time team that year—USC I believe. And he methodically dismantled defenses week after week, game after game. After the first 6 or 7 wins, the whole community began to notice. At first you couldn’t get a seat at your local sports bar; by win 8 or 9, you’d be lucky to be only three rows back at that sports bar. Hawaii—Maui—rallied behind this team to a near frenzy. Then they won game 10, 11, and finished a perfect 12-0 season!!!
For the first time ever, UH landed in the Top Ten teams nationally, #7 I believe. They earned a trip to the Sugar Bowl that year to play University of Georgia—a powerhouse, indeed. They held their own for the first quarter or so, but ultimately the bigger, stronger team took a measure of our boys. But we cheered! We hugged! We cried! We had a once-in-a-lifetime collective experience around this team.
Colt Brennan passed away yesterday at age 37. He had led all passers nationwide that year. He was one of four Heisman trophy candidates. He signed with the Washington Redskins but never took the field in a professional football game. His old demon—substance abuse– caught up with him again.
In 2010 he was in a horrific auto accident as a passenger in a friend’s car and never really regained his faculties. He passed away in the same rehab facility he had lived in for the last 11 years of his life. R.I.P., Colt.
May we all have the best lives possible.
Mahalo nui loa,
Maui Realty Associates
(808) 283-9093 cell
(808) 879-5510 fax