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.