Real Estate Sales Continue with Gusto!


July 9, 2020

 

Frankly I’ve been trying to put my finger on why single-family homes are selling almost as fast as they are listed here on Maui during this pandemic. We’ve seen a 5-10% spike in prices, and yet many homes that come to market are getting multiple offers and going into escrow in two weeks or less. Mind you, that’s in spite of the fact that the buyers are typically not even here and are relying on videos and their Realtor to make decisions to buy. Some contracts are being written with 14-21 day visual inspection clauses to accommodate the 14-day quarantine required before a buyer can even see their new home, and others are closing without visual inspection.
Then it dawned on me that our very low incidence of Covid-19 cases makes Maui a highly desirable safe haven, especially with the many states across the nation experiencing major spikes right now. For those who can’t afford $1 million+(++) homes, condos are seeing an uptick as well. If you’ve got that relocation or second home bug, let me be your eyes and chief negotiator to find you a great home!
I barely had time to pat myself on the back for being so insightful before I found this piece of national news just this morning:   Pending Home Sales Post Record-Setting Rebound in May . Indeed, Pending Home Sales Index jumped to 99.6% for the month of May, the highest month-over-month gain in the index since January of 2001 (the base month at 100%) when statistics like these were first being captured. And most surprisingly, the highest percentage of increase is in the Deep South in some of the states that are being hardest hit by the virus! With numbers like this, many feel that home ownership may, as always, be the indicator that will drive our economy for years to come. So much for the safe haven idea.

 

As I have reported in the past, while our Governor and Mayors have taken a duly conservative approach before allowing Trans-Pacific visitors into our islands without a 14-day quarantine, our economy has suffered mightily. A recent tabulation found that Maui, in particular, has the highest unemployment rate in the state and nation at 33.4%. That’s because a more metropolitan city like Honolulu (Oahu) has some diversified industries while Maui is almost totally dependent on tourism (other than Real Estate!).

 

 

Most of you, though, may have heard that out-of-state visitors will again be welcomed back to the islands as of August 1. This plan is based on the premise that a negative Covid-19 testing will be required for all travelers to avoid the 14-day quarantine. That’s when the details get a bit murky, to say the least.
Apparently, the plan will mimic one already being used with “some success” in Alaska, which, like Hawaii, requires travel by air to access the state for the most part. Plans vary from day-to- day, with one plan proposing facilities here on Maui do the testing post arrival ( Hawaii News Now , June 29)., and another plan partnering with private companies like CVS and the airlines to complete testing prior to arrival ( Hawaii News Now , June 30).
In either case, these ambitious plans will not come without many difficulties. This article by CivilBeat.org offers a very good overview of the myriad of problems that are far from being worked out. For instance, in 2019, Maui alone averaged nearly 300,000 incoming visitors per month (10,000/day) and just the traffic and sheer numbers of people pushed the County to a near crisis level. And that was without the need for robust pandemic testing for all arrivals.
Time will tell, and like everything else related to the virus, nobody has the answers. Nonetheless, so very much is at stake for Maui.

 

 

As the state approaches 1,000 confirmed cases, Maui’s numbers remain exceptionally low. Of 125 cases, 115 (96.6%) have recovered and there have only been a handful of new cases since April. The Covid-19 related death toll remains the same at 6 since April, as well. Restaurants (with 50% max occupancy), hair salons, gyms, county swimming pools and all beaches have re-opened, though many restaurants remain closed by choice. Expectation is they will open as we get closer to our visitor season in November. Social distancing is practiced at all these facilities, and masks are worn by almost all Maui residents regardless of requirements. It’s hard for many of us here on the island to understand why things are so different in many parts of the mainland.

 

 

 

Nestled elegantly into the landscape of one of Wailea’s most prestigious building sites, Keala o’ Wailea is a beautiful community of contemporary, Hawaiian inspired multi-family homes with expansive ocean views. This crème de la crème 3BR/2.5BA Penthouse unit was completed in 2018 and offers numerous amenities on and off site. Along with its clean lines and contemporary design, you will enjoy the gracious pool, sp a, and fitness facility, as well. Complementing the offering is the adjacent Wailea Gateway Center with its eclectic dining opportunities and unique boutique shop atmosphere. Wailea’s finest white sand beaches, championship golf courses and tennis courts are within walking distance or a very short drive. Adding the final touches is the renowned Shops at Wailea where fine dining and international shopping opportunities abound.  $2,195,000.
CLICK HERE for complete June statistics
CLICK HERE for Kathy Rosales’ Financial Report

 

 

 

In spite of my efforts, things continue to feel very unsettling for me; likely for you as well. While it’s fairly easy to quantify how this pandemic has taken its toll on our economic life, social life and general activities, perhaps our health, it’s not as easy to really know how it has affected our psyche. As I have said many times, the reason we have survived as a species when many others have not is because of our adaptability. While so many unknowns continue to worry us, staying the course has always been our best and only option until the clouds begin to wane and we once again regain some clarity.
Stay well,
Michael Blaz
Broker/Owner
Maui Realty Associates
(808) 283-9093 cell
(808) 879-5510 fax


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