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Lisa Mascaro Blog
What's Going on in the Maui Market
Brought to you by Melissa Salvador, Old Republic Title and Escrow
June 06, 2015

Monthly Residential and Condo Unit Sales numbers bounced up and down the last few months, with Residential and Condo Inventory decreasing this month after the Winter Vacation (High Sales) season. Canadian investors have been big participants in Maui’s real estate market, however the current Canadian Dollar exchange rate (.80 US $) may motivate Canadian investors to sell, not buy.

There is a noticeable bifurcation of the Market Place right around the $1,000,000 mark. Properties listed just under $1,000,000 sell quicker, those that are $20-60,000 over are slower to sell, even with similar condition and on the same street. Obviously more people can afford a less expensive home; however there seems to be a buyer resistance to crossing that 7 digit threshold (sellers take note).

2014 Year-to-Date Median and Average prices were rising across the Residential, Condo and Vacant Land markets despite lower number of unit sales (YTD). First Quarter 2015 took a break from that trend; however that may catch up as we proceed through the rest of the year. Increased showings and sales, multiple offers on “well priced” listings, hesitant buyers become onlookers…... Window of opportunity is quickly closing for first-time homebuyers (see below). “CASH is King!” when making an offer. For several months approximately 40+% of all sales were CASH. Well priced properties are attracting multiple offers making for a quick sale. Inventories in Residential and Condo classes grow somewhat as Sale Prices increase. REO (Foreclosures) and Short Sales are dwindling, with any “hidden inventory” (or overhang) backlog slowly trickling onto the market. Mortgage Interest Rates are inching up slightly which may help motivate would-be Buyers to go ahead and buy IF they can qualify. Savvy Investors are buying with Cash, giving them a strong negotiating position, no financing/appraisal hassles and a quick closing.

While general U.S. economic news looks cautiously hopeful, current World and US events will have ripple effects on cost of living, consumer confidence, Financial and Real Estate Markets. Rising Sales prices cause some “Owners” to become “Sellers,” putting their homes on the market.

FOR SELLERS: Sharpen your pencil, talk to your CPA and your Realtor® to explore the hidden benefits or consequences. Make no assumptions that will sting later. To be successful, Sellers need to beat competing properties with better property condition, realistic pricing, good marketing, and flexible, creative terms. Days on Market figures show that properties priced right will sell in a reasonable timeframe, often with multiple offers. “Priced Right” is still the determining factor. BEST Deals are selling, while significantly over-priced listings remain un-sold. Pro-Active Sellers are getting their properties appraised, inspected and surveyed in advance to encourage realistic offers from knowledgeable Buyers. This can prevent unanticipated escrow fallout or Buyers whittling your price down during the transaction when previously unknown facts come to light.

FOR BUYERS: Low interest rates prevail; however have started to nudge up and are predicted to rise later in 2015. Buyers should get Pre-Approved so they can shop in confidence (fewer last minute disappointments due to non-funding loans). "Short-sales" and foreclosures are still in the marketplace, yet they can be less of a bargain than they seem, requiring more hurdles to leap and more time (often 4-6-12 months) to close, if at all. Be prepared, but BE REALISTIC. Lenders are more stringent on requirements now for loan approval, compared to 2004-2008. First-Time Home Buyers – Many programs are available….. Attend a First-Time Home Buyers workshop, get familiar with the process, get qualified/approved, do your homework to get your own home. Many current owners never thought they would be able to own until they attended a workshop, discovered they could own a home, and are glad they did. The low point in the market has passed, so check it out carefully NOW, don’t delay. The opportunity is fading quickly. If you can’t buy now, start saving your down payment for the next market cycle.

Disclaimer: Zooming in on the figures of a specific geographic area or property type may lead to different conclusions that looking at the overall view. Maui's market place is much smaller than Oahu's, and a few high or low sales have a greater effect on the statistical numbers without necessarily indicating a big market swing one way or another.

Blogs for June 2015



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