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Maui Condo Market – Wailea Surge A Telling Sign

I always look at market statistics with a skeptical eye, and as a potential buyer so should you.

South Maui’s upper end surged in February. One of the 14 closings was a 3-bedroom at Wailea Point, at $2.9M.

For example, last year about this time, in the depths of our market correction, a front page story on the Maui News trumpeted a blockbuster month of condo sales. Technically, the story was accurate. But buried beneath the headline was the caveat: of the 109 closings in January 2009, 65 of them were new project sales units, Kaanapali’s Honua Kai. The real picture was a bit more bleak, with 44 resales sold for the month.

Fast forward to 2010, and we show a 30% year to date drop in condo sales for January. But the real picture is a 39% increase when you filter out the Honua Kai sales for both years.

February Maui condo sales were even better:
Adjusted for Honua Kai sales

  • February 2009: 34
  • February 2010:  74

Bank owned and short sale contracts accounted for only about one third of that number.

In South Maui, Wailea is experiencing a strong upsurge, with six closings in January, and 14 in February. Activity was well distributed from top to bottom of the market, and only four of the 14 sales were REO or short. February’s closings included:

  • 3 units at the Grand Champions ($380-385K), all 2-bedrooms, 2 REOs — DOM (days on market) 137, 74, 203
  • 1 Hoolei 3-bedroom, $1.75M, 269 DOM
  • 1 Hokulani Golf Villa 2-bedroom (new project), $960K, 307 DOM
  • 1 Makena Surf 2B, $2.475M, 50 DOM
  • 1 Palms at Wailea 1B, $525K, 117 DOM
  • 2 Wailea Beach Villas, 2B,  $2.15M, 324 DOM; 3B, $6.8M, 0 DOM
  • 2 Wailea Ekahi, 2B $1.325M, 63 DOM; 1B, $672K, 31DOM
  • 1 Waila Elua, 1B, $1.137M, 226 DOM
  • 1 Wailea Fairway Villa 3B, 749K, 203 DOM (REO)
  • 1 Wailea Point 3B, $2.9M, 211 DOM

Statistics rarely tell the whole story, but in this case, they tell me what I’m already feeling from my client contacts: the market is slowly shifting to the good, pricing is attractive, interest rates are down, and this is a great time to buy Maui real estate.

Kevin Spaise is one of Hawaii Life’s property specialists, and the Author-Publisher of The Maui Condo Book (www.TheMauiCondoBook.com). He is available to answer any questions about individual condo properties or the market in general, at (808) 344-0624.

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