Low inventory driving up home, condo prices

Maui County continues to have a low supply of homes and condominiums available for sale, according to October statistics released this week by the Realtors Association of Maui.

And, as evidence of the economic law of supply and demand (low supply and high demand equals higher prices and vice versa), island properties have been rising in prices for the most part, the statistics show.

As of Wednesday, there were 618 single-family homes and 773 condos on the market. For homes, that’s 2.6 percent less than what was for sale a year earlier; and for condos, it’s 12.5 percent less than a year ago.

The number of available homes may not seem that much less than a year earlier, but that number a year ago was already on a downward trend. A low of at least five years was set in September when only 582 homes were for sale. For condos, the five-year low was set in October with 744 condos available.

While the number of home sales has been dropping, median prices have been rising, figures show.

In comments accompanying its release of the real estate sales statistics, the association said: “Well-priced properties are attracting multiple offers making for a quick sale. Inventories have declined over the past 24 months in residential and condo classes. Foreclosures and short sales are dwindling, with any ‘hidden inventory’ (or overhang) backlog slowly trickling onto the market.”

In October, 81 single-family homes sold in Maui County for a median price of $545,000. In October 2012, 99 homes, or 20 percent more, sold, and the median price was $485,000, or 11 percent less than the current price.

For condominiums, the sales volume rose 6.25 percent in a year to 102 units sold in October, while median condo prices went up $10,005, or 2.9 percent, to $360,000 last month.

For the first 10 months of the year, the number of single-family homes sold increased 8 percent to 829, while the median price went up 15 percent to $532,500. The total dollar volume of sales for the year so far was up 21 percent to $640.3 million.

For condominiums, the number of sales in the year’s first 10 months rose 11 percent to 1,120, while the median price increased 7 percent to $375,000. The sales total dollar volume climbed 33 percent to $609.5 million for the year so far.

Looking at sales statistics by region for the year’s first 10 months, most of the single-family home sales have been in Central Maui, where the number of units sold increased 17 percent to 247, with a median price of $415,260, a 13 percent price increase over last year’s year-to-date figure. The second most sales were in Kihei where 128 homes changed owners, the same number of sales as the first 10 months of 2012. Median home sale prices in Kihei were up 19 percent to $450,750. Homes sold in Central Maui and Kihei represented 45.2 percent of all the homes sold in Maui County, year-to-date figures show.

The region with the third-highest sales so far for the year was Haiku, where 68 residences were sold, a 13 percent volume increase over the previous year, but the median sale price fell 9 percent to $597,500, bucking the trend of higher prices.

In Upcountry regions, 63 homes sold in the Kula-Ulupalakua-Kanaio area, a 7 percent drop in sales volume over the same 10 months a year earlier, but the median price rose 5 percent to $595,000. In the Makawao-Olinda-Haliimaile area, 46 homes sold in the year’s first 10 months, but the median price went up 26 percent to $426,000.

In the luxury resort area of Wailea-Makena, the number of home sales increased 24 percent to 26, and the median price for the first part of the year jumped 97 percent to $2.46 million. In Kapalua, 10 homes sold in the same period, with a 9 percent increase in the median price to $3.1 million.

For condominium sales in the year’s first 10 months, the Kihei region alone had nearly 33 percent of the sales overall, with 368, a 10 percent increase over last year. Median sale prices in Kihei went up 24 percent to $315,000. The second-highest amount of condos changed hands in Napili-Kahana-Honokowai, with 180, although that figure represented a 7 percent drop in sales volume from the past year. Median sale prices in the region increased 29 percent to $381,250.

The highest median price for condos sold in Maui County was in Wailea-Makena, where units went for $999,375, a 35 percent increase. And, sales volume in the region was up 17 percent to 98 units.

* Brian Perry can be reached at bperry@mauinews.com.