Not ‘bubblicious’ — Realtors Association official of market

The number of sales of homes and condominiums in Maui County decreased while median prices rose in the 2014 half-year totals compared to 2013, in what a Realtors Association of Maui official called “a normal market.”

Terry Tolman, chief staff executive of the association, said Thursday that “prices are rising, sales numbers are lagging,” but “this isn’t a boom” like the last 2005-06 rising market.

“It’s not a bubble or bubblicious,” he said, commenting on the release of the June real estate report.

In those years, before the Great Recession, “it was like a Fourth of July rocket, straight up . . . and straight down,” Tolman said.

The current trends in a market that is still on the rise signal “a lot safer market,” he said.

Residential sales decreased 36 units or 7 percent to 454 homes sold from January to June, compared to last year, the report said. Condo sales fell 17 units or 3 percent to 656 units sold in the same period.

Meanwhile, the home sale median price rose 7 percent to $575,000, and the condo median price was $422,750, up 13 percent.

While noting that the market is still on the upswing, Tolman said that “different parts of the market bulge at different times” on Maui. He noted that from Christmas to spring break, a busy tourist time, there are many buyers looking at the resort areas.

Tolman added that market sales could jump again if interest rates begin to rise; those who are on the fence may jump into the market. The job reports have been surprisingly good; sales will be dependent on people’s faith in the future and “do they see what they like now,” he said.

The region with the highest single-family home sales in the first six months was Central Maui with 133, down slightly from the same period last year, with a median sales price of $423,286, up 2 percent. The next highest sales regions were Kihei, 91 sales, $585,000 median, up 9 percent, and Haiku, 35 sales, $645,000 median, up 10 percent.

Kihei had the highest total dollar volume, $70.3 million, which was up 40 percent, on 91 sales in the first half of the year. Homes in the luxury Wailea-Makena area, which was next highest, sold for a lot higher prices, with $60.8 million in total sales volume on just 19 sales.

For condos, Kihei had by far the highest number of sales, 221, in the first half year, with a median sales price of $315,000. Next highest, with about half as many sales, was the Napili/Kahana/Honokowai area with 124 sales and a median sales price of $375,000.

Looking at June data, condo sales fell 24.8 percent to 94 units compared to June 2013; residential sales fell slightly to 91 units.

Median prices for homes in June dipped 10.7 percent to $535,000 compared to June 2013; median prices for condos rose 11.1 percent to $444,500.

Home sales in Central Maui led the way with 28 units, with a median price of $424,000 last month. The only other area with double-digit sales was Kihei with 18 and a median price of $537,500.

For condos in June, Kihei had one more unit sold, 24, than the Napili/Kahana/Honokowai area. The median prices were $404,750 and $405,000, respectively.

Tolman noted that bank-owned and short sales in the residential market rose in June. The report indicated that this class of sales represented 15.4 percent of residential sales and 8.7 percent of condo sales over the last 12 months. The residential sales figure was 14.8 percent in May. The report said that 44 percent of these sales were cash transactions.

To see the complete report, go to

* Lee Imada can be reached at