Housing market still tough for buyers

Affordable housing index drops for homes, condos

Maui County’s June real estate statistics continue to paint a grim picture for homebuyers, especially those earning a median income, according to monthly figures released by the Realtors Association of Maui.

The median price of a single-family home in June was $727,500, down 1.7 percent from the $740,000 posted in the same month last year. However, at the same time last year, home prices had topped $700,000 four times in the year ending in June. This June, housing prices have gone over $700,000 five times.

The 12-month average for median home sales last month was $689,000, up 2.1 percent from the same period last year.

For the first six months of this year, median home prices were down 2.1 percent to $690,000. Overall, sales volume was up 5.1 percent to 575 homes.

Median condominium prices were at $515,000 in June, up 19.8 percent compared with the same month last year. The 12-month average median condo price was $465,000, up 6.9 percent. Sales volume was up 22 percent to 870 units.

The association’s narrative acknowledged the low inventory and rising prices but ended on an optimistic note.

“Inventory may be persistently lower in year-over-year comparisons, and home prices are still more likely to rise than not, but sales and new listings may finish the summer on the upswing,” the narrative says. “The housing supply outlook in several markets is beginning to show an increase in new construction and a move by builders away from overstocked rental units to new developments for sale. These are encouraging signs in an already healthy marketplace.”

The housing affordability index fell 4.2 percent to 46 for single-family homes and 20.7 percent to 65 for condominiums in June. For the 12 months, ending in June, the average index was down 9.1 percent to 50 for homebuyers and down 11.6 percent to 76 for condo buyers.

The data show housing becoming less affordable. For example, an index of 120 means the median household income for an area is 120 percent of what is necessary to qualify to purchase a median-priced home under prevailing interest rates. A higher number means greater affordability.

A low inventory for housing units tends to drive prices up. In June, there were 478 homes available for sale, down 18.3 percent from the same month last year. And, there were 561 condos available in the month, down 24.3 percent.

Over a 12-month period ending in June, the average number of homes available was 537, down 7.4 percent from last year; and the average number of condos on the market was 648, down 21 percent.

New listings for homes were down 28 percent in June to 113 while condos were down 32.3 percent to 126 for the month. The 12-month average of new listings was 128 for homes (down 5.9 percent) and 163 for condos (down 8.9 percent).

Looking at single-family home sales, by region, for the year’s first six months:

• Slightly more than half of all home sales were in three regions: Wailuku (119, up 21.4 percent), Kihei (88, down 9.3 percent) and Kahului (82, up 13.9 percent). Median sales prices were up 5.3 percent to $635,600 in Wailuku; down 8.8 percent to $670,000 in Kihei; and up 15.6 percent to $676,193 in Kahului.

• Haiku had the next highest number of home sales with 48 (up 9.1 percent), and the median sales price in the region rose 2.6 percent to $763,750. Lahaina and Kula-Ulupalakua-Kanaio had 35 (up 16.7 percent) and 34 (down 30.6 percent) sales, respectively. The median price fell 39.9 percent to $850,000 in Lahaina, and it increased 18.3 percent to $999,500 in Kula-Ulupalakua-Kanaio.

For condominiums in the year’s first half, Kihei had the most sales, by far, with 321, up 14.2 percent from last year. The median sales price grew 5.7 percent to $407,000.

The next highest area for condo sales volume was in Wailea-Makena where 128 condos exchanged hands, up 56.1 percent. Condo prices in the luxury area were up 11.3 percent to $1.13 million.

In Napili-Kahana-Honokowai, 122 units sold, up 13 percent. The median price increased 9.9 percent to $442,500. Kaanapali had the fourth most condos sold with 90, up 45.2 percent. There, the median price was down 5.2 percent to $808,000.

Wailuku saw 88 condos sold, an increase of 44.3 percent. The median price dropped 5.7 percent to $386,784.

To see the full statistical report for June, go to www.ramaui.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/RAM-Stats-June-2018.pdf.

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

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