KAHULUI - The volume of house and condominium sales dropped sharply in August, according to Multiple Listing Service statistics released by the Maui Association of Realtors on Wednesday.
Both median and average prices are down 7 percent for single-family homes so far this year. But the average price is up 25 percent for condos and the median for condos is up 10 percent.
Terry Tolman, chief staff executive of the association, cautions that because Maui's real estate market is small, compared to Oahu's, monthly averages can show abrupt swings that are smoothed out in quarterly or annual averages. And August's total of 65 single-family closings was not the lowest of this year. That came in January, when there were 57.
This for-sale sign in Kihei may be staying up longer, with sales of single-family properties slumping, according to statistics from the Maui Association of Realtors.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
Numbers then recovered and varied between 75 and 97 until August.
Condo transactions dropped to 50 in August, the lowest this year. They have slowed greatly in the second half.
In the first six months, there were 84 to 95 monthly closings, dropping to 55 in June and 63 in July.
"A few high or low sales have a greater effect on the statistical numbers without necessarily indicating a big market swing one way or the other," Tolman commented in his report.
Another indication, aside from price, of the state of the market is the average number of days on market before a contract is agreed.
For single-family houses, the number rose to 211 days, the first time it has been over 200 for years and about double what it was before the market starting cooling off last year.
However, the condo trend, as with prices, was the reverse. Days on market in August were 138, almost the shortest this year and lower than any month since September 2006.
For August, the median single-family transaction was $625,000, down from $640,000 the year before. For condos, the median was $632,500 in August, compared with $592,000 the year before.
At the median, half sold for more, half for less.
* Harry Eagar can be reached at email@example.com.