While home prices fell in Maui County and other Neighbor Islands last year, Maui County saw "substantial growth" in permits for nonresidential construction projects in the second half of last year, according to a report released today by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.
The Hawaii construction forecast reported a nearly 60 percent increase in the value of commercial and industrial permits issued in Maui County last year over 2010. The report cited large construction projects, including a four-story Marriott Courtyard hotel near Kahului Airport, a Mycogen Seed Research field station and the construction of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints buildings, as contributing to the increase.
The value of commercial and industrial permits issued last year in Maui County was $120 million, up from $77 million in 2010 but still lower than the $609 million in 2006.
The upswing in nonresidential construction on Maui contrasted with "significant net losses" in Hawaii and Honolulu counties, according to the report.
But the report says the state is still waiting for recoveries in housing and construction.
While the inventory of existing single-family homes and condominiums for sale on Oahu fell to a five-month supply by the end of the year, the inventory on Maui was "in the range of 10-15 months," according to the report.
The report predicts that construction expansion mainly will be limited to Oahu in the near future.
"The Neighbor Island economies, which saw a home building bubble in the 2000s, face an excess inventory of homes and more severe foreclosure problems that will retard a quick recovery of residential construction," according to the report.
On Maui, median single-family home prices fell more than 5 percent last year to $435,000, the report says. Median condominium prices dropped by more than 19 percent to $309,360. In Central Maui and Makawao, single-family home prices fell by 13 percent and 15 percent, respectively. But prices rose by 32 percent in Wailea and Makena and by 14 percent in Kaanapali.
The largest drop in sales, by 49 percent, was among Kaanapali condominiums, which declined in price by 21 percent.
The value of residential building permits issued last year in Maui County was $69 million, a 17 percent decrease from 2010. Permits for additions and alterations were valued at $54 million, a nearly 42 percent increase over 2010.
The report counted 2,080 construction jobs last year in Maui County, a 22 percent decrease from 2010.