Single-family home prices in Maui County last month increased nearly 25 percent over last year, while condominium prices were unchanged, according to the latest data from the Realtors Association of Maui.
The median sales price for single-family homes in July rose to $491,000, compared to $394,500 last July. That's based on the sale of 71 homes last month, up slightly from the 68 units sold in July 2011.
The median condominium price last month was $320,000, unchanged from the same month last year. That's based on sales volume of 73 units in July, down from the 98 condos sold in July of last year.
The Realtors Association of Maui cautioned, as it usually does, that because Maui's market size is relatively small, "a few high or low sales have a greater effect on the statistical numbers without necessarily indicating a big market swing one way or another."
Terry Tolman, chief staff executive for the Realtors Association of Maui, noted that the market's inventory has been declining as short sales and bank-owned properties are being sold off.
"Inventories have declined 18 to 21 percent over the past 12 months in residential and condo classes. Many short sales and REO, or bank-owned, properties are being absorbed as sales as we begin to move ahead to a more normal marketplace," Tolman said.
Gina Duncan, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty on Maui, said that although the market is recovering, she's still seeing some sellers going the short-sale route.
"We're definitely seeing inventory going down, but we're also still seeing some people needing to list short sales, people who have maybe held out as long as possible to keep their homes over the last two years," Duncan said.
She said the average short sale these days takes two to four months to close.
"Overall in real estate, not just distressed properties, I'm seeing that anything below $425,000 gets multiple offers and competitive bidding," she added. "There are certain areas on the island where it's a seller's market, and others where it's slightly a buyer's to even market."
Central Maui saw the most single-family sales in July, with 14 units sold at a median price of $391,900. That compares to 18 units sold in Central Maui last July at a median price of $358,500.
The Kula/Ulupalakua area had 11 home sales last month at a median price of $515,000, compared to five sales in July 2011 at a median price of $750,000.
Kihei saw the most condo sales activity last month with 22 units sold at a median
price of $260,000. The area had 31 condo sales last July with a median sales price of $236,000.
Year to date, countywide single-family sales volume is identical to last year.
A total of 511 single-family homes have been sold year to date through July - the same amount sold this time last year.
Based on that volume, year-to-date home prices are up just 5 percent to $462,000 from $440,000.
Condo prices year to date are up 8 percent over last year to $350,000. Sales volume is off by just 1 percent to 740 condos through July.
* Nanea Kalani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.