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Maui real estate market ‘rising’

This three-bedroom single-family home at 89 Poniu Circle in Wailuku is for sale for $560,000. For the third time in the past year, the median price of a single-family home in Maui County reached the $700,000 benchmark in May, according to a Realtors Association of Maui report. • The Maui News COLLEEN UECHI photo

For the third time in the past year, the median price of a single-family home in Maui County reached the $700,000 benchmark in May, according to a Realtors Association of Maui report.

Prices bounce around from month to month — the single-family home median was $743,000 in March and $671,000 in April — but overall the market is going up, said Terry Tolman, chief staff executive for the association.

“We’re in a rising market right now,” Tolman said Wednesday. “I heard one broker say today, ‘I just can’t believe what things are selling for.'”

Between January 2012 and November, the median price of a single-family home in Maui County had never surpassed $700,000. (The closest was $695,000 in January 2014.) But since then, it’s happened three times: $700,500 in December, $743,000 in March and $700,000 in May.

But, Tolman pointed out, “it takes two to tango.” As long as sellers keep finding able buyers and banks are willing to loan, homes will continue to sell for high prices.

Meanwhile, the median price of a condominium dipped slightly, from $490,000 in April to $479,000 in May. Still, that’s 13.5 percent higher than May 2016 prices.

Sales of both homes and condominiums have stayed fairly steady. Over the past year, the number of single-family home sales have ranged from the 80s to 90s each month, save for the 66 sold in January and the 63 in February. Last month, 95 single-family homes were sold, not far off from the 94 sold in May 2016.

Looking at the wider picture from January to May, 426 single-family homes were sold. That’s slightly down from the 435 sold during the same time period last year.

Central Maui was the busiest market for single-family homes. In May, 25 were sold in Central Maui at a median price of $607,000. Next highest was Kihei, with 17 single-family homes sold at a median of $700,000; followed by the Kula/Ulupalakua/Kanaio region with 15 sales at a median of $725,000.

Single-family homes in Lahaina sold at one of the highest median prices on island in May — nine homes with a median price of $1.75 million. Hana was the highest at $1.86 million, though only two homes were sold there last month.

Inventory, meanwhile, has been growing since October, when there were 627 single-family homes on the market. In May, there were 734 single-family homes (that includes active listings, pending but continue to show and contingent status).

The homes that are out there are staying on the market for less time. In May, single-family homes that were purchased had been on the market an average of 78 days, the lowest average over the past five years.

As for condominiums, sales increased from 117 in April to 129 in May. That was the second highest monthly total over the past year and an 8.4 percent increase over the 119 sold in May 2016.

And, more condominiums were sold from January to May (589) than during the same time period last year (536).

More than 40 percent of the 129 condos purchased were in Kihei, where 55 condos sold at a median price of $400,000. The next busiest market was Napili/Kahana/Honokowai, with 23 condos sold at a median of $475,000; and Kaanapali with 13 condos sold at a median of nearly $1.2 million — the most expensive median price in the county.

The two condos sold on Lanai came with the second highest median price at $962,500, while the two condos sold on Molokai were the lowest at $92,500.

However, in contrast to single-family homes, the 890 condominiums on the market in May mark the lowest total over the past 12 months. Available condominiums reached 1,002 in March, but with the high season over, inventory is on the decline, the report states.

“There’s more buying going on than construction,” Tolman said. “For condos especially, most of them are in the resort area. . . . The amount of (condo) inventory goes up substantially in the wintertime.”

On average, condominiums purchased in May had been on the market for 120 days, the same as it was in May 2016 and just a hair above the 2016 average of 119.25 days.

Overall, “it’s a strong market,” Tolman said.

For the association’s full report, visit ramaui.com.

* Colleen Uechi can be reached at cuechi@mauinews.com.

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