Price of owning a home in paradise rises again

With the median sales price hitting $725,000 for a single-family home and $508,513 for a condominium, the Realtors Association of Maui statistics for April provide the latest evidence of how tough it is for working-class residents to buy homes here.

Home median prices are up 7.7 percent and condos are up 3.8 percent for the month of April, compared with the same month last year, the association reported. Also for the month, home sales volume was down 7.1 percent to 91 and condo sales volume was up 48.7 percent to 174.

Perhaps the numbers most relevant to gauging the prospects for home or condo ownership is the association’s housing affordability index. In April, the index for single-family homes fell 9.6 percent to 47 and the index number for condominiums slid 6.9 percent to 67. For the 12-month period ending last month, the index was 51 for homes (down 12.1 percent) and 78 for condos (down 12.4 percent).

The index measures housing affordability. So, an index of 120 means that an area’s median household income is 120 percent of what is necessary to qualify for the median-priced home under prevailing interest rates. A lower number means less affordability.

One of the drivers for making homes and condos more or less expensive is inventory — more supply equals lower prices and vice versa. In April, there was a single-family home inventory of 474 residences, a drop of 19.1 percent from the same month last year. For the 12-month period, the average monthly number of available homes was 545, a 6.8 percent decrease.

The condominium inventory in April stood at 570 units, a fall of 26.6 percent. The 12-month average number of available condos was 668, a 20.5 percent decline.

New listings were down 6.3 percent to 119 for homes in April, and they plummeted 32 percent to 117 for condos.

While the short supply of housing inventory is more bad news for buyers, it works in favor of sellers, who received 96.3 percent of their list prices for homes and 97.6 percent of their price for condos. The average length of time for a home on the market was 148 days, up 16.5 percent, as of April, while it was 150 days, down 1.3 percent, for condos.

Looking at year-to-date figures for the first four months of this year and comparing them with the same period last year, the median sales price for single-family homes rose 0.4 of a percent to $688,025, with sales volume up 13 percent to 375.

Home prices increased — some in double-digits — for Maui’s more “affordable areas,” including Kahului (up 17.8 percent to $677,500); Wailuku (up 5.3 percent to $616,000); Molokai (up 11.4 percent to $512,000); and Lanai (up 14.3 percent to $460,000).

Prices dropped in other areas, including Kihei (down 12.2 percent to $671,500); Makawao-Olinda-Haliimaile (down 11.9 percent to $575,000); Pukalani (down 2.8 percent to $646,500); Maui Meadows (down 18.7 percent to $1.16 million); and Hana (down 44.2 percent to $725,000).

By region, the most home sales were in Wailuku (up 23.8 percent to 78); Kihei (down 13.4 percent to 58); Kahului (up 31 percent to 55); Haiku (up 45.5 percent to 32); Kula-Ulupalakua-Kanaio (down 11.5 percent to 23); Lahaina (up 50 percent to 21); and Makawao-Olinda-Haliimaile (up 13.3 percent to 17).

For year-to-date total condominium sales, the median sales price for a condo rose 2.3 percent to $492,250, with sales volume up 19 percent to 546.

Condo sales volume was highest in Kihei, where the number of sold units climbed up 14.9 percent to 201. Median prices in Kihei hitched up 6.3 percent to $420,000.

The area with the second most condos that exchanged hands was Wailea-Makena, where sold units were up 36.5 percent to 86. Prices there slipped 4.4 percent to a little more than $1 million. Napili-Kahana-Honokowai sales volume wasn’t far behind with 83 units sold, up 18.6 percent. The cost of units there rose 22.8 percent to $440,000.

To see the association’s monthly report, go to www.ramaui.com/ and click on market statistics.

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


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