Home, condo prices rise as sales and inventory continue to decline

WAILUKU — The median sales price for single-family homes and condominiums in Maui County spiked in February while the number of sales and inventory continued to decline.

The single-family home median sales price jumped 15.4 percent to $790,000 in February, up from $684,350 the same time last year; and condo median sales prices rose 11.8 percent to $524,500, up from $469,250 in February 2018, according to statistics released earlier this month by the Realtors Association of Maui.

The median is the halfway point in the series of sales prices and can offer a better assessment of the market than average sale prices, which can be skewed by large sales.

Closed sales last month for single-family homes were down 19.4 percent to 79; for condos the dip was 3.2 percent to 120. Also, it’s taken longer to sell single-family homes, with 172 days on the market this time of the year, compared with 134 days in 2018. Condos transitioned a bit faster at 141 days, down from 154 the year before.

Kihei topped the sales volume chart for single-family homes in February, with 14 units sold at a median sales price of $910,000; Wailuku and Kahului came in second and third, with 12 at $662,500 and 10 at $652,500, respectively. The Makawao/Olinda/Haliimaile area was also notable: Nine units were sold at a median sales price of $850,000.

Buyers found the costliest homes in Kapalua and Kaanapali, which carried median price tags of roughly $2.6 million. On the lower end were a handful of sales in Molokai at $377,500. The next most affordable locations jump to more than $650,000 in Kahului and Wailuku.

Condos saw the bulk of sales in Kihei, with 57 units sold last month at a median sales price of $488,000. Napili/Kahana/Honokowai and Wailuku also generated double-digit sales of 15 at $280,000 and 11 units at $541,475, respectively.

Priciest condos in the county were in Wailea/Makena, which carried a $1.2 million median tag, followed by Kaanapali and Kapalua, which hovered around a $900,000 median sales price. Most affordable units were found last month on Molokai at $189,550, Naplili/Kahana/Honokowai at $280,000 and Kahului at $322,000.

Inventory continued to wane, with a 14.2 percent drop last month to 501 for single-family homes; condo availability saw a substantial decline of 21.8 percent to 557 units in the same timeframe. Last month’s condo availability hit its second lowest month over the last year, RAM data showed.

New listings did go up slightly in February to 135, a 7.1 percent increase from the same time in 2018, for residential homes. Condos, though, dropped 21.3 percent to 144.

A pending sales bump of 10.3 percent for single-family homes brought some hope last month. Condos decreased 24 percent in the same category.

The softening of sales locally paralleled the national market, where existing-home sales were down at the turn of the year due to poor weather and other factors.

“Nevertheless, housing markets have proven to be resilient despite predictions of a tougher year for the industry,” the RAM report said. “It is still too early to say how the entire year will play out, but economic fundamentals remain positive.”

A Fannie Mae Economic Strategic Research Group January 2019 Economic and Housing Outlook report said interest rates should change very little in 2019, which may give potential homebuyers new opportunities after 2018’s “erratic interest rate movement.”

The Fed is anticipated to have only one interest rate increase for the year, the report said.

* Kehaulani Cerizo can be reached at kcerizo@mauinews.com.