Maui homes scooped up as mortgage rates fall

RAM: Median sales price for single-family homes drops slightly to $744,150

This home in Lahaina was listed for sale recently. Pending and closed sales were up in February, which coincided with falling mortgage rates. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Pending and closed sales jumped for Maui homes and condos last month, which coincided with falling mortgage rates from coronavirus impacts on the stock market.

February’s pending sales spiked double digits in year-over-year data, up 18.8 percent to 114 for single-family homes and 21.1 percent to 155 for condos, according to the Realtors Association of Maui’s report published Friday. Closed sales increased 5.1 percent to 83 for single-family homes and 9.9 percent to 133 for condos during the same timeframe.

Meanwhile, the median sales price decreased 5.4 percent to $744,150 for single-family homes, another boost for buyers. It increased slightly for condos, though, up 5.7 percent to $555,000. Median sales price is the point at which half of the sales sold for more and half sold for less (not accounting for seller concessions) in a given month.

However, inventory proved challenging for Maui last month as homes and condos fell to their lowest mark in RAM recording history. Inventory is the number of properties available for sale in active status at the end of a given month.

Inventory for single-family homes dropped 14 percent to 456 and condos declined 22.8 percent to 448. The numbers were the lowest on record since RAM began recording around 2010.

As fear over the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has been bad news for the stock market, it offered good news for borrowers looking to buy or refinance.

“While short-term declines in the stock market can sting, borrowers who lock in today’s low rates will benefit significantly in the long term,” the RAM report said.

The average rate on 30-year fixed mortgage hit a record low of 3.29 percent last week, down from 3.45 percent the week prior, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday. In January, it was around 3.7 percent.

The decline is being driven by investors shifting money out of the stock market and into the safety of U.S. Treasurys as the coronavirus outbreak has deepened.

The new 3.29 percent average rate is the lowest for a 30-year fixed mortgage since Freddie Mac started tracking such rates in 1971.

Maui buyers last month found the highest priced single-family home in Kapalua, where one sold for a median of $2,450,000, and the lowest priced was in Lanai, where two sold for a median of $453,500. The most units were sold in Wailuku, with 23 going at a median of $740,000; Kahului was second with 13 sold for $648,750; and Kihei was third with 12 that went for $753,000.

For condos, the biggest-ticket unit was in Kapalua, where one sold for a median of $4,200,000, and the most affordable was in Kahului, where one sold for $145,000. For volume, the most units were sold in Kihei, with 46 purchased at a median of $527,500; second was Napili/Kahana/Honokowai, where 23 went for $648,000; and third was Wailea/Makena, where 14 were bought for $888,500.

Percent of list price received was up 3.4 percent to 98.3 percent for single-family homes and it increased 0.2 percent to 97.7 percent for condos, the RAM report said. The percent of list price received is a percentage derived when dividing a property’s sales price by its most recent list price, then taking the average for all properties sold in a given month (not accounting for seller concessions).


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper?


Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today