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Median home prices back under $1 million

Report: Competition could soften and bring moderation to sales prices

This 1,531-square-foot home at 309 Wainohia Street in Kihei is listed for $1.15 million. Photo was taken Sunday morning. Maui County single-family home median sales prices dipped just below $1 million last month and realtors anticipate the market will remain steady until inventory ramps back up. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

Maui County single-family home median sales prices dipped just below $1 million last month and realtors anticipate the market will remain steady until inventory ramps back up.

Unsurprisingly, the Realtors Association of Maui’s September report said that declining affordability has had “a significant impact” on homebuyers, many of whom have been priced out of the market and are choosing to wait for sales prices to ease before resuming their home search.

Still, the median sales price for single-family homes in Maui County increased 27.3 percent to $996,500 in September compared to the same month last year while the median sales price for condominiums was up 46.6 percent to $729,125 and 21.8 percent to $849,000 for vacant property.

The median sales price for single-family homes exceeded $1 million over the summer for the first time in history.

The association’s president Keone Ball said Sunday afternoon that “I think that’s temporary” as prices for real estate showed a slight dip from then.

“I do think it will go back up,” Ball added. “The problem is the volume, you know, there isn’t enough for sale. Until we get our inventory together, it’s going to remain stable.”

Inventory decreased by 44.3 percent for single-family homes and 82.3 percent for condominiums. New listings decreased 9.8 percent to 119 for single-family homes and 29.2 percent to 131 for condominiums, according to the report.

Low inventory and a high demand for affordable housing is also a nationwide problem, he said, with existing home sales down slightly in August, falling 2 percent after two consecutive months of increases, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“We’re just not building enough and that’s what economists have said for years, we’ve been behind for decades of not building enough,” Ball added.

Building four to five-story apartments, and affordable rentals and homes could help to provide more opportunity for ownership in Maui County, but will take partnership with landowners.

Regardless of Maui County’s expensive housing market and low inventory, buyers are still grabbing what’s available.

Days on market until sale declined 14.9 percent to an average of 103 days for single-family homes, 6.9 percent to 108 days for condominiums from last year and 45.6 percent to 253 days for land.

Closed sales, a count of actual sales that closed in a given month, increased more than 111 percent to 182 for condominiums and 55 percent to 31 for vacant land in comparison to September 2020.

On the other hand, closed sales for single-family homes remain steady with a slight 5.6 percent increase from last year, with 114 sold.

Ball noted that the investment in condos spiked possibly due to the settling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the affordability and condominiums being “the only option.”

Pending sales decreased 4.3 percent for single-family homes, but increased 5.7 percent for condominiums.

A home in Hana had among the lowest median sales prices in September at $600,000. A single-family home in Kapalua and the Spreckelsville-Paia-Kuau area had among the highest sales prices at over $4.5 million.

The 27 condo units sold in the Wailea/Makena area had the highest median sales prices last month at $1.8 million while a handful of units on Molokai and in Kahului had the lowest between $160,000 and around $168,000.

The average sales price for land in September, year-to-date, was around $917,000; there have been 325 land sales so far this year, with the majority in West Maui and Upcountry.

“It can be an option for some people,” Ball said. “The building industry has been super busy. Construction costs are kind of up there too, so I’m kind of surprised that people turn to that just because of the cost, but on the other hand, they could get a brand new custom house that might be around the same price.”

Land in Olowalu, where there has been five sales, has the highest average at $3.6 million while Nahiku, where there has been two sales, has the lowest average at $324,000.

“We did have some big sales, which can skew the stats big-time,” he said. “That’s what I always warn people about is you really have to look at the stats and ask if one sale skewed everything.”

However, the Realtors Association of Maui’s September report said there are signs that the market may be shifting.

“New listings have continued to hit the market, bucking seasonality trends commonly seen in the fall, a time when listing and sales activity typically slows as children return to school,” according to the report. “As inventory increases, competition for homes may soften, and could even bring a moderation in sales prices, which, after 114 months of year-over-year gains, would be music to the ears of homebuyers throughout the country.”

* Dakota Grossman can be reached at dgrossman@mauinews.com.

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