Maui home prices rise; market is stabilizing
The median sales price of single-family homes and condominiums on Maui showed strong year-over-year gains, but a drop in sales for February added to evidence that the market is stabilizing.
While buyers will still pay top dollar for the best properties, gone are the days when average properties will move fast or sell above the asking price, said Carol Ball, owner and principal broker at Carol Ball & Associates.
Half the homes sold last month on Maui went for more than $699,000 -- a 21 percent gain in price over February of , according to figures released yesterday by the Realtors Association of Maui. The median price for a condominium rose 25.6 percent to $443,960 from the previous year.
Neither median was a record for the Valley Isle. Maui house sales hit a record $780,000 median price in May 2005. The record median for a Maui condominium was $474,500 in November 2005.
Home sales in higher-priced areas like Lahaina, Nahiku, Olowalu -- where the median exceeded $1 million -- drove up Maui's overall median price, the point at which half the sales were higher and half were lower.
While there is no evidence prices are turning downward, dropping sales combined with an increase in the time it takes to sell a property indicate a shift from a seller's to a buyer's market, Ball said.
The pace of sales on Maui dropped off in February, with a 30.9 percent decrease in the number of single-family homes sold and a 43 percent decline in the number of condos sold.
As a result of the softening market, sellers are staging properties so that they will be more appealing for buyers, and are agreeing to concessions ranging from a reduction in asking price to repairs, Ball said.
Despite the market shift, it's still an optimum time for sellers to list their properties, Ball said.
"If a person wants to get top dollar for their property, they should put it on the market now," Ball said. "They shouldn't wait because the market hasn't reflected a downward turn yet and people still are willing to pay a goodly sum for a nice property."