Maui home prices hit $780,000
The Valley Isle ties its all-time high as sales fall on all neighbor islands
The median home price on the Valley Isle in July reached $780,000, matching the all-time high of May 2005, according to the Realtors Association of Maui.
A year ago in July, the median home price on Maui was $642,600.
But the number of existing homes sold dropped to 88, which is 37 fewer than sold the same time a year ago.
Condominium median prices also slacked off from June's all-time high of $645,000, falling to $525,000 in July. Sales dropped dramatically, with only 78 trading hands in July, 150 fewer than sold the same time last year.
The good news for buyers is that the prices for condos are dropping. A two-bedroom condominium in Paia listed by Billy Jalbert of Jim Sanders Realty Inc., for instance, fell to below $400,000, the first time it has in a year.
The number of days properties are on the market is stretching, meaning that buyers have more time to shop around.
"Buyers are hanging out and waiting," said Keone Ball, president of the Realtors Association of Maui. "Sellers are not wanting to wait, and starting to take offers for a lot less."
Ball said he was confident that the sales volume would pick up by the end of the year, despite July's drop, if interest rates hold steady.
The overall sales volume, year-to-date, is at $587.5 million, about 25 percent lower than a year ago, when the volume was at $783.5 million.
In a presentation on the Maui real estate market last month, Bank of Hawaii economist Paul Brewbaker said the flattened sales should come as no surprise.
"If you didn't get the memo," he joked, "home sales have been declining for two years."
On Maui, Brewbaker said home sales have been declining for three years. However, Maui homes should still trade at a premium to homes in California, he said.
Big Island, Kauai
Median home prices on Kauai also rose by $40,000, to $735,000 from $695,000 in July 2005. The number of existing homes sold dropped to 31 compared with 50 in July 2005.
Condominium prices on Kauai increased to $459,000 from $440,000 in July 2005. The number of existing condos sold also dropped, to 42 compared to 78 in July 2005.
The overall year-to-date volume for residential sales dropped about 23 percent, to $245.4 million from $319.2 million in 2005.
List prices for homes and condos are on a downward trend, confirmed Debra Blachowiak, principal broker of Sleeping Giant Realty, a Sotheby's affiliate on Kauai.
She attributed the drop to rising interest rates, a less stable world and more sellers who are rushing to put their properties on the market.
The result is a higher level of inventory, which is good news for buyers but more competition for sellers.
"It's not a dead market," Blachowiak said. "There are still buyers coming. They're just more discriminating, and they have more to look at."
Big Island median home prices rose 8.25 percent, to $400,000 from $369,500 in July 2005. Only 151 existing homes traded hands, compared to 262 the same month last year.
Condominium prices, meanwhile, rose to $584,750 from $344,500 in July 2005. Sales dropped dramatically, with real estate agents selling only 38 existing condos in July of this year compared to 104 in July 2005.