RAM Reports Real Estate Statistics for July 2015
By Maui Now Staff
Monthly residential and condo unit sales numbers on Maui bounced up and down the last few months, with inventory still decreasing in July after the winter vacation, high sales season. But inventories are growing somewhat as sale prices increase.
The 2014 year-to-date median and average prices were rising across the residential, condo and vacant land markets, despite lower number of unit sales (year-to-date). The first quarter of 2015 broke from that trend; however, the number may catch up throughout the rest year.
For several months, approximately 40% of all sales were cash. Savvy investors are buying with cash, giving them a strong negotiating position, no financing/appraisal hassles and a quick closing.
Well-priced properties are attracting multiple offers making for quick sales.
REO (Real estate owned or foreclosures) and short sales are dwindling, with any “hidden inventory” (or overhang) backlog slowly trickling onto the market.
Mortgage interest rates are increasing slightly, which may help motivate would-be buyers to buy if they can qualify.
While general US economic news looks cautiously hopeful, current world and US events will have ripple effects on the cost of living, consumer confidence, financial and real estate markets.
Canadian investors have been major participants in Maui’s real estate market; however, the current Canadian dollar exchange rate (.76 US $) may motivate Canadian investors to sell rather than buy.
Rising sales prices are causing some owners to become sellers, putting their homes on the market. Sellers are advised to talk to their CPA and Realtor to explore the hidden benefits or consequences. Sellers need to beat competing properties with better property condition, realistic pricing, good marketing and flexible, creative terms.
Days-on-market figures show that properties priced right will sell in a reasonable timeframe, often with multiple offers. “Priced right” is still the determining factor. The best deals are selling, while significantly over-priced listings remain unsold. Pro-active sellers are getting their properties appraised, inspected and surveyed in advance to encourage realistic offers from knowledgeable buyers. This can prevent unanticipated escrow fallout or buyers whittling down prices during the transaction, when previously unknown facts come to light.
Low interest rates prevail; however, they have started to nudge upward and are predicted to rise later in 2015. Buyers should get pre-approved so they can shop with confidence (fewer last minute disappointments due to non-funding loans).
Short-sales and foreclosures are still in the marketplace, yet they can be less of a bargain than they seem, requiring buyers to leap hurdles and necessitating more closure time—often for to six to even 12 months—if at all.
Lenders are more stringent on requirements now for loan approval, compared to between 2004 and 2008.
Many programs are available for first-time homebuyers. Potential buyers are advised to attend a first-time homebuyers workshop, get familiar with the process, get qualified/approved and do their homework.
The low point in the market has passed, so check it out carefully now, advises RAM. The opportunity to buy is fading quickly.
But if it is not possible to buy now, RAM advises saving a down payment for the next market cycle.
JULY 2015 SALES STATISTICS
Sales Unit Volume Residential sales rose significantly to 128 homes sold, while condominium sales declined slightly to 94 units sold. Land sales came in at 13 lots sold.
Median Sales Prices The residential median price declined to $590,000; the condo median price rose to $394,000. Land median price decreased to $250,000.
Days on Market (DOM) Residential homes = 119 DOM, condos = 124 DOM, Land = 149 DOM.
General DOM Note: this is the average DOM for the properties that sold. If predominantly old inventory sells, it will move this indicator upward, and vice versa. RAM’s DOM stats are calculated from list date to closing date (not contract date0, including approximately 60 days of escrow time.
Year-to-Date Sales Numbers Compare January–July 2015 to January–July 2014
Shorter timeframe (monthly) views do not necessarily reflect the longer timeframe trends. Big percentage changes may be misleading or misunderstood. Early 2014 monthly numbers were quite strong, making early 2015 seem “a bit pale” in comparison. Anticipate that they will even out as we progress through the year.
For a more comprehensive view, compare these figures to 2014’s year-end (December 2014) figures.
YTD Residential Unit Sales increased (624 homes sold / +66 units / +12% change YTD), average sold price = $950,724 (0% change YTD), median price = $599,500 (+5% change YTD) and total dollar volume sold = $593,251,624 (+12%YTD).
Note: A previously unreported $40+ million sale in Wailea is now included in YTD.
YTD Condo Unit Sales decreased (708 units sold / -32 units / -4%YTD), average sold price = $650,189 (+2%YTD), median price = $414,450 (-1%YTD). Total condo dollar volume sold = $460,333,680 (-2% YTD).
Land Land lot sales declined (92 lots / -14 units / -13% YTD change), average sold price = $707,948 (+8%), median price = $490,000 (-9%), Total dollar volume = $65,131,241 (-6% YTD).
Note: Land lot sales are such a small sampling that statistics in this property class are not necessarily reliable indicators.
Total Sales for Immediate Past 12 Months Residential = 1,011 (with 12.3% being REO or Short Sale), Condo = 1,170 (7.4% REO or SS), Land = 153 (3.3% REO or SS).
Note: 38% of these sales in the last 12 months have been cash transactions.
Current Absorption Rate base on this July’s active/pending-continue to show/contingent status inventory divided by July sales: residential = 5 months, condo = 9.9 months, land = 27.8 months of inventory.
For absorption rate enthusiasts who calculate only pure “active,” (not any pending/contingent) divided by July Sales: residential 515 “active”/128 sold = 4 months. Condo 796 / 94 sold = 8.5 mos. Land 339 / 14 sold = 26 months of inventory.
Disclaimer: Zooming in on the figures of a specific geographic area or property type may lead to different conclusions that looking at the overall view. Maui’s market place is much smaller than O‘ahu’s, and a few high or low sales have a greater effect on the statistics without necessarily indicating a big market swing one way or another.
For more information, call RAM Chief Staff Executive Terry Tolman at (808) 270-4602 or send an email.