The Pandemic and 3rd Quarter Glance of Maui Real Estate Market
The global pandemic is changing the way we live, work and play. In the escrow/title industry, Fidelity National Title & Escrow offices remain closed to the public. Real estate is considered essential business under Maui County’s Emergency rules, and real estate agents must comply with a list of restrictions, which affect property showings, viewings, inspections, appraisals, etc. These behavioral changes have been felt acutely across all parts of the market. Here on Maui, even in the midst of all these changes and with the mandatory 14-day quarantine – which has basically cut off tourists from visiting – the Maui real estate market is in a U-shaped recovery and gaining momentum. On Thursday, the state launched a pre-travel COVID-19 testing program that now allows trans-Pacific travelers to bypass the quarantine under certain conditions.
3RD Quarter Update: What’s Happening in Maui Real Estate
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The most significant shift in the market since March is the home vs. condo sales. Historically, condo recordings accounted for 59 percent of total transactions vs. 36 percent of home sales. In seven short months, condo sales dropped to 51 percent of total recordings vs. 42 percent of home sales. While we realize so many of our local residents have moved off the island, people have learned to work out of their homes, remotely, and more and more people are moving to Maui.
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- The total number of total sales (homes, condo and land) for Maui is down 18 percent vs. 3rd Quarter 2019.
- Maui Home sales dropped 11 percent, with the West Maui District, namely the areas of Kapalua (down 59 percent) and Lahaina (down 43 percent) had the greatest decreases, where home sales dropped a total of 35 percent.
- The Maui median sales price for homes increased 4 percent to $775,000.
- The total number of Maui Condo sales is down 24 percent vs. 3rd Quarter 2019. South Maui district has the greatest decrease in sales with Kīhei down 39 percent and Wailea/Mākena salesdown 36 percent. However, Māʻalaea condo sales, 13 more sales vs. 2019) is one of only four areas on Maui to see an increase.
- The Maui median sales price for condos jumped to $560,000, an 8 percent increase.
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As you can see from the Pending/Sales graph below, we have felt an increase of pending transactions for August and September, with a continued strong start to October. Historically on Maui, the fall (September) has been a quiet time for real estate pendings with families returning back home and children in school. But this September proved to be different with 51 more properties going in escrow vs. September 2019. One thing 2020 has taught us is to expect the unexpected. Who would have guessed in October 2020, the Dow Jones Industrial average would hover around its highest, Maui real estate sales are strengthening and interest rates continue to remain historically low?
With the pre-flight testing program going into effect, will the reopening of travel spur a continued increase in buyer demand? How long can the condo second homeowner hold onto their properties with the loss of short term vacation rental income? What will happen to condo prices with more and more condos being placed on the market? We shall see as we head into the last quarter of the year.
In the meantime with the island re-opening, we are trusting that the number of positive cases continue to decrease, hospitalization and death rates remain low, our local residents will return back to work, companies begin re-opening and our keiki can get back to school with friends, teachers and happily socializing, as they need to.
**This information is presented for informational purposes only. It is not our intention to provide any legal, financial or business advice. For specific information, please consult a qualified advisor.
AVP, Strategic Business Development
Fidelity National Title & Escrow:
Reta Chin is a contributing writer to Maui Now. Reta’s experience in the Maui escrow/title/real estate industry dates back to 1990. Named Affiliate of the Year by the Realtors Association in 2000 and she’s also been recognized for sales awards in her career. Fidelity National Title is recognized as the leader in the industry, ranked 303 in the Fortune 500. Fidelity is the highest rated and largest title insurance company, underwriting one of three policies, nationwide. One of the offices is located at the Shops at Wailea, at 3750 Wailea Alanui, Suite 22EW in Wailea. You can Follow Reta on IG @RetaChinFidelity.
Offices of Fidelity National Title & Escrow are available in: Kahului (808) 893-0556; Lahaina (808) 661-4960; Upcountry (808) 573-0110; and Wailea (808) 891-2404.
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