January 6, 2011
The Kahului real estate market, a western section of the larger Maui housing market, saw a series of encouraging signs in recent months. Although the number of foreclosures in the region has become a concern for many analysts, there were a larger number of condominium sales and stronger resort market figures in recent months. According to statistics reported in the Lahiana News, the number of condominiums sold on Maui from January 2010 to September 2010 was a forty-nine percent improvement over the same period last year. The average sales price, however, saw a decrease of about nine percent. This helps to explain the number of sales in recent months in conjunction with historically low interest rates. Just as the condo market has been rallying, the resort real estate market has recovered strongly over the past year. Total sales have increased by about fifty percent over the last three quarters, while the low average price of resort properties has helped to drive demand. On Maui in particular, there will be a projected 629 resort sales in 2010, a record compared to the previous high of 588, reached in 2005. Conversely, while the average price of resort property on Maui was about $1,400,000, a substantial decrease from the peak figure, which was closer to two million dollars. Last year, the median price was closer to one and a half million dollars.
The number of foreclosures in Maui, including distressed Kahului homes for sale, decreased in the month of November 2010. Although many local and state government officials have started to initiate formal investigations of foreclosure practices as well as coordinate government relief efforts, it appears that the initial flood of mortgage defaults may have subsided. According to statistics provided by RealtyTrac, there were a total of 877 foreclosures in the state of Hawaii during November. For Maui in particular, the number of foreclosures fell by approximately ten percent compared to November 2009. By comparison, Kauai decreased by nineteen percent, while the Big Island saw seven percent fewer and Oahu actually saw fifteen percent more foreclosures.