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Maui Real Estate Market mirrors national housing recovery

March 14, 2013
GREG SMITH • Prudential Maui REALTORS , Lahaina News

The climate for real estate on our Valley Isle remains optimistic and positive as we move forward into 2013. The dynamic of a shrinking inventory and many first-time home buyers continues to contribute to an environment where many well-priced listings are sold within the first week of being on the market, often with multiple offers.

Maui's year-end 2012 Real Estate numbers are right in line with the national housing market. For the nation, total existing home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 5.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in November from a downwardly revised 4.76 million in October, and are 14.5 percent higher than the 4.40 million-unit pace in November 2011. Sales are at the highest level since November 2009, when the annual pace spiked at 5.44 million.

Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist, said tight inventory is a major factor in the market. "Buyer traffic is continuing to pick up, while seller traffic is holding steady," he said. "In fact, buyer traffic is 40 percent above a year ago, so there is plenty of demand but insufficient inventory to improve sales more strongly. We've transitioned into a seller's market in much of the country."

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If you are thinking of buying a Maui home or investment property, what exactly are you waiting for?

Terry Tolman, Realtors Association of Maui chief staff executive, reports increased showings and sales, and multiple offers on new "good" listings. Hesitant buyers become onlookers the window of opportunity may be closing for first-time home buyers. Well-priced properties are attracting multiple offers, making for a quick sale. Inventories have declined 16-18 percent over the past 12 months in residential and condo classes. Many short sales and REO (bank owned) properties are being absorbed as sales as we begin to move ahead to a more normal marketplace. Mortgage interest rates are still near historic record lows, which may help motivate would-be buyers to go ahead and buy IF they can qualify. While general U.S. economic news looks cautiously hopeful, current world and U.S. events will have ripple effects on cost of living, consumer confidence, financial and Real Estate Markets, Tolman explained.

According to Maui Board of Realtors' statistics, the Napili/Kahana/Honokowai district has seen a 4 percent increase in residential median sales price, and Maui County as a whole saw a 9 percent increase in median sales price comparing 1/1/2012 through 12/31/2012 with 1/1/2011 thru 12/31/2011. The condominium category also saw improvements. The Napili/Kahana/Honokowai district has seen a 15 percent increase in condominium median sales price, and Maui County as a whole saw a 16 percent increase in median sales price comparing the same time period.

Dean Rathbun of Avis Mortgage said interest rates came down a touch this week, as the ten-year treasury bill eased back into the 1.84 percent range ending this first day in March. Incredible that spring is just a few weeks away. The market was very active this week, with buyer calls really picking up as the market heats up with offers again.

Prices have stabilized, median prices are starting to rise and interest rates will remain low for only so long. So if you are thinking of buying a Maui home or investment property, what exactly are you waiting for? Especially if you are looking at a distressed property, you need to have all your "ducks in a row" and be ready to pounce. I am ready be of service and get you results; just call (808) 357-4782 or e-mail Greg@MauiRealEstateLLC.com.

 
 

 

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