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Maui home sales go up as price decline continues

Condo purchases jump 39 percent, and single-family homes increase 17 percent

By Andrew Gomes

LAST UPDATED: 02:10 a.m. HST, Jan 12, 2011

Maui housing prices continued their slide last year despite stronger sales, according to data released by the Realtors Association of Maui.

The median price for single-family homes on the Valley Isle slid 8 percent last year to $460,000 from $498,106. It was the third consecutive annual decrease since the median price peaked in 2006 at $690,000.

For condominiums the median price fell 16 percent to $377,500 from $450,000. The condo price peak was $550,000 in 2007.

Maui's extended slump was generally consistent with housing market performances on the Big Island and Kauai but not Oahu.

Hawaii's neighbor island residential real estate markets tended to be fed by a higher proportion of vacation home development and buying during the last boom, and have suffered a more intensive drop during the market slowdown over the last few years.

By comparison, Oahu's housing market rebounded last year with a median price gain of 3 percent that ended two years of decline, and a flat condo median price that halted a one-year decline.


The number of homes sold on Maui in December with the median price and percentage change from the same month last year:


December 2010    70 $465,706
December 2009    90 $477,000
Pct. change -22.2% -2.4%



December 2010    92 $355,747
December 2009    81 $399,000
Pct. change +13.6% -10.8%

Source: Realtors Association of Maui Inc.

Market observers, including local economist Paul Brewbaker, say that while the recovery on the neighbor islands is slower than on Oahu, a bottom in the neighbor island markets appears to be forming with significantly stronger sales.

The number of Maui single-family home sales rose 17 percent last year to 814 from 693 a year earlier. The rise reversed two consecutive years of declines.

There were 1,147 Maui condo sales last year, a 39 percent jump from 826 a year earlier. The gain was a second straight annual increase after three years of falling sales.

One caveat to Maui's home sale figures is that the Realtors Association of Maui data represent sales of previously owned homes and new homes. Oahu's data is limited to previously owned homes in part because new homes are typically pricier and can elevate median prices.

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