WAILUKU >> The median price of a single-family home in Maui County has climbed to $630,000 for the first half of 2016, a sum real estate experts say is pricing locals out of the market.
Realtors Association of Maui President Jeannie Wenger said home sales for the first half of the year have primarily been to locals for houses below the median price and to off-island buyers who can pay $600,000 and above, The Maui News reported.
Local buyers can only afford to pay a fixed amount based on the income from their job or jobs, she said.
“What local people can actually afford based on lender criteria is not usually $600,000,” she said.
The Realtors Association of Maui report noted a 5 percent increase in the median price of homes compared to last year in the same period. The number of units sold also rose, up 7 percent to 531 units in the January-to-June period.
At the end of 2000, the median price of a single-family home was $275,000. Prices have risen 2.3 times higher since then and Wenger said local incomes have not kept pace.
When the recession hit, many Maui residents faced foreclosures and lost their homes. Investors then came in and purchased the lower-priced foreclosed properties and flipped them for higher prices.
“Now prices are out of reach of local people,” she said.
Wenger said one of the biggest problems in the county is inventory, as there are not enough single-family homes available.
She said the lower-end single-family properties — under $400,000 — are not in good shape and often have unpermitted structures and illegal rentals. Because of the problems they may not qualify for loans.
“That kind of speaks to the bigger picture,” Wenger said.