Maui real estate activity slowed in April as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically reduced new listings and resulted in a big drop-off in pending sales.
New listings plunged 41.9% for single-family homes and declined 23.9% for condominiums, according to a report issued Thursday by the Realtors Association of Maui. Pending sales, the waiting period before a contract becomes final, sank 57.8% for single-family homes and tumbled 71.5% for condos. Inven- tory also dried up as it fell 18.9% for single-family homes and dipped 1.3% for condos.
The new listings, pending sales and inventory offered a more accurate view of the island’s housing market given that completed sales and median prices in April came in mixed. Typically, completed sales reported in a given month reflect signed purchase agreements made one to three months before. So the impact is expected to be greater in May and June.
Condo sales that closed during April nose-dived 37% to 87 from 138 in the year-earlier month while the median sales price jumped 35.6% to $602,494 from $444,444. Single-family home sales rose 7.7% to 84 from 78, but the median price fell 7.9% to $754,523 from $819,500.
The median price is a point at which half the sales were at a higher price and half at a lower price. This measure can be influenced by the size, age, location and quality of homes sold.
The Realtors Association of Maui said in its report that it expects social distancing, higher unemployment and lower overall economic activity likely will continue to constrain real estate activity in the near term.
“At the same time,” the report said, “the industry is adapting to the current environment by conducting business using technologies such as virtual showings and e-signing to help buyers and sellers with their housing needs in the face of these challenges.”