Gary's Blog

Monday, June 28, 2010

Maui's Real Estate Market is Showing Great Strength!

I just had a $5 million ocean front buyer come into my office, and scheduled showings a few days out. In that three day wait, the only two Kihei under-$5 million beachfront homes went under contract! Makena just saw two big sales close. One for $17.5 million, one for an all-time Maui high of $19.85 million. A half-built home, sold by the investor at One Pala'uea, a $3.9 million listing, just went under contract. Wailea Kialoa just saw a closing of $2.975 million. Papali closed a $2.6 million sale, with another in escrow. Even Wailea Kai is seeing strong sales prices, with a recent $1,699,000 closing. South Maui is on fire!

The local developers must agree. Ho'ole'a, a new Stanford Carr Development project, was just launched last Saturday in Wailuku. Other projects in Wailuku are selling out, and the developers see that.

Canadian buyers are very bullish on Maui. They are coming here with a strong dollar, and relatively low prices - what a great combination. I can tell you that as conservative as Canadians are, the fact that they are buying here speaks volumes!

It is not just my observation, but statistics back what I am saying. The Hawaii Tourism Authority reports that international tourists in Hawaii spent 7.3% more through the month of April than in the same period in 2009. International arrivals were also up, by 5%, in April, reaffirming the fact the Hawaii is the dream vacation destination of the world!

Another encouraging article just published by the Associated Press is the increased company spending across America. "Corporate investment is not only growing, but accelerating". Business spending was up 2.1% in May, the second month of growth.

This type of growth is typical after a recession. Businesses were holding their wallets close to their vest for so long, finally they have to cut loose, increase spending, especially in computers and networking equipment. New orders in that area rose 2.5% in May.

Another interesting statistic is the decline of the unemployment rate in 37 states last month. Only six states across America had increases, seven had no change.

Maui's unemployment rate, and the State of Hawaii's unemployment rate both dropped. Hawaii is doing great, with only 6.6% unemployment, and Maui's rate dropped from 8.7% to 8.2% in May.

Add to all these signs low mortgage rates. The lowest since the 50's! Down to 4.69% this week, this is actually the lowest rate since Freddie Mac started keeping records in 1971!

The statistics are pointing toward more growth coming up. For that reason, I am putting my money where my mouth is. Personally, I am fully invested in Maui real estate. Also, I am stepping up my marketing, both on line and off, to capture those buyers coming to our market. If you want to be one of those, don't hesitate, call me now for my Best Buys list!

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Maui Updates

I just came back from a three week western tour in our motorhome. That's what all this hard work is about! We saw Yellowstone National Park, went up to South Dakota and saw the Mt. Rushmore, saw wild bear, bald eagles, and stuff Maui never sees!

Anyway, lots of catching up to do on the Maui news:

Maui again saw the highest growth in visitor
arrivals with 3% growth in April and is the only
island with continued visitor growth since the
beginning of the year. Maui saw positive YTD
2010 arrival growth in all top four visitor
markets, particularly from US West 8.7%, Japan
7.4%, and Canada 17%, that outpaced overall
Statewide results. Kahului had 11.8% more seats
in April due to seasonal and additional routes.
Maui County cruise passengers increased 20.8%
in April and 12.4% YTD over 2009.
Hawaii Tourism Authority 5/27/10

Maui again led the state with a 10.5% occupancy
increase to 66.7% in April due to higher arrivals
from Japan 17.6% and US West 6.7%. Maui
continued to have the state’s highest ADR at
$227.89, yet ADR decreased 7.1% in April due to
continued rate discounting in the market. YTD
ADR has decreased 10.8% over 2009. RevPAR
increased in April 10.9% as the strong occupancy
gain more than offset the loss in ADR. YTD
RevPAR is 1.7% above 2009. All market
locations and price segments saw occupancy
Hospitality Advisors Hawaii Hotel Flash Report April 2010

Wells Fargo ended up being the high bidder for
the Makena Beach and Golf Resort, bidding $55
million at a public foreclosure auction. Wells
Fargo is trustee for the mortgage lending trust
that foreclosed on the 1,800 acre South Maui
resort and is owed more than $192.5 million.
The resort’s hotel, formerly known as the Maui
Prince Hotel, has remained operational,
managed by Benchmark Hospitality International
since September 2009 and is overseen by courtappointed
Pacific Business News, 05/28/10

The owners of popular Longhi’s restaurant chain
are repositioning the Hotel Hana-Maui and have
assumed management of the AAA Four Diamond
hotel’s food and beverage operations. The 64 year
old hotel is owned by Denver based real
estate investment firm, Amstar Group, and has
changed hands several times over the past
decade as investors have struggled with
Pacific Business News, 05/21/10

Maui Land & Pineapple Co, Inc. reported a loss
of $2.7 million for first quarter 2010, an
improvement over its $13.2 million loss last year.
In December 2009, the company closed its
agriculture division, which generated a $2.5
million loss in first quarter 2009.
Pacific Business News, 05/10/10

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