What the end of 2019 — and start of 2020 — will mean for Maui real estate

Posted by Staff Writer on Thursday, November 14th, 2019 at 8:36am

The holidays usually bring one of the slowest times of year across the country for real estate sales. But that’s not true on Maui: The winter rush of visitors and second-home owners to the island is poised to usher in a one of the largest boosts in sales during the first few months of 2020.  

“We are going to see a great uptick in real estate sales, both on the number of transactions and the price points,” said Island Sotheby’s International Realty owner and Principal Broker Ryan MacLaughlin. “Historically, January through April we see record sales.”

According to recently released data from the Maui Association of Realtors, the median sales price jumped 5.7 percent so far this year compared to last year. At the same time, the number of days spent on the market is down more than 9 percent, a signal of  tight inventory. 

“The inventory is actually really low right now, which is not the same theme as the West Coast, as they are seeing an increase in inventory,” explained MacLaughlin. 

“The demand will be there for a low supply, thus driving the prices up,” he continued, adding that he expected a particularly high surge in the resort regions of South and West Maui, which is typical during this time of year.

But those areas aren’t the only ones expected to see a slight jump in the months after the New Year. 

“Though clients are usually staying in the resort areas, they become curious about other areas of the island as they are enjoying their stays here,” said MacLaughlin. “They will buy in areas like Upcountry, Haiku or the North Shore because of the attractive lower prices or the feeling of being a little further removed from the more urban feel of the resorts.”

The Island Sotheby’s International Realty owner said he expects the real estate market to stay strong and steady into 2020. Overall, the real estate market in 2019 has been significantly slower than 2018, which MacLaughlin attributes to the market adjusting after years of soaring prices and record sales.

“There’s nothing wrong with that,” MacLaughlin said. “A volatile market is when prices are rising or declining at a rapid rate. That is where we see drastic turns and crashes. This won’t happen.”

As real estate sales in 2019 begin to level off, MacLaughlin said this will actually create confidence in both buyers and sellers, which could lead to more transactions in 2020. 

“Stability creates confidence,” MacLaughlin said. “And 2020 appears to be a very stable year, with a lot of economic indicators in play.”



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