It’s that time of year when reflect on the recent past, look ahead and make plans to achieve new dreams.
If those plans include buying or selling a home or condominium on Maui, we’ve got you covered. 2018 was a record year for Island Sotheby’s International Realty, which represented listings that would break sales records in Hawai'i, including a sprawling $49 million Kapalua estate and a condominium at Wailea Point offered for $25 million.
But experts say 2019 could hold even more opportunities, especially for buyers. It’s no secret that over the past couple years, inventory has been tight — new properties have been hitting the market, but not enough to keep up with the demand. That trend, however, could change a bit.
“I believe that in 2019, we will be seeing a shift to a more balanced market between buyers and sellers, and possibly even a shift in favor of buyers,” said Island Sotheby’s International Realty owner Ryan MacLaughlin, R(B).
“In many of the markets on the West Coast, the inventory of active properties for sale are already up 10 to 15 percent,” he continued. “This tells me that the shift has begun, and the market may soften a bit.”
When the market softens, buyers will have more negotiation power — and more properties to choose from, MacLaughlin explained.
And one thing is clear, the demand for affordable housing on Maui is significant. Alex Cortez R(B), vice president and co-owner of Island Sotheby's International Realty, said he expects more options to open up for families searching for entry level homes.
"With several new projects being introduced, buyers have some viable options that were lacking in the past," he explained. However, since the high-end sector has performed so well in recent years, he said there could also be some sales records broken in 2019.
But as the market shifts in favor of buyers, sellers will have to make adjustments. MacLaughlin explained that property owners hoping to sell will need to select a brokerage that has top-notch service and marketing strength.
“When that shift occurs, the market will demand that sellers choose a brokerage with the best service, at the forefront of the real estate market,” said MacLaughlin. “That’s where I feel our brokerage will be in a great position — we have the systems and service to cover all of the clients needs.”