Maui Kai Update
August 2018
Aloha Maui Kai Owners,  

Hawaii has become the first state in the nation to ban reef-damaging sunscreen.  Chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate  have been scientifically proven to induce coral bleaching, harm and even kill coral.  While the bill won't go into effect until 2021, many resorts and stores in Hawaii are already offering coral safe sunscreen. * Hawaii's population is projected to increase gradually and reach 1.65 million people by 2045.  People over 65 will account for nearly a quarter, or 23.8% of the population compared with 17.1% in 2016.  Maui County's population by 2045, is expected to be 211,500.
The erupting Kilauea volcano on the Big Island has displaced many people, but also their pets.  Enter the "Volcano Dogs".   Many of these displaced dogs are finding new homes on Maui thanks to animal rescue groups and a handful of volunteers. If you'd like to adopt a dog, or volunteer check their Facebook page.  *  Outrigger Hotels and resorts has added another property to their vacation portfolio with the purchase of Honua Kai Resort & Spa in Kaanapali.  The resort is expanding with a buildout of 72 luxury townhomes, scheduled for completion in 2020.

It seems Maui is always winning some sort of award, and here are the two latest:  Travel and Leisure Magazine released its latest "World's Best List" and Maui took the top spot for the 7th year in a row as best island in Hawaii. * Narrowing the scope a little Maui's Road to Hana made FlightNetwork's top 50 list of the World's Best Travel Journeys.
Here on Maui, the median price of a condominium jumped 20% in June, compared to a year ago.  The median price of $515,000 was a 19.8% increase from $430,000 in June 2017.  The number of condo sales on Maui also increased by 21%, to 150 sales in June, from 124 sales in June 2017.  S ales of single-family homes dropped to 84 homes sold in June, a 30% decline from 120 homes sold during the same month last year.  The median price of a single-family home in June was $727,500, a 1.7% drop from $740,000 a year ago.

If we take a look at the first six months of this year, condominium sales fose 22% to 870 units sold, from 713 sold during the first six month of last year.  The median price was $495,000, a 4.2% increase from $475,000 during the same period last year.  The first half of this year also saw sales of single-family homes rise 5.1% to 575 homes sold, from 547 sold during the first six months of 2017.  The median price however, declined by 2.2% to $690,000 from $705,000 during the same period last year.
Now l et's take a look at Maui Kai :


Figures from Realtors Association of Maui
SUMMEROverall, Maui County hotels and resorts were not as full as those on Kauai and Oahu in the first half of this year, but Maui hotels excelled at hauling in money.  The average daily room rate rose 10.9% to $298.02, and the revenue per available room grew 11.5% to $313.15  Wailea continued to set the pace for luxury resort areas.  Its occupancy rates were up 2.4% to 88.4% with daily average room rates at $606.71.  Posting such numbers put Wailea at the top of markets in the world.  Hotels and resorts on the West side; Lahaina, Kaanapali and Kapalua posted first half year occupancies of 78% with the average room rates up 9.1% to $331.73.  

Visitor spending in Hawaii rose 10.3% to $1.6 billion in June, bringing spending up 10.8% for the first half of the year to $9.26 billion.  Meanwhile, arrivals increased 7.3% in June to 897,099 visitors, while year-to-date arrivals are up 8.2% to 4.98 million.  Maui visitor spending increased 10.1% to $433.5 million and arrivals rose 11.5% to 280,561.

Okay ... but there's a disconnect here. The gap is widening between arrivals and hotel occupancy: Why?  Many are pointing to alternative accommodations - like vacation rentals- to be the cause.  Vacation rental home use increased by more than 20% from Japan, Canada and the U.S. through June, while the pace of hotel growth stayed in the single-digits.  Visitors from the Mainland showed an increase of 24.4% in rental home use, while hotel use increased only 9%.

I've been telling you that I keep my units as short term vacation rentals ... but I've also warned you that no all vacation rental platforms are equal.  While I could choose to work with any of them, I only choose  Maui Beachfront Rentals . It's a win - win all around. I can keep my guests happy by having them avoid all those inflated fees by travel agencies, and having a local staff that's available to them 24/7.  They get more bang for their buck ... fully equipped kitchens, laundry, free parking, and amenities.  I get a lot of repeat guests.  AND  MBR  takes all the hassle out of it for me.  They cover all the bases plus extra advertising on sites like VRBO, HomeAway, Flip Key and others ... all at no additional cost to me.
CEO's of  Hawaiian Airlines and  Alaska Airlines both say they are ready to defend their market share in Hawaii when  Southwest Airlines launches its low-cost service to the Islands.  In what appears to be a defensive competitive move, both Alaska and Hawaiian recently announced direct Hawaii flights from Sacramento (a traditionally strong California hub for Southwest).

A & B has an agreement to sell 313 acres of former agricultural land to the state for $8.6 million for an expansion of the Kahului Airport.  The deal is expected to close during the third quarter.

Modernizing Hawaii's aging power grid so it can handle the increasing number of renewable energy resources is not easy nor cheap.  However, the next step might catch you by surprise.  Hawaiian Electric is teaming up with Verizon.  Yes, the can you hear my now? Verizon.  In a first for Verizon, a utility will use the company's existing 4G LTE network infrastructure for communication purposes specific to solar systems. * And in another unexpected program, concerns that Hawaii's new community solar program wouldn't attract sufficient interest, seems to have been unfounded.  Hawaiian Electric received 12 applications within the first 10 days ... 4 of them on Maui. Community solar will target those customers that have so far been excluded - including many renters, apartment dwellers and small business owners without access to private rooftop solar.
Dean Rathbun  of  Avis Mortgage  says this is the 2nd week in a row for higher mortgage rates.  The 30 year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.6% ... which puts rates at their 4th highest level of the year.  Buyers on the fence should adopt a better now than later stance because even with home price growth easing slightly in some markets, rising mortgage rates will certainly create affordability challenges for prospective buyers.

And even though the Federal Reserve didn't raise short-term interest rates last week, they are on course to deliver their 3rd interest rate increase of the year at their next meeting in late September. The Fed cited the strength of America's economic expansion alongside inflation that is hovering close to target, for their decision this month - "Economic activity has been rising at a strong rate.  Economic output rose at a 4.1% annual rate in the 2nd quarter, which is the highest three-month increase since 2014."
Haleakala Free Overnight Crater Service Trip

8/11- 19: No-Cost medical, dental or vision healthcare  Info
8/14: Benefit Night for the Birds   Flatbread Co.  Paia 5-10pm
8/17: Overnight service trip and weekend cabin stay in 
           Haleakala Crater (free)  details

Maui OnStage    Iao Theater    tickets
9/28-10/14: Rumors ( a Neil Simon comedy)

Maui Theater   Monday, Tuesday, Thursday Friday tickets  
"Ulalena"           Hawaiian Show 5pm
"Burn'n Love"   Relive Elvis in Hawaii Concert 7:30pm

Maui Arts & Cultural Center   
8/9: Home Free   country music
8/10-12: Albatross   one-man play
8/12: Maui Chamber Orchestra & Chorus    Joseph Haydn
8/18: 24th Annual Maui Calls Fundraiser Gala
8/23: Greta Van Fleet   rock concert
8/24: Susan Middleton in the Green Room   talk
8/24-26: MAPA presents "Into The Woods"
8/26: Henry Kapono & Friends

Mulligans On The Blue    Tuesdays
6:30 pm Free Magic Show
9:00 pm Open Mic Comedy
Obon Festival  schedule
8/10-11: Lahaina Hongwanji 6pm
8/17-18: Open  TBA
8/25: Kula Shofukuji 6:30pm

As you read above, more visitors are coming to the Islands, and they're spending more.  On top of that ... the number of them staying in short term vacation rentals is increasing while hotel stays are decreasing!  If you're even thinking of selling your property, let my 30-plus years of Maui real estate experience guide you through the process.  Call me for a confidential, no obligation discussion of what your property is worth.  I can even steer you towards some good buys if you're looking to expand your real estate portfolio. Don't wait for mortgage interest rates to reach 5% before acting. 

With over 30 years experience in the Maui market I promise you, you can't be in better hands.   Remember, we are the  only  Berkshire Hathaway Real Estate Brokerages on Maui. Our offices are located in Lahaina-Kapalua and Wailea-Makena.  I'm available to you 7 days a week. 


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