Maui Kai Update
January 2018
Aloha Maui Kai Owners,

No doubt about it the Humpback Whales have arrived.  Look how close the whale on the right got to folks on an adventure kayak tour! About 12,000 whales will migrate from Alaska to Maui between now and March.  *  Maui residents have made complaints that beaches are being crowded by cabanas and beach chairs put out by various beachfront hotels.  State enforcement officers  checked the concession stands for commercial use permits. Some didn't have them and were shut down, others had them but were told they could not arrange the chairs/cabanas on the beach until they had actually been rented out.
So let's address the elephant in the room: the now infamous "inbound ballistic missile ... seek shelter" message that sent Hawaii visitors and residents into panic mode. Yes it was horrible. Yes the employee (who's now getting death threats) hit the wrong button once, then when the screen prompt came on and said "are you sure you want to proceed?" he pushed it again.  But here's a couple of things you might not   know .   Since Hawaii has started these new alerts 28 of the sirens statewide played the wrong sound or had other technical problems. 12 mistakenly played an ambulance siren.  So is this a contagious anomaly?  Three days later Japan's broadcasters mistakenly issued a similar warning the "North Korea appeared to have fired a missile at Japan". It was corrected quickly.
New Hawaii REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses and state identification cards started to be issued last week.  the new "star in a gold circle" brings the ID into federal compliance.  If you have an ID without the gold-circled star, you can continue to use it until Oct. 1, 2020. * Speaking of drivers licenses, proposed legislation that would ban smoking in vehicles when a minor is present, unanimously passed committee Jan. 4th.  The violation on Maui would be a $200 penalty. Final reading of PEA-41 will be Feb 3rd.
Statewide, Hawaii's resort real estate market picked up steam in 2017, with overall sales increasing by 14% compared to 2016, and average prices increasing by 2.6%.  Forecasters are predicting that momentum to continue in 2018 due to global economic activity, the stabilization of China's economy, low commodity prices and the effects of the U.S. tax cuts.

But if you want to be impressed, Maui led the country in posting the nation's fastest luxury price growth beating out traditional hubs like New  York and San Francisco! Luxury sales are defined as the top 5% of sales in a given metro area. Luxury home prices in Maui rose almost 33%, reaching an average of $2.49 million in 2017 compared to 2016.

Looking at the total year figures; there were 1,099 single family homes sold on Maui in 2017, an increase of 2.1% from the 1,076 sold in 2016.  The median price rose by 8.8% to $695,000 in 2017 from $639,000 in 2016.  Condominium sales increased 10.8% to 1,451 sold in 2017, compared to 1,310 in 2016.  The median price for 2017 was $445,000, a 7.2% increase from $415,000 in 2016.

Focusing now on just last month; Maui single-family home sales declines 10.2% in December with 88 sales compared to 98 sold in December 2016.  The median price also declined by 0.8% to $695,500, from $701,000 in December 2016.  Condo sales finished the year strong with a 14% increase to 138 units sold in December compared to 121 in December 2016.  The median price increased by 7.2% to $445,000 from $415,000 in December 2016.

Now l et's take a look at Maui Kai :


Figures from Realtors Association of Maui
Hawaii tourism exceeded all expectations in 2017.  We set a new record: 9.3 million tourist arrivals in 2017.  That marks the 6th straight year of record-high totals for visitor spending, generated state tax revenue and arrivals.  The West Coast still sends the most Hawaii visitors. International seats are led by Japan, Canada, South Korea, and Australia.
A recent report by the Hawaii Tourism Authority analyzed Hawaii's major vacation rental platforms, finding Maui to have the largest number of individually advertised vacation rental units in 2017 with 13,418 units, a 24.4% jump from 2016.
Maui was packed for the holiday season and hotels were charging top dollar, if  you could even find a room.  Of course that meant every meal had to be a dine-out experience and laundry had to be sent out.  Folks who stayed in a beautiful home or condominium through   Maui Beachfront Rentals saved all that money.   And the beauty of booking thru MBR  is there are no hidden fees.  That's where I keep my vacation rentals, and my guests save money by avoiding all those inflated fees by travel agencies. Their service doesn't stop with the booking - locally based staff is available 24/7. For me, it means  no hassles.    No more trying to cover all my bases with a local rental agency here plus extra advertising on sites like VRBO, HomeAway, Flip Key and others to try and get a decent return.    MBR covers it all and at no additional cost.
Hawaiian Airlines  will launch a daily non-stop service between San Diego and Maui beginning May 1st.  They've also announced 4 new daily summer flights for 2018, including its first international seasonal service. New summer flights will be between San Francisco and Honolulu; Oakland and Kona, Big island; Los Angeles and Maui; and Narita and Honolulu.  Beginning June 1st, Hawaiian Airlines will also offer daily service between Long Beach, CA and Honolulu.  And for inter-island travelers, Hawaiian will add 2 more flights out of Kapalua to Oahu starting March 11th.

Hawaiian Airlines has decided to invest millions in airport renovations following the new Federal tax cuts.  Some of Hawaiian's competitors, including American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines, announced that they'll use their tax savings to award their employees with one-time $1,000 cash bonuses.  The same approach has also been taken by several of Hawaii's banks.  While Hawaiian Airlines won't award cash bonuses, their employees can expect to receive some of the highest profit-sharing payments in company history.

Meanwhile, our upward trend in visitor arrivals is continuing into 2018.  In the 1st quarter, air seat capacity to Hawaii is projected to grow by 10.9%.  But don't be surprised if the next time you get on a plane to anywhere, those entertainment screens in the seat backs are gone.  What was formally called in-flight entertainment, may be getting phased out in favor of content offerings that passengers can stream from their personal devices.
Mortgage rates rose to the highest average in months at the end of 2017, but home buyer applications still posted an uptick.  Mortgage applications for home purchases rose 1% in the final two weeks of the year.  Home purchase applications ended the year 3% higher than at the end of 2016.    Our mortgage expert  Dean Rathbun of Avis Mortgage says the recent tax bill could cause the Federal Reserve's rate increases to come faster - mortgage rates are expected to go up three or four times this year.  Mortgage rates typically follow the Treasury yield.  The federal funds rate sets the stage for the path mortgages will take. 

Jerome Powell, governor of the Fed, will take the reins from Chairwoman Janet Yellen early next month.  Yet  the Federal Reserve has already begun reducing its holdings of Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities, and this will put additional modest upward pressure on mortgage rates.  According to Dean, most predictions see rates increasing to 4.6% this year, 5% in 2019, and 5.3% in 2020.
The new federal tax cuts could result in lower electric bills for Hawaiian customers  - who usually face the highest rates in the country.  Lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% this year, will directly impact customers as the base electric rate includes both state and federal taxes. Meanwhile Hawaii regulators have approved a  community-based solar program,  which will open the door for small business, condo owners, and renters to buy electricity from off-site renewable energy projects such as solar farms.

The leaders of Hawaii's four counties have all pledged to eliminate all fossil fuels from ground transportation by 2045.  This aligns the ground transportation goals with the state goal of achieving 100% renewable energy generation fo 2045.  *  Hundreds of thousands of natural filter feeding oysters could possibly help clean one of Maui's most polluted bays - Maalaea.  Oysters will be supplied by the University of Hawaii Hil's Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Resources Center.

Ongoing: Stand Up Comedy Open Mic   Every Wednesday Night
End of Jan: Tix go on sale for Kapalua Wine & Food Festival  tickets
2/3, 2/10-11, 2/17-18, 2/24-25: Annual Open Maui Studios  info
2/8 & 10: Pacific Rim Cup  Int'l Soccer Tournament Oahu
2/10-24: 38th Annual Maui Whale Festival  check for month long events
2/17-25: Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational  details
2/23: Chinese New Year in Lahaina Year of the Dog 

Maui OnStage    Iao Theater    tickets
2/03-4:  Maui Chamber Orchestra - Young Artist Showcase
3/02-18: Cabaret
3/24-25: Maui Chamber Orchestra - Americana
4/27-5/13: Of Mice and Men
5/25-27: Maui Chamber Orchestra - Musicals
7/13-8/5: Singin' In The Rain

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   
1/25: Aotearoa's Finest  New Zealand/Maori music
1/27: Observe & Play Family Day
1/27: Makana & Friends: A Tribute to Hawaiian Slack Key Legend Sonny Chillingworth
1/28: Judy's Gang in "Party On"
2/01: Cuerteto Latinoamericano    string quartet
2/2-3: Kumu Kahua Theatre Wild Birds   Hawaiian play
2/03: ArT=Mixx: Nostalgia
2/08: Okareka Dance Company Mana Wahine
2/09: Tracy K. Smith (current U.S. Poet Laureate) in the Green Room
2/09: Dan Tepfer  Goldberg Variations jazz /piano & sax
2/10: Ms. Lauryn Hill   in concert
2/10: "The Very Best of Dave Mason" Tour
2/11: Doric String Quartet
2/11: Ku Kanaka/Stand Tall:   film on Kanalu Young
2/14: All 4 One, Soul for Real, & Forte   R&B concert
2/17-18: Keali'i Reichel  concert
2/22: Ananya Dance Theatre  "Shyamali: Sprouting Words"
2/23: Cash Cash   electronic dance music
2/24: The Songs of C&K Hana Hou
2/25: Winter Pops Orchestra

And because that photo exemplifies our island, there are lots of visitors here right now reveling in the fact that they're in a tropical paradise and not back home shoveling snow.   If  you're even thinking about selling your property, now is the time to list when the Island is full of folks who wish they could own a piece of paradise.   I'd be happy to offer you a no obligation, confidential evaluation of your property.   Likewise, if you're considering adding to your real estate portfolio, you might want to lock in those low interest rates now before the Fed raises their rates again.   With over 30 years experience in the Maui market, you can't put yourself 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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