Mahana Update
March 2017
Aloha Fellow Mahana Owners,

They don't call Maui "paradise" for nothing.  For the 5th year in a row, Maui has been crowned Best Island in Hawai'i Magazine Readers' Choice Awards.   And for the second year in a row, Hawaii has been named the state with the healthiest residents, in terms of mind and body, according to a new Gallup poll.  In fact, Hawaii was in the No. 1 spot for a record sixth time since Gallup began tracking well-being in 2008.   And while we're taking our bows, U.S. News & World Report ranked two Hawaii resorts, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai and the Montage Kapalua Bay, among the top five best hotels in the United States!

There's no doubt that Maui streets can get backed up with traffic, and they weren't really built with bicyclists or pedestrians in mind.  The West Maui Greenway project is a proposed 25 mile trail transforming a former cane haul road to a path folks can use to commute to work or socialize by foot and bicycle.  Something else coming to Maui ... some 350 industry professionals from sports teams, leagues and entertainment venues for the SEAT conference at the Ritz Carlton, Kapalua next year.  It's all about purchasing sporting courts like volleyball and basketball, to bring tournaments from the Mainland to Hawaii.

Meet Calypso , the largest tour vessel built in Hawaii in two decades. It has three decks with interior and exterior seating, two water slides and underwater glass bottom-viewing portals.  This big boy will be based out of Maalaea Harbor as a snorkel/dive charter to Molokini during the day, and dinner cruises in the evening.

Attention Kmart Shoppers!  Kmart is closing its only Maui store mid-June, and their liquidation sale starts March 30th.  I suppose if you don't count those Kmart employees who will be looking for new jobs soon ... the unemployment story for Hawaii is really great. Hawaii's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 2.8%.  That's the lowest it's been since July 2007, and a full 2% below the national rate of 4.8%.
Hotel rates statewide increased 7.3% last week to $255.33, with occupancy rates increasing 2.8% to 81.1%.  As usual, Maui had the highest numbers with room rates jumping 10% to $347, with occupancy basically flat at 81.5%.   Of course not all tourists and visitors stay in hotels when they come to Maui ... many folks use vacation rental properties.  Most Mainland vacation property owners on Maui are from California.  California buyers represent 29.7% of purchasers on Maui, while buyers from Hawaii represent 35.6% of the share. There's been a lot of growth in the number of owners placing their property in vacation rental programs ... actually affecting the residential housing stock available for sale.  The average daily rates also grew at a faster pace than residential rents. Vacational rental unit rates increased 47% between 2010 - 2015, while residential rates increased only 26.1% during the same period of time.

Many of you have an apartment or home that you place in a rental program when you're not using it. Why not ... It offsets the cost of owning.  Some of you have been considering it, but don't know which program to choose.  Let me recommend the program I have my vacation rentals with, Maui Beachfront Rentals. You get way more bang for your buck. If its long-term tenants you're looking for, check out  Maui Realtors Leasing .  

Did you know that one-third of Hawaii's real property taxes are paid by out-of-state owners? A new study found that Hawaii residents paid 67.8% of the real property taxes collected, while U.S. mainlanders contributed 29.9%, and foreigners contributed 2.4%.  And here's another little tid bit for you: Hawaii has the lowest real property tax in the United States, according to a report by WalletHub.

The median price of a single-family home in Maui County last month was $672,575, an increase of 13% from $595,000 in February 2016.  The number of homes sold decreased 8.7% to 63 homes from 69 homes sold in the same month last year.  The number of condominiums sold last month increase to 113 units, up 8.6% from 104 sold in February 2016.  The median price also rose to $465,000, in increase of 7.6% from $431,950 during the same month last year.

Now l et's take a look at The Mahana:


Figures from Realtors Association of Maui
Ohana by Hawaiian Airlines has finally begun service out of Kapalua West Maui Airport (JHM).  It was supposed to happen earlier, but got held up.  They now operate 2 roundtrip flights to Honolulu (HNL) and one flight between Kapalua to Kahului (OGG).  I've included the schedule table below:
Flight No.
HA 661
09:55 a.m.
10:17 a.m.
HA 651
10:45 a.m.
11:26 a.m.
HA 652
12:06 p.m.
12:47 p.m.
HA 653
1:13 p.m.
1:54 p.m.
HA 654
2:30 p.m.
HA 662
3:40 p.m.
4:02 p.m

Other new flight schedules:  Hawaiian Airlines just launched its first daily nonstop service between Lihue, Kauai and Kona, on the Big Island. United Airlines will introduce a daily summer service between Denver and Kona, on the Big Island June 8th.   And on the heels of Air AsiaX announcement that I shared with you last month on it's service to Honolulu through Osaka, Japan this June ... ANA (All Nippon Airways) has made a new announcement.  They will introduce the first of its Airbus A380 to Hawaii this year - and it's a biggy.  It's a double decker aircraft that seats more than 500 people.  ANA currently offers 2 daily flights to Honolulu from Narita International Airport and one from Haneda International Airport.
The Federal Reserve went ahead and raised its key interest rate, just three months after its last rate hike.  The Fed announced that short-term interest rates will increase by one-quarter of a percentage point AND suggested that two similar increases will likely occur later this year.  This is where I do the hand-off to my go-to guy   Dean Rathbun  of  Avis Mortgage .  Dean has explained that Mortgage rates aren't directly tied to the Fed's short-term interest rates, but tend to follow them.   Rising inflation will predominantly dictate the next monetary policy decision, but another short-term rate hike should be expected by the end of the summer.  

So now what?   According to Dean, many consumers are rushing to lock in rates before any further increases.  Still, there may be a lag to the impact of rising rates and their effect on home prices.  Dean cited a Goldman Sachs report, that analyzed the history of past 100-basis point increases in mortgage rates - and found that the median home price often drops 3 - 4%.  So if you take that, and apply it to the recent 60 basis point rise in mortgage rates - all other things being equal, it should lower housing prices by 2 - 3%.  But all other things are not equal.  Buyer demand is much stronger than supply at the moment and the economy and job growth continues to support the housing market.  Dean's take is that nationally home prices will continue to rise, but at a slower pace in the next few years.
According to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, every major island in the state, except Oahu, can achieve 100% renewable energy before 2040. That's 5 years ahead of the statewide goal!  By 2020 in Maui County, Molokai could reach 100% clean energy, Maui could attain 63%, and Lanai could reach 59% clean energy.  Also by 2020, the Big Island could reach 80% renewable energy, and Oahu 40%.  To help reach those goals, Hawaii Gas is building up infrastructure to expand its LNG (liquified natural gas) shipments to the Islands.  They are looking to increase bringing in about 1 LNG container per month, to 2 LNG containers per day.  At the same time, Par Pacific Holdings, owner of the largest oil refinery in Hawaii, is actively speaking with several biofuel developers regarding the use of this renewable fuel as a replacement for oil.  And a new partnership between a Norwegian research organization and Maui's Westec Environmental Solutions is playing the long game to finding a cost-efficient solution to capture CO2 emissions.  This gets to be pretty heavy stuff ... and definitely above  my pay grade, but the hope is a solution will be found by combining the gas-liquid contactor and precipitating solvent technology.  Translation: the future of CO2 capturing lies in developing ways to recycle it and turn the CO2 back into fuel, rather than releasing it into the atmosphere or sequestering it underground.

While Solar may not be new, Tesla and their SolarCity division, just put together a project in Hawaii for the first utility-scale solar farm and battery storage system in the United States that will be able to provide electricity generated from solar energy on demand, even at night.   And the Hawaii Foodbank expects to save million on its newly installed rooftop solar energy system.  In the first year alone, they'll save the equivalent in purchasing power of more than 102,000 meals, feeding 93 people daily for a year.
Hawaii Easter
4/1-2: Lahaina Arts Society Fine Arts Fair  info
4/01: 10th Annual Maui County Agricultural Festival  details
4/01: Maui Art of Trash Competition  Maui Mall
4/01: Prince Kuhio Day Celebration   655 Kaumuali'i St  Wailuku
4/01: Edible Hawaii Islands Live Chef's Challenge  events
4/01-15: Professional Photos with the Easter Bunny  Queen Kaahumanu Center
4/07: Maui Ocean Center Kailoa Gala  tickets
4/08: Valley Isle Keiki Fest    Maui College 11am-4pm
4/14-15: Chinese Kite Festival  info
4/22: 29th Annual Pundy Yokouchi Golf Tournament  details
4/22:  Love the West Maui Greenway  Lahaina Civic Center 9am - 4:30pm
4/29: 25th Annual East Maui Taro Festival   Hana Ball Park
Maui OnStage    Iao Theater   tickets
4/28-5/14: A Few Good Men
5/20-21:  West Side Story Concert  Maui Chamber Orchestra
7/14-8/6: 9 to 5 The Musical

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

Pioneer Inn Lahaina   show reservations (303) 507-0987 
"An Evening with Mark Twain"   4/09, 5/07
"An Evening with Albert Einstein" 3/26, 4/23, 5/21
2 Shows on the Following Dates : 4/02, 4/30, 4/28
"The Old Man and the Sea" 6:30pm & "The Journey of C.S. Lewis" 7:45pm

Maui Arts & Cultural Center
3/24: Bonnie Raitt in concert
3/30: Compagnie Herve KOUBI  French-Algerian/West African dance troupe
4/01: Hawaii Opera Theater "Three Decembers"
4/07: Hope Jahren in the Green Room   talk
4/07: Colbie Caillat   concert
4/08: The Songs of C & K   hawaiian music
4/09: William Singe   pop rap
4/14: Release the Hounds: Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge/ Aoife O'Donovan  acoustic
4/14: Lonestar   country
4/15: Nervous Laughter:  A Big Wave Documentary   surfing
4/21: Starry Night Cinema:  SING
4/29: Ha'upu: A Hawaiian Opera
4/29-30: Maui Choral Arts: Sing to Me  Salute to Female Composers

So as you read above, single-family home and condominium sales prices are up, even the number of condominium sales is up.  At the same time mortgage rates have gone up. The demand from buyers greatly exceeds the supply of inventory for sale.  So if you've been sitting on the sidelines about selling, this is the time to do it while we are in our High Season (Dec thru April).  On the other hand, if you're looking to buy another property  ... interest rates, while rising are still low ... and we can help you find that great buy.  Sid and I have decades of real estate experience, and we are the only Berkshire Hathaway Real Estate Brokerage on Maui with offices in Lahaina and Wailea-Makena.  We're available to you 7 days a week.  

John and Sid
If you are currently listed with another Broker, this is not intended to disturb that relationship
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