Maui Kai Update
September 2018
Aloha Maui Kai Owners,  

This is going to be a record year for Hawaii's film industry.  Film and TV production could generate in excess of $400 million in 2018.  On the TV front, "Hawaii Five-O" has been renewed and there's a new rebooted "Magnum P.I."  As for feature films, the $100 million remake of "Midway" starring Woody Harrelson and Mandy Moore started filming earlier this month. "Godzilla vs Kong" is scheduled to begin production next month. And Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is becoming a regular sight here with back-to-back filming of his upcoming "Jungle Cruise" and "Hobbs and Shaw" (the first spinoff from "The Fast and the Furious".  He'll also be assuming the role of King Kamehameha in "The King."

The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) is busy on the sports front. They just signed the Los Angeles Rams for a preseason game next year!  This will be the first NFL preseason game in Hawaii in more than 40 years.  This month also saw the HTA's work in establishing Hawaii as a permanent fixture on the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) tour calendar.  This is the first time in 13 years the premier U.S. Beach Volleyball Tour has returned to our state.

You'll have a chance to see two major tourist attractions again. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has opened to the public.  Some of the most popular areas and most-driven roads are open again including Kilauea Visitor Center, the Kilauea Iki Overlook, a stretch of Crater Rim Trail, and Devastation Trail. And while they've not released an exact date, The U.S.S. Arizona in Pearl Harbor should also be opening sometime after October 1st. *  The Hawaii Food and Wine Festival is getting ready to kick off in the Island for its 8th year.  Events on Maui will run October 19 - 21.

Kaanapali BeachOne look at the photo to the left, and it's not surprising to find that Hawaii has been named "The Happiest State" in the United States according to a new report by WalletHub. Second and third place went to Utah and Minnesota.  The same report listed Hawaii as the 3rd most diverse state in the nation.  California and Texas came in at #1 and #2.
housing market sign
The number of foreign buyers who bought homes and condominiums in Hawaii during the first half of this year was 25% higher than a year ago, and the dollar volume for the first half of $485.4 million was a 74% increase from $278.5 million last year.  Buyers from Japan remained the top foreign buyers in the state of Hawaii, while buyers from Canada mainly focused their purchases on Maui.  The 3rd highest sales to foreign buyers were to buyers from Korea.

Hawaii homeowners with mortgages gained an average of nearly $30,000 in home equity from the middle of last year to the end of the second quarter, according to a report by CoreLogic. Nationally, the average homeowner gained $16,200 in home equity, and western states saw the greatest gains, led by California with an average of $48,832.

The median price of a Maui condo last month was $509,998, compared to $400,000 in the same month last year ... a 27.5% increase.  The number of sales was 146 units, a 32.7% increase over the 110 units sold in August 2017.  Meanwhile, sales of single-family homes on Maui rose 2.8% to 109 homes sold in August, compared to 106 sold during the same month last year.  The median price of single-family homes went unchanged from last year at $700,000.
Now l et's take a look at Maui Kai :


Figures from Realtors Association of Maui
August is usually a strong month for the hotel industry on Maui, but news coverage about Hurricane Lane heading to Hawaii saw occupancy across the state go down compared to August a year ago.  This decline was offset by gains in Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) and Average Daily Rates (ADR).   On Maui, RevPAR increased 7.6% to $297, while ADR jumped 9.3% to $386.

Hurricane or not,  the gap is widening between tourist arrivals and hotel occupancy: Why?  Many are pointing to alternative accommodations - like vacation rentals.  But even there, the state is encountering trouble.  In fact, the State Attorney General is going to court to force Airbnb to turn over document dating back to 2008 showing who is renting out property and what money they've made.  The State Department of Taxation says there's up to $2 million in taxes due to Hawaii.  Along the same lines, Maui County and the Maui Visitors Bureau have begun implementing a 10-year tourism strategic plan that, among other goals, aims to discourage visitors from staying in illegal vacation rentals.

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.  As you can see from the paragraph above, there are tax problems with many of them. 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.  AND they handle all the collection of taxes from the rentals.
Dean Rathbun  of  Avis Mortgage  says that a strong job market and consumer credit are driving up mortgage rates for the 4th consecutive week, and now to their highest level in 6 weeks.  Mortgage rates are likely to move up again, as the Federal Reserve considers short-term rate hikes this week and at future meetings.

 A bipartisan bill on Capitol Hill is aiming to make it easier for self-employed individuals to obtain a mortgage. Currently federal lending rules favor more documentable incomes that can be verified by pay stubs, W-2s, and two years of steady income.  That makes it more troublesome for those who work for themselves, earn money at multiple jobs, or have large seasonal swings in their incomes.

New mortgages are being approved with lower credit scores, and FHA loans appear to be leading the shift.  Fico scores range from 300 to 850.  Scores as low as the 400s jumped from 21.9% in 2009 to 29.7% last year.  1st time home buyers from January to March of this year had an average credit score of 672, compared to 701 in 2011.
Walk A Mile In Her Shoes

9/27-30: 3rd Annual Salsa Congress  Info
9/28: 7th Annual Oktoberfest Lahaina  Sells out quickly
9/29: 7th Annual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes  details
9/29: Oktoberfest Kihei - Maui Brewing Co. 2:30-7:30pm
10/4-7: 96th Annual Maui Fair  schedule
10/6: 2 night Service trip to Haleakala Crater  info
10/14: 48th Annual Maui Marathon, Relay, Half, 10k, 5k  details
10/31: Halloween in Lahaina Town (full details in Oct. update)

Maui OnStage    Iao Theater    tickets
9/28-10/14: Rumors ( a Neil Simon comedy)
10/20-21:  Maui Chamber Orchestra (Beethoven)
10/20-28:  Honk Jr.

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   
9/28: Starry Night Cinema "Early Man from Wallace & Gromit"
9/29: Zeptember   salute to Led Zeppelin
9/30: 13th Annual Maui Ukulele Festival
10/3: New Order    electronic & dance music
10/5: Rebelution    reggae
10/6: Kelani Pe'a   Hawaiian music
10/11: J. Wilt sings the songs of Tony Bennett
10/13: Lehua Kalima & Shawn Pimental   hawaiian music
10/13: The Village People   YMCA
10/18: Harold Lopez-Nussa Trio    Cuban music
10/20: Mohala Mai   hula
10/25: "Soil"  Asian intercultural dance
10/26: Livingston Taylor  in concert
10/27: Observe & Play Family Day
10/28: Bones Thugs-N-Harmony   hip-hop

Mulligans On The Blue    Tuesdays
6:30 pm Free Magic Show
9:00 pm Open Mic Comedy

As you read above, mortgage interest rates have risen for 4 consecutive weeks, and the Fed is expected to raise their rate again this week.   I don't have to tell you that mortgage rates affect the housing market.  What I can tell you is that if you're considering selling your property or adding another to your portfolio, you should call me for a confidential, no obligation discussion. As owner of Berkshire Hathaway Maui Properties I have over 30 years experience in the Maui market with sales approaching $2 billion!  We a re 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. 


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