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The Pendulum is Swinging

Ultra luxury real estate is hot.

October 13, 2011
Josh Jerman R(B) · Real Estate Columnist , The Maui Weekly

It looks like Maui County is seeing the reemergence of the luxury real estate market-and this is a rebound that will be good news for everyone. If you take a look at the big picture, things are definitely looking up. According to the August 2011 Sales Statistics issued by the Realtors Association of Maui (RAM), residential sales increased to 81 homes sold, while condominium sales slipped ever-so-slightly to 86 units sold. In August, the median price for a single-family home held steady at $410,000, while the median price of condominiums hovered around $266,000.

And within the last year (or, the immediate past 12 months), RAM reported 849 residential sales, 1,160 condominium sales and 128 land sales.

But this is what the numbers don't show: ultra luxury homes are selling on Maui. For instance, in July, there were more than $70 million in residential sales and more than $39 million in condominium sales. Luxury homes accounted for much of this. That month, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel purchased a 1.7-acre property in Makena for $27 million-the largest amount ever paid for a single-family home in Maui County. The seller purchased the home in 2006 for $19.2 million-arguably, a significant increase within a five-year period.

The previous highest sale was an oceanfront single-family home in the North Shore neighborhood of Ku'au which sold for $5.8 million. And just last month, a Spreckelsville home closed at $9.6 million.

Okay, so what does this mean? It means that the ultra wealthy are paying more than ever for oceanfront properties on Maui. And with an increase in luxury home and land sales, Maui County can expect to see the local economy continue to rebound, as these homebuyers ostensibly have money to spend-around the house and at the cash register. Any economist will tell you that this is a reflection of a renewed confidence in the local real estate market, and it is also indicative of another trend: one that most certainly is a "Welcome Home" sign for Maui County's local economy.

Josh Jerman is a REALTOR/Broker with The Wailea Group, LLC, located in The Shops at Wailea at 3750 Wailea Alanui Drive, Suite 5EW. He serves on the Realtors Association of Maui (RAM) Board of Directors and the Hawai'i Association of Realtors' Finance Committee. To "Ask Josh," send your questions to or visit



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