Hau'oli Lo Ho'omaika'i Kakou
Happy Thanksgiving Weekend
2015 

LOCAL MAUI NEWS
Aloha Kapalua Golf Villa Owners!

I hope you've all been enjoying your Thanksgiving Weekend.  As I write this, I feel a little guilty watching the weather reported from other states ... snowed in, icy road conditions, dangerous winds.  And as you can see from the photos ... well there's a reason we call it paradise.

According to data released last month by the U.S. Census Bureau, Maui's population grew faster than any other county in Hawaii, and the state of Hawaii as a whole had one of the fastest-growing populations in the United State last year.  A report has also been released declaring that during the next decade, Hawaii will need an additional 66,000 housing units - 13,949 of those for Maui County alone!
                    
Borrowing from the Kevin Costner movie "Field of Dreams" ...
Build It and They Will Come
                                           
There's a plan for a 1500-unit mixed-use community in West Maui called Olowalu Town. The 636-acre project will include apartments, townhouses, live-work units, homes, affordable housing and senior living at a wide range of income levels, to be built over a decade.  The project also includes the relocation of the existing Honoapiilani Highway away from the coast to a new mauka alignment, which will be designed to accommodate mass transit or light rail, if needed in the future.  Olowalu Town will even include a $5 million small-scale renewable energy facility.
               
Another project is a 113-unit residential subdivision on 257 acres of land in Maalaea. The new Maalaea Plantation project will include 58 affordable house/lot units, 55 lots sold at market rates, and an included 3 acre neighborhood park.
                   
Central Maui will see a lot of expansion as well.  Gentry Homes plans to develop 400 homes as part of the Maui Lani master-planned golf course community. Alexander & Baldwin is moving ahead with its 545-acre master-planned community in Central Maui ... the Waiale project.  it will accommodate about 2,200 primary housing units, together with parks, civic and commercial uses.  A&B is also working on a 630-home project called Kamalani in Kihei which breaks ground in January.
       CURRENT MARKET ANALYSIS
Thanksgiving dog & catNationally during the third quarter, housing had it's best quarter in nearly a decade.  According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, home prices are showing signs of slowing to a healthier pace, despite the stronger pace of sales.

The Chinese government is taking steps to bolster the country's economy in ways that will encourage investment in offshore property.  These steps include releasing controls on China's currency, the renminbi, over the next few years, which will make it easier for investors to move significant amounts of money overseas.  The Chinese that investing in international properties are already very property rich in China.  They are looking to invest in destination properties.  The places they go on holiday are the places where they're inclined to buy property.  Hawaii could also gain from an increase in allocation to real estate by Japanese pension funds.  Change is expected within Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund (the world's largest pension), allocating up to 5% of its $1.2 trillion worth of assets into alternative investments, including real estate.

Nearly half of all residential purchases in Hawaii were all-cash transactions during the third quarter.  The trend was similar in Maui, where all-cash transactions made up 47.9% of all home and condo sales during the third quarter ... up from 34.2% during the same time last year.

Sales of single-family homes in Maui soared 25% last month to 105 sold in October, compared to 84 sold in October 2014. The median price of those home also rose by 3.3% over October of last year.  Condominium sales on Maui picked up by 10.5% with 105 units sold last month, compared to 95 sold during the same month last year.  The median price fell however by 6.2%.

If we widen the scope and look at year to date sales (January through October), single-family homes on Maui picked up by 15% with a 3% increase in median sales price compared to the same period last year.  The year-to-date condominium sales on Maui also picked up slightly by 1%, with the median sales price dropping by 3% during the same time period in 2014.

Let's take a look at Kapalua Golf Villas:

Status
Unit
Bd
Ba
 List $
 Sold $
Close
ACTIVE
26V-1
1
1.5
650,000
ACTIVE
20V-1
1
1.5
660,000
ACTIVE
14V2
1
1.5
675,000
ACTIVE
15T7-8
1
2
600,000
ACTIVE
18T3-4
1
2
615,000
* ACTIVE
15T5-6
1
2
699,000
ACTIVE
24T3-4
1
2
725,000
ACTIVE
16T5-6
1
2
730,000
ACTIVE
27T1-2
1
2
755,000
ACTIVE
17T7
1
2
795,000
ACTIVE
27V3
1
2
815,000
ACTIVE
15P3-4
2
2
720,000
* ACTIVE
23P1-2
2
2
879,000
ACTIVE
21P7-8
2
2
929,000
* ACTIVE
24P7-8
2
2
935,000
ACTIVE
14P7-8
2
2
950,000
* ACTIVE
27V2
2
2
1,095,000
SOLD
27T7
1
1.5
699,000
650,000
04/15/15
SOLD
21T1-2
1
2
767,000
767,000
03/31/15
SOLD
24P3-4
2
2
675,000
660,000
01/14/15
SOLD
23P3-4
2
2
775,000
725,000
03/27/15
SOLD
16P3-4
2
2
819,000
805,000
05/06/15
SOLD
14V3
2
2
829,000
775,000
05/05/15
SOLD
26P3-4
2
2
850,000
800,000
03/02/15
SOLD
26P5-6
2
2
949,000
918,000
05/29/15
* new listing
Figures from Realtors Association of Maui
TOURISM and TRAVEL
Thanksgiving suntan turkey
According to a new report by TripAdvisor, Hawaii is the fourth-most popular state to have spent this Thanksgiving vacation this year.   We were edged out by Florida, Tennessee, and California.     You know how Uber
and Lyft  are challenging other transportation models?  Well the Hawaii Tourism Authority has decided to do a study on how Airbnb, VRBO, and Homeaway are impacting tourist accommodations here.  They will do a total inventory count of alternative vacation units, and try to understand their business model.

Hawaii's economy is expected to steadily grow in the coming years, even as visitor dynamics shift for the state.  There has been a decrease in Japanese daily visitors, who are deterred by the strengthening dollar and weakening Japanese Yen.  Japanese visitors fell 1% through September this year and their spending fell 10.1%     Visitors from the West Coast of our country took up the slack.  Visitors from this area increased 7.5% in the same period and their spending jumped 6.9%

Hawaii's statewide hotel occupancy rate hit 82.8% last week, a 5.6% increase from the same week a  year before.  The statewide average daily room rate rose 5.6% to $224.84.   Maui room rates last week were the highest ... coming in at $242.30

Even though some of our Halloween candy remains uneaten, and we're still feeling stuffed from overdoing it on Thanksgiving ... nothing's going to slow down this holiday season.  In fact next weekend is the 18th Annual Lighting of the Banyan Tree! Lahaina's version of the North Pole will begin at 9am Saturday Dec 5th and Sunday Dec 6th.  Santa will make an appearance, there'll be a Banyan Snowman, all kinds of events ... and the lighting of the tree on Saturday at 6:30 pm. If you have kids that would like to play in our North Pole Winter Wonderland, they're asking for 1 can or nonperishable item to donate. 

The holidays get quite busy around here and I no longer have to worry about booking up my vacation rentals (you know - advertising, vetting the prospects, collecting the tax, hoping they don't destroy the place). Oh I use to do that ... but not anymore.  I can actually enjoy the holidays knowing that my vacation rentals are booked ... and at the guaranteed best rate. Being in the business, there are a lot of rental places I could have chosen - but I really didn't want any hassles, repeat business, and great return.  Voila - Maui Beachfront Rentals.   I even enjoy the comments folks leave about how much they love staying there and the concierge treatment they receive from MBR: arranging babysitters, reserving tee times, making dinner reservations, well you get the picture.   There are 2 reasons to call them 1) if you own a vacation rental and want to get more bang for your buck and 2) you, your friends/family are coming to Maui and you want all the luxury of a resort and all the comforts of home.

Virgin America just entered the Hawaii market.  As you can see from the pix at left ... they are pulling out all the stops to make you feel like you're on a tropical vacation ... even before you've landed.  Oh - okay ... maybe I went a little overboard there.  But Richard Branson wanted to make an entrance into our market ... and he has done just that.  Earlier this month flights began from San Francisco to Honolulu, and starting this Thursday (December 3rd) there'll be a second route from San Francisco directly to Maui.  And it won't stop there ... they plan to expand the number of flights rapidly, with a Los Angeles route on its way, as well as additional flights out of San Fran to other Neighbor Islands.  And whether you're a fan of Virgin America or not ... they came in with some great fares ... which kind of forced the competition like Hawaiian Airlines, United and Delta to drop their prices around $200 for their flights out of San Francisco.

A South Korean airlines will also enter the market next month ... when Jin Air begins service from Seoul to Honolulu.

From hello to goodbye ... Allegiant Air will bid farewell to Hawaii when they discontinue service in August.
     MORTGAGES
It looks like the Federal Reserve may start raising its benchmark interest rate in December. Most Fed officials say they think the economy will be ready for higher rates by year's end.  Last week,the FHA announced some pretty important Condo financing changes.  I'm going to turn things over to my go-to guy Dean Rathbun of Avis Mortgage .  This could change the game for second home condo owners:  The FHA announced that second homes are no longer considered "investment property" for purposes of determining the owner-occupancy ratio of a project.  Prior to the change, if someone who owns a unit in a condo project uses the unit as a second home, that unit doesn't count as part of FHA's 50% owner-occupancy requirement.  Under that requirement, if fewer than half the units are owner occupied, someone who wants to buy a unit in the project can't get FHA-backed financing.  Dean said that the FHA change has even wider implications than that because it sends a signal to conventional and other mortgage financing sources, that it might be time for them to rethink their owner-occupancy ratios as well.
GREEN
There is a major ocean energy project planned of Hawaii waters.  It's call the Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, or OTEC project.  It's a process that converts solar radiation to electric power by harnessing the difference in temperature between the ocean's warm surface water and its cold depths.  There are some major advantages to this:
* Provides constant, steady power, 24/7 without any energy storage
* OTEC will be offshore and won't compete for land, food, or water 
* ALL of Hawaii's electricty could be handled by 12 commercial OTECs
* Global resources are enough to produce 4x humanity's electric needs

OTEC isn't the only renewable energy project being planned off Hawaii's waters.  There are 2 separate plans to develop offshore wind farms as well.

The state Department of Transportation's Airport Energy Savings Program is expected to result in nearly $500 million in energy cost savings during a 20 year period.  In addition, the project is expected to save $20.2 million in tax revenues, $248.5 million in income to households and generate 867 jobs each year for the first two years of construction.
Banyan Tree lites
Banyan Tree Lighting
                             
MAUI HAPPENINGS
 
11/28: Rob Schneider Live  Sheraton tickets
12/01: Pizza party for the Monkeys details
12/5-6 18th Annual Lighting of the Banyan Tree information
12/05: Annual Molokai Light Parade & Ho'olaule'a particulars
12/12: MauiWine's 2nd Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ulupalakua

Maui Arts & Cultural Center tickets 
11/28-29 Maui Choral Arts "Christmas Bells" holiday concert
12/03: Nahko and Medicine for the People  hip hop/folk rock
12/04: The Merwin Conservancy presents Susan Casey - Author's talk
12/06: Maui Pops Orchestra Holiday Concert
12/08: The Stylistics   Philly soul
12/10: Last Comic Standing Tour
12/10: Josh Radin & Friends  concert
12/11: Jake Shimabukuro   ukulele wizard
01/01: Mahermageddon:  Bill Maher, David Spade & Jeff Ross  comedy

At this time of year we all try to count and remember what we're Thankful for.  You count as one of those for me.  Thank you for your loyalty, your response to my monthly updates, and keeping me in mind if you're looking to sell or perhaps add to your real estate portfolio.  Remember I am available to you 7 days a week and am happy to help you in any way I can.
       
Remember I've been a full time Real Estate Specialist since 1987 and have closed over $1.5 billion in Maui real estate sales. As Broker/Owner of Berkshire Hathaway Maui Properties, Hawaii's first Berkshire Hathaway brokerage, I'll ...
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