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Real Estate Maui Hawaii Blog
Mark and Lisa bring you the latest on the Hawaii real estate market, events, fundraising benefits, news, sports, new island developments, tips to help you buy or sell a home and more. Subscribe to receive updates on our weekly blog today!
Fairmont Kea Lani Completes $70 Million Renovation
This hotel's upkeep and improvements are models to follow.
February 27, 2015

Fairmont Kea Lani Completes $70-Million Renovation

South Maui Real EstateThe Fairmont Kea Lani is poised on a beautiful 22-acre oceanfront Wailea property, its exotic architecture and vivid white coloration like a beacon to the eyes of whoever passes by. The hotel just completed its three-year, $70-million renovation. Now, all of the 413 one-bedroom suites have a new, tropical contemporary design. The 37 two-story villas have been fitted with new furniture, decor, carpet and lighting.

Vacationers who stay at the Kea Lani tend to gush praises of their experience, reflecting a staff that is committed to excellence and an aesthetic that is difficult to match. This was all true before the renovation. The hotel is part of a broader luxury resort theme in this part of the island, which provides a significant draw for the people who search for South Maui real estate. Visitors who have amazing hotel experiences are also among the likeliest to fall in love with the island itself, and subsequently choose to buy a Maui home.

This trend looks like it will continue through the Kea Lani. Their $9 million Willow Stream Spa was voted the top spa in Hawaii by Travel + Leisure Magazine after just six months of its opening in January of last year. The hotel renovation also included a rebuilding of its Ko restaurant, which came with a $5.1 million price tag. The restaurant features a mix of ethnic dishes inspired by the sugarcane plantation era of Maui's rich historical past. Their menu boasts over 90 percent local produce, fish and beef, which allows visitors to support Maui's economy in that way as well.

According to Charles Head, the general manager of the Kea Lani, the hotel has only improved since the day it opened. That's a worthy goal for Maui home owners as well. If the day comes when you would like to sell your property, your upkeep and renovations are likely to pay off, if the market is healthy. Just remember that you'll benefit the most from renovated kitchens and bathrooms, and the least from pools and gazebos. On that note, if you need any Maui real estate assistance, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo!

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Hawaii Residents Confident About Economy
Economic confidence is up, based on job and income security.
February 20, 2015

Hawaii Residents Confident About Economy

Hawaii HomeA report from People's Pulse revealed that Hawaii residents are generally confident about the current economic conditions of the state, as well as the direction it's going. The organization has been tracking confidence since 1999.

What have the numbers looked like over the ups and downs of recent years? At the worst point of the recession, confidence was at 61, while it was highest in 2005 at 151. Over the past year, confidence is between 114 and 116. The Resident Confidence Index starts at a base level of 100, which was established in 1999. Anything over 100 is positive, while anything under is negative.

The recession had a tremendous impact on the attitude of Hawaii home owners and residents, just as it did throughout the rest of the nation. In fact, it's safe to assume that a residual caution remains in the minds of the people, which continues to influence confidence levels. What would our number have been if there was no recession? How much of that residual caution is affecting our number, and how much of our confidence is rooted in current conditions versus fear of another bout of instability?

Despite the cautiousness instilled by the recession, our confidence is higher than the baseline. If the Hawaii real estate market is any indication, with its high demand and low inventory, we have more than enough confidence to go around. People's Pulse is measured by OmniTrak Group, a Honolulu research and market planning firm. Its president, Kathy Fujihara-Chong, expressed that people are now optimistic and comfortable about the future, while maintaining their caution. She also expressed that job and income security are both factors in our confidence levels, along with what is currently happening in the state.

Mahalo for reading this week!

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Median Maui Real Estate Prices Down in January
Both home and condo median prices were down in January, while home sales were up.
February 13, 2015

Median Maui Real Estate Prices Down in January

If you've been considering a South Maui real estate purchase, but you're unsure about the timing, you will probably be interested to know that the median price of Maui homes sold in January fell by 17 percent. Of course this is largely due to fewer luxury homes being sold that month, but there are more details to be aware of.

According to the latest statistics from the Realtors Association of Maui (RAM), the median price of a single-fam ily Maui home fell from 695K in January of 2014 to $577K last month. The trend wasn't just in home sales. Median condo prices also fell by 14 percent, from 441K to $378K year-over-year in January. Seeing as demand influences prices, you should keep your eyes open for new opportunities.

Influencing the statistics are the Wailea/Makena sales here in South Maui, where there were only two single-family home sales at a median of $1.2 million, compared to January of 2014 when there were six sales at a median of $2.3 million. Meanwhile, over in Central Maui, 23 single-family homes sold with a median of $507,500, while there were 14 sales in January of 2014, with a median of $405,698. These are pretty good examples of demand for cheaper homes, and also for the availability of such homes. Condos have followed a similar pattern.

Interestingly, the number of single-family home sales in Maui County was up 15 percent from 65 to 75, year-over-year. Meanwhile, condo sales fell 12 percent from 94 to 83.

The conclusion is to be diligent in your search for the right property, then get pre-approved for a home loan and be prepared to make a reasonable offer. If living on Maui is worth as much to you as it is to so many others, you will be glad of the choice you made. If you need assistance, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo for reading this week, and have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

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