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Real Estate Maui Hawaii Blog

 

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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!
Five Diamond Rating Awarded to Four Seasons Resort
AAA recently granted their highest award to the Four Seasons Resort in Wailea.
January 23, 2015

Five Diamond Rating Awarded to Four Seasons Resort

AAA Hawaii has recently announced the establishments that received their Five Diamond Rating for 2014. Unsurprisingly, two of them were Maui resorts.five diamond rating awarded to four seasons resort

The other winners included two restaurants on Oahu, which were Chef Mavro and La Mer, along with one resort on the Big Island, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. The Maui winners were the Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua and the Four Seasons Resort at Wailea, which is located here in South Maui. What does this distinction mean? Every year, AAA reviews over 28,000 hotels, resorts, historic inns and B&Bs. Only 0.4 percent of them make it on the Five Diamond list.

This kind of news helps paint a bigger picture of the future for Maui property owners. Our island has a reputation for excellence when it comes to accommodations and overall vacation experience. The Maui Visitors Bureau has always emphasized fewer guests and higher prices as the theme for our island, yet every year, we still find that hundreds of thousands of people are willing to pay more for a Maui vacation rather than visit somewhere else for less.

If you're in the market for real estate, particularly South Maui real estate, it helps to be aware of one thing: the visitor industry is only going to grow. That is assuming no catastrophic surprises ensue. On that score, so far so good. If you're trying to figure out how to make a living here, be aware of tourism as a major source of income for the island, and possibly for yourself. If you've ever come here for a vacation, you might have some useful ideas about enhancing the experience of visitors, and who knows, maybe you could turn your insights into a profitable venture.

You should also be aware that Maui accommodations cost more, thanks to the perceived value of a vacation here. If you plan to use your Maui property as a vacation rental, you can charge more on average than you could on any of the other Hawaiian islands.

Being aware of the visitor industry climate can pave the way for healthy success as long as you make smart choices. If you need assistance buying real estate on Maui, we'd love to assist you, and you can find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo for reading this week!

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Maui Yo-Yo Ma Concert
Don't miss this world-famous cellist in his first Hawaii performance.
January 16, 2015

Maui Yo-Yo Ma Concert

Live on Maui Every so often, we like to take a break from our serious Maui real estate blog topics and point out something fun to our readers. After all, choosing to live on Maui isn't all about home prices and economic trends. Sometimes, it's worth discussing the opportunities for fun and enjoyment that abound here. On that note, world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma is going to perform here on Maui on January 22nd, which is this coming Thursday.

Not familiar with this talented musician? If so, you've probably heard his music in various films and TV shows without realizing it. For example, have you ever seen Mission Impossible, The Horse Whisperer, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Immortal Beloved, Master and Commander, or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? These are just some of the movies that have benefited from his talent. As for TV shows, he has worked on The West Wing, American Horror Story, Alias, and even Sex and the City.

Beyond all that popular stuff that the masses are familiar with, he has earned many honors and distinctions throughout the world. He is a Kennedy Center Honoree, a CultureConnect Ambassador, a UN Messenger of Peace, and he has received many prestigious music awards. For example, his 90 albums have earned him 19 Grammy Awards. His repertoire includes classical, bluegrass, traditional Chinese, Argentinean and Brazilian music. Not only has his music garnered critical acclaim the world over, but his poignant musical analysis has set him apart from many other world-class musicians, earning him another level of respect from the musical community.

This concert is not one that you'll want to miss. It's the first he has ever performed in Hawaii, and unsurprisingly, he chose the Maui Arts & Cultural Center as his venue. Again, the performance will be held on January 22nd, at 7:30pm. He has chosen an all-Bach program, including Suite #1 in G Major, Suite #5 in C Minor, Suite #3 in C Major. Tickets were available at the time this blog was written, but have since sold out, which is no surprise at all! You'll just have to keep an eye on the shows at the MACC to jump on tickets early when necessary. Hopefully, you already purchased yours!  Enjoy your weekend, and mahalo for reading this week!

Image courtesy of the Maui Arts & Cultural Center

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Hawaii Accommodations Tax Revenue
The state of Hawaii has pulled in $380.4 million from the transient accommodations tax.
January 09, 2015

Hawaii Accommodations Tax Revenue

Maui HomesLast year was a good one for Hawaii, not just because of the visitor industry records and their beneficial impact on the economy, but also for the state's tax revenue from those sources. If you're thinking about buying a Maui home for use as a vacation rental for at least part of the year, you might find the following numbers interesting.

The state Department of Taxation pulled in $380.4 million from the transient accommodations tax (TAT) for hotel guests and the transient occupation tax on time-share residents in the first 11 months of the year. They calculated the collection of $395.2 million  in TAT collections for the fiscal year that ended on June 30th, which is up 7.2 percent compared to the fiscal year of 2013. The distribution of these funds included $93 million to the counties, $33 million to the Convention Center Enterprise Special Fund, $82 million to the Tourism Special Fund, and $187.2 million to the state's general fund.

The TAT rate has been set at 9.25 percent since 2010, while the time-share unit tax rate is 7.25 percent. TAT allocations to the counties was increased by the legislature from $93 million to $103 million per year for fiscal years 2015 and 2016, but will drop back to $93 million in future years. At least that is the plan so far, but plans can change. As for the breakdown of these funds for the counties, they are entitled to different portions. Honolulu gets 44.1 percent, while Maui County gets 22.8 percent, Hawaii County gets 18.6 percent and Kauai County gets 14.5 percent.

Considering how much revenue comes from the Maui visitor industry, it's no surprise that we get the second largest percentage after Honolulu County. Visitor industry gains are part of the reason why Maui real estate is in such demand. Wealthy and foreign buyers visit and discover the appeal.

As for arrivals, the first 11 months of the year set another record, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority. There were 7.5 million visitors during that period, which was 0.9 percent above the record for that period in 2013. Expenditures were at $13.3 billion, which was up 2.3 percent year-over-year. Based on this information, we can see that things are moving in the right direction for the economy, provided residents can earn a good living through involvement with the visitor industry.

We hope you've found this week's blog interesting! Mahalo for reading this week!

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