Maui News, and Pick of the Day


Hot Pick of the DAY- Palms at Wailea #2101


This one-bedroom home boasts 1022 square feet, and a stone's throw from the famous Keawakapu Beach, named the "#1 Beach in the World" by Conde Nast Travel Magazine. The Palms enjoys concrete construction, beautiful low-density design, and huge lanai. The unit has new appliances, tile floors, and a partial ocean view from the living room and master bedroom. You can't beat the price of $549,000.



Honolulu Approves $760 Million Project


The Honolulu City Council has approved a $760 million project that would nearly double the number of time-share units at the Hilton Hawaiian Village over the next 10 years. This newest expansion project includes more than 500 time-share units, swimming pools and parking.


Hawaii Bankruptcy Filings Drop 26%


Hawaii bankruptcy filings dropped last month for the eighth month in a row, according to data released by U.S. Bankruptcy Court. There were 242 filings in November, down 26% from 327 filings in the same month last year.


Through the first 11 months of the year, Hawaii filings are down 14.6% from the dame period a year ago, supporting the overwhelming evidence that Hawaii is coming back to good times economically.


November Oahu Real Estate Sales Rise


Sales of Oahu houses and condominiums were up last month and sold more quickly compared to last year. The Honolulu Board of Realtors announced there were 251 single-family homes sold last month, up 1.2%, and condo sales increased by 5.4% with 333 units sold.


Maui's Hotel Room Rate State's Highest


Maui led the state with the highest average daily hotel room rate, nearly $210 in October, an 8.1% jump over the same month last year. Occupancy for the month dropped 1% to 66.1%. For the year to date, Maui's occupancy rate increased from 68.7% to 70.7%, the average daily rate was $243.02, up from $222.41 for the first ten months of the year.


More Good News


CONSUMER CONFIDENCE: has surged to its highest level since July, the Conference Board reported. The holiday shopping season has supported that statistic, with sales from November through Saturday up 2.5% from last year. The Consumer Confidence Index climbed 15 points in November to 56, the biggest one-month jump since April 2003. Most economists think the economy will grow at an annual rate of more than 3% from October through December.


JOBS: The number of people applying for unemployment benefits came in at 366,000 last week, down from a peak of 659,000 in March 2009. In good economic times, the figure would be between 280,000 to 350,000. Employers have added 100,000 jobs five months in a row, the longest streak since 2006. And the unemployment rate fell from 9% to 8.6% last month.


INVENTORIES: Businesses are restocking shelves and warehouses, more confident that customers will buy their products. In October, their inventories were up 8.7% from a year earlier. Housing is even showing signs of recovery. Home construction rose more than 9% in November from October, driven by apartment building. And the National Association of Realtors said wednesday that sales of previously occupied homes rose 4% in November.

Hot Pick in Makena, and Other Maui News

Hot Pick of the DAY- 7155 Makena Road

Two meticulously landscaped acres in one of the most prestigious locations in the world, overlooking the blue Pacific just south of Big Beach in Makena.

A rare Makena Private Resort, highlighting contemporary Asian design Created with privacy in mind, the 7,600 square foot total living area home stretches over two acres in a one-of-a-kind design. Seven buildings all single level, or pods, feature a main living with private home theater, kitchen and dining area, the Master Suite with office and fitness room, two cozy guest suites, a separate caretakers residence and a three car garage. Features include: quartzite stone floors, curved vaulted ceilings lined with cedar planks, hand-finished Venetian plasterwalls and copper roofing. State of the art Lutron audio/visual, security and lighting systems integrated throughout the home. Designed for minimal maintenance. Two acres of tropical landscaping with bananas, papayas, mangoes and more, a lighted tennis court with covered entertainment pavilion, solar heated infinity pool and separate 25 meter lap pool, one spa and outdoor showers. Perfectly peaceful garden settings with incredible ocean vistas of Kaho'olawe, and the sounds of the soothing waves.

Click Here for Customer Listing Synopsis

Hawaii Bonds get S&P's AA Rating

Standard & Poor's has assigned a AA rating to $800 million in Hawaii general obligation bonds. S&P's credit analyst Gabriel Petek said that state revenue has begun to improve, and that tax collections were great in July through September compared to the past two fiscal years. He noted that the tourism industry is also showing signs of growth.

Visitor Rebound

The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported Tuesday that September saw a gain of 4.7% in visitor count over the same month in 2010. For the first nine months, Maui County has welcomed4.5% more visitors than the same period of 2010.

Molokai is up 14.9%, and Lanai is up 14.1%.

International traffic has recovered better than domestic.

International visitors, which only make up about one-sixth of Maui's count, in September were up 38.3%, and year-to-date were up 17.3%.

Maui vacation condos and hotels were two-thirds full in September, not unusual for one of the dullest months of the year, but hotel operators were able to boost their rack rates by more than $15 a night. So far this year Hawaii's lodging business is doing 12.8% better than last year, and 20.9% better than in 2009, measured in room revenue. For the first nine months of 2011, Maui had the highest average daily rate of $246.52, up 9.3%. Occupancy rates are up about the same amount in each county so far this year. YTD, Maui is up to 71.2% from 68.8% last year.

Hawaii foreclosures drop 66% year over year

According to an article in Pacific Business News (Click here for entire article), there were a total of 427 properties with foreclosure notices in October - including notices of default, public auctions and bank repossessions ­- which was one per every 1,208 housing units, RealtyTrac said. That was a 66% drop from October 2010.

Nationwide, foreclosures were down 31% in October.

Hawaiian Airlines Adds More Aircraft

The airline announced Thursday that it had ordered five more Airbus A330 aircraft to be completed within the next four years. This will bring Hawaiian Airlines' total order of that aircraft to 13. The airline says it has been meeting an increased demand for service to Honolulu from other cities. The A330 will be used for flights between New York City and Honolulu beginning June 5, 2012.

Other Good News

The four week average which economists check because it smoothes out the week-to-week fluctuations in the job market, dropped below 400,000 for the first time in seven months. The number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits fell to 3.6 million, the lowest number since September 20,2008 - the week that Lehman Brothers went bankrupt and started the financial meltdown.

Employers posted more job openings in September than at any other point in the past three years, nearly 3.4 million jobs, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That's the most since August 2008, one month before the financial crises intensified.

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $43.1 billion in September, its lowest point of the year, the Commerce Department said. The deficit has narrowed for the last three months.

Consumers are giving the economy a boost- they spent more on trucks electronics and building supplies in October, to boost retail sale for the fifth straight month. Retail sales rose 0.5% from September to October. A rebound in consumer spending is a key reason why the economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5% in the July-September quarter, the best quarterly performance in a year.

Maui News and Pick of the Day

Hot Pick of the DAY- Maluhia House #5!
Maluhia at Wailea is the ONLY single family detached home subdivision on the beach in Wailea.

Maluhia #5 Pool

For those who are only interested in the VERY BEST...Maluhia is Wailea's most luxurious beachfront community and sets the standards for high end resort living. Nestled among 10.5 oceanfront acres in Maui's most desirable location, Maluhia at Wailea is an extraordinary community composed of just 14 residences, which are THE ONLY single-family homes and home sites on Wailea's shoreline. Combining luxurious tropical living with unrivaled comfort, service, and privacy, Maluhia is a magical place, from the dramatic gated entrance to the private Beach Club which also houses Maluhia's resident concierge. The gentle terracing ensures a sense of privacy and exclusivity as well as guarantees extraordinary views that are actually deeded to each residence so that each homeowner and their guests will be able to enjoy the same unobstructed ocean views, as well as views of neighboring islands and breathtaking Maui sunsets, for years to come. This custom designed home takes full advantage of Maui's tropical climate and allows indoor & outdoor spaces to flow together naturally, with expansive lanais, a private pool & spa, a large waterfall & stream, and many other expensive custom finishes. The interior features a large designer kitchen, a gracious master bedroom with vaulted ceilings, and multiple expansive guest rooms.

Maui Visitor Spending and Arrivals Up

Hawai'i's tourism economy continues to fare well despite global economic uncertainty, with an increase in arrivals and visitors who are staying longer and spending more than they did in 2010.

Through the first seven months of the year, increased airlift to the neighbor islands has better distributed visitor arrivals and expenditures across the state, reaching $7.2 billion in total.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority anticipates continued growth through the fourth quarter and into 2012 with the continuation of China Eastern Airlines' direct service from Shanghai, additional flights from Korea and Japan, and Australia's Strategic Airlines launching service from Brisbane and Melbourne.

Hawaiian Airlines has just announced two NEW direct routes from the West Coast to Maui:

San José - Maui begins January 10 7X/week

Oakland - Maui begins January 11 3X/week

Oahu Real Estate Sales UP

There were 279 single-family homes sold in August, a nearly 21% increase from 231 in August 2010. Last month's median price was $557,500, down about 13% from $641,277 in the same month last year. Condo sales were also up last month, by 15%, to 338 units sold in August, vs. 294 last year, same period. It took only a 1% hit in median prices over the past year, to $300,000, a good sign of stability in the market.

The most recent stats for nationwide home prices is also encouraging. Rices rose 3.6% in the April-June quarter, according to the Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller home-price study. Prices rose in 19 of the 20 cities tracked in June from May. That was the third straight month of increased home prices.

More Positive News

It is easy to find bad news. It's funny how most news articles stress the negative side of the story. But there always seems to be good news out there too, if you look for it.

For example, a surge in demand for autos and aircraft drove orders for long-lasting manufactured goods, with a 4% increase last month, the biggest increase since March. All factory orders rose 2.4% in the same period, also the largest since March. Orders for motor vehicles and parts rose 9.8%, the largest increase since January 2003. This is great news on the heels of the sad 0.7% GDP growth announcement for the first half of 2011.

Hawaii Mortgage Delinquencies Fall Again

Delinquent mortgages fell to 4.9% of all mortgages in the second quarter, down from 5.7% a year ago.

Maui, Wailea Real Estate Hot!

Maui Real Estate Still Hot!

Keawakapu Beach, a beautiful South Kihei home on the beach, has a $16.5 million home in escrow. Makena Place, also beachfront in Makena, has had a good month too- one closed for $6,131,000, and another- listed at $8,250,000 - is in escrow. The Wailea Highlands has one home listed at $3,780,000 in escrow. Then go over to the high-priced Napili and Kapalua side, and you'll find 20 homes either in escrow or closed in the past 30 days! The people buying these properties are most often cash buyers. Where better to put your money these days? Treasuries at under 2%? Stock market with the wild gyrations? Gold at almost $2000 per ounce? It seems the rich and famous are putting their money in the safest investment on the planet- real estate.

Then go to the low-end side of the market. Kihei condos, such as Kihei Villages, has 530 units in North Kihei, across from Sugar Beach. These units were selling over 350k, now under 140k. Seven active listings, ten in escrow, and 24 closed in the past six months. That isless than two months' inventory! If you are in the single-digits on absorption, you are in a seller's market. The low-end has turned, it is now a seller's market, and prices are rising fast.

The middle market is seeing good activity as well. Just a quick for instance, here in Maui Meadows. There are over 600 homes, 24 active listings. Eight homes are in escrow, and ten sales have closed in the past six months. Again, less than six months' inventory.

Don't miss this bottom. We may never see these prices again in our lifetimes!

Economic Statistics Encouraging

Maui real estate seems to be responding to the volatile stock market, and the positive news gives us the confidence to know real estate is the place to be.

For example, industrial production rose 0.9%, the largest gain this year.

Also, employers added more than twice the number of jobs in July than in the previous two months.

It is also encouraging to know that housing starts are the lowest in 40 years. What do you think that will do to prices while demand returns, but the supply doesn't? Economics 101.

Business are leaner and, even more important, in a stronger financial position than they were three years ago. The companies in the S & P 500 now have nearly $1 trillion in cash, up from $648 billion in September 2008.

AP sources say Las Vegas Strip was still bustling last weekend, hotels are near capacity through the end of August. Lines are still long at Walt Disney's parks, Bloomingdales is reporting brisk sales. Coach net income is up 4%. Shoppers are not staying out of the high-end shops!

Bankruptcy filings continue to drop- filings fell in all counties across the state of Hawaii. There was a 38% drop on the Big Island, 22% drop on Oahu, 14% drop on Kauai, and a 13% drop in Maui.

The auto industry is on a hiring spree- VW opened a plant last month in Tennessee with 2000 workers. Honda is hiring 1000 in Indiana. GM is looking for 2500 in Detroit. And that is after a 12% increase in auto employment since June of last year.

U.S. consumer confidence is up in July, from June, according to a private research group.

Hawaii Foreclosure Filings Fall 58%
RealtyTrac released a report last week that 390 foreclosures were filed in Hawaii in July, compared to 930 filings a year earlier. There were 344 filings in June, the lowest for any month since January 2009.

If you are looking for Maui real estate, be it Wailea real estate, Wailea condos, Wailea homes, Kihei Condos, kihei homes for sale, kihei real estate, or just a Maui Real Estate Agent, please call me. Wailea Beach Villas are hot, with a super value in a top floor foreclosure. The number of Wailea condos for sale is shrinking, so act now, while the selection is good!

Hot Pick of the Day Plus Maui's Good News

Hot Pick of the DAY!
Papali Wailea is a truly unique 24 single family home community of exceptional construction quality. This is a low density enclave situated on a terraced 10.466 acre site providing expansive views. The single-story, copper-roofed homes with attached private garages and storage rooms feature a spacious 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath floor plan, high volume ceilings, custom cabinetry, premium finishes, fixtures/hardware, and appliances. Each residence allows privacy from neighbors and enjoys unparalleled common amenities including lush landscaping, an exquisite 75-foot infinity pool/spa pavilion and fitness center, and an on-site property manager.

The last several closed sales at Papali considerably exceed the list price of this home. Unit #19 is an exceptional value at $2,595,000.

Papali #19

Maui Occupancy Up Again

April hotel occupancy was 69.2% on Maui, up from 66.7% a year before. That is especially good news considering the 20+% drop in Japanese tourism after the earthquake and tsunami.

Hawaii Island's rate was only 54.6% in April, and Kauai's was 57.8%.

The Maui rack rate rose $30 a night, to $259. That coupled with the occupancy increase rose the RevPAR (revenue per available room) about 10%.

U.S. mainland and Canadian markets continue to show pent-up demand that has been fueling Hawaii's double-digit recovery rate in room revenue through the first four months of this year.

Four Seasons Resort Maui Rated Nation's 2nd-best

According to a report by U.S. News and World Report, The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is the second-best hotel in the U.S. "Boasting luxurious rooms, prime beach access and a serenity pool so beautiful it made the cover of the June 2011 edition of Conde Nast Traveler, this hotel easily earns the number-two spot on our list."

Oahu - Shanghai Flight in the Works

As China begins to become a viable economic factor for Hawaii, the state is working with China Eastern Airlines to establish a direct flight between Honolulu and Shanghai. It is expected to run twice a week beginning August 9.

Tourism officials estimate the new flight to provide up to $60 million in annual visitor expenditures and stimulate new jobs in Hawaii.
Maui Unemployment Rate Continues to Fall

The unemployment rate for Maui County was 7.2% in May, a decline of one percentage point from the same time last year.

Statewide, unemployment is down to 5.9%, from 6.4% a year ago.

Within Maui County, Molokai continues to drag the numbers down for the County, with unemployment at 10.2%. That is a huge improvement from the 13.5% rate a year ago, however.

Lanai had the lowest rate at 4.7% (down from 6.1% a year ago).
Fewer Homes were Repossessed in May

The number of U.S. homeowners who were put on notice for being behind on their mortgage payments fell in May to the lowest level since 2006. Mortgage lenders also took back fewer properties in May. According to foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc., banks are on track to repossess about 200,000 fewer homes this year than in 2010.
More Encouraging Economic News

Unemployment benefit applications fell to a seasonally adjusted 414,000, the second drop in three weeks. Unemployment applications grew to 478,000 in April, and they have declined slowly since then.

Home construction rose last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000 units, according to the Commerce Department.

Food prices at the wholesale level fell 1.4% in May, the Labor Department said.

Overall, the Producer Price Index rose only 0.2% in May, much lower than April's 0.8%.

Excluding a seasonal drop in car sales, retail sales rose 0.3% in May. That gain seemed to please investors- triggered a 123 point rise in the DJIA that day.

The Business Roundtable, which represents CEOs for the 200 biggest U.S. companies, said 51% of chief executives plan to step up hiring in the second half of the year.

The Commerce Department said businesses added to their inventories for the 16th straight month in April, another sign that companies are confident people will spend more in the second half of the year.

Maui's Positive News, and Pick of the Day

Hot Pick of the DAY!

Hokulani Golf Villas rare offering, developer owned unit never before available!!! Spectacular setting at the 18th green with powerful Haleakala, Ocean and Sunset views from this one level custom home.

Despite disaster, Maui's Japanese visitors climb

Although Oahu saw an 18.7% drop in Japanese visitors in March compared with the same month last year, Maui County's Japanese visitors actually increased 17.5% in the same period! Granted, Maui sees more Canadians and Oahu sees more Japanese visitors.

Unemployment Claims Tumbled on Maui

New unemployment claims for Maui and Molokai decreased 42.2% last week, compared to the same week a year ago, according to the state Department of Business and Economic Development. Statewide, initial jobless claims dropped 18% compared to the same week a year ago.

Investors lift home sales

Investors lifted U.S. home sales last month, plunking down cash to grab cheap homes at risk of foreclosure. Sales of previously occupied homes rose in March to an annual rate of 5.1 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. That's a 3.7% increase from the February pace. Foreclosures and short sales rose to make up 40% of all purchases. Deals paid for entirely in cash accounted for 35% of all resold homes. NAR said that's the biggest percentage since it has been tracking all-cash sales.

New home sales also rose in March, 11% from February to a seasonally adjusted rate of 300,000 homes, according to the Commerce Department. That follows three straight monthly declines. Sales of new homes fell last year for the fifth consecutive year. The median price of a new home rose nearly 3% from February. New home prices are about 34% higher than the median price for re-sales. That's more than twice the markup in healthy housing markets.

Other encouraging statistics

Service companies in the U.S., which employ 90% of the nation's work force, expanded for the 17th straight month in April, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

Consumer confidence, accoding to the Conference Board, rose to 65.4 in March, higher than expected. That's a 40-point increase since its all-time low of 25.3 in February 2009.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that manufacturing activity expanded in April for the 21st straight month. The index was at 60.4 in March. Any reading over 50 signals growth.

Unemployment rate fell last month in more than 80% of the nation's largest metro areas. The rate fell in 303 of the nation's 372 largest cities, according to the Labor Department.

The Conference Board said last week that its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.4% for March. The index, which is a measure of future economic activity, has increased for nine straight months.

So much for CNN and all the Constant Negative News!
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