Maui Real Estate

Landsat satellite image of Maui. The small isl...
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Like the other Hawaiian islands, the Maui market has traveled down a bumpy road the past couple of years as the effects of the recession and the credit crunch on the mainland have taken their toll. The island has seen some ups and downs in regards to homes sales, with generally rising sales volume but prices still showing signs of a struggle.

According to statistics compiled by Coldwell Bankers in Maui, the area ended the year of 2009 with prices and volume up from the previous month. Volume was still up versus sales from a year ago, but prices have fallen. In December 2009, there were 90 sales in Maui, up from 67 in November and just 55 in December 2008. The median sales price was $477,000 in December, up from $465,000 in November but fallen from $570,000 at 2008′s year end.

Condo sales showed a similar trend in Maui at the end of 2009: Sales volume was up in December to 80 from just 69 in November and just 38 in December 2008, but prices showed stagnation. The median price in December was $401,500, up just slightly from an even $400,000 in November and down from $517,000 from a year earlier. Land sales were up as well, with nine sales in December and 17 in November from just two sales in December of 2008.

Though these statistics of Maui homes for sale show slight improvement, levels are still far below where they were at their peaks. In July 2006, for example, the median-price of single-family homes was $780,000, nearly half of today’s prices. Though condos have not lost as much ground as homes, they are also well below their high of $647,000 in June 2006. Properties are spending less time on the market as well. At the end of 2009, the average single-family home was spending 154 days up before selling and the condo 170 days. For homes, that was the fourth-lowest average for 2009, and for condos, it ranks fifth-lowest in the year.

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Kalaupapa: Colony Turned Community

KAPALUA, HI - OCTOBER 16: Morgan Pressel of th...
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Isolated from the rest of Molokai by towering sea cliffs on the topside of the island, the peninsula and community of Kalaupapa is a small village located on the northernmost point of Molokai. The 3,315-foot sea cliffs, the highest in the world, form a tremendous backdrop. Besides their natural beauty, the sea cliffs have managed to keep Kalaupapa separated from the rest of the world for centuries. The peninsula is so remote and inaccessible that it was used as a leprosy settlement in 1783. At that time, Father Damien started the community to separate the terminally-ill people from the rest of the population to avoid its spread throughout Hawaii. At its peak, Kalaupapa was home to more than 1,200 men, women, and children who were sent into exile. It wasn’t until 1969 that the practice of banishing affected patients was repealed. Today, only about twenty patients of the now-called Hansen’s Disease still live in Kalaupapa, amongst a diverse range of other residents and the peninsula is now called the Kalaupapa National Historical Park. While the peninsula may not be the most prime Molokai real estate, it certainly is one of the most unique. Hand-in-hand with the local culture and laid back attitude of people on the island, the community today works to be self sufficient and thrives on its own with only a weekly cargo plane delivering goods to supplement occasional product shipments by sea.

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Molokai is the fifth largest of the eight major Hawaiian Islands, which include: Ni’ihau, Kaua’i, O’ahu, Moloka’i, Lana’i, Kaho’olawe, Maui, and Hawaii, which is also referred to as the Big Island.Nicknamed the Friendly Isle, Molokai has a population of about 7,500 and is located across the 25 mile-wide Kaiwi Channel from Oahu.On a clear night the lights of Honolulu can be seen from the west coast of the island.Molokai is most known for its history as being the long time residence of Father Damien, a Belgian priest who cared for people affected by Hansen’s Disease, also known as leprosy.Kalaupapa, a small settlement on the north shore of Molokai was where sufferers of Hansen’s Disease took refuge.Although there are no active cases of the disease on the island today, most of the residents of Kalaupapa are descendants of previously afflicted patients.

Although Molokai is one of the least developed islands in Hawaii, the people living there, mostly of Hawaiian ancestry, have worked to preserve the Hawaiian culture.The island is home to many Hawaiian fish ponds, many of which have been preserved and restored in recent years.Molokai has been a island well suited for tourism, ranking as the tenth most popular island destination because of its pristine, tropical landscapes, environmental stewardship, rich cultures, and friendly nature.Molokai has several small hotels and resorts and is home to Papohaku Beach, located on the western facing shore of the island, which is one of the largest and most spectacular beaches in Hawaii.