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Housing, Tourism, and Flying on Maui!

Maui Real Estate on the Rise

According to RAM, Realtors Association of Maui, February saw a 15.4% increase in the median price of single-family homes from 2018. Condos’ median price was up 11.8%. These numbers translate to a median price of single-family homes at $790,000 and condos to a median price of $524,500. What’s up with that?

Well, once again our housing inventory is declining with a 14.2% drop in February of single-family homes and condos a large 21.8% drop. RAM states that February’s data is the second lowest month since last year with only 501 single-family units and 557 condos for sale.

The Kihei area hit a home run in sales volume for both single-family homes and condo units sold. 14 single-family-homes were sold at a median price of $910,000 and 57 condo units were sold at a median sales price of $488,000. Kihei condos seem to be flying under the radar of the $524,500 median price, which is a value add to any purchase.

Fannie Mae’s Economic Housing Outlook in January 2019 reports that interest rates should change very little. So far, so good with the Feds Chairman Jerome Powell taking a pass on rate increases in March of this year.

Maui Tourism

January 2019 statistics show that the average number of DAILY visitors on Maui was 69,800, which is basically unchanged from last year at this time. However, tourism reports show that tourism spending is down 14%, which includes daily hotel revenues.

Could this be because we have just had seven straight years of record-breaking visitor spending and this is the new normal? Let’s look at an economic report for some answers:

The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO) in an article titled, “Economy Slows Markedly, Is more in store?” states, “Given U.S. and global conditions, we expect only modest growth in 2019 and slowing thereafter.”

The article does note that the entrance into the Hawaiian – Mainland routes by Southwest Airlines is a potential boost for travel, but continues stating that “risks are clearer, centered on the possibility of further deterioration in the U.S. and global economies.”

Our international markets may have cooled a bit, but on a brighter side, our visitor arrivals from the U.S. West Coast are up 1.7%.

Hybrid Electric Air Travel

A California startup, Ampaire, plans to begin test flights of a hybrid electric aircraft between Kahului and Hana. What and miss the Road to Hana? The locals are happy.

The prototype will be brought to Maui Fall 2019 and according to Ampaire’s president, Rob McKinney, “[Maui] would be the ideal launch customer for this technology with the length of route that we fly and the conditions that we fly in…we don’t have to contend with super cold weather.”

Bruce Nzeukou, product manager, said that the company would be retrofitting a Cessna 337 Skymaster for Maui. The aircraft will have one combustion engine in the front and an electrical motor in the back of the plane. Advantages for this type of aircraft are three-fold.

Financially, it costs between $300,000 to $400,000 to overhaul a combustion engine like the one Mokulele uses every 5,000 to 6,000 miles. An electric motor is not as complicated with only one moving part, so overhaul time is much longer.

Fuel is another consideration, less gasoline, less cost. Mr. Nzeukou estimates that fuel costs could be down between 50 to 70 percent.

Lastly, the locals in Hana are happy to avoid traffic on the highway and get home in time for family and Ohana time.

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Rudy Turiello

April 4, 2019

Hi Linda:
So far I have been struggling to find a patient, caring and knowledgeable Maui real estate professional to assist me from afar.
If you are looking for a quick sale, then we won’t be a match and hopefully you can refer to me someone.
Basically looking to make the move to possibly Maui after September when my wife retires. We have 2 big dogs and a 12 year old son (going into 7th grade) that we need to place into a safe and good public school with friendly kids. He likes surfing, sailing, soccer, golf etc..
We understand we cannot afford what we want in Kula but maybe Haiku or somewhere you can recommend? We have only been to Maui once… here is the wish list though reality will strike.
-home (no condo or townhouse)
-As close to Turn key as possible
-3 or more bedroom
-as much land as possible
-Ag rated if possible for tax reasons
-possible spot for a horse
-view and/or water
-no HOA or maintenance $ if possible
-not to far from middle and highschool
-Ohana unit
-willing to build or renovate if falls into budget
Thank you
Redwood City,CA

Linda McCormick

April 5, 2019

Aloha Rudy,

I would love to help you and your family find a new home on Maui in September. Can you send this comment to me via email at

This way we can take it off-line so that our conversations are private.

Thanks so much,

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