Monthly Archives: July 2012

Five Palms Beach Grill in Kihei — Stellar at Sunset

Sunset View

Fish Entree

My recent dining experience at the Five Palms Beach Grill in Kihei proved to be stellar at sunset. Arriving at 5 pm and fully intending to take advantage of the Sunset Special, our group of 7 adults were courteously accomodated while celebrating a milestone anniversary for my parents. The restaurant had just started using lava rocks and told me how to use them at home. If you are interested click here to see how to use lava rocks.

The Sunset Special is offered daily for a 5, or 5:30 pm seating and the key is that orders must be in before 6 pm. The Sunset Special is a 3-course meal which includes a mixed green salad, entree and lilikoi cheescake dessert for $29.95. The entree choices are Oven Roasted Prime Rib, Macadamia Nut Crusted Fresh Catch and Soy Ginger Glazed Chicken Breast.

When we arrived, the sun was still high in the sky and brightening beachgoers at Keawakapu Beach, which fronts the restaurant, which is located at the bottom of the Mana Kai condominium. It seemed many restaurant patrons had come in from the beach and were taking advantage of the happy hour, sitting at the bar and at the informal dining area. We were led into the main dining room, and were the first customers of the day to be seated there for dinner. We were seated along a window which offered a great view of the ocean in two different directions. The table was set with a beautiful gold flatware set and pristine wine glasses. The only problem was sun was coming in so strong through the closest window that it was uncomfortably warm. We asked to be moved and were very satisfactorily moved closer to the beach, and it was indeed a better table with an even better view and much cooler temperature.

Drink orders were taken and served, bread and butter were put out and appetizers were ordered. One of the good things was that the appetizers and certain drinks were at Happy Hour special prices, which included half off appetizer prices from the bar menu. So we had ribs and calamari for appetizers, which were excellent.

The mixed green salads were served and they were impressively large. The entrees came and were also a very decent size, attractive in presentation, and very good in taste. Finally the lilikoi cheesecake arrived for dessert and once again, the size was very generous and the taste was amazing. We were really impressed.

The meal was a wonderful value. The service was very courteous and completely satisfactory.

Additionally, the setting was superb. We got to see the bright sun and blue skies turn to an orange orb in a pink and purple sky as the sun began to set. The views out to Kahoolawe and Lanai, and Makena’s Puu O’Lai were completely magical.

Based on this experience, I do highly recommend the Sunset Special and dining at this restaurant.

The restaurant also offers a Kamaaina discount for those with a valid Hawaii I.D. Iof 20%, not valid on the Sunset Special or other already discounted items.  The restaurant also serves breakfast and lunch and I have heard breakfast is really great here. Breakfast is served from 8 am -2:30 pm. There is a sushi bar open from 3-11 pm, with sushi half off between 9 and 11 pm. According to a recent newspaper ad, there is also a Five Palms in Lahaina, which I look forward to trying one day.

Lilikoi Cheesecake


Keawakapu Beach View


Chicken Entree

Prime Rib Entree


June 2012 Maui Real Estate Sales Statistics

We are half way done with the year 2012 and the June 2012 sales statistics by the Realtors Association of Maui (RAM) shows that the market is experiencing some degree of stability. However, with low inventory, it’s feeling like things are heating up, with many listings receiving multiple offers, especially the well-priced REO listings.

Inventory continues to decrease. According to the report, inventories have declined 17-19% in the past 12 months in the residential and condo classes especially the ones with in floor heat boiler systems. As of July 8, 2012, there were 702 homes listed as active or pending in the MLS, which has for the most part steadily declined over the last 12 months. August 2011 there were 871 homes for sale. There were 931 condos, versus August 2011’s 1120 condos for sale.

June 2012 median price of homes at $575,500 is much higher than last June’s $429,000 median price. Similarly June 2012 condo median price of $372,990 is much more than June 2011’s $294,500.

For the first 6 months of 2012, the median price of homes on Maui was $450,000, 1% more than 2011’s first 6 months. Even in volume, 440 have sold so far this year, compared to 443 in the first 6 months of last year. These numbers indicates some sense of stability.

In the condo market, the first 6 months of 2012 show a meidan price of $350,000, which is 8% more than first 6 months last year. Volume for the period is 3% higher, with 665 condos sold so far this year.


First Friday Wailuku – Maui Thing and Pride Ink’s 4th and 1st Anniversary

It’s gonna be a fun night at tonight’s Wailuku First Friday. Part of the Maui Friday events, tonight’s First Friday in Wailuku, on July 6, 2012, will be a special night of Maui Pride as clothing store Maui Thing celebrates its 4th Anniversary, and Pride Ink tatoo shop celebrates its 1st Anniversary at its Wailuku location with a special party and fashion show. Willie K will be featured in the entertainment. There will be lots of food as usual. Head on down to Market Street in Wailuku between 6-9 pm.


Low Inventory – Signs of a Changing Market

Prices are quite good on Maui — May 2012 statistics told of a 5-year low in median home prices. Interest rates are also at or near record lows, below 4%. The economy is still weak in a lot of areas. We are now seeing record low inventory, not only on Maui, but in many pockets across the country. See this article from the LA Times for the competition resulting in low inventory there.

All this seems to be leading to a shift in the market. Some may call this signs of recovery, as in this article from the New York Times. It’s definitely feeling a lot more competitive here on Maui. Buyers should be prepared to fight in a competitive, mulitple offer situation for properties that interest them, especially those that are well priced. While it is somewhat becoming something of a seller’s market, many sellers are still having to keep clear from selling if they are still underwater, or can’t get what they would like, price-wise, in today’s market. However, with the prevalance of bank sales and short sales, or for someone who owned the home a long time and won’t be forced to short sale, these sellers are seeing that many buyers with means are starting to dive in to home buying. However, the low inventory and competition is also somewhat frustrating for buyers who keep putting in bids, often bids over the asking price, only to be rejected due to fierce competition. Yet some properties continue to linger on the market…these are properties that aren’t priced right or are in a less-desirable area.

Here on Maui, the May 2012 statistical report showed that there were only 728 homes for sale (active or pending) as of June 8, 2012, the date the report was issued. This is the lowest number since 2007, when the Realtors Assocition of Maui began tracking inventory in its monthly statistical report. There were only 998 condos for sale and 483 parcels of land as of June 8, 2012.  Compare this to August 2008, when 1176 homes were for sale, 1594 condos were for sale and 548 parcels of land were for sale. Since Aug 2008, home and condo inventory has dropped by about 38%.