Fueled By Mainland Buyers, Hawaii’s Luxury Housing Market Continues Its Hot Streak

Hawaii’s luxury real estate market remains hotter than hot as the island lifestyle draws mainland buyers, inventory remains scant and sales prices jump. “The historic run since the summer of 2020 continues around much of the state,” said Hawaii Life’s owner, chief officer and principal broker Matt Beall

The brokerage’s third quarter 2021 real estate market report indicates that the number of homes for sale on Hawaii IslandOahuKauai, and Maui has decreased dramatically when comparing the third quarter of 2020 to the third quarter of 2021. What’s more, continues the report, “the average sales price of homes across the state experienced an impressive increase. Not surprisingly, a hot seller’s market” defined the third quarter of 2021. Maui and Kauai saw selling prices rise 50%, according to the report.

On the Big Island of Hawaii, Hawaii Life and Mauna Kea Realty (a Hawaii Life company) were the statewide market leaders in listings and sales of more than $3 million, making up 14.7% of the market share of all high-end sales.

Oahu’s luxury market, Beall notes, wasn’t quite as strong as the other islands. “Oahu, because of its large share of Asian buyers who were not able to travel here, is really the only exception,” he says. “Before Omicron those international buyers were expected to return to Oahu.” Oahu is now in wait-and-see mode on when those buyers might return. Despite the scarcity of this segment of buyers, properties are selling on Oahu.


Among recent Oahu sales is a classic Kahala home in Honolulu that was listed at $5.2 million. The 5,840-square-foot residence is surrounded by gardens, a swimming pool and a lanai.

Located in the popular Honolulu neighborhood of Wailupe Circle is a move-in ready, four-bedroom single-story with an asking price of $3.175 million that also found a buyer.

Currently under contract is completely remodeled single-family home in Honolulu priced at $2.295 million. The Hawaii Kai-area three-bedroom property enjoys views of Diamond Head, the Pacific, Maunalua Bay and the Hawaii Kai Marina.

“I think there is a considerable amount of pent-up demand on Oahu. When the international buyers return in 2022, we will see sales activity increase for luxury properties,” Beall says.

“Maui and Hawaii are two islands where you are pretty much-guaranteed sun and attract Canadian visitors and buyers. For right now, that looks to be on pause,” he says.

Look to inventory shortages to most likely continue on Maui and Kauai as sellers aren’t moving up or around right now, Beall says. “Demand will continue as people can continue to work remotely and decide this is where they want to spend a lot of their time.”

The large profits taken from equity markets over the last 18 months or so broadens the buyer pool for Hawaii. “We have seen more and more luxury and ultra-luxury sales coming from those cash buyers,” he says.

“The lack of available inventory combined with the ongoing demand will most likely continue into 2022,” Beall forecasts. The supply and demand equation should continue, he says, with prices holding steady and probably increasing.

Hawaii Life is a founding member of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes.

The Tycoon Herald