Updated: December 5, 2023
More out-of-state residents bought Hawaiʻi houses in the first three quarters of last year compared with the same time in previous years, according to a state report.
The report showed about 25% of single-family homes from January to September of 2022 were bought by out-of-state residents. Of those, 23% of purchases were from the US Mainland and 2% were from international residents.
“It’s an increase from the last few years,” state economist Dr. Eugene X. Tian said during a presentation at the state House Finance Committee on Wednesday morning.
In 2021, about 24% of Hawaiʻi homes were purchased by nonresidents. In 2020, the number was just more than 18%.
Tian added that most of the out-of-state buyers are using the homes as investment properties or second homes.
Worth noting, home sales to Hawaiʻi residents increased on Maui and Kauaʻi in recent years, the economist said. A decade ago in 2012, home sales were dominated by out-of-state buyers, whose purchases counted for more than half the sales on Maui and Kauaʻi.
Now, Hawaiʻi residents comprise about 60% of homes purchased in Maui and Kauaʻi counties.
“So I think that is a good sign, our local residents buying more properties,” Tian said.
For Maui County, about 30% of home sales went to out of state buyers during the first three quarters of 2022, according to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
Of the 1,014 homes sold during that timeframe, 706 were purchased by Hawaiʻi residents, 294 were bought by Mainlanders and 14 were purchased by foreigners.
The percentage of out-of-state buyers was on pace with the first three quarters of 2021, where about 31% of homes were purchased by out of state buyers.
In 2020, though, only 21% of homes were bought by those outside Hawaiʻi during the first three quarters.
Also, the report showed that out-of-state buyers continue to buy higher-priced houses in Maui County and statewide.
Foreigners last year purchased Maui County homes for around $3.7 million, Mainlanders bought them for about $2 million and Hawaiʻi residents purchased houses for about $1.2 million.
Foreign buyers in Maui County came from Canada, Germany and Australia. The top three states of Mainland buyers were California, 135 sales, Washington, 36 sales, Colorado, 17 sales, according to state DBEDT data from the first three quarters of 2022.
“Japanese like to purchase homes on Oʻahu; Canadians like to purchase homes on Maui,” said Tian. “It’s really because it’s tourism-driven. There are more flights coming to Maui from Canada.”
Statewide, foreigners purchased single-family homes for about $3 million; Mainlanders were paying about $1.5 million; and Hawai’i residents bought houses that were below $1 million.
The report used Title Guarantee data. Fourth quarter information for 2022 is not yet available.
Tian touched on out-of-state home purchases as part of a larger economic outlook for the State of Hawai’i during a presentation with Dr. Carl Bonham, University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization executive director, on Wednesday.
The informational briefing echoed much of UHERO and state DBEDT’s recent predictions on the possible US recession and what it means for Hawaiʻi.