More out-of-state residents buying Maui homes this year

A sign shows a single-family home in upper Haʻikū is in escrow on Wednesday. Recent reports noted a surge in out-of-state residents buying homes in Maui and other counties over the last three quarters, which is driving up prices. PC: (12.22.21) Kehaulani Cerizo

The number of Maui County homes purchased by out-of-state buyers this year nearly doubled compared with last year, according to state data.

Mainland and international buyers over the first three quarters of 2021 scooped up 905 homes in the county, compared with 467 units during the same timeframe in 2020, a recent quarterly report from the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism said.

So far this year, out-of-state homebuyers top 2019 numbers as well.

An influx of Mainland buyers has fueled price increases in 2021, University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization said in its economic forecast published Friday. 

The number of homes in Hawaiʻi purchased by Mainland buyers in the first half of 2021 was more than double the sales in the first half of 2020 and more than 50% higher than during the first half of 2019, according to UHERO.

The number of offshore purchases will still fall short of 2010 levels for the year as a whole, the report added.

The average price of Maui County homes bought by Mainland residents ranged from $1.4 million to $1.8 million in the first three quarters of this year. The average home prices spanned about $921,000 to $1.01 million for local buyers.

Local buyers purchased 1,531 Maui County homes over the first three quarters this year, state DBEDT said. Comparatively, they bought 1,157 homes over the same timeframe last year.

Driven by record low inventory and fierce buyer demand, Maui County’s median sales price for single-family homes breached $1 million for the first time in history in May. 

Locally, median prices continued to top $1 million for months. The million-dollar threshold was topped in other counties earlier this year as well, with the exception of Hawaiʻi island.

“Home prices have surged this year, mirroring a national trend,” the UHERO report said. “Together with high rents and higher consumer price inflation, this is posing challenges for families.”

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