Who Is D.R. Horton, and Why is He in Hawaiʻi?

December 28, 2014, 6:00 AM HST · Updated December 29, 11:37 AM
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Photo courtesy of D. R. Horton.

Photo courtesy of D. R. Horton.

By Alexandra Mitchell

As we all know, the Hawaiʻi housing market is all around tough these days! Maui, Oʻahu, and Kauaʻi are the three islands that are no strangers to experiencing frequent housing shortages.

For a long time now, mainland developers have been coming to Hawaiʻi and finding frequent opportunities to build. After a bit of a lull, they are back and building in some of Hawaiʻi’s more rural areas. Enter… D.R. Horton.

It is important to understand that in the past 10 years, the Hawaiian Islands have seen new resident numbers at an all-time high, there’s been a myriad of issues in regard to using personal property as vacation rentals (thus, creating a lack of rental homes available), and a crazy amount of foreign real estate buyers taking claim on what’s left.

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So, where does this leave Hawaiʻi residents? Well, it has surely left some of us in a sticky position. It’s very difficult to find affordable rental homes, it’s extremely challenging to find affordable property for first time buyers, and the bulk of the available residential real estate is priced well above $1 million.

D.R. Horton, “America’s Builder,” is a Texas based development company that basically finds property opportunities, and then builds semi-affordable, prefabricated homes, promoted through a set of trendy model homes and condos. Oftentimes, D.R. Horton has been known to purchase property that was previously owned by other developers who maybe ran out of funding, or have just been sitting on the land for whatever reason.

Photo courtesy of D. R. Horton.

Photo courtesy of D. R. Horton.

Here on Maui, D.R. Horton currently has two communities: New Traditions at Maui Lani (single-family homes), and Opukea at Lahaina (new condos). Both communities have starting price points of approximately $440,000, and this does add more affordable housing opportunities for Maui folks looking to buy.

On Oʻahu, D.R. has been super busy building primarily on the West Side of the island in areas that are growing due to a serious lack of housing and urban sprawl–ʻEwa Beach, Makakilo, Kapolei, and Waiʻanae. On Hawaiʻi Island, D.R’s Waiʻulaʻula Community focuses on an entirely different demographic–single-family homes priced $1.8 million and up.

So, what does Hawaiʻi have to say about D.R. Horton making a dent in the Hawaiʻi Real Estate Market?

Yay, or nay? Let us know in the comment section below.

 

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