Real Estate

47% of Neighbor Island Homes Sold to Out-of-State Residents

November 30, 2015, 2:50 PM HST
* Updated November 30, 5:02 PM
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Island home sales. Maui Now image.

Island home sales. Maui Now image.

The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism released its first report on Hawaiʻi home buyers, saying about 47% of neighbor island homes were sold to out-of-state residents, while only 15% of Oʻahu homes were sold to out-of-state residents.

The “Residential Home Sales in Hawaiʻi” report summarizes home sale activities in Hawaiʻi recorded for the period from Jan. 2008 to Sept. 2015.

Department officials say the report is based on data compiled by Title Guaranty, which is based on the recorded conveyances from the Hawaiʻi Bureau of Conveyances. The data includes both resales of existing homes and new developments, and both single family homes and condominium homes, sales through real estate agent as well as sales by owners.

The following highlights were detailed in a department summary of the report:

  • Between Jan. 2008 and Sept. 2015, a total of 139,998 homes were sold, this represented an average of 18,064 homes sold per year, or 1,505 homes sold per month.
  • Of the homes sold statewide, 72.5% were sold to Hawaiʻi residents, 23.5% were sold to US mainlanders, and 4% were sold to foreigners.
  • The average price for homes purchased by foreign residents was the highest at $785,604, followed by homes purchased by US mainland buyers at $630,390. Meantime, homes purchased by Hawaiʻi residents averaged at $478,189.
  • About 47% of the neighbor island homes were sold to out-of-state residents, while only 15% of Oʻahu homes were sold to out-of-state residents.
  • Among the US mainland buyers, California buyers accounted for 38.4% of the total, followed by buyers from Texas at 10.5%. Washington State buyers ranked third at 8.5%.
  • Among the foreign buyers, Canadians ranked the first at 44.1%, and Japanese buyers ranked the second at 37.9%. Buyers from these two countries accounted for 82% of the total foreign buyers.
  • Buyers from Hong Kong had the highest average home price at $1.05 million, followed by homes purchased by residents of China at $936,738, and Korean buyers at $882,894.
  • Home purchases by Canadian residents have been declining in recent years while purchases by other foreigners have been flat.

The department’s Research and Economic Analysis Division created the report.


DBEDT plans to issue an update to the report by breaking the home sales into single family and condominium homes, and will include the home sales data in its Quarterly Statistical and Economic Report going forward starting in February 2016.

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