Hawaii luxury

Fueled by Mainland Buyers, Hawaii’s Luxury Real Estate Market Continues Momentum

The luxury real estate market in Hawaii remains hotter than hot as the island lifestyle attracts mainland buyers, inventory remains scarce and sale prices soar. “The historic run since the summer of 2020 continues across much of the state,” said Matt Beall, owner, managing director and principal broker of Hawaii Life.

The brokerage’s third quarter 2021 real estate market report indicates that the number of homes for sale on the island of Hawaii, Oahu, Kauai and Maui declined significantly when comparing the third quarter of 2020 to the third quarter of 2021. Additionally, the report continues, “the average home sale price across the state has seen an impressive increase. Unsurprisingly, a “hot sellers’ market” defined the third quarter of 2021. Maui and Kauai saw selling prices increase by 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 for listings and sales of over $3 million, representing 14, 7% market share of all premium sales.

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

Among recent sales from Oahu 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 veranda.

Located in Honolulu’s popular neighborhood at Wailupe Circle, a ready-to-move-in four-bedroom bungalow with an asking price of $3.175 million that has also found a buyer.

Currently under contract is a fully renovated single family home in Honolulu priced at $2.295 million. The three-bedroom property in the Hawaii Kai area offers 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 international buyers return in 2022, we will see an increase in sales activity for luxury properties,” Beall says.

“Maui and Hawaii are two islands that have pretty much guaranteed sunshine and are attracting Canadian visitors and buyers. At the moment, that seems to be on hold,” he says.

Expect inventory shortages to continue most likely in Maui and Kauai as sellers are not moving or moving at this time, Beall says. “The demand will continue because people can continue to work remotely and decide that’s where they want to spend a lot of time.”

Strong stock market gains over the past 18 or so months are expanding Hawaii’s buyer base. “We’ve seen more and more luxury and ultra-luxury sales coming from these cash buyers,” he says.

“The lack of available inventory combined with continued demand will most likely continue into 2022,” Beall predicts. The supply and demand equation should continue, he says, with prices stable and likely rising.


Hawaii Life is a founding member of Forbes Global Propertiesa consumer marketplace and member network of elite brokerages selling the most luxurious homes in the world.