A study by Grassroot Institute of Hawaii puts to rest the bogus claim that mainland buyers drive up Hawaii home prices. Data shows that the percentage of out-of-state buyers dropped the years between 2010 and 2020, the percentage of local buyers trended up, and out-of-state buyers were not bidding on the same properties as local buyers. The main culprit for rising home prices is the large number of government barriers to development in the form of land use, zoning, and homebuilding regulations. The main reason for Hawaii’s housing shortage is that Hawaii leads the nation in regulations resulting in a severe shortage.
Condo owners have another financial headache to contend with as described in a Civil Beat article. Honolulu has the second highest maintenance fees in the country behind New York City. The average maintenance fee in Honolulu is $762 per month compared to the national average of $286 per month. The average Honolulu maintenance fee is equal to a single-family home mortgage elsewhere making Honolulu condos as expensive as many single-family homes. High insurance premiums, expensive maintenance items (elevators, central A/C, etc.), and wages drive the high fees and prices continue to rise as a building ages.
Hawaii residents lead the nation in life expectancy at an average lifespan of 80.7 years. Hawaii is the only state to exceed the 80-year threshold and its average life expectancy is nine years higher than last place Mississippi.
A new state agency is not only developing affordable housing property for teachers on Maui, but it also redefined the term. The Honolulu Star Advertiser reported that David Ige release $15 million to build housing in Lahainaluna. Tim imagined an apartment complex with upwards of 50 units to provide much needed housing for Maui’s educators. However, since public contractors are involved, Maui County projects that the money will build 10 to 16 homes at a cost of $937,500 to $1.5 million per home. The per unit cost exceeds Maui’s median home price by over $100,000 at the lower estimate and begs the question? Why doesn’t Maui County just go out and purchase homes on the real estate market? There are many answers, and most are too snarky to include in this paragraph. The state proves once again that it should just get out of the way and deregulate the housing market so private contractors can actually build affordable housing.