Report: Number of Hawaii vacation rental homes is rising

HONOLULU — About 1 in 24 homes in Hawaii is a vacation rental, which is contributing to the state’s shortage of affordable housing, according to a report by an advocacy group.

The Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice released a report Wednesday, finding that the number of short-term vacation rental units has increased by 35 percent during the last two years, Hawaii News Now reported .

The number of rental units in Hawaii has increased from 17,000 in 2015 to 23,000 in 2017, according to the report.

“That rate of expansion of vacation rentals, taking that critical affordable housing away from our residents, really shocked me to be frank,” said Victor Geminiani, the center’s co-executive director.

Geminiani said the proliferation of vacation rentals is worsening the state’s housing crisis. More than half of the 23,000 vacation rentals in Hawaii are owned by non-residents, he said.

On the island of Kauai, 1 in 8 homes is a vacation rental. About 1 in 7 homes is a rental unit on the island of Maui, according to the report.

“On Maui, there are about 9,000 units that are being used as vacation rentals,” Geminiani said. “Only about 300 are actually legal, so it just indicates the extreme that can happen on a particular island.”

State lawmakers are considering legislation requiring websites that list residences or rooms for short-term rental to release rental operator information to county officials for license verification.


Information from: KGMB-TV,

  1. John Zwiebel March 25, 2018 4:11 am Reply

    If you check out AirBnB, and look for rooms that are over $800/night, there are 63 of them on Kauai. There are 37 offerings under $100/night. Most of these are single rooms inside a house or a studio. All are nicely furnished (at least in the photos.) One is offered for a month at $1800 which is comparable to the price for housing offered on Craigs list.

    It is kind of hard to imagine that these have any affect at all on low income housing.

    This is just capitalism at work. If we want a different result, we should think about changing our economic system. To what? I haven’t any solutions.

    Once again though, it must be obvious that there are just too many people pursuing too few opportunities.

    One can purchase a home in Augusta, GA for $26,000.

  2. behappy March 25, 2018 6:40 am Reply

    The tourist will come in droves and need a place to stay as long as the tourism board continues to spend 100 Million US Dollars a year to get the tourist here. You will continue to see vacation rentals as long as this happens. Property rights give the owner the choice to use their property however they want unless the local government puts restrictions on it. These restrictions can be very political as they only allow it in certain areas. Stop all the advertising and incentives for tourist and you will see more homes on the market for long term rental.

  3. manawai March 25, 2018 8:34 am Reply

    Anytime you see “Justice” in an entity’s title you can be assured that it is an extreme left-wing socialist advocacy group. some even use the term “social justice”! lol At least they reveal it publically as opposed to the Center For Food Safety and HAPA which are covert leftist organizations and donation seekers to fund their otherwise unproductive staff and executives.

  4. John Humphrey March 25, 2018 3:38 pm Reply

    Now it’s out. 1 in 7 homes on Kauai is a vacation rental. No wonder it’s so crowded. How many of those are legal? I’d bet not even half, yet no enforcement. “We can’t afford to enforce the laws we make”cry the politicians. The fact is they don’t want to. They and their friends are making money, why screw that up? This coming election, please, vote in some new blood. The old boys club is really getting old, at our expense.

  5. Sandy March 26, 2018 4:16 pm Reply

    There is enforcement, but you have to shout to get it. It worked on our street. We got rid of an illegal airbnb that was driving the entire street crazy. The guy renting is a chronic illegal airbnb guy who was also busted on the north shore. He is a foreigner and tries to get away with everything he can. He doesn’t care about anything but $$$$

  6. manawai March 26, 2018 6:05 pm Reply

    John Zwiebel – Don’t give me that baloney! You’re an avowed socialist from way back. You’re goal is to turn us into a Venezuela, Cuba, or North Korea where the state owns or micro-controls every aspect of production. Have you ever been to Cuba? I have and recently. That gorgeous potential-imbued island is an economic disaster and will remain so until capitalism is allowed to raise up the people’s standard of living. We are so spoiled here. Most of us have no clue as to our comparatively high level of prosperity. Our poor have so many benefits if they choose to take advantage of them. But no…they want big-wheeled king cab pickups and cable TV with high speed Internet, and work a low level job that does challenge a monkey. Our grandparents would call the poorest of us wealthy. We have so many opportunities to succeed in live unlike every single socialist country in the world.

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