Official: Quarter of Hawaii home buyers from outside state

HONOLULU — Buyers from outside the state have purchased 24% of homes across Hawaii, the state’s head economist said.

Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism Chief Economist Eugene Tian shared the data with state lawmakers Tuesday, Hawaii Public Radio reported.

The calculation is based on data from the preceding decade in which about 1,000 of 5,000 homes were purchased by residents of other U.S. states, Tian said.

About 200 of the homes, or 4%, were purchased by foreign buyers, Tian said during a briefing on the state’s 2020 economic forecast.

Non-resident purchases made up 15% of the sales on Oahu, but Tian said the share is higher on the neighbor islands.

“Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island was over 40%,” he said.

Tian said he expects the trend of home buyers from outside the state trend will continue.

Hawaii has the lowest property taxes of any state, making second homes cheaper compared to high-tax states like New York and California.

The median price of an Oahu home fell modestly last year, decreasing by less than 1%, while condominium prices rose about 1% by the end of 2019.

Prices were mostly up elsewhere in the state, where there has been less construction and populations have grown or declined less dramatically than on Oahu.

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