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Market remains strong for Hawaiʻi’s highest-end residential real estate

Adam Taylor/Honolulu Board of REALTORS
Coldwell Banker Realty

One area of the local economy that’s been strong through the pandemic is high-end real estate. That’s continuing — including sales of some of the most expensive homes in the country.

Two of the most expensive homes sold in the country last year are right here in Hawaiʻi.

One is in Kihei, Maui and the other is in Kailua on Oʻahu — and each sold for just under $25 million.

That’s according to research done by PBN’s parent company, American City Business Journals, which documented the 50 most expensive home sales in the nation.

Hawaiʻi realtors specializing in such properties tell us Hawaiʻi’s luxury market in 2021 was unparalleled and demand is still strong.

Luxury, of course, is relative but broadly speaking, a price tag of $2 million here marks a luxury home, while $10 million or more means ultra-luxury.

They tell PBN that when Covid struck, they hunkered down for a tough few months as activity stopped, then the unexpected happened — demand took off through 2020, and only increased in 2021 — in some cases by as much as 200%.

Homes that once would have spent two or three years on the market are selling in a matter of weeks, even days.

Private sales have become more common, in which the homes are never listed at all.

What are luxury buyers looking for?

In addition to swimming pools and outdoor kitchens, they want features tied into our new work-from-home realities, such as dedicated office space and in-home gyms.

And with supply issues complicating remodeling, they’re more interested in a turn-key home that’s move-in ready.

According to real estate firm Hawaiʻi Life, through the third quarter of 2021, sales of homes in Hawaiʻi priced at $3 million and higher totaled $3.7 billion.

A. Kam Napier is the editor-in-chief of Pacific Business News.
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