Hawai’i Luxury Home Sales Jump

Hawai’i Life, the only statewide, locally owned and operated, full-service brokerage, released its 2020 Hawai’i Luxury Market Report on Wednesday and announced its best year on record. Despite the extraordinary events of last year, Hawai’i’s luxury property sales increased by 26.25 percent in volume over the previous year as Hawai’i Life’s luxury market share grew substantially. The combined dollar value of Hawai’i Life’s luxury sales transactions—defined as homes and residential land priced above $3 million—more than doubled, and the company’s total sales at all price points soared from $1.6 billion in 2019 to $2.17 billion in 2020.

“This past year has certainly highlighted the incredible value we place on our homes, community and sense of place – both intangibly and in very real numbers,” said Matthew G. Beall, Hawai’i Life CEO and Principal Broker. “I’m proud of our team’s ability to quickly adapt to the rapidly changing marketplace and evolving consumer demands.”

Hawai’i Life represented 15 percent of the total buyers and sellers of luxury property in Hawai’i in 2020. Market activity strayed wildly from the familiar pattern of most years. The first quarter set the stage for a powerhouse year, and then sales activity slowed in the second quarter as the pandemic spread and travel halted. The latter half of 2020 witnessed unprecedented sales velocity with the fourth quarter alone accounting for 43 percent of all Hawai’i’s luxury real estate sales – totaling nearly $844 million.

While overall luxury sales by dollar volume dropped on O’ahu and Maui in 2020, trading in the luxury price segments on both Kaua’i and Hawai’i Island increased substantially over the previous year. Highlights of statewide sales in 2020 include:

Kauai’i recorded 38 sales above $3 million with seven sales above $10 million, reaching $273.3 million in total sales. The highest sale was a $36.75 million North Shore estate in Hanalei, listed and sold by Hawai’i Life.

Hawai’i Island recorded 107 sales above $3 million with six sales above $10 million, reaching just shy of $586 million. The highest sale was a $37 million Kuki’o estate.

O’ahu recorded 128 sales above $3 million with five sales above $10 million, totaling almost $621.8 million. The highest sale was an $18.7 million oceanfront estate in Kailua.

Maui recorded 90 sales above $3 million with six sales above $10 million, for a total of $478.6 million. The highest sale was a $24 million Kapalua home, listed by Hawai’i Life.

With low inventory in the single-family residential market expected to continue for several more years, Hawai’i Life anticipates an uptick in the luxury condominium sector with townhomes and detached condominiums leading the way. The company expects the upcoming year to closely mirror 2020. A mild increase in visitor activity is predicted in the summer and fall with foreseeable demand from foreign buyers coming once the vaccine reaches a certain global distribution threshold.

A dwindling number of quality homes available for sale at the high-end may be one of the market’s biggest challenges in 2021. The company encourages its clients to begin working with their broker well ahead of any planned purchase or sale and to act decisively when opportunities present themselves. As a continuous market leader in luxury sales, Hawai’i Life has demonstrated its ability to adapt to shifting consumer demands, and utilize advanced tools and technology to reach new audiences globally.

On the heels of its benchmark sales year – and 12th year in business – Hawai’i Life has joined Forbes Global Properties, a new, curated consumer marketplace that connects luxury buyers directly to best-in-class properties and the high-performing agents representing them. Hawai’i Life was hand-selected as one of Forbes Global Properties’ founding members and the exclusive brokerage for the state. Hawai’i Life will leverage Forbes’ worldwide reach and audience of more than 140 million monthly visitors to provide an additional platform for the company to introduce more discerning buyers, sellers, and real estate aficionados to its luxury listings around the state.

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