Residents of Hawai‘i face the highest housing costs in the nation. High housing costs lower the standard of living for residents and hinder the State’s ability to attract workers. Some households are forced to live in crowded conditions, some leave the state to find housing elsewhere, and some are forced to survive without housing at all. To inform discussions on the way forward for housing in Hawai‘i, UHERO is releasing the first edition of an annual report on the state of housing. The report provides detailed housing data for the state, counties, and 63 local zip codes.

4 thoughts on “The Hawai‘i Housing Factbook”

  1. Paul Brewbaker

    Leaving aside the Neighbor Islands, your estimate of Oahu short-term rental (STR) cross-elasticity is striking. Reallocating 2 percentage points of Oahu’s housing stock towards STR raises Oahu housing costs 5 percentage points. If symmetric, it suggests that a relatively modest relaxation of supply constraints might negate the incremental housing cost premium. Predominantly makai–towards the ocean–orientation of short-term rentals implies that the elasticity is more nuanced: we peasants live mauka, not makai. But 2 incremental percentage points of Oahu’s housing stock is manini (tiny) compared to the quarter century 1950-1974 when Oahu’s median annual incremental housing-capital ratio (gross new units divided by the previous year’s housing stock) was 4.7 percent, within a range of 3.4 percent to 7.8 percent. The bottom of that annual range was nearly 1.5 times what would be required to negate outright the short-term rental premium. One year: poof. Compare 4.7 percent, 1950-1974, to 1992-2022 when the median annual Oahu incremental housing capital ratio was 0.6 percent. It may be housing supply that is jammed up, rather than housing demand that is jamming with Bob Marley, dontchaknow.

  2. Aloha
    Looking at the data and the dates they were pulled, there is a huge flaw on Hawaii Island numbers, the Median Home price is off by a staggering 25%
    Maybe there was a typo on your years, or your finger hit 4 instead of 5.
    Hawaii Island median home price June 1 2022 to May 31 2023 is $498,576.92 that was with 2,133 sales.
    that is with a median sale to original list price of 99.96%
    You would have to go back to the year 2019 to find a median price that low. When I look at YTD as of today the median price for the big island is $508,108.33 and an average YTD price of $849,375.53, but I know we are talking median.
    I am wondering if you are using a different database than the MLS ?
    I would love to share the data I have pulled with you, I have it in an excel spreadsheet complete, or a PDF summary.
    Thanks again for all your research, I hope the rest of it is more accurate and this was just a typo.

    1. Justin Tyndall

      Hi Lance,
      As we note in the report, all of the price and transaction information is taken from a database of deed transfers. The database in compiled from county records. The figures will differ from MLS information.

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