Luxury-Home Sales Boom in Hawaii, With $5 Million Estates Up 31%

(Bloomberg) -- Looks like there’s a market for high-end homes in paradise.

At least 55 homes sold for $5 million or more from January through the end of July on Hawaii’s four most populous islands, up 31 percent from the same period last year, according to data compiled by Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers.

The market for homes above $10 million is especially hot, said Matt Beall, principal broker at the firm, with 23 sales through July, almost double the 12 sold a year earlier. The four islands are the Big Island, Oahu, Maui and Kauai. Beall said he hadn’t seen so many sales over $10 million in his two decades in Hawaiian real estate.

Though Hawaii has long been a second-home destination for wealthy West Coasters, in recent years it has seen a particular influx of buyers from Silicon Valley. On sparsely populated Kauai, the lush, far-flung island where Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg bought a 700-acre estate, deals over $5 million tripled to 15 from a year earlier, according to the Multiple Listing Service data provided by the brokerage.

“You’re not seeing them buy penthouses in Honolulu -- they’re buying vast estates,” said Winston Chesterfield, a director at research firm Wealth-X. “It’s wild, it’s green, there’s ocean, there’s animals. There’s a very strong organic sense.”

As likely reasons for the sales surge this year, Beall cited stock market volatility, a healthy market for second homes and implications of the U.S. tax overhaul. He added that he’s seeing an increase in super-high-end “pocket listings,” which don’t appear on the MLS.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.