Hawaii’s High-End Real Estate Market Breaks The Ceiling For 2021

Underscoring the truth to the adage “the rich get richer,” the Hawaii high-end real estate market grew at a record rate through the third quarter of 2021.

Transactions in the $3 million to $10 million luxury category rose from 215 for the period last year to 634 so far this year, according to a report from the real estate firm Hawaii Life. That’s close to a 200% increase.

The overall Hawaii real estate market for the first three quarters grew from a sales volume of just more $1.1 billion in 2020 to nearly $3.7 billion in 2021.

The ultra-luxury market, defined as sales at or above $10 million, made up more than $1 billion of those transactions with 64 sales at the end of three quarter this year compared to 10 for the same period last year.

The majority of the luxury market’s growth is taking place on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii.

The Big Island saw the most growth in both the luxury segments compared to other islands in the state. Private club communities filled with amenities, available inventory and a demographic of high-net-worth individuals were behind the uptick.

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Current listings include a $4.295-million residence with four bedrooms at the Club at Hokulia, a 1,260-acre residential community along the coastline of Kona. An open-air dining pavilion and bar, a spa and fitness center, tennis courts and an 18-hole golf course are some of the club’s features.

Kauai saw a substantial jump in the ultra-luxury segment with 15 transactions at or above $10 million year to date in 2021 compared to just one the previous year. Celebrities and high-profile tech entrepreneurs have long fueled this market segment.

Among closings this year was an Anini Beach estate on the North Shore of Kauai that was once owned by actor Sylvester Stallone. The 3,638-square-foot home went for $8.5 million.

The largest home for sale on Kauai measures 11,100 square feet and is being offered at $15 million.

The Island of Maui had the overall largest luxury market share by dollar volume of any island in the chain in 2021 at 34%. In the ultra-luxury segment, Maui trailed slightly behind Hawaii Island in both number of sales and dollar volume.

Among current inventory in Maui’s ultra-luxury market is a mountaintop estate listed at $12.5 million. Five years ago, the palatial Mediterranean won a Building Industry Assn. of Hawaii award for design excellence. A large plateau on the nearly 6 acres of grounds takes in sweeping shoreline views.

Oahu accounted for 28% of luxury sales and 23% of the dollar volume. In the ultra-luxury sphere, it tallied 9% of the transactions and less than 9% of the total dollar volume. Among Oahu listings is a $4.2 million architectural contemporary with views of the ocean, Diamond Head and the coast.

Hawaii Life accounted for $3.082 billion in sales to date compared to $2.17 billion at the end of 2020 for its best year on record so far.


Hawaii Life is a founding member of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes.

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