Oahu records more $10M home sales than ever as new condos lure new wealthy buyers to Hawaii


More single-family homes on Oahu have sold for $10 million or more during the first nine months of 2018 than in each of the past 18 years, and Honolulu condominiums with units selling for the same stratospheric prices are attracting a new group of ultra high-net-worth buyers to Hawaii, helping to drive the number of luxury home sales.

Read more from Pacific Business News, below:

The Park Lane Ala Moana complex and the Waiea tower in The Howard Hughes Corp.’s Ward Village were the only condominiums on Oahu to record sales of $10 million or more during the first three quarters. Park Lane recorded sales of $22 million and $18.8 million in 2017, and Howard Hughes has two Waiea penthouses on the market for $35 million and $36 million.

While three $10 million-plus sales at Park Lane and Waiea were to Hawaii buyers, many of the units in Park Lane, Waiea and also Anaha that sold for between $1.6 million and $7.9 million during the first three quarters this year were to foreign buyers, especially from Japan.

The new developments centered around Kakaako and Ala Moana Center have “added attention to our market,” said Patti Nakagawa, Global Luxury director at Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties. “And it really shows our real estate is a really good value.”



Especially when Honolulu is compared to markets such as Hong Kong, which recorded a sale last year for $360 million, or London, New York, Singapore or San Francisco, the top five global cities for luxury property, according to a report by Christie’s International Real Estate, which found luxury real estate sales around the world posted annual growth of 11 percent last year.

“Hawaii still is a really, really good value when you compare,” Nakagawa said. “And those are the locations where these UHNW buyers are looking.”

According to a white paper by Luxury Portfolio International titled “Luxury Real Estate: What Matters Most to Today’s Global Elite,” 38 percent of high-net-worth individuals are considering a purchase in the next three years, an increase from 32 percent in 2017. And luxury buyers from Asia are seeking contemporary style in an urban setting.

Maggie Huang of List Sotheby’s International Real Estate said buyers from other areas of Asia, including China and Hong Kong, are looking at Hawaii for third, fourth or fifth homes, especially families whose children are out of school. She recently represented a Hong Kong couple who paid $5.79 million for a unit at Park Lane in a deal that closed in June.

“They bought years ago in California,” she said. “At this time of their life, they’re realizing Hawaii is a good choice for them to buy.”

Meanwhile, a total of 10 single-family homes on Oahu traded hands for between $10 million and $18.8 million, according to an analysis of sales and Multiple Listing Service data.

The numbers for Oahu so far this year are already five times the two $10 million-plus sales for single-family homes last year. The previous high sales counts for this price category occurred in 2013 and 2015, when there were seven closings for $10 million or more, and in 2005 before that, when there were six sales, according to the Honolulu Board of Realtors’ MLS data. The oldest transaction in that category was a 1999 sale of a home in Kahala for $15 million.

Statewide, there were a dozen more residential transactions in Hawaii that closed for more than $10 million — four each on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island, including the largest residential transaction so far this year, a $27.5 million home in the Kukio Golf and Beach Club.

It appears unlikely there will be more of those large sales before the end of the year, at least on Oahu. A $12.15 million sale of a Lanikai house designed by architect Vladimir Ossipoff closed last week, but there is nothing currently in escrow for more than $10 million, Nakagawa noted.

“However, what we see sometimes in December is buyers coming up and they do a 10-day or a 20-day close,” she said. “There is still a shot at seeing some of these – we have a lot of trophy properties in our active inventory now.”

There are currently 19 active listings for single-family homes on Oahu for more than $10 million, from an $11 million home on the North Shore to a $30 million double-home listing in Kailua. For condos, in addition to the Waiea penthouse units there is one unit at Park Lane listed for $10.3 million and two penthouse units at Anaha listed for $17.5 million and $22.8 million.

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