Guess What: Hawaii Housing Is Expensive!
by Robert Thomas, InverseCondemnation, April 8, 2015
Two stories to read, in tandem:
In the ultimate dog-bites-man story, yesterday's Honolulu Star-Advertiser headline reads "Home demand outweighs supply." Well no kidding. As one fellow quoted in story said,"This is the most over-studied subject in the history of mankind ... You don't need a study to know what the numbers are. It's time to stop studying housing and start doing housing." The story is partially behind a paywall, but the lede sums it up: "Hawaii needs up to 66,000 homes if it expects to satisfy demand for housing over the next decade."
Increasing demand coupled with restrictive supply means, guess what - high prices and shortages. What's responsible for the lack of housing? There's land on which to build, but it's infamously difficult to develop. As Professor David Callies wrote recently, Hawaii has an "increasingly well-known penchant for lengthy, often decade-long land use permitting processes" and a "climate that increasingly discourages both local and foreign investment in land development, because it is widely perceived as too risky for the private sector to undertake." This results in "housing that is affordable at any but the most astronomical levels[.]"
"Affordable Housing Maui Style" - from NewGeography.com via Professor Gideon Kanner. The author reports on a recent visit to the Valley Isle where he discovered that "[t]he cost of even the most modest homes and apartments are off the charts expensive. Property is pegged to what wealthy outsiders from the mainland and abroad are willing and able to pay rather than what the local population can afford."
Do we still wonder why more and more are casting their futures by looking beyond our fair shores?