All commercial real estate markets are based on supply and demand. Hawaii’s market has typically been limited in supply, and demand has outstripped the existing supply. General interest and demand for Hawaii commercial properties comes from people’s fascination with Hawaii and spending time in, and surrounded by, its natural beauty. In trying to protect that natural beauty, difficulties in rezoning are wide spread across Oahu, Maui, The Big Island and Kauai. A very small portion of our states land is zoned for urban and commercial or industrial purposes. Typically, a developer will need to spend seven years to take a property through rezoning and allow that property to be added to the supply side of our commercial real estate marketplace.
Being in the middle of the Pacific and a part of the United States provides many advantages to investors. Our clients are comforted and sure of laws and financial markets of the United States and have access to capital and resources from Asia. In many real estate cycles, parts of Asia remain strong while the United States goes through a down period. Asian investors can remain bullish for many reasons, the most prevalent being that their economy at home is strong. The second reason is a positive currency swing for the investor. This situation can play itself out in many countries, always allowing one to be strong and driving investment into Hawaii.
Hawaii’s economy is now more diversified than ever. Several years ago the people, the government and the business leaders of Hawaii, determined that it was necessary and desirable to create some diversity in the State’s economy. After tourism and military spending, real estate has become a major portion of Hawaii’s economy. From land subdivision to high-rise condominium development, it has been big business. High Tech companies, including movie productions, have created a small blip on the screen for the economy. One positive side effect we have observed is the influx of new residents and people who want to spend more time in the state. Many of these investors include families who are starting to plan for retirement by purchasing a piece of investment real estate for the future. Another type of real estate investor we are seeing is the young financer from Asia who spends several months a year in Hawaii and has purchased a high-end resort luxury property. These types of investors are starting to get involved in the community, give back to local charities and don’t use many city or county resources. They of course pay real estate taxes and are fantastic consumers when in Hawaii.
There are many reasons to invest in Hawaii and many different sizes of investments. From individual weeks of a time share, to major institutional commercial real estate projects you can join in.