Hawai‘i Vacation Rental Numbers Soaring

July 20, 2019, 1:00 PM HST
* Updated July 22, 7:31 AM
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A recent study by IPX1031 found Hawai‘i has some of the highest percentages of vacation homes (defined by the Census Bureau as a housing unit that is vacant for seasonal, recreational or occasional use) in the country.

The data from the study was compiled from 29,000 locations across the country and Hawai‘i ranked in the top 15 coming in at No. 11. Hawai‘i had a total of 37,802 homes registered as vacation rentals out of a total of 542,955 units in the state meaning one out of every 14 units is being used as a vacation rental.

Kewwala Bay on the island of O‘ahu had the highest density of vacation homes. 74% of housing units in the area were being used as vacation rentals. Poipu had the second-highest density of vacation homes at 67%, followed by Puako on Big Island with 57%.

“What we’re noticing is that the people who are looking to buy vacation homes are looking into smaller communities,” said Tricia Harte, outreach manager for the public relations arm of IPX International. “This data indicates that people are looking for a little seclusion by buying vacation homes in areas away from all of the hustle and bustle.”



Harte pointed out that this study was only for the number of registered vacation homes so the actual number may be much higher.


In fact, under Hawai‘i’s new law, vacation rental registrations are coming in faster than the planning department can process them.

The new law requires anyone not living on the building site and renting the property out 30 consecutive days or less to register by Sept. 28, pay a fee of $500 and show all the taxes on the property are paid in full. Hosted rentals, where the owner still lives on the premises, are not affected by the law.

The West Hawai‘i planning department processed 226 registrations as of the first week of June 2019, eight times as many as the Hilo Planning Department.



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