Japanese residents were the top foreign buyers of Hawaii real estate in 2014 with 291 purchases for a total of $278 million, according to Title Guaranty.
Mike Imanaka, senior vice president of data services for the Honolulu-based title services company, told PBN that the Japanese continue to value Hawaii real estate, especially in Waikiki, with its proximity to the beach and shopping.
The Japanese also are interested in Kakaako, Imanaka said.
“When the ONE Ala Moana [luxury condominium] was developed, it provided the perfect opportunity for continued value-based investment and proximity to shopping,” he said. “Japanese investment will likely continue in the Kakaako area.”
Rounding out the top five purchases by foreign investors last year were Canada (213 purchases, $165 million); Singapore (15 purchases, $57 million); China (15 purchases, $25 million); and Hong Kong (13 purchases, $14 million).
Korea, Australia, Germany, Guam and New Zealand rounded out the top 10 among foreign investors, Title Guaranty said.
Investors from Canada topped the list for buying property on Maui (94 purchases, $84 million); the Big Island (55 purchases, $52 million); and Kauai (12 purchases, $7 million). The Japanese were the biggest foreign buyers of property on Oahu (260 purchases, $254 million).
Despite the interest by foreign investors, domestic investors dominate the market. Title Guaranty reported 13,457 purchases by Hawaii investors for a total of $7.2 billion last year. They were followed by California (1,462 purchases, $1.2 billion); Texas (313 purchases, $205 million); Washington state (306 purchases, $227 million); and Colorado (156 purchases, $144 million).
Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News