Hawaii real estate continues to glow, and Chinese multimillionaires remain a huge chunk of its market. The demand from these eager buyers show no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
The Chinese have invested over $450 billion (USD) in the United States. Most wealthy owners have a relative who wants to study abroad – Harvard, Yale, or Princeton, Stanford – or know someone who wants to purchase real estate on American soil. Hong Kong is a megacity that never sleeps.
The internet tycoons, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists one finds on Hong Kong Island are these very ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) who pour money into owning an exclusive property on Hawaii’s Big Island.
These foreign investors have significantly influenced the U.S. luxury market, with the wealthiest from the mainland as well as in territories like Hong Kong and Taiwan continuing to diversify their assets. It’s usually a decision borne out of need and desire to find a haven for keeping their money in safety, a stable place for their children’s education, and an environment that’s friendly to both business and socialization.
And it’s not only about Mauna Kea’s sweeping panoramic views of sea and land, famous resorts like the Four Seasons in Hualalai, Kohala Coast’s gorgeous oceanfront, or championship golf courses that lure the Chinese as well as other staunch buyers into getting their place under the Hawaii sun. It’s also a distinct sense of community – where everybody including the doorman in Kukio knows your name, that comfort level draws them in and makes them stay.
“It’s very, very unique to have that level of service in a boutique environment where there is no hotel, there is no riffraff, and it’s really just the crème de la crème,” shares world-renowned architect Branko Pahor in a recent conversation about the exclusive Kukio community. “I’ve never seen it anywhere else. All over the world, that doesn’t exist!”
The very small numbers of homeowners and available properties make Big Island living “prestigious and special,” Pahor adds, also citing the simplicity that living in the area affords its residents.
“Never in a million years would you think they are millionaires: they’re wearing shirts playing golf, and everybody is so relaxed.”