Demand For Luxury Homes In Hawaii Surges As New Oceanfront Lots Hit The Market

Intense urgency continues to drive the luxury real estate market in Hawai'i. (David Tonnes | PanaViz Photography)

Things are heating up on the Kona Coast, particularly for those in the market for high-end real estate.

Hokuli’a, a private residential club community on the Big Island of Hawai’i, this week rolled out its latest offering of luxury homes: 20 premier oceanside lots, each offering sweeping views and direct access to roughly three miles of shoreline.

aerial view of Hokulia luxury development hawaii

An aerial view of Hokuli‘a, a 1,260-acre luxury residential enclave on Hawai‘i Island. (David Tonnes | PanaViz Photography)

The new estate lots hit the market as an influx of new buyers continue to make their way into the Hawai’i housing market. Long considered a second-home market, Hawai’i’s combined luxury property sales (homes selling for greater than $3 million) grew by 26.25% in volume last year, from $1.54 billion in 2019 to $1.95 billion in 2020, according to top real estate brokerage Hawai’i Life.

ocean and beachfront at hokuli'a luxury enclave hawaii big island kona

Hokuli‘a’s sloping topography gently rises from sea level to around 1,250 feet. (Hawai’i Life)

Developed by SunChase Holdings, the oceanfront lots are sized from one to two acres and can be fully customized island’s unique landscape. Each property takes advantage of Hokuli‘a’s sloping topography that rises gently from sea level to around 1,250 feet and allows for panoramic views of the ocean and nearby Mauna Loa volcano. Prices start at $4.25 million and run upwards of $7.5 million.

Hokuli‘a development luxury home swimming pool hawaii

Phase Two home sites at the Hokuli‘a development start at $4.25 million and run upwards of $7.5 million. This Phase One residence, which has been completed, is currently listed for $7.995 million. (Hawai’i Life)

Carrie Nicholson of Hawai‘i Life, the exclusive listing agent for Hokuli‘a, said the 1,260-acre  resort community is a departure from other, often densely populated resort bubbles on the island.

“Hokuli‘a is a special place with a great sense of community, and the central Kona Coast location encourages exploration of all that Hawai‘i Island offers,” Nicholson said. “The expansive lot sizes coupled with unmatched amenities and effortless, sustainable living puts Hokuli‘a in a class all its own.”

jack nicklaus golf course at Hokuli’a on big island hawaii kona coast

Miles of hiking trails, direct access to the shore and a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course are among perks of the Hokuli’a club community. (David Tonnes | PanaViz Photography)

Shaped as a tropical oasis, Hokuli‘a features a shoreline park, on-site hiking trails and platforms for taking in the scenery. In addition to access to a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, community amenities include a private clubhouse, a wellness pavilion, a fitness center and multiple sports courts. Also on the grounds is the ocean-facing Pavilion Restaurant.

pavilion restaraunt at Hokuli’a big island hawaii

For dining, Hokuli’a features an ocean-facing restaurant. (David Tonnes | PanaViz Photography)

Hawai’i residential property sales skyrocketed last year during the pandemic, with competitive bidding and all-cash transactions being a common theme, particularly in the luxury segment.

The Big Island, alone, accounted for more than 100 luxury transactions totalling $585.9 million in 2020, outpacing the previous year by almost 60% ($219.6 million), according to Hawai’i Life. Of those 100-plus sales, there were seven sales of $10 million or more on Hawai’i Island, including a beachfront Kūki‘o Resort property that went for a year-high $37 million.

ocean at Hokuli’a luxury hawaii development

Shoreline parks and viewing stations let Hokuli’a residents take in the scenery. (David Tonnes | PanaViz Photography)

“No matter where they came from, affluent buyers are looking for private getaways to spend time with family, where they could successfully and conveniently stay home, work remotely, and enroll their children in distance learning programs here in Hawai‘i — and elsewhere,” said Matt Beall, founder of Hawai’i Life, in the company’s 2020 market report.


Neal is the Chief Content Officer at Forbes Global Properties. A content strategist with more than a decade of experience in the sports, entertainment and real estate spaces he previously launched a sports real estate column and chronicled L.A.’s biggest home sales for the Los Angeles Times' award-winning “Hot Property” section.