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Hawaii Tops the List of Global Property Destinations for Luxury Buyers

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A comprehensive study of the world’s most affluent households by Luxury Portfolio International® (LPI), the luxury arm of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, the largest global network of residential real estate firms, revealed Hawaii is the top destination among international luxury homebuyers, with one in five (20%) seeking a residence in the tropical Aloha State.  

It is the most popular destination by a significant margin, with the continental United States (8%), France (6%), China (6%), New Zealand (5%), Mexico (4%), Greece (3%) and Canada (3%) completing the top destinations globally.  

From a regional standpoint, with Hawaii as exponentially the most desired destination, the U.S./Americas & Caribbean account for 37% of the interest from international luxury buyers, followed by Europe and the Middle East at 29%, and Asia at 18%.  

“In Hawaii, we’re currently seeing a market that’s unlike anything we’ve ever experienced in the history of the State,” said Matt Beall, CEO and Principal Broker of Hawaii Life Real Estate, an affiliate Member of LPI.  “We continue to watch as inventory drops to record lows, with some markets now being down to only a month’s worth of supply.” 

The new study furthermore showed that the median projected spend among luxury buyers for their next home is U.S. $2.75 million, with 28% spending U.S. $5 million-plus. The primary reason for purchasing overseas is a better quality of life (75%), followed by the investment potential from owning in the chosen country (69%).

More than half (58%) are opting for locations which offer flexibility they may not currently enjoy, such as land ownership or a second passport.   


The research revealed proximity to city or town neighborhoods is less important for international luxury homebuyers. These consumers are most interested in homes close to nature, by the ocean, or in a resort community, with a lake or river view considered the most attractive.  

International luxury home buyers’ wish list for their new home matches modern needs for working, living and playing at home, heightened by the pandemic over last 12 months. At the top of the list is excellent broadband speed and plenty of space — as well as good quality leisure and entertainment facilities.  

Investment properties are among the most popular reasons for purchasing a home (27%) as well as a holiday residence. Buyers have also indicated they are most interested in a single-family residence which is relatively new — preferably built within the past five years. 

Mickey Alam Khan, President of Luxury Portfolio International commented, “Hawaii tops the list for international property buyers, and if you’ve visited the Aloha State it’s easy to understand why. The islands boast pristine beaches, lush tropical greenery and incredible year-round temperatures.  Our report shows affluent buyers are interested in regions which provide for their needs—great entertainment as well as investment opportunity and lifestyle enrichment.”  

“In Hawaii, in terms of where international buyers are coming, Japan is at the top of the list, followed by Korea and then Singapore, while Canadian buyers continue to show strong interest in Maui and the west side of the Big Island,” continued Beall.  “Overall, when the market fully opens up in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, we expect to see additional buyers, further fueling an already red-hot market.” 

Full list below: 

U.S., Americas & Caribbean 

Hawaii                                                                20% 

Continental United States                                  8% 

Mexico                                                                4% 

Canada                                                               3% 

British Virgin Islands                                           1% 

Colombia                                                            1% 

Europe and Middle East        

France                                                               6% 

Greece                                                              3% 

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Spain                                                                 2% 

Germany                                                            2% 

Monaco                                                              2% 

Portugal                                                             2% 

Ireland                                                               2% 

United Kingdom                                                2% 

Switzerland                                                       2% 

Australia                                                            2% 

Cyprus                                                               1% 

Italy                                                                    1% 

Netherlands                                                       1% 

Croatia                                                               1% 

Malta                                                                  1% 

United Arab Emirates                                         1% 

Asia                                               

China (Incl. Hong Kong and Taiwan)                   6%

New Zealand                                                       5% 

Singapore                                                            2% 

Japan                                                                   2% 

Malaysia                                                              2% 

Bali, Indonesia                                                     2% 

Islands of Tahiti                                                   2% 

Thailand                                                              1% 

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