Stab Magazine | Hawaii, The Preferred Real Estate For The International 1 Percent

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Hawaii, The Preferred Real Estate For The International 1 Percent

The price of paradise. 

news // Jun 27, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

A recent study found that Hawaii is the most expensive place in the world to buy toilet paper. Four plush rolls will set you back six bucks. On top of the most expensive wipe of your life, for the seventh year in a row Hawaii has been voted the worst state in the US to make a living. 

For those that call the islands home, or have at least wintered there during the North Shore season, this comes as no surprise. Everything in Hawaii’s more expensive—everything. The price of gas is laughable, and the cost of electricity is over 40 percent higher than anywhere on the mainland. 

A Chris Christenson shortboard with no resin tint or colour will set you back $730 at The Surf Garage on Oahu. A similar make and model by Christenson is going for $610 at Mitch’s Surf Shop in La Jolla. Because everything from fins to traction pads has to be imported, Hawaii is not the land of the bro deal. Oddly, we did find that the cost of a blank at Fiberglass Hawaii is almost identical to that of Foam EZ in Huntington Beach…

“Basically, what Hawaii has become is a preferred place for the international one percent to buy property,” Lawrence Boyd, an economist and associate specialist with the University of Hawaii Center for Labor Education Research, told Hawaii News Now.

Look no further than Kauai to see what an income gap looks like. There are currently three properties on the north shore of the island listed for over $26 million. Five of the top ten most expensive properties in Hawaii are on the island. Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, keeps a family “ranch” there. Ben Stiller, Pierce (Bond #5) Brosnan and Bette Midler are also Pine Trees regulars.

The surfers that grew up in the area lament the changes. A lot of them have moved away simply because it’s too expensive to live there anymore. Reef McIntosh, Danny Fuller and Bruce Irons have all been basing themselves out of Southern California because it’s more affordable (if only slightly) and L.A. is a hell of a lot easier to travel out of than Honolulu.

“We didn’t have anything growing up,” told Bruce in a recent interview with Stab. “My brother, me, all our friends, we’d be down at the beach all day because there wasn’t really anything to do at any of our houses. We lived in full beach shacks. Not even cottages, shacks. It’s definitely different now.”

Those who stayed have seen their world go from sleepy and idyllic to crowded and aggro. 

“When I was six to ten years old we lived in a green shack on the beach,” attests Seabass. “It’s becoming really expensive with a lot of movie stars and millionaires moving in and buying up everything. A lot of my friends have to work two jobs just to get by.”

“You can’t get a place on the beach anymore. You just can’t,” confirms Leila Hurst.

Forget buying a house around Hanalei Bay, it’s hard enough to score a roll of quilted double-ply.


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