Who doesn’t want to live in paradise? Hawaii has always been a destination for those looking to live in an area that seems destined for a postcard picture, and though many call Hawaii home, those looking to relocate to the area are finding themselves met with limited supply for their demand. This has raised the cost of housing on the islands to record numbers, and along with it the cost of life for everyday Hawaiians. In a state now where you can see the price for a gallon of milk hitting the $13 mark, it’s not hard to feel the pinch.
Along with this inflated cost for housing, we are seeing the local debt median raise along with it, and when combined with the rising prices of everyday items in the area, it paints a potentially bleak picture for the future. Oahu has recently sold a record-breaking $13 plus million dollar home that feels like a resort, while local woodworking shops are building mobile homes that still have a taste of luxury. This swing from the massive to the tiny though carries a price tag everywhere it goes, and leads the housing market to a confusing state.
Whether you’re a local who has seen the cost of everyday life slowly climb to current trends, or are a newly landed family looking to purchase and settle, everywhere you look are the reminders that changes need to be made in the financial side of the state. And though we have recently made huge steps and efforts towards lowing costs of other aspects of life such as power with advancements in green and renewable energy, it could take a while before these prices start to offset the impact that mortgages and listing costs put into place.
Interviewing anyone on the islands will have the same bittersweet reaction to life in paradise, the pride and love of living in the area, offset by the trials and tribulations that come with being able to afford it. And though these measures are a good thing in a certain light, ensuring that the area doesn’t become overpopulated, for those living here in the moment, it’s a raise in the cost of life in the area that wasn’t expected, and not especially earned.
It would be hard to find anyone looking to leave the island as a result, but it can only go so far before living here becomes too costly for lower income families, who perhaps have generations of roots on the islands. To give up your generational home over the fact that it simply costs too much to make the day to day payments is heartbreaking, and already starting to happen to some families in the area. We surely hope that there is a sunrise on the financial horizon, for the sake of our homes, our families, and our livelihood on the island that we call our own, and to continue living in our own caved out paradise for more generations to come.