Investor Visas: Why Foreign Investors like to Invest in Hawaii?

I am writing this Blog post from a Hotel room facing the Ocean in beautiful Maui. Maui is great place to visit this time of year, unless you happen to be there in the middle of a Tsunami (we experienced a long night evacuating from our Hotel last night). During the long waiting hours, I met an interesting person, who is also an international real estate investor. He was interested in my line of work and told me several facts about investment in Hawaii.

The Hawaii Real Estate Portal has some interesting facts about Foreign investment in Hawaii:

In recent years, total of 1,596,336 non-immigrant aliens came into Hawaii. Those in some selected categories are:
1,500,464 temporary visitors for pleasure
66,275 temporary visitors for business
2,449 treaty traders and investors
9,078 foreign students and dependant families
2,610 temporary foreign workers, trainees and dependant families
406 NAFTA professional workers and dependant families
Obviously many of them needed rental housing, purchased second homes, or invested in Hawaii commercial real estate. A recent study of The National Association of REALTORS® Profile of international Home Buying Activity shows that about 3 percent of entire home sales involved foreign buyers in the nationwide.

The percentage of foreign buyer’s participation varies according to state. For example, over 9 % of all home sales transactions involve international buyers in Florida which has been the most popular destination of home buyers from abroad. Although Hawaii may not witness such high volume of international real estate transactions as in Florida, there are still enough foreigners arriving in the state to make an impact on overall real estate transactions.

A U.S. affiliate is a U.S. business enterprise that is owned 10 percent or more, directly or indirectly, by a foreign person. As of 2012, there are total of 118,588 U.S. affiliates of foreign companies nationwide. This is an increase of 12% compared to 5 years prior. In Hawaii alone, there are 990 companies in this category. They contribute to Hawaii’s real estate industry by purchasing or renting Hawaii commercial real estate properties for their business. In addition, the frequent flows of staff and their families from their home countries created a housing demand.

Fun-in-the-Sun Facts about Hawaii
The “Big Island” is properly called the “Large Island”
All ice cream is imported
Honolulu’s French Quarter is Hawaii’s second top tourist destination
The world’s largest porch is located on Lanai
Cabbage has eclipsed coconuts as Hawaii’s largest export crop
A Hawaii Restaurant Board study indicates that volcanic eruptions and hurricanes kill more tourists than bad fish
Hawaiian icon Don Ho was born, and grew up in, Paramus, New Jersey
Current exchange rates: $1 U.S. = 153,000 Hawaiian Pukas = .001 Alaskan Chinooks
Aloha for Now:))