Best Places to Invest in Hawaii

Hawaii is a U.S. state that requires very little introduction. Known for its breathtaking, iconic beauty varying from rugged mountainous hills to thriving forest ecosystems and gorgeous beaches, Hawaii is a real estate investor’s dream. From the Big Island to Kauai, this lush destination has a lot to offer the seasoned real estate investor looking to expand their portfolio with reliable, year-round passive profit.

Top Three Best Places for Investment Property on the Big Island

The Big Island of Hawaii is a paradise for both tourists and investors. With its stunning natural beauty, diverse landscapes, and a steady stream of visitors, it’s an ideal location for investment properties, particularly vacation rentals. In this article, we’ll explore the top three best places for investment property on the Big Island: Kohala Coast, Kona Coast, and Hamakua Coast. Additionally, we’ll delve into what you need to know about owning a vacation rental on the Big Island.

Kohala Coast

The Kohala Coast, located on the northwest side of the Big Island, is a premier destination for investment properties. This area is known for its luxury resorts, pristine beaches, and excellent golf courses, making it highly attractive to tourists seeking an upscale Hawaiian experience. When considering a vacation rental in this region, keep the following points in mind:

  • High-end clientele: The Kohala Coast attracts a more affluent clientele, which means you can charge higher rental rates.
  • Strict zoning regulations: Kohala Coast has strict zoning regulations, so it’s crucial to understand the local rules and permits required for vacation rentals.
  • Property management: To maintain a rental in this upscale area, professional property management is often recommended to ensure top-notch services for your guests.

Kona Coast

The Kona Coast, on the western side of the island, is another prime location for investment properties. This area is known for its sunny weather, historic sites, and vibrant oceanfront activities. Here’s what you should consider if you’re thinking about investing in a vacation rental on the Kona Coast:

  • Versatile accommodations: Kona offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxury beachfront villas to cozy condos. This flexibility allows you to target a broader audience.
  • Strong tourism demand: Kona is a popular destination, drawing visitors for its historical significance and outdoor adventures, ensuring a steady flow of tourists.
  • Local culture: Embrace and respect the local culture in Kona, and consider including Hawaiian elements in your rental property’s decor and amenities to enhance the guest experience.

Hamakua Cost

The Hamakua Coast, on the northeastern side of the Big Island, is an emerging area for investment properties. Known for its lush rainforests, waterfalls, and scenic beauty, it offers a unique experience for vacationers seeking a quieter, nature-centric escape. When considering a vacation rental on the Hamakua Coast, here are some factors to keep in mind:

  • Natural beauty: The Hamakua Coast is a haven for nature lovers, and your property should be designed to maximize the stunning views and surroundings.
  • Sustainable tourism: Embrace eco-friendly practices in your rental to align with the eco-conscious travelers who flock to this area.
  • Seasonal variations: Understand that the Hamakua Coast can experience more rain, and there might be some seasonality in tourism demand, so plan accordingly.

What to Know About Owning a Vacation Rental on the Big Island

Owning a vacation rental on the Big Island comes with unique considerations:

  1. Regulations and Permits: Familiarize yourself with local regulations and permits. Each region may have specific rules governing vacation rentals, and compliance is essential.
  2. Property Management: Depending on your location and the scale of your investment, consider hiring professional property management services to handle bookings, maintenance, and guest needs.
  3. Marketing and Listing: Effective marketing is crucial. Invest in professional photography, create engaging listings on vacation rental platforms, and highlight the unique features of your property.
  4. Guest Experience: Offer a memorable and authentic Hawaiian experience. Consider providing guests with local tips, amenities, and cultural insights to enhance their stay.
  5. Maintenance and Sustainability: Regular maintenance and sustainability practices are essential to keep your property in top shape and appeal to eco-conscious travelers.

Best Places to Invest in the Hawaii Real Estate Market

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The allure of Hawaii extends beyond its stunning landscapes and warm tropical climate. The Hawaii real estate market offers lucrative investment opportunities, with the potential for high returns and consistent growth. Here are the best places to invest in Hawaii:


Hilo, located on the eastern side of the Big Island, offers a blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and a relaxed pace of life. Here are some reasons to consider investing in Hilo’s real estate market:

  • Affordability: Hilo offers relatively more affordable real estate options compared to some other Hawaiian cities, making it accessible for investors on a budget.
  • Steady demand: The town attracts tourists seeking a more authentic Hawaiian experience, ensuring a consistent demand for vacation rentals and long-term rentals.
  • Diverse attractions: Hilo boasts an array of attractions, including lush rainforests, waterfalls, and the stunning Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, enhancing its appeal to a broad range of travelers.


Waikiki, located in Honolulu on the island of Oahu, is Hawaii’s most iconic tourist destination. Known for its world-famous beaches and vibrant nightlife, investing in Waikiki real estate can be a lucrative venture. Key factors to consider include:

  • High demand: Waikiki consistently draws a massive influx of tourists throughout the year, ensuring a strong demand for vacation rentals and short-term accommodations.
  • Prime location: Being in the heart of Honolulu, Waikiki is close to shopping, dining, and cultural attractions, making it a desirable spot for both tourists and long-term renters.
  • Upscale opportunities: Waikiki offers prime opportunities for luxury real estate investments, including oceanfront condos and upscale hotels.

Pearl City

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Pearl City, located on Oahu, is a prime destination for families and professionals seeking a convenient yet quieter residential area. Here’s why it’s a solid choice for real estate investment:

  • Proximity to Honolulu: Pearl City is just a short commute from downtown Honolulu, making it an attractive choice for those working in the city.
  • Suburban lifestyle: The area offers a suburban lifestyle with good schools and a strong sense of community, making it appealing for families and long-term renters.
  • Investment diversity: Pearl City offers a mix of single-family homes, condos, and townhouses, allowing for a diverse real estate investment portfolio.


As the capital of Hawaii and the largest city in the state, Honolulu is a diverse and thriving real estate market. Investing in Honolulu’s real estate market offers the following benefits:

  • Economic hub: Honolulu serves as the economic, cultural, and political center of Hawaii, ensuring a stable job market and a consistent influx of newcomers.
  • Diverse neighborhoods: From historic districts to modern high-rises, Honolulu offers diverse real estate investment options catering to various preferences and budgets.
  • High-end opportunities: Luxury properties in neighborhoods like Kahala and Diamond Head can yield substantial returns.


Kahului, situated on Maui, is the commercial center of the island and an increasingly popular real estate investment destination. Key points to consider include:

  • Growing tourism: Maui’s tourism industry is thriving, leading to an increased demand for vacation rentals and long-term housing in Kahului.
  • Economic growth: The area benefits from a growing economy and job market, attracting both residents and investors.
  • Proximity to attractions: Kahului’s central location provides easy access to Maui’s many attractions, making it appealing to both residents and tourists.

What Real Estate Investors Need to Know About Buying a Hawaii Airbnb

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Investing in a Hawaii Airbnb is a dream for many real estate enthusiasts. The Aloha State’s breathtaking landscapes, welcoming culture, and consistent stream of tourists make it a prime location for vacation rentals. Let’s explore what real estate investors need to know when buying a Hawaii Airbnb by looking at demand, the common traits of successful vacation rental markets, and how to find the perfect investment property.

Demand Is Strong Most of the Year

Hawaii’s year-round appeal and warm climate contribute to a strong demand for vacation rentals, with millions visiting each year (via Hawaii Guide). However, it’s essential to understand that demand can fluctuate depending on the season and location. Here’s what you should consider:

  • Seasonal variations: Hawaii experiences peak tourism during the winter months and other seasonal holidays. Be prepared for higher rental rates and increased bookings during these times.
  • Shoulder seasons: Even during the slower months, Hawaii remains attractive to travelers. Target shoulder seasons by offering special promotions or amenities to maintain a steady flow of guests.

What the Best Hawaii Vacation Rental Markets Have in Common

Successful Hawaii vacation rental markets share some common characteristics that make them attractive to investors. When searching for your Hawaii Airbnb, consider these factors:

  • Location, location, location: The proximity to popular beaches, attractions, and amenities greatly impacts the marketability of your property.
  • Unique experiences: Properties offering a unique, local experience, such as beachfront access, ocean views, or cultural themes, tend to attract more guests.
  • Strong property management: Consider hiring a professional property management company with expertise in the local market to handle bookings, maintenance, and guest services.

How to find Hawaii Investment Properties

Finding the right Hawaii Airbnb investment property is crucial for your success. Here are some steps to guide your property search:

  • Research locations: Explore different islands and regions within Hawaii. Popular choices include Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island, each with its unique appeal.
  • Engage local real estate agents: Working with experienced local agents can provide you with valuable insights and access to off-market properties.
  • Networking: Connect with other real estate investors and vacation rental owners to gain information about available properties and market trends.
  • Online listings: Utilize real estate websites and vacation rental platforms like Zillow, Redfin, and Airbnb to search for properties that meet your investment criteria.

Hawaii Real Estate: The Verdict

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From finding your dream home to investing in a lucrative Airbnb property with yearlong revenue opportunities, Hawaii real estate has a lot to offer the savvy investor. With almost boundless potential for return on investment and values only projected to increase, why wouldn’t you jump in with both feet? Especially as Hawaii continues to develop and rebuild after the devastating wildfires of 2023, this marks an amazing opportunity for investors to pour money back into the Hawaiian economy and watch as the state continues to rebuild, rebrand, and redevelop. With fractional real estate, you also don’t need to have hundreds of thousands in capital to dip a toe into the Hawaiian real estate game–so why wait?

Looking for more oceanfront properties to invest in? Consider the following options:

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