Maui Real Estate Boom

An important thing to know about the beginning of Maui housing development is that travel to the islands was not a viable option until the invention of the steam boat in the 1800’s. Prior to the steam boat, the only mode of transportation to the islands was the sailboat; hardly an appealing proposition for a family getaway from the mainland. By 1859, The Pacific Mail Steamship Company, which stopped in Honolulu on the way to Australia, began allowing people to book passage to the islands.

In 1903, the Hawaiian Promotion Committee was established and was one of the first initial pushes to put Hawaii on the international scene as a destination tourist spot. The committee was established in part with government finances and spared no expense in advertising, hotels, and infrastructure projects.

A variety of other factors contributed to the tourism boom on the islands. Some of these include: the first commercial flight from the US Mainland in 1935, the promotion by Hollywood movies like “Waikiki Wedding” starring Bing Crosby and Martha Ray, and the speculation of sugar and pineapple executives investing profits into real estate developments.

The critical role of the islands during World War II lead to many soldiers spending time there. It was the passing of the GI Bill, which allowed veterans to buy homes at unheard of interest rates, that allowed many of them stay in Hawaii. In addition, a benefit of the US military presence were the improvements made to the infrastructure. These improvements to the infrastructure laid the groundwork for the impending real estate boom.

The 1960’s were the beginning of the real estate boom in Maui. Commercial jets in the 1950’s brought many tourists to Hawaii, although, not in Maui specifically. By the 1960’s, Maui’s population had actually declined due to the mechanization of sugar and pineapple plantations. A land use report published in 1959, highlighted the massive under-utilization of Maui’s natural beauty and beaches. The recommendation was to build upon the existing infrastructure and develop exquisite destination resorts that would capitalize on the Islands finest features.

The report was a critical component that led to construction of resorts in Kaanapali, Kapalua, and Wailea and were financed by foreign, mainland, and local pineapple and sugar Corporations. The result was the immediate increase in tourism and money for the economy, which created an influx of new jobs. The boost in these areas resulted in a great need for housing and real estate speculation.

Realtor Salesperson #58532, SRS


Suite 104, 40 Kupuohi St, Lahaina, HI 96761

(808) 283-3067

The West Maui Specialist

Robert came to Maui in 2000 after thirty years as a business owner in Illinois. He has a passion for real estate and Maui. During his 18 years of representing Buyers and Sellers, he has committed to sharing his knowledge and experience with his clients and spends quality time with them to understand their dreams and needs. Take advantage of his wealth of knowledge in the Maui Real Estate Market to find that special place for you!

I am available to talk with you anytime about your real estate investments, the current state of the Maui market, or anything else related to Maui. The Maui market has been improving and now may be a good time to review your current situation and goals to see if there are any investment opportunities for you. Please call me at (808) 283-3067 anytime.
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