- March 22, 2018
- Hawaiʻi Appleseed
- Hawai‘i Appleseed
Finding affordable housing has long been a significant challenge for Hawaiʻi’s residents. Over the past decade, it has risen to crisis proportions. The growth of the vacation rental industry in recent years is exacerbating these problems.
Over just the last two years, the number of VRUs has increased by 35 percent. One out of every 24 housing units in the state is a VRU, with some communities being completely overwhelmed by the industry’s growth. On Kauai one in eight homes is used as a VRU. In Lahaina, the ratio drops to one in three.
The reason why investors are choosing VRUs over long-term rentals is obvious: the average VRU brings in about 3.5 times more revenue than a long-term rental unit. However, the loss of long-term rentals to VRUs means higher housing costs for Hawai‘i residents.