Maui Now Poll: 70% are very concerned about increase in homebuyers outside of the state of Maui, 83% think Maui County should limit temporary housing

NOTE: This is not a scientific survey, the results reflect the opinions of the survey participants only.

On Thursday, March 17, Maui Now published a poll asking readers to share their opinions and attitudes about current issues affecting Maui County. Poll questions included topics such as booster vaccination requirements, cruise ship returns to Maui, staffing shortages, and commercial downhill bike tours on the streets of Haleakalā.

Survey responses were collected over 14 days from March 17-30, 2022.

Announcements inviting the public to participate in the survey were posted on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the Maui Now website.

Maui Now received 544 verified responses, of which 90% identified themselves as Maui County residents and 10% as non-residents. Overall, 86% of respondents identified themselves as registered voters and 14% as unregistered voters.

In the March 2022 Maui Now Reader survey, 70% of respondents were very concerned about the recent surge in home buyers outside of the state of Maui over the past year, 12% of survey respondents were somewhat concerned, and 10% of survey respondents were not very concerned , and 8% of respondents were not at all concerned.

According to state data, more homes in Maui County were purchased by out-of-state buyers last year than in recent years.

Mainland and foreign residents bought 1,124 homes in Maui County last year, compared to 689 units in 2020 and 760 units in 2019, according to a recent fourth-quarter report from the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism . Read more about this topic here.

83% of respondents to the Maui Now survey believe Maui County should limit temporary accommodations – visitor units – while 17% of respondents believe Maui County should not limit temporary accommodations.

At a Maui County Council committee meeting on Wednesday, February 23, some residents supported a plan to cap Maui’s temporary housing, while industry witnesses questioned whether a cap would have unintended legal and financial consequences. Read more about the debate here.

69% of respondents to the Maui Now poll believe Maui County should raise property taxes on second homes, while 31% of respondents believed Maui County should not levy property taxes on second homes.

In a presentation to Maui County Council’s Affordable Housing Committee on Monday, March 14, keeping property taxes at their lowest in the nation could actually spur investment in Maui County’s home purchases. Read more about this report here.

About 70% of purchases in 2020 were second homes not occupied by the owner, the Hawaii Information Service said. Meanwhile, Hawaii ranked the lowest nationwide for property taxes by state this year, according to a WalletHub study released this month.

38% of respondents to the Maui Now survey said they drive less after the recent increase in gas prices, 1% said they drive more, and 61% drive about the same amount.

Gas prices in Hawaii started rising rapidly last week, setting even more daily records in recent days, according to AAA Hawaiʻi Weekend Gas Watch.

The average regular price for unleaded gasoline for Hawaii is $5.20, up 11 cents from last week and a new record for the state. The average national price is $4.23, down one cent from a week ago. Read more about the AAA Hawaii report here.

71% of respondents to the Maui Now survey said they are very concerned about Hawaiian Electric‘s forecast that Maui household bills will increase by 20% in the coming months. 22% of respondents said they were somewhat concerned, 5% were not very concerned and 2% were not at all concerned.

Hawaiian Electric last month forecast that household bills for customers in Maui and Hawaii counties will increase about 20% over the next few months, while customers on O’ahu will see an estimated 10% increase. Read more about Hawaiian Electric’s forecast here.

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