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Hawaii is well known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and luxurious resorts. For those looking to own a piece of paradise in Hawaii, price tags can easily run into the tens or hundreds of millions.

If you’re wondering which island in Hawaii commands the highest prices, read on to explore some of the most exclusive and expensive islands across the Hawaiian archipelago.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Lanai is considered the most expensive island in Hawaii, with median home prices over $3 million.

Background on Real Estate Prices in Hawaii

Hawaii is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, pristine beaches, and vibrant culture, making it a highly sought-after destination for both tourists and potential homeowners.

However, the allure of paradise comes with a hefty price tag, especially when it comes to purchasing property on the islands.

Let’s take a closer look at the factors that contribute to Hawaii’s reputation as one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world.

High demand from wealthy buyers

The demand for real estate in Hawaii is driven by an influx of wealthy buyers who are drawn to the state’s natural beauty and luxurious lifestyle.

The allure of owning a piece of paradise has attracted high-net-worth individuals from around the world, including celebrities and business moguls.

With limited inventory and a high demand, the competition for properties can be fierce, driving up prices to astronomical levels.

Also read: How Much Does It Cost To Buy A House In Hawaii?

Limited private land

Hawaii is made up of a chain of islands, each with its own unique charm and limited available land. The scarcity of private land adds to the exclusivity and desirability of owning property in Hawaii.

Strict zoning regulations and environmental protections further restrict the development of new properties, making existing homes and land even more valuable.

As a result, the limited supply of land contributes to the high prices seen in the Hawaiian real estate market.

Prime location in the Pacific

Another factor that contributes to the high real estate prices in Hawaii is its prime location in the Pacific Ocean.

The islands offer a strategic location for international business and trade, attracting investors and entrepreneurs from all corners of the globe.

The proximity to Asia and the United States mainland makes it an ideal location for those seeking a tropical getaway with easy access to major cities and markets.

The combination of high demand, limited private land, and a prime location in the Pacific all contribute to Hawaii’s reputation as one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world.

If you’re considering purchasing property in Hawaii, be prepared to navigate a competitive market and pay a premium for a slice of paradise.

Also read: Is Hawaii Closer To Japan Or Usa?

Lanai – The Most Expensive Hawaiian Island

Lanai, also known as the Pineapple Island, is renowned for being the most expensive island in Hawaii.

Located in the central part of the Hawaiian archipelago, Lanai offers a unique blend of luxury, privacy, and natural beauty that attracts affluent travelers from around the world.

Purchased by Larry Ellison

In 2012, Lanai made headlines when it was purchased by billionaire entrepreneur Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle Corporation.

Ellison’s vision for Lanai was to transform it into a world-class destination, combining sustainable development with top-notch amenities and services.

Since the acquisition, Lanai has undergone significant renovations and upgrades, solidifying its status as one of the most exclusive islands in Hawaii.

Ultra-luxury resorts and amenities

Lanai boasts a small but exquisite selection of ultra-luxury resorts that offer unparalleled comfort and opulence.

Among them is the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, a five-star property renowned for its impeccable service, stunning ocean views, and world-class golf courses.

Guests can indulge in spa treatments, fine dining experiences, and a wide range of outdoor activities, including snorkeling, hiking, and horseback riding.

Furthermore, Lanai offers a wealth of amenities designed to cater to the discerning tastes of its affluent visitors. From exclusive shopping boutiques to fine dining establishments, the island ensures that guests have access to the finest products and services available.

Whether you’re looking for high-end fashion, exquisite jewelry, or gourmet cuisine, Lanai has it all.

Secluded ambience

What sets Lanai apart from other Hawaiian islands is its secluded ambience. With a population of only around 3,100 residents, Lanai provides a sense of privacy and tranquility that is hard to find elsewhere.

Visitors can escape the crowds and enjoy the island’s pristine beaches, lush forests, and breathtaking landscapes in relative solitude.

Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a peaceful retreat, or a luxury vacation, Lanai offers an unparalleled experience that is worth the investment.

From the moment you set foot on this exclusive island, you’ll be captivated by its beauty, charm, and the unparalleled level of luxury it provides.

Other Notable Expensive Islands

While the most expensive island in Hawaii is undoubtedly Lanai, there are several other notable islands in the archipelago that also come with a hefty price tag. Let’s take a closer look at three of them:


Maui, often referred to as the “Valley Isle,” is known for its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and luxury resorts. It offers a wide range of upscale accommodations, fine dining options, and world-class golf courses.

The island is a popular destination for celebrities and affluent travelers looking for a luxurious retreat.

With its high-end resorts and exclusive neighborhoods, Maui ranks among the most expensive islands in Hawaii.

Also read: What Is Maui Hawaii Known For? A Guide To The Valley Isle’S Top Attractions


Kauai, also known as the “Garden Isle,” is famous for its breathtaking natural beauty. It features stunning waterfalls, rugged cliffs, and pristine beaches.

Kauai offers a more laid-back and secluded atmosphere compared to other islands in Hawaii, attracting those seeking privacy and exclusivity.

With its upscale resorts, private vacation rentals, and high-end real estate options, Kauai is a sought-after destination for affluent travelers.

Also read: What To Do In Kauai, Hawaii – A Paradise Island Getaway

Big Island

The Big Island of Hawaii, officially known as Hawaii Island, is the largest and youngest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is home to diverse landscapes, including active volcanoes, lush rainforests, and black sand beaches.

While the Big Island is known for its natural wonders, it also offers luxury accommodations, upscale dining experiences, and renowned golf courses.

The island’s exclusivity and unique features make it an attractive choice for those seeking a high-end Hawaiian getaway.

For more information on these islands and their luxury offerings, you can visit Hawaii Magazine or Go Hawaii.

Factors Driving Luxury Home Prices

When it comes to luxury real estate, there are several factors that contribute to the high prices of homes on the most expensive island in Hawaii. These factors include:

Privacy and Exclusivity

One of the main factors that drive luxury home prices is the level of privacy and exclusivity offered by the property.

High-net-worth individuals and celebrities often seek out secluded locations where they can escape the prying eyes of the public.

The more private and exclusive the island, the higher the demand for luxury properties, which ultimately drives up the prices.

Amenities and Services

Luxury home buyers are willing to pay a premium for access to top-notch amenities and services.

These may include private beaches, golf courses, marinas, spas, and concierge services. The availability of these exclusive amenities can significantly increase the value of a property.

Additionally, high-end restaurants, luxury shopping, and entertainment options in close proximity can also contribute to the desirability of an area.

Natural Beauty

The natural beauty of an island is a major selling point for luxury home buyers. Pristine white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, lush tropical landscapes, and breathtaking ocean views all add to the appeal of a property.

Islands with unique geological features such as volcanic formations or rare wildlife habitats can also command higher prices.


Prestige plays a significant role in driving luxury home prices. Owning a property on the most expensive island in Hawaii is a symbol of status and success.

The exclusivity associated with these properties attracts affluent buyers who are willing to pay a premium for the privilege of living in a prestigious location.

According to a study conducted by Luxury Portfolio International, privacy, exclusivity, and natural beauty are the top three factors that drive luxury home prices in Hawaii. The study also found that luxury home prices in the most prestigious areas of the island can range from $5 million to over $50 million.

Also read: Why Is Hawaii So Expensive?


The stunning Hawaiian Islands offer the ultimate in luxury living for those who can afford it.

While all the islands have pockets of extreme wealth, Lanai takes the top spot as Hawaii’s most expensive island, thanks to its ultra-exclusive amenities and secluded atmosphere.

For billionaires and luxury developers looking to own a slice of paradise, Lanai represents the peak of luxury island living in Hawaii.

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