How Island Appeal Adds To The Nation's Highest Rents

Hawaii’s turquoise waters, fine grains of sand, verdant mountains, luminous rainbows and stunning waterfalls are key components of the islands’ affordable housing crisis.

Housing markets with the potential to draw a virtually endless supply of well-off outsiders into their communities, it turns out, endure an almost inexorable increase in rent and real estate prices, according to a recently published policy brief from Todd Sinai, a real estate economist at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sinai wrote that a key driver of housing costs in such places “is not how many people actually live in a city, but how many people want to live there.”

To state the obvious: a lot of people are angling to live on these islands.

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