According to a new analysis by the Martin Prosperity Institute and CityLab, the average Honolulu worker would need to save wages for nearly 13 years to afford to buy a home.

That doesn’t include the added cost of mortgage interest.

The problem is worse for service workers like retail and hospitality employees who support the state’s tourism economy. For highly paid creative-knowledge workers in Honolulu, the situation is better but still not great: the study found they must put aside at least 8.4 years of wages to afford a home in Honolulu, where the median home price hit $719,000 last December.


“The problem is not just that U.S. housing is less affordable,” wrote Richard Florida in the analysis from CityLab. “The burden falls most heavily on the service and blue-collar workers that make up roughly two-thirds of America’s workforce. America’s growing housing divide compounds its growing inequality, making it harder and harder for everyday Americans to afford homes in the nation’s most economically dynamic regions.”

Perhaps it’s not surprising that Hawaii’s homeless population continues to grow.

To better understand Hawaii’s high cost of housing and why wages are relatively low, read Civil Beat’s Living Hawaii series:

Living Hawaii: Houston, We’ve Got a Problem

Living Hawaii: Where the Rent Is Too Damn High

Living Hawaii: Warning Signs — Many People Can Earn More Elsewhere

Living Hawaii: Can We Overcome the Problem of Low Salaries?

Honolulu Salaries Plummet When the Cost of Living Is Factored In

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