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Oahu population growth outpacing housing supply

May 5, 2014 - 10:13am

HONOLULU — Oahu’s population is growing much faster than its housing supply.

Eugene Tian, a Hawaii economist, tells the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that to catch up with demand, developers would have to build about 2,000 more homes each year than they do now.

His calculations assume 1 percent population growth on the island.

Oahu issued about 7,000 housing permits a year in the 1960s and about 6,500 a year in the ’70s. During the past three years the island has issued only about 1,600 permits a year.

Developments such as the 5,000 planned condominiums in Honolulu’s Kakaako neighborhood are a start. But because towers take years to complete, Oahu’s housing deficit will endure in the near future.

The housing supply on the neighbor islands is more balanced.

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