HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some 45 percent of homes sold on Maui last year went to mainland or foreign buyers.
That's according to new data released this week by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
There were some 2,576 home buyers on Maui last year. Of those 1,077 were from the mainland and 71 were from foreign countries.
On Oahu, 19 percent of buyers were from the mainland and 4 percent were from overseas, according to the state's 2016 Data Book.
On both the Kauai and the Big Island, about 37 percent of buyers were from the mainland.
The issue of non-residents scooping up Hawaii homes has long been an issue of contention in the islands -- and one whose prominence has risen as the housing market has heated up.
In 2015, a state report concluded that since 2008, 47 percent of homes on the Neighbor Island homes had been sold to out-of-state residents.
"People love Hawaii, and they love to invest in Hawaii," said Eugene Tian, state economist, after the report was released. "Out-of-state investments make our housing demand very strong."
Meanwhile, real estate experts say some foreign buyers create state corporations, which make it seem as if a property by a resident.