Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon has recently purchased a trophy property in South Maui.
The gated compound is super isolated and buffered by hundreds of acres of long-dormant lava fields nearby.
The Private Bay
I had the pleasure of experiencing the Bezos property first hand in the early 1990’s when our family friends owned the property. The home is ideally positioned overlooking a private bay and has beautiful ocean views. It originally had coral floors; I have no way to know what the inside of the home looks like these days, but I heard that it’s been exquisitely updated.
While the real estate transaction was private, I’ve been told from multiple reliable sources that the closing price was a record $78M. This is the highest residential purchase ever to record on Maui, and is significantly higher than the previous record sale of the Keawakapu Home that closed to a hedge fund buyer from Malibu back in July of 2021 for $45M.
Sales of Maui Oceanfront homes are surging in 2021 and there have already been 42 properties sold just in the first 10 months of this year, the highest number of sales ever recorded in a year on the MLS. For comparison, there were 25 sales in 2020 and 16 sales in 2019.
Jeff Bezos reportedly loves Maui and was a frequent guest at the Montage Kapalua prior to his home purchase. We recently saw Bezos a few months ago at Mama’s Fish House several days after he flew to the edge of space through his private spaceflight company Blue Origin.
Bezos is rumored to have made several substantive donations to local Maui charities in the weeks leading up to his new home acquisition. In August 2021, Bezos donated to the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center. Furthermore, Bezos later donated to the Maui Farm as well as the Hawaii Land Trust which helps preserve native historic sites.
In Good Company
With his big purchase, Bezos is joining a pantheon of fellow tech tycoons who own significant properties in Hawaii. Mark Zuckerberg purchased another 600 acres on Kaua’i earlier this year while Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle, basically purchased the entire island of Lana’i a decade ago. Ellison also recently purchased the 800 acre Piiholo Ranch from the Baldwin family earlier this year for $14M. Peter Thiel, one of the co-founders of PayPal also owns an oceanfront home in Makena that he purchased for $27M in 2011, the record high price at that time. I also had the pleasure of hanging out at this home back in the day. $27M seems like a screaming deal now.
Maui and the “work anywhere” trend
Bezos’ decision to buy such a remarkable property on Maui is representative of a larger trend of the affluent choosing to work remotely in Hawaii. There is a prevailing movement amongst tech industry leaders and their top team members looking to redefine their concepts of work-life balance and buy homes on Maui. And who can blame them? It feels like an easy choice to trade cubicles in for ocean views, escape the smog in favor of tropical breezes, and skip the traffic for a tranquil garden walk instead.
The rapid adoption of virtual meeting options like Zoom and collaboration platforms like Slack make it possible to choose the healthy lifestyle you really want while maintaining your business and career. In the last 18 months alone we’ve helped multiple clients buy their dream property on Maui with the telecommuting goal in mind. Many of our happy owners have told us how much they love getting an early start on their work and having the later part of the day to get out into nature to frolic at the sandy beach or relax with a forest hike.
The Sayles team is a group of real estate professionals who are committed to delivering a higher level of customer service to exceed the demands of our clients. Our extensive market knowledge, negotiating skills, and hyper local expertise on Maui have earned us the reputation of being industry leaders, and the #1 team for Coldwell Banker in the state of Hawaii.
With over $140M in closed transactions YTD in 2021, our energy and 150 years of collective experience gets results. Hope you have a wonderful day, and please let us know if you are interested in buying or selling. Our entire team is here to support you and advocate for your family.
Anthony Sayles R(S)