Influx of Hawaiians moving to Las Vegas for cheaper living


LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It’s not just Californians moving to Las Vegas now. A real estate agent from Las Vegas from Hawaii says he’s getting a wave of people wanting to move here to “the ninth island.”

A Las Vegas real estate agent spoke to 13 Action News about comparing single-family home prices in Hawaii and here in Las Vegas. This is a stunning difference.

At the end of last year, the median home price in Las Vegas was over $430,000, while in Hawaii the median price was just over $800,000.

In Hawaii, aloha means hello and goodbye. A local realtor from Hawaii’s valley says the influx of people says “Aloha” to the high cost of living in Hawaii and love of the wilderness.

Scott Suzuki of Ohana Realty says Las Vegas has been an attractive option for decades because it’s cheaper.

But now real estate prices on the islands are going through the roof.

“Housing prices in Hawaii right now – apartments are around $500,000 and houses can be around $1.1 million,” Suzuki said.

The median household income in Hawaii was nearly $90,000, according to the latest U.S. Census data. Whereas here in Nevada, the median household income is around $65,000.

For Travis Nishioka, moving to Las Vegas from Hawaii was the ticket.

“I love Vegas. Vegas is pretty cool. There is no other place. Vegas is one of a kind,” said Nishioka, chef at Bowlz LV in west Charleston.

He says from experience that he doesn’t miss the beach because he never had time to hang out there. He has always worked to afford it. He moved his entire family to Las Vegas 12 years ago.

“We moved here because my wife and I had a family. We wanted to have our own home. We lived with my aunt and her parents,” Nishioka said.

But to keep it feeling at home, he makes Hawaiian-style poke every day. He says we may not have an ocean nearby, but he can still get fresh ahi.

Nishioka says he advises Hawaiians moving to Las Vegas to calm down.

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