It looks as if Hawaii is losing its status as the best kept secret in the housing industry. Back in the late '90s, when mainland builders were going through an economic expansion, Hawaii was still bottoming out in the recession. “For so many years, no one was building,” says Hawaii developer Stanford Carr, whose company, Stanford Carr Development, was recently the beneficiary of a $34 million loan from Hearthstone, the nation's largest institutional investor in residential development. “Now, all of the compelling indexes show signs that we've got a bright future ahead of us. Today, we have such a supply-constrained market that median prices have gone up by 24 percent in the last year.”

The cost of land is one of those bright spots. Construction costs are higher in Hawaii, but land is still priced significantly lower per acre than in many regions of the United States, including Southern California.

Hearthstone's commitment to Stanford Carr Development will enable the Honolulu-based builder/developer to construct 83 single-family homes and 132 townhomes within Kehalani, a master planned community in Wailuku, Maui.