Centex Homes, which set up a beachhead in Hawaii three years ago, recently opened the first phase of its luxury home community at the Waikoloa Beach Resort on Hawaii's Big Island. In February, it broke ground on a new residential community on Oahu. Bruce Sloan, president of the Centex Destination Properties Hawaii division, explains that Centex is courting the second-home resort owner. Buyers are primarily from California, Seattle, and British Columbia, he says.

The first phase of the new 42-acre gated community features 17 custom home sites and 126 condominium villas, along with a private beach club. Home sites range in size from 21,000 to 41,000 square feet and are priced from $1.9 million to $4.95 million. The condominiums are priced from $900,000 to more than $3 million. Phase one, comprised of 42 units, is sold out. Sales for phase two, which includes 84 two- and three-bedroom condominiums, began in February.

Amenities include a private concierge, high-speed Internet access, exercise facilities, catering kitchen, a beach club with a sand-bottom children's pool, and a natural lava hot tub.

On Oahu, Centex Destination Properties bought 35 acres and will begin construction soon on 60 single-family homes and 260 townhouse villas.

Hawaii's residential resort market is making a comeback after the Japanese tourist boom collapsed and the events of Sept. 11. But in a report released in January, Hawaii Homeloans found the residential resort market rebounding, predicting that resort residential sales would hit 2,056 for the year 2003, based on third quarter data—27 percent higher than the year 2002, with a higher average selling price of about $800,000.