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Guide to the Waikiki Real Estate Market

Waikiki, the most famous tourist destination in Oahu, is not only a vibrant residential area but also a diverse one. Once a small community of surfers and artists in the 1960s, it transformed into an urban neighborhood of tall buildings after a $100 million project in the 1970s. Apart from its stunning beaches like Waikiki Beach, Kuhio Beach, Grays Beach, Fort DeRussy Beach and Kahanamoku Beach, Waikiki also boasts local attractions such as Kapiolani Park, Kahanamoku Lagoon, Kuhio Beach Park and Ala Wai Harbor.

Location, Location, Location

One of the main reasons for the popularity of Waikiki real estate is its prime location. Situated on the south shore of Oahu, Waikiki offers easy access to the beach, shopping, dining and entertainment. It's also just a short drive from downtown Honolulu, making it a convenient location for those who work in the city. With its desirable location, Waikiki properties are in high demand, making it a great market for locals and investors alike.

Waikiki overview

Foodie Favorite

Waikiki has an array of diverse international cuisines, ranging from local favorites like Teddy's Burgers to culinary giants like Roy Yamaguchi of Roy's restaurants and Morimoto.

High Rental Demand

Another factor contributing to the booming Waikiki real estate market is the high demand for rental properties. With its popularity as a tourist destination, Waikiki sees a constant influx of visitors looking for short-term rentals. This makes it a great market for investors looking to rent out their properties. Additionally, with the rise of remote work, more people are looking to relocate to Hawaii, creating a demand for long-term rentals as well.

Diverse Property Options

Waikiki offers a diverse range of property options for investors. From luxury condos with ocean views, to more affordable units, as well as condotels, there is something for every budget. Additionally, Waikiki is home to a mix of new developments and older, more established properties, providing a variety of options for investors and homebuyers. With the right research and guidance, investors can find the perfect property to fit their investment goals.

Waikikii beach and street

Leasehold vs. Fee-Simple in Waikiki

In the Waikiki real estate market, both leasehold and fee-simple properties are available for investors. Let's explore the differences between the two:

1. Leasehold Properties: Leasehold properties in Waikiki involve owning the building or unit but not the land it sits on. In this arrangement, investors lease the land from the landowner for a specific period, usually between 30 to 60 years. At the end of the lease term, the ownership of the land reverts to the landowner. Leasehold properties often come with lower upfront costs compared to fee simple properties, making them more affordable for some investors. However, it's important to consider the remaining lease term and potential lease rent increases when evaluating the long-term value of a leasehold property.

2. Fee-Simple Properties: Fee-simple properties, on the other hand, provide full ownership of both the building and the land it sits on. Investors have complete control over the property and can make modifications (as permitted by a homeowners association, if applicable), sell it, or pass it on to heirs. Fee simple properties are generally more desirable because of the sense of ownership and potential for long-term value appreciation. However, they tend to come with higher upfront costs compared to leasehold properties.

Waikikii beach and street


A condotel is a combination of a condominium and a hotel. It is a type of property that operates like a hotel but is individually owned like a condominium. In Waikiki, condotels are quite popular as they offer the benefits of both a vacation home and an investment property.

Investing in a condotel in Waikiki can be a great opportunity for those looking to generate rental income while also enjoying the perks of owning a vacation property. Condotels are managed by a hotel management company, which takes care of renting out the units to guests and handling the day-to-day operations. As an owner, you can typically use your unit for a certain number of days per year and earn rental income for the remaining days.

One key advantage of investing in a condotel is the potential for higher rental income compared to a traditional residential property. Waikiki is a popular tourist destination, and condotels offer amenities and services that attract vacationers, such as pools, restaurants, and concierge services. However, it's important to carefully review the rental terms and management fees associated with condotel ownership before making a decision.

When considering a condotel investment in Waikiki, it's crucial to evaluate factors such as location, market demand, rental rates and the reputation of the management company (Locations Property Management is one option). Conducting thorough research and working with a real estate professional who specializes in condotel investments can help you make an informed decision.

Overall, condotels can be a lucrative investment option in the Waikiki real estate market, combining the benefits of a vacation home with the potential for rental income.

Check out our list of Legal Short-Term Vacation Rental Condo Buildings, most of which are in Waikiki.

Recently Sold

  • Sold on 6/19/2024 for $800,000 2045 Kalakaua Avenue, 1207 1 Bd | 1 Ba | 588 sqft
  • Sold on 6/17/2024 for $815,000 2421 Tusitala Street, 2701 & 2704 2 Bd | 2 Ba | 1,137 sqft
  • Sold on 6/17/2024 for $430,000 223 Saratoga Road, 1708 0 Bd | 1 Ba | 510 sqft
  • Sold on 6/17/2024 for $310,000 240 Makee Road, 6C 2 Bd | 2 Ba | 992 sqft
  • Sold on 6/17/2024 for $125,000 1720 Ala Moana Boulevard, B 1407 1 Bd | 1 Ba | 588 sqft
  • Sold on 6/14/2024 for $738,000 201 Ohua Avenue, 1709 1 Bd | 1 Ba | 533 sqft
  • Sold on 6/14/2024 for $750,000 1765 Ala Moana Boulevard, 1494 1 Bd | 1 Ba | 651 sqft
  • Sold on 6/14/2024 for $383,000 445 Seaside Avenue, 3319 0 Bd | 1 Ba | 372 sqft
  • Sold on 6/14/2024 for $610,000 2140 Kuhio Avenue, 2206 1 Bd | 1 Ba | 553 sqft
  • Sold on 6/14/2024 for $180,000 249 Kapili Street, 404 0 Bd | 1 Ba | 238 sqft
  • Sold on 6/14/2024 for $435,000 2611 Ala Wai Boulevard, 2208 1 Bd | 1 Ba | 598 sqft
  • Sold on 6/13/2024 for $755,000 2139 Kuhio Avenue, 1212 0 Bd | 1 Ba | 629 sqft