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Distance to Urban Core Affects Oahu Prices


Anne Cicero




Distance to Urban Core Affects Oahu Prices

Luxury neighborhoods in East Oahu and on the North Shore not affected by proximity to town

HONOLULU – (August 21, 2019) – Locations—Hawaii’s leading real estate firm—analyzed the 2019 median price of Oahu single-family home neighborhoods by distance to the urban core. The report concludes that the closer the neighborhood is to Oahu’s urban core, the higher the median sold price, with a few notable exceptions.

Established Oahu neighborhoods closest to the urban core, defined as Downtown to Kapahulu, generally had higher median sold prices than single-family homes in outlying neighborhoods—with a few exceptions.

“This analysis confirms what most Oahu residents instinctively know—in general, there is a price premium for homes that are closer to town. Many homeowners are willing to sacrifice a lower monthly payment or a larger home for a reduced commute to work or school,” said Locations Principal Broker John Connelley.

“However, there are some outlying areas, like Kailua and the North Shore, that have such strong demand from local, mainland and international buyers, that their distance to town has less of an effect on their home prices,” he added.

Of the market areas closest to the city center—Kaimuki, Manoa and Nuuanu-Makiki—Kaimuki saw the greatest five-year appreciation, both as a percentage gain and as a price increase. Manoa, long valued by residents for its proximity to downtown but suburban feel, commanded the highest median price with a slightly below average five-year appreciation gain of 18.5 percent (which is due to already high home prices). The Nuuanu-Makiki market, while closer to downtown than either Kaimuki or Manoa, fell short on average five-year appreciation and equity gain, possibly because homes in this market tend to be older.

Two-and-a-half to five miles from town, 2019 median prices ranged from $1.86 million for Waialae-Kahala to $800,000 for West Honolulu, which includes Salt Lake and Moanalua to Kalihi and Kapalama, with East Oahu falling just above the middle at $1.45 million. Though further from the urban core than Waialae-Kahala and West Honolulu, East Oahu, which includes Aina Haina and Nui Valley, saw greater appreciation—both as a percentage and in equity dollars, over the past five years—a reflection of its popularity, particularly among families with school-aged children.

At 10 miles from metro Honolulu, the Hawaii Kai market, which extends to Kalama Valley, saw lower median prices than the 2.5- and 5-mile market groups, but slightly above the “zero-mile” group median.

In markets 15 to 30 miles from the urban core, median home prices fall much closer to the overall Oahu median, ranging from $680,000 for the Ewa Plain to $875,000 for Kaneohe, with the exception of Kailua. In general, markets that are 15 to 30 miles from the core had below average home prices and equity gains, but slightly higher-than-average percent appreciation. An outlier among the 15-plus-mile markets, Kailua, with its many luxury neighborhoods and international appeal, had a median price of $1.135 million and an average level of percent appreciation.

The second-furthest market from the urban center, the North Shore, like Kailua, saw higher median prices and appreciation than the 15 to 30-mile markets thanks to its luxury neighborhoods and international appeal.

At 40 miles from the core, the Leeward market, which includes Maili, Nanakuli and Waianae, had the lowest median price at $490,000, but the highest percent appreciation gain over the past five years, with an average of $105,000 in equity gains.


About Locations As the state’s oldest and leading independent real estate firm, our trusted Neighborhood Experts have served Hawaii’s families since 1969. For 50 years, Locations has helped more people buy or sell their homes than any other real estate firm in the state. With our rich kama’aina roots, innovative technology and dedicated market-research department, Locations continues to be at the forefront of this ever-changing industry. With nearly 300 agents and five offices across Oahu and one on Maui, our Neighborhood Experts live where you live. Through our non-profit, the Locations Foundation, our agents and staff support more than 100 Hawaii non-profit organizations both through monetary donations and volunteer hours. Visit LocationsHawaii.com/about-us today to learn more. For up-to-date Hawaii real estate updates, follow Locations on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/LocationsHawaii, Twitter at @LocationsHI, Instagram at @LocationsHawaii, and LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/locations-hawaii. Read the Locations blog at: www.LocationsHawaii.com/news.