Demand High, Turnover Low In Kaimuki
BY LISA SCONTRAS AND LISA LEE
Lined with sidewalk cafes, charming store-fronts and small businesses, Kaimuki’s Waialae Avenue feels friendly. Its Main Street-like appearance and small-town quality has a 1950s-era wholesomeness that is attracting homebuyers to the area.
So it’s fitting that this family-friendly neighborhood is also known for its large number of multi-generational homes. Buying a home big enough to include space for Mom and Dad is a growing trend. And according to Stephanie Chan, REALTOR and partner at Prudential Locations, many local people gravitate to Kaimuki for the multi-family living fit.
“Buyers often have parents, in-laws and siblings living with them, and the ability to fit everyone while still having a sense of privacy is key,” says Chan. “Unlike many other neighborhoods, Kaimuki has a good number of large land lots that allow for this opportunity.”
Large level lots – some with ocean and Diamond Head views – set Kaimuki apart from other neighborhoods. Typically zoned R-5, home sites measure a minimum of 5,000 square feet and in many cases lots are larger – 7,500 square feet or more.
“This means that families can apply to build a second attached home either for extended family or to rent out for extra income,” Chan says. “These types of lots are also very attractive to small developers who like to subdivide and build two homes to sell for a greater profit.”
It is advisable to check with the Condominium Property Regime rules and with the sewer division, as there are guidelines for installing proper sewers required with such additions.
Restaurants such as Town, Salt and 12th Avenue Grill, and cafes Coffee Talk and Café Laufer, are among the area’s favorite attractions, Chan says. And in addition to its thriving commercial district, Kaimuki’s residential area is a diverse collection of lovingly cared-for homes with a diverse demographic mix as well.
“The neighborhood is both lively and friendly and there are excellent schools close by, one of the most important factors for families with children still in school,” she says. “Kaimuki is a very accessible neighborhood, with many homes just blocks away from restaurants, supermarkets and even the shopping mall.”
“People who look to buy in Kaimuki also emphasize the fact they want a safe and nice neighborhood, at a price within reach,” adds Chan. “Kaimuki offers all three: safe area, nice neighborhood and reasonable pricing. It’s right next to Kahala – one of the most expensive areas in Honolulu, and yet it is a fraction of the price.”
The median sale price for a single family home in Kaimuki for the past 12 months was $810,000. But with inventory shrinking – the average days on the market for a listing in 2013 is 16, compared to 31 days in 2011 – prices may be on the rise again soon.
“The turnover in Kaimuki is low and families who already own there often pass the property down to children and relatives because the demand is so high,” says Chan. “As a result, you have a broad mix of generations and people making for a neighborhood rich in history and spirit.”
Chan adds that the number of homes for sale in Kaimuki right now is extremely low, making it a great time to sell. Currently, there are just three single family homes listed, lending further to the increasing demand.
“If you’ve been considering putting your home on the market, this is a great opportunity for you. Anything that comes on the market and is priced right is getting scooped up immediately,” she says.