Hawaii Kai Is Happening
BY LISA LEE
Hawaii Kai homes are selling fast. And it’s not surprising why. Just ask Jo Frasier, a long-time resident and REALTOR and partner at Prudential Locations.
“When you drive through the various communities in Hawaii Kai, you clearly see the lack of ‘for sale’ signs,” says Frasier. “Well-priced properties tend to sell within less than a month of being on the market and, in many cases, receive multiple offers.”
The increasing pace of property sales in 2013 reflects a strong buyer demand. In the past five months, property sales have had the lowest “days on market” in the past 10 years – at 21 days for single family homes and a mere 16 days for condominiums.
The months of remaining inventory, which is the time it would take to sell all the current listings and a key indicator of market strength, is a low 3.4 months for single family homes and 1.2 for condominiums.
Sellers in Hawaii Kai have enjoyed the highest sales-price-to-list-price ratio in the past 10 years as well, at 99.3 percent for single family homes and 99.4 percent for condos, reflecting the new competitive mindset of buyers.
For Frasier, who has lived in Hawaii Kai for 33 years, buyer interest in the East shore neighborhood comes as no surprise. “After looking at a variety of other neighborhoods, many people realize what a great place Hawaii Kai is for their families and their budget,” she says.
“In Hawaii Kai, there is something for everyone – if you want a yard, a view, a boat dock, you can get it. If you want low maintenance so you can be free to travel,
you can get that too. The Koko Head area, with the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other, offers a wide variety of home styles, from one-bedroom condos to marina-front townhomes and single-family residences to oceanfront estates.”
Like anywhere else, says Frasier, location counts. “Waterfront or marina-front always bring the highest prices, and ocean views are a close second.”
“When compared with other neighborhoods on Oahu, lot sizes tend to run larger in Hawaii Kai and the terrain is varied, which means views, views, views,” says Frasier. “Neighborhood layouts offer privacy while family- friendly floor plans provide more value for your money and more happiness in your life.”
In addition to a variety of homes styles, the amenities, high-ranking schools and commercial shopping centers are part of this planned community’s best-selling points.
Located just 12 miles from downtown Honolulu, Hawaii Kai was developed by Henry Kaiser in the 1950s and is centered around a marina and network of waterways. The area has wide streets and sidewalks and underground utilities.
Besides boating – the Christmas Boat Parade is an annual marina event – residents enjoy all types of water sports, as well as whale watching, yoga classes, tennis, bike riding and the dog park.
Hawaii Kai’s natural beauty adds to its overall appeal, located just a stone’s throw away from world-famous snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, the surf at Sandy Beach and Koko Head Crater.
Despite some typical Oahu rush-hour traffic and competition when searching for a parking spot at any of Hawaii Kai’s three shopping centers, most residents will tell you they wouldn’t live anywhere else. And when their needs do change, they often upgrade or downsize somewhere in Hawaii Kai.
Dolores Bediones, a Fine Homes Premier Specialist and partner at Prudential Locations, has listed and sold many premier properties in the Hawaii Kai area. She describes how the Portlock and Triangle neighborhoods of Hawaii Kai offer the lifestyle, neighborhood feel and quality of home that many people look for in Kahala, but at a lower price.
“There are properties here with gorgeous views, beach access and great weather. A property that lists for $2.34 million here would list for around $1.5 million more in Kahala,” she says.
Just like Kahala, it is also great for walking, is close to restaurants, shopping, movie theaters and golf, and offers a choice of properties in a wide price range.
“For $1.2 million, you can find a home that might be in need of updating. For $2.5 million and up, you can have a remodeled home[notdef]with some of the most spectacular views of[notdef]Diamond Head and ocean. And if you’ve got $6 to $25 million? You can own a one-ofa-kind oceanfront estate like no others on the island.”