Sky high in Hawaii Kai
Median home price hits peak level in East Oahu community
BY LISA SCONTRAS
Oahu year-end sales numbers are in and, for Hawaii Kai, the news is good. The median price of a single-family home in the East Oahu region is up to $920,000 in 2011 its highest ever.
It is a significant milestone for Hawaii Kai properties, surpassing the previous high when the MSP jumped to $877,500 during the boom of 2006.
The strength in this segment of the market comes after four straight years of drops in the median price down nearly 9 percent to $800,000 in 2009 when it appeared to have bottomed out. In 2010, prices were up slightly to $838,000, reversing the downward trend and then accelerating in 2011 to a record high.
According to Jo Frasier, Realtor and partner at Prudential Locations, the low supply of available Hawaii Kai homes is commanding top dollar. Currently, Hawaii Kai has only 5.7 months of remaining inventory, signaling strong market conditions.
“When you drive through the various communities in Hawaii Kai, clearly you can 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.”
A 32-year resident of Hawaii Kai, Frasier is totally sold on the virtues of the once-again booming neighborhood.
“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, adding there is a variety of homes and prices to choose from.
“Waterfront or marina front always brings the highest prices, and ocean views are a close second,” says Frasier. “Like anywhere else, location counts, and in Hawaii Kai there are many location options offering spectacular views and water frontage.”
Even the names of the neighborhoods within Hawaii Kai give you a feeling of the options available: Anchorage, Hahaione-Lower, HahaioneUpper, Kalama Valley, Kamehame Ridge, Kamiloiki, Kealaula Kai, Koko Head Terrace, Koko Kai, Koko Villas, Laulima, Luna Kai, Mariner’s Cove, Mariner’s Ridge, Mariner’s Valley, Napali Haweo, Peninsula, Portlock, Queen’s Gate, Spinnaker Isle, Triangle and West Marina.
“A recent listing of mine, which sold for $1,065,000 in Mariner’s Cove, is a great example of a wonderful family home in a great neighborhood,” recalls Frasier. “It was over 2,900 square feet of living area, well-suited for the extended-family lifestyle many are looking for today –
especially here in Hawaii where generations tend to live together.
The owners had improved and lovingly cared for the home, effectively making it almost new. The buyer’s family moved from Kaneohe to get a larger, newer home where their parents could come and stay with them and get away from the rain.
“The weather in Hawaii Kai is wonderful year round.”
Located only 12 miles from downtown Honolulu, Hawaii Kai was developed by Henry Kaiser in the 1950s. Its unique variety of condos, townhomes and single-family homes is centered around a network of waterways and a marina. The area has wide streets and sidewalks, underground utilities and commercial centers for shopping, dining, movies, entertainment, golf, parks and schools.
“When compared with other neighborhoods on Oahu, lot sizes tend to run larger in Hawaii Kai, and 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.”
The median price of a condominium in 2011 was $509,200, still down from the peak in 2006 of $565,000. But with singlefamily homes not getting any cheaper, it is likely condo prices will follow and they currently provide a buying opportunity.
“I wouldn’t live in any other community,” says Frasier. “Hawaii Kai meets my family’s needs perfectly.”