Is the Hawaii Real Estate Housing Market Still Shifting?

My belief is that ALL housing markets differ and the circumstances are going to depend on the housing markets in each of the states &  local cities; and right down to each neighborhood which will show a significant difference in number of sales and of course the sales prices too.

I also believe that it is up to everyone in the Real Estate Industry to keep the market moving. With our professional attitudes shining through in all communication and contact with our clients and peers and being thorough in our process through each and every transaction are just a few points to always be aware of.

How well we all perform will determine the level of service “they” will rate us as well.

The most important factor to consider regarding our housing market in the United States is that it is truly NOT a NATIONWIDE bunch of statistics to clump all in one percentage or sales price to air on the national news every night like it is the ‘written word’. Nope. I rely on what I SEE going on in each neighborhood of Honolulu County and the surrounding neighborhoods.

The big difference with the Housing Market in Hawaii is the fact that we have just so little buildable and usable land.  Our land is valuable and there are areas that you will see a newer home in Central Oahu that has about 1500 sq. ft. interior on 3,000 sq. ft. of land. And you ask, “What is an approximate price for a home on such a small lot?”  Upper $600,000’s ….easy.  And what might a home like this be priced at when it is closer to the Honolulu city area? You’re looking at OLDER and HIGHER priced homes priced at about $700,000 up …in ‘good’ condition.  One thing that I make sure and let my Hawaii Home Buying and Relocation clients know is: DO NOT EXPECT the same sq/ft interior and land area homes like you had back in the Continental United States. 

There are a few neighborhoods on Oahu where they are experiencing a “slightly declining market” such as the Ewa. Diamond Head, Hawaii Kai, Waipahu and West Oahu areas. Even Central Oahu is fluctuating up and down. The whole housing market in Honolulu County has shifted to the point where I will let the Hawaii Home Buyer know that there is a little room for ‘negotiating’ for either a little reduction in price or closing costs credit from the seller to buyer. I let the Hawaii Home Seller know that THIS is how the market is NOW.

So…Is the Honolulu, Hawaii Housing Market Still Shifting?  Look at the following statistics from the Honolulu Board of Realtors® and you decide:

Single Family:   Median Sales Price   

  • 2003-    $380,000                                
  • 2004-    $460,000
  • 2005-    $590,000
  • 2006-    $630,000
  • 2007-    $625,300
  • 2008-     $620,000 (first quarter)

Condos:    Median Sales Price   

  • 2003-    $175,000                              
  • 2004-    $180,000
  • 2005-    $269,000
  • 2006-    $310,000
  • 2007-    $320,000
  • 2008-     $330,000 (first quarter)

For those of you who believe that we make a difference for our Real Estate Industry then keep on striving to be the best you can be; ALWAYS support each other and work as a team and ALWAYS think in the best interests of your clients.

And if you need current and up to date information on statistics, a Hawaii Relocations packet or you just have questions please don’t hesitate to contact Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman, Realtor Associate ® , Century 21 Liberty Homes, Mililani, HI @ (808) 375-1404.

Alive in Honolulu County, Oahu, Hawaii!



© 2008 Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman’s Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog. All rights reserved.

Guide to Hawaii Open Houses

By:  Celeste “Sally” Cheeseman, (RA), e-PRO

Open Houses in Hawaii are a given.  We market the property through advertising in the newspaper for our Open Houses and everyone (from buyer’s to neighbors  to people who are thinking of selling their home in the same area) attend these Sunday events! Yup…Sunday events!

Buyer’s can use Open House’s as part of their home search (along with the private appointments your realtor sets up) so following are some guidelines (I call these the lucky seven) for buyer’s while at an Open House:

1) Look at properties in your price range! Make sure you are pre-qualified with a local lender (your agent most likely already made sure you have) and look at properties 10 -20 % above and below your price range. Looking at properties way above your price range (that you can’t live without) will no doubt stick in your mind forever so be realistic. (or keep reading those Fine Homes and Estates magazines)

2) Remember, the agent who is holding the Open House has the Seller’s best interests at heart.  A lot of home buyer’s “believe” that they are going to “get a better deal” if they deal with the seller’s agent directly.  The truth is that you are best represented by having your own agent (buyer’s representative or buyer’s agent) and the agent who is hosting the Open House has one thing in mind.  To get the best terms and deal for the seller…..NOT YOU.

3) Remove your shoes!  Wear slip on/off shoes. We all remove our shoes before entering a home here anyway but for those of you who just came from the Continental U.S. who are not used to this please have the courtesy to remove your shoes.  The seller may have already had their carpet professionally cleaned and would like to keep it clean for not only this first open house but for future ones as well. (and we may have just had a rainy season and they may not want mud tracks throughout their home)

4) Keep ahold of your children. Instruct them to not touch anything or wander around the yard by themselves. And all real estate agents tie up unruley kids (just kidding)

5) Register in the guest book. But give your agent’s card, phone number and email address. Otherwise, you will have every agent in the world calling and clogging up your email (unless you like a bunch of spam)

6)  Make a list of wants and needs.  And then compare it to the property.  Make notes! You’ll know when you walk into “your” home if you use your head (needs) and heart (wants).

7) Call your own realtor if you see a property you like and want to put in an offer!  Your agent will be able to speak to the seller’s agent and get any special terms and addendums before writing up the offer. Resist the urge to talk to the seller’s realtor and worse yet…the owner! Your own agent is the most valuable negotiating tool and bargaining power for your transaction.

8) Loan Officers on site. Though there are “honest” loan officers/lenders that are “helping” with any questions regarding loans at an Open House, remember that the Open House is so you can view and get more information on the property and “feel” if this is the right home for you. If you already have a realtor then you most likely were already pre-qualified or pre-approved. If you tell the agent and loan officer you already have an agent and loan officer and they become pushy this is a red flag.

If you are Relocating to Hawaii go to this website: for your free Online Hawaii Relocation Package.

Honolulu Shopping Centers and the Kakaako Neighborhood Plan

Koi PondAla Moana Shopping Center is the largest shopping center on Oahu with over 260 shops and restaurants  and IS the largest open air shopping center in the world.A little history of Ala Moana Center:

  • 1959 – Ala Moana Center was built on swamp land (and if you folks didn’t know….Waikiki was mostly swamp land as well for most of the 1800’s)
  • With 89 stores back then, it was considered the largest shopping center in the U.S. until the Mall of America was built in Bloominton, Minnesota
  • 1990– Extensive remodeling done on Ala Moana Center with additional shops, restaurants and our famous food courts totaling a total of 260 shops and more coming!
  • 2004- The owners of Ala Moana (General Growth Properties) invested a billion dollars to remodel other centers across Canada and the United States using Ala Moana as a template.

Koi Fountain and pondFebruary 6, 2008- General Growth Properties also owns Ward Center Shopping Mall (2002) just a few blocks down from Ala Moana. They proposed a plan to redevelop 60 acres in this area called Kakaako with a mix of 4,000 residential units, shops and a pedestrian friendly malls and such. This planned community would take about 20 years to complete but bring beauty, residential units, shops and more to this community. Currently, there are many dilapidated buildings and a good cleanup may be just what this area needs to brighten up the place.

Of course the Hawai’i Community Development Authority has to approve of the plan as well as hold a public hearing. They will also have to take into consideration that there will most likely be plenty of ancient burial sites/bones in the area.

In my previous article Purchasing Hawaii Vacant Land? Ancient Hawaiian Burial Sites and Laws I discussed how ‘It is a known fact that all our Hawaiian Islands have many burial grounds and sites that have still not been discovered.’

Back in 2004 Walmart broke ground for construction on our island of Oahu on Keeaumoku Street (Kakaako District) and then they discovered ancient bones. Construction ceases and they await direction from the State Historic Preservaton Division. They call the Honolulu Police Department and an archeaologist at the same time as well. Specialists in Hawaiian culture are called in to handle the remains and/or artifacts. In this case 42 sets of human remains were found. After a process, Walmart resumed the construction and it opened in October of 2004.

Many things to consider when presenting a plan for major reconstruction in any area in the islands don’t you think?

Need more info on Military Relocations to Hawaii? Would you like a Hawaii Relocation packet?


                    Century 21 Liberty Homes, Mililani, Hawaii