Oahu Homes is a very broad subject. The houses, and the neighborhoods that contain them, are extremely diverse. It's no wonder with the many cultures and traditions that make up modern Hawaii. The differences are also a product of the ages of these neighborhoods, some going back to the Plantation Era of the early 20th Century and before, some that have come up only in recent years and others that are still being built today. A closer look is needed so you can fully appreciate what they all have to offer – and which fits you best!
Being the major city of not only Hawaii, but the Pacific itself, there's a lot of ground to cover here. That includes the home choices. The city limits cover every kind of residential structure, from those picturesque wooden Plantation homes that are found especially in the valley areas of Manoa and Nuuanu to the modern mansions Kahala is famous for across the Islands.
What you need to know is that Honolulu, while the most urban of these communities, still has pockets of tropical Hawaii, especially closer to the mountains, where the rain keeps the greenery flourishing. Older Oahu homes for sale are usually found there because the major development of recent decades mainly took place closer to the ocean. The more urban areas, in other words.
It can be said, though, that individual homes continue to be put up today, almost all major neighborhoods in Honolulu proper had been established and filled by the 1980s – at least in terms of houses. They simply ran out of room, expansion moving to other areas of Oahu.
That also means that space is a premium so large yards are rare and neighbors usually close by. It is city living, with all of the conveniences & drawbacks, but what a city it is!
Cross the Pali into Kailua and you'll find a place that likes to keep a lower profile, in a few ways. The growing popularity of the place with tourists has sparked an ongoing battle by residents to retain the small town feel. That's apparent from the 'low profile' of the buildings, where having more than 3 stories is very unusual. That also means Kailua is almost exclusively made up of houses and townhomes, a huge contrast to the other end of the Pali Highway.
Many homes go back to the original build-up in the 1950's and 60's, often inhabited by the same families who bought them back then. The mid-century Ranch homes are a common site, though you can come across even older residences going back to the 30's and 40's, especially on the oceanfront. Open sight lines and green spaces are valued here, so the homes are all built accordingly.
This is not the place to look for conspicuous mansions or cutting edge architecture, though a few do exist safely behind walls, where they hide from the disapproving eyes of longtime residents.
Next door and immediately to the North is Kaneohe. It is the urban center of Oahu's Windward Side and certainly busier than its sister. Its current form is a product more of the 1970's and 80's when Oahu's population hit new levels, prompting more build-up on these lands.
Many of the town's neighborhoods fall under that mass development, with many having 2-story houses side by side with not a lot of space between. That is the most visible side of Kaneohe homes, but there's another one many miss.
There are numerous upscale houses on and around Kaneohe Bay and the ocean in neighborhoods like Mahinui, Alii Shores and Makana Kai Marina that rival homes anywhere else on Oahu. For those looking for something newer, and grander, check out Haiku Planation or Bayview Golf Course, built in 2012.
Kaneohe is a more affordable area to look for Oahu homes for sale, but those with more in mind will be happy with the options here, too.
North Shore Homes
Even the briefest tour of the North Shore will tell you this area isn't just rural, it's Country. The waves get all the attention outside, but inside this district, the local focus is fully on the lands remaining clear, open and as untouched as possible.
Homes have the same Country flavor, though in a distinctly Island way, with houses closer to the coast often raised to avoid the flooding that happens occasionally. The homes also can be unique in their structure and building techniques, a visible sign of the very independent spirit that has always been part of the life up here. North Shore homes are not the product of a planned development with 3 or 4 standard layouts.
Some of Oahu's most beautiful oceanfront homes are on this coast in quiet, isolated places like Mokuleia and Kawailoa, far from anything resembling a town, let alone a city. Haleiwa is easily the largest North Shore community, but even its residential areas remain distinctly low-rise and the sounds of roosters and other livestock are part of daily life.
Pupukea, located inland, is unique for its more modern luxury estate homes, but it is the exception that proves the rule.
North Shore life, for centuries, has been built on living outside the typical conveniences and comforts, where nature lives unchecked. Real estate has followed this same attitude, making it the perfect place for the right kind of homebuyer.
Kapolei stands out because it is more than a growing area, it's a completely new town taking shape right now. The residential side of it has seen large new subdivisions opening up on a regular basis, welcoming those who seek an affordable alternative to Honolulu as well as the numerous amenities that are already present, plus the many more on the way. Already it has the largest shopping centers on the Leeward Side, a UH branch and the beginning of the new rail system.
Both the homes and townhomes in Kapolei are obviously of recent vintage, many with yards and larger spaces than you'd find eastward. Along with those more affordable properties, it's clear that higher-end buyers are being catered to as well. There's a reason that Kapolei is known now for having a few of the best golf courses on Oahu, and you can live on the fairways of some of them. Live in Kapolei and you can be in the center of a very exciting place and time in Hawaii.
Ewa Beach Homes
Homes in Ewa Beach are another area known for greater affordability, an important real estate factor in the Islands. The great build-up here in the 1980's and 90's was almost all single-family homes and townhouses, keeping much of the unobstructed horizon for residents old and new.
The building has continued as Ewa has shared in the growth of the Leeward side due to the new Island center springing up next door in Kapolei. More neighborhoods have been added since that first surge and it still hasn't ended.
Ewa has also expanded to include more luxury properties, including some golf course communities that have a few $1 million+ houses. They're one sure sign that things are definitely changing.
Another is the new gated neighborhoods at Hoakalei, which share the upscale trappings of the resort there. Where you once only thought of Ewa as a reasonable entry point for real estate, there's now much more to consider.
Separated from Kapolei by the highway, Makakilo is a hillside community, with the kind of views you'd expect from an elevated vantage point overlooking the flat lands below. Ocean vistas are common here, though they can be a bit distant.
The key to Makakilo homes is that the first ones were built at the bottom in the 1960's, then progressively up the hill over time. That has produced a variety of home types as the conveniences and trends of each era is represented, but never to its extreme.
That includes the current time, with DR Horton recently finishing a subdivision that mixed houses and townhomes of 3 to 5 bedrooms. Like the rest of the Ewa district, Makakilo can often deliver more space, inside and out, than Eastern Oahu homes. If a view is important, this is where you'll fine one.
Aiea & Pearl City Homes
Aiea & Pearl City homes are mainly found on the hills, often providing them an outlook over such notable sights like Pearl Harbor. Both Aiea & Pearl City first saw real development in the 1950's during the population surge in the wake of World War II. Many of those wooden 1 or 2 story homes remain, providing a local retro charm that many love. The neighborhoods, in the same way, perpetuate that age, with everyone knowing each other, sometimes for decades.
The 2 towns have followed the pattern of continued growth and build-up to this day. Go further up in hills above Pearlridge, for instance, and you'll find numerous townhomes and houses that you'll certainly recognize as more recent creations. Pearl City has especially added on more subdivisions due to its larger footprint.
The sweeping views that can take in not only historic Pearl Harbor, but even Diamond Head from some heights, have become more and more prized and real estate has responded. Both Aiea & Pearlridge have added estate properties and luxury homes that take full advantage of this feature, crowning the hillsides with prime real estate.
Mililani Town Homes
Mililani Town homes famously welcomed their first occupants in 1969, but the project wasn't fully completed until 40 years later. Locals loved the larger lots, with yards, and the suburban feel with green spaces throughout. Over the years some different elements came in, such as townhome communities, but the basic feel was untouched. All the essentials are there in Mililani Town, including 2 major shopping center with resources like Wal-Mart and Costco.
Mililani Mauka Homes
Mililani Mauka homes weren't first completed until 1991, the last one in that project going up in 2007. Unlike Town, there's no shopping centers, just a small strip anchored by a Starbucks. It shares the same generosity in lot sizes, some topping out at 10K sq ft. The standard home, and townhome, are of more recent vintage and also a little higher priced than comparable properties across the highway in its older counterpart. What it does share, though, is fresh air and an active lifestyle that unites the residents here.
Your Oahu Home is Out There
Remember that this is just an overview of the kinds of Oahu homes you'll find for sale in each of these neighborhoods. However, like a small taste of a delectable dish, it will tell you what you need to know – and what you should be filling your real estate plate with while on your hunt for that perfect home!
Oahu Houses - Trends & Statistics
The price range of houses for sale in Oahu is $35K to $24.98M with a median price of $950K, median interior of 1,960sf and median land size of 6,665sf.
The median price of houses sold in Oahu year-to-date (Jan 21, 2017) is $701K. In previous years it was $735K (2016), $705K (2015), $675K (2014), $649K (2013), $625K (2012), $579K (2011), $600K (2010), $580K (2009), $625K (2008), $645K (2007), $630K (2006), $590K (2005), $465K (2004), $385K (2003).
124 houses have sold in Oahu year-to-date (Jan 21, 2017). In previous years, the total number of houses sold were 3759 (2016), 3591 (2015), 3465 (2014), 3353 (2013), 3110 (2012), 2874 (2011), 2933 (2010), 2628 (2009), 2665 (2008), 3516 (2007), 3876 (2006), 4548 (2005), 4640 (2004), 4336 (2003).
On average Oahu houses were on the market for 70 days before they were sold (Jan 21, 2017). In previous years it was 85 days (2016), 86 days (2015), 84 days (2014), 74 days (2013), 62 days (2012), 64 days (2011), 65 days (2010), 78 days (2009), 76 days (2008), 72 days (2007), 66 days (2006), 44 days (2005), 45 days (2004), 60 days (2003).
The average days on market for Oahu houses before sold were 87 days December 2016 compared to 86 days December 2015.
The ratio of Oahu houses sales price vs list price were 97.6% December 2016 compared to 97.6% December 2015.
340 Oahu houses were sold December 2016 compared to 310 houses sold December 2015.
The total dollar volume of houses currently for sale in Oahu is $2.05B and the sold dollar volume year-to-date (Jan 21, 2017) is $106.02M. In previous years sold dollar volume was $3.35B (2016), $3.13B (2015), $2.93B (2014), $2.7B (2013), $2.35B (2012), $2.05B (2011), $2.11B (2010), $1.82B (2009), $2.1B (2008), $2.79B (2007), $3.01B (2006), $3.36B (2005), $2.77B (2004), $2.07B (2003).
The most recent sale in Oahu was a house located at 972 Kealaolu Avenue, sold for $1.98M on Jan 19, 2017. It had 2303sf of interior. 9 other recent sales include: 86-234 Kawili Street (1,740sf) sold for $499K on 1/19/2017. 45-662 Apapane Street (2,008sf) sold for $999K on 1/19/2017. 1671 Ala Lani Place (1,242sf) sold for $800K on 1/19/2017. 91-1001 Keaunui Drive (1,260sf) sold for $600K on 1/19/2017. 534 Kulia Street (1,765sf) sold for $660K on 1/19/2017. 91-6221 Kapolei Parkway (1,456sf) sold for $619K on 1/19/2017. 448 Portlock Road (5,026sf) sold for $2.6M on 1/19/2017. 47-531 Waipaipai Street (2,388sf) sold for $890K on 1/18/2017. 91-703A Oneula Place (784sf) sold for $650K on 1/18/2017.
411 of the houses have ocean views, 140 have Diamond Head views and 653 have mountain views.