Kahala real estate is considered the Beverly Hills of Honolulu, offering some of the most expensive residential Oahu real estate. Located between Diamond Head homes to the west and the Waialae Golf Course homes to the east, this sought after beachfront neighborhood consists of approximately 1,200 homes.
Some of the perimeter streets include Kahala Ave from the 4300 block on, with Aukai Ave, Elepaio St, Hunakai St, Waialae Ave, Kealaolu Ave and back to the ocean. Kahala homes for sale are typically valued between $1.5M for just the land, and up to $20M+ for the ultimate luxury oceanfront estates. Most lot sizes are around 10,000 sq ft with a few 1 acre plus lots.
Insight to Kahala Homes Early Kahala real estate development began in the 1920’s with a more extensive build-out during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Kahala homes is today a mix of charming older ranch style homes and newer large two story luxury estates.
Unless you're on the ocean, Kahala homes don’t offer a lot in views. There are only about 40 oceanfront properties on the 1 mile ocean stretch along Kahala Ave. The oceanfront homes east of Hunakai St are on pristine white sandy beach, and the oceanfront properties west of Hunakai St enjoy the privacy of a sea wall. Inherently, the most expensive homes for sale in Kahala are found along the ocean side of Kahala Ave, followed by homes on the coveted Aukai Ave and Kolohala Ave - the latter a beautiful wide street with little traffic.
Kahala residents enjoy a neighborhood with relatively low density, ensured by existing deed restrictions beyond the standard zoning laws (lots in Kahala are either zoned R-10 or R-20). Kahala also has a strong community association, which tend to strongly oppose any attempt of any Kahala home owner to obtain a zoning variance (which would allow for alternative usage beyond single family residential usage).
Kahala real estate appeals to anyone looking for a quiet, prestigious residential neighborhood with spacious roads, luxurious homes on generous level lots, a gorgeous beach and an easy commute into town.
Nearby you'll find the famous Waialae Country Club, home to the annual Sony Open tournament, and the Kahala Hotel & Resort, one of Hawaii’s top resorts. Countless prominent celebrities such as the late Whitney Houston have enjoyed the serenity of the beach at the Kahala Hotel.
There are also three splendid popular parks for outdoor activities, including the Waialae Beach Park. Several public beach access points are available along Kahala Ave, making it convenient to enjoy a stroll along the beach whenever desired.
Shopping at Kahala Mall is close by with WholeFoods for groceries, boutique shops and a number of excellent restaurants to sample.
Controversial and eccentric Japanese Billionaire investor Genshiro Kawamoto who purchased hundreds of homes across Honolulu during the Japanese bubble in the late 1980’s also bought 28 homes along Kahala Ave during the past 15 years with an assessed value of about $150M. Unfortunately, due to neglect, his properties lost their exceptional luxury feel, diminishing some of the fine appearance Kahala Ave once had. Kahala residents celebrated when A&B Properties, a reputable Hawaii developer, purchased 27 of these Kawamoto properties along Kahala Ave in September 2013 for just shy of $100M.
The price range of houses for sale in Kahala is $1.39M to $10.8M with a median price of $3.82M, median interior of 3,877sf and median land size of 11,302sf.
The median price of houses sold in Kahala year-to-date (Jan - Jul 23, 2017) is $2.1M. In previous years it was $2.6M (2016), $2M (2015), $2.2M (2014), $1.92M (2013), $1.92M (2012), $1.79M (2011), $1.6M (2010), $1.49M (2009), $2.13M (2008), $1.81M (2007), $1.66M (2006), $1.62M (2005), $1.45M (2004), $1.18M (2003).
24 houses have sold in Kahala year-to-date (Jan - Jul 23, 2017). In previous years, the total number of houses sold were 35 (2016), 29 (2015), 41 (2014), 33 (2013), 49 (2012), 44 (2011), 47 (2010), 40 (2009), 42 (2008), 48 (2007), 50 (2006), 66 (2005), 73 (2004), 63 (2003).
On average Kahala houses were on the market for 104 days before they were sold (Jan - Jul 23, 2017). In previous years it was 133 days (2016), 120 days (2015), 117 days (2014), 89 days (2013), 91 days (2012), 86 days (2011), 66 days (2010), 78 days (2009), 114 days (2008), 80 days (2007), 96 days (2006), 84 days (2005), 70 days (2004), 91 days (2003).
The average days on market for Kahala houses before sold were 165 days June 2017 compared to 220 days June 2016.
The ratio of Kahala houses sales price vs list price were 93.2% June 2017 compared to 92.7% June 2016.
4 Kahala houses were sold June 2017 compared to 5 houses sold June 2016.
The total dollar volume of houses currently for sale in Kahala is $123.11M and the sold dollar volume year-to-date (Jan - Jul 23, 2017) is $56.01M. In previous years sold dollar volume was $91.68M (2016), $77.08M (2015), $112.8M (2014), $73.8M (2013), $103.61M (2012), $87.09M (2011), $111.11M (2010), $68.59M (2009), $104.76M (2008), $110.38M (2007), $110.3M (2006), $168.89M (2005), $155.61M (2004), $98.35M (2003).
The most recent sale in Kahala was a house located at 1010 Pueo Street, sold for $1.72M on Jul 19, 2017. It had 1688sf of interior. 9 other recent sales include: 626 Elepaio Street (4,345sf) sold for $2.86M on 7/11/2017. 4619 Moho Street (3,473sf) sold for $3.2M on 6/23/2017. 4302 Kahala Avenue (1,551sf) sold for $2.1M on 6/15/2017. 4815 Aukai Avenue (3,563sf) sold for $2.8M on 6/15/2017. 4550 Aukai Avenue (2,468sf) sold for $2.1M on 6/13/2017. 918 Koloa Street (4,722sf) sold for $3.1M on 5/25/2017. 4216 Puulani Place (2,297sf) sold for $2.07M on 5/19/2017. 956 Hunakai Street (2,436sf) sold for $2.05M on 5/5/2017. 1036 Koloa Street (sf) sold for $1.8M on 4/17/2017.
4 have Diamond Head views and 15 have mountain views.
More About Kahala Kahala real estate is a subject that creates an immediate image in the mid of tropical elegance, a sedate and calm existence and neighbors with exceptional means. To a certain extent that's true. Like anyplace, though, there is a reality underneath that ideal that can have some imperfections. In the interest of presenting a full and fair picture of Kahala, you should know the good and the not-so-good. We'll begin with what might be called the Cons of this iconic community.
Any property within this neighborhood's borders will have a value, and therefore a price tag, elevated from what it would be in almost any other part of Oahu, even the neighborhoods that border it. In an almost continually hot market like Hawaii's, just on the strength of location alone, Kahala homes for sale generate even more heat.
That fact of this real estate market makes for houses and condos that create intense bidding wars to decide who finally gets the property. The extremely high entry, and it is getting higher by the day, is unquestionably the biggest barrier for potential buyers.
There are some smaller ones as well. This part of Oahu doesn't get the tradewinds as much, so on warmer days you'll require a higher A/C setting or a stronger imagination to keep cool here. During the summer the effects of this can be felt on your electric bill.
Another issue is one most are unaware of when they first look into Kahala homes. In spite of its reputation as the 'Beverly Hills of Hawaii', there are still some older homes that have fallen into disrepair or show a certain lack of upkeep. If you're a neighbor this can be frustrating from a cosmetic, or even a home value, standpoint. If you're a buyer it can mean extensive and costly renovations, possibly a complete demolition and rebuilding.
Though we wouldn't want to downplay them, we must admit there just aren't a lot of Cons. However, a short list of drawbacks doesn't always mean a long one of benefits. This time, it does.
WHAT KAHALA BRINGS TO YOUR LIFE LIKE NO OTHER PLACE For families and those who seek a calmer lifestyle a home or condo in Kahala promises almost everything you've been seeking. It starts with a larger lot size on average, 10,000 sq ft, which dwarfs the space you have in other communities. Easily enough for a sizable house as well as your own yard.
This makes for greater privacy and relations with fellow residents as well. Neighbors are close, but not on top of you.
Recreation opportunities are all around you, too, in this low-rise environment, punctuated by 1 - just 1- high-rise building on this side of the highway. Your sightline is wide open with the sky spread out before you as you walk or jog the wide streets that have little traffic. Once you're off the roads bordering the mall, the frequency of passing cars drops off significantly.
Throughout those same low-traffic sections of Kahala you'll find green parks, playgrounds and tennis courts scattered throughout, places made to work off stress or just enjoy watching the kids playing in the cool after-hours.
Kahala's beaches are also less crowded, partially due to their rockier shores and beds, but the view of the ocean remains beguiling. They're another retreat where you can lose yourself in the pleasures of the Pacific.
Ultimately, the Pros far outweigh the Cons, the main hurdle being the cost of entrance as well as the ongoing property taxes, a yearly levy that can be quite high as a Kahala homeowner. Think of it this way. It's not unlike an exclusive, amenity-filled club, with much to add to your life. The hard part is getting in.
THE FUTURE OF KAHALA REAL ESTATE That theme of exclusivity is only growing stronger in Kahala and it will continue to do so. This is an iconic neighborhood, a name known to real estate buyers worldwide. That's been clear for years from the numerous Japanese buyers who were drawn here, but now we're seeing Korean & Chinese shoppers, too.
The past decades have demonstrated that the average value of a Kahala home outpaces every other neighborhood in Honolulu over time, rising at a faster rate in no uncertain terms. An excellent example is the 2008 downturn. Real estate prices were affected here along with the rest of Hawaii. However, properties in Kahala came back stronger and quicker, not only by regaining lost ground in sales prices, but also by seeing a substantial drop in the average number of days on the market. These homes are resilient.
AREA AMENITIES For a smaller area, Kahala packs in a lot. Schools are nearby, in walking distance for much of the district, and the parks satisfy both needs for calm reflection and active exercise. Kahala Mall's eateries and stores are a beloved local benefit as well. That's one of the reasons people love it here. You don't have to go very far for anything.
Schools & Childcare Education is an important consideration in real estate if you have kids, or if you're considering getting some extra schooling yourself. Living in Kahala you can not only rest easy that the schools are nearby, they're also highly rated.
Preschool – At least 4 options are available on both ends of the district. The KCAA school and Waiokeoloa Congregational Church's programs are both located across Kilauea Ave from the mall. Diamond Head and Waialae Baptist Preschools, meanwhile, are on the northwest side of Kahala, right at its border with Kaimuki.
Kahala Elementary – Located on Kilauea Ave, near Kahala Mall. Over 50% of its students are from outside its designated district, attracted by solid teaching and education provided by its teachers.
Kaimuki Middle School - 6th through 8th grades go here, to the west on Kilauea Ave, right where the transition to Kaimuki begins.
Kalani High School - 9th to 12th grades, the campus is just up Kalanianaole Hwy, walkable for most of Kahala.
Star of the Sea School – Catholic school just across the highway on Malia Rd, it serves 1st through 8th grades.
Kapiolani Community College – Up the hill from Kaimuki Middle School off of Kilauea Ave, the academic courses and training offer a huge range of learning and career skills opportunities. A prime resource for adults looking to grow their job options and students who need affordable education.
UH-Manoa – A 10 minute drive from Kahala is the crown jewel of Hawaii's education system. Complete programs in a huge number of disciplines, spanning Bachelor to Doctorate degrees. A world class institution.
Public Transportation The Bus has an extensive network of routes serving Kahala, especially for those going directly downtown, to Waikiki, UH-Manoa and most other common destinations. Kahala Mall has stops right by it for almost all of these lines, including the Beach Bus (#23), which you can use to go around the Island!
Supermarkets & Groceries The 2 supermarkets in Kahala will satisfy most since they cover a wide variety of options between them. Whole Foods at Kahala Mall provides organic and eco-friendly groceries and prepared foods, while Kahala Times is more typical fare, found just to the west of the mall on 21st St.
Shopping Alternatives Kahala's size, real estate values and residents resistance to commercial development has created what's basically a bedroom community once you get away from the area beside, and under, the highway. Despite that, you do have one of the best shopping centers on Oahu that will take care of almost every need.
Kahala Mall – A sizable, though not gigantic, shopping mall, its open layout and less hectic atmosphere fits the locale. Some upscale, though not overly expensive or exclusive, stores, it still has room for fast food, a Long's and movie theaters.
Waialae Ave/Kalanianaole Hwy – Underneath H-1 you'll find small stores and local restaurants, including a Zippy's. Pet owners will want to visit Petland, which is in a small shopping center on the east end of that strip. Kahala Pet Hospital is there as well. It's also home to the Great Harvest Bread Co., a regular stop for many who love fresh baked bread of the highest quality – and good sandwiches.
Hospitals & Health Care Island Urgent Care – Focused on immediate needs similar to a Emergency Room, but can also provide physicals for sports & job purposes. Treats adults and children from their location on Waialae Ave, across from Kahala Mall.
Waikiki Health Center's PATH Clinic – Found on 22nd Ave, this facility provides basic medical care and consultation. Serves Quest patients as well as helping uninsured apply for it.
Diamond Head Health Center – Publicly funded health center that sits just above KCC on Kilauea Ave. Primarily specializes in Mental Health plus TB and HIV/STD testing.
Leahi Hospital – Facility that cares for resident patients with long-term illnesses and conditions that leave them unable to care for themselves. Also offer Adult Day Health care for those who live with family but need daily monitoring.
Queen's Medical Center – The largest civilian hospital in Hawaii, you come to it just before entering Downtown Honolulu. They have complete services in several buildings from checkups to complex procedures of every kind with both In & Out Patient facilities.
Straub Clinic & Hospital – This hospital across from the Blaisdell Center is smaller than Queen's, but still has extensive departments treating the health of both the body and mind.
Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children – As the name suggests, this large facility concentrates on female and pediatric health, including delivery. Many locals first entered the world at Kapiolani.
Your Recreation & Leisure Options
Kahala Beaches It must be said that the beaches on this coastline aren't as inviting as Waikiki or some other Oahu sites. The sands are often rockier and you need to pay attention where you're swimming in some places because the reef and underwater rocks are high, lying just under the surface. You do have some advantages, though.
The beaches here are less crowded than the tourist areas and you can feel like you have it all to yourself a lot of the time. Dogs are allowed as well so if you like spending time with your pet, bring them here.
The quality of your experience can be raised just by heading down to the area in front of the Kahala Hotel. Rock walls extend out into the ocean on either side of this stretch, so its calmer waters provide better wading and swimming.
The hotel also takes excellent care of the beach as it is one of their amenities so they need it to be attractive. Make your way to this section if you find the western beaches not to your liking. Here are some others worth seeking out.
Mother's Beach – Sits at the end of Hunakai St, its sands are more smooth and welcoming. Probably the most popular of the Kahala beaches with locals.
Kahala Beach (Koloa St) – East a couple of blocks on Kahala Ave from Hunakai St is the entrance to this beach. Best as a place to start a long walk along the ocean, which includes views of some of the most incredible homes in Hawaii. A great stroll, especially with someone special.
Waialae Beach Park – Great for getting some rays, but the water is rocky so reef shoes are advisable if you want to wade into it. Picnic tables and an open park area beside the beach for get-togethers and non-beach activities.
Other Recreation There are more than a few parks in Kahala, in addition to Waialae Beach, certainly more than you'd expect in a neighborhood of this size. It's a testament to the residents' common desire to have spaces where they can unwind and spend time with family and friends. These 3 are just the larger ones available.
Hunakai Park – Large, open park beautifully ringed by spaced-out rocks. Great place to bring your dog for some play time.
Kahala Park – Room to roam, but a definite focus on sports here with tennis courts and a baseball diamond, ready for weekend and pau hana athletes! Right next to Kahala Elementary.
Fort Ruger Park – Sits on the southwest corner of Kahala where it meets the Diamond Head district. Purely park land, but with many trees whose huge canopies make for wonderful shade. Come here to relax.
Dining & Restaurants Though its reputation would suggest a lot of dining options, especially on the 'fine' side, there aren't many outside of the mall and its immediate area. For those who do want an experience along with true cuisine, a drive to the Kahala Hotel is strongly suggested, where your table comes with views you'll fall in love with immediately. We've also highlighted some of the top places within a very easy drive.
Hoku's (Kahala Hotel) – Seating is across different levels so every table has an unobstructed view of the ocean outside. Serves what it calls Contemporary Island Cuisine, which mixes Hawaiian and Asian elements. Very expensive and has a dress code.
Arancino (Kahala Hotel) – Modern Italian cuisine with an open-air main room and a patio for al fresco dining. Multi-course pasta meals are the specialty, which the staff will enlighten you on as each is served. Definitely a pricey night out.
Olive Tree Cafe (Next to Kahala Mall) – Greek & Mediterranean food with a lively atmosphere. Their falafel, baba ganoush and tabouleh are all legendary and you won't spend much money to get them. This has created a rabid following so coming early so you can get a table in under an hour is recommended. Cash Only and BYOB.
12th Avenue Grill (Kaimuki) – Many awards won, including 2015 Hale Aina Best Restaurant Oahu, so you know it's good. Diners here especially go for their Grilled Pork Chop and the Smoked Ahi Bruschetta. Mid to High-Mid level prices.
Sushi Ginza Onodera (Kapahulu) – A real sushi experience, located on Kapahulu Ave. Courses are changed often so a return visit brings new tastes to try. Extremely high level of service with pieces presented one at a time for full appreciation by both the eyes and the tastebuds. Extremely expensive and worth it.
Sweet E's Cafe (Kapahulu) – Try their breakfast dishes, so delicious locals swear by them. Open only from 7AM to 2PM. You can get addicted to their Blueberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast or their Corned Beef Hash Eggs Benedict. You've been warned.
Ono Hawaiian Food (Kapahulu) – Looks like a hole in the wall, but inside they serve the real deal in Hawaiian food. They've been featured on many travel shows to the dismay of their very loyal local following. No reservations, so just try your luck. Our suggestion: the Kalua Pig.
Yakiniku Futago (Kapahulu) – Upscale Korean-Japanese steak restaurant. Signature dish is the Hamideru Kalbi, cooked tableside by the staff. They also feature choice beef cuts, also prepared while you watch. Drinkers will love the 800ml Asahi drafts!
3660 On the Rise (Kaimuki) – Sits at the bottom of Wilhelmina Rise, this moderately expensive restaurant is known for its Ahi Katsu appetizer and excellent steaks, such as the Grilled Kiawe Smoked Beef Tenderloin. Open only from 5:30PM to 8:30PM, Tuesday through Sunday.
Cafe Miro (Kaimuki) – Right on Waialae Ave, this place somehow combines French cuisine with dashes of Japanese and Mediterranean! Centers around 3 & 4 Course options that take time to go through – this is dining, not eating. Higher priced with servers who are glad to guide those new to the dishes.
Distances From Kahala to Other Parts of Oahu Honolulu Airport: 11 miles Downtown Honolulu: 6.4 miles Costco Hawaii Kai: 5.6 miles Ala Moana Shopping Center: 4.5 miles Pearl Harbor/Hickam: 12.8 miles Pearlridge Shopping Center: 13.9 miles Mililani: 24.5 miles Kapolei: 26.2 miles Hawaii Kai: 7.1 miles Hanauma Bay: 7.3 miles Kaneohe: 15.7 miles Kailua: 17.5 miles Lanikai: 17.5 miles Waimanalo: 18.8 miles North Shore (Haleiwa): 35.1 miles Sunset Beach: 42.3 miles
Kahala History When Kamehameha the Great made his assault on Oahu, many of his canoes made their landing at Kahala, beginning what would be his most famous campaign in uniting the Islands. That same year, 1795, Native Hawaiians began settling here, starting the first known communities.
Some agriculture activity did go on, but most concerns were pig and cattle farms throughout the 1800's. Following the 1848 Great Mahele land division, all of Kahala came under the ownership of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Her death transferred those lands to the Bishop Estate Trust, where much of still remains.
The modern Kahala real estate is a product of the upper classes 'discovering' it after World War I. Ponds were filled in, farms were shuttered and mansions started to grow along the beachfront. One attraction may have been that Kahala is completely flat, a rarity on Oahu.
Homes in Kahala have since been the residences of many of the best connected kamaaina, but even they haven't been able to control everything in their neighborhood. The building of the Kahala Hilton in the early 1960's had much opposition from residents, including numerous high-profile families. The rezoning required was still approved by the City Council despite both a planning committee recommendation and a mayoral veto.
One short-term victory they did win was the ability to buy the land their houses stood on from the Bishop Estate. The last lots, all beachfront, were converted from leasehold to fee simple in November of 1986. The Kahala homes that have title to their land do so because of that window of opportunity.
Ultimately, this place is a true Cinderella story. The land once dominated by pig farmers, in a few short decades, turned into the playground of the world's rich and famous. Quite a rise.