David's Real Estate Blog | Dispatches from Diamond Head

Latest real estate news and articles from David E. Buck, Realtor-Broker

Oct. 14, 2016

Pinnacle Honolulu Penthouse to be Auctioned October 18th

Real estate auctions sales on Oahu are somewhat rare. We've had a few over the years. Concierge Auctions has done a few on the North Shore. There's another mainland company named Heritage Auctions that will be auctioning off the Penthouse of the Pinnacle in Downtown Honolulu.

Pinnacle Honolulu Penthouse View

View from the Penthouse of The Pinnacle Honolulu (MLS # 201618755)

Currently listed for $17,500,000 this is a 3 story unit owned by the developer of the building.  It's been on and off the market for 7 years with a handful of different Realtors in town. Currently listed with Hawaii 5-0 Properties, Inc. the Seller is now thinking outside the box with an auction process to generate some more interest.

Similar to Concierge Auctions, Heritage Auctions has a similar business model in which the Buyer must pay a "Buyer's Premium" at closing of 10% (on top of the purchase price). This is important to factor in when bidding. 

Why Auction?

Sellers that have tested the market and not getting their price realize this may be a way to get to true market value. Also, Buyers enjoy the transparency in knowing what they can pay to get a place instead of coming up with an arbitrary offer amount - which in this case is the circumstance as this is such a unique property and there's nothing really like it to comp/compare with.


Buyers need to be qualified and have a $100,000 check available for bidding and be prepared to bring in additional funds of 10% if they are the winning bidder. They also need to be able to close within 60 Days.


Although there is a reserve, I've been told the Seller is highly motivated and someone could get a great buy here! Here's some more photos and features:

Pinnacle PH Living Room

Pinnacle PH BilliardsPinnacle PH Aquarium

Pinnacle Penthouse Entry, Billiards Room and Aquarium


  • 3 top floors of luxury boutique high-rise
  • 6,800+ square feet of indoor living space
  • 8 lanais with 1,100+ square feet of outdoor living space
  • 4 master suites
  • Sold fully furnished with Casa FENDI designs, rare Asian antiques, Swarovski crystal chandeliers and upscale Kohler appliances
  • Custom-built Steinway and 400-gallon saltwater aquarium
  • Hand-painted ceilings, custom-carved exotic wood entry doors, imported granite and Travertine flooring
  • Built-in wine cellar, infinity-edge whirlpool spas, multiple flat screen televisions and fireplaces
  • Lutron lighting, surround sound, remote-controlled window coverings
  • 360 degree views of Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor, Pacific Ocean, Punchbowl Crater, mountains and Downtown Honolulu
  • Close to Iolani Palace, designer boutiques, government buildings and Central Business District
  • 5-star building amenities include heated swimming pool, spa, billiards, fitness room and 8 dedicated garage parking spaces

Pinnacle PH Sunset

Pinnacle PH BathPinnacle PH Bedrrom

Enjoy the Sunset from the office or relax in the luxurious bedrooms and bathrooms

To learn more about this Penthouse offering to be auctioned this coming Tuesday, October 18th feel free to contact me for more information. Someone should get a great buy in Downtown Honolulu.

Sept. 19, 2016

Oahu Condos Sales and Median Price up 12.4% in August

The condo market was hot in August with both the median sales price and number of sales up 12.4% since last year. 

Oahu Real Estate Sales Statistics for August, 2016

Infographic of Oahu home and condo sales for August, 2016

Condo Sales Stats

The median condo price finished up 12.4% at $398,000, which although was strong fell short of June's record of $405,500. On average, Sellers got 97.6% of asking price and the median days on market was just 16 days. There were also 12.4% more deals taking place than last year with 481 closed sales for the month.

Napali Gardens Condo in Kaneohe

Kaneohe condo (MLS # 201617983) listed just over August's median at $399,000

Single Family Home Stats

The single family home market was also healthy for Sellers with the median price up 6.9% from last year to finish at $747,500. The number deals taking place remained flat with 344 closings - the same as last August. Sellers remained happy receiving 99.8% of asking price and the median Days on Market was just 15 days.

Royal Kunia home

Royal Kunia home (MLS # 201623253) listed just under August's median at $747,000

As always, all real estate is local. Here are the neighborhoods on Oahu that were hot for sellers and buyers in August:

Neighborhoods “Hot” for Sellers

  • Home sales on the Windward Coast were up 133%
  • Home prices in Waialae-Kahala were up 24%
  • Condo sales in Makaha-Nanakuli were up 114%
  • Condo prices in Waialae-Kahala and Waipahu were up 29%

Neighborhoods “Hot” for Buyers

  • Home sales in Hawaii Kai were down 57%
  • Home prices on the North Shore were down 38%
  • Condo sales Wahiawa were down 100%
  • Condo prices in Wahiawa were down 100%

What’s Happening in Your Neighborhood?

Please consider these are broad overviews for regions on Oahu. To find out what is happening in your specific neighborhood (or street for that matter), feel free to contact me for more information.

Sept. 14, 2016

Two Ossipoff Homes For Sale in Diamond Head at Reduced Prices

There are currently 2 homes for sale in Diamond Head designed by Vladimir Ossipoff, Hawaii's most renowned mid century modern architect. Both have reduced in price and here's why each could be a great buy in this market. 

1. Ossipoff Home on Diamond Head Circle

 Ossipoff Home on Diamond Head Cirlce

Mid Century Modern home (MLS # 201601000) on Diamond Head Circle

The listing at 3703 Diamond Head Circle is now $3,688,000. It's been on and off the market now for over 2.5 years with different Realtors and started as high as $7,250,000. I also wrote about the activity on Diamond Head Circle 2 years ago and it was listed at $5.9 million then. Another factor that makes this a great deal is 3735 Diamond Head Circle finally sold for $6,900,000.  It's just a few doors over and was in better shape, however it traded at nearly double the price!

2. Ossipoff Home on Kaikoo Place

Ossipoff home on Kaikoo

Ossipoff Home (MLS # 201606007) at 4329 Kaikoo Place

Although not necessary "mid century", this is definitely one of Ossipoff's more "modern" works built in 1994 (just a few years prior to him passing). This one has also been on and off the market for a number of years and listed as high as $5.2 million. Considering this also had a recent comp a few doors down with 4347 Kaikoo Place selling for $4,875,000, it's now a great buy for $3,995,000.

Contact a Mid Century Modern Expert

To learn more about Ossipoff or other mid century modern homes on Oahu, feel free to contact me for more information.

Aug. 23, 2016

Median Condo Price on Oahu up 14.3% in July

The median sales price for homes and condos on Oahu were up compared to last year, however not quite as high as June's record prices.

July 2016 Real Estate Sales Stats on Oahu

July 2016 Infographic of Real Estate Sales on Oahu

Single Family Home Stats

The median sales price of a single family home sale on Oahu was up 5.1% from July of 2015. Coming in at $746,000 it was still shy of the record $760,000 price we saw in June. As prices were up, the number of sales taking place on Oahu was down 4.5% with 322 sales taking place. Days on Market still favored Sellers with just 16 Days as the median.

Hoakalei Home for $745,000

Hoakalei-Ka Makana Home (MLS # 201616055) listed just under July's median sales price of $745,000

Condo Sales Stats

The surge in the median sales price of a condo was a huge jump as indicated by the title of my article. We saw a 14.3% increase since July of 2015 rounding the price out at an even $400,000. Although slightly off June's record (as well) of $405,000, we're really seeing the effects of people being priced out of the single family home market. The Average Sales Price took an even larger jump finishing at $459,859, which was an 18% increase from last year. We also saw a drop in Median Days on Market by 25% as it's now taking roughly 18 days to sell vs. 24 days a year ago.

Kapahulu condo for $400,000

This Kapahulu condo (MLS # 201618912) is listed for July's median price of $400,000

Serious Lack of Inventory

What's been driving the price appreciation? Once again, it boils down to simple economics of Supply vs. Demand. Here's what's happened to our inventory on Oahu since July of 2015:

  • New Single Family Home Listings were down 11.9%
  • Active Single Family Home Listings were down 4.5%
  • New Condo Listings were down 13.9%
  • Active Condo Listings were 11.6%

Notice the big difference in the active listings of single family homes vs. condos? The larger drop in inventory in the condo market translated into a larger increase in median sales price for condos. Interest correlation isn't it?

As always, all real estate is local. Here are the neighborhoods on Oahu that were hot for sellers and buyers in July:

Neighborhoods “Hot” for Sellers

Neighborhoods “Hot” for Buyers

  • Home sales in Aina Haina-Kuliouou were down 77%*
  • Home prices in Waialae-Kahala were down 10%
  • Condo sales in Makaha-Nanakuli were down 65%
  • Condo prices on the North Shore were down 11%

What’s Happening in Your Neighborhood?

Please consider these are broad overviews for regions on Oahu. To find out what is happening in your specific neighborhood (or street for that matter), feel free to contact me for more information.

* In Aina Haina-Kuliouou, there were 13 sales last year vs. only 3 this year. Since there were significantly less deals taking place at higher prices, the data was skewed a bit.

Aug. 2, 2016

Mount Terrace Condo Inventory on the Rise

Over the past 2 months, we've seen an influx of inventory at the Mount Terrace in Hawaii Kai. All 5 listings currently for sale have come online during that period. There's been equally as many sales with 5 transactions taking place over the past 6 months that ranged from $610,000 to $790,000.

Mount Terrace Condo from Kuliouou Beach Park

Everything around the Mount Terrace is green after Tropical Storm Darby's recent rainfall

Current Inventory at Mount Terrace

The most recent and noteworthy of these is the Penthouse F. It's not too often you see one of these hit the market.

Mount Terrace PHF Living Room

Mount Terrace PHF Dining AreaMount Terrace PHF Kitchen

Mount Terrace Penthouse F Living Area, Dining and Kitchen

As you can see, there's a lot of custom hardwoods throughout the unit. Not only do you have phenomenal east views facing of Koko Crater, Koko Head and the marina - the upgrades are truly special for someone looking for the luxury/Hawaiiana feel, which is hard to find in a condo in this day and age.

To learn more about buying or selling at the Mount Terrace in Hawaii Kai, feel free to contact me for more information.

July 25, 2016

Oahu Real Estate Prices Hit Record High in June

The median sales price for single family homes and condos hit record highs this past month on Oahu.

June, 2016 Real Estate Statistics on Oahu

Infographic of Oahu Sales Statistics for June, 2016

Single Family Home Stats

Jumping 8.6% from last year, the median sales price for a single family home on Oahu is now at an all time high of $760,000. It was also a significant bump from May's price of $719,000. Homes were trading briskly with only 14 days being the median days on market. Sales volume was the same as last year with 324 transactions taking place.

Keolu Hills Home for $759,000

Home in Keolu Hills (MLS # 201618511) listed just under June's median at $759,000

Condo Sales Stats

The condo market was up even stronger as the median sales price hit $405,500, which was a 19.8% increase from last year! While the home market remained the same with numbers of transactions, condo sales were up 9.6% with 548 transactions taking place. The median days on market also favored Sellers with just 20 days.

Marco Polo Condo listed for $405,000

Marco Polo Condo (MLS # 201616530) listed just under June's median at $405,000

Historical Data

Median Sales Prices on Oahu Since 1987. Note: New Record High

Now that we've hit new record highs, where do we go from here? Only time will tell... As always, all real estate is local. Here are the neighborhoods on Oahu that were hot for sellers and buyers in May:

Neighborhoods “Hot” for Sellers

  • Home sales in Makakilo were up 129%
  • Home prices in Makaha-Nanakuli and Windward Oahu were up 40%*
  • Condo sales in Waialae-Kahala were up 200%
  • Condo prices in Ala Moana-Kakaako were up 71%

Neighborhoods “Hot” for Buyers

  • Home sales on the Windward Coast were down 67%*
  • Home prices in Kalihi-Palama were down 10%
  • Condo sales in Diamond Head-Kapahulu were down 90%
  • Condo prices in Diamond Head-Kapahulu were down 67%

What’s Happening in Your Neighborhood?

Please consider these are broad overviews for regions on Oahu. To find out what is happening in your specific neighborhood (or street for that matter), feel free to contact me for more information.

* Last year there were 6 sales on the Windward Coast, whereas there were only 2 this year, which is why the data was skewed with less sales, however higher prices.

July 12, 2016

Cash Buyers Abound in Waikiki

I recently closed on a few deals in Waikiki where my Sellers received cash offers from Buyers eager to get in the market.

Ilikai Apartment Building #1603

Ilikai Apartment Building #1603 closed July 1, 2016

The first was a Mauka facing unit at the Ilikai. Within the first few days, we received 4 offers - all cash at or above the asking price. We closed in 30 days with an overseas investor that ended up paying $18,000 over asking.

Kaioo Terrace #101

Kaioo Terrace #101 also closed July 1, 2016

The second closing I had that day was also a cash deal where a mainland investor paid full price for unit #101 at Kaioo Terrace. With the uncertainty in the stock market, it's becoming more and more apparent people are looking at real estate as a vehicle to park their hard earned money.

Looking to Buy or Sell in Waikiki?

As you can see, cash buyers are in the marketplace. Feel free to contact us for a no-obligation consultation.

June 26, 2016

Getting Results in Kuapa Isle

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to have another closing at Kuapa Isle in Hawaii Kai.

Happy Clients use David Buck for Kuapa Isle

Recent sale of 425 Opihikao Place in Kuapa Isle

Demand for Kuapa Isle Units

We ended up getting a full price accepted offer in less than a week. There were a handful of interested parties, however 3 of them had to sell something first. This is a perfect example of how it pays to be ready to jump on something when it pops up. There's still lots of demand as there are two units in escrow and nothing available for sale.

Getting Results

Getting Results at Kuapa Isle

Over the past 2 years, Realtors have participated in 30 transaction sides at Kuapa Isle. I am fortunate enough to have represented a Buyer or Seller in 5 of those 30 sides, which is more than any other Realtor on Oahu. If you're looking to Buy or Sell at Kuapa Isle, feel free to contact me for more information.

June 23, 2016

May Home and Condo Prices Relatively Flat on Oahu

Residential real estate sales and prices were relatively flat in May when compared to 2015.

HBR Sales Stats for May 2016

Infographic for May, 2016 sales stats on Oahu

Single Family Home Stats

The median sales price last month was $719,000, which was up 3% from 2015. There's actually been 3 months over the course of the past year that were higher. Transaction sides closed experienced roughly the same increase (up 3.2%) with 319 deals that took place. Homes continued to move briskly with only 17 days on market.

Makaha Home for $719k

This Makaha home (MLS # 201612001) is listed for May's median price of $719,000

The most significant stat I noticed for the month is the average single family home sales price was down 13.1% from last year. What this really shows in my opinion is a continued weakening on the luxury market. Last May, there were 11 homes that sold north of $3 million. This year saw only 3 trades north of $3 million.

Condo Sales Stats

The median condo price for the month ended up at $373,000, which was down .5% from last year. Sales on the other hand were up 6% with 477 transactions taking place. Even more impressive was the days on market was just 15 days.

Diamond Head Beach Hotel Condo for $375k

Leasehold Diamond Head Beach Hotel Condo (MLS # 201601172) listed just over May's median

Unlike the large drop in average home price, the average condo price for the month was actually up slightly to by 1.9%. My suspicion is that it's because the luxury condo market was already starting to soften this time last year, whereas the single family home luxury market has been feeling the effects more recently.

As always, all real estate is local. Here are the neighborhoods on Oahu that were hot for sellers and buyers in May:

Neighborhoods “Hot” for Sellers

  • Home sales in Waialae-Kahala were up 233%*
  • Home prices on the North Shore were up 86%
  • Condo sales in Makaha-Nanakuli were up 120%
  • Condo prices on the Windward Coast/Kaneohe were up 204%

Neighborhoods “Hot” for Buyers

  • Home sales in Kalihi-Palama were down 73%
  • Home prices on the Waialae-Kahala were down 73%*
  • Condo sales on the North Shore were down 64%
  • Condo prices in Kailua-Waimanalo were down 35%

What’s Happening in Your Neighborhood?

Please consider these are broad overviews for regions on Oahu. To find out what is happening in your specific neighborhood (or street for that matter), feel free to contact me for more information.

* In Waialae-Kahala there were 3 sales with an average sales price of $4,590,000 in 2015. Whereas this year there were 10 sales with an average price of $1,244,000. This further supports my observations above of the luxury home market slowing down.

June 13, 2016

Kakaako Penthouses along Ala Moana Boulevard

This past week there were two Penthouses that hit the market in Kakaako. One was at 1350 Ala Moana, which was Kakaako's original luxury tower. The other is at Waiea, Kakaako's latest luxury tower.

1350 Ala Moana PH3

1350 Ala Moana PH3 View Over Ala Moana Beach Park

Penthouse 3 at 1350 Ala Moana (MLS #201614039) priced at $1,040/sq. ft.

The new listing at 1350 Ala Moana is a great bargain in my opinion. It's a 2 bed, 2 bath unit set one back off Ala Moana Blvd (PH 1 & 2 front the street) with 1056 sq. ft. of living area and priced at $1,098,000. The only downside to this building is the unit only comes with 1 parking stall. Other than that, it's a great value compared to all the new offerings in Kakaako and One Ala Moana across the street on the Diamond Head side.

Waiea Grand PH 36B

Waiea Grand PH 36B

Waiea GPH 36B (MLS # 201612214) is priced at $3,573/sq. ft.

Our company recently listed the Grand Penthouse 36B at Ward Village's first luxury tower of Waiea. As you can see from the rendering, it is apples and oranges when comparing to 1350 Ala Moana. The question one might ask is what justifies nearly 3.5 times the price/sq. ft? Well, as you can see it comes with your own infinity pool. This unit is also larger than most single family homes on Oahu with over 10,000 sq. ft. interior and offers 5 bed, 5.5 baths and 4 parking stalls.

Granted the asking price is 50% higher than the highest single family home offering on the island and over 3-4 times higher than the highest condo sale ever on Oahu. However, when comparing to other luxury markets across the globe such as New York, San Francisco, Sydney, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, London, Paris and Monaco I'd definitely have to include Honolulu in that mix... For someone with the means to purchase in this price range, this should be on their radar as well.

To learn more about these units or other Penthouse offerings in Honolulu, feel free to contact me for more information.