David's Real Estate Blog | Dispatches from Diamond Head

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

Sept. 30, 2017

Historic Ossipoff Home for Sale on Makiki Heights

This summer I wrote an article on a really cool mid century modern home on Makiki Heights. I never would have guessed another would be hitting the market so soon (since they're so rare), especially one designed by Vladimir Ossipoff on the Historic Registry.

Loo Ossipoff Home on Makiki Heights

Ossipoff home (MLS # 201718336) on the Historic Registry

The Setting

Built in 1953, this is the first time it's been available for sale. Like a lot of Ossipoff's works, they were set in some incredible backdrops. As you can imagine, when he was designing homes in the 50's, land was not as scarce as it is today and those that had the means to acquire a nice lot at the time could also afford to have one of Oahu's finest architects come in to make something really spectacular.

Kolonahe Ossipoff Home

Kolonahe Pool and Diamond Head ViewsKolonahe Back Yard

Imagine being on this setting with Diamond Head and Honolulu as your backdrop....

In this day and age, it's difficult to find an available parcel to build on with such a nice view! I do however have a lisitng further up the hill on Tantalus available for $1.3 million.

The House

Ossipoff Kolonahe Living Room

Ossipoff Kolonahe Master BedroomKolonahe Master Bed 2

Living room and master bedroom with Ossipoff's signature modern lines

Although I'm not fond of the kitchen and bathroom remodels (they deviated from either the mid-century or current modern feel in my opinion), the main living area and bedrooms kept true to Ossipoff's signature modern lines. He also integrated some stone wall features in the living room and planter here which remind my of some of Frank Lloyd Wright's works. 

Planter in Makiki Ossipoff home

Sand stone in planter used by other mid century greats

In addition to the use of stone and that narrow CMU brick (seen in the photo above to the left) that was prevalent in the 50's here in Hawaii, the home also has lots of hard wood built-ins and for storage.

Ossipoff shoji doors in MakikiOssipoff built-ins in Makiki home

Built-in storage and use of shoji doors for closets

The home also has several shoji doors that reflect Ossipoff's Japanese influence from the time he lived in Japan. Also, notice the way the windows frame in nature to bring the outside - in.

Historic Registry

In addition to the location, views and incredible architecture, one of the added bonuses is this home is on the Historic Registry. What this equates to is a HUGE savings in property taxes - which are currently only $300/year!

Ossipoff Historic Home on Makiki Heights

Historic Registry placard fronting the home

This is one of the added perks of owning a Historic Home. I sold one last year - the Marks Estate in Nuuanu and the owner had the same tax break of only $300/year. If you're interested in learning more about buying or selling either a Historic or Mid Century Modern home on Oahu, feel free to contact me for more information.

Sept. 23, 2017

Condo Resales on Oahu Jump 19.5% in August

The condo sales on Oahu finished strong this summer hitting a new record of 575 sales - which was a 19.5% increase from August of 2016.

August, 2017 Real Estate Statistics on Oahu


Condo Stats

Commodore Condo in Hawaii Kai

This Commodore condo (MLS # 201718608) in Hawaii Kai is listed for August's median of $419k

In addition to the surge in sales, the median sales sale price was up 5.3% from last year to finish at $419,000. Although not as high as July's record of $425,000 it's still a healthy gain year over year. It was also a great month for Sellers with just 18 days on market.

Single Family Home Stats

Waialua home on the North Shore for $785k

Waialua home (MLS # 201711838) on the North Shore just under August's median price for $786,250

The median home price also took a nice uptick of 5.2% and for both median price and number of sales compared to last year. Buyers also were snatching them up fast with just 16 days on market!

Local Market Updates

As always, real estate is local and here's what neighborhoods were hot for buyers and sellers in the month of August:

Neighborhoods “Hot” for Sellers

  • Home sales in Wahiawa were up 150%
  • Home prices on the North Shoret were up 97%
  • Condo sales on the Windward Coast were up 200%
  • Condo prices in Kapahulu-Diamond Head were up 104%

Neighborhoods “Hot” for Buyers

  • Home sales in Makiki-Moiliili were down 38%
  • Home prices on the Windward Coast were down 21%
  • Condo sales on the North Shore were down 29%
  • Condo prices in Kailua-Waimanalo were down 22%

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. 22, 2017

Harcourts Auctions Now Available for Sellers in Hawaii

When I joined Harcourts a little over a year ago, one of the exciting lures was the ability to offer Auctions as a tool to Sellers in selling their property. Fast forward a year, and that time has come.  We're officially up and rolling and can list property via auction here in Hawaii.


Discussing Auctions with Rob Forde, Regional Director of Harcourts Pacific

Harcourts has a long successful track record of selling property via via auction dating back to 1888. In New Zealand and Australia roughly half of all properties are sold via auction (the majority of which are non-distressed). Just a few years ago, Harcourts USA introduced auctions to the market in Southern California. Since then, they've had an incredible track record.

Here's a video with Harcourts Auctions Auctioneer Ben Brady explaining the process for Sellers:

To learn more about Selling by Auction, feel free to visit our Harcourts Auctions Website or contact me for more information. We're really excited about this new tool to introduce to the marketplace.

Aug. 18, 2017

Median Condo Price Hits New Record of $425,000 on Oahu

The median condo price on Oahu hit a new record high of $425,000 in July. This was a 6.3% increase from July of 2016.

July 2017 Market Stats

Condo Stats

Viewpointe at Waikele Condo

This Viewpoint at Waikele condo (MLS # 201713168) is listed for July's median of $425k

The $425,000 meidan also surpassed the previous high of $415,500 that was set in April. It continues to be a Seller's market with condos selling with a median of just 14 days on market! Sales volume also increased with a 7% bump in number of sales (444 to 475 on Oahu).

Single Family Home Stats

Aiea Heights home for $750,000

This Aiea Heights home (MLS # 201715445) is available for July's median of $750,000

July was also another great month for home sellers on Oahu. Although the median price was $45,000 off June's record of $795,000, homes were also moving briskly with just 20 days on market. There's definitely still a shortage of inventory and based on what I've been seeing in the field, I won't be surprised to see the median price ticking closer to $800k again at some point this year.

Local Market Updates

As always, real estate is local and here's what neighborhoods were hot for buyers and sellers in the month of July:

Neighborhoods “Hot” for Sellers

  • Home sales in Aina Haina-Kuliouou were up 133%
  • Home prices on the Windward Coast were up 29%
  • Condo sales in Makaha-Nanakuli were up 88%
  • Condo prices in Wahiawa were up 140%

Neighborhoods “Hot” for Buyers

  • Home sales in Kailua-Waimanalo were down 36%
  • Home prices in Aina Haina-Kuliouou and Downtown-Nuuanu were down 42%
  • Condo sales on the North Shore were down 67%
  • Condo prices in the Ewa Plain were down 20%

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.

Aug. 4, 2017

Looking Back: My 1st Year with Harcourts Island Properties

This summer I celebrated making my first year with Harcourts Island Properties and what a year it's been... Here's a recap of the year in review.

Summer 2016

Serge and SallyDavid and Harcourts at Kahala Mall

David joins Sally and Serge at Harcourts Island Properties. Kahala Mall Ad Rebrand.

I decided to join Harcourts Island Properties to team up with Serge Krivatsy and Sally Royer after 7 years with my previous firm and 16 years in real estate. Having known Serge for years (on a personal and professional level) he introduced me to the Harcourts history and international exposure it could bring to my clients. It has been my best career move to date.

October 2016

Marks Estate Sale

Closed on the storied Marks Estate in Nuuanu

I had the pleasure of representing JP Morgan Chase Bank in their disposition of the Marks Estate in Nuuanu. It was a Historic Property that sat on 4.7 acres in Honolulu.

November 2016

Harcourts Pacific 2016 3rd Quarter Awards

Ranked 16th for Harcourts Pacific Region 3rd Quarter

Quite to my surprise, I ended up ranking in the top 20 for Harcourts Pacific Region for the quarter. This includes California, Hawaii and Nevada. Mahalo to all my loyal clients for making this possible!

December 2016

David's 2016 Sales

Thanks to my clients, I had a great year with 25 closed sales

I finished off my best year after 16 years in the business. The 2nd half of the year finished strong with nearly $17 million (almost double the 1st half) in closed volume.

January 2017

Harcourts Insider CoverDavid in Harcourts Insider Magazine

Featured in Harcourts International Inside Magazine Publication

I had the honor of being featured in Harcourts Inside, which is Harcourts International publication that goes out to all their offices and agents in the network that spans over 830 offices in 10 countries.

February 2017

Harcourts RotoruaHarcourts TaupoHarcourts Wellington

Visited Harcourts offices in Rotorua, Lake Taupo and Wellington, NZ

I made a trip to New Zealand to see where it all began for Harcourts. We traveled from Auckland in the North down to Wellington in the south of the North Island and stopped at several offices along the way. The brand exposure is huge overseas and I look forward to new growth in Hawaii on top of continued growth within the United States.

Harcourts Annual Conference 2017Harcourts Advantage Office Visit

Harcourts Annual Conference and Awards and Harcourts Office visit in Carlsbad, CA

Later that month, Serge and I traveled to California to attend the annual conference where we met up with Sally. We had some great training, meetings and networking with other Harcourts agents and owners.

Mary 2017

Harcourts Kapahulu Office

We moved offices from Kaimuki to Hee Hing Plaza on Kapahulu Ave.

After a short stint in Kaimuki, we found a better home with more street exposure on Kapahulu Ave. just on the outskirts of Diamond Head and Waikiki.

June 2017

David Buck Top 100 Realtor Hawaii

Awarded Hawaii Business Magazine's Top 100 Realtors in Hawaii for 2016

I was honored to be one of the Top 100 Realtors in the state of Hawaii recognized by Hawaii Business Magazine.

July 2017

Harcourts Pacific 2nd Quarter 2017

Finished 7th Overall for Harcourts Pacific Region in 2nd Quarter

I ended up ranking 7th overall for the Harcourts Pacific Region of California, Hawaii and Nevada.

It's been an incredible journey so far and I look forward to success in helping more people achieve their real estate dreams in years ahead with this great company.

July 23, 2017

Two Hawaii Surf Ski Legends List Their Homes for Sale

Hawaii's two most decorated surf ski paddlers of all time have their homes for sale here on Oahu. Both Marshall Rosa and Nalu Kukea are the only two Hawaiian surf ski paddlers to have a handful of 2nd place finishes in the prestigious Molokai to Oahu Surf Ski Championships - a race that has been dominated by international paddlers for nearly 40 years*

Marshall Rosa and Kala Kukea

Marshall Rosa and Nalu's father Kala Kukea in a surf ski race on the Ala Wai

Marshall Rosa's Portlock House

Marshall Rosa is arguably the best paddler ever to come out of Hawaii. A natural waterman that grew up one of six kids on the ocean at Portlock in Hawaii Kai. He is a good friend and childhood friend of my father Mark. They attended Star of the Sea School together as kids and later on went on to win a number of Molokai to Oahu canoe races together during the 70's. 

1975 Molokai-Oahu Winners

1975 Winning Molokai-Oahu Outrigger Team with Mark Buck and Marshall Rosa (5th and 6th from left)

My Dad did the 1980 Molokai surf ski race on a Hayden. Marshall was his escort boat driver that year. The race was hot, flat and miserable and my Dad decided to pull out of the race. Having been burnt out, he went on to leave the ski at Marshall's house after the race. That's when Marshall decided to give it a go. After initially flipping over a few times, he was ready to throw in the towel. His wife Barbara later decided to give it a go and had no problem - actually paddling out and catching a wave. The rest they say is history....

Marshall went on to dominate all the surf ski races on Oahu over the next decade. He finished 2nd in Molokai to both Grant Kenny and Oscar Chalupski too many times to name. He was also a strong force for many, many years after - even winning local races well into his 50's during the 90's. He can still be seen out in Hawaii Kai passing one man canoes (with paddlers less than half his age) on a SUP (Stand up Paddleboard).

6973 Kalanianaole Hwy

Rosa Home Outdoor Sitting AreaRosa Home Outdoor Area

Rosa Family Home on the beach at Portlock (MLS # 201714158)

Not only is Marshall an incredible waterman, he was also an incredible carpenter. He built this home on his family's property in 1975. He also built two of the homes for my father I grew up in over the years.

Rosa great room

Rosa Bench SeatRosa Upstairs Sitting Area

Great room, bench seat and upstairs sitting area

The home is listed with Marshall's wife Barbara and at the time of this article, they recently accepted an offer. I'm happy for their family. In this business, however the deal isn't done until it closes. If there's any interest on this or other homes in Portlock, feel free to let me know.

Nalu Kukea's Aina Haina Home

While Marshall and Nalu were a generation apart in age (Nalu's father Kala was more a contemporary of Marshall and my Dad and also an incredible waterman), their dominance in the local surf ski arena ran in back to back decades with Marshall in the 1980's to Nalu in the 1990's.

Nalu and I first met and became friends 30 years ago when I got to do a canoe race with him in the Ala Wai canal back in 1987. The following year, the two of us were part of the inaugural Hawaii Canoe and Kayak Team that went to compete at the flatwater national championships in Raleigh, North Carolina.

HCKT Nationals 1988

HCKT Nationals in 1988: Nalu bottom right corner, Kala upper right corner, David/Mark Buck far right middle

Nalu was the top Junior paddler in the US  and competed in the Junior World Championships in 1989. It was that year that he and I met Clint Robinson - a friend from Australia that went on to win an Olympic Gold Medal and also won the Molokai Surf Ski Race a handful of times. Nalu tried out for the 1992 Olympic Team and I the 1996 Team. After not making the '92 team, he moved back to Hawaii and competed in his first Molokai race where he got 2nd place. It was also my first Molokai race and one we'll never forget... It was a headwind and was the first win of nine total for another friend - Dean Gardiner from Australia.

Kukea Living Room

Kukea KitchenKukea Nook

Kukea Aina Haina Home (MLS # 201711716) great room, kitchen and breakfast nook

Nalu's father Kala built their Aina Haina home back in 1975. It has really cool architecture with high ceilings in the main living area and took some engineering genius to build on the steep upslope of a cul de sac. With forever views of Aina Haina Valley, they went through an extensive remodel in 2012 that can be seen in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Kukea Downstairs

Kukea Covered Living AreaKukea Yard

Indoor, outdoor living on 3 levels of improvements

What you can't tell in MLS is there's roughly 75 stairs to get up to the main living area. That's one of many reasons that kept Nalu in such great shape! There were also climbing ropes, a pull up bar and olympic gymnast rings in the home and great room that were used to build upper body strength. The carport also has very high ceilings which can come in handy for boat storage. Kala & Nalu had a pulley system to raise and lower their boats off their vehicle roof racks. Although not oceanfront like Marshall's, this is just a fraction of the price and only 10 minutes drive to launch a boat from Hawaii Kai.

Real Estate For Paddlers

To learn more about available propreties on Oahu for surf ski, outrigger or SUP paddlers feel free to contact me or visit my real estate page for paddlers

*The first 3 races were won by local paddlers prior to Grant Kenny arriving from Australia in 1979. Since then, the race has been dominated by Australians, South Africans and a Tahitian. There's also been a handful of women from Hawaii that have held the title, however not every year do the best international women from overseas show up.

July 18, 2017

Median Single Family Home Price Hits Record Price of $795,000

This past month, we broke another record for the median single family home price on Oahu which finished off at $795,000. This was up 4.6% and crushed the previous high from June of 2016 that was $760,000.

June, 2017 Real Estate Market Stats on Oahu

This is the first market update I've done in awhile as we've been busy the past few months with our office relocation from Kaimuki to Kapahulu. Here's a quick video I'd like to share to give you an idea of the space:


New Harcourts Island Properties Office Space

It's a great location on Kapahulu Ave. on the outskirts of Waikiki and off the base of Diamond Head. Feel free to come by and visit now that we're up and running. Now, back to the market stats:

Single Family Home Stats

Waialua Home for $795,000

This Waialua home (MLS # 201711838) on the North Shore is listed for June's median of $795,000

Not only was the median sales price at an all time high. We also witnessed the lowest median days on market I think I've seen in my career (over the past 17 years). It's now at just 12 days. The previous record was 14 Days in June of last year. We also had 370 sales on island, which was a whopping 14.2% increase from last year. If these stats aren't leaving you to believe this is a Seller's Market, I'm not sure how else stronger the argument could get.

Condo Sales Stats

Honolulu Tower Condo for $400,000

This Honolulu Tower condo (MLS # 201713140) is listed for June's median price of $400,000

The median condo price on the other hand was down 1.4% from last year and was off from April's high of $415,500. The inventory was also moving though with just 13 days on market, which was also the lowest we've seen in years. Sales volume wasn't nearly as strong either with sales down 2.2% from last year.

Local Market Updates

As always, real estate is local and here's what neighborhoods were hot for buyers and sellers in the month of June:

Neighborhoods “Hot” for Sellers

  • Home sales on the Windward Coast were up 300%
  • Home prices on the North Shore were up 31%
  • Condo sales in Diamond Head-Kapahulu were up 700%*
  • Condo prices in Diamond Head-Kapahulu were up 161%*

Neighborhoods “Hot” for Buyers

  • Home sales in Kalihi-Palama were down 36%
  • Home prices in Aina Haina-Kuliouou were down 22%
  • Condo sales in Kalihi-Palama were down 42%
  • Condo prices in Downtown-Nuuanu were down 23%

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.

* There was only 1 condo sale last year, which is why the jump was so significant

July 17, 2017

New Mid Century Modern Inventory in Makiki Heights and Manoa

Over the past few weeks, there's been some pretty cool mid century modern homes to hit the market in Makiki and Manoa. Some were pretty original and others have been upgraded over the years restoring their original luster and awe...

Makiki Heights

2399 Aina Lani Place

2399 Aina Lani Living Area2399 Aina Lani Kitchen

2399 Aina Lani Place (MLS # 201713213) is my favorite

Built in 1957, it was remodeled 10 years ago in 2007. Although the classic lines were kept, the remodel was done in a very classy and contemporary fashion. The original architect for the home was Haydn Phillips - who has also done some cool homes in Diamond Head and Kahala over the years.

With incredible views of Diamond Head, Waikiki and the ocean, there's many reasons why this one ranks at the top of my list for current mid century inventory for sale...

1960 Makiki Height Drive Exterior

1960 Makiki Hts. Drive Living Room1960 Makiki Hts. Drive Kitchen

1960 Makiki Heights Drive (MLS # 201715482) is definitely more of a blank slate

Built in 1957 as well, this one is definitely more original condition as the last remodel took place back in 1960 according to MLS.

For those more on a budget, this one is priced at roughly only 35% of the asking price of the Aina Lani home above. You'll never get the view of that one here, however there's definitely room for improvement to work with. Lots of the original features are intact such as the open beam ceilings, lots of built-ins and a galley kitchen which was common at the time.


3607 Woodlawn Terrace

3607 Woodlawn Terrace View3607 Woodlawn Terrace Sitting Area

3607 Woodlawn Terrace (MLS # 201715136) in a tropical setting

Built in 1965, this gem is in a tropical setting and priced less than both the Makiki Heights homes. With a generous lot on a roughly a quarter acre, the original owner was a University of Hawaii botanist and you can tell by incredible foliage. Did I mention it was in Manoa? I'm sure the rain helps keep everything green as well!

2926 Lowrey Ave.

2926 Lowrey Living Room2926 Lowrey Dining and Kitchen

2926 Lowrey Ave. (MLS # 201715291) has the lowest asking price in this article

Built in 1967, this is the both the newest of the 4 homes covered in my article and also the lowest price at $1,298,000. The've also done a great job staging the place with some retro mid century modern furniture that looks similar to some pieces we own. One can enjoy another clean slate as it appears to be very well kept over the years.

Contact a Mid Century Modern Expert

To learn more about mid century modern homes on Oahu, feel free to either visit my mid century modern page for the latest listings or contact me for more information.

June 26, 2017

Niu Valley Inventory and Home Sales on the Rise

Over the past 6 months, there have only been 2 sales in Niu Valley. This summer, the word sure has gotten out about the shortage of inventory. As of today there are only 2 active listings, however there are 7 homes currently in escrow!

Active Listings

313 Halaki St. in Niu Valley

1. 313 Halaki St. (MLS # 201713113) is listed for $1,050,000

5846 Kalanianaole Hwy

2. 5846 Kalanianaole Hwy. (MLS # 201627962) is listed for $1,838,000

Homes in Escrow vs. Recent Sales

The last two homes that sold in Niu Valley were:

  • 5660 Haleola St. sold for $935,000 on March 30, 2017
  • 222 Halemaumau St. sold for $968,000 on May 4, 2017

Meanwhile, the 7 homes in escrow have asking prices that range between $1,050,000 and $1,830,000 with an average of $1,260,714 and a median asking price of $1,200,000. This is a significant increase over the two fixers that have sold recently!

Is now the time to Sell?

If you're you'd like to take advantage of this Seller's Market in Niu Valley, feel free to contact me for more information.

May 29, 2017

Historic Nuuanu Home Reduced $150,000

Last year, I had the opportunity to sell one of the most iconic Historic Homes in Nuuanu - The Marks Estate. The new Buyer has plans in store and in the meantime secured a lease from a major movie production company. Although that one is gone, here's another opportunity for a historic home in Nuuanu.

2712 Old Pali Road

2712 Pali Hwy (MLS # 201621795) is listed for $1,845,000

A few days ago the price was reduced $150,000 from $1,995,000 to $1,845,000. The improvements are roughly have that of the Marks Estate and the land is a fraction. However, it is still "large" compared to your typical Honolulu home boast over a half acre. It was also built in 1908, so it preceded the Marks estate by roughly 20 years. Considering the age, it does have a lot of its historic charm and good bones intact.

Nuuanu Entry and StairwayNuuanu Living Room and Fireplace

Grand Stairway and Living Room with Fireplace

Nuuanu DiningNuuanu Top of Stairway

Dining Room and Top of Stairway

The home is a replica of a home in Chicago and it was poured concrete to look like bricks. It also looks like the bluestone used and seen in a lot of historic buildings around Honolulu.

Nuuanu Concrete ExteriorNuuanu Exterior

Poured concrete exterior meant to look like brick

These types of homes don't come up often and now is a great opportunity to live in such a solidly built home.... If historic homes are your thing, feel free to contact me for more information on this or other historic homes on Oahu.