We Have Our Fingers on the Pulse of Real Estate

Latest News and Articles from Harcourts Island Real Estate

Jan. 13, 2020

Mahalo for Your Business in 2019

Thank you for our success in Real Estate.  We could not have done it without you!

January Ocean Pointe  February Kahala Beach March Makakilo April Kinau

May Wailana Waikiki May Aina Haina June Pats at Punaluu June Crescent Park

June Koolani in Kakaako June Waipuna June Waikalani Woodlands July Makaha

September Pats at Punaluu October Cathedral Point in Mililani October Prospect in Punchbowl November Hawaii Loa Ridge

The properties above represent the wonderful people we were able to work with and successfully purchase or sell in 2019. THANK YOU for contributing to our success in Real Estate!

We are very appreciative for our great clients and network of friends and colleagues who have done business with us and referred our services to others.  As a result, our business continues to grow! 

Jan. 10, 2020

2020 Sony Open and Golf Course Homes on Oahu

As we head into the weekend for the final round of 2020 Sony Open this weekend on Oahu, it appears the players will be facing a lot more adverse conditions than the past few years.

2020 Sony Open in Kahala

2020 Sony Open Fans 2020 Sony Open Hole 1

Cloudy conditions for this year's Sony Open at Waialae Golf Course

Honolulu may/may not have a lot of sunshine this weekend, however the majority of the year we do and I'd like to take some time to feature the golf course homes on Oahu and in particular those fronting Waialae Golf Course where the event it held.

This year, we only have 2 listings fronting the course. One in Kahala and the other in Waialale Golf Course neighborhood:

1. Kahala Golf Course Home

Kahala Golf Course Home

This Kahala Home (MLS # 201904941) off Kealaolu Ave. is listed for $4,590,000

Originally listed for $5,275,000 this home is buffered by the canal - which can serve as a nice "protective moat" for golf balls ;) Built in 1986, this home is over 8,000 square feet under roof and has 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. Although listed with another firm, the color scheme has definitely taken on Harcourts them of "Better in Blue" with lots of blue coloring throughout. This is a classic built prior to the 'Japanese Boom" of the 1987-1990 and situated at a great location.

Considering this prime 15,000 sq. ft. plus lot, which arguably could be $2-3 million, there's no way you could build a home that large today anywhere near there for replacement costs to stay under the asking, so could be a value play for someone looking to give it some modern updates....

2. Waialae Golf Course Home

Waialae Golf Course Home on Waiholo

This golf home (MLS # 201923670) is listed for $5.5 million

Facing the 11th fairway, this home on Waiholo Ave. was built in 2007 and remodeled in 2015 when it last sold for $5,663,000! The current owner would be taking a loss at this price. It has a similar lot size to the Kahala home, however is just over half the size at 4,224 square feet under roof. Someone could pick this up at a decent price.  It's not too often you can buy something for less than 4 years prior...

Other Golf Course Homes on Oahu

If the $4-5 million it takes to purchase a home on Waialae Golf Course is over your budget (don't worry - you're not alone), there's a number of other Golf Course frontage homes on Oahu. Here's a page I built that features what is available. There's also some condo options as well. Feel free to contact me for more information if you're looking to buy or sell a golf course frontage home on Oahu.

Dec. 29, 2019

Windward Coast Homes and North Shore Condos up in November

Homes: Hawaii Kai Sales and Windward Coast Prices

We saw the largest increase in the number of sales in Hawaii Kai, which was up 53% from last year. This was an increase from 15 sales last year to 23 sales this year.

As far as the median sales price goes, we saw the largest increase on the Windward side of the island. On the Windward Coast, which is basically everything north of Kaneohe all the way up to the North Shore. There we saw the price increase by 19% to finish off the month at $852,500. Overall this was a strong showing in East Oahu with the number of sales in Hawaii Kai and median sales price in Windward Oahu.

Condos: Kalihi-Palama Sales and North Shore Prices

The largest increase in a neighborhood with the number of sales was Kalihi-Palama in November. The number of sales doubled there from 6 in November of 2018 to 12 last month. The number of new listings doubled in Moanalua-Salt Lake. The number of listings was 13 last year and 26 this year. 

The North Shore had the largest increase in median price in November. There was a 38% jump in median sales price for condominiums on the North Shore compared to November of 2018. This brought the median sales price up to $510,000 last month.

All of our condo markets tend to be robust with 14 of the 21 markets reported showing the median days on market of 30 days or less. Every market is unique and every property is special.

Summary: Bill 89 Effects on Oahu?

In summary, what we both found interesting about looking at the local monthly stats for November were the 2 areas that saw the largest increases in median sales prices were 2 neighborhoods that were greatly impacted by Bill 89 (Restrictions on rentals less than 30 days on Oahu). We expected that because of that because of that Bill, there may be some depression in the prices and surprisingly... Regarding the Windward Coast Single Family Home product and the North Shore condo product, both of which we thought would see a pullback after Bill 89 that was launched in June. Contrary to what most people would have predicted, we're seeing some strength in those markets.

Every market is unique, so if you have specific questions about specific neighborhoods, feel free to give David or Dianne a call. Mahalo.

Dec. 23, 2019

November 2019 Sales Stats on Oahu

Single Family Home Stats

We finished off the month with a median sales price of $794,750, which is barely off just .3% from November of last year. Sales were up 11.1% with 320 sales vs. 288 the year before. It's actually a great time for Sellers as new listing inventory is down 15.1% and pending sales are actually up 13.8%.

Condo Stats

The median price for condominiums was down slightly compared with November, 2018 from $420,000 to $415,000 this past month. Median days on market are up 18% from 22 days on the market in 2018 to 26 days on the market in 2019. Offsetting the signs of a slowing market is active listings. In November, our listings were up 10% showing that there's a lot of market activity.

Harcourts Auctions

Harcourts - The Auction Experts

As we've told you before, Harcourts is the only real estate company in Hawaii that does non-distressed luxury property auctions. In November, we had two live auctions in the month. There were 150 active bidders in the room in these two auctions and there was also more online bidding than ever before. Online bidding is catching on.

One notable sale was in Dana Point, CA. The start to bid price was $8 million and the sold price was almost 50% higher than the bid to start price! The property sold for $11,885,000. Auctions Work! Every market is different and every home is different. Please contact David or Dianne if you'd like to talk more about what is going on in the market today and how Harcourts Auctions can help you.

Dec. 11, 2019

Parking or No Parking?

One of the features of Bill 7 is there’s no requirement for on-site parking. It’s expensive to build a parking garage large enough to provide space for one or two cars for each apartment so, to keep development costs lower, Bill 7 does not require parking.  

Honolulu Parking Stalls

Parking Stalls in Honolulu

In the current market, does it make sense to build an apartment building with no parking spaces? In many neighborhoods, on-street parking is already tight. Will buildings that don’t offer parking be harder to rent? Will they have higher vacancy rates? Will the rents be lower than rents in similar buildings that do have tenant parking? How much does parking impact the profitability of a project?

Parking Options

The least expensive parking solution is to use the ground level of the building for parking by raising the first level of apartments to the second floor. Bill 7 allows ground floor parking spaces to encroach into the side and rear yards of the building, but despite that allowance, in most cases one level of parking will provide a parking space for just about half of the proposed units in a typical Bill 7 project. If the building has fewer than one parking space for each apartment, tenants who want a parking space would compete to rent the available spaces and some tenants would be unable to rent a parking space.

Mechanical parking systems can provide an alternative. These systems “stack” vehicles so that twice as many cars can park in the same ground floor parking area. These systems have proven reliable and efficient in urban markets around the world, and the monthly rent tenants pay for a parking space would cover the increased cost of purchasing and installing the system. Cars parked in mechanical parking systems also may be more secure since access to the cars is limited to tenants.

Transportation planners in Honolulu believe residents’ transportation habits already are changing and a growing number of people will choose to ride a bike, use a car sharing service (Servco), an on-call driver service (Lyft, Uber) and/or mass transit instead of owning a car. In the meantime, what is the best parking configuration for a Bill 7 property? The best solution depends on the size and shape of the property, the distance between the property and a rail station or bus line and the unique characteristics of the community.

What is a parking space worth? Let us help you decide.

Dianne Willoughby, Realtor



Posted in Bill 7
Dec. 7, 2019

Pearl Harbor, Alfred Preis and Manoa Home Doubling Asking Price in 5 Years

As we take time this weekend to reflect on December 7th and Pearl Harbor, millions of people across the country will see views of the Arizona Memorial, whether it be online or television. One such news publication did a story titled ARTS and HUMANITIES: Contemplating the Lessons of Pearl Harbor. In addition to reflecting on Pearl Harbor, the article discusses the architectural attributes of the Arizona Memorial designed by Alfred Preis.

Alfred Preis Home at 3247 Melemele Place Re-Launched

Alfred Preis Home at 3247 Melemele Place (MLS # 201931347) in Manoa

Preis Manoa Home Doubles in Asking Price 5 Years Later

Over the years, mid century modern homes done by Alfred Preis are harder and harder to come by. This one in Manoa was last on the market back in 2013 and later sold back in 2014 for $940,000. After closing that year, the owners went through an extensive remodel where they kept a lot of the signature architecture feel of the exterior with doors, windows, etc. and use of ordinal hardwoods. Most of the money and changes went into some nice kitchen and bathroom renovations.

3247 Melemele Place Living Area

3247 Melemele View Left 3247 Melemele View Right

Original Feel of Home with Windows and Hardwoods

3247 Melemele Remodeled Kitchen

3247 Melemele Remodeled Bath 3247 Melemele Bathroom with Tub

Remodeled Kitchen and Bathrooms

Although our real estate market on Oahu hasn't doubled in the past 5 years, this will be a good one to watch as homes by Alfred Preis have become more and more valuable over the years. Combined with these renovations, whether the price actually doubles or not, my bet is the ultimate sales price will far exceed what the overall market has done.

Dec. 6, 2019

Mililani Seller Testimonial

Karen Morineaux recently sent a nice mahalo card in thanking David for his help in the sale of her Mililani condo.

Cathedral Pt. Condo in Mililani

Karen Morineaux, Kealia, HI

I know how late this is coming in but time just seems to slip away. I wanted to say thank you for all you did in making Mililani sell. I know it was small potatoes, but I wanted you to know it was appreciated.

Posted in Mililani, Testimonials
Nov. 30, 2019

October Local Market Report

Single Family Home Update by David

Niu and Aina Haina Valleys

Homes in Niu and Aina Haina Valleys

We saw the largest increase in the number of sales between Aina Haina to Kuliouou in East Honolulu. That was a contrast compared to last month where we saw a big increase out on the west side in Makaha and Nanakuli. That increase was up 86% in the number of sales compared to last year.

Makiki Rainbow

Makiki Homes under a rainbow

For the median sales price, we also saw the largest increase here in town. Makiki-Moiliili was up 21% finishing up at $1,372,500!

Condo Update by Dianne

In October we had 10 condominium local markets where the sales increased. We had 7 markets where the number of sales decreased and there were 3 markets with no change in the number of sales.

Bluestone Condos in Windward Oahu

Bluestone Condos in Windward Oahu

The windward markets were very strong with the number of sales in Kailua-Waimanalo more than doubled in October of this year compared to last year from 6 sales last year to 13 sales this year. The number of sales in Kaneohe also doubled from 8 sales last year to 16 sales this year.

Kapahulu Ave Condos

Condos off Kapahulu Ave near Diamond Head

The median sales price was lower in four of our neighborhoods compared to last year. The largest decrease was in Diamond Head-Kapahulu where there was a 40% drop in the median sales price. That just demonstrates the market's volatility because last month Kapahulu had the largest increase in median sales prices.

Ala Moana to Kakaako Condos

Ala Moana and Kakaako Condos

In thirteen of our neighborhoods the median sales price increased compared to October last year. The largest price increase was in Ala Moana-Kakaako where the median sales price was up 94% compared to last year.

Contact a Local Expert

Every home is different. Every neighborhood is different. If you'd like to find out what this means for you, contact us at Harcourts Island Real Estate - 808-777-4880.

Nov. 24, 2019

Bill 60 to Ammend Bill 7 by Removing Rent Caps

Changes to Affordable Rent Requirements in Bill 7 Proposed in Bill 60

Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting

It’s been six months since Mayor Caldwell signed Bill 7 to encourage private sector-funded, higher-density redevelopment of Apartment and Mixed-use properties of 20,000 square feet or smaller. Bill 7 provides incentives for private developers to increase the number of rental units that can be built and reduce some development costs and taxes in exchange for a commitment to rent at least 80% of the apartments to tenants who earn no more than 100% of the Area Median Income (AMI) at rents that are set by the department of Housing and Urban Development as Area Median Rents.

Bill 7 - 6 Months Later

In the six months since the Bill was enacted, only two applications for building permits have been submitted to the Department of Planning and Permitting. Both were filed in October and are currently being processed. Given the opportunity Bill 7 provides, why have there been just two applications so far?

One Stop Permit Center Honolulu

Are the rent caps to blame? Some bankers and developers believe that the HUD rent caps are part of the reason that there haven’t been more Bill 7 development applications submitted to DPP. People who own qualifying properties may be wary of rent caps because they believe the market should determine what the apartment rents will be. Some property owners may be deterred by complicated reporting requirements.

Bill 60

Bill 60 proposes amendments to Bill 7 that will eliminate the requirement for rents to conform with 100% of Area Median Rents and will allow owners to charge market rents. Some advocates for low income housing worry that this will reduce the number of “affordable” rental units developed under Bill 7 and developers will take advantage of the Bill 7 incentives to build rental apartments that are too expensive for working families to afford.

Bill 60 was given initial approval by the City Council Zoning, Planning and Housing Committee on November 14 and will go to the full City Council for the second reading. What do you think about this proposal?

For more information on Bill 7, contact:

Dianne Willoughby, Realtor 



Nov. 22, 2019

October 2019 Market Update for Oahu Housing

David E. Buck and Dianne Willoughby discuss the real estate market update for October on Oahu.

Single Family Home Stats

Ocean Pointe Home in Ewa Beach asking $780k

This Ocean Pointe home in Ewa Beach (MLS # 201919444) is asking $780,000

We finished the month off with a median sales price of $780,000, which was a 2.5% decrease from October of last year. Meanwhile homes were selling 20% faster with just 23 days on market, compared to 29 days last year. We also saw a surge in the number of pending sales which were up 15%. That's showing some strength in the market and we look forward to a strong November.

October 2019 Housing Stats on Oahu

Single Family Home and Condos Stats Year over Year and Year to Date

Condo Stats

Waikiki Condo for $440,000

This Waikiki condo (MLS # 201930386) is listed at $440k - just under October's Median

The median sales price for October of 2019 was $441,000. It's an increase of 13% compared to October of last year. The number of pending sales at the end of October was 642. That was an increase of 9% compared to October of 2018. This may give us an indication that November may be a very strong month with a lot of closings. Our months of remaining inventory went from 3 months to 3.8 months of inventory. That's an increase of 26%, which may be a slight indication that the market may be slowing.

Each market is different and each home is unique. If you'd like to find out what this means for you, contact us for more information.