While there are several great neighborhoods on Oahu, some are simply more well-known than others. What that means to buyers and sellers is that certain prime locations go virtually unnoticed.
One of these such neighborhoods is Kaimuki. Situated near two luxury areas, Diamond Head and Kahala, Kaimuki is just a ten-minute drive to Waikiki and fifteen minutes from downtown Honolulu.
Recent data suggests that sellers have been recognizing value in Kaimuki that many buyers have not. Those who do buy in Kaimuki end up with an overlooked, high-value gem.
The average listing price in Kaimuki as of April 2014 is the highest it's been in 3 years at $1,087,714. The average sale price, however has DROPPED since the beginning of the year from $921,333 in January to $825,900 in April - a difference of nearly $100,000. Buyers end up paying less even though sellers are initially listing higher. This is encouraging news for buyers.
But this diamond-in-the-rough neighborhood may not remain a secret for much longer. On average, in 2011, Kaimuki buyers were able to close below list price 10 months out of the year. In 2012, average closings below list occurred in just 8 out of 12 months. Then in 2013, it dropped to 5 (Feb-May and October). As of April this year, it's down to 2. This demonstrates a consistent decline in closings below list price over the last three years.
More buyers are paying full price or higher for Kaimuki homes with each passing year. In other words, more buyers are realizing the value of property in Kaimuki. Interested yet?
Here are some other reasons to love Kaimuki:
Great places to eat. New, award-winning restaurants include Town, where they garnish their dishes with herbs grown onsite, and Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar, where you can get a Maui Cattle Co. burger with bacon jam. (yes, bacon made into a jam and spread onto the beef patty). Longer-standing establishments include Big City Diner and Happy Days Chinese Restaurant, famous for their dim sum. Also, visit Coffee Talk for home-made pastries, omelettes, and of course, coffee.
Waialae Ave. has character. Most main streets in Hawaii have their own distinct feel. Depending on where you are on the island the streets can feel suburban in newer, planned developments, or touristy the closer you get to Waikiki. Waialae Avenue is lined with old buildings rented out by new businesses and restaurants. In other words, it has a unique old school/new school vibe. Also, all the lanes have been repaved this month.
Less than a ten minute drive to 1) the University of Hawaii 2) great shopping at Kahala Mall, complete with Macy's, Banana Republic, Apple Store, movie theater and more. 3) Diamond Head for leisurely hiking or legendary South Shore surf.
As a Kaimuki resident for the last three years, I've developed a fondness for this town. It's old school, yet hip. Busy, yet laid back. Established, yet approachable. Upscale, yet attainable and generally fun to be around. In spite of its paradoxes, what you see is what you get in Kaimuki. It's an honest town, tried and true. At least, that's the way I see it. And in time, that's the way I'd like people to see me.
SOLD: 958 Ocean View Dr. this past January for $50,000 under list price for $1,100,000. Less than 2 months on the market.
SOLD: 732 7th Ave. for $40,000 over original list price in January for $865,000. Just 1 month and 2 days on the market.
AVAILABLE NOW: 4042 Maunaloa Ave. 4 bedroom, 3 bath, listed at $858,000