In a Market Full of Old Homes, New Comes at a Premium

Many metro Honolulu properties are more than 50 years old.
Home exterior
New home at Kapiwai in Pauoa Valley.


The area defined as “Metro” in the Multiple Listing Service covers everything from Kalihi to Mānoa, including all the valleys and ridges mauka to the flats makai. It’s the urban center of Honolulu. Currently, there are 135 single-family homes for sale in the area. Of those, 87 are more than 50 years old. That means that 64 percent of the homes on the market could conceivably qualify for the historic homes registry. On the whole, our inventory is getting old.


Spend a Sunday afternoon visiting open houses in town, and you’ll work your way through charming million-dollar homes with 50-year-old plumbing and electrical systems, single-wall construction, and remnants of lead paint requiring disclosure.

  Old home

Old home being relocated.


So it’s no surprise that new comes at a premium. We looked at recent sales to see just how much. In Hawai‘i Kai’s Kamehame Ridge neighborhood, a newly constructed home at 7888 Hawai‘i Kai Drive sold for $1,658,888, 23 percent more than three similarly sized, older homes in excellent condition. In the lower Wilhelmina area, 3996 Hōkū Ave., a newly constructed home, sold for 18 percent more than three comparable properties in excellent condition.


So what’s new? Right now, there are only four properties at Kapiwai, along Booth Road in the back of Pauoa Valley, where there are three-, four- and five-bedroom homes available from $1,750,000 to $2.6 million. They’re well-designed, overlooking private greenspace, and brand new, although the drive up feels like you’re heading to an older neighborhood. In Niu Valley, there’s a 4,166-square-foot new home with eight bedrooms and six entrances being marketed as a single-family home perfect for extended family for $1,830,000 at 224 Kawaikui Place. And in Kaimukī, we’re seeing the McMansions pop up: On Hinahina Street and 8th Avenue, large, boxy homes are being built under CPRs on lots that formerly held small, traditional Kaimukī properties. 


SEE ALSO: What’s a CPR?