Rental Stats: Oahu’s Most Expensive & Most Affordable Neighborhoods

When I first moved here six years ago, I was positively shocked at how much apartment rentals cost on the island, though, given that Forbes  ranked Honolulu as the fifth most expensive city in the country in 2009, I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised. Back in 2005, I found a one-bedroom/one-bath second-floor walk-up apartment in Makiki (the “starter neighborhood”) for $900 per month plus utilities, which I thought was a screaming deal. And it was at the time, though, as I eventually discovered, I had to share the 600-sq.-ft. hovel with about a million cockroaches. I’ve since upgraded, several times in fact, though it’s cost me progressively more of my hard-earned money.

To help guide you toward Oahu’s most affordable rental areas and to give you some numbers for rental-rate comparisons, I’ve highlighted the five most affordable and the five most expensive rental neighborhoods. As monthly rates vary by the number of bedrooms, for simplicity’s sake, the information is divided into two-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom homes. These numbers are from the last six months of 2010, and were provided by the crack research team at Prudential Locations.

There aren’t exactly any shockers here. Unsurprisingly, Kahala and Diamond Head are the most expensive rental neighborhoods, and the further out from town you go, the more affordable rentals become. I was a little surprised, though, to see that my old ’hood, Makiki, didn’t make the cut. I’d be curious to see how much my former apartment rents for now, though I certainly have no desire to say hi to my old, six-legged friends.

Two-Bedroom Apartments

Least-Expensive Areas:
Waianae Coast                         $898
Ewa                                            $900
Waipahu                                   $950
Wahiawa                                   $1,025
Kalihi-Palama                          $1,095

Most-Expensive Areas:
Diamond Head                        $3,150
Kahala                                       $2,225
Hawaii Kai-Portlock               $2,150
St. Louis Heights                    $2,000
Downtown Honolulu             $1,900

Three-Bedroom Houses

Least-Expensive Areas:
Waianae Coast                          $1,500
Wahiawa                                    $1,600
Nuuanu-Alewa-Kam. Hgts.   $1,600
McCully-Moiliili                       $1,750
Ewa                                             $1,800

Most-Expensive Areas:
Kahala                                        $3,650
Waialae-Kahala to Wailupe   $3,425
Kailua                                         $2,950
St. Louis Heights                      $2,648
Manoa-Punahou-University  $2,450