Honolulu real estate market is one of the most lucrative in the world. High rise condominiums dominate the landscape and afford panoramic views of the beautiful blue waters of the Pacific ocean. If you're looking for real estate in Hawaii this is a great place to start.

While Hawaii did not become a U.S. state until 1959, its real estate development has a much longer history. The volcanic island chain spans over an area of 1,500 miles. Honolulu, which sits on the island of Oahu, is the largest city in the chain and the capital of Hawaii.


Two Major Changes that Transformed Honolulu

Two major events during the 1920s opened up Honolulu to development – one was the advancement in construction technology. This change allowed builders to build homes on the hillsides that dominated the city.

Prior to this advancement, the wealthy built homes on a few elevations over the city. Now, previously undeveloped slopes could be turned into neighborhoods with streets and houses. The properties, which were targeted to regular working-class families, offered breathtaking views of the city.

The second event that changed the housing situation and real estate in Honolulu was the emergence of the street car. Families without cars could commute to work and live farther out, away from the crowding that plagued the city.


Honolulu Neighborhoods

Honolulu comprises several well-known neighborhoods inside its boundaries, with downtown being the epicenter and financial district of the city. The historic district in downtown is composed of the state capitol, governmental buildings, and the Iolani Palace. High-rise buildings sit west of the historic district, representing the city’s financial sector.


If you travel west past the financial district, you will run into Chinatown. This section in Honolulu spans from Vineyard Blvd., which lies north, to the harbor and the Aloha Tower. Nu’uanu Stream serves as the western boundary line. The neighborhood features an interesting mix of groceries, cafes, bars, and galleries. You can enjoy both Pacific Island and Chinese cuisine in the neighborhood’s eateries.


The Honolulu neighborhood of Kaka’ako radiates with the colors of urban art. The industrial enclave is also home to galleries, eateries, and coffee shops. It extends to the H-1 freeway.

Ala Moana

Ala Moana sits close to neighborhoods, such as Waikiki, Kaka’ako, and the McCully residential area on the east. Ala Moana features several shopping malls on the west side, located on Ward Avenue.

The Greater Metro Area

The greater area of Honolulu is defined by Nu’uanu – neighborhoods north of Chinatown; the Punchbowl, which comprises old communities on the mountain side of the H-1 freeway; the Makiki community, northeast of the Punchbowl; and Manoa on the east. Further east and south sit neighborhoods, older and more congested, that feature many of the area’s malls and restaurants.

Whichever way you turn in Honolulu, you will find a neighborhood that embraces Hawaiian culture while expressing its own unique personality

The population of the Honolulu is about 400,000 while the metro area boasts a population of approximately 960,000. Asian Americans compose the majority of the population. The city is a hub for international business, tourism, and military operations, making it a desirable city in terms of commerce, national defense, and property ownership.

Based on information from the Multiple Listing Service of Hicentral MLS, Ltd. Listings last updated on Jan 29, 2023 5:14:pm. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Copyright: 2023 by HiCentral MLS, Ltd.

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