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Finding an affordable apartment in Hawaii can be challenging with the high cost of living across the islands. But how much exactly does a 1 bedroom home cost? If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Expect to spend an average of $1,300 to $2,100 per month.

In this comprehensive guide, we will break down the average prices for 1 bedroom apartments in different Hawaiian regions. We’ll look at popular locations like Honolulu, Maui, Kauai and compare prices across the islands.

You’ll learn what’s included in the rental rates, what factors impact pricing the most, tips for finding a good deal, and answers to other common questions renters have about the local housing market.

Average Rent for a 1 Bedroom Apartment in Hawaii

Oahu & Honolulu Prices

Oahu, home to the capital and largest city Honolulu, has the highest rents in Hawaii. According to data from Zumper, as of December 2022, the median rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in Honolulu is $1,840 per month.

Prices can vary widely though based on location – units in the popular Waikiki neighborhood average around $2,300 per month. Units outside of the city center tend to be slightly cheaper, with median rents around $1,600 in places like Kapolei.

Maui Island Rental Rates

The sunny island of Maui has seen rents increase rapidly in recent years. As of late 2022, 1 bedroom apartments cost a median of $1,895 per month to rent according to listings site RentCafe – making Maui the 2nd most expensive rental market statewide behind Oahu.

The historic towns of Lahaina and Paia on Maui’s north coast have particularly high rental costs upwards of $2,500+ monthly.

Kauai’s North Shore Region

The lush “Garden Island” of Kauai is a quieter alternative to Oahu and Maui. While not cheap, rents on Kauai tend to be lower. According to data for 2022, one bedroom units in popular north shore spots like Princeville and Hanalei see median asking rents of around $1,700-$1,850 currently.

Expect prices to be lower in south and west Kauai. For comparison, in the main town Lihue, rents start around $1,500 monthly.

The Big Island of Hawaii Costs

Hawaii Island, also called the Big Island, has the lowest rents among the major islands. Data for 2022 shows average rents for 1 bedroom Big Island apartments ranging from around $1,200 on the west side of the island near Kailua-Kona, to $1,400 near Hilo on the east side.

The affordability makes the Big Island attractive to many seeking the Hawaii lifestyle on a budget. Outlying areas can be even cheaper – units in Waikoloa start around $1,000 per month.

Across Hawaii’s islands, rental costs have seen strong upward pressure due to high demand from new residents combined with low housing supply. While prices aren’t as outrageous as in cities like San Francisco or New York, finding an affordable apartment in paradise still remains a challenge for many.

What’s Typically Included in Rent

When renting an apartment in Hawaii, there are a few key things that are typically included in the monthly rental price. Here’s an overview:


Utility costs can really vary when renting in Hawaii. Some apartments have utilities like electricity, gas, water, sewer, and trash removal included in the rent. However, it’s more common that tenants pay for these utilities separately, which can add $100-300 per month or more to housing costs.


Parking is often an additional cost for renters in Hawaii, especially in urban areas. Many apartments charge an extra monthly fee for access to a designated parking stall. Rates can range from an extra $25 up to $150+ per month for covered/secured parking spots.


Most larger apartment buildings offer shared amenities like a pool, fitness center, recreation room, etc. Access to these convenient amenities is usually included automatically with your rent. However, some luxury buildings charge amenity fees.


The majority of rentals in Hawaii do not include furnishings. Tenants need to supply their own furniture, appliances, etc. However, some furnished short-term/temporary rentals are available for a premium price.

Maintenance & Repairs

General property maintenance like landscaping, common area cleaning, and repairs are typically covered by the property owner/manager. But tenants may need to pay small fees for excessive damages they cause themselves.

As you can see, housing costs can vary widely depending on the listed rental rate, location, utilities, parking, and other factors. Carefully read the full details in any rental listing to understand exactly what is and isn’t included before signing a lease.

Key Factors That Influence Costs


The location of a 1 bedroom apartment significantly impacts the monthly rent in Hawaii. Units in prime areas like Waikiki Beach, downtown Honolulu, Kona on the Big Island, and Lahaina on Maui command much higher rents than more rural spots.

For example, the median price for a 1 bedroom unit in urban Honolulu is around $1,995 per month, while rentals in towns like Hilo or Wailuku can be almost half that amount.


The amenities that come with a Hawaii 1 bedroom rental also greatly affect pricing. Units with features like ocean views, private lanais, air conditioning, in-unit washer/dryers, and access to a pool or fitness center typically cost $300-500 more per month than comparable apartments without.

Luxury buildings featuring concierge service, rooftop lounges, and smart home technology offer the highest rents on the islands.

Time of Year

Hawaii’s peak tourist seasons from mid-December through March and June through August drive up rental rates for 1 bedroom units. According to data from RentCafe, rents in Honolulu average 10-15% higher during the summer and winter holidays when visitor numbers surge.

The autumn shoulder season between September and November generally offers the best rental deals before the winter travelers arrive.

Lease Terms

Lease Term Typical Discount
Month-to-Month None
6 Months 5% off monthly rent
1 Year 10%+ off monthly rent

The lease term also impacts monthly rental rates for 1 bedroom units in the Aloha State. Short month-to-month agreements receive no discounts, while annual leases generally provide 10% or higher reductions compared to month-to-month rates for the same unit.

Tenant incentives like a free month of rent are also sometimes offered to those willing to sign longer term 1 year leases.

Tips for Finding Affordable 1 Bedroom Rentals

Look Outside High-Demand Areas

Popular tourist destinations and cities tend to have higher rental prices. Instead of limiting your search to spots like Waikiki, consider looking at lesser-known areas of Oahu such as Kalihi, Mapunapuna, or Ewa Beach.

The commute may be slightly longer, but you could save several hundred dollars per month on a 1 bedroom.

Avoid Peak Tourism Seasons

Rent for 1 bedroom units tends to spike between December and March when tourism is at its peak. Prices also jump in the summer months when students are looking for housing. For cheaper rates, try looking during shoulder seasons like April-May or September-November.

Consider Older Properties

Newly constructed apartments or recently renovated ones often come with a premium price tag. Instead, look at buildings from the 1970s or 1980s. The amenities and finishes may not be as modern, but the prices could be hundreds less per month.

Just be sure to thoroughly inspect the unit before signing any lease.

Ask About Specials

To attract renters during slower seasons, some properties will offer move-in specials like a free month’s rent or reduced deposits. Be sure to inquire about any current deals or discounts that could make that 1 bedroom more affordable.

Websites like and make it easy to compare rental rates across different units and complexes. You can filter by max price, neighborhood, etc. to hone in on cheaper options. Setting up custom alerts is another great way to be notified when an affordable unit that matches your preferences becomes available.

The bottom line is that finding a reasonably priced 1 bedroom in Hawaii takes some digging. But being flexible on location and timing and doing thorough research can help uncover some hidden gems.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much is Electricity in Hawaii?

Electricity costs in Hawaii are notoriously high compared to the mainland US. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average price per kWh in Hawaii is 34.54 cents, which is more than triple the national average of 13.19 cents per kWh.

There are several reasons for Hawaii’s steep electricity prices:

  • Hawaii relies heavily on imported petroleum and coal for electricity generation. Transporting fuel to the islands is expensive.
  • There is limited competition among electricity providers in Hawaii.
  • The warm climate increases the use of air conditioning, driving up demand.

When budgeting for a 1 bedroom apartment in Hawaii, expect your monthly electricity bill to be around $100-150 depending on your usage. Using energy efficient appliances and conscious consumption habits can help lower costs.

What Extra Fees Do I Need to Budget For?

In addition to high electricity bills, those renting an apartment in Hawaii need to budget for other elevated fees:

  • Rental application fees – Landlords may charge $20-50 per applicant.
  • Security deposits – Equal to 1 month’s rent typically.
  • Pet deposits – $200-500 for pet owners.
  • Parking fees – $50-100 per month for an assigned spot.
  • Pest control fees – $10-20 per month to prevent insects.
  • AC filter fees – $10-20 per month if AC is provided.
  • Additional amenities fees – For pool access, storage lockers, etc.

Hawaii also charges a 4-4.5% state sales tax on goods and services. Overall, you’ll want to budget about 20-30% above base rent when considering the total cost of a 1 bedroom apartment in Hawaii.

How Competitive is the Rental Market?

The rental market in Hawaii is extremely competitive due to high demand from locals, mainland transplants, students, tourists, and military personnel stationed on bases. With limited housing inventory, landlords can be very selective and units rent quickly.

Average days on market for rental in Hawaii 9-14 days
Rental vacancy rate in Hawaii 2.5%
Average number of applications per available unit 15-30 applicants

To improve chances, prospective tenants should have a ready deposit, strong credit and rental history, stable income, and flexibility on location/timing. Units closer to Honolulu or in resort areas like Waikiki and Maui will be the most competitive.

Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent can also help navigate Hawaii’s fast-paced rental scene. Overall, you’ll want to act decisively on listings of interest and be prepared for a rigorous application process.


As you can see, rental rates for 1 bedroom apartments vary notably depending on which Hawaiian island and specific location you choose. But generally plan on a monthly budget between $1,300 to $2,100.

Optimizing your search by neighborhood, amenities, time of year, and lease terms can help find more affordable options. But flexibility is key – popular areas will come with higher demand and pricing.

Use the tips above to set realistic expectations before your island home search. And mahalo for reading our comprehensive guide on 1 bedroom apartment rental rates across Hawaii!

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