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The tropical climate, stunning beaches, and laid-back lifestyle draw many people to dream of living in Hawaii. If you’ve fantasized about an island life, you may be wondering what it costs to buy a home there.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The median sales price for a single-family home in Hawaii is over $900,000 as of Q3 2022, making it one of the most expensive housing markets in the nation.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about Hawaii real estate prices, including the average and median sales prices for different islands and housing types. You’ll learn what’s driving high demand in the local property market, get tips for finding an affordable home, and discover hidden costs to watch out for.

Hawaii Home Prices Overview

According to statistics from Zillow, the median home value in Hawaii reached a record high of $895,000 in December 2022 – an 18.3% increase from the year prior. With limited housing stock, high demand from local buyers, Mainland and international buyers, and construction challenges, home prices in Hawaii continue to surge.

Median and Average Sales Prices Statewide

The median sales price for single-family homes in Hawaii rose to $980,000 in November 2022 based on data from the Hawaii State’s Hawaii Information Service’s statistics. This is a 6.1% increase from November 2021.

The average statewide price hit $1.04 million, showing the significant influence of luxury property sales. When filtering only for Oahu county, the median price reached $1.15 million in November 2022.

Home Prices by Island and County

County Median Sales Price Nov. 2022 One Year Change
Honolulu County/Oahu $1.15M +8.6%
Maui County $1.08M +14.3%
Kauai County $985K +13.3%
Hawaii County $560K +6.9%

Within the islands, median home prices range from as high as $1.6 million in desirable locations on Oahu and Maui like Kailua, Lanikai, Paia, and Wailea, to slightly more affordable options between $400,000 to $700,000 in places like Puna on the Big Island and Kapaa on Kauai.

Factors Driving Real Estate Demand

Exceptional luxury home sales, such as the $46 million sale for an oceanfront Lanikai estate in 2021, can also skew average prices higher. Nonetheless, median figures confirm a hot sellers market amidst low inventory.

High demand stems from Hawaii’s iconic beaches, beautiful landscapes, tropical weather, and outdoor lifestyle drawing buyers. Locals benefit from better incomes and remote work flexibility. Mainland transplants seek Hawaii’s safety, open spaces, and warm community.

Foreign investment has also grown from Asia-Pacific regions.

Construction obstacles like material and labor shortages constrain new development. Issues range from volcanoes and strict zoning laws limiting buildable land on Oahu and Maui, to County ordinance battles over vacation rentals.

While prices look high already, there remains strong upwards pricing pressure. Sellers still typically receive multiple offers over list prices while bidding wars erupt. But some experts predict the market may be nearing its peak.

Average Cost by Property Type

Single Family Homes

The average price for a single family home in Hawaii reached an eye-watering $982,800 in 2022, according to data from the Hawaii Association of Realtors. This represented a 14.8% year-over-year increase, significantly outpacing income growth in the state.

While prices vary greatly by island and neighborhood, buyers should brace themselves for a typical price tag approaching seven figures even for a modest 3 bedroom suburban home.

Condos and Townhomes

Condos and townhomes offer a somewhat more affordable path into Hawaii’s red-hot real estate market. In 2022 the median sales price for these properties clocked in at $615,000, per the Hawaii Association of Realtors. However, supply is tight, with active listings down 19% from the previous year.

Competitive all-cash offers and waived contingencies are common, meaning buyers should be thoroughly pre-approved before house hunting.

Luxury Properties

At the highest end of Hawaii real estate, seven and eight figure listings abound. A survey by Hawaii Life found the average cost of luxury homes surged over 30% in 2021 alone, to $3.955 million. Beachfront mansions on Oahu’s Gold Coast often list for double or even triple that price.

For wealthy individuals and corporations seeking ultra-exclusive hideaways, the sky is seemingly the limit. However, even billionaires balk at the stratospheric property taxes on Hawaii’s priciest pads.

How to Buy an Affordable Home in Hawaii

Consider Less Popular Areas

Buying a home in popular tourist destinations like Honolulu or Maui can be extremely expensive. Consider looking for homes in less visited islands like Kauai or in rural areas on the main islands. Home prices tend to be more affordable in places that are off the beaten path.

Just make sure to factor in things like commute times if you’ll be working in busier areas.

Buy a Fixer-Upper

Purchasing a home in need of repairs can save you a lot of money upfront. However, be prepared to put in some sweat equity. Watch some YouTube tutorials and you may be able to do a lot of the renovations yourself.

And who knows, you could end up with your dream home for a fraction of what a move-in ready home would cost!

Leverage Low Interest Rates

Interest rates are still near historic lows, making it an excellent time to finance a home purchase. Work with a lender like Bank of Hawaii to explore your mortgage options. Locking in a low rate now could save you tens of thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of your loan.

Look for Foreclosures and Short Sales

There are sometimes great deals to be found on Hawaii real estate via foreclosures and short sales. Be willing to act quickly when you find one that meets your criteria. Hiring a knowledgeable real estate agent can help you gain an edge on navigating often complex distressed property transactions.

Rent Instead of Buying

Given Hawaii’s high housing costs, renting is a reasonable option to consider. Rent often allows more flexibility if you think you may want to relocate to a new neighborhood or island in the coming years. Plus, it avoids large upfront costs and risks associated with owning.

Sites like Zillow and can help you find rentals across the Hawaiian islands.

Hidden Fees to Account for

High Closing Costs

When buying a house in Hawaii, home buyers often overlook the high closing costs. These fees, which include title insurance, escrow fees, recording fees and more, typically range from 2-5% of the home’s purchase price. For a $500,000 home, closing costs could tally $10,000-$25,000. Ouch!

To avoid financial heartache, be sure to budget extra for these surprise expenses.

Construction Excise Tax

Hawaii levies a construction excise tax on new homes and improvements made to existing homes. This tax is 0.5% of the property’s value. While only half a percent may not seem significant, it still equates to $2,500 in taxes for a $500,000 home. Make sure to account for this stealthy fee!

Mandatory Homeowners Insurance

Lenders require homeowners insurance to secure their investment, but premiums in Hawaii run high due to exposure to natural disasters. Expect to pay $2,000-5,000 per year. Shop around among insurers to find the best rate. USAA and State Farm tend to offer competitive pricing.

HOA Fees

In communities governed by homeowner’s associations (HOAs), monthly dues must be paid for grounds upkeep and amenities access. Typical HOA fees range from $100-$700 per month. Before purchasing in an HOA, research what’s covered in their fees so surprise expenses don’t ambush your budget.


Finally, budget for utilities like electricity, water, internet and trash pickup. According to Numbeo, basic Honolulu utilities for an 85m2 (915 Sqft) apartment cost around $270 per month. Home utility costs may run even higher. The takeaway?

Leave breathing room in your monthly housing budget for powering and maintaining your Hawaii abode.


The stunning scenery and tropical climate of Hawaii come at a premium cost. With limited housing inventory and high demand from vacation home buyers, retirees, and remote workers, buying a home there requires careful planning and budgeting.

While single family homes fetch prices over $900,000 statewide, condos can provide more affordable options depending on location. Focusing your home search outside luxury markets like Honolulu or Maui can uncover hidden deals.

Consult with a savvy local real estate agent to navigate regulations and compete with all-cash buyers.

With proper guidance and creativity, you may be able to find your own affordable slice of paradise in Hawaii after all.

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