Monday, December 22, 2008

Hawaii Kai Christmas Boat Parade 2008

Here are some candid shots from a front-row seat for this year's annual Hawaii Kai Marina Christmas Boat Parade.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hawaii Sports Heroes and Heroines Summer 2008

Not only was August the month for the Olympics, and Hawaii was well-represented in the medal-winner circle, but Waipahu just won the Little League World Series Aug. 24.

At the Olympics, Natasha Kai of Kahuku, with the US Women's Soccer Team, won the gold; the US Women's VolleyBall team won gold with 2 former UH stars; Clay Stanley with the US men's volleyball team won gold; Brandon Brooks won silver in water polo; the women's volleyball team with 4 Hawaii athletes won silver; and Brian Clay of Kane'ohe won the Decathlon Gold Medal - earning the title "World's Greatest Athlete."

Clay competed in 10 events over a 36-hour period through driving rain and hot humid conditions. Only 26 men finished from a field of 40. Clay never trailed in any of the events, and won by 240 points, the largest margin of victory since 1972. He joins an all-star groups of names like Jim Thorpe, Bob Mathias, and Rafer Johnson.

Hawaii sent 18 athletes to the Olympics, and 2/3 returned with medals. According to the Honolulu Advertiser, Hawaii's athletes - those who grew up in Hawaii and have ties to Hawaii, mostly through the University of Hawaii - "won more Olympic medals in the past 16 days than they have in the past 50 years. More than most countries."

Those achievements put Hawaii and Oahu on the map for athletic ability, and for pure joy add in yesterday's stunning victory by Waipahu over Matamoros, Mexico 12-3 in the Little League World Series. For only the 2nd time in series history, a team scored each inning in the title game. Wearing leis and smiles after the win, the press reported the Hawaii players as a "tired and soft-spoken bunch." Shane Victorino, Phillies' centerfielder from Hawaii said, "They gave 100 percent every game . . . It definitely exemplifies what Hawaii is all about."

Congratulations to our Hawaiian athletes!

Barbara Abe, REALTOR
Hawaii Kai is my Home


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hawaii Kai Sales Statistics May, 2008: Single Family Homes

The Honolulu Board of Realtors statistics for the 1st Quarter of 2008 show 46 sales in Hawaii Kai, with a median sales price of $865,300. This compares to 51 sales in the 4th quarter of 2007, with a median price of $919,000.

Median list prices were considerably higher: $1,269,700 for the first quarter of this year, and $1,314,200 for the 4th quarter.

In May, 2008, 18 homes sold in Hawaii Kai, with a price range from $630,000 to $2,100.000. Averages for sold homes were 2,076 square feet, 4 bedrooms/3 baths, 96% list:sales price, and 93 days on market.

Our 2008 sales year so far in Hawaii Kai has been very robust, with 71 sales. Averages were 2,305 sq ft, 4 bedrooms/3 baths/96% list:sale price, and 84 days on market. Prices ranged from $551,000 for a home in Kalama Vally to $6,400,000 for a home in Koko Kai.

I specialize in Hawaii Kai, have lived here, and helped buyers and sellers of real estate in Hawaii Kai for more than 20 years. Contact me for full market statistics.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Like to Walk? Here's a New Site to Test Your Neighborhood's Walkability is a new web site that measures your Hawaii community's walkability, on a score of 0 to 100. The score is based on the number of businesses, parks, schools, and services, within walking distance of a given address.

I tried a few in Honolulu and was amazed at the results, because usually Hawaii neighborhoods are the last to be added to mapping sites. My office location got a score of 60, and an address on Kapahulu a score of 85. The map and text show names, addresses, and a street map marking the destinations.

The site will soon add Google street view, which will allow users to actually see the streets they would walk.

Co-founder Matt Lerner says of his venture, "The goal is simple: to promote walkable communities." And that translates to a healthier population.

With our wonderful weather, and the views and variety of outdoor activities, using a site that tells you if something is within walking distance might be helpful in your search for Hawaii real estate. But when it comes to deciding on real estate opportunities and market conditions, you'll want a local realtor to give you insight into specific Hawaii neighborhoods.


Barbara Abe
Realtor specializing in Hawaii Kai

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Real Estate Condo Activity for Hawaii Kai, May, 2008

The real estate condo market in Hawaii Kai in May, 2008 was down from 2007. In May, 20 units sold compared to 36 last year, for a median sales price of $559,500 compared to $565,000 in 2007. Year-to-date, 91 condos have sold vs. 106 last year. Median sales price this year has been $540,000 against $545,000 in 2007.

Statistics for East Oahu are slightly different. Sales volume of fee simple condos for East Oahu declined 16.9% in number of sales, from 148 to 123; median sales price increased 4.3% from $517,500 to $540,000; average sales price increased 13.4%, from $586,617 to $665,126.

Sales of leasehold units in East Oahu weren't quite as robust. 15 sales closed in May compared to 16 last year, for an average median sales price of $475,000 - down from $528,500 last year, and an average sales price of $502,605, up from $500,878 in 2007.

So, while numbers of sales have decreased in 2008 compared to the same period last year, prices are still modestly increasing in East Oahu, and holding steady in Hawaii Kai.

Inventory is increasing this year - in May, 107 condos were active in Hawaii Kai, vs. 95 in April, and 74 in May, 2007. East Oahu as a whole has 7.2 months of inventory available, against 3.1 months last year.

Current real estate listings for Hawaii Kai, as of June 1, range from $409,000 for a 1-bedroom unit in the Esplanade, to $1,675,000 for a 3-bedroom home in Kalele Kai. I'm familiar with all of the Hawaii Kai condo complexes, their amenities, and management, and can help you make a sound investment decision on Hawaii Kai property.

Visit my Hawaii Kai real estate market analysis page on my web site for full details:

The Honolulu Board of Realtors issues very complete statistics for monthly sales on Oahu. The statistics provided here are courtesy of HBR. Contact me for a free copy:

Barbara Abe, Realtor for Hawaii Kai

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pets and Hawaii Kai Real Estate

Getting your Hawaii Kai property ready for sale involves more than cleaning and staging the home. If you have pets, their welfare needs to be considered - but so does their effect on potential buyers.

In Hawaii, we love our pets but they don't always help a sale. Not all buyers like cats - or dogs. Some Hawaii Kai condos are grandfathered only for the pet in residence, not future ones. Here are some tips if you are considering selling a home in Hawaii Kai, and you own a pet:

1. Get rid of pet odor - like kitty litter, hairs, dog smell in carpets. This should be part of your cleaning process.
2. Don't show the home with the pet in residence. Cats may hide, but dogs want to be found. Take them for a walk or, at the very least, step outside with your dog while buyers preview the property. If you work, consider doggie day care.
3. Also hide pet toys, food bowls, etc. - if buyers don't like pets, they won't like the evidence that your property has one.
4. Some folks have allergies to pets. If they want to see your Hawaii Kai home even after you have advertised the resident pet, then be as accommodating as you can and remove the pet during showings.
5. No pets at home during open houses - it just isn't worth the risk of your losing your best friend through a door someone left open.
6. Realize that when you clean before closing, you will have more work and expense to remove all pet odors and hair from your home. Plan and budget ahead.

Visit my web site pet page for informative pet links and news about the pet scene in Hawaii Kai and Oahu. Also featured are ways you can help homeless pets, and pets for the deaf.

Contact me with any questions about the Hawaii quarantine process, if you are relocating to Hawaii Kai, and the real estate market in Hawaii Kai or East Oahu.

Barbara Abe
Hawaii Kai Realtor

Thursday, May 15, 2008

4th Annual Discover Recycling Fair Scheduled

Sept. 25-27 in the Blaisdell Arena will be the site of the 4th Annual Discover Recycling Fair sponsored by the City & County of Honolulu. The pilot program of curbside recycling in Hawaii Kai and Mililani launched last October has been so successful, that the city will expand the program in November to 40,000 more homes, including East Oahu neighborhoods from Kuliouou to Kapahulu and Manoa.

Living on an island, there is no reason NOT to recycle! It keeps our garbage costs down, keeps our communities even more beautiful, and keeps our real estate values high.

To encourage support of recycling, Mayor Mufi Hannemann started the Tour de Trash to lead residents on tours of the waste-processing and recycling facilities on Oahu. Upcoming tours will focus on recycling of yard trimmings, tires and cooking oil; recycling of construction and demolition waste, and metal car parts and appliances; and the H-Power garbage-to-energy plant, which disposes of more than 600,000 tons of trash every year while producing enough electricity to power 45,000 homes.

Other efforts the City of Honolulu is making under his leadership for a greener Oahu include Earth Hour March 29, and implementation of a fixed guideway transit system, from Kapolei to Ala Moana. Stay tuned for more information on this important transportation project.

His efforts to make a difference in the fight against global warming certainly help our real estate market. We all should be supportive.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Use RSS Hugger for Blog Syndication

rssHugger is a new website developed to help bloggers promote their blogs, and to help visitors discover new blogs that write about subjects that the readers are interested in. Through the power of the internet and viral marketing, rssHugger looks to bring blog writers and blog readers closer together. If you own a blog, you can get your own page on rssHugger for 10 years for giving an honest review of the site on your blog. If you want to join rssHugger but do not want to review the site, you can pay a one time review fee of $20. rssHugger will be the first ever quality, spam free, and viral rss directory strictly for bloggers. Visit

I've added my blog, so stay tuned for results!

Barbara Abe REALTOR

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Real Estate Market Statistics: Hawaii Kai, April, 2008

View from the most expensive home on the market currently, in the Portlock area of Hawaii Kai, looking toward Maunalua Bay.

Boat slip at the most expensive Hawaii Kai condo currently on the market, the Kalele Kai complex, looking southwest to the ocean.

Here are the real estate sales statistics for Hawaii Kai for April, 2008 compared to last year:

Single Family Homes in Hawaii Kai

in 2008
8 sales in April with a median price of $994,500
54 sales year-to-date with a median price of $917,500
in 2007
19 sales in April with a median price of $859,000
68 sales year-to-date with a median price of $839,000
Conclusions: the number of home sales in Hawaii Kai has decreased dramatically, but prices are holding.

Condos in Hawaii Kai

in 2008
19 sales in April with a median price of $523,000
71 sales year-to-date with a median price of $538,000
in 2007
22 sales in April with a median price of $539,000
70 sales year-to-date with a median sales price of $542,500
Conclusions: not much change from last year in the condo market for April in Hawaii Kai.

For details on actives, sales, and escrows, broken down by price, visit my web page on the Hawaii Kai real estate market:

The Honolulu Board of Realtors releases very comprehensive sales statistics for the entire island of Oahu monthly. Please contact me for a copy.

Barbara Abe, REALTOR

Friday, April 18, 2008

Worldwide Appeal of Hawaii Real Estate

Lately I've worked with "mainland" buyers who have seriously considered investing on Oahu, but have flown back home without committing. Their comments ranged widely:

  • Hawaii prices are too high
  • the market hasn't bottomed
  • financing options are fewer
  • a recession may be coming

While we don't have the gloom and doom reports for real estate on Oahu that so many markets hear on the mainland, buyers can't shake off the constant news reports of hard economic times.

We are so lucky here to have a somewhat isolated economy. Our prices are certainly affected by transportation and supply from the mainland, but real estate prices don't always follow their trends. Now, for instance, many cash buyers from around the world - Malaysia to England - are investing in Hawaii real estate, because the dollar is so weak worldwide.

In most countries, even against the Euro and Canadian dollar, an investment in U.S. currency seems very attractive.

So if you are from Maine or Nebraska, I certainly understand your concern. But if you are using foreign currencies, email or call for information on some great buys in our Islands. Remember, they can't make any more Hawaii waterfront property - the demand will always be there because the supply is limited.


Barbara Abe

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Our Aloha Spirit is Alive and Well

The closing on March 31 of Aloha Airlines saddened many in the Islands, not just the ex-employees, but the dozens of stranded travelers, whose reservations on the airline were cancelled.

Yes, the airline was an important asset to interisland transportation - and in recent years, to the mainland - for 61 years. But this is not the first time an air carrier has gone out of business in Hawaii. In recent memory, MidPacific and Mahalo were two airlines that couldn't compete with the bigger carriers, even as Aloha said it couldn't compete with the smaller carrier Go. But folks will still fly outer island to visit or vacation, and there are two airlines left to service the market.

Our real estate values will not suffer because of the loss of Aloha Airlines. Our islands will still be beautiful, and island real estate - because of the scarcity - will continue to be highly prized. Subdivisions can be made on the mainland, but there will never be more waterfront land - in our lifetimes - created in Hawaii.

So make your reservations, come visit, and consider a real estate investment. Our Aloha Spirit is waiting for you.

Contact me with any real estate questions you may have and for a thorough real estate market analysis of Oahu.

Barbara Abe, REALTOR

Real Estate Sales in Hawaii Kai 10/07 - 3/08

Sales in the last 6 months in Hawaii Kai have continued strong. Here is the breakdown:

Single family - 96 sales total

34 under $799,99
23 between $800,000 - $999,999
13 between $1,000,000 - $1,199,999
19 between $1,200,000 - $1,999,999
7 over $2,000,000

The low price was $551,000, a 3-bedroom home in Kalama Valley, and the high was $15,900,000, a waterfront estate on Portlock.

Condos - 93 sales total

Prices ranged between $320,000 for a 1 bedroom in the Commodore and a 1 bedroom in Plaza Hawaii Kai, to $1,400,000 for a 3 bedroom unit in Kalele Kai.

Contact me for a complete analysis of the Hawaii Kai real estate market. I specialize in this beautiful community in East Oahu.

Barbara Abe, REALTOR

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Prices Remain Stable in Hawaii Kai in 2008

Real Estate Prices Hold in Hawaii Kai

A recent article in the Honolulu Advertiser confirms what Realtors here in Hawaii Kai have always known: the desirability of living on this beautiful east shore of Oahu supports real estate values and keeps sales steady.

Many Homes are Waterfront

Called a "blue chip neighborhood," the article notes that many homes are waterfront which, of course, is the most valuable real estate on the whole island. Other homestyles include luxurious condos, affordable townhomes, hilltop estates with panoramic views - everything from low maintenance to boat docks. The many choices for buyers keeps the supply and demand well balanced.

Median Prices in 2007

According to the Honolulu Board of Realtors, condominiums in the geographic area of Hawaii Kai ranked as the most expensive on Oahu in the fourth quarter of 2007, with a median sales price of $585,000. The median price for single-family homes during the same period was $919,900.

A Special Place to call Home

With a high owner-occupant ratio, and the availability of every water sport, the community appeals to all age groups and lifestyles. Pride of ownership is obvious throughout the neighborhoods, and most residents wouldn't live anywhere else on the island.

As the busy selling season of June through September approaches, buyers should realize the price drops seen on the mainland and in other parts of Oahu have not happened in Hawaii Kai. Real estate in Hawaii Kai has been a very good investment. Contact me for details!

Barbara Abe
East Oahu Realty

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Real Estate Market Trends on Oahu Dec. 2007-Feb. 2008

For the 2nd month in a row, demand for lower-priced homes pushed down the median price of a single-family home on Oahu. The median price from December, 2007 through February, 2008 was $600,000, a 2% decline from a year ago, when it was $612,000.

The median price of a condo during the same 3-month period was $328,000, a 4% increase over last year, when it was $315,000.

However, sales of single-family homes fell more than 28% and condos fell 21% during the December-February period, compared to last year.

Reflecting the mainland real estate market, with a high inventory of depressed properties and short sales, buyers now are looking for a "deal" and know there are plenty of properties to choose from in the lower price ranges.

Contact me for full details on the real estate market on Oahu. I specialize in East Oahu and Hawaii Kai, and offer more than 20 years of experience and thorough real estate market knowledge of the Islands.

Barbara Abe
East Oahu Realty

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hawaii Kai Dog Park Taking Shape

Last Saturday, we had a planting party in the park, and planted plumbago along the outside of the fence (yes, there is now a fence!). It's really beginning to look great!

DPR has also planted grass and 8 monkeypod and shower trees. The dogs will have the most scenic place in Hawaii Kai to run, with Diamond Head looming straight ahead (almost) and the Pacific Ocean to the left, marina to the right.

One of the realtors at my company said he was going to rent a dog so he could use the park!

For information on how you can help with funding the fence for the park, email I'm still giving part of my commissions from real estate sales to the non-profit Hui 'Ilio until the park is done.

Hawaii Kai is a special place on Oahu. Contact me for a real estate market analysis or to preview any homes. Barbara Abe,, 808-226-2537.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Problems Continue to Plague the Hawaii Superferry

The Alakai, Hawaii's Superferry, is out of commission - again - for drydock maintenance of a damaged auxiliary rudder system. For 8 consecutive days in January-February, service was discontinued because of bad weather and the discovery of cracks in the auxiliary rudders.

While many residents welcomed the addition of an alternative method of transportation between the Hawaiian Islands, the Superferry has been dealing with numerous problems since its inaugural voyage: political, legal, and weather, and the animosity of many islanders, especially on Kauai.

Scheduled to resume service March 3, the ferry will issue refunds for cancelled trips and special fares on future voyages. President and CEO John Garibaldi said the ferry so far is averaging only 150 bookings a trip, when it can hold 866 people and 282 cars.

Hawaii in the winter is host to visitors from around the world who come to enjoy the warmth and sunshine. Real estate sales are still very strong throughout the islands, and especially in East Oahu, where I specialize. If you are planning a trip to the islands, contact me for current information on the real estate market, and the status of the Superferry, the Alakai.

Barbara Abe, REALTOR

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Real Estate Market News - Hawaii Kai - January, 2008

The real estate market in East Oahu was very active in January, as more homes went into escrow than in December and sales remained strong. The median sale price of single family homes was $930,000 compared to $900,000 in 2007, and of condos $545,000 compared to $515,000 in 2007. For the month, 228 single family homes sold, and 324 condos.

For Hawaii Kai specifically, the median sales price of single family houses was $834,000, and the number of sales down slightly from a year ago. Condo sales made the difference, as number of sales rose 110% over 2007, with a median price of $540,000 vs. $533,000 a year ago.

Because Hawaii Kai is one of the premier communities on Oahu, prices and demand have remained very strong, and we haven't been affected as much by inventory and market slowdown as other parts of the island.

Contact me for a complete real estate market analysis of the East Oahu or Hawaii Kai area. If you don't live here, you can't believe what you're missing!

Barbara Abe, REALTOR

Monday, January 28, 2008

New Restaurant Open in Hawaii Kai

Therapy SportsGrill, in the Koko Marina Center, is now open. Owned by Daniel Lee, Keoni Chan, and Simon Bitanga, the restaurant will stay open into the "wee hours of the morning" to give residents a choice from Zippy's or fast food.

"We thought it was a good opportunity to add to the variety of great businesses out there," said Chan of Therapy Sportsgrill, located on the marina between Assagio's and Bubbies. "We're trying to fit into the mix and give East Oahu another option."

Therapy offers more than 100 items, including pupus and local favories like fried rice and garlic chicken, and a unique selection of sushi rolls. Portions are generous, as is the fully-stocked bar. They have 20 plasma TVs, pool tables, dartboards, megatouch machines, and Karaoke on Wednesday nights. Future plans will bring outside seating, live local music, and a buffet.

The location favors a tremendous view: its 1,000 square feet of glass covering the entire back of the grill from floor to ceiling, patrons can enjoy a panoramic view from Aina Haina to Kamehame Ridge.

Koko Marina Center, Suite D105
11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Sunday; open on most major holidays
For more information, call 394-8200

And for real estate information about Hawaii Kai, contact the Realtor who specializes in this unique part of East Oahu, Barbara Abe,, 808-226-2537.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Annual Hawaii Kai Marina Festival of Lights

The 11th annual boat parade, held in rain and wind Saturday, Dec. 15, was again a big success. Music and entertainment at the Hawaii Kai Towne Center kept spectators enthusiastic while waiting for the boats. 40 entries, the largest number since the start of the parade, competed for prizes.
Judging the Boats

Grand Prize went to Tom & Jennifer Hintnaus, for "Captain Hook & Peter Pan." They decorated the boat to look like a replica of a wooden pirate ship, complete with sails and pirates on board.

Judges were Joseph McNamara, Jeanne Branch Johnson, Doug Harris, Kathy Muneno, and Congressman Ed Case.

The Hawaii Kai Marina Community Assn. does a great job and brings a sense of cohesiveness to our marina.
Contact me for information on living on our Hawaii Kai Marina, or relocation to Oahu.
Barbara Abe, REALTOR