Situated along a 1.5-mile stretch on Oahu’s southern shore, lies the legendary Honolulu neighborhood of Waikiki. Known worldwide for its sparkling blue waters, perfect surfing waves, vibrant luaus, Friday-night fireworks in front of the Hawaiian Hilton Village, annual events like Spam Jam, and iconic Diamond Head Crater view, a fortunate few also get to call this tourist mecca home. Read more about living in Waikiki in our neighborhood guide.
With towering condominiums and condotels (condos that can also act as a hotel) as well as medium-sized apartment buildings, Waikiki homeowners or investors enjoy incredible views, amenities, and proximity to the beach. Before purchasing one of the many appealing Waikiki condos for sale, dive deep into the dynamic Waikiki real estate market.
About Waikiki’s Real Estate
With the coronavirus pandemic ailing tourism in Hawaii, it is unfortunately unsurprising that the Waikiki neighborhood has become nearly devoid of tourism. Thus, the real estate market has also suffered.
The average selling price for a Waikiki condo/townhouse in 2020 is around $450,000, almost 10% less than the $500,000 average selling price in 2019. Condos are staying on the market much longer as well. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, condos hovered around 100 days on the market – moving relatively quickly into escrow despite many condos available at any given time in Waikiki. In 2020, the average days on the market is around 120 days, as of August 15, 2020.
Investing in Waikiki Condos for Sale
Are you thinking about buying a condo to broaden your portfolio or to gain a cash flow through short-term vacation rentals? The idea of owning a piece of paradise in the quintessential picture-of-paradise neighborhood might be appealing. While the Waikiki real estate market is competitive, some investors in Waikiki condos have found success; however, multiple factors must be considered.
Is buying a condo in Waikiki a smart investment?
This is a complex question with a not-so-easy answer – especially in the turbulent times of COVID-19. However, the short answer is that a Waikiki condo usually is a smart purchase.
If the Waikiki condo is simply for your own use, condos do have a lower price point, and in Waikiki, they almost always appreciate in value. However, you must always consider the HOA management and fees and also ask about planned increases in the fees before purchasing. Realize that some Waikiki buildings are older and not well maintained; therefore you would not want to invest in a condo in one of those buildings.
Waikiki is often a smart investment because of its rental potential – both for long- and short-term rentals. A short-term vacation rental in Waikiki can be quite lucrative – if you buy into the right building. An Ilikai one-bedroom apartment with an ocean view, in a normal tourist year like 2019, easily would make over $20,000 annually, according to the property management company Waikiki Beach Rentals. This profit is due to the approximately $1,100 fixed monthly expenses of maintenance fees and hotel-resort property taxes, which is relatively low compared to other buildings. Also the Ilikai has a higher nightly price point along with high demand to stay in the nice rooms with beautiful ocean views.