Overview of the Commercial and Residential
Real Estate Market in Hawaii


Hawaii is made up of eight main islands: Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Niihau, Molokai, Kahoolawe, Lanai, and the Big Island of Hawaii. Situated 2,390 miles from the coast of California, its next closest neighbor is Japan, 3,850 miles away. Hawaii is the only state that grows coffee and it produces more than one-third of the world's commercially grown pineapples. It also leads the world in production of macadamia nuts and orchids. According to the U.S. Census, 1,404,054 people call Hawaii home. The median household income is $67,492 and the per capita income is $29,227. With a population of 371,657, Honolulu is the largest city. The state constitution dictates that any unnamed island in the Hawaiian Archipelago is part of Honolulu. This makes it the largest city in the world by border length. The median home value in East Honolulu CDP is $777,500. That is $260,500 more than the $517,000 median home value for the state of Hawaii. The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO) expects the Honolulu median home value to reach $815,000 by 2015 and the median single-family home price on Oahu to be $1 million by 2020.

According to commercial real estate company CBRE, the average asking rent for retail and office space was $7.47 per square foot per month for the third quarter of 2014. That is up from $7.00 per square foot in the previous quarter. The average asking rent for industrial space was $1.06 per square foot per month. Most of that was for spaces between 1,000 square feet and 3,500 square feet. Some new projects have been delayed by construction of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART). The HART rail is expected to reduce the number of car trips on Oahu by 40,000. This will alleviate many of the parking problems that currently plague retail and office locations.

How to Become a Realtor in Hawaii

Headquartered in Honolulu, the Hawaii Real Estate Branch (REB) of the Professional and Vocational Licensing Division (P&VLD) under the Hawaii Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs (DCCA) educates, handles licensing, oversees, and disciplines the approximately 16,000 real estate agents in Hawaii. To obtain a Hawaiian real estate license, applicants must be at least 18 years old by the day they take the state exam. They need to be a United States citizen or authorized to work in the United States. The REB requires proof of having a good reputation and/or record of honesty, financial integrity, and competency. Applicants must successfully complete the 60-hour pre-licensing course. They have two years after completion of the course to take the exam. They can then apply for an active license anytime in the next two years. To become a real estate broker in Hawaii, agents have to work as a full-time sales agent (40 hour weeks; no credit for part-time) for at least three of the five years preceding their broker application.