01. Metro Honolulu

Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii. Metro Honolulu is typically considered from Kalihi to Moiliili including world-famous Waikiki, Ala Moana or Kakaako. You will enjoy urban atmosphere in Metro Honolulu with lots of restaurants, shopping and entertainment options in close proximity. There are also beaches in Waikiki and Ala Moana. Easy access to many surf spots. UH Manoa is in Manoa area. Kakaako is a developing area which Howard Hughes and other developers are building many modern and contemporary high rise condominiums.

Mostly condominiums but some areas have single family homes too.


It's a world-famous tourist area, and I suppose that most people who come to Hawaii for the first time will stay at a hotel in Waikiki. It is located on the south shore of Honolulu and offers shopping, dining, entertainment, activities, and resorts. There are several surf spots that you can access from Waikiki Beach.

There are three main roads in Waikiki. One is Kalakaua Ave., which is a one-way street that runs from west to Diamond Head and runs along the shoreline. Along this road, you'll find numerous hotels such as the Moana Surf Rider or the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.

Another main road is Ala Wai Ave. This road is also one-way, running from Diamond Head to the west, and it runs alongside the Ala Wai Canal. Across from the canal are the Ala Wai Golf Course and Iolani School, so there are no obstructions to the view if you are in a building facing Ala Wai Ave.

The last main road is Kuhio Ave., which runs through the middle of Waikiki and is a two-way street. Typically, between Kuhio Ave. and Kalakaua Ave. is a resort zone where short-term rentals in condominiums are permitted (as long as AOAO allows). If you are looking for a second home and also want to generate income to cover expenses, properties available for short-term rental are a good fit for you.

Between Kuhio Ave. and Ala Wai Ave., there are many residential condominiums, most of which were built in the 1970s during the construction boom.

There are quite a few leasehold properties in Waikiki where you don't own the underlying land and have a lease expiration and lease rent.

Ala Moana 

Ala Moana is located next to Waikiki, heading in the westward direction. Along Ala Moana Beach, you'll find the world-famous and largest shopping mall in Hawaii, Ala Moana Shopping Center. This expansive mall has been expanding over the years and now boasts 300 shops, including department stores such as Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Macy’s.

Ala Moana Beach offers very calm waters and is popular for swimming and stand-up paddleboarding.

Nearby, there is a Japanese supermarket called "Don Quijote" and retailers like Walmart and Sam's Club. The area around these supermarkets are called "Holiday Mart" and you'll find lots of condominiums. These condominiums were built before the 1980s, offering studio to 2/3-bedroom units with prices ranging from $250,000 for small studios to up to $600,000-700,000 for 3 bedroom units. Additionally, there are newer condominiums such as Sky Ala Moana, Azure, The Central, Kapiolani Residence, One Ala Moana, and Park Lane. One Ala Moana and Park Lane are luxury condos with prices ranging from $1 million to over $10 million.

Atkinson Dr. also has several condominiums.


Kakaako is the most fast-growing area in Oahu. It used to be a business district and had warehouses. It is situated in the heart of Honolulu between Ala Moana area and Down Town area.

Howard Hughes and Kamehameha Schools are the two main developers in the area. Howard Hughes purchased 60 acres of land and began developing "Ward Village," an urban, design-forward neighborhood. They have already built six condominiums (as of May 2024) and are currently constructing five more. Kamehameha Schools is also involved in development, with plans encompassing 29 acres, including projects like Keahou Place, 400 Keawe, and The Collection. They have also spearheaded the commercial project "SALT."

The development plans include improvements to sidewalks, infrastructure, parks, retail shops, and more.

Housing prices in Kakaako are higher than in other areas due to the new buildings, ranging from $700,000 for studio units to $2-3 million for 2 or 3 bedroom units. Some penthouse units can exceed $10 million!


Downwotn Honolulu is Oʻahu’s historic center for government and business. It is located next to Kakaako, heading in the west. There are important landmarks such as ʻIolani Palace, the King Kamehameha I statue, the Kawaiahaʻo Church and the Aloha Tower. There area also Hawaii government building such as Hawaiʻi State Capitol, Washington Place (the governor’s mansion) and Honolulu Hale (Honolulu’s City Hall).

This area has skyscrapers for business and also residence. By the waterfront, there are some modern condominiums such as Harbor Court or Harbor Square.

Chinatown is also in Downtown district.

Makiki / Punchbowl

Makiki and Punchbowl are situated next to each other and are located northeast of the downtown area, stretching from Round Top Drive/Makiki Heights Drive to Lunalilo Freeway.

These areas are extremely convenient for commuting to Downtown or UH Manoa and offer easy access to dining, shopping, and entertainment in Ala Moana and Kakaako.

The Makiki area primarily consists of older houses, smaller apartment buildings, several high-rise condos, and single-family homes. Lower Makiki features low-rise apartments/condos, while upper Makiki boasts more high-rise condominiums. Makiki Heights, located on a hillside to the north, is home to luxury single-family homes, many of which offer stunning ocean and city views.

The neighborhood also includes hospitals, public schools, private schools such as Punahou School, marketplaces, and parks. Makiki Valley Heights offers hiking trails owned by the state for public use.

Makiki lower area's condominium price range is from $200,000 to $700,000. Makiki Heights home price is from around $1.5M to 5-6M.


Manoa is situated in Metro Honolulu and primarily consists of single-family homes. It lies approximately three miles east and inland from downtown Honolulu, and is less than a mile away from Ala Moana and Waikiki. The area is enveloped by lush green mountains and experiences almost daily rainfall, even during the dry season, resulting in rich vegetation and frequent rainbows—a common sight in Manoa. This is the origin of the names "Rainbow Warriors" for the men's team and "Rainbow Wahine" for the women's team at UH.

The Manoa campus of the University of Hawaii serves as a flagship of the University of Hawaii system. The area provides residences for faculty and students, alongside highly regarded public and private schools such as Mid Pacific and St. Francis.

Manoa Market Place is the local shopping mall featuring Safeway, Longs Drugs, First Hawaiian Bank, and various small eateries and stores.

Manoa homes are characterized by their vintage, charming, and classic features, with many dating back to the 1930s to 1960S. Single-family home prices typically start around $1 million, with a median sales price ranging from $1.5 to $1.7 million.

If you would like to know more details about the neighborhood, please contact Maki Nakjao at 808-425-6827 or makin@betterhawaii.com!