Honolulu Transit HART Impact Real Estate Values

Transit is a hot topic in Honolulu, especially here at the onset of 2018.

Let’s start with some good news.

Redfin just released their Best Cities for Public Transit list for 2018, and guess who made the cut for the first time? That’s right, Honolulu.


Honolulu Transit

Our great island city gained 1.7 points of Transit Score over the past two years, and claimed its rightful place on the national top 10 list. Data shows that over 69 million passengers in Honolulu ride TheBus annually, and with the city developing a new rail system (in case you didn’t notice) public transportation use is about to ramp up in a very big way.

It’s in regards to this rail system (Honolulu Authority Rapid Transit – HART) that current and future homeowners have many questions about. All of it circles around one theme – how will it impact the market value of area homes?

For starters, let’s have a look at the route map for HART:

Honolulu HART Map

Now let’s look at the list of HART Stations and Transit Centers:

1 East Kapolei

2 UH West Oahu

3 Hoopili

4 West Loch

5 Waipahu Transit Center

6 Leeward Community College

7 Pearl Highlands

8 Pearlridge Center

9 Aloha Stadium

10 Pearl HaRBor Naval Base

11 Honolulu International Airport

12 Lagoon Drive

13 Middle Street Transit Center

14 Kalihi

15 Kapalama

16 Iwilei

17 Chinatown

18 Downtown

19 Civic Center

20 Kakaako

21 Ala Moana Center


If you own a home, or are considering buying one in these areas, what should you expect?
The HART website states that station design considers (and will consider) input from local residents in order to keep community character, aesthetic, and history intact. In addition, some of the rail stations will have park-and-ride lots for local commuters, cab stands, and other  conveniences. If this all reigns true, what sort of financial value can convenient and well-designed rail stations add to a neaRBy residential properties?
While critics may claim that an increase in the crime rate will follow, numerous studies on the matter prove contrary. One notable report from California State University-Fullerton, concluded the following:

The actual literature on how transit affects residential and commercial property values relies most heavily on hedonic price regressions, with varying results across cities and transit system type. Light-rail transit has enhanced residential property values some 2- 18% in Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, and Santa Clara, with larger changes in cities with commuter rail systems. But not all residences benefit equally. Properties located too near a station may suffer nuisance effects, and it appears that in California the largest premiums accrue to owners of multifamily residential properties.

It appears that there can be a direct benefit, even if in some instances excessive proximity can be deemed a nuisance to some who prefer peace and quite. However, the latter statement about multifamily residential properties is quite logical. Those living in condos tend to appreciate the convenience of transit, and with the recent increase in year-over-year listings of new condos (25 percent!) on Oahu expected to continue, along with a rise prices, it seems the market has already answered the question. Current and new multi-family properties running from the Kapolei to Ala Moana corridor are expected to see price increases as the convenience of HART attracts buyers who will no longer have to sit in traffic on their daily commute.
Not everyone is happy about HART, and there are many good arguments on both sides of the coin, but if you’re considering investing in a condo along its path, the forecast looks positive. If you currently own a condo along the corridor and are considering a move to the country before things get too busy for your tastes, you might want to list it soon at top dollar, and apply the gain to your new home elsewhere on the island.
Stay tuned as we continue to keep you updated on the progress of the new Honolulu rail system and the impact on local real estate values.
If you’re ready to buy, or sell, be sure to contact the Richmond Realty Hawaii team at 808.284.1004 or via email at howard@richmondrealtyhawaii.com anytime.


~ Richmond Realty Hawaii ~