Neighborhood Profiles

The island of Oahu is most populated island in the state of Hawaii. Close to one million people live on the island in vastly different communities. Although the island is relatively small, the mountains, wind, sun, and rain create different landscapes and weather on the island. The contrast can be seen from the wet, green, and cooler Windward side to the dryer, warmer terrain of the Western coast. Oahu's city government is the City and County of Honolulu and doesn't have any other individual city governments that are common in the rest of the United States. In other words, all of Oahu is part of the same City government and all the cities around Oahu are actually communities as opposed to fully independent cities with their own city halls, taxes, government services, etc. Oahu is divided into twelve different regions, instead of counties. The island is divided into 12 different regions based on natural divisions like mountain ranges and waterways and also by boundaries created by suburban development. While Oahu may be a small island and each region smaller still, they each offer their own unique style of living.

Metro Oahu

Metro Oahu or "Town" as it's known in Hawaii is the heart of the island. Honolulu is in Metro Oahu and the region consists of high rise condos, the core of Hawaii's businesses, and many dense residential communities. Because of its proximity to downtown Honolulu and its business district, Metro Oahu is a highly desirable and populated area. High rise buildings fill the skyline in the area surrounding Honolulu where condo units from Studios to Multi-Million dollar luxury units exist. There are many older homes in many of the surrounding communities but desirable neighborhoods in Metro Oahu include Nuuanu, Alewa Heights, Manoa, Dowsett, Tantalus, Pacific Heights, Old Pali, and Makiki Heights which offer a quick commute to downtown Honolulu and the beauty and serenity of the Hawaiian Islands surrounding you.

Pearl City

The Pearl City region is Oahu's largest region and consists of neighborhoods that include Aiea, Halawa, Pearlridge, and Pearl City. Pearl City is centrally located to all the other communities on the island and is within a thirty minute drive to just about every community. The region offers a wide variety of homes starting from $400,000 to $1.5 million in select neighborhoods. The climate in the region is moderate and is liked by many because it is not too wet or too dry. The terrain goes from sea level in areas surrounding historic Pearl Harbor to areas that are hilly with great views like Halawa Heights or Upper Pearl City. Most of the Pearl City region was built between the 1950s and 1970s so the area is starting to show signs of age and maturity.

Diamond Head

Diamond Head is one of the most beautiful regions on the island and is the most expensive. This area includes the largest cluster of luxury and upscale homes on the island. The region starts just outside of Waikiki and is near the water and in close proximity to downtown and its attractions. Home prices in this region are typically in the million dollar range and can go much higher. Kahala is the prized neighborhood in the Oahu real estate market and is located in the Diamond Head region.

Hawaii Kai

East of Diamond Head is Hawaii Kai, Hawaii's original master planned community. Developed by Henry Kaiser in the 1950's, the community is filled with beautiful waterways and is the only community on the island which allows you to dock your boat in marinas in front of your home. Outdoor lovers will find many activities in the area including hiking, golfing, boating, beaches and even Hawaii's best known Bay, Hanauma Bay. Hawaii Kai is an upscale community with a great location about thirty minutes from downtown Honolulu. The average home price is about $800,000 and many people find this to be a desirable community.

Hawaii Loa Ridge

Hawaii Loa Ridge is a private suburban subdivision in East Honolulu with its own tennis courts, parks, club house and gatehouse security. Located just 15 minutes away from Waikiki on the South Shore of Oahu and downtown Honolulu, "The Ridge" is one of the world's premier residential neighborhoods among those who enjoy exclusive living. Homes in this neighborhood boast spectacular sweeping panoramas of the Pacific Ocean and eastern Oahu. Amenities in the private community include privately maintainted roads with controlled access, tennis courts, a park with picnic stations, 24 hour mobile security, a community building, maintained common landscape areas, and a professionally managed homeowners association.


Kailua is one of the windward regions of Oahu, and has the feel of a quiet beach town. Kailua beach is often listed in the Top 10 Beaches in the US and is generally a great place for swimming and other ocean recreational activities. Most homes and condos in Kailua are within a mile or two from a beach. Kailua has many local restaurants and shopping options and home prices average $800,000 and there are a few good condo complexes being priced between $400,000 and $800,000.


Kaneohe is on the windward side of Oahu just north of Kailua. Kaneohe is a quaint community nestled between the waters of Kaneohe Bay and the magnificent Ko'olau mountain ranges. Most homes in Kaneohe have terrific views of the lush mountain range. Rain in the region is nearly year round which is reflected in the lush tree lined mountain ranges and open areas. Property options range from homes built between the 1950s and 1970s located near Kaneohe town to open ranch and farm style properties another 10 minutes north. These ranch style properties offer country living with large lots and fewer developments but is still about 45 minutes from downtown Honolulu. Kaneohe has one of Oahu's four malls along with a Kaneohe Towns many eateries and shops. Home prices are in the $650,000 range but there are bay front homes that are worth $4-5 million.

North Shore

The North Shore of Hawaii is famous for its spectacular beaches and amazing surf. The real estate on this part of the island is equally amazing. For about $1 million you can own a beautiful home on the North Shore with amazing views of the ocean, or even a beach side property. The North Shore of Oahu is disconnected from the rest of the island not just because of distance but because of the values and lifestyle in the community. The North Shore is lined with the worlds best known surfing beaches including Pipeline, Waimea, Sunset and surfing towns like Haleiwa. The area is a popular tourist destination with many people driving through to watch the waves and surfers and to be part of the surf culture.

Central Oahu

Central Oahu as the name would suggest is a region located in the middle of the island. The communities of Mililani, Mililani Mauka, and Wahiawa are part of Central Oahu and are the choice for many young families. Mililani is a master planned community that began development in the late 1970s and is still being built out in the Mililani Mauka areas. Homes in the area are desirable because of their new and modern construction. This area is most like new master planned communities in the rest of the US and is what many buyers moving from the mainland expect. Single family homes range from $600,000 to about $1 million dollars. Mililani Mauka is one of the newer master planned communities on Oahu and many of the homes within 10 years old.


Waipahu is located just next to Central Oahu and has family friendly neighborhoods including Waipio Gentry, Royal Kunia and Waikele. Waipahu is slightly older than Mililani but has a similar planned community feel with newer homes and designs and is a little more affordable. Waipahu is five miles closer to downtown Honolulu compared to Mililani which doesn't seem like much but the five miles puts you 25% closer to downtown Honolulu. Waipahu has a great selection of single family homes and two-story townhomes where townhomes start in the low $200,000s and single family homes can get as high as the $700,000s.


Makakilo is a hillside community located on the south west region of Oahu. There is a mix of older homes built in the 1970s at the base of the hill and many new developments at the top of hill that have come up in the last ten years. Several new residential developments are still underway which add to the city and values of homes. Because of its hillside location, many homes in Makakilo have terrific views of the Honolulu city line and even to Diamond Head which is 20 miles in the distance. Lot sizes in Makakilo are typically larger than those available in other regions on the island. Single Family Homes start in the $300,000s and go as high as $2 million for luxury homes at the top of the hill.

Ewa Plain

Ewa (pronounced eh-va) has the highest concentration of new residential developments on Oahu. Developers including Gentry, Haseko, and others have built thousands of homes along with new elementary schools and a new golf course. A man made marina is also under construction and will add to the character of the community. In addition to being new, homes in the area are also appealing to home buyers because of its affordability. Single family homes start in the $400,000s and reach $900,000 for executive style homes.


Kapolei is heralded as Oahu's "Second City" with a push from government to make Kapolei an alternative to downtown Honolulu. Many government buildings and services have transitioned to Kapolei and a new Federal Court building opened in 2010 as part of the plan to create a new center for business, services, and alternative to downtown Honolulu. Because of the growth, new homes and businesses have been built and continue to be developed. Big box stores including Costco, Target, and Home Depot arrived in the area within the last five years. Kapolei is also the home to Hawaii's newest high school, Kapolei High, along with a golf course and medical facilities. The average home price in the area is in the $600,000 range.

Leeward Coast

The Leeward Coast region is thirty miles from Honolulu but is unlike most other regions on the island. The climate is generally sunny and dry and the coastline offers white sand beaches and beautiful sunsets. Homes are the most affordable in the neighborhoods of the Leeward Coast. Prices are affected by the distance from Honolulu and the lack of businesses and amenities in the area. The lack of development may seem like a negative to some people but communities on the Leeward Coast reflect the Hawaii of years past and can be enjoyed for its beauty and simplicity. Homes in the area range from $300,000-$600,000.

University of Hawaii

Founded in 1907, the University of Hawaii has 10 campuses throughout the State of Hawaii, with the flagship Research University campus located in Mānoa Valley, two Baccalaureate Universities located in West Oahu & the Big Island, and seven community colleges throughout 4 of the 8 Hawaiian Islands (Oahu, Kauai, Maui, & the Big Island)

UH Campuses
About UH

Hawaii Pacific University

Hawai'i Pacific University is a private, not-for-profit, coeducational institution founded in 1965. HPU offers both undergraduate and graduate programs with two campuses, one located in downtown Honolulu and the Hawaii Loa campus in Kaneohe. Accredited by the Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Hawaii Pacific University is consistently listed in the U.S. News and World Report "America's Best Colleges" guide.

HPU at a Glance

Chaminade University

Chaminade University is the only Catholic University in Hawaii and is centrally located in the Kaimuki neighborhood of Honolulu. Chaminade offers twenty three 4-year Undergraduate degree programs, five graduate degree programs, and several degree opportunities for working adults through evening and weekend course in satellite locations and online.

Chaminade Universty