Jack Tyrrell specializes in Kakaako, Honolulu, Hawaii luxury condo projects.


Honolulu among top cities in new quality of life ranking

Residents of Hawaii enjoy great weather, the beach, and the mountains. Photo: Jack Tyrrell and Company

Residents of Hawaii enjoy great weather, the beach, and the mountains. Photo: Jack Tyrrell and Company

It's not unusual to surf before you go to work or go on a beach swim or mountain walk after work here in Honolulu. Many residents will agree that it is the great weather all-year round and plethora of outdoor, free activities to enjoy, plus the sense of community, that make Honolulu a great place to live. And, Nerdwallet agrees.

Honolulu has once again ranked in the top 20 cities across the country for Quality of Life. The annual Nerdwallet survey analyzes 177 U.S. cities with over 150,000 residents, and looks at indicators such as number of hours worked, commute times, percentage of income spent on housing, health insurance coverage, poverty levels, and unemployment rates.  The study uses data estimates from the 2016 U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey. 

The survey found that citizens of Hawaii's capital work an average of 38.5 hours per work, travel an average of 23 minutes to work. However, residents spend about 46.5% of their income on rent, and 7.1% of residents live below the poverty level. 

Read the full report here.



Industry News: Oahu condos back up to record prices, single-family home sales take off

Photo Property of Jack Tyrrell and Company

Photo Property of Jack Tyrrell and Company

Read more about September's hot condo market, as reported by Pacific Business News, below:

Home sales on Oahu soared in September on slight price gains, compared to the same month last year, while the median price of a condominium jumped 11 percent to tie with the record set over the summer, according to statistics released Friday by the Honolulu Board of Realtors.

There were 374 single-family home sales on Oahu last month, which was 13.7 percent more than the 329 sales in September 2016. The median price of those homes sold rose to $760,000, which was 1.3 percent higher than the median price a year ago, which was $750,000.

The median price of a condominium, however, rose 10.9 percent to $425,000, tying with the all-time record price set in July, from $383,250 in September 2016. Sales of condos rose 2.7 percent in September to 526 units sold, from 512 units sold during the same month last year.

The number of days on market for single-family homes dropped by 12.5 percent to 14 days, while condos were on market an average of 19 days, compared to 20 days a year ago, a decrease of 5 percent.

“Despite sales prices hitting the record-high twice in one year, condos and townhouses are still proving to be a popular alternative for homebuyers as evidenced by the 11.6 percent increase in pending sales," Sue Ann Lee, president of Honolulu Board of Realtors, said in a statement. “The continued need for affordable housing and lack of sufficient inventory to meet this growing demand can be demonstrated by the decrease in new listings and 5 percent decrease in days on market.”



Waikiki, Kakaako condominium sales up by more than 30 percent in August

Photo: Property of Jack Tyrrell and Company, Inc.

Photo: Property of Jack Tyrrell and Company, Inc.

Waikiki and Kakaako condo markets continue to perform well, with sales jumping 40 percent and 33 percent, respectively. With an average of 26 to 30 days on market, it's more important than ever to select the right agent to find the best home or investment property for you, and to close the deal quickly!  

Read the full report from Pacific Business News, below:

Condominium sales in Waikiki jumped 40 percent in August, while Kakaako condo sales increased 33 percent, according to a local market update by the Honolulu Board of Realtors.

There were 109 condominiums sold in Waikiki last month for a median price of $412,000, 2 percent less than last August. Units were on the market for an average of 30 days, selling 17 days faster than in August 2016. New listings and overall inventory increased 32 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

“Waikiki was a popular option for those in the market for condominiums,” said Sue Ann Lee, president of the Honolulu Board of Realtors. “The area is a great central location in urban Honolulu and offered local homebuyers and investors a wide selection of inventory from studios to luxury vacation condos.”

Kakaako condo sales increased 33 percent in August to 60, brining year-to-date sales up 19 percent to 377. The August median price in the area was $443,500, up 10 percent from last August, while the year-to-date median price decreased 4 percent to $495,000. The percentage of original price received increased 8 percent from last August, with sellers receiving 102.1 percent of the listing price on average. Also, days on market dropped 40 percent to 26 in August.

For single-family home sales, Makakilo experienced a 35 percent bump in August to 23, while the median sales price increased by 82 percent from the same period last year to $750,000. New listings increased by 29 percent and overall inventory rose by 32 percent, while median days on market decreased 17 percent to 24 in August.

“Makakilo was a popular neighborhood for single-family houses as demonstrated by the decrease in days on market and increase in closed sales,” Lee said. “The spike in median sales prices for single-family houses in Makakilo clearly shows the high demand for affordable housing and homebuyer’s willingness to explore options outside the metropolitan Honolulu area.”

In Hawaii Kai, single-family home sales increased 40 percent to 14, while the median price was flat at $1.24 million. Year-to-date sales increased 6 percent to 115 with the median price increasing 7 percent to $1.14 million



Industry News: Condo sales hit decades high in August 2017

Photo: Waiea at Ward Village, as viewed from Ala Moana Beach Park. Photo is property of Jack Tyrrell and Company.

Photo: Waiea at Ward Village, as viewed from Ala Moana Beach Park. Photo is property of Jack Tyrrell and Company.

Honolulu condo sales do not show signs of slowing down. Last month, condo sales in Honolulu hit its highest level in more than a decade, jumping 20% as compared to August 2016.

Read the article from the Honolulu Star Advertiser, below:

Oahu’s condominium market stayed hot in August, as buyer demand for condos hit its highest level in more than a decade after a price record set in July.

The Honolulu Board of Realtors said in a report released Wednesday that the number of condo sales on Oahu jumped 20 percent to 575 last month compared with 481 a year earlier.

There hadn’t been as many sales for a single month since August 2006 when 580 condos were sold in the midst of the prior housing market boom on the island. The all-time monthly record was set in August 2005 at 831 sales.

“Although this August’s condo sales did not break the record-high of 831 … it is still the highest we’ve seen in 11 years,” Sue Ann Lee, president of the Board of Realtors and a broker with Properties of the Pacific, said in a statement.

As for prices, condos sold for a median $419,000 last month, up 5 percent from $398,000 a year earlier. The record was $425,000 in July.

In Oahu’s single-family house market, the number of sales rose 5 percent to 362 in August from 344 in the same month last year, while the median price also increased by 5 percent to $786,250 from $747,500 in the same period. The record was $795,000 in June.

Local residential real estate brokerage firm Locations described Oahu’s housing market in its own report this week as exhibiting “strong and steady growth” in August driven by buyers competing for relatively limited inventory.

Condos, which include townhouses and units in high-rise buildings, are generally more affordable than single-family homes and have been in more demand than single-family houses, though both segments in the market have had more sales during the first eight months of this year compared with the same period last year.

For condos, sales this year through August are up 6.2 percent compared with a 3.8 percent gain for single-family houses.

“Condos and townhouses are becoming an attractive alternative for homebuyers due to the affordable price,” Lee said.

A higher pace of condo sale growth also has been aided by developers completing several new condo towers last year that have added inventory to the resale market. Projects completed last year include The Collection, Symphony Honolulu, Waiea and 400 Keawe, with roughly 1,100 units between them. By comparison, developers built far fewer single-family homes on Oahu last year.

Locations said in its report that the 11-year high for condo sale volume was remarkable because the number of units on the market available for sale is relatively low. In August, there were 1,918 condos on the market. That’s the highest inventory for any month in nearly two years, but it compares with 2,707 units on the market in August 2006 when there were about as many condo sales as there were last month.

Because of relatively low inventory, as well as other factors that include low unemployment, record tourism and low interest rates, Oahu home prices are expected to continue rising this year and for the next couple of years, according to projections by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.

This year through August, the median condo sale price is $401,000, up 3.2 percent from $388,500 in the same period last year. The single-family home median sale price is up slightly more, 3.7 percent, and rose to $757,000 from $730,000 in the same time frame.



Neighborhood News: Kewalo Harbor to undergo major transformation starting this month

Photo: Kewalo Harbor, Howard Hughes Corporation

The Howard Hughes Corporation has begun its long-planned renovations to Kewalo Harbor and Kewalo Basin. The plans will bring additional security and long overdue renovation to the harbor infrastructure improvements, including water, fire and electrical upgrades, security cameras and gates, Wi-Fi, new docks and a marine fueling facility. Additional improvements include an improved City lifeguard response station, landscaping, signage, restroom facilities and marketing resources for businesses on the harbor. The project will be led by Honolulu-based Sea Engineering Inc.  

"This partnership will allow us to bring much-needed repairs and upgrades to the Kewalo facilities while also creating a stronger connection between Kewalo Harbor, Ala Moana Beach Park and the nearby areas," said Howard Hughes Corp. Vice President for Community Development, Todd Apo.

Watch the full news report on KITV News, here:

Kewalo Harbor will undergo a major transformation starting this month.

The Howard Hughes Corporation is set to break ground on a $20 million renovation project.

Dock renovations and facility upgrades include improvements to security and a city lifeguard response station.

Upgrades will take place in phases and are set to begin in mid-September.

"I think this community of Kewalo Harbor and Kewalo Basin is going to get so much better with what Kupu is doing here from a non-profit standpoint, friends of Kewalo taking care of Kewalo park and the City and County with their efforts at Ala Moana Beach Park. All of this will come together to create an amazing oceanfront for all of us," Todd Apo, vice president of community development with the Howard Hughes Corperation said.

"They all need renovation, definitely and this isn't the only harbor that needs renovations, so I'm happy about that part," Ari Safari, a Rosalie Claire boat owner said. 

Safari said she'd welcome more boat services in exchange for higher fees.

A lease agreement between HCDA and Howard Hughes plans for increased slip rates.

After the project is complete, rates could go up between $2 and $4 per foot.



Business News: Prices at Whole Foods drop under Amazon

Rendering of Aeo Whole Foods in Ward Village, which will be Hawaii's flagship Whole Foods location.

Rendering of Aeo Whole Foods in Ward Village, which will be Hawaii's flagship Whole Foods location.

The sale of organic grocer Whole Foods Market to Amazon has already brought down prices at local Hawaii Whole Foods locations.  This is an exciting development, as Ward Village in Kakaako prepares for the Whole Foods flagship store to come to the neighborhood.  The future Whole Foods Market will be the state's biggest, and will be located on the ground level of Aeo, which is scheduled to be complete next year.  The tower will feature a special elevator just for residents into the market, making your everyday shopping more convenient than ever.  

Read more from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, below.

Ala Moana resident Aki Rey was shocked to find that the price of her favorite organic bananas at Whole Foods Market in Kahala dropped by a $1 to 69 cents a pound Monday, the first day that Amazon took over ownership of the national health food store.

“I’m still shocked about the price, especially bananas,” said Rey, 37. “I’m a big fan of Amazon. I shop at Amazon a lot. I think that’s great for customers. Everybody likes lower prices.”

Amazon.com Inc. acquired Whole Foods Market Inc. on Monday in a $13.7 billion deal and promptly cut prices by up to 43 percent for some products in a strategy to move away from the perception that the upscale grocery store — often dubbed “Whole Paycheck” — is for the rich and unaffordable for shoppers on a budget.

“It’s always been this ‘Whole Paycheck’ thing. I still think you’re gonna have people whose mindset is, ‘Oh this place is for the rich,’ and they’d rather go to their Times or Foodland (where) they feel more comfortable,” said Kaira Resch, 48, of Wilhelmina Rise, who was shopping Monday at the Kahala store. “Now that Amazon’s taken over, those are incredible prices.”

The price of regular bananas dropped to 49 cents compared with $1.19 a pound before the ownership change. Organic Fuji apples fell to $1.99 from $3.99 per pound. Organic avocados dropped to $1.99 from $3.49 each. A box of organic lettuce was reduced to $3.49 from $5.99.

Honolulu yoga instructor Jenia Kiseleva, 36, who shops at Whole Foods at least once a week, said the price changes are welcome, especially as a way to get more people eating better.

“It will be great for people. We need to bring more people to organic food … to raise more awareness,” she said. “It’s going to be easier for people to believe that it’s OK, it’s possible, it’s not that big of a deal to eat organic.”

Aggressive pricing is a hallmark of Amazon. Rival supermarket chains, which already operate with thin profit margins, are expected to face additional pressure to keep prices down and strengthen their loyalty programs or risk losing shoppers to Whole Foods.

Local health foods store Down to Earth, which is expanding in Kakaako, Pearlridge and Kailua, said Whole Foods’ price reductions are “greatly overstated” and that costs have been cut for only a “handful of products.”

“Many of the price drops are not very significant, less than 13 percent. The price reductions appear to be more about marketing and trying to change their ‘Whole Paycheck’ price image, rather than a significant change in pricing,” said Mark Fergusson, chief executive of Down to Earth. “Down to Earth regularly reduces prices, by much more than Whole Foods has done, on hundreds of items every month as part of our ongoing promotional programs. As more people become aware of the benefits of organic and natural foods, we expect that our business will continue to grow and thrive.”

Fergusson added that Whole Foods’ overall impact on the market hasn’t been significant and that the reality is the chain is only a small player in the national grocery industry — 2 or 3 percent of the total market. However, share prices of grocery chain competitors continued to fall Monday, while Amazon’s prices inched up 0.1 percent to $946.02 per share.

“It’s definitely had a very negative impact on share prices. Definitely, the stock market is anticipating some sort of major impact,” Fergusson said. “But the story’s not over yet. We’re not sure what they’re going to do. For Down to Earth, of course, there’s some uncertainty, but I don’t see a sort of game changer happening.”

Besides lowering prices, Amazon said it will give special savings and in-store benefits to Amazon Prime members, a program that costs $99 a year and also includes free shipping of Amazon products as well as video streaming.

Amazon also plans to add Amazon Lockers at select Whole Foods locations, enabling customers to pick up or send back returns of Amazon.com products at their nearby grocery store.



New Ala Moana Center food hall The Lanai to open October 2017 with 10 restaurants

Rendering provided by Ala Moana Center

Rendering provided by Ala Moana Center

The Lanai, Ala Moana Center’s new dining concept located in the former Shirokiya space on the mall’s second level, will open Oct. 27, 2017 featuring 10 new and established local eateries.

The dining hall will seat 450 and have indoor and outdoor options. It will sell breakfast, lunch, dinner and grab-and-go options. We are looking forward to this exciting new addition to the neighborhood!

Read more from KHON News, below:

Ala Moana Center is getting ready to open its newest dining area, and on Monday, we learned who will be inside.

Ten eateries will be featured in The Lanai @ Ala Moana when it officially opens on Oct. 27 in the former Shirokiya space on Mall Level 2.

The 18,000-square-foot space will offer seating for up to 450 customers with the option to sit in a dining hall or al fresco beneath festival lighting.

“As food halls continue to increase in popularity across the U.S., we look forward to unveiling Oahu’s newest communal dining concept in the Center’s Diamond Head Wing,” said Francis Cofran, senior general manager of Ala Moana Center. “The Lanai @ Ala Moana will have an artisanal and unique vibe where locals and visitors will be able to relax and explore an eclectic array of options, including popular local foodie favorites served alongside eateries new to Hawaii and one of Oahu’s first agave bars.”

The planned eateries are:

  • Agave & Vine: Hand-crafted cocktails, tequila, wine, and craft beers
  • Ahi & Vegetable: Fresh, high-quality tuna served in an assortment of sushi, sashimi, rolls, poke, and bentos with a side of salad or rice. Cooked foods include teriyaki chicken and beef, grilled fish (ahi and salmon), and more.
  • BRUG: A popular Japanese-style bakery and cafe from Hokkaido featuring artisan baked goods, soups, sandwiches, cold-brewed coffee, and jelly drinks.
  • Da Spot: Exotic food and smoothies.
  • HiTEA Cafe: This Maui-based eatery offers freshly prepared stir-fry dishes with a mix of shrimp, meat, and vegetables, along with fresh fruit juices, smoothies, and tea.
  • Ike’s Place: New to Hawaii, this San Francisco eatery is known for made-to-order sandwich options ranging from turkey to mozzarella sticks or jalapeño poppers topped with the brand’s famous “dirty sauce.”
  • Mahaloha Burger: This locally inspired menu features 100-percent free-range beef from Hawaii island, a variety of sides including sweet potato, onion rings, french fries, and tater tots, and shakes.
  • Sobaya: An authentic Japanese noodle house that specializes in soba (buckwheat), udon, and ramen noodles in soup with a variety of toppings, including popular tempura options.
  • Teppanyaki Farmer: An open kitchen concept where customers can watch their meal being prepared with locally available, farm-fresh products.
  • Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha: All-natural Hawaiian shave ice and locally made ice cream.



Industry News: ​Kakaako condominium prices soar 88 percent in July

Photo: Jack Tyrrell and Company, Inc. One-bedroom luxury rental in Waiea, featured on wardvillagerentalshwaii.com

Photo: Jack Tyrrell and Company, Inc. One-bedroom luxury rental in Waiea, featured on wardvillagerentalshwaii.com

This article originally appeared in Pacific Business News:

Kakaako median condominium prices soared 88 percent to $695,000 last month, with closed sales increasing 15 percent to 47, according to a local market update released by the Honolulu Board of Realtors.

Homes also moved quicker, selling after an average of 12 days on the market, a 37 percent decrease from last July.

Kakaako median condominium prices soared 88 percent to $695,000 last month, with closed sales increasing 15 percent to 47.

Waikiki had a 21 percent drop in condo sales last month, decreasing to 78 from 99 last year. The median price paid for those condos was $367,500, a 6 percent drop from $390,000 last July.

For single-family homes, Hawaii Kai and Kaneohe saw double-digit increases in the median price last month, increasing 18 percent to $1.2 million for Hawaii Kai and 13 percent to $964,350 for Kaneohe.

Closed sales, meanwhile, decreased 6 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

Year-to-date median prices for the neighborhoods are up 8 percent to $1.1 million and $857,250, respectively.

Kahala experienced a 12 percent drop in median price for single-family homes in July, decreasing to $1.5 million from $1.7 million in July 2016. Year-to-date prices are down 4 percent to $1.7 million.

In the Ewa Plain, closed sales increased 28 percent to 73 in July, with the median price inching up 2 percent from last July to $660,000. New listings in the area increased 23 percent to 95.

This area remains popular due to its lower price points and varied options, according to Sue Ann Lee, president of the Honolulu Board of Realtors.

“For homebuyers willing to look outside Urban Honolulu, Leeward and Central Oahu neighborhoods like Wahiawa and Makakilo offer a wide selection of options that fall at or even below the island-wide median sales price of $750,000 for single-family houses and $425,000 for condos and townhouses,” Lee said.



Honolulu named most livable city in the U.S. by The Economist Intelligence Unit

Photo: The Economist Intelligence Unit

Photo: The Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit today released their annual Most Livable Cities Report, here.  According to the report, Honolulu is the Most Livable City in the U.S., ranking 17 globally. The annual report assesses cities across the world on the quality of living provided to its citizens.

The report explains, "Every city is assigned a rating of relative comfort for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure. Each factor in a city is rated as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable. For qualitative indicators, a rating is awarded based on the judgment of in-house analysts and in-city contributors. For quantitative indicators, a rating is calculated based on the relative performance of a number of external data points."

Read more from Pacific Business News' report, below:

Honolulu has been named the most livable city in the U.S. and one of the top 20 worldwide, according to a new report.

The Economist Intelligence Unit on Tuesday released its annual " Global Livability Index" report, which assigns each city a score for over 30 factors across five broad categories – based on stability, healthcare, culture/environment, education and infrastructure.

Honolulu has been named the most livable city in the U.S. and one of the top 20 worldwide, according to annual "Global Livability Index" from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The state's largest city was ranked No. 17 globally and No. 1 in U.S., beating out Washington, D.C., (30) and Boston (34) to top the nation.

Several U.S. cities have declined in score, due to, among other things, mounting civil unrest linked to Black Lives Matter and Trump policies, terrorism-related violence that undermine personal safety and an increase in mass shootings.

According to the 2017 report, cities that score best “tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density. These can foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure.”

The most livable city in the world was for the seventh year in a row Melbourne. The Australian city was followed by Vienna and Vancouver.

Australia and Canada dominated the top 10 with three cities each.



Neighborhood News: Additional Bikeshare stops coming to Ward and Ala Moana area

Photo: Biki, Bikeshare Hawaii

Photo: Biki, Bikeshare Hawaii

Bikeshare Hawaii announced that the nonprofit is adding another 10 stations to increase access to its Biki bikeshare program.  They have been installed as of Monday, August 14, 2017, so please be aware.  Read more from the Pacific Business Journal, below.

The new stops, which will be located between Downtown Honolulu and Waikiki, will bring the total number of Biki stops from Chinatown to Diamond Head to 99, while the number of available bikes increases to 1,000.

"Biki users have requested Biki Stops in areas where there are gaps, and these new locations will help satisfy those requests," Bikeshare Hawaii said in a statement. "None of the new locations take parking spots."

More than 75,000 Biki trips have been recorded since the launch of the bikeshare program in late June. Bikeshare Hawaii says the program records between 1,800 and 2,100 trips per day.

Installation of the 10 new stations will take place on Monday. The new stations include:

Kakaako/Ala Moana Area:
·Pohukaina Street near UFC Gym

Ward Area:
·Ward Village in front of Real Gastropub
·Ward Village near the former Sports Authority
·Kolowalu Park

·Beretania and Punchbowl streets near Department of Health
·Fort Street Mall at King Street
·Fort Street Mall at Queen Street
·Punchbowl Street near Queen Street
·Beretania Street at Isenberg Street

·Kalakaua Avenue between Ohua and Paoakalani avenues