Honolulu rent rates rise 7.9 percent, experts say trend will continue

Local News

Honolulu’s rental home rates are rising.

In their third quarter “Rental Statistics Report,” Real Property Management Alliance and RentRange found that the average monthly rent for three-bedroom, single-family homes in Honolulu was $2,681, representing a 7.9 percent year-over-year increase.

“Given the economic factors that contribute to Honolulu’s tight housing market, we expect rental prices will continue to rise,” said Kawika Burgess, president and CEO of Real Property Management Alliance.

Nationally, home rental rates experienced a 5.7 percent increase since last year and the median now exceeds $1,360.

The news wasn’t a surprise to Carl Bohnam, professor of economics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

“The bottom line is that we really are paying more for even lesser quality places than you would somewhere else and many of us choose to stay despite that,” he said.

Burgess says prices will continue to rise.

“I think that we continue to climb and reach historic levels for the rent,” he said. “I think it is a trend that we’ve seen in the past and recent data does show that the trend is continuing.”

According to Burgess, there are things you can do to make sure you are a good candidate if you’re looking for a new rental, the same things that can help you keep the one you have.

First, consider setting up an auto draft for your monthly rent. Next, it can help to perform small tasks yourself, such as changing smoke alarm batteries and doing routine maintenance. Finally, if you do leave, make sure you leave the space in the condition that you found it.

Keith Taylor, who we first met at a housing lottery, says he’s all too familiar with the challenges of finding a new place to rent.

“It takes a lot longer finding a place than it would say on the mainland because you have to find a place that’s going to meet your budget and there are so many people looking for a place on this small island, there’s not a lot of choices if you have to stick to a budget,” he said.

But Burgess says there’s at least one thing you can do.

“Just like good properties for sale that sell quickly, similarly rental properties rent quickly, so we often get multiple applications for a rental property,” he said, “so you want to be prepared if you’re looking for a property and you come across one you want, you want to be prepared so you can apply quickly.”

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