The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Hawaii For 2022


We used science and data to determine which cities in Hawaii that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Hawaii.

Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Hawaii does this very well. Families love the Aloha State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.

These are the places in Hawaii that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Hawaii for 2022.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Hawaii? That would be Wailea.
the 2016-2020 American Community Survey for the 51 places in Hawaii with more than 5,000 people.

What's the most expensive place to live in Hawaii? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Wailea is the most expensive place to live in Hawaii.

So hopefully Hawaiian Paradise Park (the cheapest place to live in Hawaii) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Hawaii and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Hawaii For 2022

1. Wailea

Wailea, HI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 6,239
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 15.2x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 37.3x (4th most expensive)
More on Wailea: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Wailea comes in at $74,347 and the median home value is $1,133,600 for 2022.

2. Haiku-Pauwela

Haiku-Pauwela, HI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 9,107
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 9.9x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 43.5x (7th most expensive)
More on Haiku-Pauwela: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Haiku-Pauwela comes in at $86,974 and the median home value is $862,900 for 2022.

3. Urban Honolulu

Urban Honolulu, HI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 347,181
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 9.8x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 47.7x (11th most expensive)
More on Urban Honolulu: Real Estate | Data

The median income in Urban Honolulu comes in at $72,454 and the median home value is $707,400 for 2022.

4. Kailua Cdp (Honolulu County)

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 37,900
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 8.1x (13th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 48.9x (14th most expensive)
More on Kailua Cdp (Honolulu County): Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Kailua Cdp (Honolulu County) comes in at $122,706 and the median home value is $992,100 for 2022.

5. Kula

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 6,687
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 14.1x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.6x (27th most expensive)
More on Kula: Real Estate | Data

The median income in Kula comes in at $77,161 and the median home value is $1,086,400 for 2022.

6. Laie

Laie, HI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 6,071
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 9.0x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.5x (24th most expensive)
More on Laie: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Laie comes in at $98,490 and the median home value is $883,800 for 2022.

7. Kahaluu-Keauhou

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 7,258
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 7)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 8.4x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 47.2x (10th most expensive)
More on Kahaluu-Keauhou: Real Estate | Data

The median income in Kahaluu-Keauhou comes in at $77,366 and the median home value is $647,200 for 2022.

8. Lahaina

Lahaina, HI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 13,216
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 9.5x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.5x (26th most expensive)
More on Lahaina: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Lahaina comes in at $76,951 and the median home value is $730,700 for 2022.

9. Napili-Honokowai

Napili-Honokowai, HI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 6,870
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.7x (15th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 48.0x (12th most expensive)
More on Napili-Honokowai: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Napili-Honokowai comes in at $86,048 and the median home value is $666,100 for 2022.

10. East Honolulu

East Honolulu, HI

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 47,132
Rank Last Year: 12 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.9x (2most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.9x (28th most expensive)
More on East Honolulu: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in East Honolulu comes in at $139,487 and the median home value is $968,200 for 2022.

Methodology: How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Aloha State For 2022

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Hawaii
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2016-2020 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Hawaii to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 51 places in Hawaii that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Hawaii according to the data is Wailea. You can download the data here.

Summary: Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Hawaii For 2022

Well there you have it, the places in Hawaii that have the highest cost of living, with Wailea ranking as the most expensive city in the Aloha State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Hawaii according to the data:

  1. Hawaiian Paradise Park
  2. Hilo
  3. Waihee-Waiehu

For more Hawaii reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Hawaii

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Wailea 2.0 6,239 15.2x 37.3x
2 Haiku-Pauwela 5.33 9,107 9.9x 43.5x
3 Urban Honolulu 9.67 347,181 9.8x 47.7x
4 Kailua Cdp (Honolulu County) 10.0 37,900 8.1x 48.9x
5 Kula 10.33 6,687 14.1x 51.6x
6 Laie 11.67 6,071 9.0x 51.5x
7 Kahaluu-Keauhou 13.67 7,258 8.4x 47.2x
8 Lahaina 14.0 13,216 9.5x 51.5x
9 Napili-Honokowai 15.67 6,870 7.7x 48.0x
10 East Honolulu 17.67 47,132 6.9x 51.9x
11 Aiea 18.33 9,730 7.4x 52.4x
12 Pearl City 18.67 45,159 6.8x 49.7x
13 Halawa 20.0 13,953 8.8x 61.6x
14 Ahuimanu 21.0 8,254 6.6x 51.5x
15 Kalaheo 21.0 5,333 8.5x 59.3x
16 Ocean Pointe 21.33 15,688 5.7x 39.6x
17 Kaneohe 23.33 33,540 6.9x 58.0x
18 Kihei 23.33 22,749 7.3x 50.8x
19 Wahiawa 23.33 16,442 8.2x 50.4x
20 Waipahu 23.67 38,276 8.3x 58.6x
21 Lihue 23.67 9,036 7.7x 54.1x
22 Mililani Mauka 23.67 19,808 6.4x 52.7x
23 Makaha 24.0 10,087 7.1x 33.4x
24 Wailua Homesteads 25.67 6,301 6.6x 56.6x
25 Mililani Town 26.0 27,459 6.5x 54.3x
26 West Loch Estate 26.67 6,685 5.7x 48.9x
27 Waimalu 28.0 13,714 6.0x 42.9x
28 Royal Kunia 28.67 13,857 5.4x 49.5x
29 Wailuku 29.0 17,523 7.7x 57.3x
30 Waikoloa Village 29.33 7,366 6.1x 48.5x
31 Waipio 29.67 10,745 5.9x 48.9x
32 Ewa Beach 30.67 13,803 6.0x 51.3x
33 Pukalani 31.0 7,689 6.4x 64.4x
34 Kahului 31.0 29,993 7.4x 62.4x
35 Ewa Villages 31.67 6,452 8.1x 78.2x
36 Waikele 31.67 7,246 5.2x 44.4x
37 Kailua Cdp (Hawaii County) 32.67 22,972 6.5x 52.3x
38 Maili 33.33 12,591 5.0x 44.5x
39 Makawao 33.33 7,989 6.7x 65.2x
40 Makakilo 34.33 19,565 5.7x 59.0x
41 Waipio Acres 36.0 5,556 5.3x 50.2x
42 Kapaa 37.0 9,961 6.2x 60.1x
43 Ewa Gentry 37.33 26,358 5.3x 57.2x
44 Waimanalo 37.67 5,599 5.8x 82.6x
45 Nanakuli 38.0 11,379 5.1x 49.9x
46 Kapolei 38.33 21,541 5.2x 57.6x
47 Waimea Cdp (Hawaii County) 42.67 10,969 4.8x 54.7x
48 Waianae 44.0 13,192 5.8x 62.8x
49 Waihee-Waiehu 44.0 10,771 5.3x 75.4x
50 Hilo 46.33 45,248 5.2x 59.9x
51 Hawaiian Paradise Park 50.67 10,921 4.0x 68.3x

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.