The 10 Most Affordable Places to Live in Hawaii

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By Michael Yessis Updated June 13, 2024
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Edited by Ashley Simon

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The 96818 zip code in Honolulu tops our ranking of the most affordable places to live in Hawaii.

We looked at 35 zip codes in the state, evaluating home values, rental costs, energy rates, property taxes, and five other affordability indicators. We used the data we gathered to calculate our proprietary Affordability Score for each zip code.  

Top 10 most affordable places to live in Hawaii

RankCity Affordability Score Median home valueRental costs
1Honolulu 🥇100$566,370$2,074
2Keaau🥈98.9$455,887$1,763
3Pahoa 🥉85.9$290,715$2,775
4Pearl City84.6$940,661$2,069
5Waianae83.4$589,554$2,028
6Waipahu75.5$889,543$2,244
7Mililani70.6$925,797$2,640
8Aiea67.9$868,435$2,574
9Hilo67.7$500,222$2,775
10Wahiawa61.5$844,533$2,033
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1. Honolulu

Here's why the 96818 zip code in Honolulu is Hawaii's most affordable place to live.

🔎 Key data about Honolulu

Data pointValueRank (out of 35 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 100 No. 1N/A
Median home value $566,370[1]No. 6 -$336,560.00
Home affordability ratio 6.0No. 2-3.1
Home value five-year change 12.2%[2]No. 4-22.6%
Home value one-year forecast -1.9%[3]No. 180.1%
Rental costs $2,074[4]No. 7-$701
Rent affordability ratio 2.20%No. 5-0.6%
Median household income $94,367[5]No. 18-$5,145
Property taxes $1,898[6]No. 16-$222
Energy costs $0.43 kWh[7]No. 1-$0.01
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Honolulu's 96818 zip code is the cheapest place to live in Hawaii, leading the 35 markets we evaluated. 

The median home value is $566,370, making it the 6th-cheapest housing market in the state. Forecasts project a -1.9% change in home values in the next year. Rent in the zip code averages $2,074 per month, which is the 5th cheapest amount in Hawaii.

The median property tax for homeowners in Honolulu is $1,898 per household, the No. 16 ranked market in Hawaii. 

Residents pay $0.43 per kWh of electricity, which ranks No. 1 among Hawaii markets.

2. Keaau

The 96749 zip code is the 2nd-cheapest place to live in Hawaii.

🔎 Key data about Keaau

Data pointValueRank (out of 35 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 98.9No. 2N/A
Median home value $455,887[8]No. 2-$447,043.25
Home affordability ratio 5.9No. 1-3.1
Home value five-year change 56.7%[9]No. 2721.8%
Home value one-year forecast -0.5%[10]No. 231.5%
Rental costs $1,763[11]No. 1-$1,012
Rent affordability ratio 2.30%No. 7-0.5%
Median household income $76,762[12]No. 29-$22,750
Property taxes $1,219[13]No. 5-$901
Energy costs $0.48 kWh[14]No. 31$0.04
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Keaau's 96749 zip code has a median home value of $455,887, which is the 23rd-cheapest housing market in Hawaii. You can rent for an average of $1,763 per month. That's the 1st-cheapest price in the state.

The average household income in the zip code is $76,762, which ranks 29th-highest in the state. 

Homeowners in Keaau pay a median property tax of $1,219 per year, making it the 5th-most affordable market in Hawaii.

Keaau ranks No. 31 among Hawaii energy markets. You'll pay $0.48 per kWh of electricity.

3. Pahoa

The 3rd-cheapest place to live in Hawaii is Pahoa's 96778 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Pahoa

Data pointValueRank (out of 35 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 85.9No. 3N/A
Median home value $290,715[15]No. 1-$612,215.16
Home affordability ratio 7.5No. 7-1.6
Home value five-year change 45.8%[16]No. 2311.0%
Home value one-year forecast -0.5%[17]No. 231.5%
Rental costs $2,775[18]No. 16$0
Rent affordability ratio 2.79%No. 160.0%
Median household income $39,010[19]No. 35-$60,502
Property taxes $664[20]No. 1-$1,456
Energy costs $0.48 kWh[21]No. 31$0.04
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The No. 1 cheapest housing in Hawaii is Pahoa's 96778 zip code, with a median home value of $290,715. Rents in the market average $2,775 per month, making it the 16th-most affordable rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in Pahoa is $664, which makes it the 1st-cheapest place in Hawaii. Pahoa ranks No. 31 among Hawaii markets by energy costs. Residents pay $0.48 per kWh of electricity.

4. Pearl City

The 96782 zip code in Pearl City comes in at No. 4 on our list of the cheapest places to live in Hawaii.

🔎 Key data about Pearl City

Data pointValueRank (out of 35 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 84.6No. 4N/A
Median home value $940,661[22]No. 20$37,730.84
Home affordability ratio 8.9No. 19-0.1
Home value five-year change 28.3%[23]No. 11-6.6%
Home value one-year forecast -3.1%[24]No. 7-1.1%
Rental costs $2,069[25]No. 6-$705
Rent affordability ratio 1.97%No. 1-0.8%
Median household income $105,142[26]No. 13$5,630
Property taxes $2,256[27]No. 24$136
Energy costs $0.43 kWh[28]No. 1-$0.01
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The No. 20 cheapest housing market in Hawaii is Pearl City's 96782 zip code, where the median home value is $940,661. Renters here pay an average of $2,069 per month. 

When it comes to energy costs, Pearl City ranks 1st among Hawaii markets. Residents pay $0.43 per kWh of electricity.

The median property tax for households in the zip code is $2,256, which makes it the 24th-cheapest market in Hawaii.

5. Waianae

The 96792 zip code in Waianae ranks No. 5 among Hawaii's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about Waianae

Data pointValueRank (out of 35 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 83.4No. 5N/A
Median home value $589,554[29]No. 7-$313,376.08
Home affordability ratio 7.4No. 6-1.7
Home value five-year change 38.4%[30]No. 203.5%
Home value one-year forecast -2.8%[31]No. 11-0.8%
Rental costs $2,028[32]No. 4-$747
Rent affordability ratio 2.55%No. 12-0.2%
Median household income $79,575[33]No. 27-$19,937
Property taxes $1,140[34]No. 3-$980
Energy costs $0.43 kWh[35]No. 1-$0.01
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Waianae's 96792 zip code has a median home value of $589,554, the 7th-cheapest market in the state. Forecasts project a -2.8% change in home values in the next year. 

The median property tax per household in Waianae is $1,140. It's the 3rd-cheapest market by tax rate in Hawaii.

6. Waipahu

The No. 6 most affordable place to live in Hawaii is the 96797 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Waipahu

Data pointValueRank (out of 35 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 75.5No. 6N/A
Median home value $889,543[36]No. 18-$13,386.92
Home affordability ratio 8.5No. 14-0.6
Home value five-year change 36.1%[37]No. 171.2%
Home value one-year forecast -2.9%[38]No. 9-0.9%
Rental costs $2,244[39]No. 9-$531
Rent affordability ratio 2.15%No. 3-0.6%
Median household income $104,590[40]No. 14$5,078
Property taxes $2,097[41]No. 22-$23
Energy costs $0.43 kWh[42]No. 1-$0.01
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The back half of our top 10 kicks off with Waipahu's 96797 zip code, which has the 18th-cheapest home values in Hawaii. The median home value is $889,543. Rents average $2,244 per month, making it the 9th-most affordable rental market in the state.

Residents pay $0.43 per kWh of electricity. It's the 1st-cheapest energy market.

7. Mililani

Mililani's 96789 zip code is the 7th-cheapest place to live in Hawaii.

🔎 Key data about Mililani

Data pointValueRank (out of 35 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 70.6No. 7N/A
Median home value $925,797[43]No. 19$22,867.20
Home affordability ratio 7.7No. 11-1.3
Home value five-year change 38.7%[44]No. 213.8%
Home value one-year forecast -2.9%[45]No. 9-0.9%
Rental costs $2,640[46]No. 15-$135
Rent affordability ratio 2.21%No. 6-0.6%
Median household income $119,475[47]No. 5$19,963
Property taxes $2,313[48]No. 25$193
Energy costs $0.43 kWh[49]No. 1-$0.01
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You'll find the 19th-cheapest home values in Hawaii in Mililani's 96789 zip code. The median value: $925,797. Renters in Mililani pay an average of $2,640 per month.

Homeowners in Mililani pay a median property tax of $2,313 per year, which is Hawaii's 25th-most affordable market.

The average household income is $119,475, which ranks 5th-highest in the state.

8. Aiea

The 8th-cheapest place to live in Hawaii is Aiea's 96701 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Aiea

Data pointValueRank (out of 35 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 67.9No. 8N/A
Median home value $868,435[50]No. 15-$34,494.31
Home affordability ratio 8.0No. 13-1.1
Home value five-year change 27.8%[51]No. 10-7.1%
Home value one-year forecast -2.6%[52]No. 14-0.6%
Rental costs $2,574[53]No. 13-$201
Rent affordability ratio 2.38%No. 9-0.4%
Median household income $108,261[54]No. 11$8,749
Property taxes $2,354[55]No. 26$234
Energy costs $0.43 kWh[56]No. 1-$0.01
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The 15th-cheapest housing market in Hawaii is Aiea's 96701 zip code, with a median home value of $868,435. Renters pay an average of $2,574 per month, the No. 13 rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in Aiea is $2,354, which makes it the 26th-cheapest place in Hawaii. The average household income of $108,261 ranks 11th.

9. Hilo

Hilo's 96720 zip code sneaks into the top ten of Hawaii's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about Hilo

Data pointValueRank (out of 35 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 67.7No. 9N/A
Median home value $500,222[57]No. 4-$402,708.25
Home affordability ratio 6.6No. 3-2.4
Home value five-year change 48.4%[58]No. 2413.5%
Home value one-year forecast -0.5%[59]No. 231.5%
Rental costs $2,775[60]No. 16$0
Rent affordability ratio 2.79%No. 160.0%
Median household income $75,265[61]No. 30-$24,247
Property taxes $1,086[62]No. 2-$1,034
Energy costs $0.48 kWh[63]No. 31$0.04
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The 4th-cheapest housing market in Hawaii is Hilo's 96720 zip code, where the median home value is $500,222. Renters pay an average of $2,775 per month. It's the state's 16th-cheapest rental market.

The median property tax for households within the zip code is $1,086, which makes it the 2nd-cheapest property tax rate in Hawaii. 

10. Wahiawa

The final spot on our list of the most affordable places to live in Hawaii goes to the 96786 zip code in Wahiawa.

🔎 Key data about Wahiawa

Data pointValueRank (out of 35 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 61.5No. 10N/A
Median home value $844,533[64]No. 12-$58,397.22
Home affordability ratio 10.9No. 271.9
Home value five-year change 35.1%[65]No. 160.3%
Home value one-year forecast -3.0%[66]No. 8-1.0%
Rental costs $2,033[67]No. 5-$742
Rent affordability ratio 2.63%No. 13-0.2%
Median household income $77,287[68]No. 28-$22,225
Property taxes $1,927[69]No. 18-$193
Energy costs $0.43 kWh[70]No. 1-$0.01
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The 12th-most affordable market in Hawaii is Wahiawa's 96786 zip code. The median home value is $844,533. Rent in the market costs $2,033 per month on average, making it the 5th-most affordable rental market in Hawaii.

The median property tax for households in Wahiawa is $1,927, which is the 18th-cheapest property tax rate in the state.

Wahiawa ranks No. 1 among Hawaii markets by energy costs, with households paying $0.43 per kWh of electricity.

How we ranked the most affordable places in Hawaii

We evaluated 35 zip codes in Hawaii with a population over 10,000 on nine metrics. We then assigned each market an Affordability Score based on its weighted and combined rankings. 

✍️ Editor’s note: Our Affordability Score identifies the most affordable places in a state by zip code.

Often the zip code we identify will represent an entire city or portion of a city. 

Occasionally the zip code we identify will encompass an area that includes one or more small towns. In these cases, the data we’ve gathered applies to the entire zip code, not just the single town we’re using to help identify the zip code's location. 

If you’re looking to move to one of these affordable places, we recommend doing additional research to make sure the costs in the area — and the quality of life it offers — meet your specific needs.

Methodology: What is an Affordability Score?

Our proprietary Affordability Score is a score on a scale of 0 (worst in state) to 100 (best in state) that estimates the affordability of a particular zip code. It takes into account these key data points for each zip code.

  • Median home value: The median home value for each zip code comes from the Zillow Home Value Index. The lower the median home value relative to the median value in Hawaii, the higher our score on this component. We assign a weight of 23.8% to median home value.
  • Home affordability ratio. The home affordability ratio is the typical median home value divided by the median household income in the zip code, which reveals the number of years of household income needed to afford a home in that zip code. A lower ratio is better because it means more households can afford a home. The data comes from the Zillow Observed Rent Index and the U.S. Census American Community Survey. We assign a weight of 23.8% to the home affordability ratio.
  • Home value five-year change: The home value five-year change is the amount that the median home value in the zip code has risen or fallen during the last five years. Our data comes from the Zillow Home Value Index. We assign a weight of 4.8% to the home value five-year change.
  • Home value one-year forecast: The home value one-year forecast comes from Zillow Forecast data. It projects how much home values in the zip code are forecasted to change in the next year. We assign a weight of 4.8% to the home value one-year forecast.
  • Rental costs. The rental costs are the observed rents in the zip code, sourced from the Zillow Observed Rent Index. The index includes "listed rents that fall into the 40th to 60th percentile range for all homes and apartments in a given region." We assign a weight of 11.9% to rental costs. 
  • Median household income: The inflation-adjusted median household income figures for the zip code comes from the U.S. Census American Community Survey. We assign a weight of 4.8% to median household income.
  • Rent affordability ratio. The rent affordability ratio is the ratio of rental costs divided by median household income, which provides the percentage of household income needed to pay a typical month’s rent in the zip code. The data comes from the Zillow Observed Rent Index and the U.S. Census American Community Survey. We assign a weight of 11.9% to the rent affordability ratio.
  • Property taxes: The property tax figures are the median real estate taxes paid in the zip code, sourced from the U.S. Census American Community Survey. The lower the property tax rate relative to the Hawaii average, the higher our score on this component. We assign a weight of 7.1% to property taxes. 
  • Energy costs: The energy costs are the costs of a kilowatt hour (kWh) of residential electricity in the zip code, sourced from the U.S. Department of Energy. The lower the cost of electricity relative to the Hawaii average, the higher our score on this component. We assign a weight of 7.1% to energy costs.  

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