Ahhhh Palm Trees swaying and the ocean breezes; Does it get any better than this? Most of us head to Hawaii for vacation but some try to figure out if they can actually live there. So when is the cost of living in Hawaii and on the island of Oahu?
It’s no surprise that things are more expensive out on the islands. Most everything has to be shipped in or flown in, increasing the cost of things not native to the island. Even things as simple as building supplies and lumber will need to be shipped in so if you’re planning on building a home, you’ll need to add that into the cost.
But items such as milk, bread and cheese could be nearly double in the Hawaiian Islands. Gas is the most expensive in the nation at nearly 5 dollars a gallon and shopping centers and homes use electricity that’s twice as expensive per kilowatt hour as the next costliest state, Alaska. But, is it any more expensive then, say, New York or California? Healthcare and groceries may be the same if not more in these areas but the overall cost of living is substantially less.
A snapshot of costs over the last 12 months shows that a gallon of milk is roughly 6 dollars, gas is between $4.30 and five dollars per gallon, the single-family home median sales price in Honolulu is about $600,000 and the condominium is roughly $350,000.
Oahu is the most populated island and is more expensive to rent or buy a home than the other islands. Because tourism is Hawaii’s major industry, many of the jobs provide tourism but are only part-time paying and minimum wage at that.
Moving from a different state or city to the Hawaiian islands varies depending on where you’re moving from. For instance, if you’re moving from Los Angeles, the highest expense will be utilities and groceries. There’s an overall 31% higher cost of living in Honolulu in Los Angeles.
Let’s look at the middle of the country and say, Kansas City Missouri; cost of living is roughly 72% more with housing being 180% more in Honolulu the Kansas City but items such as healthcare, transportation and utilities being not as high. Surprisingly, healthcare is one of the lowest cost of living expenses in Hawaii; on average anywhere from 1% to 7% higher than most cities across the US. Housing, again, is one of the highest cost-of-living increases.
Related: Tips for Moving Overseas to Hawaii
Then again, let’s take New York, New York. It’s 24% less living in Hawaii than New York even though the utilities and groceries are more expensive in Hawaii the New York. The housing, transportation and health care are all below the cost of living in New York. Housing is also 12% lower in Honolulu did in San Francisco California.
If you’re moving from a smaller town or community throughout the US you will expect to pay more in Hawaii. If you prepare and plan now it won’t be as a big shock. If you’d like to run some more numbers on your industry and occupation feel free to give me a call today. We can talk about the numbers and find a home that meets your budget and your search criteria.