My husband moved with his family to Kailua in 1952 when he was 8 years old. There was a defunct horserace track (where Kainalu School is), watermelon patches, fruit trees everywhere, no high school, and his parents paid about $8,000 for their 3-bedroom, 1-bath house on Kaimake Loop.
Of course, Kailua has grown up since then and now has two high schools, subdivisions in place of watermelon patches and a plethora of popular shops and restaurants. And that $8,000 home is now valued at over $1,000,000.
Kailua is becoming a trendy “walking town” and a hot tourist destination. Besides one of the world’s best beaches, some popular attractions include Whole Foods (seems like just as many tourists as locals frequent the store), and the hip Thursday night Farmers Market.
It’s where locals meet, greet and eat (oh, and sometimes take produce home). What has not changed over time is Kailua’s residents’ love for the beach and ocean sports. Any day, from early morning to evening, you’ll find locals and tourists at Kailua beach sunning, swimming, kayaking, paddling, windsurfing, kiteboarding, walking, and talking. With a world-class beach, eateries, shops and a “shaka” lifestyle, Kailua is the ultimate beach town.
The real estate market in Kailua is also hot. The 2014 median price of a single family home in the Kailua region was the 5th highest on the island, after Aina Haina, Hawaii Kai, Makiki and Waialae Kahala. Kailua’s condo median prices also took 5th place after Aina Haina, Ala Moana/Kakaako, Hawaii Kai and Kapahulu/Diamond Head, at $502,000.