June Real Estate Report

The North Seattle real estate market has continued to be a high demand low supply market. While the level of inventory has inched closer to a one month supply, we are still nowhere near a normal market condition. Because of the low levels of inventory, historic low levels of interest rates, there are a lot of buyers in the market and not enough homes for sale to satisfy the demand. As a result, the average home in North Seattle sold for 13.5% more last month than it did in June 2013. If we compare median home prices, that increased by more than 12% from the previous year. With no shortage of interested buyers, this is a great market if you are looking to sell your North Seattle home for a premium price.

In Ballard, we saw similar trends as the rest of North Seattle saw with homes selling for a premium amount and closing in a short period of time. The demand to live in Ballard is evident in multiple ways as new construction homes are popping up everywhere. Another indicator of the strong sellers’ market in Ballard is the fact that homes are receiving multiple offers and closing for well above the asking price. If you are looking to buy or sell your home in Ballard, please feel free to contact me.

Ballard SeafoodFest Is This Weekend!

seafoodAs a neighborhood with deep maritime roots, it’s only fitting that Ballard would have an entire festival devoted to seafood. The 40th anniversary of the Ballard SeafoodFest (and second iteration of the accompanying BeerFest), takes over Market Street and Ballard Avenue this weekend with more than 20 food vendors offering everything from Filipino-style seafood to Northwest crab cakes and, of course, the traditional salmon barbecue.

BeerFest has expanded this year, and will be featuring some familiar names from around the neighborhood at its new spot near the main music stage at 22nd Avenue NW and Ballard Avenue. Look for Hilliard’s, Reuben’s, Stoup, Bad Jimmy’s, NW Peaks, and Peddler, along with many more breweries from around the Northwest. 14 ounce beers are $5.00, and there will be wine for $7 for all of you non-beer-drinkers. For more family-friendly activities, head to Ballard Commons Park for the skateboard competition, the giant kids’ slide, and vendors offering a wide array stuff just for kids. Make sure to come back on Sunday afternoon for the kids’ superhero costume contest and the raffle drawing – the grand prize is two tickets on Iceland Air!

Festivities are slated to begin at 11:00 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, and BeerFest wraps up at 10:00 each night. Click here for a full schedule of the events!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where To Watch The World Cup In Ballard

South Africa Brazil 2014 Soccer WCup Emblem

While any bar with a television will most likely be showing a World Cup game or two, some establishments may be a little more committed to the morning and mid-day live broadcast times than others. Here is a (surprisingly long) list of bars in the Ballard area that will be going the extra mile to show live games. Many of them will also be offering World Cup food and drink specials (info from Seattle Met):

Kangaroo & Kiwi – This Australian-owned pub will be open at 8:00 a.m. every day for the duration of the World Cup (June 12 – July 13) and will be showing every game on its eight indoor TV screens and specially installed TVs in two outdoor beer gardens. Beer and breakfast sandwich specials will be on the menu.

The Market Arms – The World Cup schedule on The Market Arms’ website warns “NO BIRTHS, WEDDINGS OR WORK” between June 12 and July 13. That is how seriously they’re taking their WC viewing. They’ll be showing all games live and replaying select games later in the evening for those of you who can’t skip out on work to go to a bar at 9:00 in the morning (probably most of you). Check their website for the complete schedule.

The George & Dragon – The self-proclaimed “Home of Football” (or in this case, “Futebol”) will predictably be showing all of the games and replays of quite a few, as well. This is always a popular spot, so be prepared for big crowds.

Other bars that will be open for all games: Ballard Loft, The Leary Traveler, Molly Maguires, Bad Albert’s Tap and Grill, La Isla, The Dray, and the Phinney Neighborhood Association. Click the links for all the details!

May Real Estate Report

The real estate market for the North Seattle area continued the year long trend of being a sellers’ market. Houses are selling faster and at a higher price point than a year ago. The average days on market for a North Seattle home in 2013 was 24 days, this past month a home sold on average in 20 days. More buyers are having pre-inspections completed, writing cash offers, and waiving other contingencies, all to compete for their dream home. Compared to May of 2013, the median price on a home sold in North Seattle increased by 10%. That increase is a result of more buyers who are looking to live in North Seattle.

More specifically in Ballard, the median home price rose from $436,000 in May 2013 to $500,000 in May 2014. That is a 15% increase from the previous year and 5% higher than the average home sold when compared to the rest of North Seattle. If you are looking to buy or sell your home and would like more information, feel free to contact me with any questions.

 

*Data provided by the NWMLS

Ballard Celebrates 200th Anniversary of Syttende Mai This Saturday

Norway

Despite dramatic changes in Ballard over the past several years, the neighborhood retains its strong Scandinavian identity, which is no better demonstrated than at the annual Syttende Mai (17th of May in Norwegian) parade, a celebration of the signing of the Norwegian constitution in 1814.

Ballard has been holding its celebration of Norwegian independence for 150 years, and these days the parade, which begins near 24th Ave NW and NW 60th and makes its way through Bergen Place park and down Ballard Avenue through Old Ballard, draws as many as 20,000 spectators. You’ll see drill teams, marching bands, community groups and plenty of Norwegian musical groups such as the Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle. Though the parade is the grand finale of the event, Ballard will be celebrating all day long with music, food, kids activities, and much more! Here’s a sampling of other events happening throughout the day:

10:00 a.m. – Opening festivities with Mayor Ed Murray at Bergen Place

10:00 a.m. – 4:00p.m. – Barneleker (Children’s Events) at the Nordic Heritage Museum. Bring your kids for free craft projects and a chance to pet fjord horses!

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Enjoy free admission to the Nordic Heritage Museum all day long and sample Scandinavian food and drinks in the Nordic Cafe.

3:30 – 5:30 p.m. – Cafe at Leif Erikson Lodge. Food, beverages, wine/beer, programs, flags, DVDs for purchase. Enjoy traditional Norwegian music from the Winter Band and connect with local Scandinavian organizations.

6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Parade! See the route here.

There will also be music all day long at the Bergen Place stage, see a full lineup and schedule here!

 

April Real Estate Recap

April continued the trend of 2014 as a seller’s market. In the North Seattle area the median home price sold for 7.5% more when compared to April of last year. This increase in price has to do with the sharp decrease in the number of new listings that came on the market. Compared to April 2013 there were about 20% less new listings than there were in April 2013. Inventory is overall still very low with less than one month supply.

When looking at the specific area of Ballard we saw similar trends. The number of new listings decreased by 21% and the average days on market for a home in Ballard was 19! Compared to April of 2013, the median sold price of a Ballard home in April 2014 rose by 16.9% or almost $75,000. While much of this has to do with the decrease in overall inventory it also has to do with the popularity of the Ballard neighborhood. If you are looking for more information on the Ballard real estate market, feel free to contact me.

 

*Data provided by the NWMLS

Ballard Breweries Well Represented At Seattle Beer Week

Ballard breweries represent a large slice of the Seattle-made beer pie, and with Seattle Beer Week starting today and running through May 18, you’ll have another reason to go out and explore some of the neighborhood’s (and city’s, for that matter) best local brews. To begin your beer journey, head up to Chuck’s Hop Shop on NW 85th all day today and tomorrow to sample rare sour beers from Almanac, The Bruery, Cascade, Black Raven, Deschutes and more. Here’s a rundown of the other SBW events happening in Ballard this weekend:

beer

Thursday, 5/8

Friday 5/9

  • The Bruery Draft Takeover at Bitterroot BBQ. A selection of 10 beers including Autumn Maple, Saison de Lente, and Tart of Darkness. 3:00-11:00 p.m.
  • Porkchop & Co. will be serving bread made from spent grains used by Reuben’s Brews and Fremont Brewing alongside meats, cheeses, mustards and sweets (and Reuben’s and Fremont beers, of course). 3:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Willamette Valley’s Block 15 night at The Noble Fir. 4:00-10:00 p.m.
  • Friday Night Trivia with HUB at Ballard Station. 6:00-8:00 p.m.
  • Chrome Satan finally in cans! Release party at Hilliard’s from 7:00-11:00 p.m.

Saturday, 5/10

  • Chuck’s 85th will be pouring 30 IPA’s all day Saturday and Sunday.
  • Rye Beer Fest at Reuben’s Brews with 16 rye beers on tap! Noon-6:00 p.m.
  • All Saison, all the time! Saison Fest at Urban Family Public House, featuring Jolly Pumpkin, Prairie Artisan Ales, Lost Abbey and more. Noon-6:00 p.m.
  • Block party at 418 Public House with beer from Hood River, Oregon’s Double Mountain and California’s Black Market Brewing. Outdoor beer garden, local bands, BBQ and more! 2:00-9:00 p.m. rain or shine.
  • Hilliard’s beer tasting at BevMo! Ballard. Fill up a growler before you leave! 4:00-7:00 p.m.
  • 2nd Annual Bluegrass & Beer Festival at Hale’s Ales has paired up breweries and will feature the resultant beers from collaborations between Diamond Knot & Skagit River, 7 Seas & Port Townsend Brewing, and many more! 5:00-10:00 p.m. Tickets here.

Sunday, 5/11 (Don’t forget your mom while you’re out drinking beer)

  • New Belgium Mother’s Day Dinner at The Leary Traveler. This ticketed event will benefit Seattle charity The Benevolent Guild and features a four-course meal along with five beer tastings from New Belgium. 6:00-9:00 p.m. Tickets here.

Click here to see a full list of Seattle Beer Week events happening all over the city!

Best Ballard Mother’s Day Gifts

blackbird seattle

Photo Courtesy of Blackbird

If you’ve shopped around and still haven’t been able to find the right gift for mother’s day this year, don’t worry we have a great list of items that every Ballard mom is sure to love! Does your mom love to keep the house smelling great? Head over to Blackbird and pick up an incense pyre sampler for $30, with scents like Ai, a bright green aroma with mossy and soil tones, and Izba, a warm wood and light smoky fireplace aroma. If she’s not into incense, Blackbird also has a variety of hand soaps like the tomato leaf and clay square soap perfect for the kitchen.

Does your mom love the outdoors? Check out Second Ascent’s collection of base layers and yoga pants. They also have a ton of camping gear, including this awesome Marmot trestle sleeping bag designed for the female physique. If your mom digs local art, head over to Venue and check out their collection of photography, paintings, sculptures, jewelry and other fun gifts. If your mom could use some time to unwind, get her a spa package at Habitude Salon and Spa, we like the Beneath the Spring Thaw Falls package which includes a hydrating salt glow, massage, scalp revitalizer, followed by a hot rocks sauna.  If your mom really enjoys dining out, take her to Ray’s Boathouse on the waterfront, or dine at Bastille and pretend you took her to Paris for the night! Whatever you decide to get her, make sure to tell your mom how appreciative you are for all she does this Mother’s Day, and Happy Mother’s Day to all our wonderful Ballard Moms!

March Real Estate Recap

The Ballard real estate market continues to be very active in March as we saw 13% more units sold this past month than in 2013. While the average price per sale decreased by about $10,000 when you compare it to March 2013, the year to date average sale price in Ballard is over 5% higher than 2013. One reason that Ballard home prices are higher is due to the limited inventory available. Currently the Ballard inventory is less than one month’s supply which is lowest in the Seattle area. Sellers are taking advantage of this market due to the greater demand for the few quality properties available. Multiple offers, waiving of contingencies, and short closing periods are all common in today’s market. Currently the average home in Ballard is on the market less time (26 days) than any other area in Seattle. If you are looking to sell your home or if you have any real estate related questions, feel free to let me know.

*Stats provided by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service

Easter Brunch In the Ballard(ish) Area

brunch

Besides the Easter bunny and eating your weight in chocolate, Easter means one thing: brunch! If you’re not preparing a meal at home while the little ones hunt for eggs this Sunday, you could choose to let someone else do the cooking for you at one of these Ballard (and surrounding area) restaurants, all offering delicious spring-inspired menus.

All three of chef Maria Hines’ restaurants will be offering special three-course menus for Easter. Albacore tuna benedict, blueberry apricot scones and omelets will be on offer at Fremont’s Sicilian-inspired Agrodolce. Oh, and most importantly: bottomless mimosas. $25 per diner. At Hines’ Ballard outpost, the Mediterranean-influenced Golden Beetle, diners can sample housemade yogurt, pork shank hash and rosewater baklava, among other offerings on the menu. $25 per diner. A little further up the hill in Wallingford, Tilth will offer a three-course menu for $30, or $40 including a mimosa and coffee.

Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery on Ballard Avenue will be serving baked-to-order frittatas and Easter treats such as creme yvette and lemon curd milkshakes, along with a “brunch punch.” Sounds delicious!

Vif Wine and Coffee in Fremont will host a three-course brunch featuring a sweet and savory pastry board with house-made jam, polenta with spring vegetables, poached egg and ham, and buttermilk panna cotta with rhubarb compote and pistachio shortbread. If that doesn’t get you in the mood for spring, we don’t know what will! $25 per diner.