Ballard Real Estate Report – July 2017

Past Sale by Ewing and Clark

Our Ballard neighborhood continues to be a hot ticket item in the Seattle real estate market. Our neighborhood had 46 sales last month; 7 more than last year. Like many other Seattle neighborhoods, the inventory remains low leading prices to rise. The average sales price for a Ballard home was at $684,508 in July of 2016, the number jumped to $781,272 this July. The highest cost for a Ballard home sold was at $1,600,000 compared to just $960,000 last July. Single-family homes in Ballard were on the market for an average of 7 days last month versus 17 days last July. There are currently 19 active listings and 44 pending.

Past Sale by Ewing and Clark

Ballard condo sales were down last month compared to July 2016. There were 7 less sales but reports show an increase in prices. The average sales price rose from $349,991 (July 2016) to $496,101 (July 2017). The highest cost for a Ballard condominium jumped from $425,00 to $680,000, and the median price increased from $378,000 to $505,000. There are currently 5 active condominium listings and 16 pending.

Ballard Real Estate Recap

September was another strong real estate month in the Ballard market. During that time we saw an 8% increase in the number of new listings that hit the market but at the same time there were 20% fewer active listings available for purchase when compared to September 2013. While more homes came on the market this past September than the previous year, it still did not make up for the overall low inventory of homes that has plagued the Ballard area. Inventory levels are at a one month supply which is the lowest level in King County. As a result, we saw the median home price rise this past September in part due to fewer homes available to purchase. The median single family home price on closed sales in Ballard was $524,500 last month. That is a 12% increase when compared to September of 2013 where the median home price of a sold home was $468,500. With interest rates still at historic lows and Ballard attracting a lot of buyers, this trend of low inventory and high prices is set to continue. If you would like more information on the Ballard real estate market, please feel free to reach out.


*Statistics not compiled or published by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service


Seattle Apartment Vacancy Rate at All Time Low Now, but Will Ballard be Overbuilt?

Ballard Hjarta IIAccording to a Seattle Times article, apartment vacancy rates in Seattle are at an all-time low. In the past few years, the Seattle rental market, especially in Ballard, has shifted from a tenant-market to a landlord-market. What does that mean for people searching for apartments? High rents.

Using the basic economic theory of supply and demand, there hasn’t been much new supply. The amount of new apartments is one-third of what was offered in 2009. Additionally, demand is higher, MUCH higher. People who can afford houses are fearful to buy, so they are staying in apartments, despite the evidence that it may be more affordable to buy. Additionally (and this is my own theory), the economy is picking up, meaning more young professionals can afford to move out or live with fewer roommates than before. Demand has skyrocketed and that has caused the Seattle vacancy rate to be under 5%! The higher rents are definitely noticeable in Ballard.

Fortunately, Ballard is working hard to meet that demand. It is impossible to not see the cranes that dot the horizon as you look across Market or look up 15th or 24th. Tenants should feel some rent relief in the next year or so. However, some are worried that Ballard may be overbuilt. In my opinion, I think people will continue to flock to the neighborhood. But I’ve said that in previous posts. What do you think?

If you’re interested in seeing what’s available in the apartment market in Ballard and the surrounding areas, use the search tool here.

Seattle Funding Precinct – Liaison Attorneys

When there is a public safety issue or a chronic neighbor nuisance, it’s not always most efficient or effective to call 911. Sometimes, it’s best to go through a precinct-liaison program. Up until now, Seattle budget cutbacks have prevented funding to such programs.  According to a Seattle Times article, the Seattle City Council has restored funding to allow four attorney liaisons in  Seattle’s five police precincts.

For the Ballard area, your precinct liaison attorney is Jana Jorgensen. Starting in mid-February, you can contact her as a resource to solve neighborhood issues, like nuisance properties, feuding neighbors, and gang activity. Additionally, she lives in the North precinct, so she has a vested interest in the public safety issues of Ballard and the surrounding neighborhoods. With a precinct liaison attorney, it increases the police capabilities, using legal means to solve community issues. You can contact her at 206-684-7765 for your community needs, starting mid-February. To view the precinct-liaison attorneys in the other precincts of Seattle or for more information, please visit the Seattle Times article.

Free Ballard: Not from Seattle’s Snow

Free Ballard! After this weekend’s snowstorm,  Ballard doesn’t need to be freed from the snow. While snow hit neighborhoods across Seattle, Ballard received a mere dusting of “corn” snow by Monday morning. Here’s a picture I took before I left for work this morning.

There isn’t even enough to make a snowball. However, I would still advise people to walk and drive with caution. The roads can be slick and icy, as it is cold.

While I was receiving invitations on Sunday to join snowball fights in Ravenna, Ballard looked like this:

Ballardites, how did you fare in the first Seattle snowfall of the season? How does it look now? Leave your comments or pictures here.

Is Ballard Being Overbuilt With Apartments?

The Sunday Seattle Times had an interesting article regarding the possibility that Seattle may be overbuilt with apartments in the coming years. According to the article visuals, there are more than 6,000 apartment units currently in construction and over 16,000 units in the pipeline. However, some predict that Seattle will have more than enough demand for the apartments in the coming years. Here’s the article for more information.

Ballard especially has experienced a significant increase in apartment construction. Just walk down 15th Avenue and you’ll see the former vacant lots loaded with machinery. Or walk down Market Street and see cranes on 14th, 13th, and even around 24th. I’m not even naming all the Ballard lots that will be experiencing development. Total, Ballard has issued permits for 748 apartment units.

While some are concerned Ballard will be overbuilt, let us not forget the desirability of the neighborhood. Seattle Weekly considered it one of the top neighborhoods in Seattle.

What do you think? Do you think Ballard will fall victim to numerous vacancies in the future or do you think young adults will flock in? Tell me your thoughts.

Seattle Christmas Lights in Ballard and Beyond!

In today’s Seattle Times, there is a handy guide on where to see some fantastic holiday light displays in the Seattle area. For those of you in the Ballard area, you don’t have to go far. Check out the displays at these addresses:

  • 9234 13th Ave NW – This house has a fun display, with Santa on the roof, a skiing snowman, and a handmade forest!
  • 351 NW 52nd St – Using over 18,000 lights (WOW!), this property owner has a train, a 25-foot star, candy canes, a snowman, a Christmas Tree, and the list goes on and on…
  • Olympic Manor – This is a no-brainer for most Ballard residents but take a drive or walk through Olympic Manor to see some lovely light displays celebrating the holidays. The entrance is on NW 85th St. and 22nd/21st Ave NW or at NW 90th and 24th ave NW.
  • NW 75th St and 21st Ave NW – I was driving around the neighborhood and spotted a house around this location that definitely embraced the holiday spirit. If you have time, swing by and check this house out.

If you want to know where you can go outside of Ballard to see fantastic holiday light displays, check out the Seattle Times guide.

Post in the comments if you saw or made a great holiday display!

Ballard’s Hjarta Phase Two Passed Environmental Review

Ballard Hjarta IIThe Ballard development, Hjarta II, will be moving forward, as it received environmental approval. The proposed Ballard building, planned for the lot at 1537 NW 56th St, will be seven stories high, with 102 residential units above four live/work units, and 86 parking spaces.

Originally proposed in 2003, the Ballard construction had to be halted and was only restarted in 2010, with a Design Review meeting. To look at what you can expect in Ballard from Hjarta II, check out the project plans here. If you do have a comment or appeal to the design, you have until December 26th, 2011 to submit it to the Hearing Examiner.

Looking at the design and the other commercial designs, Ballard is shaping up to be much different in the next 5-10 years.

Ballard is Home to the 1st Zero-Energy House!

A Ballard couple recently completed construction on the first zero-energy Seattle residence. It uses air-tight SIP construction to keep the Ballard home insulated, as well as a highly efficient heat pump. As a source of heat, there are large, triple-pane, south-facing windows and heated, stained concrete floors.

Using the 6,000 watt solar panel, the Seattle residence costs nothing to heat. To build the first zero-energy home, the Seattle couple spent a little over $410,000 to buy and build the Ballard lot, but with Washington State’s solar incentive program, it will bring costs down to under $400,000. For more details, check out the Seattle couple’s blog or the Ballard News-Tribune article.

Kudos to Ballardites in the National News!

Two Seattleites were in the news this week. Guess what they had in common? Both are from Ballard. It sounds to me like Ballard produces winners!

The first Ballardite to highlight is Meron Kasahun, a Ballard High School senior. She, along with 826 Seattle executive director, Teri Hein, were honored with the 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, presented on Wednesday by the First Lady, Michelle Obama. They were honored for their involvement in 826 Seattle, a non-profit writing and tutoring center for students 6-18. For more information, check out the MyBallard article. Congrats Meron Kasahun! What a high honor!

The second Ballardite featured was Tom Nissley, who appeared on Jeopardy’s Tournament of Champions. Brainiac Nissley is the third-highest money winner to come out of regular Jeopardy. Congrats Tom Nissley! (His wife even has her own business, with the products being sold in Ballard businesses, such as Gifted, Ballard Home Comforts, and Kadampa Mediatative Center).