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.

Greenwood Street Soccer

Saturday August 10th is the 2nd annual Greenwood Street Soccer Tournament put on by Naked City Brewery, Summer Streets, and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Innovators Network. This 3 on 3 soccer tournament will take place on Greenwood Ave between 85th and 87th with sectioned off fields lining the street. If you are interested in putting a team together you are encouraged to pre-register as only a limited amount of teams will be allowed to participate. 

Friday night Naked City Brewing will host a pre-tournament party from 7-10pm offering up drink specials to get everyone fueled up for the following days games. All proceeds from the event will go directly to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research.  For much more information about this event, please visit their website here.

  • Price: $150/team
  • When: Fri-Sat August 9th-10th
  • Where: Greenwood Ave between 85th-87th
  • Why: Sounds like a good time

Goodbye Viking Tavern, hello more condos

Tuesday was the last day that locals could enjoy a beer at the Ballard ScaVikingndinavian Viking Bar. The bar opened in 1950 and closed yesterday to make way for a new development project…..more condos. Many are sad to see the local hangout go and are trying to decide which local bar will be their new hangout to enjoy a beer.

It was bittersweet for owners Tim and Peggy Cannon. They had been the owners of Viking Tavern for the past 23 years. The bar was filled with regulars, customers who have become family to Peggy. Peggy left early while Tim stayed to see out the Viking’s last closing. Although no decision has been made, the Cannons have been talking with Bill Parks, managing partner of the Ballard Lofts, in regards to possibly resurrecting the Viking. Parks has plans for new development which would provide space for retail or a new bar.

Happy Turkey Day Seattle!

Thanksgiving SeattleHappy Turkey Day Seattle!

For those procastinators: How to Cook a Turkey

For NFL Fans: 9:30 AM on CBS, Texans vs Lions (Seahawk fans root for Texans); 1:15 PM on FOX, Redskins vs Cowboys (Seahawk fans root for Redskins); & 5:20 on NBC, Patriots vs Jets (Seahawk fans do not care)

For College Football Fans: 4:30 PM on ESPN, TCU vs Texas

For Gonzaga Fans: 6 PM on ESPN2, Clemson vs Gonzaga

For those who get stressed on the holidays: Meditation

For those akward moments when talking to family: Discussion Topics

For keeping peace at the Thanksgiving dinner: Topics to Avoid

If you do not avoid those topics: Unbeatable Arguments

Reverb Music Festival in Ballard This Weekend

Living in Seattle, we’re spoiled with the talent from local musicians, and the Reverb Festival, presented by Seattle Weekly in Ballard this Saturday is the perfect place to fall in love with a new favorite. If you’re on a budget, but would love to explore the local realm, this is a great opportunity to check out what Seattle is all about.

The Reverb Festival is a single day chalked full of more than 50 bands spread across eight venues in Ballard. For just $10 you get a pass allowing access to all venues throughout the day featuring artists in hip hop, country, rock, and punk rock. The festival begins at 4:00PM and runs until around 1:00am or the bars close, so round up your friends and head over to Ballard tomorrow for a great night out, on the cheap!

Ballard High School Competes in NY Jazz Festival

Ballard High Essentially Ellington FestivalAs I mentioned in an earlier post, the Ballard High School jazz band was invited to play in a prestigious nationwide high school jazz competition, Essentially Ellington, in New York City. It was Ballard’s first time being at this impressive jazz festival. This weekend, they along with two other Seattle schools and twelve other nationwide high schools tooted their horns to the Ellington tunes of “Night in Tunisia,” “Tutti for Cootie,” “Riding on the Blue Note,” and other Ellington classics.

Roosevelt, Ballard, and Mountlake Terrace represented the Puget Sound area very well at the competition. Roosevelt High, well-known for its quality jazz band program and a regular competitor in “Essentially Ellington,” won second place at the festival! Ballard High won individual accolades for its performance. I would keep my eye on trumpet player and senior Sam Zisette and vocalist Jade Likkel, both Ballard High students. They each received awards for their performance at the festival. Congratulations, Ballard High!

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.

New Ballard Restaurant: The Gerald

Ballardites, add a new restaurant to your radar. The space at 5210 Ballard Avenue will now be known as The Gerald, a restaurant/bar tapping into our desire for American comfort food. In an effort to fill the void created when Denny’s was torn down, The Gerald will be offering classic American diner options, such as Mac ‘n cheese. For the full menu options, please check out its website.

Perusing the menu, you know that I’ll be checking this place out in the next few weeks for three reasons:

  1. Poutine –  The heart attack-inducing food, poutine, is fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds. Slowly but surely, the Canadian classic has been sneaking down south in to the States. So, I cannot wait to taste The Gerald’s poutine creation.
  2. Swedish Meatballs– Despite living in the Nordic capital of Seattle, it is surprisingly difficult to find a place that serves Swedish meatballs. The only place I know that serves Swedish meatballs in Ballard is The Copper Gate. Besides that, the only option to satisfy my craving was to hop in a car and get lost in a Swedish maze of modern home furnishings that is IKEA. Now that The Gerald is open, you can bet I will order the Swedish meatballs. Thank you, The Gerald, for honoring Ballard’s Nordic roots.
  3. Cocktails – The Gerald offers an intriguing cocktail menu, inspired by the 50s and 60s. Highlights include the numerous gin cocktail options (the Ruby Gin Fizz, the Gimlet, and the James Bond-inspired Vesper), various ginger options, and more. I cannot wait to sip on a Silent Third while enjoying a sunny afternoon. Wouldn’t you like to try a “sexy coupling of lemon & vanilla,” otherwise known as the Sidecar? Oo, I’m thirsty!

The Gerald looks like a restaurant-bar hybrid. In the sea of restaurants and bars in Ballard,  it will be interesting to see how this one succeeds, as there are a few other restaurants that offer the comfort food options. It opens tonight, but an official grand opening will happen in the next few weeks. If you stop by, tell me what you think!

Don’t forget to check out The Gerald’s Facebook!

Celebrate Norwegian Heritage Day and Run the Leif-to-Leif 5K in Ballard

Couldn’t get enough of the St.Paddy’s Day Dash, but still a traditional Ballardite at heart? Lace up your red, white, and blue running shoes and warm up for the Leif-to-Leif 5K Run/Walk this Saturday, March 24th. The race goes from the Leif Erikson Lodge to the Leif Erikson statue at Shilshole Marina and back. Check-in begins at 8am and the race starts at 9am. For more information, please visit the Leif Erickson Lodge website. It’s all a part of the Norwegian Heritage Celebration taking place in Ballard.

If running isn’t your forte, you can still honor Norwegian Cultural and Heritage Day. The Leif Erikson Lodge is hosting numerous family-friendly activities to participate in, including a Taste of Norway. Starting at 10am, you can sample traditional Norwegian cuisine, such as pickled herring, krumkake, smorbord (open faced sandwiches), rommegrot (cream porridge), and more. Kids can enjoy arts and crafts, and even dance to the traditional Norwegian music, provided by the various choirs and bands. For more information, please visit the Norway Embassy website here.

Embrace your inner Norwegian (whether truly or honorary) and stop by the Leif Erikson Lodge on Saturday, March 24th. Festivities will go from 10am – 4pm. Admission is free. It will truly be an event honoring the culture of the people who settled Ballard and made it what it is today.

Safer Biking Becoming More Likely in Ballard

Are you a cyclist? If so, you’re probably aware that the Ballard District Council is working to make biking and walking safer in our neighborhood. Not too long ago, the Seattle Department of Transportation approved greenways throughout the city, including Ballard, in an effort to promote safe bicycling and walking in the city. According to the Ballard Greenways website, greenways are “slow, low-traffic streets connecting parks, libraries, schools, and businesses for pedestrians and bicyclists who need safe and comfortable routes through the City.” Ballard’s greenway would go along 58th Ave NW from 6th Ave to Golden Gardens. If adopted, it will create a safe east-to-west bicycling option in the heart of Ballard!

However, this route still poses challenges, as 58th St NW crosses multiple busy roads (8th Ave, 15th Ave, 20th Ave). So, it may require a Neighborhood Project Fund grant to make those crossings a bit safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

If you’re interested in hearing more about the greenways, attend the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways meet-up tomorrow. SDOT staff, Peter Hahn and Dongho Chang, will be there to answer greenway questions. The meet-up is on Thursday, March 22nd from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. It will take place at the Phinney Neighborhood Center. For more information on the advocacy group, check out the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Facebok page.