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A look at the Ballard real estate market

Posted by Geeky Swedes on January 11th, 2012

By Sharon Giampietro, Ballard resident and Re/Max agent

Lack of Inventory
In the past six months, Realtors have been commenting on the lack of housing inventory in the greater Ballard area. Most Realtors I talk to have clients who are looking but cannot find the right property in this area.

To illustrate this point, in December, there were 196 homes for sale in area 705 (which covers greater Ballard, Greenwood, Green Lake, Wallingford, Fremont, and a few other nearby neighborhoods.) During that same month, 116 homes sold. If in any given month you have 196 homes for sale and 116 sell, professionals calculate that in a little less than 2 months the entire available inventory could be sold. This is considered a “less than 2 month inventory” which is a low inventory. (Six months is about the average). This number has been in the 2-3 month range for the last 6 months.

The condo market is a bit slower. In December, there were 89 condos for sale in area 705. During that same month, 18 sold. Professionals would calculate this as about a 5 month inventory, which is close to average.

There are many who want to move and can get a loan, but they are not finding the right house because there is not enough to choose from. People are still getting married, divorced, transferred, having children, and becoming empty nesters. Life goes on even in the context of a down economy and people want to and need to move.

Short Sales and Bank Owned
In all of King County at the end of December there were 6118 residential listings. 31% of these are short sales or bank owned properties. In the greater Ballard area, 21% of our current listings are short sales or bank owned. This number has been fluctuating the past 6 months- in August it was 8%; in November it was 15%. We are well below the County average. These homes can provide an opportunity for buyers.

Prices
The average residential sale price in our area for December was $408,158 (condos $192,497); for November $432,591 (condos $234,675); October, $424,188 (condos $244,380); September, $464,054, (condos $221,635); August $459,761 (condos $256,575), and July $438,210 (condos $254,877). Prices are fluctuating and vary by neighborhood; many of ours are holding steady. Some homes that are in good condition and well priced have offers coming in less than a week.

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