A look at the Ballard real estate market

Average Sales Price, Time on Market and inventory: Residential

In the Greater Ballard area* from July – December 2011 the average sale price of a home was $453,000. This year, from January to June it was $449,000 so the average was down slightly. However, 2012 has been an interesting year – in the month of January the average sales price was $401,000, and by June it was $484,000. In 2012 the average sales price has gone up steadily almost every month.

Realtors and buyers are still talking about lack of housing inventory, especially in the greater Ballard area which is a very popular place to live. A six month inventory of homes is considered a normal inventory. In December of 2011, there was a three month inventory. At the end of June 2012 there were 232 homes for sale in area 705* and 165 homes sold which is a 1.5 month inventory. Also, In June of 2011 the average length of time on the market was 45 days; this June, the average length of time was 37 days. Inventory has shrunk, prices have gone up and length of time on the market is going down.

Condos

For condos, the inventory has shrunk a bit but the average sale price for the last 6 months of 2011 was $236,000 and the average sales price for the first 6 months of 2012 was $237,000. The average length of time on the market for the last six months of 2011 was 75 days and for the first six months of 2012 it was also 75 days. The condo market has not changed too much except there is less inventory. At the end of June 2012, there were 72 active condos and 37 condo sales – about a two month inventory, down from anaverage three-and-a-half month inventory the second half of last year.

Short Sales and Bank Owned Properties

In all of King County for residential and condo combined, at the end of June there were 6,500 listings. Approximately 19 percent of these are short sales or bank owned properties (down from 31% in December 2011). In the greater Ballard area, approximately 16 percent of our current listings are short sales or bank-owned (down from 21 percent in December 2011). There are fewer choices in these sometimes discounted homes, which is a minus for buyers and a plus for sellers.

The brisk market is not the whole story. As a buyer you may have to compete against a group of others, do a pre-inspection, and pay more than full price – and the lack of homes means you may not get that opportunity very often. Sellers can expect a quick sale, but prices, even though rising, may not match the price paid less than 10 years ago. Sellers who owe more than they can get for their homes are staying put and some others who owe less are wondering –should I wait until prices catch up and I could possibly see some appreciation? All over the area, homeowners are weighing their options.

* Greater Ballard, Greenwood, Green Lake, Wallingford, Fremont, and other close by neighborhoods; all numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand

Note: Statistics not compiled or published by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

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