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Ballard named hottest real estate neighborhood in Seattle

Posted by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin on April 25th, 2014

According to a report by Seattle Met, Ballard is Seattle’s hottest neighborhood for real estate. The article published earlier this month, refers to Ballard as “Stealth Urbanites” with Loyal Heights coming in a close second in the top ten.

The article makes mention of the explosion of the “nearly dozen” new condo and apartment buildings along Market and 15th.

“It’s time to retire the Ballard stereotype of strollers, starter homes, and backyard beehives because the condos have changed Ballard’s literal landscape, and its cultural reality,” writes Allecia Vermillion

Vermillion spoke to Redfin Real Estate agent Sabrina Booth who recently had one of her clients loose out on a one-bedroom condo listed for $289,000 after submitting a $300,000 cash offer. The successful offer was $305,000 with a waived inspection.

“There are more people wanting to purchase than there are available homes,” Booth told Seattle Met.

Despite the boom in the real estate market Booth told Seattle Met that the “madness hasn’t undercut the community feel that drew people here in the first place.”

“Urban people feel like they’re in a small town; they can support their local businesses and get to know their neighbors,” said Booth.

Check out the Ballard stats mentioned in the article below:

  • 25% Owner Occupied
  • Population: 7,718
  • Walk Score: 91

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24 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Avatar of Mondoman Mondoman // Apr 25, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Only 25% owner-occupied seems scarily low for community involvement over time. I wonder if that refers to all Ballard, or only the high condo/apartment urban village center. Even if the latter, that still implies a lot of absentee landlords for big condo complexes — not good.

  • 2 john // Apr 25, 2014 at 11:03 am

    RIP Old Ballard, The hipsters and the developers have ruined the Hood!

  • 3 Kenneth // Apr 25, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    So hot it priced us out. We had lived in Ballard for several years and absolutely loved it! But just over 3 weeks ago made the jump to Columbia City.

  • 4 Eileen // Apr 25, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    What made Ballard “hot” ?Tons nearby overpriced hipster eateries? Cute little shops that can’t pay a years rent and go out of business quickly? New construction on every available foot of open green space? Lots of public schools that bus in kids from other neighborhoods because families can’t afford to buy in Ballard anymore?

  • 5 Kylek // Apr 25, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Nobody likes it here anymore… its too crowded.

  • 6 John // Apr 25, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    It is called progress. Yes things are different, but not all bad. Now Ballard has good coffee and good restaurants at least. With the addition of some office space in the next years, Ballard could be a really great live work neighborhood. People are so quick to complain about the negative,but never want to get involved be a part of change. Whining from behind your computer screen won’t help. I am involved in the change and am excited about it. Affordability for families is a very hard situation that indeed needs a lot of work. I am interested to hear some ideas to help find a solution that works within the free market economy. Anyone?

  • 7 Mary // Apr 25, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    It’s all a matter of perspective. I love most of the changes and the hustle bustle that comes along with more density. More restaurant choices, more shopping!

  • 8 Sam // Apr 25, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Bring it on baby! As a proud gentrifier in Ballard I say bring on more good restaurants, wine bars, cafes, doggie boutiques and cupcake shops. I did Detroit already, I’ll ‘hot’ over ‘cold’ property markets any day!

  • 9 Mary // Apr 25, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Housing affordability in a free market economy is a tough one. Wage disparity is getting crazier and crazier. My nephew has his first job out of college with a CSE degree and makes 6 figures. 23 years old, no college debt and nothing but disposal income. His friends too. Amazon, Tableau etc. are hiring like crazy and those kids are moving here. I really don’t know how a family making the median income these days can do it…

  • 10 Kit Scruggs // Apr 25, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Now that the route 28 bus route will be dropped, Ballard folks only have the Line D to take us south. The 40 is a poor substitute for other routes already dropped.

    Am I the only one who remembers past mayors promising expanded transit to support letting developers run free through Ballard?

  • 11 Chris // Apr 25, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    I love the stupidity of some of the old guard here. On the one hand they whine about all the development but then turn around and whine about how expensive it is. Simple math: (low housing supply)+(high demand to live in the are)=high housing costs.

    If you don’t want high housing costs then you need to increase the supply of housing. If you don’t want to increase the supply of housing you need to either make the area less desirable to live in or be prepared to deal with higher housing costs. What part of this equation do so many of you not comprehend?

    Also you live in a CITY. Cities change – always have, always will. If you can’t handle this you should live the in ‘burbs.

    Finally, if you’re going to whine about developers maybe you should first reserve some of your wrath for all the long time Ballardites who are selling their homes to these developers. Simple fact is Ballard is being sold out by Ballard. Nobody is forcing these homeowners to sell their homes to condo developers.

  • 12 john // Apr 25, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    @ chris, i dont begrudge old timers cashing in on their private property, They deserve what they get,and have saved and worked for, what bothers me is the lack of parking and transit that this city government has bungled with their insane zoning laws, and their bungling of the proposed monorail system, the tunnel, and their reducing of metro transit. I get growth,i was born and raised here (60 yrs) and have seen a lot of growth over the years, I have built a successful business and employ 40 people, and love my city and am involved in grassroots committees working for sensible growth, not just what the developers demand from the idiots at the city council.

  • 13 Mason // Apr 25, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Took a look at the article and just about the only part not included in this MB post was this:

    “In a climate like this, buying can be one hell of a mad dash. Booth sees an average of four offers for each property, “especially single-family homes.” Some of those offers come from developers eager to tear down smaller houses and replace them with multiple units, thanks to Ballard’s density-friendly zoning.”

    I have to say I’m really tired of reading comments trumpeting the developer-inspired rhetoric of more housing = lower costs. There is absolutely no evidence that has happened in Ballard.

    Tearing down single-family homes and modest duplexes and replacing them with townhouse units selling for $550k and up adds very few units and certainly does not improve the affordability of the neighborhood.

  • 14 Avatar of Mondoman Mondoman // Apr 25, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Chris, I like your “less desirable” plan — just cancel all bus service to/from Ballard. Since supposedly everyone loves buses, that should make Ballard an unlivable backwater, just like Magnolia.
    Oh, wait…

  • 15 Sam // Apr 25, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    “townhouse units selling for $550k and up adds very few units and certainly does not improve the affordability of the neighborhood.”

    Well affordable to rich techies. Since most urbanists are rich techies it only makes sense they reward themselves and their developer friends first.

  • 16 Sam // Apr 25, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    “Now that the route 28 bus route will be dropped, Ballard folks only have the Line D to take us south”

    No you don’t. The 28X will now run all day meaning it will no be faster downtown. Read Metro’s website:

    http://metro.kingcounty.gov/am/future/PDFs/changes/route-028x-apr14.pdf

  • 17 Sam // Apr 25, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    all day meaning it will NOW be faster downtown

  • 18 KyleK // Apr 26, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Mason. More housing supply does lower prices. Its not developer inspired rhetoric, its a statement about supply and demand which is a real thing. You don’t get to see what this market looks like without added supply – which makes it harder to see. You can look at San Fran though – they have supressed supply for years and have the rents and housing costs to show for it. Check back in two years (developers are overbuilding right now) and lets have this discussion again. If rents of existing units (built before 2010) haven’t flattened, I’ll eat my words.

  • 19 john // Apr 26, 2014 at 8:22 am

    @kylek I hope you are hungry!!!

  • 20 Mindola // Apr 26, 2014 at 10:51 am

    What floors me are the insane commissions that real estate agents are getting for what amounts to very little work.
    The system is completely messed up for a realtor to receive a $15k commission after ‘listing’ a $500k house (3%). And the buyer’s agent getting a similar cut.
    Just the transaction of selling your house puts you out $30-$50k. What a complete scam.

  • 21 Ruth Berge // Apr 26, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Real Estate Agents around here are truly inconsiderate of neighborhoods. Loyal Heights is part of Ballard as is Sunset Hill and Whittier Heights. The new development sucks because it is done for profit and not designed to make this a better community. It is our duty to speak out against things that are done poorly like the over-development in Ballard. Just please remember this when you vote for your city council person and mayor.

  • 22 KyleK // Apr 27, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    John: haha, ok. I’m willing to be proven wrong. There is also a chance that demand will go crazy in that period and eat up all that supply, though I somewhat doubt it.

    Ruth: Builders have always had a profit motive. I would hope that Ballard’s (district 6) first geographicly determined council member will apply facts rather than magical thinking to issues like housing.

  • 23 Tomas // Apr 28, 2014 at 8:33 am

    After 8 years we moved from Ballard to West Seattle a couple months ago. I can’t say it’s all roses but a lot of same/similar shops, more affordable housing and less crowded.

  • 24 Bob // Apr 28, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Saying that building more units *always* reduces housing prices because of the fundamental laws of supply and demand is as stupid as saying that airplanes cannot possible fly because of gravitty, which is a fundamental law of physics. The reality is vastly more complex. More supply of housing is a pre-condition to lower prices, but it is not a guarantee.

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