The Ballard real estate recap: Bungalows vs. “Modernos”

Long time Ballard resident and local Real Estate Broker Sharon Giampietro shares a regular post on My Ballard to keep readers informed about the local real estate market.

Giampietro comes from a long line of realtors and has lived in Ballard for 30 years. She is currently a Broker at Windermere Real Estate in Greenwood.

Check out Giampietro’s latest insights into our neighborhood real estate market:

If Ballard buyers and their Real Estate Brokers could shout from the roof tops they’d say, “Homeowners – please put your homes on the market!!!” They might even pick up a bullhorn and add that they’d pay more than asking, do a pre-inspection and waive some contingencies- if they just had more inventory.

A few years ago the market was slow and sellers couldn’t dig up a buyer if a listing wasn’t a “9“or a “10” in terms of location and condition. The pendulum is always swinging and now it’s sellers who are dictating prices and buyers who are scrambling.

There is buyer demand and a corresponding upsurge in new construction in Ballard. But along with the (hopefully temporary) exit of a decent amount of inventory has come the end of the newly built “Ballard Bungalow” or its look alike.

Enter the “Ballard Moderno” (my moniker – rhymes with “bungalow”). These new construction homes have a very contemporary look and are the new neighbors of some vintage homes. Are these new neighbors getting along?

An informal survey of Ballard dwellers indicates that the new look of Ballard, i.e., Modernos and Bungalows side by side, is deemed by some to be cool while others don’t like the contrast. Scale is the most common concern as homeowners express the desire not to have a neighboring house that looms over theirs. Many of the Modernos, however, are meeting buyer demand for new housing stock with bigger, more open spaces and modern amenities.

We are in the midst of change here in the shire. In the first two months of this year, 66 new construction homes were added, up from 51 in the same period last year. While new construction homes are the rising segment of the market in terms of additional housing stock, other aspects of the market are lagging.

For January and February combined, 261 homes (not new construction) came on the market, down from 296 in this period last year. At the end of February, we had just over a month’s worth of inventory – a normal market would have at least 4 months of inventory.

The number of condos for sale was down slightly with 105 choices added in 2015 so far (new construction and not new combined), as opposed to 121 in the same period last year.

Supply and demand is affecting prices and so far in 2015 prices are climbing. In December 2014 the average home sale price was $560,000, in January $600,000 and in February $612,000. At the end of Feb 2015 the average home sale price year was $606,000, up from $510,000 in that same period last year. Our average number of days on the market is also one of the lowest in the city.

Many are watching these changes and lively discussions are taking place in our multitude of great coffee shops and cafes. Never dull, here in Ballard!


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