Tag Archives: Green Lake Real Estate

Green Lake Real Estate Inventory: 2013 and Beyond

Green Lake, I love you.  But if you don’t start providing inventory soon for my buyers that are still waiting in the wings to purchase, I’m going to get annoyed.

As I’ve done in the past, I’ve taken a look at current Green Lake inventory from 85th at the north end down to 50th at the south end, and between Aurora & I-5.  And do you know what I’ve found?   Seven homes for sale.  Seven.  That’s all.  That’s one condominium and six homes, with price ranges from $205,000 (for the condo, the lowest price house is $399,000) to $859,000.

This 3,500 square foot house on Green Lake Way N is currently listed for sale for $765,000:

5012 Green Lake Way N

I don’t think this data will come as shock to anyone, and I’m sure everyone can make the interpretation as to what this is continuing to do.  Limited inventory drives up house prices, causes bidding wars, and also reflects only a small amount of sales.  So far in  January, nine homes have closed in the Green Lake neighborhood.

Time to get frustrated?  If you’re a buyer or a real estate agent, sure.  Time to panic?  Nope.  Last January, Green Lake closed twelve homes – just three more than where we’re at today.  And in January 2011, Green Lake only closed four homes.   My biggest fear is that sellers who are waiting to list because they’re seeing prices rise will all list their homes around the same time, bringing on more inventory than necessary.  However, the desirability of the Green Lake neighborhood should continue to move homes quickly into the hands of new buyers, no matter how many come on the market at once.

The other trend I’m seeing right now is the greedy seller.  Yes, it is a seller’s market.  Yes, prices are rising.  But no, buyers out there aren’t actually stupid and still aren’t going to pay way more than market value for your home.  If your home is listed in Green Lake (or most of the surrounding area) for more than 30 days, there’s a strong chance that you overpriced it so much, no one even wants to make a low offer.

Other neighborhoods seeing similar action: Ravenna, Greenwood, Phinney Ridge and particularly Maple Leaf after Redfin named it one of the up-and-coming neighborhoods in the country to watch. 

As always, I’m happy to help any of my neighbors purchase or sell their home, and provide free extensive market analysis reports to sellers.  You can reach me directly at sheath@matrixrealestate.com or at (253) 653-6299.

Green Lake Real Estate: November 2012 Stats

Are your Christmas lights up yet?  They sure do make a neighborhood look festive.  Not that Green Lake needs any help attracting buyers – we’re still at a low inventory of just seven residential homes on the market right now.  Five of those homes have been listed for some time, and two came on new in November.  The average price of our current inventory? $556,636.

As usual, I’m taking data from 85th on the north end to 50th on the south end, and bordered west to east by Aurora Ave and I-5.  And with such little inventory available to purchase, you probably won’t be shocked to hear that another 15 homes in the neighborhood are currently pending (under contract but not yet sold).   On top of that, seven more homes closed in the month of November, with an average sales price of $545,357 and an average size of 1,910 square feet.

The average time on the market for the seven closed homes last month was 19 days – with over half of those homes selling in less than two weeks.

When I give these monthly updates, I usually like to separate out condominium data from single family data so as not to skew the numbers too much.  However, this time, the market did that for me.  If you thought single family inventory was low in the neighborhood, you’ll be surprised to hear that there are no condominium homes for sale in Green Lake right.  Not one.

Are you putting your house on the market in the next few weeks?  If so, I wasn’t joking about the Christmas lights – not only are they festive and inviting, they also help light up the outdoors for evening showings of your home.  A wreath on the front door and a tidy yard can also go a long way in making your home look attractive for a buyer.

Green Lake Real Estate: Preparing for the market slow-down? Don’t bother.

I mean it.  Usually come November, most real estate brokers are twiddling their thumbs and decorating their own homes for the holiday season – because no one buys at the holidays, right?  Wrong.    Thanks to very little inventory, interest rates remaining incredibly low, and a large pool of ready and able buyers, there will be no holiday slow-down.  Houses that are priced well in Green Lake and most parts of north Seattle right now are selling about as quickly as it will take you to cook the turkey later this month.

As usual, when it comes to assessing Green Lake real estate, I look at residential homes from 85th to 50th, Aurora to I-5 (there are also three active condo listings in the neighborhood right now, but I’ve taken those out of the stats so as not to skew numbers).   As of today, there are 10 active listings in Green Lake.  The average price is $527,285 and the average size is 2140 square feet, for the price per foot of $276.  The average time they’ve spent on market is 46 days – sounds like a long time when I’m talking about how fast these homes sell, right?  We can contribute that number to these homes being the ones that didn’t get an offer right away – the others are already sold!

This home at 140 NE 63rd Street is currently listed for $549,500, at 2500 square feet.

In October, five homes went pending and seven more closed.  Of the closed homes, the” average” time on market was 40 days – but that number gets skewed by just two listings that were on the market for over 100 days.  In reality, five of the seven closed homes were sold in one week or less.   The average sale price was $607,086 with an average size of 2,394 square feet and a price per foot of $253.

If you’re selling, how do you become on of the “sold-in-less-than-a-week” houses instead of one that sits?  While price plays a very important role in that process, I can’t stress enough the importance of the showing condition in the wintertime.  Let’s look at the basics:

  • It’s cold outside.  So, if you’re expecting showings, crank the heat on.  You might be comfortable throwing on an extra sweater, but that chill won’t make a good impression on buyers walking in.
  • It’s dark outside.  And most of your potential buyers are going to be taking a look after work, in the evenings – so make sure your porch light is on, and keep at least one or two lamps on in the house while you’re not home.
  • The flowers aren’t blooming.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice yard – rake leaves, make sure water is draining away from the home and make a clean entry for potential buyers to get from their car into your front door.

If you’re buying, I know you’re getting frustrated.  Many buyers have submitted more than one offer in the past few months and still haven’t won the home in multiple offer situations.  Keep persevering and it will happen for you!

Green Lake Real Estate – May 2012 Stats

The blog has been a bit neglected this past week or so, as my mother has been in town and I’ve been too busy taking her places rather than writing about them (we’ve been to Naked City Taphouse in Greenwood three times already because she loved the truffle fries so much).  But I can’t forget to give you my monthly real estate update, so here goes: a look back at May real estate in Green Lake.

Twelve single family homes, and two condominiums, closed in Green Lake in the month of May (as always, 80th to 50th, Aurora to I-5).  The sale prices of these homes ranged from $355,000 to $879,000, with an average price per foot of $299.65.

This 4-bedroom home on E Green Lake Way North sold in just 11 days for $710,000.

Now here’s the real kicker, folks – the average days  on market, which is a great unit of measure for figuring out how much inventory we have – was nine.  That means that of the 12 residential homes sold last month, the average time it took a home to sell was just over a week.  In fact, only one of those homes sat on the market for longer than 10 days, which skews our numbers a lot.

In addition to those closed homes, there are another 12 single family homes that went pending in the neighborhood last month, as well as 16 that are currently active.  Of the active listings, the average size is 2,249 square feet, and the average price is $551,384. This gorgeous tudor, listed by Redfin, has been on the market just three days on the Green Lake/Wallingford border at $574,950 for 2,930 square feet:

Inventory is remaining steady at basically less than a month’s supply of homes.  Bidding wars are continuing in Green lake, as well as the now common process of doing a pre-inspection and waiving contingencies that are meant to protect buyers.  It is definitely no longer a question of what the buyer can bargain for, and instead is now what the buyer is willing to sacrifice.

April in Green Lake Real Estate (and beyond)

May Day! May Day! I have clients looking for the perfect home right now in Green Lake.  The problem?  There are no homes available right now that match even their most basic needs.  So what happens?  We wait, and wait some more, and check out every new listing that comes on, and enter into multiple offer situations (again) – a frustrating process that I’m sure many local real estate brokers and buyers are going through along with me.  Which reminds me, it’s time to take a look back at last month and see just how Green Lake did in the real estate numbers.

In April, 12 residential homes closed in Green Lake (again, from 80th to 50th, Aurora to I-5).  Of these homes, the average time spent on the market was 50 days – that number boosted by two individual homes that spent more than 100 days on the market.   In reality, 8 of the 12 closed homes were on the market for less than 30 days before they sold.  The average sales price was $614,608, including two homes that sold over $1M.

One of the closed homes was a townhome on Ashworth, which sold for $427,000 after 22 days on the market.  This home had 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and 1,438 square feet.

In this same area, there are currently 13 active residential homes (and 2 condominiums), listed from $360,000 to $610,000.  There are also 14 currently pending homes waiting to close in the neighborhood.  Translation?  We’re now down to only 1 month of inventory and still shrinking.  The big question this brings to most people is, “Will this raise house prices?”

Not so fast.  Although a major lack of inventory generally drives up prices in a market, our buyers are still incredibly wary and prepared to make sure they don’t overpay for a house.  So, sellers, don’t get too cocky yet – but anticipate a quick sale if you’re priced reasonably and in good shape.

In all of north Seattle, there are currently 345 single family homes on the market and 148 condominiums.  273 homes in north Seattle closed during April, and 586 homes are currently pending close.

This one-bedroom Ballard condo is currently on the market for $164,950.

Of the active listings (both single family and condo), 72 are short sales and 23 are bank-owned – much lower numbers than we’ve seen in previous years.  Are we heading for a full north Seattle recovery?  Perhaps not entirely, but things are definitely looking up for us northerners.

North Seattle Real Estate: a Whirlwind of Activity (and a seller’s market)

I have sincerely neglected this blog the past couple weeks, and I apologize for that.  You see, the real estate market has been going crazy, especially in north Seattle.  I haven’t taken a day off from real estate since December, and it’s only getting busier. 

In fact, according to NWMLS data, 118 houses have gone pending in north Seattle in just the past two weeks.  Out of those 118 houses, 73 of them were on the market for less than a month before selling – that’s about 62% of them.

In the past 14 days, 76 homes have been added to the market in north Seattle.  This may sound like a lot, but if you think about the fact that 118 went to pending status in that same time period, that indicates a real shortage of good housing choices coming for the summer.

This townhouse in Wedgwood was just listed at $414,000 (3 bed, 3.25 bath, 2000 sq ft)

So, why are we in such a big housing boom right now?

  1. Spring is the most common time to buy a home.  After a dormant winter, now having the holiday season over with, people are looking at moving during the spring and early summer months so that they can get settled before the fall.
  2. FHA Mortgage insurance is on the rise.  Rising mortgage insurance costs means higher monthly payments, which is going to price some first time home buyers out of the market, or at the very least allow them to afford less home.  So, first time home buyers are jumping now before it’s too late.
  3. Rental rates are on the rise. There are a ton of apartments under construction, but for those looking for immediate living situations, there aren’t actually a lot of good options in north Seattle right now.  Chances are, when new rental inventory hits the market rates will even themselves out. But for now, buying is often a cheaper option.
  4. Positive media is fueling the real estate market.  Remember when everything you saw on the news was doom and gloom?  Stories like this one from KUOW last week and today’s story from CNN Money are spreading the word that it’s a good time to buy – and people are listening.
  5. Inventory is low in most neighborhoods.  We all know that say, Green Lake for example, is a desirable neighborhood to live in.  So when one home comes on the market and ten people want to move into the neighborhood, that home is going to sell quickly (and sometimes above asking price).

 

This 3-bed, 3.25 bath Wallingford home is listed at $675,000 for 3581 sq ft.

 

For a first time, or even repeat buyer all these factors can make for a really frustrating buying process.  Here’s a few things buyers need to know before-hand to make the process a little less stressful.

  • Have your lender pre-approval or your proof of funds ready before you go house-hunting. 
  • Don’t dilly-dally.  Yes, I said dilly-dally.  If you find the home you want, there’s a good chance someone else is going to find it to.  You can no longer take a week to think about it.
  • Be patient and don’t give up.  You may end up putting offers in on two, three, four or eight different houses before you get the one you want.  Competing offers and bidding wars are back – be prepared for long negotiations and waiting periods.

As for me, I’m doing just as much business these days in “north of north Seattle” as I am in the city itself!  First time buyers are finding great deals in Shoreline, Edmonds, and SE Everett so I’m travelling a little bit further from home to help them out. 

 

Green Lake & North Seattle Real Estate Roundup – the Stats February 2012

Has another month gone by already?  Even with an extra day, February was a blur of working seven days a week with tons of first time buyers taking advantage of low interest rates and what many assume to be bottomed-out prices (I have fingers crossed that they’re right).  So alas, it is time once again to look back at the last month of Green Lake and North Seattle real estate and see where we stand.

Green Lake faired a little slowly in February, with six single family homes closing and one condominium.  Completely by coincidence, three of the six closings were homes all within just a few blocks of each other on Wallingford Ave N.  Of the closed homes, the average price was $544,392 and the average size was 2,410 square feet, giving us about $226/ft.

Currently within the Green Lake boundaries (as always, 80th to 50th, Aurora to I-5, compiled by NWMLS data), there are 9 active single family listings ranging in price from $375,000 to $1,189,000.  Amazingly, there are another 13 pending (plus three pending short sales), which indicates that March is going to be an extremely strong month for closings.  Of the nine active listings, four were added in February and the remainder stayed on from previous months.  With only nine active houses and 13 pending, we’re seeing that we don’t actually have enough inventory in the area.  This will help keep pricing solid and continue the trend we’ve been seeing of multiple offers and quick sales.

In all of north Seattle, we saw 118 sold houses plus another 31 condos during the month of February.   There are currently 300 active listings in north Seattle that are houses, with 125 of those being added during February – plus 165 active condominiums, with 61 of those added in February.  This is reflecting a fairly strong absorption rate of about 2.5 months supply of housing. 

So, what can you get in north Seattle for your money these days?  Here’s a look at a couple recent listings that are awaiting buyers in the neighborhood.

In Fremont, $439,500 will get you this three bedroom, 2.5 bath townhome on Albion Place N.  It’s 1,868 square feet and fairly new (built in 2007), and features a balcony with a view of Lake Union and Mt Rainier.

Head a little further north to Maple Leaf, and you’ll find this 1,970 square foot house with three bedrooms price at $469,950.

And in Wallingford, this larger four-bedroom home with 2.5 baths is priced at $599,000.  It has 10′ ceilings and a view patio off the master bedroom.