Famous for its Norweigan heritage (lutefisk and all) and worldwide fame for its cedar shingle manufacturing from the early settlers days in the area, this neighborhood has grown into a more sleek version of itself in the 2000's. New density has arrived by way of condos and townhomes fueled somewhat by the thought there would be the Monorail to support the increased traffic. Alas, that didn't happen but the building continued once the financing was underway and the economy at the time supported it. Granted, not all neighbors have been fans of these changes, but the Growth Management Act enacted in 1990 in WA State required cities to embrace and create density. Which led to a new zoning overlay of Ballard providing the ability for some of the old single family housing stock to be taken out for new, larger housing projects like these.
Market times for the Ballard area have been better than many others with an average on market of 68 days for homes in the $400-500k range. Higher priced homes from $600k-$1M have been taking much longer and have experienced major price reductions, particularly in new construction single family homes. Although some of the deals out there right now are pretty darn good especially with many builders getting large financing credits from supportive lenders who want to see the inventory turning into profit making assets.
Because of the financial hit many builders are taking, don't expect much new construction in this area - and nearby Greenlake, Phinney, etc, for the next 2 years. What's out there in inventory now is what we'll have for a while unless it's a project already in process.
May 2009 sales activity shows year to date average price at $440,557 down 14% from last year's average of $514,696. But, the good news for May was that sales volume was up 1% over last year. Always ahead of other market areas in terms of volume (because of the size of the area) there were 145 transactions closed in May for MLS market area 705.
June also had strong activity and is expected to come in July's numbers due out in about a week.