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Katie Raynor

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By Tommy Kulvanish, Ewing & Clark, Inc.

Greetings from Lake Union, where over the last month fireworks lit up the sky for the 4th of July, and the real estate market was booming, as well.

Yes, inventory remains low around Lake Union, but when a property hits the market, a feeding frenzy begins with the number of buyers hoping to find a home they can call their own.

Since May, 13 single-family homes have sold in the area, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS). With an average selling price of $949,000, homes are selling at an average of 1.5 percent over asking price, due to such high demand and low supply. Once homes are listed, they sit for roughly seven days before there is an offer accepted.

And we aren’t even talking about large two- or three-bedroom homes; the average size of the homes being snatched up is only 1,700 square feet. That’s it, 1,700 square feet in today’s crazy market.

And let’s not forget about the condo market, which is also very competitive. According to the NWMLS, 28 condos have sold since the beginning of May, with an average sales price of just over $401,000, for roughly 900 square feet. Properties were selling at an average of two percent above asking price. Condos did not sell as quickly as single-family homes, but still only lasted on the market for an average of two weeks.

What does this all mean, you ask? Well, if you have an investment property, there has not been a better time to sell and take advantage of this insanely hot and competitive market. If you’re looking to buy, with the lending rates hovering near four percent, now is the time! But as prices are likely to continue to increase, buyers should move quickly.

If you’re interesting in finding out what your home or condo is worth, or you’re tired of renting and want to see what is out there, please feel free to reach out to me at tkulvanish@ewingandclark.com.

Welcome to Lake Union, where not only has the weather been hot, but the real estate market is as well. With the continued rise of median prices in King County, Seattle and all of its surrounding areas are having a heavy influence on the soaring prices we are seeing. Also adding to record prices is the lack of inventory that has become available so far this year. So, if you’re contemplating on selling high with your investment home or rental, there is not a better time than now to maximize your profits.

In the first six months of 2015, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS), 41 residential homes were sold. Of those 41, 34 were two- and three-bedrooms homes, so this tends to be what is highly sought after in Lake Union. The average selling price for two-bedroom homes is approximately $607,000, while three bedrooms were in the ballpark of $782,000. How long are these homes sitting on the market to obtain these prices, you ask? According to the NWMLS, two-bedroom homes were generally on the market for about 18 days and three bedrooms sitting on for only about 10 days.

The condominium market in and around Lake Union was even hotter than the weather these past six months. Per the NWMLS, since the beginning of 2015, 167 condos have sold! That’s essentially one every day, and that’s just in the Lake Union area alone! Of the 167 purchased, 76 of those were studios and one bedrooms, 82 two-bedrooms and nine three-bedrooms.

The average days on the market for studio, one- and two-bedroom condos was just a little more than three weeks (26 days), but it was common for well-priced units to last only 10 days or less on the market. Meanwhile, 3-bedroom condos were on the market for roughly 16 days. The median prices provided by the NWMLS are as follow; studios and one-bedrooms sold for approximately $279,000; but that figure is brought down substantially by studios that sold for much less that the median average. 32 one-bedrooms sold for over $300,000, with most in the high 300 and low 400’s. The average selling price of 2-bedroom condos was nearly $354,000, and 3 bedrooms went for roughly $674,000.

Through the first half of this year, the real estate market in and around Lake Union has shown no reason to slow down through this summer and into the fall. In a lot of cases, there are multiple offer situations that homes and condos are dealing with. With most offers coming in at full price or above, why wouldn’t you want to sell now? If you have any questions regarding what your home may be worth or if you would like a tour of what is available in Lake Union, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

If you prefer a nautical spin on your holiday events, the Greet the Season celebration at Lake Union Park on Saturday, November 29, is for you. This all-day event offers maritime-inspired activities for the whole family, capped off with a performance by the always-popular Argosy Christmas Ship.

Tour the historic ships docked at the park, including the Virginia V, Arthur Foss, and M/V Lotus; and wander through the exhibits at the Center for Wooden Boats (also free to enter) to learn about the influence of small boats on the culture of the Pacific Northwest. MOHAI will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the regular admission price of $17 (free for kids 14 and under), and will be offering free admission to the atrium between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m.

Kids will have the opportunity to build toy boats, sail boats on the pond, make maritime signal flag necklaces, learn knot-tying techniques, decorate cookies, make holiday cards and ornaments, and much more. Crafts, music, and dance performances should be enough to keep them occupied all day! Though most of these activities are free, donations are greatly appreciated.

The Christmas Ship will begin its performance on Lake Union, featuring the Dickens Carolers, at 7:15 p.m., and hot beverages will be available to keep you warm through the evening. Don’t miss out on this quintessentially Seattle way to greet the holiday season!

Join the South Lake Union Community Council at MOHAI this Tuesday, November 4, for it’s monthly meeting covering neighborhood issues and events. This month’s meeting will feature presentations by the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and by the Department of Planning and Development regarding incentive zoning, plus updates on the Construction Hub Coordination Program, and discussion of upcoming meeting speakers Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw and Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole. Click here to see a full meeting agenda. The meeting runs from 4:00-6:00 p.m.

South Lake UnionDrive anywhere in South Lake Union these days and you are likely to run into at least one roadblock. Road work on Mercer Street and on 9th Avenue combined with countless construction projects in progress in the area has led to street and sidewalk closures, reduced parking availability, and near-constant traffic gridlock.

Throughout 2014, the Seattle Department of Transportation has been making efforts to alleviate some of these problems through its Construction Hub Coordination Program and Access Seattle Initiative. As a result of feedback from neighbors and business owners at a recent South Lake Union Community Council meeting, drivers and pedestrians should see some changes happening in the near future. Here’s a summary of the issues that are being addressed:

  • Amazon is using off-duty Seattle Police officers to restrict access to Harrison Street to aid in emptying their parking garages, which has increased traffic on neighboring Republican Street. SDOT says they will no longer allow this.
  • Heavy traffic on Mercer Street is deterring people from visiting surrounding businesses. SDOT says that an additional eastbound lane on Mercer will be opening in less than a week, and new signal timing should further reduce backups.
  • Construction workers who commute to the area are taking up a large chunk of street parking in the area. SDOT and the Department of Planning and Development will increase requirements for construction companies to provide off-street parking for workers.
  • Heavy traffic, including from construction vehicles and equipment, does not make the area pedestrian friendly. SDOT will install all-way walk signals at the intersections of 9th & Republican, 9th & Harrison, 9th & Thomas, John & Minor, Yale & Minor, and Yale & Thomas.

Also, click here to see a map of SLU construction projects.

If you had your heart set on buying a piece of Hollywood real estate history, your choices just narrowed by one. The houseboat that was featured in “Sleepless in Seattle” has been sold to a local tech executive for a sum that reportedly tops $2 million, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.

The houseboat, which sits at the end of a dock off Westlake Avenue North, has unobstructed views of Lake Union and is surprisingly large at 2,200 square feet. The buyer, who has chosen to remain anonymous and whose main residence is also in Seattle, reportedly bought the iconic houseboat as a convenient summer house for his family.

According to the PSBJ article, the previous owners of 21 years listed the home in 2008, only to take it off the market after hoards of photo seekers flocked to the dock where the house is moored. The recent sale happened mostly under the radar, as the home was never listed on the Multiple Listing Service.

So, if you’ve been waiting patiently to own Seattle’s most famous houseboat, looks like you’ll have to wait and see if it hits the market again some day!

 

 

It’s almost time for Seattle’s biggest party (well, besides the Super Bowl parade), the 4th of July fireworks over Lake Union! The official event, which Seafair has stepped in to produce after Chase Bank discontinued their sponsorship, will take place at both Gasworks and South Lake Union parks this year. While spectators arrive at Gasworks to secure prime viewing locations beginning in the early morning, scheduled events at both parks will begin at noon and continue throughout the day until the fireworks show at 10:20 p.m.

At the Gasworks end of the lake there will be music from the Army National Guard Band and Seattle band Local Strangers; interactive exhibits; and the All-American Games, which include hula-hooping contests, pie-eating contests, and sack races;  and much more. South Lake Union Park will host an exhibit from the Air National Guard, featuring military vehicles and equipment; and live music throughout the afternoon. Both parks will have a view of the lighted skydivers show, plenty of food vendors and a beer garden, and of course a great view of the main event. While admission to both parks is free, tickets for reserved seating are also available for $20. As of now the weather forecast looks promising, so get ready to celebrate both Independence Day, and the imminent start of what we Seattleites know is the TRUE first day of summer in the Northwest, July 5th!

Click here for a full schedule of events at both Gasworks and South Lake Union parks and for information on street closures in Wallingford.

Check out these videos from the past four Lake Union fireworks shows. Which one is your favorite?

fremont

As if the parade and fair weren’t enough to draw you to the Fremont Solstice Celebration this Saturday, Fremont also happens to be home to some of the best restaurants in Seattle, and many of them will be joining in the celebration with Solstice specials.

In a brilliant move by newcomer wine bar Vif, starting at 11:00 a.m. parade-goers can pick up a packed lunch from the restaurant that will include, what else, mini bottles of wine. First, though, what what better way to celebrate summer than with a whole roasted pig and rosé tastings? If that sounds up your alley, come to Vif’s parking lot picnic on Friday beginning at 4:00 p.m. 4401 Fremont Ave. N.

Fremont Brewing’s Urban Beer Garden (which is a very popular spot even when there isn’t a parade happening) should be packed, as it is right on the parade route and they have a large patio. Order a pint of Fremont’s tangerine-flower-scented Summer Ale, pull up a chair, and see if you can spot a naked cyclist. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. and there will be face painting, an expression board and an interesting-sounding game called Beat the Bucket. 1050 N 34th St.

Agrodolce’s patio will be open and they’ll be serving up a solstice special lamb burger and pint of Fremont Summer Ale for $9.00, and something called a “mini magical strawberry gelato cone with sprinkles and pizelle” for $4.00. If that’s not enough to get you through the door then we don’t know what is. Even if you’re not planning on watching the parade, these specials alone warrant a trip to Fremont! 709 N 35th St.

Outlander Brewery & Pub also sits right on the parade route and will have their second floor and deck open for prime viewing, plus they will have a special food menu. 225 N 36th St.

There will be the usual mix of food vendors inside the Fremont Fair, and plenty of food trucks on hand, as well. Three beer gardens scattered throughout the fair will guarantee you’re never far from any ice cold drink. Come down and celebrate the beginning of our too-short, but glorious, summer!