Christmas Ships!

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Ready or not, hear Christmas Ships come! Pun intended. Next Friday is the Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship Festival kick-off! For all of our new Seattleites, this holiday celebration has been a holiday tradition since 1949. The Argosy Christmas Ship sails around 65 different Puget Sound waterfront communities bringing holiday cheer. Join your community around a warm bonfire and listen for the arrival of the Christmas Ship!

Next Friday, November 25th, a Lead Boat will be performing from 7:30pm-7:50pm at the Seattle Tennis Club. The 2nd performance will be held from 8pm-8:20pm at the Park Shore Retirement Home. Although these may be private, check out the schedule for the rest of the holiday season!

Lake Union Housing Market: June Recap

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.

Lake Union Real Estate Update

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.

Update On Construction Impacts and Solutions In SLU

Just as the lane configurations on Mercer Street seem to change daily, the Seattle Department of Transportation is constantly reevaluating what can be done to reduce gridlock for drivers and headaches for pedestrians in South Lake Union and Lower Queen Anne, an area experiencing unprecedented growth. After implementing several changes this fall, SDOT continues to facilitate communication among construction companies and community members as part of its Construction Hub Coordination Program.

Anyone who has spent time sitting in their car on Mercer Street, watching traffic lights cycle through green and back to red without moving an inch, knows that improving traffic flow on the main thoroughfare is a high priority for the neighborhood. With input from the South Lake Union Community Council, SDOT has made the following changes:

  • Traffic signal at 5th Avenue North and Mercer Street has been reconfigured to allow flow of both eastbound and westbound traffic simultaneously.
  • Revised signal at Queen Anne Ave. North and Roy Street to prevent vehicles from blocking the crosswalk.
  • Left-turn-signal time extended at Fairview Avenue North and Mercer Street.
  • Rapid Ride D Line bus given priority signal.
  • New signal timing for special events at Seattle Center.
  • Facilitated coordination between construction companies to ensure that sidewalks aren’t closed on both sides of any street, improving access for pedestrians.

While the Mercer corridor reconfiguration project is expected to be completed in mid 2015, construction in booming South Lake Union shows no signs of letting up, meaning your input will be as important as ever. Any questions or feedback can be submitted to the Construction Hub Coordination Program at SDOTConstructionHub@seattle.gov.

Greet The Season At Lake Union Park Next Saturday

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!