Green Lake Real Estate – Second Quarter + July Results

August 28, 2015 6:48am


Kris Murphy and Daniela Dombrowski are Seattle Greenlaker sponsors and real estate brokers who live and specialize in the Wallingford and Green Lake neighborhoods. They practice out of the Keller Williams Greater Seattle office located on the corner of Stone Way and N 45th St.

Bidding wars continue to be the norm rather than the exception in our Green Lake neighborhood as well as rest of the region, as shown in this recent article.  While we see escalations as much as 30%, the overall average in the last 6 months was 5.7% over asking price which is 1.8% higher than during the same period in 2014, which shows that the market is even more competitive than a year ago.  We find that pricing along with condition and presentation is the key to maximizing your return on investment.  Some sellers attempt to price at the highest end of the range or higher and this strategy tends to backfire often necessitating price drops down the road and ending up with a lower sales price as the end result. While you don’t want to leave money on the table, you also need to leave some room for the market to drive the sales price to the highest level.  Pricing and negotiations in this competitive market are both an art and a science.

We are often asked if we think this is another bubble, or when the escalations will stop. While the market is certain to change at some point, the current demand is based on a solid local economy rather than risky lending practices which caused the Great Recession in 2007/2008. Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the US and has been hailed as the next Silicon Valley.  Compared to San Francisco home prices are still a bargain in our region. The quality of life and natural beauty are other factors driving the growth as a recent Puget Sound Business Journal poll revealed.  If and when interest rates begin to rise the escalations and demand may ease gradually, however, the strong sellers’ market is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

In this forum, we will focus on Green Lake numbers specifically so that you may get an idea of how your investment may be impacted by the current boom.

The statistics provided in this post are hyper-local, capturing only Green Lake and Tangletown as outlined in the map above. The numbers are for single family homes including townhomes only.

Statistics in the table below are based on home sales in the area outlined on the map above and are derived from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service data.


Second Quarter + July Comparison 2014 to 2015

2014 2015 Difference %
Number of Closed Sales 81 72 -9  -11%
Average Days on Market 10 9 -1  -10%
Average  List Price $673,881 $707,014 +$33,133   +4.9%
Average  Sales Price $700,619 $747,055 +$46,436  +6.6%
List to Sales Price Ratio 103.9% 105.7%  +1.8%


Single Family Homes 

The number of sold homes in the second quarter is down 11% from 2014 during the same period. Average days on market dropped from only 10 days to 9 days (10% down).  Although the inventory drop is less drastic than last quarter, the trend of low inventory continues, fostering the fiercely competitive conditions in our local market.  The result is that the average sold price has risen 6.6% year over year to $747,055 in our neighborhood.

Escalations are intense. We have seen several single story with finished basements bungalows (around 2,000 sq ft) escalate well into $900,000 range this year.  Several homes escalated more than 20%.  The sweeter the home, the better the location or the bigger the lot, the more intense is the bidding.


What the Trends are Telling Us

The following charts capture Green Lake (area as defined by NWMLS data) real estate trends for the last 15 months, beginning with May 2014.

The bar graph below tells us how many homes were available for sale (light green), how many went under contract (red line) and how many sales closed each month (dark green).  We can see from the light green bars that there were far less homes available for sale in the second quarter of 2015 than during the second half of 2014.  Actual closed sales (dark green) are lower than last year due to the lower supply in active listings.  However, you can see that buyer demand continues to far outpace supply (red line) and even as housing inventory rose in the spring and summer months, buyer demand kept pace and absorbed most available homes for sale quickly!  Intense bidding wars and price increases are how these statistics continue to play out in the marketplace.

Homes for Sale – Pended and Sold

homes for sale

In the chart below, the yellow bar graph shows average days on market.  You can see that even though days on market were low last year, they are even lower this year.  Sellers are generally keeping their homes on the market for about a week before looking at offers, otherwise, the days on market figures would be even lower.  If consumers could buy a home on the spot, they would, but sellers would rather create competition to drive the price up.

Days on Market and Original List-to-Sales Price Percentage

days on market

The chart below illustrates months of inventory.  It is derived based on a calculation dividing the number of active homes for sale by the number of homes that closed in a given month and attempts to project how many months it will take for the entire available inventory to sell.  Anything under 2 months of inventory represents a sellers’ market. You can see how inventory in the second quarter of 2015 has significantly dropped even below the already low numbers of 2014.

Months of Inventory

months of inventory

In Summary

For sellers, there has never been a better time to sell.  Real estate markets, like stock markets can change quickly. However, we have no current indicators that conditions will change in the near future.  Once interest rates begin to rise, as is predicted, the market may change as buyers will have less buying power and feel less pressure to act quickly.  Also, once sellers begin taking advantage of this market, inventory may rise and we may start seeing a slowdown in the market.


Investors Lock in Gains 

In our practice, we have been seeing numerous long-term landlords taking advantage of the market and realizing their returns.  Foreign buyers with cash also represent a big buyer segment which has also intensified price increases for multi-family and other investment properties.

Kris Murphy and Daniela Dombrowski are Seattle Greenlaker sponsors and real estate brokers who live and specialize in the Wallingford and Green Lake neighborhoods.  They practice out of the Keller Williams Greater Seattle office located on the corner of Stone Way and N 45th St.

Kris Murphy & Daniela Dombrowski /

Keller Williams Greater Seattle
1307 N 45th St, Suite 300
Seattle, WA  98103