2016 Green Lake Real Estate in Review

January 26, 2017 11:00pm

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.

For the last few years when writing our annual review of the neighborhood real estate market we have been talking about rising prices, bidding wars and the shortage of inventory. Well, 2016 was no different, if anything, there are even less homes for sale and the competition among buyers has intensified. According to a recent Seattle Times article, Seattle is now the 2nd tightest real estate market in the nation right after San Francisco. Homes sell the fastest (15 days on average) and we have the second highest number of bidding wars (also behind San Francisco).

According to the latest Case-Shiller National Index, Seattle has seen the highest appreciation at 10.7%, right after Portland at 10.3%. These two NW cities were the only ones with double digit year over year price increases. Nationwide the annual gain was at 5.6%.

How does our neighborhood compare?

We have compiled numbers and charts for 2016 based on hyper-local data capturing only Green Lake and Tangletown as outlined in the map above so you can see for yourself what’s happening in your backyard.

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.


Year over Year Comparison 2015 to 2016

Single Family Homes

Six more homes (or 3% more) were sold in 2016 so the number of sales stayed almost the same over the last two years but is 38% lower than in 2013 . The median sales price rose by 11.1% slightly higher than Seattle as a whole and 2.2% more compared to 8.9% in 2015. Average sales prices came in 7.6% over list price which doubled compared to 2015 when the sales prices were 3.8% higher than list prices, showing that the market has become even more competitive. Average days on market stayed the same with 13 days on market, 2 days less than Seattle overall. The median sales price is now almost $750,000 in the neighborhood! Just 3 years ago, our median sales price was $537,500 or 40% lower.

Year-end 2015 to 2016 Home Sales Comparison 2015 2016 Difference %
Number of Closed Sales 194 200 +6 +3%
Average Days on Market 13 13 0 0%
Median List Price $649,950 $697,000 $47,050 +7.2%
Median Sales Price $674,950 $749,975 $75,025 +11.1%
List to Sales Price Ratio 103.8% 107.6% +3.8%%


What the Trends are Telling Us

The following charts capture Green Lake (area as defined by NWMLS data) real estate trends for 2015 and 2016. This bar graph 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 wasn’t a significant difference in the amount of available homes throughout the year and demand by far outpaced supply. Buying activity was strong throughout the year with a less pronounced summer and holiday dip than last year (see red line). Actual closed sales (dark green) increased a bit over last year, especially, in the summer months but also in November.

In the chart below, the yellow bars represent the average number of days a home is on the market. Overall, days on market were very similar in 2016 and 2015 when we exclude January and February of 2015 which were clearly higher than all the following months. This number could be even lower, except that real estate brokers hold a home on the market for about a week before entertaining offers from potential buyers in order to secure the best offer. The line at the top of the chart represents the relationship between average sales and list price. In 2016, you can see that sales prices for most months were well over 100% of list price with springtime peaks showing about 10% higher sales than list prices, then a little slowing to about 100% sales to list price ratio in the fall and another surge to 5% in November before a seasonal slowdown during the holidays.

Finally, this chart 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 have 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, between 3-5 months is considered a balanced market and over 6 months represents a buyers’ market. In 2016, most of the time, inventory was under one month and went as low as 0.4 in May and June as well as November and December. This translates into a “crazy sellers’ market” just like 2015 when months of inventory were also under one month all year long.

And here we thought the market could not possibly get more competitive! So what about 2017? Are we going to see a turnaround or correction? Not according to the Home Buying Institute which compiled a number of different forecasts from different experts in the field. Their conclusion is that: “Seattle, one of the hottest real estate markets in 2016, is expected to continue sizzling in 2017.” A great job market driven primarily by our booming tech industry continues to make Seattle a popular place to live and work and have fun, although rising interest rates may eventually have a slowing effect on the market.


Kris Murphy & Daniela Dombrowski /

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