Top 10 Best Neighborhoods in Seattle
If you’re looking to move to one of the hottest cities in the U.S., look no further! And with it’s rapidly growing housing market and mix of high-end properties and affordable options, Seattle has a neighborhood for everyone. Check out the top 10 neighborhoods in the city, then pack up your things and call up a local moving company, and make your way to the Emerald City!
South Lake Union
One of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Seattle is South Lake Union. The population jumped by more that twenty percent in 2014, a surge that can be partly explained by employees who work on one of Amazon’s several properties in the area, and those working for the other tech and medicine firms that have settled around the corporate giant. This has also led to 66% of residents in the neighborhood having college degrees, and as South Lake Union continues to grow, a number of mixed-use projects have sprung up across the area. Some are quite unique; take for instance the Stack House Apartment, which are built with a century-old laundry supply building, pairing vintage architecture and design with high end amenities.
For those looking to escape the crowds and hustle of Ballard and Fremont, Mount Baker to the southeast offers high-end homes settled on Lake Washington, rows of bungalows on the tree-lined streets between the lake and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, and a few newer townhomes mixed throughout. With its location close to I-90 and its own light rail station, this neighborhood is a great option for those looking to live outside the city and commute to work.
With its close proximity to the downtown area, West Seattle is full of historic homes that are a dream come true for those looking to flip homes for a profit. In 2013 alone, Redfin reported that 98 homes had been flipped, gaining an average of $143,000 in home value. The number of homes for sale is equally surprising; 278 were for sale at the start of 2014. The neighborhood is particularly popular for first-time home buyers looking for a family-friendly alternative to downtown Seattle. A three block stretch of California Avenue is home to The Junction, a dining and shopping destination filled with high-end retailers.
A decade of rapid growth has turned this upscale neighborhood into an exciting destination, filled with an array of nightlife and restaurants, and of course, a large selection of luxury condominiums. The population just passed 45,000 people, and is showing no signs of slowing down. A new Broadway light rail stop is set to open this year, and has spurred even more development, including three multiple-unit complexes, twenty percent of which will be dedicated to affordable housing.
If you want to live near the stunning views of Lake Washington, but can’t afford the sky-high prices of homes in Madrona or Denny-Blaine, Leschi is a much more affordable option. Located east of Central District, Leschi offers homes with a median value of $541,000, which doesn’t seem like much of a deal until you compare it to the median home value in Madison Park, which sits at just over one $1 million. Partial lake views from homes located farther from the lake offer even more savings with the same great location. Leschi is also more diverse than many of the surrounding neighborhoods; a whopping 45% of the population is nonwhite.More than 120 homes were sold in 2014 alone, making this another easily available neighborhood in Seattle.
Ballard is being bought up faster than new growth can even start. From 2013 to 2014, listings of single family homes, townhomes, and condos rose by 50%, while home prices rose 10%. The neighborhood is a great mix of new urban development and suburban charm. Ballard Avenue has seen a lot of recent condominium projects, as well as a variety of restaurants. Farther north on 65th, there’s an abundance of bungalows, highly ranked public schools, and the suburban atmosphere Ballard is known for.
In 2014, Redfin listed Ravenna as one of the top 10 hottest neighborhoods in the country. That year, homes in the area stayed on the market a stunning average of just seven days, and home prices increased by 11%. Historic homes, including a large number of Craftsman and Tudor homes built prior to 1940, a number of green parks, highly ranked schools, and its close proximity to University District make Redfin a great place for home buyers of all ages and lifestyles. The high prices and rising demand do mean that on average, buyers will pay 20% above the list price for a home.
With high demand and shrinking home inventory in Ballard, young families and tech employees looking for affordable homes are searching to the north, where Greenwood offers great options for first-time home buyers. The neighborhood has seen a 20% increase in home sales since 2014 and the median price is $322 per square foot. The lower home prices have also led to a median household income of $74,000. The easy commute via I-5 and Aurora Avenue, and the low-key, main street vibe downtown are also popular for young professionals.
Pioneer Square, one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods, is located right next door to SoDo, one of the city’s newest residential hotspots. The two attract over 30,000 workers each day, yet the residential population sits at just over 3,000, the smallest number in Seattle’s downtown area. The recently built Stadium Place apartments are likely to cause a jump in residents when its 740-units are rented out, and three new complexes near Occidental Park and along Fourth Avenue will add another 261 units.
Yet another neighborhood experiencing rising home sale prices, Columbia City offers diversity that isn’t found in other parts of the city. Newer, million dollar properties are mingled with older bungalows and historic Craftsman homes. The main street is a walker’s dream, and in combination with cultural attractions like the Columbia City Theater, offers a unique flavor not found elsewhere in Seattle.