Captain William Ballard is the founder of this sleepy Scandinavian community north of Downtown Seattle. It has mainly been home to fishermen and mill workers over the past 100 years, and continues to attract a large fishing community to the industrial area.

Ballard is well-known in the Seattle area for its strong Scandinavian heritage. All candy shops sell Swedish fish, and "Uff-dah" is seen on signs and bumper stickers when walking down Market Street, the main street leading into the heart of the retail district.

The other main street in the neighborhood is 15th Ave NW.  It runs perpendicular to Market Street starting at the Ballard Bridge and is the main access road to areas north and south of Ballard.  There are also a variety of stores and eateries along its strip.

Ballard is well-known for its Scandinavian population, merchants, fishermen, and young professionals that live in the area. Due to lower home and rental prices, families and students find the area affordable. Shilshole, North Beach and Blue Ridge attract a wealthier crowd to its view housing options.

Fun Stuff
The Shilshole area and Golden Garden’s Beach are known for great seafood restaurants and beautiful sunsets. The recently renovated park has dog areas, duck ponds, and lovely landscaping to draw walkers and runners to its shores.


Average Rent: $$$

Primary Housing:

Small Apartment Buildings

Medium Apartment Buildings


Single-Family Homes


Commute Times:

Downtown 10-15 minutes

Eastside 35 minutes, 45 minutes with traffic

Ballard offers some of the largest selection and variety of rental property types anywhere in Seattle. Development of this area has occurred in every decade of the last century and the variety of architecture in Ballard reflects this. Considerable development occurred in this part of Seattle from the 1940s through the 1970s, so there are a lot of small apartment buildings and multiplexes with stucco and brick exteriors and several larger apartment buildings throughout Ballard. Significant recent apartment and condo development has provided a number of newer rental units to choose from as well.

The ever-evolving downtown Ballard that centers at Market and 22nd Ave NW has brought rejuvenation to this once sleepy Scandinavian fishing village, creating a great local culture and adding vibrancy to this neighborhood. Shops, restaurants and cafes abound in Ballard and are only a short distance from the majority of rental housing. Ballard has become one of Seattle's most treasured neighborhoods and offers rental housing prices that are generally a little lower than neighborhoods such as Fremont, Wallingford and Greenlake that are located just to the east and have easier freeway access.

Ballard also offers some of the more affordable options for rental houses in the close-in Seattle market. In part this is due to the many smaller homes that were built in Ballard. You will find this to be especially true as you move north from the center of Ballard toward Crown Hill, Blue Ridge and Loyal Heights. Demand is always stirring for these homes and they rent quickly. Many choose to rent here for affordability, the local culture and access to Downtown.