As one of the first suburbs of Seattle, Laurelhurst has long been known for its picturesque streets and peaceful vibe. Even after being annexed into the city in 1910, it remained a close-knit residential community. Its scenic location along Union Bay on the city's north side has made this urban village especially attractive to affluent families and professionals. While the surrounding area may have modernized and expanded, Laurelhurst continues to evoke more of an old-world charm.
Laurelhurst occupies an area just north of Union Bay and east of the University of Washington. In fact, a small portion of the campus overlaps into the neighborhood. Laurelhurst's boundaries are marked by Sand Point Way and Ivanhoe Place to the north and Mary Gates Memorial Drive to the west. Lake Washington provides the community's south and east borders.
While Laurelhurst may feel tucked away between the university and Lake Washington, it's only 6 miles from Downtown Seattle. This secluded character was even more apparent in 1900, the year a group of prominent locals established the Seattle Golf Club in what is now the southern portion of the neighborhood. At the time, members had to take a ferry from Madison Park to reach the club.
Throughout the early 1900s, a series of drawbridges were built over the Lake Washington Ship Canal and effectively connected Laurelhurst to the rest of the city. The golf club was eventually moved to make way for the demand of Laurelhurst luxury real estate. However, the original clubhouse still stands as a private residence in the community.
Today, Laurelhurst spans 0.85 square miles and is home to nearly 5,000 residents. Through the efforts of the Laurelhurst Community Club, an organization that advocates safety and preservation, excessive development has been held to a minimum. This has also kept the population density relatively low compared to surrounding neighborhoods.
For the most part, Laurelhurst residents enjoy maintaining a safe and quiet residential atmosphere. If it weren't for the amazing hilltop views of the city and lake, one might think that Laurelhurst was still an outer-rim suburb. However, this urban village does have its share of amenities. There are several restaurants, shops and other businesses located on Sand Point Way on the north edge of the community. The northern end is also home to Seattle Children's Hospital, a renown facility operated by the university.
The Laurelhurst Community Center is located directly in the center of the neighborhood. Originally built in 1935, this historic building features an art studio and several rooms for recreational programs. The center is adjacent to a park with various ball fields, tennis courts and a walking path. Neighborhood residents also have the option to join the Laurelhurst Beach Club, a private waterfront center popular with swimmers and boaters.
Considering the proximity of the university and hospital, it's no surprise that Laurelhurst residents tend to be highly educated and earn healthy incomes. This robust local economy has helped to strengthen the neighborhood housing market. Laurelhurst homes for sale, especially the lakefront properties, tend to sell quickly.
The median sales price for a home in the neighborhood is around $1.5 million. When averaging for property size, that's about $514 per square foot. Nearly 90 percent of neighborhood residents own their property, and more than a third of them live with children. Since all signs point to a continually strong seller's market, Laurelhurst luxury real estate should appreciate at high rates.
The most in-demand Laurelhurst real estate can be found on Webster Point, a peninsula that jets out into Union Bay. This area features many estate-sized homes with direct access to the lake. More waterfront homes are located on the east end of the neighborhood near the beach club off Laurelcrest Lane and farther north along 55th Avenue.
Since Laurelhurst is essentially a hilltop neighborhood that leads down to the lake, properties throughout the area offer excellent views of the water. Buyers will find more reasonably priced homes and condos toward the northwest end of the neighborhood close to the hospital. The area north of 45th street, which is near Laurelhurst Elementary School, is especially popular for homeowners with children.