Tahoe real estate market weathers a tough winter
May 4, 2017
A report detailing first quarter of 2017 real estate market results for all of Lake Tahoe, Truckee and select Reno neighborhoods was recently released by Sierra Sotheby's International Realty.
The report summarizes market trends as reported by four different regional multiple listing services and examines the data in each of the area's diverse neighborhoods to help buyers and sellers make more informed real estate decisions.
Amidst a winter that brought a reported 700 inches of snowfall at higher elevations, a macro look at the first quarter data reveals marginal decreases in sales volume across most markets as compared to the same period last year.
"Spanning two state lines, a handful of different counties and many distinctly different communities, the real estate market can vary as dramatically as the snow conditions from neighborhood to neighborhood," said Peter Strand, president of Sierra Sotheby's International Realty. "We break down the data by micro markets so consumers can better understand what's happening in their own backyard."
A closer look at these micro market reports revealed bright spots in home values.
North and West shores showed quarter over quarter increases in average sold prices with the West Shore non-lakefront pricing up by 5 percent and North Shore non-lakefront up 10 percent. The report showed one lakefront sale on the North Shore and two lakefront sales on the West Shore with a highest reported sale of $15 million.
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The reported median sale price for single-family homes in South Lake Tahoe is up by 4 percent to $411,000 with a 4 percent dip in volume sold. After the recent adoption of new vacation rental policies, South Tahoe's investment home market will be a trend to watch in the coming year.
Incline Village showed single-family home sales volume down by 18 percent. Pricing was off by only 1 percent with an average sold price of $1,053,775. Condo sales volume was up by 9 percent with an average sold price of $427,076. No first quarter buyer activity was reported in the Incline Village lakefront market, however, agents are buzzing about pent-up demand for homes with lakefront access, modern upgrades and single level floorplans. As we head into the second quarter, Incline Village's luxury market over $3 million is showing positive trends with two reported sales over $3 million and another four pending sales as of press time.
Just over the hill, the Southwest Reno market showed slight improvement. Single-family home sales volume rose quarter over quarter by 6 percent with an average sold price of $595,686. The highest reported quarterly sale for this region was $1.8 million.
On the heels of substantial year-end gains in 2016, the developers of Truckee's Martis Camp announced the sell out of their original 671 homesites. The community cooled slightly in the first quarter with seven homes sold as compared to 10 homes sold this time last year. First quarter average sold price at Martis Camp was off by roughly a million dollars from $4.8 million in 2016 to $3.8 million in 2017.
Tahoe Donner, one of area's largest single-family home communities, showed a 39 percent dip in sales volume which agents credit largely to a continued inventory shortage. Tahoe Donner's single-family home prices improved 2 percent while condo prices showed a 21 percent uptick.
Tahoe's ski resort communities showed respectable activity in lieu of the record-breaking winter that created challenges for house hunters. Squaw Valley reported a total of 15 properties sold versus 12 this time last year while Northstar reported 29 total properties sold compared to 23 in 2016. The Donner Summit market reacted most strongly to winter with a 43 percent dip in sales volume (eight homes sold versus 14 this time last year). There were no reported first quarter sales for ski-in/ski-out homes priced above $2 million in any of Lake Tahoe's ski resort neighborhoods.
"We anticipate a robust second quarter as spring prompts an influx of new inventory," said Strand. "Cautious buyers are taking note of the Federal Reserve's recent rate hikes and projected further increases. The changes have caused mortgage rates to tick upward and motivate real estate intenders to act before they get much higher."
Additional factors supporting a strong real estate market include the first quarter rally on Wall Street, the US unemployment rate falling to a ten-year low in early April, and the consumer confidence level climbing to its highest peak since December 2000 at 125.6 (1985=100), as reported by the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®.
"If consumer confidence is traditionally the leading indicator in real estate, then we can confidently state we are well positioned for another great year," said Strand. "With active markets and the prime real estate season just around the corner, we have every reason to believe the momentum will persist throughout the second quarter and the remainder of the year."
Sierra Sotheby's International Realty Micro Market Reports are available for download at tahoerealestatediary.com/micro-market-reports.