Lake Tahoe Bubble not Bursting |

Lake Tahoe Bubble not Bursting

Ryan Salm/Sierra Sun photo illustration

Tahoe home prices soared to an average value of $1.4 million in the first quarter of 2007, but the number of individual sales declined in the same period, according to a recent Tahoe real estate report.

The Tahoe home price increases ” a total 20-percent hike since the same time last year ” are remarkable when compared to a Truckee market where prices slumped by 14 percent, according to real estate agency Chase International.

While the number of units sold around the Tahoe Basin dropped slightly, Realtors said they expected sales to quicken during the spring and summer months.

“I think we’re going to see that flatten out and go higher,” said Susan Lowe, corporate vice president of Chase International.

The total dollar volume of home sales climbed since last year, even though unit sales dropped ” reflecting a higher price per sale.

While the average home price was skewed by several large sales around the lake, the median Tahoe home price ” a reflection of the mid-priced home sale ” was up 6.2 percent to $873,842 from $822,523 at this time last year.

“Lake Tahoe is unlike any other market,” Lowe said. “Although we’ve seen some normalization in the Truckee, Reno and Carson Valley, when it comes to single-family homes in Lake Tahoe, the bubble isn’t bursting.”

Truckee’s mid-priced and lower-priced homes showed signs of life, registering a 67 percent gain in units sold. The hot-selling bottom end of the market, and a dip in over-million-dollar home sales by 38 percent caused the average home price to dive.

“What’s happening is the lower end is selling and not the higher end,” Lowe said of the Truckee market. “I think the mid-range to the lower end is the hotter ticket.”

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