Million-dollar home market mushrooming |

Million-dollar home market mushrooming

David Bunker

Million-dollar homes in the area sold like never before in 2005, while sales of homes under a million slackened, according to a market analysis by real estate firm Chase International.Truckee had larger drops in both overall sales and housing units sold than any housing market around Tahoe, according to the report. Truckee saw a 6 percent drop in the total money exchanged in real estate transactions and a 29 percent reduction in units sold compared with 2004.”I would say that that was because there was such a huge uptick in sales the year before,” Jean Ludwick, a sales manager with Chase International, said of the Truckee market slowdown.Despite the slower sales, prices of single family homes still rose by 29 percent during the year, the report said.The number of Truckee homes priced under $1 million that sold in 2005 dropped by 37 percent, or by nearly 300 units. However, homes priced $1 million sold at a 65 percent increase compared with 2004, according to the report.”There are fewer and fewer properties under a million available,” said Trinkie Watson, a broker with Chase International. Ludwick noted that in places like Truckee, million-dollar homes, which used to be the exception, are now nearing a normality.”In Tahoe Donner now, any day you go into the [real estate multiple listing service], half of the properties are over a million,” she said.While the clip of single family home sales slowed in 2005, condo sales in town fared much better. A few more condos changed hands in 2005, and total sales volume – the amount of money exchanged in those sales – rose by 34 percent.Watson said that new construction of the multi-family units, and a demand for more affordable housing option, buoyed the condo market.”The price makes a big difference,” Watson said.Both Watson and Ludwick said they expect homes priced over a $1 million to become even a greater share of market in the future. And with home prices still climbing, the drop in sales does not alarm the Realtors too much.”I think that the signs are looking good that we are going to have a good year,” said Watson. “We consider the market to be healthy.”