Though sales slow, home prices continue to climb |

Though sales slow, home prices continue to climb

Average and median home prices in the Tahoe-Truckee area continue to climb, although real estate sales are down compared to numbers for this time last year, according to Chase International’s mid-year real estate analysis.

Around Lake Tahoe the average home price is up 33 percent, from $987,683 to $1.31 million, according to the report. Averages can be skewed by big sales, said Chase International Vice President Susan Lowe, like the $16 million and $14 million homes sold in Tahoe City and Incline Village.

The median price of $872,000 is a better benchmark demonstrating what people are paying for Tahoe-area units, Lowe said.

“Though we’re seeing an overall decrease in volume and units, our median and average prices continue to show a remarkable appreciation,” Lowe said, regarding the 2006 mid-year analysis.

The increase in median and average home prices, by 24 and 33 percent respectively, demonstrates the value of the market, Lowe said. The decrease in total unit sales simply reflects a longer selling period, she said.

Despite the numbers reflected in the recent analysis, Carol Fromson with Prudential California Realty said now is a good time to buy and that there are good deals in all price ranges.

“Things are sitting longer and we’re seeing price reductions,” Fromson said. “Now we are seeing a more healthy market, with properties on the market longer. It’s not like things aren’t selling. [If they’re] priced competitively they will sell.”

Lowe also said the difference in the Tahoe-area market is that many buyers are after second homes and that such homes have a longer selling period.

“[The numbers] continue to show that Tahoe is a solid appreciation market,” said Lowe. “Based on being a second-home market.”

In both Tahoe City and Truckee the total number of homes sold was down, though units sold for more than $1 million were up.

“Truckee’s gone bonkers on the over-million market,” Lowe said. “The product has upgraded and [we] see more high-end sales.”

The numbers for Truckee include Squaw Valley, Northstar and Alpine Meadows areas. Lowe attributes the sales and volume in the high-end markets to the transformation in the Truckee-area, including golf course communities and the Northstar upgrades.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” Lowe said “[We’ve] seen the trend for the last year as units sold continue to go down, but appreciation continues to go up.”

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