Real Estate Blog

 

As we move into Fall, I keep hearing one question from my clients: Is the real estate market cooling down yet?

On the heels of last year’s pandemic shutdowns, the value of Tahoe/Truckee real estate skyrocketed. The volume of sales tripled in some markets, and the median sales price rose for the first time ever to more than $1 million in most of our markets.

What goes up must come down. That’s what my clients keep telling me.

But that’s not what the data shows … at least not so far.

We are not seeing the sort of panic buying we did amid the Covid shutdowns last year. Anecdotally, there are definitely fewer buyers in town than we saw earlier this summer. Schools are back to live learning in many of our Bay Area feeder markets, parents are

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Placer County map

Amid complaints that short-term rentals are eroding the peace and character of Tahoe/Truckee's neighborhoods and depleting the supply of affordable workforce housing, Placer County has put the brakes on new applications for STRs (rentals of 30 days or less). 

No new rental permits till April 2022

The moratorium was approved during the summer of 2021, and extended by an August 31 Board of Supervisors decision till April 1, 2022.  It effectively stops new applications for STRs in most of Lake Tahoe's north and west shores on the California side, all the area's major ski resorts, including Northstar, Squaw, Alpine, and Sugarbowl, as well as parts of Truckee and Donner Summit until mid-September.

During that time, county officials plan to explore

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Pier on Lake Tahoe

A pier can add significantly to the value of a Tahoe Lakefront home, and that’s a number that’s likely to rise in the coming decade, as the odds of getting one become more and more slim. 

After decades of legal and regulatory wrangling, a new rule took effect in 2019 limiting the number of piers that can be built at the Lake. This summer, for example, only 4 lucky lakefront owners will win the right to construct their own pier.

Applications were rolling in to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) as this article went to print, but judging from past demand, we will likely see dozens of lakefront owners walk away disappointed this summer. (In 2019, 83 lakefront owners applied for the right to build a private pier, and only 5 were

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Lake Tahoe real estate is suddenly becoming a commodity available mostly to those who can afford to spend more than $1 million. Luxury sales tripled at the Lake in the first six months of this year, and the median sales price climbed to an unprecedented $1M, a 44 percent jump from the year before.

But most surprising is that for the first time ever, many areas of Lake Tahoe and Truckee saw more homes selling for over $1 million, than under. Last year at this time, for example, luxury sales represented just one-third of the overall sales at the Lake. And this year so far, homes priced over $1 million outpaced more affordable properties.

Lake Tahoe Real Estate

From January to June this year, 383 homes closed at Lake Tahoe for $1 million or more. That's more than

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When is Price not Price?

Homebuyers searching in Tahoe this spring are facing the frustrating reality that price is not price.  On the contrary, the asking price of a home in today’s hot market is more like a starting point.

Once buyers get through the front door and have fallen in love with what they see, they often find themselves in competition with others who are swooning over the same property. In some cases, many others.

Tahoe Donner Real Estate

One 3-bedroom cabin in Tahoe Donner got 18 offers the first week it was on the market, and closed for cash at more than $100,000 over asking (plus a generous sum for the used furniture). It backed to open space, but it did not have a garage. And like many sales this year, it was priced more than $100,000 below where it

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Lahontan, the Granddaddy of Truckee's gated communities, has become so popular that the Club has decided to shut the door for now on new social memberships. Amid an uptick in sales and Covid capacity restrictions, Club GM Jeff Cobain said the decision to issue a moratorium on social memberships was made "in the best interest of the Club and its members." (scroll below for June 15 update)

Home sales reached an all-time high last year in Lahontan, with almost $100 million in sales and a median sales price of more than $2.8 million (a number that hasn't been seen in Lahontan since 2005, when the community was a novelty of gated living in Truckee.)  In total, 35 homes changed hands last year. And land sales soared, with 58 lots sold for a total volume

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Tahoe Donner Morning

High Demand for Tahoe Donner Homes Priced Over $1Million

Luxury home sales in Tahoe Donner tripled last year from what they had been just 15 years before.  Homes priced over $1 million -- long the minority in this community above Truckee -- sold at a faster pace in 2020, and for higher prices -- than ever before in the history of this resort destination.

More than a quarter of the homes that sold in Tahoe Donner last year closed for more than $1 million. That includes some homes, like this Pinnacle Loop chalet, that pushed into the luxury zone, despite being priced well below $1 million:

 

 

 

 

 

 

New home sales accounted for less than 10 percent of overall sales, but with just three exceptions, all sold for north of $1

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2020: A Banner Year for Tahoe Real Estate

Almost $3 billion worth of real estate changed hands in Tahoe/Truckee & Incline/Crystal Bay last year. For single-family homes, that’s a whopping 87 increase in volume over 2019 – a staggering jump that no one has seen in recent memory, and more than double the gains we saw in 2012, when bargain buying fueled a recovering market.

But there were almost no bargains to be found last year.  Homes that were priced right and showed well received multiple offers and often sold for well over asking. 

A Year for Luxury

The highest demand was for homes priced under $1 million, but luxury sales also soared in 2020. Close to half (45 percent) of the homes that sold in North Tahoe and Truckee last year closed for

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Covid Fuels Luxury Lakefront Home Sales at Tahoe

Donner Lake Home

Waterfront home sales at Lake Tahoe tripled this summer over what they had been the year before.

More than a quarter billion worth of lakefront property changed hands this summer, including some record-breaking estate sales on the turquoise waters of Lake Tahoe’s East Shore.

Fueled by a strong buyer penchant for clean air and open space, Tahoe/Truckee sales were up across the board, but the surge in lakefront sales offers a curious statement about the preferences of today’s wealthy buyers. If open space is the new luxury, then Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America, represents the pinnacle of luxury living in a post-COVID landscape.

Donner Lake Sets New Sales Records

Big

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