What Buyers and Sellers Need to Know about Covid-19 and Tahoe | Truckee Home Sales

This was a tough column to write because I know so many of you have suffered hardships as a result of the unprecedented fallout from the Coronavirus epidemic, and I don't want to appear be tone deaf. Those of you who know me, know that my motto is service above sales.

So many questions have rolled in about what 'exactly' all this means for the Tahoe Truckee real estate market, that I felt my 1st Quarter column needed to go granular. As you scroll down, you'll find global statistics, along with Links to specific communities, so you can zoom in the areas you're focused on.

Lake Tahoe Real Estate

March was a roller coaster ride none of us had ever seen before, and with the news and the stock market getting worse by the day, many buyers and sellers got scared. In the first two weeks of the month, we saw escrows cancel, some sellers pulled listings amid uncertainty over how the virus was spreading, and the following weekend -- with 10 feet of new snow, and thousands of visitors in Tahoe Truckee for Spring Break -- the ski resorts shut down. Later that week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state's mandatory 'shelter in place' order. Hotels, restaurant/bars, and short-term rentals were being shut down in an effort to contain the virus.  

Essential businesses were allowed to stay open (grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.). Real estate was not considered an "essential" business at that time (although it was in Nevada). And in a market divided down the middle of Lake Tahoe between California and Nevada, that presented a lot of confusion. Buyers were still trickling in from driving distance, and in the week that followed, California followed Nevada's lead and ruled Real Estate activities as an "essential service."

Coronavirus Addendum Allows Escrow Extension or Cancellations

The Tahoe Truckee market was back in business; albeit with some new forms, new disclosures (several on the CA side, of course), and new ways of doing business. A new Covid-19 addendum allows buyers and sellers to extend an escrow beyond the normal timeframe or cancel due to circumstances related to the Coronavirus (can you read "broad circumstances" between the lines here?).  And a mandatory new California form requires buyers to 'declare' that they are essentially in good health before entering a home for a showing. 

Now we wear rubber gloves and masks to showings, and I carry a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol to disinfect surfaces. It's like something out of the movie Contagion. But for buyers who are willing to don the protective gear and keep the safe and socially uncomfortable six feet apart, there are some terrific opportunities to pick up a property in Tahoe.

Tahoe Real Estate Market 2020Luxury Homes Still Selling

Amid all the uncertainties of where our economy is headed, homes are still changing hands at a good pace in many parts of Tahoe | Truckee. The luxury market is holding up better than the overall market, continuing a trend we saw during the last recession, where homes valued over $1 million held their value better in some parts of Tahoe than the broader market.

Consider Martis Camp, the toniest of the tony addresses in Truckee's Martis Valley. Ten homes sold in the 1st quarter, the same as last year at this time. The median sales price fell to just under $4.2 million, an 8 percent drop over last year. And the overall sales volume was down to $46.6 million, 9 percent less than last year. But with 3 homes under contract at the start of April (at a median asking price of $5.6 million), Martis Camp is poised to do better this Spring than it did the same time last year.  And in the mix, there are bargains to be found ... one home closed April 2 in Martis Camp for close to half a million under asking.

LAHONTAN Homes Selling Despite Shutdowns

Four homes sold in Lahontan during the 1st quarter of 2020, down from 5 during the same period last year.  Three of the Lahontan sales were cash purchases, and all four of them went into escrow prior to the shutdown of Tahoe’s ski resorts and Newsom’s call to shutter all but essential businesses.

The median sales price in Lahontan was down the first quarter to under $2.6 million, a 9 percent drop from Q1 sales the year before. But despite the closures, Lahontan homes are still seeing successful offers.  At the beginning of April,  two Lahontan homes were in escrow and expected to close in April and May. One of these, a beautiful 4,000 square foot Lodge-style home above the 5th Green, had an accepted offer on March 21:

Lahontan Golf Course Home

Tahoe Ski Area Properties: More than 100 homes & condos to choose from

Tahoe Ski Homes for Sale

Sales at Tahoe’s Ski Areas was on par with last year. More than $40 million worth of real estate (homes and condos) changed hands at the ski areas during the 1st quarter of this year, with roughly half of the 43 sales at Northstar. All of the first quarter sales went into contract before the March 15 resort shutdowns.

The pace of sales at the resorts dropped off precipitously following the closures, but surprisingly we are still seeing homes and condos at Northstar going into contract.  Three properties had accepted offers there in the past few weeks, including a stunning Big Springs home that had been reduced to just under $2.8 million.

If you have been considering a ski home, there are more than 100 properties to choose from at Northstar, Squaw and Alpine right now, many of them with nice price reductions. 

Tahoe Ski Area Homes for Sale


In the interest of taking a magnifying glass to come of the other markets I serve, I have created separate articles for the neighborhoods listed below (click on the links for an in-depth market analysis of each community).

Incline Village Real Estate Market Update 

Continued post-Covid sales signals strong buyer confidence (click here for the full report)

Sand Harbor

Lake Tahoe Real Estate Market Update

Lake Tahoe's North & West shores poised for strong April real estate sales

 Tahoe Donner Real Estate

Tahoe Donner Real Estate Market Update

What Buyers and Sellers need to know about Coronavirus and the Tahoe Donner real estate market

Browse Tahoe Donner Homes for Sale



Gray's Crossing Real Estate Market Update

Price reductions present Buyer opportunities at this Golf Course community near downtown Truckee (click here for the full report)


Posted by Jackie Ginley on
Email Send a link to post via Email

Leave A Comment

e.g. yourwebsitename.com
Please note that your email address is kept private upon posting.