A Seller's Market

In a real estate market that's rumored to be otherwise cooling, Tahoe Donner is bucking the trend.

The median sales price of a home in this community above Truckee rose for the first time ever to more than $1 million this year. And it's been inching up steadily.

By Sept 30 this year, 236 homes changed hands in Tahoe Donner, and well over half of them (58 percent) sold for more than $1 million.  That's a whopping 43 percent increase over last year's Q3 median price of $769,000.  And even more impressive when you consider that just two years ago the majority of homes (84 percent) fetched less than $1 million.

Luxury Homes Now the Majority of Tahoe Donner Sales

The scales have literally tipped, and thanks to the growth in the luxury market, I don't see it reversing.

At the beginning of 2020 (before we all got blindsided by Covid), I noted in this column that 2020 was looking a lot like 2006.  And we all know what happened next ... the roller coaster raced downhill, and the median sales price in Tahoe Donner fell by 2012 to just under $500k.  But that was an era when luxury sales represented just a fraction of the overall market (4% in 2012). And while there is no such thing as a "recession proof" investment, luxury tends to fare better in a market downturn.

Consider Incline Village, a lakefront community on Lake Tahoe's North Shore. Thanks to Nevada's friendly tax climate, Incline has become somewhat of a billionaire's tax haven, and some of its toniest addresses sit vacant for half the year. The year that topped the charts for the highest median sales price of a luxury home in Incline (homes selling for more than $1 million) was 2009, when the rest of the county's real estate markets were in the toilet (2021 might beat that record ... stay tuned).

Tahoe Donner is far from a billionaire's playground. But with easy access to hundreds of acres of open space, a coveted Beach Club Marina at Donner Lake, and continued investment in infrastructure, the community of some 6,000 homesites has grown over the decades from a collection of gambrel-style cabins with no garage to super custom homes like this one on acreage that sold for close to $3 million.

Tahoe Donner Luxury Home

What Shoulder Season?

The pace of sales in Tahoe Donner has held steady throughout the Fall (locally called the "shoulder season" as the summer crowds have gone, and winter skiing has not yet begun).  From September through late November 57 homes sold here with a median price of $1.2 million, and the median number of days on market just 7 days.

By mid-November there were just 9 homes for sale -- all of them over $1 million, and some new construction closer to $2.5 million. There were some bargains to be had this year. Roughly three dozen homes sold for less than the ask price (often a case of sellers over-reaching).  But the 265 homes that had sold in Tahoe Donner by mid-November closed on average for 8 percent over the asking price.

With low inventory, and the majority of homes selling at or over the asking price, 2021 remains a sellers market in Tahoe Donner.

Contact Jackie

Thinking of Selling?

Click on the Image below to view a sample of my Marketing Package.

Tahoe Donner Video

Call me today for a personalized valuation of your Tahoe Donner home.

PS: I'm finishing my new home in Tahoe Donner this summer  ~ Jackie 775-391-9443 

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Posted by Jackie Ginley on


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