Despite rising interest rates, high prices at the pump, and the war in Ukraine, buyer demand for Tahoe Truckee real estate remained strong in the first four months of this year.  Some markets showed impressive gains over last year, and some presented the opportunity to negotiate on price.

Overall, buyers showed a strong preference for the very old (or new meant to look old), and the very new. 

One example of this is a Carnelian Bay lakefront that sold for more than $23 million. With pine paneling and a great room framed by log scissor trusses, it looks like it was built in the 1940s, but it’s actually less than 10 years old.  A Bruce Olson masterpiece, it captures the unique charm of homes built with organic materials like granite and the big timbers reminiscent of Tahoe’s early days.

Tahoe Lakefront Home

East Lake Tahoe

On the East Shore, the sprawling lakefront estate Crystal Pines sold for $32 million. It embraces a contemporary aesthetic at the opposite end of the spectrum with a bright, airy interior framed by massive walls of windows looking out over Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe Home

Martis Camp Real Estate on par with Lake Tahoe

The extremes could also be seen in Martis Camp, which has in recent years kept pace with lakefront prices. Nine of this year’s top 10 sales on the California side were in Martis Camp, two of which are brand new homes that represent a departure from the flat-roofed, uber-contemporary designs of past years. Steep-pitched roofs, gables, and French oak flooring combine with light-filled interiors to make these homes selling upwards of $13 million more of a Mountain Modern design gracefully combining the old and the new.

Martis Camp Real Estate 

The same trend was evident at the lower price points in communities like Tahoe Donner, where “Marlette” style homes of the late 1970s-early 1980s flew off the shelves with multiple offers and over-asking prices.

It’s a rafter and beam style cabin that was built on many Tahoe lots in the late 1970s and early 1980s, an architectural style in which the roof is supported by rafters (as opposed to engineered trusses) that’s garnered an increasingly large fan base. And whether updated, or original; garage, or no garage – the Marlettes for sale this year were met with bidding wars. 

Tahoe Donner Home

One little Marlette on Glacier Way – dated and almost all original 1980 finishes – sold for $1,175,000 -- 38 percent over ask in just four days on the market. Another highly upgraded Marlette on Lausanne (pictured above, with no garage) closed at $1.1 million (asking price: $865,000).

Many markets were characterized by low inventory, but strong demand in some neighborhoods pushed prices up and led to bidding wars.

Tahoe Donner Continues Upward Price Momentum

Tahoe Donner broke all records with a median sales price this year so far of $1.3 million, inching up 13 percent over the previous year and setting a new record for this community in the hills above Truckee, where homes historically sold for less than $1 million on average.

While we saw 65 Tahoe Donner homes change hands by the end of April, on most weekends there were as little as a handful of homes to show buyers, and the vast majority sold at or over asking, on average 10 percent over asking.

Several dozen higher-end homes also saw bidding wars in which buyers were sometimes forced to waive all contingencies with their over-asking offers.  One contemporary home backing to a beautiful meadow on Bennett Flat Road sold for more than half a million over the $1,995,000 asking price in just 2 days.

The sweet spot was homes priced at or under $1 million – a price point in which there were far more buyers than inventory.  It was a rough ride for realtors representing buyers, some of whom just threw in the towel on their dream of owning in Tahoe.  Agents representing sellers barely had time to put a sign in the yard before multiple buyers appeared. 

Gray's Crossing

By the end of April, six homes had sold in Gray's with median sales price of $2.75 million. Resales in some cases were fetching higher prices per square foot than new, and one farmhouse chic 4-bedroom backing to Prosser Damn Road sold for more than $950 per square foot.

 Gray's crossing real estate


Lahontan saw strong demand this Spring, but almost no inventory. Still, there were some deals to be had in Truckee’s oldest gated community, with a few homes closing below asking price.

The median sales price inched up to $4 million (up from $3.8 million last year), and the “average” price/SF was at $904. On average, homes sat on market for around 50 days, an increase over last year, where half of the Lahontan homes for sale had an accepted offer within a month.


In the Town of Truckee, which includes Glenshire, the median sales price of a home rose to $1.1M, up slightly from last year’s close of $965,000.  We saw strong demand for homes on acreage with properties in Pannoia Ranchos off Prosser Damn Road and Ponderosa Ranch, south of Sierra Meadows fetching prices well north of $2 million.

It was a fast-moving market with most homes selling within a month. With decent inventory, prices ranged from under $1 million for homes in Glenshire, to close to $3 million for properties on acreage in the gated community of Juniper Hills

While the median sales price in many communities around Tahoe Truckee has hit an all-time high, smart pricing remained key to successful sales.

Homes that were over-priced out the gate succumbed to price reductions and often sold for less than they would have if they were priced correctly from the start.  A handful of Tahoe Donner homes over-reaching in the $1 – 2 million range sold for more than 10 percent under asking, which shows the market has its limits.

Incline Village

That was also true in Incline Village, where a little more than half of the homes sold this year closed below the asking price. In a market where price negotiations were once again becoming fashionable, there was nonetheless a strong buyer preference for rafter & beam construction: One nicely remodeled lakeview home with steep-pitched roofs framed and big-timber trusses sold for a little more than $5.5 million ($230,000 over asking).

The Ski Areas

Northstar homes sales were pretty much on par with the first four months of 2021. This year, like last, we saw only a dozen sales at Northstar, and the median sales price remains flat at $1.7 million.  A handful sold within a week, and multiple offers drove the price of a few to over ask, but two-thirds offered some opportunity for negotiation and closed at or below the asking price.

Condo sales were not quite as brisk as the year before, but the median sales price rose to $860,000, a 20 percent gain over last year.

At Olympic Valley, now home to Palisades, only 8 homes changed hands through the end of April, but the median sales price rose 27 percent to almost $2.5 million. With five homes on the market there as we move into Spring, there might be some opportunities for those willing to shop ski homes in the off season.

At Sugarbowl, a handful of new construction sales in the snowbound Village drove the median sales price to $4.6 million, a 46 percent increase over the year before.  One pine-paneled 1940s cabin near the lifts sold for $4.8 million ($1 million over the asking price).


Please call or email me for a complimentary evaluation of your home or neighborhood value.



Posted by Jackie Ginley on


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