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October 7, 2014
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October 15, 2014

Q3 Micro Market Summary for Lake Tahoe


Spanning 72 miles of Lake Tahoe shoreline, two state lines and a handful of California and Nevada counties and four multiple listing services, the Tahoe, Truckee and surrounding area real estate market is about as diverse as the area’s recreational offerings. Market trends can vary dramatically from neighborhood to neighborhood. With such a wide range of real estate options and price points, data from a select community or a single high dollar sale can skew the region wide statistical trends significantly. Therefore, when making the big financial decision to purchase or sell a home in the Truckee /Lake Tahoe area it’s important to understand what’s happening in the local market at large but it’s also a good idea to take a closer look at the micro market data for a unique neighborhood of interest.

Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty compiles quarterly and year-end reports of micro-market statistics to help buyers and sellers navigate the different micro market trends in order to make better real estate decisions. Their 2014 3rd Quarter Micro Market Report is now available online.

In looking at the data, Sierra Sotheby’s agent David Hipkins says, “It must be emphasized that this is not an urban market, and that it is still driven principally by those with discretionary income. It is therefore unrealistic for us to expect to match the more frenetic, ebullient appreciation rates currently being experienced in markets such as the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City.” The overall statistics, however, reveal positive general trends for the Truckee / Lake Tahoe real estate market.

Much like our Bay Area feeder markets, the overall Tahoe Truckee market continues to be defined by a lack of inventory. This has resulted in increased valuations across most micro markets and with the exception of the Lakefront market and a few popular micro markets like Martis Camp, Old Greenwood, Donner Lake and Southwest Reno (to name a few) total transaction volume remains below traditional levels.

Although the overall residential sales numbers have edged down during the third quarter of the year, pricing for luxury and lakefront sales remains strong. Serious buyers are selectively looking for higher-end properties, and moving quickly when they find the right combination of features, including newer construction, access to a lakefront pier or sandy beach, or panoramic lake views for off-lake properties.

“New listings, priced correctly, are receiving lots of attention and in many cases attracting offers within a matter of days,” explained Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty agent, Randy Roesch.

Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty agents offered a quick snapshot of what’s happening in the area’s different micro markets:

“We continue to see strength in the Lake Tahoe, Nevada luxury and lakefront market,” says Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty agent Lexi Cerretti, “Only 7 lakefront homes (2 indirect) have sold to date in 2014, as compared to 10 lakefront homes (2 indirect) sales at this point last year. Average price is down 7% to $7,592,857, but there were 4 sales over $10 Million both in 2013 and 2014. Days on Market has also dropped more than half, to an average of 523 to 235 days in 2014. In fact, only two lakefront sales in 2014 were on the market for more than a month before going under contract. Lakefront buyers are being very selective, waiting for desirable amenities such as boat facilities or sandy beach (sometimes both) and newer construction or development potential. Patient buyers are coming to terms with sellers for the right properties.”

The Sierra Sotheby’s team Bruce and Sandy Soli commented, “The overall Incline Village market shows median and average prices trending upwards with average days on market declining. Although the number of homes that have been sold across the board are down significantly from last year, we appear to be inching towards a more balanced market.”

Truckee-based agent David Hipkins says, “Although we are seeing decent year-on-year gains in our attained average (11%) and median single family homes prices (15%), it should be noted that deeper analysis reveals that we are seeing a significant drop in the number of properties sold so far this year (27%), with a concomitant drop in total dollar volume realized year to date.” He adds that, “The Tahoe Donner condo market reveals a relatively more robust set of data, unsurprisingly, as the more modestly priced single family homes start to move away from both the first time home buyers and second home buyers on more of a budget, they are compelled to switch to condominiums and town homes. We have seen a significant increase in total dollar volume attained year to date, allied with a 35% increase in units sold. The trend in increasing unit sales will gently continue, as we expect the lower and middle priced single family home market segments to still remain robust.”

“Southwest Reno has continued to show us signs for a stabilized market,” says Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty agent Phil Reed.  “While prices are still up from the same time last year, the number of sales has dramatically slowed—in some areas all but to a halt. We are still seeing the most activity in the lower priced homes, particularly in the Galena/Rolling Hills area, Old South Suburban area, and also some in Saddlehorn and Callahan—anything that is priced well and under $500,000 seems to move quickest, given the “sweet” spot for 80/20 confirming loan limits.  There also seems to be a good demand for properties with more land or usable acreage priced under $500,000. The luxury market in Reno (as defined by price point over $750,000) has slowed significantly from Q1 and Q2, with the bulk of the activity in Saddlehorn, Fieldcreek, Old South Suburban, a few in ArrowCreek and a few in Montreux as well.  Buyer’s visits have slowed proportionately as well.  The ultra-high end (homes over $1.5M) has been the slowest moving in recent months. With five sales over $1.5 million, three of which were in Montreux.”

Sierra Sotheby’s Agent Christi Mercurio adds “What we’re seeing in Southwest Reno is that inventory and prices are holding steady year over year.  Old South Suburban Reno continues to be an attractive area with more and more popular high end retail shops and restaurants like Lululemon and Beaujolais coming to the area.  As we head into Q4 with holidays approaching and kids back in school, trends dictate that that sellers tend to be more motivated while buyers tend to be more serious.”

“Overall sales numbers are down compared to this period last year, but with much of the distressed inventory gone, prices seem to be stabilizing,” explains Sierra Sotheby’s agent and Glenbrook resident, Claudia Thompson. “Highest sale prices rose in Zephyr Cove and Cave Rock and also on the off-lake condo sector.

The number of lakefront home sales for the East Shore was up for this year over the same period last year with 10 sales compared to 8 in 2013. The average price is down compared to last year where we saw a high of $20.9 million for a large lakefront estate. This year’s high so far has been $7.25 million for a newer home with sandy beach and permits for a shared pier in the Tamarack area south of Cave Rock. For lakefront buyers looking to purchase a property in Nevada, the East Shore is beginning to garner greater attention as savvy buyers realize there are some good buys along this large stretch of sandy beaches.”

“It is such an exciting time for real estate here in beautiful South Lake Tahoe,” says Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty agent Jill Moffett. The Lakefront market continues to be a bright spot in South Lake Tahoe and the overall market has been on the uptrend over the past couple of years. We have seen the average sale price of single family homes increase 25% and the median price for single family homes rose 37% higher than 2013 prices prompting many buyers to jump on the opportunity to purchase their perfect Tahoe home. There is a renewed energy, rejuvenation and enthusiasm in South Lake Tahoe with the many new commercial developments and new homes that are starting to sprout up all over the California side of Lake Tahoe. We anticipate this will continue to contribute to increasing home prices.”

For full micro market data visit https://tahoerealestatediary.com/micro-market-reports/

Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty® local brokerage offices enable sellers and buyers to find representatives experienced in offering exceptional homes in Lake Tahoe. The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 17,000 sales associates located in approximately 720 offices in 52 countries and territories worldwide. Each office is independently owned and operated. For more information, visit www.sierrasothebysrealty.com, @SierraSIR on Twitter, “Like” us on Facebook, check out our blog at www.tahoerealestatediary.com or call one of our seven Lake Tahoe offices: (Squaw Valley) 530-581-1800; (Incline Village) 775-832-4900; (Zephyr Cove) 775-588-7710, (South Lake Tahoe) 530-494-7600; (Tahoe Donner)530-587-3505; (530) 582-6111 (Truckee) and (530) 582-1436 (Tahoe City) .

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