Average Tahoe Home Prices Jump in First Quarter


LAKE TAHOE, Nev. (April 6, 2009) – Lake Tahoe home prices are coming backto life with notable increases in both median and average prices, according to Chase International's quarterly report. The report, released yesterday, is comprised of all home and condominium sales in the Lake Tahoe and Reno area from Jan. 1 through March 31, 2009 versus same time last year.

"The national trend is showing a significant slowdown in expensive homes, so the increases we're seeing in Incline Village are quite remarkable," said Sue Lowe, corporate vice president for Chase International.

With Incline Village making a significant impact on lake-wide numbers, the average home price jumped 11 percent to $1,011,159. The median increased 9 percent to $721,250. The average home price in Incline Village leapt 72 percent to $1,925,026 and the median rose 61 percent to $1,450,000. Overall sales volume around the lake was down 13 percent and units sold was down 11 percent.

Incline Village saw a significant increase in sales volume (72 percent) primarily due to a jump in homes sold for more than $1 million (57 percent). Homes sold for less than a million was down 40 percent. Median prices increased a staggering 61 percent and units sold were flat.

While remaining home prices and sales around Lake Tahoe paled in comparison to the surge in Incline Village, Lowe notes that they've seen a notable increase in activity in recent weeks, with many sales pending. "The increase in recent activity is right in step with what we're seeing across the country especially in the West."

The Mortgage Bankers Association is reporting a 3 percent increase in mortgage applications across the nation and the National Association of Realtors is projecting a possible upswing in pending home sales in coming months.

"Pending home sales have a way to go for there to be a meaningful increase, but recent increases in shopping activity are hopeful indicators that we'll see additional sales gains," Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, said in a recent news release. Yun explains that buyers are taking advantage of stimulus incentives and more affordable housing market prices.

South Lake Tahoe saw a 6 percent increase in homes sold for less than a million and a 33 percent decrease in homes sold for more than a million. Units sold were up 4 percent and sales volume was down 10 percent. The average home price in South Lake Tahoe fell 14 percent to $413,434 and the median was down 15 percent to $340,000.

The median home price in Tahoe City held steady at $575,000 and the average dropped 24 percent to $650,357. Homes selling for less than $1 million decreased 33 percent and homes selling for more than a million were down 67 percent. Sales volume dropped 56 percent and units sold were down 39 percent.

"We are definitely seeing the end of the tunnel and now is the time to buy before the upswing begins," Lowe said.

Sales volume on the East Shore experienced a 30 percent decrease in volume and units sold were down 21 percent. Homes over the million mark fell 50 percent and there was an eight percent decline in homes sold for less than a million. The average price of an East Shore home is down 11 percent to $1,055,820 and the median is down 33 percent to $520,000.

Truckee saw a 7 percent jump in homes sold for less than $1 million while homes selling for more than a million fell 50 percent. Sales volume was down 32 percent and units sold dropped 11 percent. The average and median home prices both fell to $716,066 (22 percent) and $550,000 (20 percent) respectively.

Lake Tahoe condo sales saw a 60 percent drop in volume, with the average price dropping 38 percent to $320,481 and the median falling 17 percent to $318,738. The average price of a condo in Truckee is down 40 percent to $668,132 with a median decrease of 42 percent to $416,975. While condos selling for more than $500,000 fell significantly in both Tahoe and Truckee (75 and 78 percent), Truckee condos selling for less than $500,000 were up 12 percent.