Tahoe-Truckee Homes Sales Improve Year Over Year Despite Tighter Inventory, Continued Price Instability

Posted by Cathy Harrington — May 12, 2010

Courtesy of Prudential California

Tahoe, CA – May 10, 2010 -- The Tahoe-Truckee region continued to show sharp gains in sales of existing, single-family detached homes on an annualized basis during the first quarter of 2010, despite continued price instability and a dramatic decline in the inventory of homes available for purchase, according to a report by the research division of Prudential California Realty based onan analysis of MLS data.

In the Lake Tahoe area, home sales climbed 108 percent, increasing from 26 in the first quarter of 2009 to 54 in this year’s first quarter. Even so, sales were down sharply from the fourth quarter, when 95 homes were sold. The number of closed sales more than doubled in Squaw Valley, Tahoe City, North Shore and Alpine Meadows and improved by 70 percent on an annualized basis in the West Shore community.

Truckee-area home sales jumped 34 percent from the year-ago period thanks to sharp year-over-year sales increases in the Glenshire Area and Northstar (both +133%), Truckee (+62%) and Donner Lake (+50%). For the quarter, 122 homes were sold in the Truckee area, down from 212 in the fourth quarter but up from 91 a year ago.

Across the region, the inventory of available homes for sale declined as banks placed fewer REO properties on the market (favoring short sales instead) and vacation home and equity sellers remained on the sidelines waiting for a sign that prices have hit bottom.

In the Lake Tahoe area, the median price of a home sold in the first quarter increased by 9 percent to $550,797, up from $503,379 in the fourth quarter of 2009 but down 11 percent from the year-ago period. Localized results continued to be mixed, with Tahoe City the only market to experience both quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year increases.

In the Truckee area, the first quarter median price declined 6 percent from the fourth quarter, falling to $535,594, which was 17 percent lower than in the first quarter of 2009. Local results also were mixed, with five of six markets showing a lower median price on a quarter-overquarter basis but three of the six showing marked improved compared with a year ago. Particularly notable were annualized median price increases in Donner Lake (+44%) and the Glenshire Area (+13%).

“For the foreseeable future, sellers across the region could continue to see sales numbers decline as banks transition away from REO properties to more time-consuming short sales,” said Cathy Harry, Branch Manager, Prudential California Realty-Tahoe City and Truckee offices. “With the expiration of federal tax incentives on April 30, summer-season buyers who plan to occupy a home after purchase will be bolstered by the HUD/FHA 203k loan that offers a low down payment bundled with a home renovation allowance.”

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About Prudential California Realty:

Founded in 1887 as Mason-McDuffie Real Estate and transitioning to the Prudential name in 1997, Prudential California is a leading innovator of real estate technology solutions to its agents and clients. Prudential California Realty provides comprehensive real estate solutions when buying, selling and owning a home with more than 7,600 transactions and $2.8 billion in annual sales for 2009. The company offers consumers full MLS access to home listings through its website www.PruRealty.com. Owned by David Cobo and Ed Krafchow, the organization cumulatively has more than 1,800 agents and 36 offices. Prudential CA/NV is an independently owned and operated member of the Prudential Real Estate Affiliates.

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