Low Inventory, Strong Demand Spurs Active Home Market in Lake Tahoe and Truckee Region

Posted by Jessic Boyd — November 8, 2012

1352399470Lake Tahoe/Truckee Region. October 30, 2012. An improving Bay Area economy and recognition from homebuyers that extremely favorable home prices and mortgage interest rates won’t last forever sparked higher home sales and prices in some parts of the Lake Tahoe and Truckee region during the third quarter, according to a report by the research division of Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate based on an analysis of MLS data.

The median price of a single-family detached home sold in the Lake Tahoe area during the third quarter rose from $423,640 in the second quarter to $496,215, a 17 percent increase and 18 percent higher than in the third quarter of 2011, when it was $420,153. With only a handful of bargain-priced bank-owned homes to compete with a similarly limited inventory of properties offered for sale by home sellers with equity, home prices had nowhere to go but up.

Median home prices were sharply higher quarter over quarter and year over year in all five Lake Tahoe-area communities included in the analysis. Alpine Meadows reported a 41 percent quarter-over-quarter increase in the median sales price, while Squaw Valley and Tahoe City recorded annualized increases of 32 percent and North Shore tallied a 20 percent increase year over year. Some of the improvement can be attributed to a change in the mix of homes sold from bank-owned bargains to more traditional seller-owned properties. However, a shortage of inventory in most communities and a spike in demand from homebuyers seeking a year-round residence, a home to retire to, or a weekend ski retreat or investment property resulted in multiple offers that nudged prices higher during the peak home buying season.

A sharp increase in the number of existing, single-family detached homes sold in North Shore (+53% for the quarter and +81% for the year) and West Shore (+41% for the quarter and +29% for the year) drove a 49 percent quarter-over-quarter and 39 percent year-over-year improvement in overall Lake Tahoe-area home sales. In the third quarter, 122 homes changed hands, up from 82 homes sold in the second quarter and 88 homes sold in last year’s third quarter. In another sign the market is recovering, the average number of days a home was on the market before attracting a contract to purchase declined from 162 days a year ago to 101 days in this year’s third quarter.

In the greater Truckee area, the median price of a single-family detached home declined slightly from $451,129 in the second quarter to $450,083 in the third quarter, although it was up 3 percent from $437,261 in the third quarter of last year as the local real estate market continued to show signs of a recovery. Locally, a change in the mix of homes sold boosted the median sales price in Donner Lake by 50 percent year over year while low inventory pushed sales prices slightly higher in the Town of Truckee (+12% for the quarter and +7% for the year) and the Glenshire Area (+4 percent for the quarter and +3% compared with a year ago).

Sales of existing, single-family detached homes in the greater Truckee area rose 19 percent for the quarter and 4 percent for the year. Area-wide, 198 homes changed hands, up from 167 in the second quarter and 191 homes sold in the third quarter of 2011. Homes sold during the quarter were on the market an average of 156 days before sellers agreed to a purchase contract, up from 90 days a year ago behind a significantly slower pace of sales in Donner Lake and Northstar.

According to Cathy Harry, Lake Tahoe and Truckee manager of Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie, “Looking ahead, an early snowfall bodes well for the local economy and will bring more potential homebuyers to the area through the next two quarters if it continues.” “The challenge for homebuyers may be finding a property that meets their requirements in a market where a shortage of homes for sale is expected to continue,” added Harry. For homeowners who have been waiting for better conditions before putting their home on the market, now may be a good time to consult an experienced REALTOR® with local-market knowledge about current opportunities.

Third Quarter 2012 Housing Market Survey – Lake Tahoe Area

Lake Tahoe Area

Homes Sold Q3/12

Homes Sold Q3/11

% Change

Avg. DOM* Q3/12

Avg. DOM Q3/11

Change 12/11 (Days)

Median Price Q3/12

Median Price Q3/11

% Change

Single-Family Detached Homes

122

88

39

101

162

-61

$496,215

$420,153

18

Third Quarter 2012 Housing Market Survey – Truckee Area

Truckee Area

Homes Sold Q3/12

Homes Sold Q3/11

% Change

Avg. DOM* Q3/12

Avg. DOM Q3/11

Change 12/11 (Days)

Median Price Q3/12

Median Price Q3/11

% Change

Single-Family Detached Homes

198

191

4

156

90

66

$450,083

$437,361

3

Third Quarter 2012 Housing Market Survey – Cities in Lake Tahoe Area

Single-Family Detached Homes

Area

Homes Sold Q3/12

Homes Sold Q3/11

% Change

Avg. DOM* Q3/12

Avg. DOM Q3/11

Change 12/11 (Days)

Median Price Q3/12

Median Price Q3/11

% Change

Alpine Meadows

8

4

100

109

242

-133

$572,500

$405,000

41

North Shore

58

32

81

92

99

-7

$434,500

$363000

20

Squaw Valley

5

5

0

101

248

-147

$841,500

$638,000

32 Tahoe City Area

6

12

-50

87

121

-34

$487,450

$370,625

32

West Shore

45

35

29

116

99

17

$525,000

$460,000

14

Third Quarter 2012 Housing Market Survey – Cities in Truckee Area

Single-Family Detached Homes

Area

Homes Sold Q3/12

Homes Sold Q3/11

% Change

Avg. DOM* Q3/12

Avg. DOM Q3/11

Change 12/11 (Days)

Median Price Q3/12

Median Price Q3/11

% Change

Donner Lake

9

15

-40

218

101

117

$420,000

$280,000

50

Glenshire Area+

26

26

0

55

68

-13

$307,750

$299,500

3

Golf Course Communities++

26

23

13

104

66

38

$548,750

$567,000

-3

Northstar

8

8

0

409

140

269

$750,000

$916,000

-18

Tahoe Donner

75

67

12

73

56

17

$499,000

$500,000

-2

Truckee

54

52

4

78

106

-28

$363,750

$340,000

7

* Days on market is the number of days a property was listed on the market until it went under

contract at its final listing price. This may not reflect previous listings.

+ Glenshire Area includes communities of Glenshire, Cambridge Estates, Devonshire Estates and Juniper Hills.

++ Some listings in Golf Course Communities overlap with Tahoe Donner® and Truckee.

Data are sourced from multiple listing services and are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

All percentages rounded to nearest whole number.

About Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate

Our heritage began with the founding of Mason-McDuffie Real Estate in 1887. The company is the 19th largest residential brokerage company in the nation, providing comprehensive solutions to home buyers and sellers. The company handled 7,790 transactions in 2011, generating $2.94 billion in sales. The Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate Network is independently owned and operated and includes joint ventures with partners Highland Partners in Piedmont and Montclair, Wine Country Group in the North Bay, and Tri-Valley Realty in Pleasanton-Hopyard and Ruby Hill. The organization is comprised of more than 1,200 sales professionals in 29 offices. For more information, go to www.bhghome.com

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