Third Quarter Real Estate Data Reveals Opportunity for Luxury-Minded Buyers

Posted by Brit Crezee — October 15, 2015

1444926249LAKE TAHOE, CA - The Lake Tahoe, Truckee and surrounding area real estate market experienced the traditional third quarter uptick in sales volume in 2015, however, stats reveal a drop in overall home sales as compared to 2014. According to area real estate experts, this downturn translates to great opportunities for buyers in the higher end, luxury market.

Truckee-based agent Breck Overall, says the common obstacles for the Tahoe real estate market in 2015 have been limited inventory, challenged snowfall and recent stock market uncertainty. “The buyers haven’t gone away,” he says, “but many are sitting on the fence waiting for the ‘perfect’ opportunity, while others have their eye on El Niño or the NASDAQ.” In general, says Overall “The market feels quite emotional right now and we’re feeling the affects of these buyer uncertainties.” Conversely, he adds, “This lack of urgency has sellers feeling nervous and more motivated to negotiate with buyers.” 

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Ski resort communities like Squaw Valley and Northstar have been the hardest hit by this buyer uncertainty. According to Sierra Sotheby’s Broker Jeff Hamilton, “Higher end, newer homes never fully recovered from the 2007 crash and many of these homes are still undervalued.” This he says, points to some great opportunities for buyers in this market. “Traditionally, sellers are more motivated towards the end of summer which naturally works well for the winter buyer,” he adds. 

Despite this dip in total market sales, we saw some third quarter bright spots. Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty reported their biggest quarter ever. “We anticipated a strong third quarter,” says Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty President Peter Strand, “but with concerns about weather and other external challenges our market has faced this year, the positive numbers exceeded our expectations.”

Other third quarter highlights include Truckee where Tahoe Donner single-family home sales showed an 11% gain with home prices inching up slightly. The data showed Truckee buyers also taking advantage of well priced homes in the luxury community of Lahontan which is up by 44%, whereas the total number of home sales in the neighboring community of Martis Camp were down 30% from this time last year (23 homes sold by end of third quarter 2014 vs. 16 in 2015).

On the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, luxury lakefront home sales in Incline Village and Crystal Bay were off by 50% as compared to 2014. It’s worth noting however, that this market picked up significant steam in the last few weeks with Sierra Sotheby’s reporting four pending lakefront sales valued up to $12.5 Million. “Buyers and sellers tend to make decisions motivated by year-end financial planning,” says Incline Village-based agent Lexi Cerretti. “Many sellers are motivated to move before the onset of winter, and this can translate to great value for the savvy buyer.”

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Nearby Southwest Reno communities showed a strong summer of vibrant activity with median price, average price and properties sold all showing positive growth. Average days on market reflect a higher tally than last year, which could be indicative of a slower moving fourth quarter.

“Country/acreage properties in the Old Southwest Suburban area of Reno that are priced well are selling within a matter of weeks, sometimes days,” says Reno-based agent Phil Reed.  “The thirst for land and space in the South end of town is nearly insatiable. We’re expecting this trend to continue as people look ahead to the ‘Tesla effect’”. 

The South Lake Tahoe non-lakefront, single-family home sales improved by 12% which translates to 499 homes sold so far in 2015 vs. 447 by this time last year.  South Lake Tahoe lakefronts dipped from 8 sales in 2014 to 2 sales this year.

Tahoe’s Westshore lakefront home sales held steady with 8 reported lakefront closings in both 2014 and 2015.

With forecasters predicting an El Niño winter, serious buyers are expected to take advantage of undervalued properties and seller motivation before ski season kicks off and before interest rates climb.  Factor in robust early fourth quarter pending sales and we’re looking ahead to a strong year-end finish for the Lake Tahoe, Truckee and surrounding area real estate market.

Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty compiles quarterly and year-end reports of micro-market statistics broken down by neighborhood to help buyers and sellers navigate all of the region’s distinctly different micro market trends. To find data on a particular neighborhood of interest visit http://tahoerealestatediary.com/micro-market-reports/.  

About Sierra Sotheby's International Realty

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 17,500 sales associates located in approximately 750 offices in 63 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, visit our blog at www.tahoerealestatediary.com or contact one of our seven Lake Tahoe offices located in Squaw Valley, Downtown Truckee, Tahoe City, South Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Donner and Incline Village.

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