The recent snowfall in the Sierra has brought a renewed enthusiasm for winter activities and an increased interest in the Tahoe Truckee Real Estate Market. Prior to the recent storms, the market was faced with the question of how the subpar snowpack would impact real estate sales. Historically, the majority of transactions occurs at the end of the ski season after consumers have enjoyed every ounce of winter activity and realize a want for a permanent mountain retreat. Fortunately, the market has answered resoundingly positive as February resulted in a strong month for closed transactions.
The month saw 78 residential properties sell at an average price of $736,387. Both of these figures represent significant growth over February 2013 – 13% increase in total sales and up 29% in average price. And it’s interesting to note that February 2013 was the lowest month of the calendar year for both total transactions and average price.
Notable sales in February include:
13 homes at prices greater than $1,000,000
· 3 lakeside properties from $1,100,000 – $2,125,000
· An Old Greenwood home at $1,000,000
· A Martis Camp Estate home for $3,462,500
· A Lahontan home for $1,920,000
· Plus two Squaw Valley homes from $1,250,000 – $2,285,000
Not surprisingly, Northstar has been quite active during the heart of ski season
· 8 total closings from $380,000 – $1,645,000
· The sale of Lot #19 in Martis 25 for $1,645,000. Look for a sensational custom home to take form on this site this summer.
· 2 condos and 3 single-family homes in Vintage Northstar
· 1 Big Springs home for $1,350,000
Significantly, Northstar Mountainside continues to gain awareness as the premiere slopeside neighborhood in Lake Tahoe with two new transactions at Home Run complemented by the closing of Lot #16 at Martis 25 in February, bringing all-time sales above $120,000,000.
Closed transactions are generally a reflection of market conditions 30-60 days prior when most deals are struck, only to post upon successfully navigating the escrow process. Of the 78 sales closed in February:
· 7 went under contract more than 60 days ago, prior to the beginning of ski season.
· 10 went under contract in the month of December, generally prior to the holidays and when snow conditions are still typically variable.
· 61 went under contract between January 1 and February 18 when ski conditions were known.
The fact that 71 of 78 sales transpired after the New Year is strong evidence that market conditions are ultimately stronger than seasonal factors in anticipating real estate activity. As such, with just 610 residential listings currently active (less than 5 months supply), an active spring selling season is foreseeable. The lack of supply will continue to inhibit to the total number of sales; however, this is likely to create upward pressure on values.
With just over five weeks of ski season remaining, there is ample time to enjoy the best conditions yet for both skiing and real estate. We look forward to sharing our experiences with both in the months and weeks to come.