Historically, October is the busiest month for total transactions in the Truckee-Tahoe market with an 8 year average of 132 sales. Interestingly, October also posts the lowest average price per month over this same 8 year span. The logical explanation for this trend assumes that most of these sellers go into contract in late summer rather than risk continuing to market into the shoulder season which has few new consumers looking to buy.
October 2013 saw 155 total residential sales – a strong number well above the eight-year average and the second highest monthly transaction number achieved this year. It is only when measured against 175 in October 2012 that this number pales.
October sales were heavily biased toward the $400,000 – $600,000 range led by Tahoe Donner with 30 sales. While average price has outpaced median in this year of broad recovery, October was a bit of an anomaly with median price increasing by 10% from October, 2012 and average price dropping by 3%. While this average price drop is not hugely significant, it is probably best explained by the surge in lakefront sales witnessed last year in anticipation of changing capital gains rates in California.
It is possible that 2013 is normalizing as the luxury sales migrated towards ski-oriented properties in anticipation of the coming winter. Squaw Valley’s Creekside Estates saw two impressive sales of $1,750,000 and $2,770,000 while the Squaw Creek posted a sale of $2,125,000. Martis Camp, Lahontan, Old Greenwood, Gray’s Crossing and the Ritz Carlton Residences at Northstar all saw one strong sale apiece.
Current inventory has dropped to just 5.6 months supply as a result of these 155 sales in addition to a number of properties coming off the market to be utilized as ski leases or winter rentals.
November and December typically see a decline in the number of transactions as consumers are simply not around in any critical mass to view property and write offers. Nevertheless, 195 pending sales foretell of a finish to 2013 that will not be void of sales activity. Notable among these are 10 lakefront sales at asking prices above $2,000,000 including a property near Sunnyside pending for $5,750,000 for a 50% interest.
With a layer of early snow on the ground and cold temperatures, ski season is just around the corner. Leading indicators including season pass sales and holiday rental bookings are exceedingly positive providing confidence of a great winter to come.