Low inventory, high interest rates, and unprecedented snowfall left the Tahoe Truckee real estate market with a sluggish start to 2023.

Throughout the region, the volume of sales was roughly half of what we had seen in the first quarter of last year. On the California side, including Truckee and the ski areas, only 98 homes changed hands in the first quarter of this year (compared to 182 the year before).

As in past years, the majority of the sales were in Tahoe Donner. The median sales price there fell to $1.2 million (down from $1.3 million the year before). More than half of the homes closed for over $1 million, reflecting an emerging trend toward luxury in Truckee’s largest subdivision.

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The Martis Valley area of Truckee experienced similar declines in the pace of sales, but the median price of homes there inched up to more than $6 million. That’s an all-time high, fueled largely by a few big-dollar sales in Martis Camp, where one home on 2 acres closed in March for $12.3 million cash, on par with some Tahoe lakefront homes.

The trio of gated communities (Lahontan, Martis Camp, and Schaffer’s Mill) near the base of Northstar has long been one of Truckee’s toniest addresses. But to put today’s pricing in perspective, in 2008/09, when we began to see new construction listed in Martis Camp, the median sales price was $2.3 million, a deal in comparison to today’s numbers, but still out of reach for most of the region’s full-time residents.

For locals, Glenshire and Prosser Lakeview offered a handful of bargains, with a median sales price of $675,000.

Only 13 single-family homes sold in Incline Village in Q1 this year, with the median price sinking to $1.7 million, down from $2.5 million last year. The Nevada neighborhood with its private beaches offered some nice opportunities for buyers willing to push against the Covid-era pricing highs.

The Incline condo market fared a little better, thanks in part to two lakefront condos that sold for hefty price tags:

A beautifully remodeled Stillwater Cove condo listed at $4.25 million had an accepted offer within a month, closing for $4 million.

An end unit at Crystal Bay Cove sold for $3.25 million, significantly lower than the asking price of $3.6 million at time of listing last fall.

As we move into spring, what I find remarkable is not that sales volume in Tahoe/Truckee has declined, but that we were able to sell any homes at all, given the unique challenge of a winter more unrelenting than almost any of us have seen in our lifetimes. Showing property this past winter, with walls of snow 30 feet high on some roadways and tunnels cut to a front door like a blind corner in a maze, ranks right up there with expedition-level experiences.

It was a challenge that only a seasoned realtor could navigate because stop signs and most street signs were buried. Some homes were so covered in snow that you could not even see the siding or outdoor footprint, let alone an address number!

That experience likely contributed to the historically low sales on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. From Stateline up the East Shore to Glenbrook, only 15 homes changed hands during the first quarter with a median sales price of $1.65 million.

With the summer selling season fast approaching, we are seeing pent-up demand from those who were unwilling to brave the conditions or the volatile stock market to buy their Tahoe home last winter. Covid-era pricing, fueled largely by employees who could work from home, is also likely to be a thing of the past.

If you’re considering selling, please contact me for advice on buttoning up any damage caused by this past winter and presenting your home in its best light.

Author

  • Jackie Ginley

    Jackie Ginley is a former journalist and Moonshine editor who shelved the pen in 2013 to pursue a career in real estate. With deep roots in Tahoe, she enjoys hiking, skiing, and après-everything with friends. Jackie lives in Truckee, and is currently building a home in Tahoe Donner.

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1 COMMENT

  1. The fact that “more than half of the homes” in Tahoe Donner closed for over $1 million dollars does NOT “reflect an emerging trend toward luxury in Truckee’s largest subdivision.” It has nothing to do with luxury, not when the million dollars homes are older 3 bedroom 2 bath homes. It’s about a market that has gone wild because people with millions of dollars can make cash offers. Perspective, please.