It’s been a roller coaster of a year for Tahoe/Truckee real estate. With unprecedented snowfall and mortgage rates at the highest level they have been in two decades, we experienced a very slow start to 2023. Sales volume was down by half around Lake Tahoe and in Truckee.
But summer finally came, and as the temps warmed to a normal Tahoe summer, so did the real estate market. In July and the first half of August, Tahoe/Truckee homes that were priced right and showed well began to fly off the shelves on the California side of the lake.
Half of those that sold from July 1 through late August had accepted offers in just over a week. And the overall median sales price rose to a little over $1.2 million, a 1% increase over the first half of the year.
The picture was very different in Incline Village, which, thanks to favorable Nevada taxes, typically has a higher sales price per square foot than a buyer will find on the California side. From July through late August, homes sat on the market for a little over three months in Incline before going into contract. And the median sales price fell to $2.225 million, a 6% decrease over the first half of the year, and more than $200,000 less than the 2022 high of $2.439 million.
Incline Village sellers responded in kind, and there were more than a dozen price reductions in the first two weeks of August.
The trio of gated neighborhoods that make up Martis Valley saw the median sales price in July and August shoot up to more than $8.2 million, thanks largely to some whopper sales at Martis Camp, where two homes closed recently for more than $10 million each.
In Lahontan, two sales took place within 96% of the asking price (both more than three months on the market).
Schaffer’s Mill moved into late summer with three high-end homes in escrow (two of them brand-new). The majority of the homes there are new construction. Like elsewhere in Martis Valley, spec builders who began scooping up vacant land during the frenzied buying of the Covid years are bringing those homes to market now.
The overall Truckee market was brisk, with close to half of homes selling within the first week on the market. In neighborhoods like Glenshire, Prosser, and Sierra Meadows, the median sales price rose this summer to a little over $1 million (up from $960,000 in the first half of the year), and homes sold on average within 99% of the asking price — noteworthy considering today’s interest rates.
Gray’s Crossing (not included in the data above) deserves special mention. It’s been a banner year for the golf course neighborhood near downtown Truckee, with 15 homes sold so far this year. More than half of them were brand-new, boosting the median sales price this summer to a little over $3 million. That’s a first for this community of 400-some homes that launched to a rough start during the last recession.
Despite strong inventory throughout the year, home values in this neighborhood of about 6,000 homesites above Truckee remained strong.
The median home sales price hovered around $1.1 million for much of the year, and as the weather improved, so did sales activity. Roughly half of the homes sold this summer had an accepted offer within days.
Buyers were showing a strong preference for newly renovated homes needing little in the way of repairs or upgrades.
While the overall market has cooled since the Covid era, when working from home meant working from Tahoe, those who bought their homes five or more years ago are still looking at significant appreciation — in some cases, double what they paid for the home.