Good News for Local Real Estate Market

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Jackie GinleyDespite high mortgage and interest rates, the Tahoe/Truckee real estate market experienced an uptick in sales over this time last year. With the exception of some shoreline neighborhoods around Lake Tahoe, the volume of sales was up, and median sales prices rose.

Tahoe Donner saw a 59% increase in volume over last year, with 30 homes selling in the first quarter, 20 of them over $1 million. This continues a trend that began a few years ago, when the sale of homes priced above $1 million outpaced more affordable cabins, which had long been the hallmark of this community that got its start with 1970s gambrel designs.

Scarcity drives demand, and with only 13 homes for sale in Tahoe Donner as we move into spring, it will be interesting to see if pricing remains elevated. The first quarter hit a new high with the median sales price inching up to $1.2 million.

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In other parts of Truckee, including neighborhoods like Glenshire, Prosser, and Sierra Meadows, half of all homes sold this year were in the under-$1 million bracket, which is affordable for many of the area’s full-time residents. Locals who live and work here in past years often found themselves competing with out-of-area buyers who would purchase a second home with the intention of cash flowing it as a short-term rental (STR) to supplement the cost of their vacation home.

But Truckee’s new short-term rental policies have had a chilling effect on that purchase model because the new owner is now required to wait a year before being able to apply for an STR permit. Given that the new law caps the number of STRs at 1,255, obtaining a permit is not a sure thing. (As of early April, there were 244 owners on the waitlist to apply). So, if you can’t afford a vacation home without cash flowing it as an STR, you probably aren’t going to buy here.

Incline Village also saw impressive gains over last year. Sales volume doubled, and the median price of a single-family home shot up 45% in the first quarter to a little over $2.5 million. With its appeal as a tax haven — Nevada has no state income tax, no inheritance tax, and no capital gains tax, and favorable tax treatment for some businesses — home prices in Incline tend to be higher than on the California side of the lake.

Sales of ski area homes and condos was on par with last year’s big snow season sales. There were a quarter fewer units sold, but a few high-dollar sales at Northstar and Olympic Valley pulled the median sales price of homes and condos close to $1 million, up from $749,000 at this time last year.

In Tahoe, sales volume was up both on the California side and the East Shore, but the median sales price of homes fell across the board by 12%. On the West Shore, a Meeks Bay lakefront with a deep-water pier changed hands for $7.9 million, but half a dozen other lakefront properties sat out the winter as the average time on the market for lakefronts rose to almost 6 months. More than half of the sales on the California side of Lake Tahoe were under $1 million, marking a return to pre-Covid pricing.

The East Shore stretching from Glenbrook down to Stateline saw a similar seasonality to lakefront sales. With nine homes to choose from ranging in price from $8 to $49 million, only one sold — a Snug Harbor 1960s home with a beautiful sand beach and an interior in need of a little TLC that closed for $6.75 million.

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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