July 18-19, 2020 Moonshine Minutes

Urban Exodus? 



This is Mayumi Elegado with Moonshine Minutes. The coronavirus pandemic has flooded the Tahoe real estate market with an unprecedented number of buyers seeking an escape from urban lifestyles that have shrunk in the wake of COVID-19. Here to give a recap of the hot market this hot summer is Jackie Ginley, a former Moonshine Ink investigative reporter, who is now a Tahoe/Truckee realtor.

Hi Folks, thanks for joining us today.

This is Jackie Ginley with Chase International Real estate.


Today, I’d like to give you an update on what’s happening with the real estate market here in Tahoe Truckee.

Covid 19 as you know has put the brakes on so many aspects of our lives … but amid everything we CAN’T do in this post-Covid world, the one thing we CAN do is get outdoors

To enjoy a hike in the woods, a day at the lake, a bike ride along the river.

SO … a home in Tahoe is suddenly looking a LOT more interesting to our friends in urban areas.

Home sales in Tahoe/Truckee this June are almost double what they had been the year before. 

And some popular neighborhoods like Tahoe Donner have seen the volume of home sales MORE than double over last year.

With many folks working successfully from home, and public spaces shuttered throughout many of California’s cities, open space has become the new luxury.

In Tahoe/Truckee we are seeing this not only in the rising number of luxury cash sales, but also in the cutthroat market for homes priced around or under $1 million, where multiple offers have become the norm and many homes are selling at the asking price or above. In the Martis Valley, home to the tony Martis Camp, home sales quadrupled this June over last year.

Eight homes closed there in June for a combined monthly volume of more than $33 million (AND all but one were cash purchases). 

The reopening of Tahoe’s hotels and restaurants in May unleashed a wave of pent-up demand that we’re continuing to feel  today in July. 

Luxury enclaves like Martis Camp aren’t the only neighborhoods to feel the impact.

In Incline, some parts of the East Shore like Glenbrook and elsewhere, homes that had wallowed on the market for a year or more are suddenly seeing multiple offers in the space of a weekend.

Buyers are looking for elbow room. 

And condos, it seems, do not hold the same appeal as homes backing to open space or acreage. 

Throughout Tahoe, the volume of condo sales is down to just 65% of what it had been the year before.

At the ski areas, the drop in volume was even deeper, with less than $5 million condos changing hands in June (almost a 60% drop from last June).

Properties on acreage are suddenly a lot more attractive to buyers looking for space. One home in the gated Juniper Hills neighborhood above Glenshire got close to its asking price of almost $1 million. 

It sits on 20 acres, as do almost all the homes in that rural neighborhood but it’s a two-bedroom with no garage.

In Prosser Lakeview and Sierraville, two homes on 3 to 10 acres sold in just over a week on the market.

New homes are also benefiting from the influx of wealthy buyers. 

One Tahoe Donner home, still under construction with no sheetrock and almost no flooring had three offers in one weekend and is likely to sell for north of its $1 million 550 thousand dollar asking price. 

In Gray’s Crossing, a walkable golf course community near downtown Truckee, new homes under construction are also selling at the framing stage.

For buyers, the frenzied market can present a white-knuckle experience. 

When you see a home you love that’s not even finished, and your realtor tells you that you need to offer almost $200,000 over asking, (and you need to do it NOW), do you trust her?

And even if you do trust your advisor, do you want to compete in a frenzied market where you might be overpaying?

An appraisal, which is required on any financed offer, is going to be your best protection against overpaying. But in a very hot market, appraisals are going to be based on other hot properties.

So it’s likely  there will be other sales to justify the over-asking price.

At some point, you just have to ask: What’s it worth to you?

If you live in an urban area, as many of my buyer clients do, much of what you enjoyed about San Francisco or Los Angeles has been stripped from you in the wake of the COVID pandemic. 

In that climate, what’s the value of open space, privacy, and fresh air?

Based on the explosion of sales in the Tahoe/Truckee market, the freedom of breathing space is, quite possibly, priceless. 

[Mayumi]: Find Jackie’s article, Urban Exodus?, on moonshineink.com. Enjoy your day, Tahoe.



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