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August, 2013 Tahoe Truckee Market Update

The Tahoe–Truckee real estate market reached a peak a month earlier than is typical by posting the largest month for total transactions, total dollar volume and average price for all of 2013.

142 total sales is seven more than a very active July and identical to August 2012. The total dollar volume of $100,397,503 is 12% higher than the previous year, exactly mirroring the overall appreciation realized over the past 12 months. Values throughout the region are approaching 2008 pricing as we continue to creep back towards the 2006 peak.

Luxury real estate continues to drive the market as 107 properties have now sold above $1,000,000, bettering the pace for 2012 by 35%. While lakefront properties led the luxury charge with four closings between $2,155,000 and $9,495,000, ski properties have begun their seasonal ascent. Three true mountainside properties have realized a major premium for immediate ski access available in very rare supply in Lake Tahoe.

At Northstar, the seventh Home Run Residence closed escrow for $2,270,000 leaving just a single completed residence in Phase I. Construction has begun on the final phase of Home Run as well as on Tree House, Northstar Mountainside’s Community Center demonstrating great confidence in the continued performance of Tahoe real estate.  Next door, a Ritz Carlton Residence closed for $1,700,000; also the 7th closing within that project. At Squaw Valley, a very rare ski-in / ski-out single-family home sold for $8,500,000. An innovative design with long views of Olympic Valley, this sale translated to over $1700/square foot establishing a clear premium for slope side access. A limited number of homesites with enhanced ski access at Northstar are drawing considerable attention where the first custom home at Martis 25 is now underway.

As is often discussed in this space, the market warms up throughout summer as consumers shop for new homes while enjoying vacation time in Tahoe, then make purchasing decisions after Labor Day in anticipation of the winter season to come. This year, market conditions have overridden this pattern as sales volume is well ahead of the typical pace. Logically, this will foretell a very active fall selling season.

In addition to the typical preparations for winter, September has a number of marquee events that will draw attention to the Tahoe area. With the endless number of tent sales offering great deals on ski gear wrapping up Labor Day Weekend, we are looking forward to the Autumn Food and Wine Festival, Tough Mudder and the Inaugural Ironman Tahoe all of which are held in some part at Northstar and extend our summer season bringing great exposure during a beautiful time of year.

With 262 properties currently pending sale including 29 at asking prices greater than $1,000,000, September promises to continue the market momentum. We can anticipate that new sales activity will begin to migrate away from the lake and towards the ski resorts as we our thoughts begin to drift towards ski season.