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For the first time in recent memory, seasonal conditions are aligning with the real estate market to create a Goldilocks beginning to the winter season. After nearly a decade of winter starting too late or coming in too heavily, a series of storms from Thanksgiving into early December have created mid-winter conditions to start the season. Combined with continued strong real estate conditions, a perfect storm for mountain property is in the making.

Despite the traditional 4th quarter taper for real estate activity, there remains considerable deal flow in the market. November experienced 137 residential transactions at an average price of $911,537. These figures dramatically outperform historical averages, falling short only in comparison to the record activity during this period in 2017. Consistent with much of this year, November fell short of last year’s volume by 15% while surging on average price by 13%.

transactions-by-year 12.3.18



Premium sales continue to drive pricing upward buoyed in November by yet another 4 Martis Camp homes ranging from $3,075,000 – $7,000,000.  Within Northstar, a Ritz Carlton Penthouse Residence traded for $4,400,000, while Lahontan and a rare Sugar Bowl home sale each saw trades near $3 million.

While word of real estate slowdowns abounds in outlying regions, the Tahoe-Truckee market continues to thrive. Available supply remains titled in the favor of sellers at just over 4 months’ inventory. Demand coming from Northern California has intensified as a greater number of high-wealth families find retreat in the mountains, whether as primary owners seeking a lifestyle enhancement or the traditional second homeowner. During the tragic Camp Fire in November, countless Bay Area families sought clean mountain air in Tahoe as schools were cancelled. The commentary from a remarkable number of those impacted was contemplation of a lifestyle change to the mountains where traffic is minimal and the pace less hectic. Local infrastructure has kept pace with the needs of these consumers creating the necessary components to complete such a move including high-achieving schools, high capacity internet service and expanded airport capacity. Trails, ski slopes, blue skies and clean air are fixed commodities.

With a Goldilocks season upon us, the focus on the market is likely to shift to Mountain properties. As the saying goes, it is easier to drive to golf / trails in the summer than to skiing in the winter. When conditions permit, the value of mountain resort living becomes obvious turning the spotlight on new offerings. Mountainside at Northstar will be launching its newest project; Boulders in December after recently selling out its Stellar Collection. Similarly, look for interest in the Village at Northstar and other premiere mountain offerings to gain meaningful attention in the coming months.

We hope that you’ll be able to experience this remarkable start to winter in the coming weeks. In the meantime, best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season.