2017 has begun with extreme circumstances whether measuring snowfall, politics, or real estate activity in the Tahoe-Truckee region. A well-chronicled 24 feet of snow, complimented by nearly 8 inches of rain, fell over a two-week period to begin the year. This unprecedented snowfall paralyzed the region for several days rendering ski resorts inoperable and travel ill-advised while the process of digging out began. Despite the inconvenience of this process, Tahoe is now set up with a full winter’s worth of snow with barely 25% of ski season elapsed. And with the short-term sacrifice has come tremendous long term benefit as eager guests have flooded the region anxious to take a turn in the abundant snow.
It has been exactly a decade since economic vitality and meaningful snow were realized at once. Tahoe progressed directly from recession to drought leaving certain resort communities to languish despite dramatically improved demand for the region’s real estate. 2017 has already shown the commercial value of great snowfall with unseasonably strong resort real estate sales.
January, perennially the slowest month of the year for closed transactions, saw 85 residential sales exactly matching a very strong start to the prior year and 25% greater than historical average. More notably, ski communities including Northstar, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows have experienced a tremendous surge of activity well ahead of seasonal trends. At Northstar, 6 Stellar Townhomes, more than 50% of the entire project, have found purchasers already in 2017. Additionally, 3 residences in the Village at Northstar are newly pending equaling 20% of 2016’s total number. More notably, expressions of interest and showing activity have been robust despite most consumers’ compulsion to ski until last chair, maximizing time spent in marvelous conditions.
In a typical winter, real estate activity begins in earnest in mid-February, once families have visited one or more times spontaneously in addition to pre-planned trips around Christmas, MLK and President’s Weekend. While this trend will undoubtedly hold true, conditions have allowed for an earlier than usual start to the shopping season.