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An early theme has emerged for the performance of Tahoe-Truckee real estate in 2018. Historically tight inventory combined with surging demand are resulting in a lesser overall quantity of transactions at substantially higher prices.

To quantify, January, 2018 posted 87 residential transactions. This compares to 92 in January, 2017; a 6% decrease in what is historically the slowest month for closings of any given year.  Conversely, the average sale for 2018 was a resounding $1,069,000 compared to $788,000 during the same period last year.

While properties in the region have not necessarily appreciated by this 35%, the scarcity of available inventory has driven consumers toward higher priced properties that typically have a much longer marketing cycle. Major transactions in January included six Martis Camp homes from $2,450,000 to $8,800,000. Additionally, a lakefront home on Tahoe’s West Shore traded for $7,500,000; a figure that would have been the third largest California waterfront sale in all of 2017. Additionally, two Northstar properties sold upward of $2 million in addition to several lakeside properties enjoying activity transcendent of a typical winter.

In many ways, the modest snowfall has demonstrated just how robust demand for the region really is. While ski conditions have not warranted staying on the mountain from dusk till dawn, visitors have found sought other activities including ice skating, hiking, biking on low elevation trails or clear roads and even paddling in Tahoe. The combination of joyous time recreating and promising economic conditions; particularly in Northern California, are fueling a boom in activity.

The market currently shows 445 residential properties for sale ranging from studio condos for $175,000 to magnificent lakefront properties for $75,000,000. At 2017 absorption rates, this equates to just 3 months’ supply; a dramatic swing in favor of sellers. With the end of ski season, spring is often the time when most homes come to market in the Tahoe-Truckee region. Owners contemplating a move would be well-served to accelerate plans to market benefiting from greatly reduced competition and a willing pool of buyers.

The theme of fewer but larger sales is likely to carry through the first quarter of 2018. 156 homes are currently pending sale with an average asking price of $856,000. Showing activity in luxury market segments are trending up considerably even surpassing the number of tours during peak summer months. This promises to be create interesting deal flow through the coming months.