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Greetings –

2015 has begun on a positive note for the Tahoe-Truckee real estate market. January saw 69 transactions at an average price of $921,741. Both of these figures are positive indicators with independent backstories.

January is historically the lowest month of any year for closed transactions. Because sales typically track 30 – 60 days out, January sales begin in December, the start of the holiday season, when families are ultra busy and not focused on buying real estate. The chart below demonstrates clearly how sales at the beginning of the year often lag later months by 50% of more. Over the past decade we’ve seen the first month of the year produce as few as 36 (2009) transactions and as many as 83 (2013). The production of 69 sales this past January exceeds the 10-year average by 26%. Perhaps more importantly, this year exceeded January 2014 by 10% — a month that preceded a stellar year.

Unlike the total number of sales, average price in the first month of the year is less predictable. Historically, January sales average out in the exact middle between peak (February) and valley (October). In 2014, January’s average sale price of $821,430 was a near exact prediction of average price for the entire year. With an average price of $921,741, January 2015 shines an optimistic light on the year to come. Further validating this theory is the high number of luxury sales in the month: 12 were at values of $1,000,000; 7 at $2,000,000 or more and 2 exceeded $5,000,000. These figures perpetuate the theme of 2014 in which luxury resort real estate outperformed all other classes. At $921,741, the average sale price continues a trend of steady improvement going back three full years.

It will be fascinating to watch these trends as winter plays out. Opposing forces are waging conflict as market demand is surging while winter conditions struggle, a scenario that has deferred purchasing decisions into the summer in past years. Given the expressions of interest thus far in 2015, particularly around the new and innovative Stellar Collection at Northstar, it appears that demand will win out.

We’ve experienced an extended run of nearly perfect spring weather through most of January and into early February. Cold temperatures in the evening have provided Northstar with optimal conditions for making snow resulting in flawless groomed runs across the mountain. We hope that you take advantage of spring snow during winter so that you are well-prepared for winter snow when it arrives in spring.


Jeff Brown
Managing Broker
Tahoe Mountain Realty