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The year-to-date performance of real estate activity in the Tahoe Truckee region is following a familiar pattern through the first 5 months of 2024. As supply has ratcheted up to the highest level in nearly 4 years, overall activity in the marketplace has ticked up proportionately. May of 2024 saw 82 residential transactions against 75 in the same period of 2023, yet this number is but half the quantity during the frothiest moments of 2021 and lags the historical average by 30%.

The number of May closings strikes an increasingly optimistic tone as has been the case throughout the first half of the year. However, the real story of recent weeks is the number of new listings brought to market. Having sold through all available inventory during the pandemic-era surge, the region has existed with painfully thin supply for several years. As sales waned over the last 24 months, many would-be sellers remained on the sidelines either disinterested in selling for any amount less than the absolute market apex or unable to find a suitable replacement property, whether in market or elsewhere, based upon similarly tight supply and peaking interest rates. Due to supply remaining so constrained, values have remained stubbornly high despite many fewer transactions.

The period between end of winter and Memorial Day is when most of the year’s supply is introduced. The event of ski lifts closing is a common moment for homeowners to evaluate the remaining useful life of a second home relative to evolving life circumstances. Similarly, this is when the deferred maintenance from winter’s heavy hand becomes apparent. This period is slightly misaligned to the rhythm of buyers in the Tahoe region who typically don’t return with purchasing intent until after July 4th. As such, standing inventory can swell by as much as double during the month of May, peaking by the end of June, only to wane in July with increased buyer activity. Bookending summer, the weeks ahead of Memorial Day for listing activity, closing activity is most prolific in the weeks following Labor Day.

Purchasing activity has been busier-than-typical for May demonstrating pent up demand for quality supply. Logically, entry level consumers are more likely to be full-time residents, available to act on new listings the moment they are made available. Thus, the recent push has focused on homes $1,500,000 and below. Multiple and contingency-free offers have been common, resulting in 114 properties currently pending sale.

It would appear that a busy summer is forthcoming. With 420 residential listings, the most available since May 2020, buyers have a selection. In addition, sellers have seemingly calibrated to pricing slightly below the peak and accepted interest rates relative to their next purchase in the interest of moving on to the ensuing chapter.

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