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A short month, during which a week is allocated to ski-related travel, often turns February into a hectic period for real estate sales. While the total volume of sales often drops, the premium segment of the Tahoe-Truckee market continues to thrive. This year the top end transactions in Northstar, Martis Camp, Old Greenwood and waterfront property on Lake Tahoe all transacted at extremely healthy numbers.

The winners of the season are, without question, savvy sellers taking advantage of laughably low inventory by coming to market now with extremely limited competition. Current sellers face less than 3 months’ supply across all market sectors; and just 3 weeks’ supply in prices below $1,000,000.

Even premium price points, those above $1 million, are feeling the effects of limited inventory. Where balance typically exists at 1 year’s supply, current inventory offers just under 7 months.

A few specifics:

Gray’s Crossing           10 active listings         26 sales (past 12 months)       4.6 months’ supply

Old Greenwood          5 active listings           15 sales                                   3.9 months’ supply

Lahontan                     10 active listings         20 sales                                   6 months’ supply

Martis Camp               20 active listings         44 sales                                   5.5 months’ supply

Northstar                    52 active listings         110 sales                                 5.6 months’ supply

Two communities offer interesting case studies on the current phenomenon.

Lahontan, the trailblazing resort community, transacted a single home in the first half of 2017. At the time, Lahontan was shaking out a value differentiation for older properties versus updated homes. Year to date 2018, every home listed below $2,000,000 has been absorbed subsequently pushing momentum into higher price points that now show homes pending sale at $2,495,000 and $3,150,000. The 10 remaining homes range in price from $2,490,000 to $4,889,000.

In Tahoe Donner, the bell weather community for the Tahoe-Truckee region, more homes are currently pending than available listings; a previously unseen phenomenon that rewards those willing to shortcut the typical spring listing period. In fact, with conditions so heavily weighted against buyers, a seller wishing to leaseback or seek some other concession to extend time in their mountain home may be accommodated.

With new snow on the ground and market momentum building, the balance of ski season promises to be a busy period for real estate activity.