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North Lake Tahoe Market Update for 2nd Quarter End 2013

If 2012 was the year in which the Tahoe Truckee Real Estate Market found stability, the first half of 2013 has been a time of rapid acceleration and overwhelming demand.  The core elements that fuel demand for Tahoe real estate never wavered during the downturn; the opportunity for retreat and time spent with family in a beautiful and healthy environment.  As confidence returned in the minds of the consumer, the region has seen explosive strengthening for real estate.

The first half of 2013 saw growth and appreciation across the board.  The number of sales grew 10% over the same period in 2012, while median home values surged by 18%. The 651 transactions represent the largest number on record providing evidence of robust demand for Lake Tahoe property.  The median value of $450,000 represents a recapture of value lost in the downturn all the way back to 2009. At the current pace, values could return to 2008 levels by year end.

Tahoe’s luxury segment outpaced the overall market with 76 sales above $1,000,000, 77% more than the same period in 2012 and more than double the number in 2011. Further, sales greater than $2,000,000 nearly tripled from the previous year including several lakefront properties selling in excess of $10,000,000. Typical of the season, ski properties dominated the luxury market with 83 properties sold between Northstar and Squaw Valley. An emerging trend can be found with the introduction of Northstar Mountainside Residences as the first community in California to be situated entirely on ski-in / ski-out property.  11 sales transacted Mountainside in the first half of 2013 led by the near sell out of Phase I at Home Run and the first three transactions at Martis 25. In total, Northstar Mountainside Residences have exceeded $100,000,000 in sales in just a few short years validating the premium and scarcity inherent to true ski-in / ski-out real estate. As more and more consumers become aware of the lifestyle opportunity offered Mountainside, we can expect demand to grow exponentially.

What lies ahead for the rest of 2013? With the rare of combination of adequate inventory, still low but increasing interest rates, and surging demand, there is little doubt that both transaction volume and values will continue to climb. As we enter the peak season, there are currently 836 properties for sale, approximately 7.5 months supply, which gives consumers more than ample inventory from which to choose. Rising interest rates provide some urgency for quick action which coincides well with the traditional height of consumer activity throughout the region. In a typical year, consumers will spend time viewing properties and narrowing their focus throughout the summer, then take action in anticipation of winter use. It is reasonable to assume that rising interest rates and surging demand may accelerate this process leading to early than normal sales activity.

Whatever the case, there is no doubt that summer and fall in Lake Tahoe will as beautiful as ever offering everyone the opportunity for enjoyment.