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North Lake Tahoe Real Estate Market Update for January 2013

January is historically the low point for transaction volume in the Tahoe Truckee region and this year was no different. Closed transactions, the standard metric for this report, are most often reflective of market conditions 30-60 days prior. As the market is typically quiet through fall up to the holidays, it is intuitive that the volume of sales will be low at the beginning of the year. Similarly, while we typically encounter a high volume of potential buyers over holiday weeks, this is often the beginning of a sales process that often takes weeks or months to result in a transaction. As such, we typically see the velocity of sales ramp up as the calendar year progresses.

Eight years worth data shows this pattern to be consistent through up and down market cycles:

Having said this, January, 2013 saw 83 total transactions which is the strongest opening to a year since 2008.

The composition of January sales typically falls within lesser price points given that the cycle detailed above generally pertains to a resort buyer with greater means. While the January, 2013 average of $568,773 is below the average for 2012 ($591,487) and well off December’s remarkable $1,043,768, this year’s average of $568,773 is stronger than the full-year averages of 2010 and 2011 and the strongest January since 2008.

Lakefront properties were the overwhelming driver in December likely motivated by tax strategy and January saw substantial activity within this category with four lakefront closings between $1,000,000 – $3,675,000. Other highlights for January include a Martis Camp home for $4,100,000; two Lahontan homes for $1,685,000 and $1,950,000, and a Village at Northstar condominium for $1,100,000.

Looking ahead to February, there looks to be an increase in the total number of sales consistent with the season and continued momentum at the upper end of the market. 224 properties are currently pending sale including Tahoe lakefronts at $7,950,000 and $5,200,000 in addition to two Martis Camp homes at asking prices of $3,100,000 and $2,650,000, a single-family home at Northstar for $2,495,000 and two Lahontan homes both asking $1,600,000. Moreover, the showing activity throughout the region has been exceptional and there appears to be a buying culture emerging which should translate to improving results month-by-month.

Inventory remains in short supply with just 509 total residential property listed; about five months supply.