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Tahoe Luxury Retreats: Resort vs Lakeside

The allure of Lake Tahoe has never been questioned but it appears as though “Lake Tahoe” homebuyers have new expectations.  New resort communities have exclusive home ownership advantages and are capturing a prime share in the Lake Tahoe luxury market. Now more than ever, attraction to amenities, custom construction, and premier access to recreational areas has led to a majority of the luxury market exploring a diverse “Lake Tahoe” homeowner experience.


While Resorts sales numbers have soared the last two years we see a steady decline in the lakeside sales from 2012. These numbers confirm the market shift towards resort communities. Although total market sales volume is down from 2013, the resort sector is on pace to set new records.   

The introduction to new resort communities has certainly played a significant role in the shift of the luxury market.   New developments including Mountainside at Northstar and Martis Camp in Truckee have led the resort community charge, confirming the demand in proximity to recreational activities. Lahontan has long been a resort whale but is now sharing the market with new up and coming resort developments.

Mountainside at Northstar is the first all ski-in/ski-out community in California. Its primary draw is the ski access to and from your back door. Mountainside also offers residences at The Ritz-Carlton, townhomes at Home Run, and custom homesites in Martis 25.   Demand for this resort product has generated positive sales numbers despite market challenges in recent years.  Extravagant amenities including The Ritz-Carlton and newly designed Tree House make for a year-round luxury Mountainside experience.  Access to skiing at Northstar Resort are an indulgence that only Mountainside can offer.

Martis Camp is emerging as one of the most exclusive new private resort clubs in the area.  Membership allows access to a stunning Fazio design championship golf course and vast amenities.  The 2,177 acre property consists of 671 total homesites.  Construction is thriving at Martis Camp, as there are currently 139 homes under construction and 68 more in the design review process.

Although Lake Tahoe will always be the backbone to our market, the proximity to the lake is becoming less and less important.  The appeal of resort communities with new construction and exclusive access to recreational areas has taken precedence to lake access.  Supply is flourishing in resort communities giving buyers custom home building options while lake properties are confined and restrained.  Although the lake community will always have appeal and demand, it will be fascinating to see how this market dynamic will play out.  The inclination of sales numbers combined with the numbers of new construction projects has the resort sector of the market looking very attractive to the majority of Tahoe homebuyers.

Jason Waters