All indicators point to 2017 real estate activity in North Lake Tahoe surpassing the historic banner year that was 2016. Despite a sluggish Q1 & Q2 – transactions hampered by historic snowfall, road closures, and property viewing impairments – 2017 Q3 & Q4 were the busiest on record. A staggering 1,709 properties traded within the region, the most on an annual basis in history. Total sales volume was up 5.59% from prior year, to $1.437B.
While highly amenitized communities continued to be popular with young families and boomers alike, Lakefront properties – the traditional bell whether for luxury real estate in Tahoe – saw a resurgence. 33 properties traded with the largest sales volume over the previous 5 year span. Included were (x2) >$10M transactions.
Currently the market offers just a 3 month supply of inventory. The high absorption rate is creating a supply half the normal threshold. Traditional Bay Area feeder markets that often serve as the driver for North Lake discretionary home purchases continue impressive wealth creation. Overall wealth creation is the single most tangible economic driver of demand for second homeownership.
Limited snow coverage during the early stages of the 2017-18 ski season has shown no signs of negatively impacting area markets. Similarly, recently passed tax reform should not present any significant impact. Financial incentives to promote second homeownership are certainly helpful and may aid in affording incrementally more expensive properties, but are rarely the deciding factor for consumers – much in the same way that interest rate fluctuations do not greatly impact our region.
Investors directly motivated by financial incentives are more typically drawn toward conventional commercial offerings rather than the resort residential sector. The ultimate driver of demand for second homes will always be the intrinsic value, or benefit, derived from owning this property. Referencing Tahoe specifically, these drivers often include health and wellness, family experience, and adventure.