Lake Tahoe Real Estate Market Update September 2011

It’s hard to believe that September has come and after today will be gone.  You’d never know it by the amazing weather we’ve had here.  While we’ve officially marked the end of our wonderful Tahoe summer and the beginning of our amazing fall season, Tahoe property owners are already starting to prepare their homes for the upcoming winter.  So what’s been going on with the Tahoe real estate market?  Here’s a quick update.  

The local Tahoe-Truckee markets continue to be influenced by events outside of the local area – the global financial markets, the national mortgage industry, and events in Washington DC.  It all comes down to uncertainty and opportunity. 

The Tahoe-Truckee region for the first 8 months of 2011continued on at a steady pace, but did decline in value.  The overall market has dropped -7.96%, putting the median average home sales price for the region at $428,000 for a single family home. 

For the first time in over 4 years, the Tahoe –  Tahoe City,  North ShoreWest Shore, California  (TSMLS Areas 1-5), have turned positive for the year.  While that gain lost some momentum over the summer, it is still hanging in there with a positive +3.13% gain for 2011, putting the average median home sales price at $461,500. 

The entire Tahoe-Truckee condo market is still moving lower with the average median condo sales price now at $290,000, which is a loss of -11.9% for 2011.  Harder hit are condo sales on the North Shore, West Shore, and Tahoe City areas, where the average median condo sales price has dropped to $232,000, which puts condo sales prices back to the 2000-2001 price levels. 

Residential lot sales are very slow and under a lot of pricing pressure.   Over 84% of all lot sales were cash, reflecting the lack of conventional financing for this market, which is limiting the buyer pool.             

Single Family Homes Trends:

Did you know that year-to-date 1 out of every 3 homes (34%) sold in 2011 for the entire Tahoe-Truckee region was a cash transaction, and 1 out of every 3 homes (34%) sold also had an accepted offer with in 30 days of being listed in our TSMLS service.  What is even more impressive is that 1 out of every 4 homes (26%) of those same homes went into escrow with in the first 18 days of being listed.  What this means to buyers is the Tahoe market is still a value play, but buyers need to be prepared to make purchase decisions quickly.   

This is good news for sellers.  If your property is correctly priced, there are willing buyers out there waiting for the right Tahoe property to come on the market.  The bad news is for buyers that can’t get financing.  Less than 3% of all homes sold in the entire Tahoe-Truckee region were seller/other creative financing.  What that means to a seller is unless you have an unusual situation that forces you into a seller/creative financing situation, most buyers can complete their purchase with out you becoming the bank.  Again, more positive signs that things may be getting better. 

Condominium/Townhome Trends:

The local condo market is currently dominated by cash buyers, with more than half of the condo/townhomes (56%) sold in 2011 for the entire Tahoe-Truckee region being a cash transaction.  Just like our single family home market, 1 out of every 3 condo/townhomes (29.7%) sold also had an accepted offer with in 30 days of being listed in our TSMLS service.  

If you’d like more market, sales data information on Tahoe, Truckee, Tahoe Donner, Northstar, Olympic Valley  (Squaw Valley), or Alpine Meadows, check out my most recent Tahoe Laura Luxury Home newsletter at, or email me at and I’ll email you a copy.