A Detailed Look at South Lake Tahoe, CA Homes for Sale Demand

Real Estate Agent with McCall Realty

South Lake Tahoe, CA housing demand... more sales now than in the last 5 years.

Appetite continues increasing for South Lake Tahoe, CA homes for sale.

(Lake Tahoe Real Estate Blog / April 17, 2012 / Richard Bolen)

Lets take time to review South Lake Tahoe, CA housing demand for the last decade. Here we'll look more closely at the number of annual sales, but one of the charts below will also give you a month-to-month look at sales volume as well.

What this study tells us is South Lake Tahoe, CA housing demand is higher now than at any time in the last 6 years, and the first quarter of this year is on a pace greater than it was last year. This simply means that more people are buying more South Lake Tahoe houses these days.

The factors causing a steady increase in South Lake Tahoe home sales since 2008 are basically this:


  • a decrease in home prices
  • historically low interest rates
  • slight improvements in the US economy

 Number South Lake Tahoe, CA Home Sales : a review

In the last decade, the most homes sales in South Lake Tahoe in a year was in 2004 with 831 homes sold. The least was 356 home sales in 2008.

Since then, the number of homes sold has increased in each succeeding year. To date this year, the pace of 2012 South Lake Tahoe home sales is 9 more sales than last year.

The chart below indicates the number of South Lake Tahoe, CA  home sales by year since 2003.

Number South Lake Tahoe, CA home sales by year since 2003.

 South Lake Tahoe, CA Home Sales by Month : a review

Seasonal factors influence South Lake Tahoe home sales. Though some traditionally think of home sales within a "selling season", there is really no such thing per se here in our resort.

Normally, home sales, or the actual buying of a home occurs throughout our year, but there is more buying activity in both of our key seasons.

There are increases in the number of homes sold in the second quarter compared to the first of the year, but because escrow normally takes 60-days, the increases in Q2 sales reflects Q1 buying activity. In other words, our ski season comes with an increase in home buyers.

The number of interested home buyers here in town always drops off gradually after labor day. This ultimately results in the fewest number of sales always occuring in January and February, and this reflects buying activity in November and in December, particularly before the snow comes.

Over the last decade, October has on average the most home sales of any given month. September is a close second. This reflects late summer home buying activity.

Last year, though, the most sales in a month was 63 homes sold in December. It's wise, we think, to understand there are always exceptions to real estate home buying trends.  Over the last decade, the most home sales occurred in August of 2004 (95 sold).

If one were to think about how South Lake Tahoe, CA home owners plan on selling a house, lets review what we normally experience. To best do that, we should remember that some 65% of our area homeowners live elsewhere. That is the nature of a second-home vacation resort.

Because so many owners do not live here, most who wish to sell do not come up here in mid-winter to put their house on the market. Usually they will wait until the snow has melted. This is why we always see an inventory increase that starts toward the end of the second quarter and continues into mid summer.

Peak inventory usually occurs in July and August. After labor day, some sellers will take their houses off the market, usually the closer it gets to snowfall. Normally we have full snow coverage by the Christmas holidays. Usually we have snow melt in late April. None of this was true this year, however; we didn't have snow until mid January and there is little snow a lake level as we write this today.

The best time for a seller to sell, we think, and we've proven it time and again, is in January and February. There is always less competition then for a reasonably priced house, and we do mean "reasonably." Some sellers sometimes, unfortunately, think otherwise.

The chart below indicates South Lake Tahoe, CA home sales by month since 2003.

South Lake Tahoe, CA home sales by month since 2003.

Some previous Lake Tahoe Real Estate Blog posts you may find of interest.

Mar 30, 2012: A South Lake Tahoe, CA Neighborhood Home Value Study
Feb 10, 2012: The Characteristics of the South Lake Tahoe, CA median sold house
Oct 19, 2011: The South Lake Tahoe House Now and Then

Some of our videos that you may enjoy:

Jul 5, 2011: Awesome Fireworks Finale: South Lake Tahoe, July 4, 2011
Dec 9, 2010: How to find and use our Bolero Button… and why you should.
Oct 20, 2010: Bijou Neighborhood video
Sep 28, 2010: A South Lake Tahoe Indian Summer
Sep 23, 2010: Emerald Bay Treetops… and a Bald Eagle
Sep 16, 2010: Walking on Water… South Lake Tahoe Style
Sep 11, 2010: Al Tahoe Neighborhood video

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