The South Lake Tahoe Market Turnaround

Real Estate Agent with Sierra Sotheby's International Realty 01816410

I haven’t said it until now, but … it appears the bottom of the market is behind us. I say that with some apprehension because I have no crystal ball. However, there’s just too much evidence suggesting a market turnaround in South Lake Tahoe. Here are some quick snippets.

  • There are currently 157 homes in escrow. Twelve months ago there were 84. Demand has clearly increased.
  • There are currently 210 homes actively listed for sale. Twelve months ago there were 300. Supply has clearly decreased.
  • I had clients ask to see property two weekends ago. They sent me a property list on a Wednesday. Of the four properties they could see, three of them were in escrow by Thursday evening. The fourth had an offer on it.
  • Historically, home sales spike during the summer in Tahoe. If homes are selling so quickly now, what will the market be like in a couple months? With ski season finished and summer yet to come, May is supposed to be the slow season for Tahoe real estate.
  • Most telling, however … properties I would never expect to sell are going into escrow regularly. This means prices are increasing.

It’s been dizzying being in real estate the last couple months. Homes priced close to market value never remain for sale more than a few days. It seems every property has multiple offers. And value is hard to track because sale prices are turning so quickly.

Market turnaround will be slowed by foreclosures and increasing interest rates. However, interest rates should rise slowly, and their rise may cause even more urgency amongst buyers to get a good rate. As for foreclosures, evidence suggests bank-owned properties will soon no longer drive the market, but that they will ride the market up with everyone else. Whatever the market depressor may be, it appears that supply and demand economics will prove stronger than any them.

Obviously, home prices are still low in South Lake Tahoe, which makes it a great time to buy a second home, investment property, or primary residence. The perfect time to buy appears to be four to five months ago, but the window of opportunity hasn’t closed. It’s time to make a trip to Tahoe.

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