South Lake Tahoe Home Sales in the 1st Quarter of 2014

April 18, 2014

The question that I get asked the most by friends, acquaintances and clients is “How is the real estate market?”  My immediate response is that it’s great!  But when I say that, I mean it with absolute genuineness !  It doesn’t matter if the market is up or down, there is always opportunity and I always have plenty of buyers or sellers to work with.  Whether it’s bad or good is a matter of perspective.  How the market benefits you is a better question?  So this is when I start talking about statistics and trends that I observe in the market. If you follow my radio show the “Tahoe Real Estate Home Front on KTHO or my weekly market reports that I post on my blog,, you may already have a good feel for the current market trend.

Sometimes trends are more recognizable if you look at it in larger chunks.  This is a good time to take a look at the 1st quarter statistics for 2014 in comparison to 2013. You may have heard that home values in South Lake Tahoe have risen this past year but how much did it go up?  Most real estate agents get very exuberant and they will start spouting numbers right away without any reference or meaning.  The number that they will most likely reference is the median sales price which is supplied by our local Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  When you compare the 1st quarter of 2013 and 2014, it shows that South Lake Tahoe median sales prices have increased by 17%.  However, the median sales price does not measure an increase in values.  Rather its an algorithm that calculates the center of all of the homes sale prices of a particular time period.  If home sales are extremely lopsided either on the high or the low end of the spectrum, it may reflect skewed value trends.  Using it as an accurate measure of overall home values may not be a realistic representation.

To better quantify a trend in home sale values, we may also consider the average sales price.  This shows that the increase from the 1st quarter of 2013 and this year is 20%.  Both the average sales price and the median sales price suggest an upward trend in South Lake Tahoe home values.  In order to narrow it down more accurately, you will need to take a closer look of the value changes based on other variables such as neighborhoods, price brackets, sizes, rooms, condition, etc.  However, one may assume that the general home values have increased somewhere close to the median sales price of 17% and the average sales price of 20%.   Please keep in mind that this is a generalization and it could be less or more for any specific home.

So how has this affected the housing market in South Lake Tahoe?  To get a better understanding the South Lake Tahoe Association of Realtors maintains a large database with more numbers.  Some of the other statistics show that the units sold for 2014 is down by 2%.  Sales prices under a million dollars is down by as much as 4% and above a million is up by 100%  Overall the dollar volume is up by 18%.

In conclusion, sales prices are higher than a year ago.  This has contributed to less sales this year but it hasn’t made a huge impact.  It has priced buyers out of the market in the price bracket below $200,000.  The few homes that you’ll find in this price bracket are usually in poor condition.  The competition for homes under $300,000 has become more intense and we are seeing many multiple offer situations.  Sales above a million dollars has seen improvement.  Lake front homes have sold well in the last couple of years and there are currently only two available.  New construction homes are still very popular despite the increase in values which are fueled by controlled growth.

Many primary home markets in California have already reached peak levels and beyond from the boom years.  South Lake Tahoe is still about 30% from the peak levels of that period yet it is a worldwide destination resort.  This year will prove to be another good year for South Lake Tahoe home sales as buyers realize that waiting longer will only make it more difficult to get a slice of paradise later!  So what are you waiting for?  Contact Jim Wire at 530-314-9008 or email

South Lake Tahoe Homes Sales for 3rd Quarter 2013

October 16, 2013

The South Lake Tahoe home values have improved since last year.  The statistics are provided by the South Tahoe Association of Realtors and Chase International.  Since last year the Median sales price has increased by 36% and the Average sales price has increased by 24%.  The average sales price last year was $314,163 and now that is $388,255.  Homeowners may have realized an increase in home values by as much as 25%.  The percentage of increase varies depending on key factors such as location, condition and price bracket. 

The sales volume has increased by 18% while the number of units sold decreased by 5%.  This is an indication that less homes are selling but for higher prices.  This is also supports the scarcity of lower priced homes especially below $200,000.  The buyers at the low end of the market are finding it increasingly difficult to find a property that is affordable.  Buyers in the mid range level between $500,000 and a million have been activated due to the higher values.  As the values increased, inventory still sitting at the mid level range appeared to be the better buys.  All of this was created by lower inventories due to the lack of foreclosures and short sales on the market.  Additionally, it explains the decrease of units sold for this year.  With the decrease in supply of homes for sale in the South Lake Tahoe area and the consistent demand, together it caused prices to spike up.

What the stats don’t show are the increase of price reductions toward the end of the 3rd quarter of 2013.  With several price reductions being posted everyday, it might lead buyers to believe that prices are falling.  In reality, all of the price reductions are a reflection of sellers being overpriced to begin with.  It is more accurate to say that the remaining sellers that have had their homes sitting on the market during the summer months have had high expectations. To create a sale the sellers are bringing their prices closer to what actual market values are.

Overall it’s been a another great year for sellers and the real estate market in South Lake Tahoe.  Homeowners that have been underwater for the last few years now see a glimmer of hope in the near future.  Even though values have risen this past year, South Lake Tahoe values are still perceived to be better buys in comparison with most other markets in California.  I don’t think that buyers can count on the supply of homes on the market to improve anytime soon.  This makes it a good time to buy in South Lake Tahoe!

Lake Tahoe Home Sales 1st Quarter Statistics for 2013

April 23, 2013

We did see a sharp rise in prices this past quarter as the supply decreased and the demand remained high.  The foreclosures and short sales that supplied the market had abruptly slowed down to a trickle thus creating a supply shortage.  The statistics for Lake Tahoe home sales show that the number of units sold is down.  However the sales volume is up which reflects higher home prices and homes sold in higher price brackets. To view the stats click on the link, Lakewide 1st Quarter.

Lake Tahoe 3rd Quarter Statistics for 2012

November 4, 2012

If you are wondering if the market is turning, this may give you the information that you are looking for.  Please click the link for the statistics 2012 3rd Quarter Stats LT TOTALS.  What it shows is that the sales volume and sales units are up.  It also shows that the Median and Average sales prices are down which is a comparison to the same quarter of the previous year.  If you compare this with the 2nd quarter statistics, 2012 Mid-Year Stats LT TOTALS you’ll notice that the Median and Average sales price are much lower for the 2nd quarter than the 3 rd quarter. 

What it doesn’t show is the rise in prices from the bottom of the market nor the scarcity of inventory and declining months supply of  homes on the market.  If you take the difference of the two quarters, that will give you the difference of the Median and Average sales prices which shows a positive trend up.  This is a tell tale for the 4th quarter or year end statistics.  At the end of the 4th quarter, it should reveal a higher Median and Average sales price whicch we are currently experiencing.  There has been a bounce up in prices. To believe it, you’ll have to try and buy a house now or wait for the year end statistics.  To buy at the bottom of the market, you have to be prepared to compete against other bidders.  Finding a desirable property is very competitive.

For fast facts in the real estate market place of South Lake Tahoe, go to my home page and find the media player  Listen to my interview with two of  Chase International’s top brokers, Larry Finkel and Sue Lowe.  The interview was done on KTHO radio on November 2nd.  They describe the real estate market conditions as they are now for both the South and East shore of Lake Tahoe.



2011 1st Quarter Statistics for Lake Tahoe

April 8, 2011

Click on the link for charts, 2011 1stQ Stats LT TOTALS

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