There is no doubt people are buying their Truckee-Tahoe dream homes and values are solid. Yet, pricing is all over the board with inconsistent results by neighborhood. Our overall inventory of available homes for sale has been low. The banks reduced their REO property inventory and have focused on reducing short sales inventory. This is a trend we expect to continue. Equity sellers and vacation home owners are awaiting signs that the market has stabilized while buyers are preparing for our summer inventory, which has traditionally increased. Buyers are responding to the market changes and purchasing available inventory. Take a look at our Truckee Real Estate recap below.
Prices: Elder Group Tahoe Real Estate reported in March that we are “at the bottom” and prices have stabilized through Q1 2010 and we were right on target. Truckee prices declined 6% as compared to the 4th quarter, 17% lower than one year ago and appear to be holding and in some areas, increasing in others. Donner Lake and Glenshire are good examples with a 44% and 13% closed sale price increases, respectively. Donner Lake increased to $625,000 from $435,000, a significant 44% due to several luxury sales.
Home Sales: Overall, Truckee area home sales increased 34% from a year ago with Northstar and Glenshire (133%) providing large swings over historical results. Northstar’s price points dropped 49% and moved to an incredible $800,000 versus its prior $1,565,000. Tahoe Donner remained stable with 38 homes sold – a 12% increase and a 10% price decline versus one year ago. Tahoe Donner’s single family homes closed at an average of $502,000 versus $557,500 and days on the market dropped 24% from 130 to 106 days. Throughout Truckee’s local neighborhoods, pricing dropped 24% from $586,500 to $447,250.
Tahoe Real Estate: The defined “Tahoe” market includes Alpine Meadows, North Shore, Squaw Valley, Tahoe City and the West Shore. Prices increased 9% in the fourth quarter to $550,797 from $503,379 yet are down 11% from a year ago. The North Shore home sales increased 200% with 26 homes sold in Q1 versus one year ago with 12 and prices declined a modest 5%. Prices were hit hard on the West Shore and declined 33% from $660,500 to $445,000.
Bank Owned and Short Sale Property Inventories: Varying slightly day-by-day, we continue to have approximately 150 properties listed as short sales or REO’s (bank owned) with 2/3 categorized as short sales and 1/3 categorized as REO’s. Today, Truckee has 59 short sales or REO’s listed with 22% under contract. In the North Shore, Tahoe City, Westshore areas, there are 16 active with 19% under contract. We are trending back to conventional sales, which may well create price increases over the summer.
While real estate market conditions, like the stock market, are difficult to predict, we have a perspective based on our experience in the market. As the number of bank owned properties (REO’s) and short sales increase with the next wave of bank releases scheduled through spring, traditional Seller’s will experience continued pricing pressure in a market keenly oriented to square foot pricing. Buyers will pay special attention to the quality, location, age and condition of a home, in addition to the overall health of a particular neighborhood.
Regardless how you slice the pie, the time to buy is NOW. All the elements are aligned and won’t get much better. Buyers financing their properties can access fabulous loans and interest rates. This won’t last forever, as money supply is projected to tighten in the spring. Home pricing rollbacks will normalize and begin to climb by summer once REO and short sale inventory is reduced and placed with new owners.
Those Buyers waiting for the “perfect moment” need to act or miss this historic “slice of living in Tahoe” window. And, we all know that “could have, should have, would have” is only a reflection.
Please feel free to reach out and touch base with Alison Elder for any of your Truckee Tahoe real estate needs by email or phone.