Wednesday, June 5, 2019

June - 2019 Tahoe-Truckee Market Update

On its surface, the Tahoe-Truckee region has lagged behind the performance of 2018 by meaningful amounts. When heavy snowfall caused road closures throughout much of February, many would-be real estate consumers were forced to delay purchasing decisions creating a fairly sizeable Q1 lull for real estate transactions. Inevitably, some of these visits were perishable, lost until next winter while others were simply deferred into Q2. In May, total residential transactions trailed the previous year by 10% while average price fell by a more meaningful 15%. Conversely, median price rose 3% giving a clue to some statistical aberration that has skewed the overall market data.

A side-by-side comparison of May, 2018 vs May, 2019 shows the variance to be entirely within the community of Martis Camp. Martis Camp has been the goliath of Tahoe-Truckee real estate accounting for up to 25% of the region’s total sales volume in recent years. In fact, Martis Camp had eclipsed Tahoe lakefront property as the bell weather for luxury in the region measured in both the total number of premium transactions and the average sales price over much of the last decade.

In May, 2018, Martis Camp saw 8 total transactions accounting for $37,618,000. Zero transactions closed in that community in May of this year. When adjusted to omit Martis Camp transactions, an identical number of transactions closed year over year. The total dollar volume from these sales is 33% higher in 2019 compared the previous year while average price has risen by 25%.

This begs the question as to whether this 30-day period represents a shifting trend or is simply an anomaly in the otherwise storied performance of Martis Camp. Historically, May is a meager period for closings given the lack of buyer activity in late spring. As with the rest of the Tahoe-Truckee market, activity in Martis Camp will pick up in summer and reach its peak in early fall before tapering into winter. Current inventory is modest with 19 available properties; approximately equal to the average time on market over the last 12 months indicating a supply constrained micro-market.

Filling the void, shoppers found greater value in Tahoe Donner which produce 24 sales to just 19 in May 2018 as well as Lahontan and Gray’s Crossing which each saw 2 transactions against zero during the same period in 2018. In each of these communities, new homes were available for $500 and $800 per square foot respectively offering fresh product in thriving communities.

In a typical year, late May often produces the vast majority of new inventory in anticipation of the summer selling season. Having emerged from a winter that was anything but typical, the rush of new listings may be deferred until the weather inevitably turns more cooperative. This may result in a less bulky start to the summer and fewer days on market as inventory is introduced closer to the period in which homes typically sell.

Katie Tyler

CA BRE 01442453
NV 0186747

c 530 277 1012 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

May 2019- Tahoe-Truckee Market Update

Q2 is typically the period during which Tahoe real estate begins to gather momentum. While the early months of 2019 were productive for the region, overwhelming snowfall and limited access deferred numerable purchases into later months.

April saw the first 30-day period this year wherein residential transactions topped three digits. 109 home sales bested the same period in 2018 by 10% though median priced dropped from $749,000 to $650,000. The latter statistic is more reflective of an exceptional number of high end transactions both at Lake Tahoe and within Martis Camp last year than a major regression of value regionally.

As has been the case throughout much of 2019, the distribution of real estate sales has been over a wider spectrum of communities. In April alone, communities with sales over $1,000,000 included Alpine Meadows, Kings Beach, Gray’s Crossing, Glenshire, Northstar, Tahoe City and Tahoe Donner. Martis Camp saw but one closed transaction versus four in April, 2018.

In many ways, 2018 was an exceptional year for Tahoe real estate defined by an extraordinary number of mega-transactions. 7 transactions exceeded $10,000,000 including a number of extraordinary lakefront sales of $10,000,000, $22,000,000, $24,000,000 and $40,000,000 in addition to 47 home sales in Martis Camp between $3,000,000 - $12,000,000.

After a brief lull to begin the year, 2019 appears to have equally strong demand for luxury real estate with 82 total sales greater than $1,000,000 compared to 87 over the same period a year ago.

Similar to last year, the Tahoe market has been starved of quality supply. Spring typically delivers much of the year’s inventory during May and June, once snow has abated and in anticipation of the busy summer shopping season. Recent weeks have proved this will once again be the case as 187 new properties have come to market in the last 30 days. While this inflates the number of available listings by more than 25%, the market remains titled in the favor of sellers at 4.5 months’ supply. While more product will inevitably come to market through Memorial Day, the listing season may be elongated as higher elevation properties continue to melt out through spring.

As inventory comes to market, another trend appears to be gaining speed. Vacant land offerings are increasing while absorption slows reflecting the increasing disparity between construction costs and property values. Because most consumers are unable to build a home for equal or lesser cost than the value of the home, demand (and thus value) for underlying land falls. Year to date, 46 residential homesites have traded hands. This compares to 104 during the same period a year ago (in fairness, a low snow year making shopping more viable for half the year), and 69 in 2017 (an equally robust year for snowfall). 363 homesites are available for sale while just 260 transacted in the previous 12 months; nearly 17 months’ supply.

Correspondingly, the new homes with modern aesthetic and quality finish that are in such high demand will become increasingly difficult to find and more competitive to acquire. Homes built in 2018 or 2019 sold in an average of 49 days at 99% of their asking price. Older property saw nearly double the time on market and double the discount from asking price over the last 12 months.

In summary, we appear ready to launch into another spring and summer of promising real estate activity throughout the Tahoe Truckee region. We look forward to keeping you updated on real estate activity and the incredible lifestyle that accompanies.

Katie Tyler

CA BRE 01442453
NV 0186747

c 530 277 1012 

Saturday, April 6, 2019

April 2019 - Tahoe-Truckee Market Update

After keeping pace with previous years over the first several months of 2019, March saw a precipitous drop in real estate activity throughout the Tahoe Truckee area. Several factors including overwhelming snowfall throughout early winter and limited access to the region combined with an unusual scarcity of available property leading to this statistical drop.

In all, 256 residential properties traded in Q1, 17% fewer than over the same period a year prior. Conversely, average price has risen nearly 10% attributable to a handful of super-premium transactions, while median price has risen nearly 2%.

Some lull after a years long rally is to be expected and is ultimately healthy for the long term prosperity of the region. However, the continued health of the Northern California economy keeps fueling demand for second homes in the mountains. The recent IPO from Lyft and expected success when Uber and AirBNB go public are examples of exceptional wealth creation concentrated in Northern California that ultimately finds its way to Tahoe.   As such, a sluggish month for closings appears to be more related to historic snowfall and highway closures than any macroeconomic trend.

The impact of heavy snow to the demand side is obvious. When highways close consumers cannot visit the region to tour property and make purchasing decisions. Less obvious is the impact to the supply side. Would-be sellers have been generally unable to prepare homes for market including simple tasks including photography when snowbanks exceed ground level. As such, the steady trickle of new listings typical of Q1 have been entirely absent leaving relatively little available inventory.

Within our resort marketplace, balanced inventory is considered around 6 months’ supply while premium resort communities are closer to 1 year. Current inventory sits at just 3.3 months’ supply. 

A look at some individual communities and relative absorption rates:
Northstar:                           56 listings / 98 sales = 6.8 months’ supply
Old Greenwood:               4 listings / 4 sales ( + 6 pre-sale contracts) = 12 months
Gray’s Crossing:                7 listings / 17 sales = 5 months
Lahontan:                            4 listings / 9 sales = 5.3 months
Martis Camp:                     17 listings / 48 sales = 4.2 months
Schaffers Mill:                    6 listings / 11 sales = 6.5 months (MLS only)
Others for reference:
Tahoe Donner                                 36 listings / 326 sales = 1.9 months
Lakeside                                               81 listings / 426 sales = 2.2 months
Squaw Valley                                   82 listings / 71 sales = 13 months

The period between Memorial Day and July 4 is typically the most prolific for new listings as ski leases expire and sellers are able to handle deferred maintenance.  It would not be surprising to see a heavier than usual quantity hit the market once the snowbanks recede and give way to green grass and open trails.

In the meantime, consumers deterred throughout February and early March are taking advantage of what promises to be a long season. Real estate tours and offer activity have shown a meaningful increase now that clear roads and longer days have made for optimal conditions.

Katie Tyler

CA BRE 01442453
NV 0186747

c 530 277 1012 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

March 2019 - Tahoe-Truckee Market Update

Abundant snowfall has impaired the ability of many would-be consumers to visit the region deferring purchasing decisions to spring. This may cause a slower than usual March; a time when winter sales often find their greatest stride before a shoulder season lull.

Regardless, large snowfall typically casts a prominent light on slopeside real estate. Northstar currently shows 6 properties pending sale including 3 in the Mountainside neighborhood. Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows add 5 and 2 pending sales respectively.  With a long spring assured, ample time will exist for spring skiing and real estate tours alike. 

Year-to-date, the 2019 market correction has been a gentle one for the Tahoe-Truckee region. The total number of transactions has been almost identical to the same period in 2018 despite enduring polar opposite winter conditions. Similarly, median price is within .6% of the same period last year while inventory remains modest at 3.5 months’ supply.

Notable among transactions recorded in February 2019 is the geographic distribution, or lack thereof, when compared to last February.

2019 premium transactions include homes in Martis Camp (4; $3,999,535 - $6,700,000), Lahontan (4; $2,250,000 - $4,750,000), Northstar (2; $1,870,000 - $2,935,000) plus Squaw Valley, Tahoe Donner and other residential areas of Truckee. Lakeside homes are not represented above $1 million but for a single transaction, the 15th largest in the region for the month. While it is not uncommon for lakeside interest to peak in summer months, the extremity of this data set is remarkable.

In contract, last February saw 9 transactions greater than $1 million in lakeside communities contrasted by 3 in Northstar, and one in each of Lahontan, Martis Camp, Tahoe Donner and Alpine Meadows.

The chart below shows the ratio of sales in Truckee based communities versus those in the Tahoe Basin (California; North and West Shores).

While more product exists in Truckee, the chart shows a strong progression toward premium purchases in newer communities.  

This phenomenon is the continuation of a gradual evolution whereby newer, highly amenitized communities are valued at a significant premium over dated, though classically designed, Tahoe product. In addition to contemporary homes, the explosion in popularity of jet travel to and from the Truckee airport has been a boon for those communities most proximate including Martis Camp, Lahontan, Schaffers Mill, Northstar, Old Greenwood and Gray’s Crossing.

Katie Tyler

CA BRE 01442453
NV 0186747

c 530 277 1012 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

February 2019 - Tahoe-Truckee Market Update

2019 is off to singular, and statically misleading, bang for the Tahoe Truckee real estate market. An otherwise very typical January was punctuated by a $37,000,000 lakefront acquisition completing what appears to be a remarkable accumulation of waterfront property.

This acquisition of 5.69 acres is paired with the adjacent 3.5 acres transacted in December to the same entity for $22,000,000 creating a remarkable 9-acre lakefront estate on Tahoe’s West Shore featuring over 600 feet of shoreline. The structures, while classic Tahoe in their appeal, are largely depreciated giving the expectation that most, if not all, of the nearly $60 million value in the land.

The latest transaction put under contract in November 2018, continues the Q4 trend whereby a handful of extraordinary transactions mask an otherwise normalizing real estate market. Including this sale, the region transacted 96 residential sales, identical to the same period in 2018, at an average price of $1,260,000. This data point would represent a 20% increase in average price. Median price, however, shows a modest 3% increase over the same period; much more reflective of the actual trajectory of values in the region.

January is the historical trough for Tahoe real estate closings through conditions weak and strong. Transaction data typically lags market conditions by 30-45 days revealing pre-holiday season activity before snow has fully covered the hills and visitation returns to peak levels.

This past weekend,  a set of epic storms brought over 5+ feet of snow to the region. Tahoe resorts will have ample snow to create the waves of would-be consumers coming in February and beyond.  Once past Ski Week Festivities, real estate shopping begins in earnest resulting in increased transaction volume throughout the spring.

Katie Tyler

BRE 01442453

c 530 277 1012 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Year End Market Update - 2018

In 2018, real estate in the Tahoe Truckee region capped a bull market streak dating back to Spring, 2011 with highest ever annual figures for total dollar volume, average price and quantity of transaction above $1 million and $10 million.

Inspired by a record number of premium transactions, the region totaled just under $1,700,000,000 in real estate sales, a number greater than any single year in history. 386 transactions exceeded $1 million a record for both the total quantity and, at 23%, the share of all sales in the region. At the market’s highest reaches, 7 properties generated eight-digit sums including 4 different properties on Tahoe’s West Shore that traded above $20,000,000.

These exceptional properties delivered the first ever annualized average price of over $1,000,000. This 22% increase is moderated by a 7.5% gain in median price, more reflective of the performance of real estate across all classes.

While reaching new heights, the market clearly hit a saturation point showing an 8% regression in the total number of units sold.  While this slowing was undoubtedly attributable to a shortage of inventory; particularly in entry-level price points; early in the year, inventory has stabilized slightly to 4 months’ supply. While this figure is higher than at the start of 2018, it is the second lowest supply available to start a year on record.

Attempting to normalize 2018 results absent lakefront and other premium property sales reveals a more sustainable environment with certain communities showing gains: Martis Camp, Lahontan, Old Greenwood, and Northstar. While other communities including, Gray’s Crossing and Tahoe Donner, maintained gains realized in previous years.

To expect such results to continue would be disingenuous. As stated above, the total number of transactions have moderated while available supply has crept upward. Some measure of cooling would ultimately be healthy for a market wherein appreciation has outpaced inflation and other core metrics for a prolonged period. Unlike a decade ago, there is neither the rampant speculation nor egregious debt that had a spiraling effect. In fact, certain conditions now exist that may safeguard against a meaningful backslide including tremendous demand for nightly rentals that offer a meaningful offset to carry costs. Even the Great Recession did not dim the desire for Northern Californians to spend time in the mountains keeping transient demand healthy.

Even the slightest deceleration in the market could cool runaway construction costs; a condition that has dampened land values and restrained creation of new product below the market’s premium reaches. In a market starved for new, highly-amenitized sub-premium homes, this could have a stimulating effect that benefits consumers in all price points.

As innovation fuels wealth creation in Silicon Valley and throughout Northern California, easily accessible second homes will always have value. As has always been the case, Tahoe will continue to be the Sierra playground for generations to come.

Katie Tyler

BRE 01442453

c 530 277 1012