Home sales down in Lake Tahoe, low inventory an issue | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Home sales down in Lake Tahoe, low inventory an issue

Griffin Rogers

This house, located at 642 Lakeshore Blvd. in Zephyr Cove, is being sold by Chase International for $4.25 million.

Home sales during the first half of the year are down throughout Lake Tahoe, but home prices have remained stable, according to a Chase International quarterly report.

The recently released data, which covers sales from Jan. 1 through June 30 and compares them to the same time frame in 2013, shows the number of homes sold in the basin down by 17 percent and a median sales price increase of 3 percent — or from $459,000 to $475,000.

It also reveals an 18 percent drop in overall sales volume — the total amount of money accumulated from home sales — so far this year. But current figures are still significantly higher than they were in 2012, according to a news release.

Tahoe City was the only area to experience an increase in overall sales volume, which Chase primarily attributes to a 47 percent jump in homes sold for more than a million dollars in the city.

For the entire basin, however, the number of units sold for under $1 million was down 17 percent, and the number of units sold for over $1 million was down 22 percent.

Susan Lowe, corporate vice president of Chase International, said indicators are showing the region moving toward a seller's market.

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"We experienced some significant increases over the past three years, specifically in 2012 and 2013," she said in a statement. "I think our limited inventory is simply catching up with us, with the tide turning to more of a seller's market."

The median sales price in South Shore has fared better than the region as a whole, showing an 18 percent increase from June 2013 to June 2014, according to the South Tahoe Association of Realtors (STAR). The figure has been slowly rising over the past year, increasing from $284,000 in June 2013 to $335,000 in June 2014.

Consequently, some of the larger South Shore neighborhoods experienced notable increases in the same category. Median sold prices over the past year rose by 16.2 percent in Bijou, 27.4 percent in Sierra Tract, 15.7 percent in Pioneer Trail, 11.8 percent in Tahoe Keys, 16 percent in Montgomery Estates and 24.1 percent in Al Tahoe.

Similar to the rest of the region, inventory is also an issue at the south end of the lake, said Barrett Spiegel, of STAR. Fortunately, high summer activity has led to a boost in active listings, from 297 homes in May to 334 homes in June.

"It's still not where it was three or four years ago," he said of the housing market. "But as long as (sales prices) keep going up, and the market keeps going up, it's slowly rising back to where it was before the crash."

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