Luxury sales at Lake Tahoe remain strong
Special to the Tribune
The summer of 2019 has brought beautiful blue skies, fantastic weather and lots of happy visitors to the Sierra.
Among those visitors are luxury home buyers making their presence known on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe.
Overall sales of houses, condos and freestanding condos are down a bit compared with the banner year of 2018. But sales of luxury homes (defined as properties with sale prices of $2 million and above for purposes of this article) make up an astounding 30% of the Incline Village/Crystal Bay single family home market this year.
From 2016 through 2019, luxury home sales comprised approximately 20% of the local market. This was in line with historical norms as most buyers of vacation homes tend to lean toward moderate and lower-priced properties.
However, Incline Village and Crystal Bay feature custom homes which by their nature tend to skew prices a bit higher. Couple that with a strong economy plus a finite supply and you have a formula for a vibrant luxury home market.
Luxury home buyers also tend to purchase some of the larger properties in our community. These places are excellent for family or corporate gatherings. Some of the nicer estates on Lakeshore Boulevard are situated on lots between half an acre and more than 4 acres.
These beautiful settings are perfect for entertaining outdoors from spring until fall. Some of the nicest homes have beautifully landscaped grounds with water features or even a natural creek running through the property.
With styles ranging from remodeled Tahoe charm to mountain modern and everything in between, luxury buyers have a great variety to choose from. There are approximately 120 single-family homes listed for sale on the Incline Village MLS as of this writing. Around 60 of them have asking prices in excess of $2 million.
While luxury home sales account for 30% of all closed escrows this year, 50% of the inventory is in the luxury price range. This means there is ample inventory to satisfy demand for luxury buyers, at least on paper.
Sale prices for luxury and lakefront homes have reached as high as $16 million for one particular estate on Lakeshore Boulevard. Homes and condos on or near Lakeshore command premium prices and this is ever so true during the current real estate cycle.
The finite supply of lakefront properties helps to support their long-term value, which has risen dramatically over the decades. We have even seen a lakefront condo sale in excess of $4 million, which is a rarity.
While buyers of lower to moderate priced properties are willing to make compromises, that attribute changes as you go up the price scale. Luxury buyers tend to have rather specific tastes. As a result they will quite often look at a large number of properties before making a buying decision.
As brokers and agents we have a responsibility to work patiently with all buyers, but especially with luxury buyers as they scour the market for their dream home at Tahoe.
Don Kanare is the founder and Sabrina Belleci is the owner and broker of RE/MAX North Lake in Incline Village. You can follow their blog at http://www.InsideIncline.com.