North Shore housing market still thriving |

North Shore housing market still thriving

Patricia Hickson

INCLINE VILLAGE – An overview of real estate around the Lake Tahoe Basin provides some numerical insight into one trend that planning groups are struggling to manage: rising home prices.

The concern is that area workers are having an increasingly difficult time with the untenable cost of living within basin communities.

Real estate statistics from the Multiple Listing Service for 2005 provide evidence that home prices at North Shore and around the basin continue to increase dramatically.

In 2005, the average home price around North Shore increased by 21 percent from the previous year to $1,075,857 – the first time the average home price has crossed the million dollar mark.

In Incline, the average home sold for $1,379,453, far exceeding the basin’s average.

“It is difficult for public sector employees to afford housing in Lake Tahoe,” said Susan Johnson, director of human resources for Incline Village General Improvement District. “That is why we lose some of our employees – they want to start families.”

Condominium prices are also on the rise.

In 2004 the average North Shore condo sold for $458,863. In 2005 that price jumped 16 percent to $546,265.

While the increasing prices may be displacing regional workers, the real estate market shows no signs of suffering.

The MLS report shows that overall sales volume around the lake increased 9 percent in 2005, despite a 13 percent decrease in the number of home units sold.

“While the national real estate market seems to be cooling, sales are still strong in Lake Tahoe and Reno as home prices continue to climb,” said Susan Lowe, corporate vice president for Chase International.

Several real estate agents in Incline Village reported increased sales in ’05, with more than one real estate company describing 2005 as “their best year ever.”

Tanager Realty’s sales were up by some $16 million from 2004.

“It was our record year and we have been here for 31 years,” said Tanager Realty President Dan Schwartz.

“We had an excellent year,” said Gordon Miles, vice president for Coldwell Banker Incline Village. “Even though we were in a shrinking market – a market that slowed down in transaction numbers – we increased our sales.”

Debbie Hansen, a real estate agent from Chase International, attributed Incline’s continuing success in the real estate market to the design of the village.

“We are one of the few master-planned areas around the lake where we not only have beautiful homes, but great amenities,” she said. “Those amenities help us sell Incline Village as this great community.”

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