Real estate gains still the talk of the town |

Real estate gains still the talk of the town

Jeff Munson

Dan Thrift/Tahoe Daily Tribune The assessed value of homes in South Lake Tahoe went up by 9 percent.

Homes have increased in value on average of 9 percent in South Lake Tahoe and 10 percent outside the city limits in the basin within the past year, according to the El Dorado County Assessor’s Office.

“South Lake Tahoe remains an active, very solid market. If you can buy some real estate it is a good investment,” said County Assessor Tim Holcomb.

The figures show an overall trend in El Dorado County, which has seen an 11 percent increase in property values over last year. While last year’s growth was 12 percent within the city and 11.6 percent outside city limits, the decrease reflects what Holcomb calls “some stabilization” in a very active Lake Tahoe market.

“Overall it continues to remain strong,” he said.

Factored into the increase are parcels that have been sold and taken off the market by the Tahoe Conservancy and the sale of time shares. South Lake Tahoe makes up 16.2 percent of the total tax roll for El Dorado County.

This year’s tax roll continues to reflect a robust housing market. The assessed value of property countywide increased $1.87 billion over last year’s value of $16.8 billion. Countywide there are about 125,000 parcels and accounts this year, up from last year’s count of 115,000.

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The median price this year for a single family home in South Lake Tahoe – from the state line to Meyers – is $349,900. Last year, it was $315,150, about an 11 percent increase, said Madeleine Gutierrez, spokeswoman for the South Tahoe Association of Realtors.

As of July 31, there were 316 single family homes listed with 174 of them in escrow. Between June and July, only four additional homes were listed.

“We have very little inventory. We had 142 homes available for sale at the end of July, which is incredibly small,” Gutierrez said.

At the end of July 2003, there were 243 homes available.

“We have so many qualified buyers who are looking at South Lake Tahoe as a future, secure investment,” she said. “We have more buyers than sellers.”

Typically, the South Lake Tahoe market is a seasonal one. When the snow begins to melt, homeowners spruce up their property and list in spring and summer. But this year seems to be an anomaly.

“We’ve had less listings this year than last year, which means that a lot of people realize it is a tremendous investment they have in owning real estate and want to hold on to that investment,” she said.

Under Proposition 13, the value of a property is set at change of ownership or new construction, and increases by no more than 2 percent each year thereafter. However, if the value of the property declines, the lower market value can be enrolled temporarily, until the value recovers.

The assessment roll lists all assessable property in the county, its ownership, and the assessed value. Normally, the roll is turned over on July 1, but because of temporary layoffs and vacancies caused by budget problems facing the county, this year’s roll took longer to prepare, Holcomb said.