Real estate: Units for sale are down but not prices

Laney Griffo
A South Lake Tahoe home for sale in the Tahoe Keys.
Provided/Elias Blood

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The number of housing units for sale in Lake Tahoe has dropped significantly but sale prices are not seeing the same drop.

According to Ken Bednar, Lake Tahoe Communities, the market is down compared to the first quarter of last year.

The number of units available in the basin is down 25% compared to last year, with Incline Village being down 37% and the South Shore being down 21%.

“The east shore currently has 33 houses and the South Shore has about 90,” Bednar said. “We would usually have about 100 more.”

Bednar added that he’s seeing an evening out of the market so that it is now closer to an even buyer/seller market instead of just a sellers market.

“The red hotness and fear buying we saw at the beginning of the pandemic has subsided a lot but the demand for Tahoe has not,” Bednar said.

A Lake Tahoe representative for Redfin, Joni Johnson, said they saw a slower than usual April, but new listings have picked up in May.

“We were getting only one or two new listings a day in April but in the last few weeks, we’re getting about 30 new listings a day,” Johnson said.

Johnson represents Truckee and Tahoe, so she added that Truckee, Squaw and Northstar are seeing more new listings than communities at lake level.

Despite the number of units dropping, the volume of sales has stayed about the same.

“Prices have started to level off but we’re not going to see a decrease anytime soon,” Johnson said.

Despite the federal government raising interest rates, the first quarter only saw a 2% drop in volume.

Bednar said in Nevada, 60% of the buyers are putting in cash offers, so the interest rates aren’t impacting them. He’s also seeing a greater demand in Nevada because of the lack of state income tax for primary residents.

In addition, he’s still seeing more 30-40-year-olds looking for homes.

“With the work from home movement, young buyers are settling in Tahoe,” Bednar said.

Johnson also hasn’t seen much of an impact from interest rates rising but she still sees an impact from the unstable stock market.

“I’m hearing a lot more from people that down payments are being held up in stocks,” Johnson said.

With the stock market rising and falling so dramatically day over day, buyers are nervous to pull out their investments to use as down payments.

Still, Johnson said summer is the best season for real estate in Tahoe, so Redfin anticipates this year to be pretty average.

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