Sotheby’s: Lake Tahoe resort markets thrived in 2019 |

Sotheby’s: Lake Tahoe resort markets thrived in 2019

Sothebys sign at its Paradise RE office in South Lake Tahoe.

2019 was another good year for Lake Tahoe, Truckee and the surrounding area real estate markets with Northern California and Nevada resort properties continuing to be a popular investment.

The allure of the lake, California’s outdoor lifestyle and Nevada’s tax friendly climate continued to attract buyers and second homeowners across all price points while demand remained high for quality, move-in-ready homes.

“Agents are busy showing which tells us buyers are out looking,” said Camille Duvall, Vice President, Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty. “We saw a lull at the beginning of Q3. Now buyers are taking a serious look at the inventory that hasn’t sold. The caveat? The price must be right.”

Katherina Haug, North Lake Tahoe-based realtor with Sotheby’s echoed that sentiment.

“I’m seeing more active listings this winter than I’ve seen in previous years,” Haug said. “Active buyers are coming up, regardless of snow. People tend to hibernate during the winter, but the market seems to be very active still for winter.”

With the continued activity, Haug anticipates heading into the first quarter with more single-family sales than past years. “Condo sales always excel in the winter, but single-family should keep on pace,” she said.

Looking back the overall market revealed a mixed bag with slight ups and downs depending on the neighborhood of interest, however, total volume sold and sale prices were fairly on par with numbers from 2018.

With a new decade comes an active and balanced market for both buyers and sellers who price their homes according to what the market will bear.

Incline Village

It was a banner year for the Incline Village lakefront and luxury real estate market.

Four lakefront homes and one mountainside estate sold for more than $10 million in 2019 compared to just three sales over $10 million in 2018.

“There is very limited lakefront inventory, and the ultra-high-end buyers rely on agents to find these niche properties before they come to market,” said Lexi Cerretti, an Incline Village-based agent with Sotheby’s.

The 2019 lakefront condo market was especially robust with a 23% increase in the total dollar volume sold. On average, lakefront condos spent nearly half as many days on market compared to last year.

Incline Village and Crystal Bay home sales below $2 million took a hit in 2019 with 39 fewer sales and $37 million less in sales volume.

“The other price ranges were consistent from year-to-year, both in sales volume and number of sales, telling us some buyers have been priced out of the market,” Cerretti said.

Overall, the Incline Village market ended the year with an average sale price of $1,825,513 and a median sales price of $1,295,000 with the highest sold price of $24.5 million.

East Shore: Glenbrook, Zephyr Cove, Stateline

The East Shore market was down slightly overall from last year in terms of the number of transactions and both the median and average sale prices.

The biggest decrease was seen in the lakefront market with a 60%decrease in the number of properties sold and a 69% decrease in the total dollar volume sold. Properties spent 225 less days on the market on average indicating that lakefront inventory is low.

The micro markets of Skyland and Glenbrook were bright spots, each seeing sales above $5 million. Zephyr Cove/Round Hill also saw big increases with 50% more homes sold in 2019 compared to 2018 and a 79 percent increase in the total dollar volume sold.


Overall single-family home sales in Truckee were down slightly in terms of the number of properties sold and the total dollar volume sold. A $13.6 million dollar sale helped bring the median price up two percent to $752,900 while the average price fell four percent to $1,201,520.

Kaili Sanchez, a Truckee-based realtor with Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty is experiencing multiple offers on homes for people wanting to relocate to the area due to the low inventory.

“Many people are considering increasing their purchase price due to lower interest rates and the option to work remotely. Whereas three bedrooms used to be the magic number, I’m now finding more people require four bedrooms or a bonus or flex space.”

Glenshire saw a 40% increase in the number of properties sold and a 23% increase in the total dollar volume sold.

South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe single family lakefronts saw a massive increase this year. The two properties sold last year totaled $1,715,000 while the 11 properties sold this year totaled $32,141,500.

Total non-lakefront sales volume in South Lake Tahoe was up by 7%, however, several niche markets such as the Tahoe Keys outpaced 2018 sales despite much ambiguity surrounding the short-term rental market.

Overall, we saw an 8% decrease in the number of sales but a 9% increase in the average sales price to just under $600,000.

Article submitted by Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty

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