RENO, Nev. – 2020 proved to be a wild ride for Lake Tahoe and surrounding area real estate with demand for the mountain lifestyle eclipsing the rising cost to purchase a home in the region’s resort communities.
Record-low mortgage rates and a myriad of pandemic related side effects played into a market frenzy that took everyone by surprise.
“We braced for the worst in March,” said Brit Crezee, director of marketing for Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty. “We had to pivot quickly when the market took off in the other direction.”
A recently compiled year-over-year snapshot shows a 33% increase in home sales on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore, 39% increase on the South Shore and an 8% overall gain in Reno home sales in 2020.
While the Nevada side of the Lake has issued less strict COVID-19 guidelines, California’s shelter-in-place restrictions have not deterred Tahoe dreamers from staking their claim during uncertain times.
“With unpredictable access to lodging and short-term rentals, home ownership offers a guaranteed connection to the region for those who aren’t tied to an office or a school desk,” said Crezee.
“Our primary buyers are coming from the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California in search of space and the ability to walk out their back door to hike, ski and play,” says Truckee-based agent Kaili Sanchez. Nevada, on the other hand, is drawing buyers from California and high-tax states like New York for its tax advantages, says Incline Village agent Lexi Cerretti. “The inflow of high-net-worth buyers is increasing as they realize huge tax savings by relocating.”
As this influx of buyers competes for the region’s historically short supply of homes, prices continue to climb across all sectors.
That said, home sales over $1 million saw huge gains across all markets in 2020. In South Lake Tahoe, homes sold over $1 million jumped 137% from 49 in 2019 to 116 in 2020. North Shore went up by 50% while Reno continued to carve its way into the region’s luxury home space with a 43% increase.
The biggest yearly increases in median home prices took place on Tahoe’s East Shore (29%) South Lake Tahoe (19%) and Truckee (16%). North & West Shore, Incline Village, Reno and surrounding areas all showed double-digit gains.
The uptick is good news for sellers but bad news for prospective home buyers looking to own their slice of paradise.
Whether buying or selling, in today’s fast-paced market it is more important than ever to enlist an experienced professional.
“Your agent should be skilled at virtual showings and adept at screening buyers carefully,” says Cerretti. “Hire a local agent that can give your property the widest exposure and truly understands the history and the nuances of your neighborhood.” An inexperienced or out-of-area agent could cost you valuable time, money or perhaps your dream home.
To see market snapshots broken down by all Reno and Lake Tahoe neighborhoods visit tahoemicroreports.com.
For more information, visit www.sierrasothebysrealty.com, search @SierraSIR on Twitter, follow us on Facebook, or call one of our offices: Reno, 775-384-6900; Squaw Valley, 530-581-1800; Incline Village, 775-832-4900; Heavenly Village/Stateline, 530-541-4002; South Lake Tahoe, 530-494-7600; Truckee, 530-587-3505; Downtown Truckee, 530-587-3500; Tahoe City,530-583-4004. Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website.