So. Lake Tahoe Median Home Prices Lowest in Over 7 years
On one hand we would tell you that the South Lake Tahoe real estate market must be improving. After all, Don & I as well as our brokerage, Pinnacle Real Estate Group of Lake Tahoe, just experienced one of the busiest winters we have had in years. According to the South Lake Tahoe Multiple Listing Services, the number of closed transactions for single family residences and condominiums totaled 574 during the past twelve months (April 1 through March 31.) This was a substantial improvement over the 510 reported for the same period in 2010 and crushed the 407 reported in 2009. So yes, we would say that business has definitely seen a welcomed upward trend.
Furthermore, according to the So. Tahoe MLS, as of March 31st, 2011 the number of homes on the ACTIVE list totaled 336 with 72 of those reported in escrow. In our ongoing hope/wish/desire to see a reduced inventory, this is another positive report as compared to the 378 active listings (with 96 in escrow) reported during the same period in 2010 and again, considerably better than the 418 active listings with only 46 in escrow reported in 2009.
On the OTHER hand, the values have been reduced to the lowest median home price level since before January, 2004. As of March 31st, the Median Home Price (which is based on the average of the previous 12 months) was reported at $310,000. During the late summer of 2010, the median home price had worked its way back up to $328,000 representing the first improvement we had seen in years. However, the numbers began to turn back around in October. Historically this is not unusual as home prices in the Lake Tahoe area generally are at their lowest during the later winter months. Nevertheless, the ongoing input of short sales and REO’s within our inventory has continued to have a negative impact (certainly not in the eyes of buyers) on the overall home values. For example, of the 336 ACTIVE listings available this past March 31st, 71 were under $250, 000 while 84 were posted over $500,000. In 2010 there were 29 under $250,000 with 129 over $500,000 and in 2009 there were 18 and 200 respectively.
The most significant decrease is actually seen in the dollar per square foot values. During the time periods we have been discussing above, the average dollar per square foot for this past year was approximately $212 as compared to $225 in 2010 and $268,000 in 2009. In other words, while the buyers are content to spend approximately the same amount of money for a home, they are looking for the biggest bang for the buck. All in all, with today’s record low interest rates, we don’t know what they are waiting for. Wait – they’re not waiting. Business is actually up.