South Lake Tahoe Real Estate Market Close Behind the State Stats

So. Tahoe # of Sales ComparisonAs someone that closely follows the Lake Tahoe real estate market statistics, I had to do a double take this past Sunday (April 15th) when reading a report that had been provided by a local real estate company and posted by a local media source.  The basis of the story had to do with a continual decline of home values and an increase in the actual number of sales.  This was not surprising and certainly not what caught me off guard.  Rather, it was the dollar values provided in regards to median and average home prices that threw me for a bit of a loop.  Simply put, they did not come close to what I have been following and posting on a weekly and monthly basis for the past few years.  Not even close.

Then it dawned on me that there were no parameters outlined as to the source of those statistics.    The article mentioned homes in Lake Tahoe.  But what qualifies as homes “in Lake Tahoe?”  North and South Shores of California or are they including the Nevada shores as well?  Are condominiums included?  Are they picking and choosing which neighborhoods are included? Statistics certainly are helpful and they definitely can have an impact on decisions made by buyers and sellers regarding their real estate investments.  However, it is vital that followers of those statistics are clear on the parameters used to determine the results.

With this in mind, I thought it a good idea to do a comparison to that report in relation to the numbers we provide for the sales specifically around South Lake Tahoe.  And in sticking to our belief of providing the parameters – here are ours:  Single family residences only (no condominiums, bare land or partial ownerships,) sales reported through the South Lake Tahoe Association of REALTORS®, and an average of the previous 12 months (to round out peak and low seasons.)  By the way, the 12 month parameter method is the same as that used by the National and California Association of REALTORS.  Here we go:

Aforementioned Report

STAR MLS

Statewide Reports

# of sales

+15%

+6.2%

-2.30%

median Home price

$317,000

$242,450

$291,080

average home price

$623,645

$330,666

not provided

median Home Price Increase

-25%

-21.80%

up 1.6%

Average home price increase

-31%

-15.40%

not provided

“While home sales were down statewide, the housing market continued to perform at a solid pace by historical standards.  In fact, sales jumped significantly in most regions of the state, with many areas experiencing double-digit gains,” said C.A.R. President LeFrancis Arnold.  “Tight inventory and robust home sales, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area, fueled the substantial increase in the March median home price.”  I know your big question – “what does this mean for South Lake Tahoe? (or maybe that’s not your big question but here is our answer.)  Lake Tahoe’s real estate market activity tends to follow the Bay Area’s market by about 6 months to a year.  The Bay Area, along with other large cities, is currently seeing a strong uptick in their activity.  Over asking sales prices and multiple offers are becoming rather common.  As long as this trend continues and the economy stays on its current track AND we don’t see a flood of distressed sales hit our market, we should be seeing the bottom of this current decline in property values.

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