It’s not very often that we get excited about a dip in median or average sales price, but when we’re talking our favorite playground and extended backyard, we have to admit we’re a bit giddy.
“We had an absolute record-breaking year for the high-end market in 2007,” said Susan Lowe, corporate vice-president of Chase International. “Lake Tahoe usually averages two sales over $10 million around the entire lake each year. Last year, there were 11.”
Since January, however, Tahoe has seen a softening in its high-end market, Lowe said.
The decline is reflected in Dickson Realty’s latest quarterly report, which saw the number of houses sold drop by 72 percent in South Lake Tahoe, 71 percent in Incline Village and 46 percent in Zephyr Cove compared with the same period last year.
The same report also found that median prices in the first half of 2008 dropped by 1 percent in South Lake Tahoe to $1.3 million and 40 percent in Zephyr Cove to $1.7 million compared to the same period in 2007.
Incline Village was the exception, reporting a 24 percent increase in median sales price to $3.2 million.
Nancy Fennell, president and chief executive officer of Dickson Realty, attributed the softening to pressure in the lower end of the luxury market.
For the first time, Dickson Realty’s real estate-owned and short-sale division is seeing foreclosures and short sales in the $1 million to $1.5 million market from Tahoe to the Reno-Sparks area.
Truckee was the only area that remained flat for both number of properties sold and median price.
“We’re starting to see the general kind of distress in the economy creep up into the $1 million to $1.5 million range of the luxury market,” Fennell said. “I don’t think it’s going to look quite so dismal by the end of the summer. But I think there are definitely going to be fewer sales in the luxury market in 2008 compared to 2007.”
Skills we possess to earn our keep in your new Tahoe pad:
1) Back-of-hand knowledge of all ski areas in and around Tahoe
2) Ski tech
3) Sun lotion applied in smooth even strokes
4) Valet Parking and bar-tending skillz (in that order)
5) Friends in real estate in and around Lake Tahoe
-Tahoe homes on tour define luxury [Reno Gazette Journal]