>Low interest rates, favorable home pricing, and first time buyer incentives have helped dramatically increase the number of sales in Truckee and on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe in 2009. Although the number of sales has increased in these desirable resort communities the average and median home prices continued to slide in 2009. This has created amazing opportunities for buyers but is a bit disheartening for anyone looking to sell in the current market.
Within the last 12 months in the greater Truckee real estate markets we have seen the average sales price slide down 17% to $641.8K and the median home price slid 15% to $525K! This is a sharp decrease in home prices and has spurred many buyers that have been sitting on the sideline to jump into the very desirable Truckee real estate market. Home priced below the median sales price of $525K have more activity and fewer days on market while homes above $525K suffer from lack of activity, higher competition from other listings, and take much longer to sell. In the last 12 months the number of sales are up 9% and the average days on market for listings are down 5%. This shows that lower home pricing is spurring activity with buyers who have been watching the Truckee market and feel confident that prices along with interest rates are at the right level to jump in.
I have included the ski resort communities of Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley in my market analysis for the North Shore of Lake Tahoe, CA as they more closely fit the profile of homes on the North Shore rather than the Truckee markets. In this analysis I have not included Lakefront properties as these homes tend to sell for outlying values creating discrepancies in year over year analysis. Within the last 12 months in the North Lake Tahoe, CA real estate markets we have seen the average price of homes fall a staggering 25% to $663K and the median home price fell 21% to $550K!! This dramatic correction in pricing has caused sales to jump 20% over the last 12 months showing that Lake Tahoe is a very desirable market and that at current pricing coupled with the current low interest rates has motivated buyers to purchase vacation homes in this resort market. The higher number of sales, low pricing and interest rates has helped reduce the average days on market for listings by 7% over the previous 12 months further showing that buyers are happy to take advantage of the current Lake Tahoe real estate market.
The Obama administration has extended and expanded the $8,000 tax credit through June 30, 2010. First time buyers will be able to take advantage of the $8,000 Federal tax credit and now homeowners who have owned for 5 years and want to move onward and upward are qualified for a $6,500 Federal tax credit. This should help the low end of Tahoe and Truckee markets where we have seen most of the foreclosure and short sale activity that has been a plague on the markets. The current homeowner credit should also help Tahoe markets because now current homeowners have an additional tax motivation to move up and take advantage of the discounted home prices in the higher end of the markets. These two initiatives should help further strengthen the Tahoe markets in the upcoming year. We are still fighting many economic issues including jobless claims, inflation, low consumer confidence, etc. that are effecting the Tahoe and Truckee markets but these tax incentives should be a welcomed band-aid to help with the struggles facing our markets.