2020 Lake Tahoe Real Estate Year End Market Report
Looking back over five years of real estate sales activity at Lake Tahoe, the 2020 Year End Market Report shows record-breaking numbers. In April, when the shelter in place order first began, we couldn’t have known that it would actually drive enormous sales activity during 2020.
As remote working became the norm, many Bay Area residents converted vacation homes at Lake Tahoe into primary residences. Others traded their homes in the city as they pursued the quality of life that only Lake Tahoe can provide. The wide open spaces for hiking away from the large crowds was like a clarion call, creating unprecedented buyer demand.
Single Family North | West Shore Sales 2020
The graph above shows sales activity on the West and North shore of Lake Tahoe over five years. From 2016 to 2019, sales were relatively stable, and 2019 was not as strong as 2018. Year over year, 2020 was almost double in the amount of units sold.
Having such strong demand meant that inventory became more scarce with each passing month. By the time we arrived at year end, we had about one month of inventory on hand. Not only were multiple offers the norm, we saw an increase in median sale price between 29%-39% in some areas. In 2019, the median sale price was $726K, and it shot up to $800K by year end.
North Shore Lakefront Sales 2020
The north shore lakefront market shows similar activity, but luxury properties follow different trends. Lakefront sales can track alongside strong stock market activity and are often cash purchases. However, the lack of inventory drove the median price 20% higher from 2019 to 2020 and the amount of sales doubled. The median sale price for a north shore lakefront home went from $4.2 million to $5 million.
West Shore Lakefront Sales 2020
West shore lakefront sales activity held relatively stable in 2020. These properties are often larger estates with a median sales price that is much higher, so the demand is limited. For example, the highest sold price for a west shore lakefront home in 2019 was $37 million. For this reason, the median sale price year over year from 2019 to 2020 actually dropped 1%. Currently, the median sale price for a west shore lakefront property is $6.6 million. This was the only market that did not demonstrate the record-breaking sales activity we saw in other markets for 2020. However, the west shore lakefront market will always hold a special appeal because of the breathtaking legacy homes that are only available in this area.
Tahoe City and West Shore
In 2019, the number of homes sold in Tahoe City was 62. In 2020, this number rose sharply to 100 sales of single family residences. That is a 61% increase in sales activity year over year! The median sale price rose 23%, from $724K in 2019 to $888K in 2020.
Tahoma and Rubicon Bay saw a whopping 39% increase in the median sale price and the average days on market dropped from 111 to 63 days. Across the Lake Tahoe real estate market, homes have been closing in the first six weeks of being listed for sale. However, offers come in immediately. The median sale price for this area in 2019 was $827K, and in 2020, this rose to $1.1 million. This is an example of how affordability may arrest this upward trend.
Dollar Point Sales 2020
Dollar Point had one of the sharpest rises in average sales price at 60% higher year over year. In 2019, the highest sold price was $1.7 million, while in 2020 this number rose to $5.5 million, which impacted the difference in average sale price. The median sale price however, only went up 17%, from $1 million to $1.2 million.
Carnelian Bay Sales 2020
In 2019, the number of Carnelian Bay properties sold was 58, compared to 95 in 2020. This is a 64% increase year over year. The highest sold price in 2019 was $5.4 million, and in 2020 this number rose to $9.5 million, increasing the total dollar volume sold in Carnelian Bay 82% year over year.
Overall, the strong sales activity we saw in 2020 will be tempered in 2021 because of the rising prices and affordability factor. Not only did we see strong sales activity for single family homes, but lots that had remained on the market for years, were also selling.
If you are considering buying or selling your property at Lake Tahoe, it is important to work with an expert who can effectively negotiate on your behalf in this competitive market.
There has probably never been a better time to put your property up for sale and get the best possible return on your investment. While 2020 was definitely a banner year, affordability or changes in interest rates can slow activity.
Contact me today for a free market analysis or to learn more about properties coming onto the market.