Laurie Johnson

Demand for Quality of Life | Lake Tahoe

The shelter in place order for California has driven an enormous demand for a better quality of life. As people trade city life for resort living, multiple offers and sales over list price are a common occurrence. This is apparent in the Lake Tahoe/Truckee market report, but is also occurring in many California resort and luxury markets.

Additionally, more and more families are making Lake Tahoe their primary residence as they have begun to work remotely. Many Bay Area news outlets have been reporting on the huge demand driving this trend at Lake Tahoe. However, this seems to be happening in many resort areas like Vail, Colorado too, according to the Wall Street Journal and Forbes.

July August 2020 Sale Activity Lake Tahoe

In Lake Tahoe, July and August showed record breaking sales numbers. Sales totals for 2020 have surpassed the previous 12 months. 2018 was a strong year, and while 2019 was lower, the last few months of sales numbers could bring the year end sales volume up to par with 2018. Currently, the number of sales is surpassing new listings. This lack of available inventory could hamper sales volume.

July and August alone, accounted for over 600 transactions and record-breaking sales in the luxury market. The sales of lots and land has also seen a momentous increase with 183 sales compared to 40 in 2019.

Median Sales Price up Year over Year

The median sales price has been driven upward as well. Average sales price for Tahoe/Truckee in July 2020 was $932,500 compared to $825,000 during July of 2019.  Tahoe Donner had a median sales price of $807,000, Truckee $950,000 and the North Shore was at $823,500. Alpine/Squaw had a median sales price of $1,246,500 for July 2020.

California has had a healthy summer of sales activity overall, as the graph below demonstrates. Lake Tahoe is usually on par with San Francisco, in terms of average sale price. However, the demand for the quality of life Lake Tahoe provides Bay Area residents who are now working remotely has added an unusual amount of activity. It is hard to say how long this phenomenon will continue.

Additionally, the dwindling supply that Lake Tahoe is experiencing seems to be occurring all over California. Year over year, the available inventory in California is down 34.4%. Properties listed under 1 million at Lake Tahoe have generated sales 1% above asking price. The strong sales activity is bringing in offers at 98%-100% sales to list price.


After May of 2020, you can see in the graph below that the luxury market is proving to show the strongest growth. We see this in Lake Tahoe, but according to CAR data, this is true for most of the luxury markets in California.


I have been a realtor at Lake Tahoe and Truckee for many years, and have not witnessed the enormous influx of demand that we are currently seeing. As available inventory dwindles, the average sales price is sure to be driven higher.

This presents a great opportunity to enhance quality of life for those of you who currently own in Lake Tahoe. When you purchased your property, you may have been limited by what you could afford and now may be the time to move up and into that lakeview or lakefront property.

I’d be happy to provide a no obligation property analysis on your current home and help you explore your move-up options. Contact me today!



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