LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (KRON) – The housing market in Lake Tahoe has been booming since the pandemic began.
People who were asked to work from home began buying houses and even moving to Tahoe permanently but more than a year later, the market still shows no signs of slowing down.
“People came up here to get out of the city and stretch their legs and play and get out of the indoors,” Breck Overall said.
Breck Overall is a real estate agent for Sierra Sotheby’s International Realty.
He says that over the last year, home prices around Lake Tahoe have gone up by 20 to 90 percent depending on the area.
Truckee, for example, has seen some of the highest increases. There are very few homes left on the market and high demand for the ones that become available.
Overall says that buyers trying to get into the market now need to be prepared for a challenge
“We are telling them you have to be prepared. It’s a high velocity, quick market and it’s very competitive. Our average time on the market used to be 140 days, now it’s 4. What’s happening now is that people can’t just come in and make an offer and go back and forth. They basically have to put their best foot forward. They can’t do a loan. Most sellers don’t want a loan because they want their price, and they don’t want a risky transaction. Buyers have to be prepared to make those offers and most transactions are cash right now,” Overall said.
There’s no relief in sight. Even as the pandemic eases, demand remains high.
There are new homes being built, like those near Squaw Valley, but not nearly enough to meet demand or to bring overall prices down. Breck expects that the Tahoe real estate market will stay hot for the foreseeable future.
“A lot of people ask me if prices will drop after people go back to the office. The reality is that the vast majority of buyers in the past 12 months have paid cash, or they have gone through the scrutiny of the bank. So, they are not over-leveraged. It’s not like the big crash of before where people can’t hold onto these homes. All the makings of this market tell us it’s going to continue. Eventually, I hope the demand will slow down and we will have some more balance in the market. Right now, we are less than a month’s supply of inventory in Tahoe,” Overall said.