As we wind down on a year full of new records, the significance of what has transpired sometimes gets a little blurry. Here’s a new one that might put things into perspective: More residences sold in the last 6 months (1,507) than in any full year but 1 since 2006 (in 2017 there were 1,567 residential sales). The last 6 months have been, by far, the busiest period our market has ever seen. In mid-May activity surged and has maintained at record levels since. Prior to 2020, the record for the number of sales in a single month was 182 (August 2017). We have blown by that number in each of the last 5 months.
Do you want some more perspective on how busy things have been? The 216 November sales represent a 57% increase over the 138 sales in November 2019. It is also 77% higher than the 10 year average for November. Year to Date (January through November) 1,900 residences have sold. That is 36% more sales than the entire year of 2019 (when there were 1,399 sales). It is also a 47% increase over the same period last year (1,293 sales) and brings us to 157% of the 10 year average for the period (1,212). As a reminder, at the end of May this year, we were at just 86% of the 10 year average for closed sales YTD.
Active Residential Inventory:
Active Listings: There are currently 202 residences actively for sale, down from 433 at this time last year. Contrary to what you might think at first glance, the number of new listings in 2020 is actually up almost 20% compared to the same period last year. Typically the number of new listings dwindles after Labor Day. However, this year, properties continued coming on the market through September and October in hopes of taking advantage of the strong seller’s market. There were twice as many new listings in September and October as there were in those 2 months last year. November finally normalized and we saw a similar number of listings to last year (108 v 117). So, despite significantly more homes coming on the market, our active inventory is less than 50% of what it was a year ago.
Current Pending Sales: To achieve record sales, you have to have record numbers of residences going into contract . . . currently 230 residences are in-contract.
Coldwell Banker Ranks #1: Among all brokerages in North Lake Tahoe and Truckee, Coldwell Banker continues to rank #1 in total number of sales. For the previous 12 months, Coldwell Banker represented 12.8% of sales. This represents 21% more transactions than our next closest competitor (10.5% of sales).
Median and Average Sales Prices: These numbers are changing dramatically. For the period January through June, the median sales price was $674,500 (up slightly from $669,000 last year) and the average sales price was $986,430 (up slightly from $975,296 last year). Since July, we have jumped to a median of $825,000 (up 22% compared to the first half of the year) and an average of $1,209,097 (up 23%). In November, the median price was $844,000 and the average price was $1,235,000.
Sales Under $500,000: For the period January through November, residences priced under $500,000 represented just over 18% of sales or 348 properties sold. For the same period in 2019, 27% of sales were in this range.
Mid-Range Market Sales $500,000 to $999,999: For the same period, there were 948 sales between $500,000 and $999,999, representing 50% of total sales. For the same period in 2019, 49% of sales were in this price range.
Luxury Home Sales Over $1 Million: 604 properties have sold over $1 million, representing 32% of total sales. This is up 95% from the 309 sales in the same period in 2019 (which made up 24% of total sales).
In most years, activity slows in late fall. 219 residences going into contract in October represents a significant slow down from the summer months when close to 300 residences went into contract each month. While this is a slowing of activity, it is still 68% more new contracts than in October 2019. November “slowed” even further to 143 residences going into contract, but this is still 54% more new contracts than November last year. So, yes, we are experiencing the “normal” seasonal slowdown, but the activity is still abnormally high for the time of year. Looking at current demand, it seems like this could continue for a long time. However, it will be very interesting to see what happens with the supply side this winter. Currently, inventory is so low that it is clearly constraining the number of possible transactions. As an example, the region’s largest neighborhood, Tahoe Donner, has just 5 homes for sale (there are over 5,000 homes in the neighborhood!). The lowest-priced home is at 885k, and there are just 3 homes for sale under $2 million (there were zero under $1 million at one point last week and will likely be the case again soon). For perspective, in 2019 the median sales price was $719,000! It’s really difficult to continue such a high number of sales when there is such a limited supply.
While the inventory of homes for sale is generally limited during the winter months, we typically start to see a few homes coming to market during the holidays and then gradually increase each month from January on. In addition to the numerous Buyers who have not been able to find a home or more likely, have not been successful in a multiple offer situation, we have actually started to see “new” Buyers enter the market/starting their searches in the past few weeks which we attribute to the combination of getting past the election, combined with the change in seasons and the new stay at home order. As a Buyer, our advice is to continue to be patient and prepared to act as new homes get listed. If you are a Seller and considering listing your home, the winter months have always been a good time to sell due to limited competition and the extreme Buyer demand could make it a fantastic opportunity.