Figures through May 2021 provide numerous milestone data points for the performance of real estate in the Tahoe-Truckee region. Notably, the most recent month marks 12 months since the abrupt overwhelming rebound in demand that followed market stasis in the immediate aftermath of quarantine.

As well, several notable year-to-date thresholds have been crossed through the first five months of 2021 despite facing severely constrained supply. And finally, the very early days of summer have begun showing indications of the season to come.

The performance of real estate in April and May of 2020 reflected a period of great uncertainty for the Tahoe Truckee market. Beginning in June, an avalanche of closings was the opening gambit for what would become the most prolific 12-month period ever for real estate activity. 

June 2020 – May 2021 June 2019 – May 2020
Residential Transactions 2617 1561
Residential Dollar Volume $3,302,784,785 $1,439,703,728
Average Price $1,262,532 $923,478
Median Price $820,000 $640,000
Days on Market 14 37
Vacant Land Transactions 757 249
Vacant Land Dollar Volume $297,463,835 $82,240,125
Average Price $392,950 330281
Median Price $200,000 159000
Days on Market 50 84

The weeks leading up to Memorial Day are often the most prolific in any given year for new listings. It is not uncommon for this supply to ripen into summer, culminating in transactions over the course of summer and fall. While the 2021 narrative for the Tahoe real estate market is that of tight supply, listing activity is actually nearly identical to the same period a year ago. The velocity with which these listings are being absorbed is the true function creating scarce supply for consumers.

Demonstrating the increased velocity in the local market, in May 2020, 313 new listings were brought to market yet 84 closed. In the last 30 days, 306 residential properties were listed and 215 have already sold; an increase of over 250%.

Current supply stands at 263 residential listings: approximately 6 weeks’ worth of inventory. On June 1, 2020 supply was near 600 only to be quickly absorbed.

Year-to-date data shows no less impressive metrics. Through May, $1.035 billion in residential sales has transacted marking the earliest ever crossing of this threshold. The previous mark was set in July of 2018; a full 60 days later than this year. As well, sales greater than $1 million are likely to eclipse 350 year-to-date before the midpoint to the year. This figure has only been surpassed for an entire calendar once prior.

As residential supply tightens, demand for vacant land often spikes. Year to date, $101 million has traded in this category. Prior to 2020, this mark had only been met once prior over an entire calendar year.

With demand overwhelming supply, prices continue to be pushed upward. The median sale in May jumped 34% to $868,000.

While Memorial Day is often the annual pinnacle for new inventory, in most years summer activity does not kick off until after July 4th. However, the most recent holiday, factoring in limitations to nearly all but regional travel, fewer graduation and wedding obligations and superlative weather gave the appearance of a peak holiday weekend. Much of the inventory that had accumulated in recent weeks saw offer activity that is likely to return standing inventory to early-spring levels. All of this foreshadows a very busy summer to come in which tourist activity merges with a wave of new residents that continues to push interest in real estate to continued heights.