Signs of saturation are not yet evident as the Tahoe–Truckee real estate market continues to soar. Despite many variables, some recurring while others unique to 2020, demand for mountain housing remains at peak levels.

Under normal circumstances, October would represent the seasonal conclusion for closings as summer shoppers coincide with those purchasing in anticipation of winter. As well, many of the peripheral drivers for real estate throughout this unique year have settled including the start to school (even in distance learning), remote work, and escaping smokey skies. Nevertheless, the Tahoe – Truckee market eclipsed 250 residential transactions for the fifth consecutive month and just the ninth time ever. As well, the total transaction volume above $300,000,000 continues a trend, never realized before 2020, that extends back to July.

This remarkable performance brings into light several annual benchmarks already achieved through just 10 months:

  • Total transaction volume has eclipsed $2 billion; previous 12-month record was $1,700,000,000 in 2018.
  • Total residential transactions above 1800; the previous 12-month record was 1762 in 2017.
  • 400+ land transactions; previous 12-month record (excluding new community releases) was 331 in 2016.
  • $185 million in total land sale volume; previously high was $111,356,000 in 2016.
  • In the luxury segment, over 550 homes have sold for prices greater than $1 million; the previous 12-month record was 386 in 2018. Similarly, sales greater than $2 million have crested 200; the previous benchmark was 147 also in 2018. Lastly, 41 transactions greater than $5 million shatters the previous annual market of 34.

Accordingly, numerous individual communities have seen record volume:

  • Gray’s Crossing has experienced 37 home sales year-to-date, besting the 12-month record of 30 set a year ago.
  • Lahontan has transacted 28 home purchases, exceeding a previous annualized mark of 24.
  • Schaffer’s Mill has closed 29 residential transactions on the secondary market with numerous other sales completed from the developer.
  • Martis Camp is nearing a record 50 transactions while pushing toward all-time high average pricing of $1200 per square foot.
  • Northstar Mountainside has gained tremendous momentum with 17 home sales pushing average price solidly above $800 per square foot.

These unprecedented results stand out not only for sheer volume but also against greatly diminished inventory. Supply levels have been steady offering just 5 weeks inventory for months on end despite sellers seeking ever more ambitious prices. 

With another 400+ transactions currently pending, there does not appear to be any year-end taper. Short days and cold temperatures foretell the coming of winter. The first snows always deliver another wave of consumers seeking mountain accommodations for this season and beyond. As the world remains slightly off-axis, the refuge offered by the Tahoe – Truckee region will remain a premium commodity.