What a start to the year for the Lake Tahoe and Truckee region. We started out 2019 with some massive snowstorms that blanketed the area and set us up for some of the best skiing conditions we have seen. While not quite to the same depths as the 2016/17 winter 2018/19 is certainly one that we will remember.

All that snow did have a dampening effect on the local real estate market. According to data from the Tahoe Sierra Board of Realtors in the first quarter, we saw a total sold volume for single family homes of 192. This was down 19.7% from Q1 2018. However, the average days on market for each listing stayed relatively stable at 89 avg DOM for Q1 2019, vs 86 DOM for Q1 2018. 

When we compare Q1 2019 to Q1 2017, which had similar weather conditions we see a more apples to apples comparison. Q1 2017 had a total single family sales of 204 homes, with an average DOM of 119. Meaning that 2019 has started off about 5.9% slower than 2018 for total number of sales but the average days on market improved by about 25%.

Our median home prices for single family properties have increased to $541,000 for Q1 2019. This is an increase of 3% compared to Q1 2018’s median price of $525,000. Compared to Q1 2017 where we saw a median sales price of $520,000, we are looking to be on the right track in terms of our overall market.

So what does this mean for the Truckee and Lake Tahoe region? Well as with any real estate forecast, it is hard to say. There are many factors that are out of our control and we cannot predict what might happen. But if we see 2019 continue to follow more closely to 2017 then we should see an uptick in sales as we move into the spring and summer. With 2017 as a reference we saw the market start off slow in the first quarter and then rally through the summer and fall to end the year very strong. 

For sellers, it should still be a good time to list your home. With median prices rising and the average sold price being 95.23% of the list price, if you reasonably price your home and we market it correctly you will find a buyer.

For buyers, we have been seeing increases in our listings and should see more and more opportunities come on the market for our buyer clients. The main item to focus on for buyers is that because our listing inventory is running low, and the homes are selling close to the asking price, you should be ready to make a good offer quickly if you find a home you want. This means taking the steps the get your financing sorted out before you start seeing properties. Whether you will be seeking lending from a bank or you will be doing an all cash offer, make sure you are ready and able to make an offer. There is nothing more frustrating for our buyers than when we find a home you love, just to have another offer be accepted before we can write up your offer.

Let me know how I can help you with your real estate needs in 2019.

Here is a quick video from RE/MAX with their March 2019 National Housing Report for a quick glimpse at how the rest of the nation is performing.

Ben Rogers is a real estate agent with RE/MAX Mountain Living located in Truckee, CA. He can be reached at benrogers@remax.net or by phone at 530-536-0416

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.