2018: The Year in Review
It was another strong year for the Incline Village and Crystal Bay real estate market. For the second year in a row there were 433 total sales of houses, condos and freestanding condos. That is about a 5% increase over the 412 sales we had in 2016 and marks the third straight year of total sales in excess of 400 properties. Overall, prices for single-family homes and condos continued a steady march upward, although we are seeing signs of a plateau in some areas.
As we head toward the start of 2019 there are 152 total residential properties for sale which is very close to the 156 places on the market at this time last year. The inventory of properties during the course of the year ranged from the mid-100s to the high 200s depending on the season and pace of sales activity. Overall sales might have been higher, but there were inventory shortages from time to time for lower priced homes and in the popular McCloud and Third Creek developments.
After analyzing the statistics for the past 15 years it appears that we are in a maturing point of the real estate cycle. Price increases have slowed and many properties that were listed with an unrealistic asking price have seen reductions or been withdrawn from the market. We have seen a bit of a tug ‘o war between buyers and sellers in the recent past. Even though the Northern California economy remains strong, uptrends do not go on indefinitely. We do not see prices increasing significantly in 2019 on the Nevada side of North Lake Tahoe. The only exception might be lakefront and panoramic lake view properties due to the very limited supply.
Sales of condominiums outpaced those of single-family homes in 2018. The most popular complex was McCloud with 21 sales followed by 15 in Mountain Shadows. Bitterbrush came in 3rd place with 14 sales and Third Creek had 11 closed escrows but would likely have seen more activity except for a shortage of inventory during the peak selling season.
There are currently only 9 single-family homes with asking prices under $800,000 and many are fixer uppers or tear downs. There were a total of 31 sales of houses that closed escrow below $800,000 in contrast to 43 sales in that range in 2017. As is typical of a maturing cycle the floor price moves up as inventory gets depleted. Luxury homes had a very good year by local standards with 50 houses selling at prices in excess of $2 million in Incline Village and Crystal Bay. The median price for houses hit a record high moving just above $1.4 million.
The recent stock market volatility, government shut-down and other economic indicators lead us to believe that prices will not continue the robust uptrend we have seen since 2012. Sellers will have to be realistic when pricing properties knowing that the market is up significantly in the past 6 years. But overall we anticipate that reasonably priced properties in good locations with desirable floor plans will remain in demand on the Nevada side of North Lake Tahoe.