Archives for March 2020

Lakefront February 2020 Update

Last winter was noted as a special one when two adjacent lakefronts sold on one of the West Shore’s finest streets, Sunnyside Lane. Of course, these were the Mark Zuckerberg purchases of $22m and $37m. These two purchases were part of a historical run of transactions over $20m. There have been just 8 sales of this magnitude in the last 15 years – 5 of them occurred between April ’18 and Jan ’19 – wow! See more on that in my Spring 2019 update here.


So how is 2020 starting off? Relatively, this winter has been quiet although the only two sales thus far were solid: $7.1m and $7.6m. Current inventory is abysmal with 7 total listings: 6 are under $5.3m and a Flick Point property is being offered for $8.75m; a prime West Shore property with southerly exposure (rare) on 4.5 acres is coming soon for $19.5m.


Some interesting points to consider vis a vis the 2019 lakefront market. Yes, the notable Zuckerberg sale happened but then the lakefront market sputtered and came in 50% lower than 2018. Average sold price was higher than it’s been in a decade. But, there were 9 unsuccessful, aka expired, listings totalling $52m in volume. This means that some sellers were overly optimistic about the market and buyers weren’t having it.


My Incline Village team (Donovan Group) and I represent the highest-level brand new construction in the entire Lake. These are two adjacent listings at $24,000,000 and $22,000,000 in Crystal Bay. Click here to see 20 Crystal Drive. Click here for 24 Crystal Drive. We have pulled them from MLS until 20 Crystal is completed this Spring. Currently, the highest Tahoe lakefront price is Chase International’s listing. I was involved in the listing presentation and am a Listing Ambassador for Crystal Pointe, $75,000,000


Quick Stats

  • 7 active lakefront listings from $2m to a very cool location on Flick Point for $8.75m.
  • 2019 volume and nuber of transactions were both down 50% from 2018. Note that 2018 volumen was almost double 2017.
  • 0 lakefronts in escrow
  • Keep an eye on Homewood – we will see if the Gold Rush pricing attempted by numerous unsuccessful sellers in ’19 will carry over or not.


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Residential Real Estate is deemed an Essential Service

Real estate has a huge effect on economies, trades and countless professions. I was not surprised when it was recently deemed an essential service.


“Real Estate Now Listed as an Essential Service in March 28, 2020 Federal List of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers

Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) updated its list of essential services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and expressly included residential real estate. Since Governor Newsom’s March 4, 2020 order incorporates this list, the order now includes residential and commercial real estate, including settlement services, as essential services in California. However, if a city or county has an order with a more restrictive standard regarding what qualifies as an essential service, or more restrictions on activities, those guidelines will still govern the activities of a licensee. You can read the full CISA memorandum here.

Notwithstanding this new development, all real estate licensees must take into account the health and safety of their clients and fellow licensees, and follow the existing protocols for protecting against the spread of COVID-19. If such health safeguards and protocols are not followed, the rule for the state could easily change to stop or restrict all real estate activity. To that end, in conformity with current health guidelines, real estate licensees should follow all CDC and local health mandates.

1. No open houses should be held.
2. Showings should be done virtually, if at all possible.

An updated FAQ and more information on recommended best practices will be posted on the website as soon as practicable.”



PDF of CISA Guidance for Essential Services:



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Dollar Point February 2020 Update

Dollar Point has just 7 listings on the market currently – 6 are publicly known; 1 is my off-market lakeview listing which is currently in escrow over $4,000,000. This is one of the nicest homes in the entire subdivision. See all Dollar Point listings here.


Dollar Point had a huge year in 2018 – sales volume was 2.5 times greater than 2017. 2019 was a disappointment with lowest volume seen in years. Days on market in the neighborhood is typically 1/3 of that for the surrounding area.


This is an incredibly highly-desired neighborhood. You and I both know why. I’ve lived in Dollar Point and absolutely love it. So do today’s buyers…

Quick Stats:

  • 6 active MLS listings from $749k – 4.75$m
  • 1 closing in 2020: off-market listing on Roundridge for $879,000
  • 2 active escrows: my off-market lakeview listing + a home right next to the pool
  • 2019 Sold Volume was 1/3 that of 2018

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January 2020 Market Update

Quick 2019 Recap: Due to another large winter and cold/stormy spring, the first half of 2019 was slower than usual but a steady summer and very strong Q4 made up a lot of lost ground. Overall the entire region was almost identical in units sold but down 11% in sales volume year over year. Median prices hit historical highs in almost all micro-markets within our service area except Tahoe City.


2019 started with inventory shortages and sellers who planned for the same gains as seen in the hot 2018 market; this resulted in many overpriced properties. So those buyers who were able to make the trek between storms were greeted with a lack of offerings and overly-optimistic seller prices. When combined with geopolitical concerns and constant talk of a “looming recession” many buyers became hesitant to pull the trigger. As you can imagine this took the shimmer off of the vacation-home buying process. However, at the end of the day it came down to sustained, incredible wealth in our primary feeder markets combined with ‘the right timing’ for families who want the Tahoe lifestyle incorporated into their overall well-being.


Properties priced in line with the market were in better negotiating positions and they sold well – average sold-to-list price was 96% and marketing times were short for these properties. A useful estimate: we saw multiple offers on roughly 10% of all transactions, mostly in the lower price bands but they did occur over $1,000,000, as well.


2019 had been predicted as a leveling-off year for real estate and 2020 is seeing similar forecasts. High employment and job growth combined with low rates will do battle with increasing home prices. Keep in mind, stock market analysts were saying similar things this time last year and the S&P closed 30% higher. There is little evidence showing potential for a major price correction or fundamental weakness in the 2020 real estate market but, of course, time will tell.


Spring has become the time of highest market appreciation and so with the experience of 2019 behind us and an election ahead, it will be interesting to see how inventory and pricing interact in this first quarter of 2020.

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