2017 Lakefront Market Recap

2017 Recap: The lakefront market had a solid year in 2017. There were 27 sales which accounted for $135m in volume. The lowest sale of the year was $1.54m (off-market) and the high was $29m – see Drum Estate link. Interestingly there were no sales between $7.2m and the Drum sale. As a comparison, in 2016 there were deals at $8m, $11m, $15.8m and $17.5m. 

When comparing overall market performance to 2016 it is critical to include the $22m in sales that occurred off-MLS in 2016. In 2017 there were 2 off-MLS sales including one very notable North Shore property which closed for $7.2m – reach out to me for details.

As you’ll see on the chart below, the number of 2017 sales was well ahead of 2016 (27 vs. 21) and the volume was up about 8%. The incredibly high lake level made lakefront showings especially enticing and there were a good number of buyers who had been waiting a few years before pulling the trigger in 2017. This far in 2018 there has been one sale for $7.5m – it was a listing which had been getting long in the tooth and price was reduced multiple times to eventually realize a sale.

Activity at the highest-end is typically an indicator of good things for the entire lakefront market. The 2017 Drum Estate was the highest sale in our MLS’s records at the time. It was $10m+ more than the highest sale of 2016. It also nudged out a 2015 Chase international sale in Historic Old Brockway for $28.5m. In our MLS there are three listings above $20m currently, the highest of which is a legacy estate with acreage on Sunnyside Lane for $39.5m which had been available as a pocket listing for almost a year.

At the end of summer I wrote about the connection between Tahoe’s lake level and the strong market that existed concurrently. Read that post here.


Tahoe is barely below the maximum legal limit. See the USGS lake level chart here: link

5240 West Lake Blvd. 50% share listed and sold by Alex.

A quick recap of 2016: There were 5 fewer sales and 16% less volume than 2015 (please note that I take into account sales which are not reported in MLS – there were 3 in 2015). Half of the sales in 2016 were at homes which had piers. 2016 saw 3 sales over $10m. In 2015 there was only one – the Chase International sale for $28.5m. On the opposite end of the spectrum, 2016 had 2 sales under $2m; 2015 had none. I sold a 50% shared interest in a 7th-generation family cabin in Homewood. There was one bankruptcy sale in each of the last two years. In addition, there were some very interesting transactional incidents that occurred in 2016. I had direct contact with a number of them – feel free to reach out for more information.

Subscribe to our mailing list