Tahoe Lakefronts on Record Pace

Sales of Tahoe lakefront properties have handily surpassed the totals of each of the last seven years with roughly $120,000,000 in closed volume and another $49,000,000 currently in escrow.

Lakefronts are Tahoe’s highest-end properties and many believe they are a lead indicator for the local market. On any given year, ten to twenty will trade and since 2010 there have been twenty-two sales per year. 2012 has seen thirty lakefront transactions and there are six more scheduled to close escrow before the year is out. Based on list prices the projected total could be as high as $161,680,000 – easily double 2011 volume.

The two previous years each had a point where there were nine properties in escrow simultaneously. That’s a major flurry of activity in the lakefront marketplace. What’s so significant about 2012 is that this happened twice and the switch is still on. There are eight properties in escrow now with prices as high as $20 million and one just closed in Incline Village for $25.5 million

Though it is the strongest segment of the local market, lakefront values have been affected by the Great Recession. Since 2010 there have been two short sales and one foreclosure. Recently a lakefront short sale closed for $2m – exactly half its sold price in 2005. I am expecting another lakefront REO to hit the market this winter.

Some of the biggest deals are done off MLS. I know of five lakefront sales done off MLS this year. My company did two deals right around $11 million. Another broker in town just closed one for $11m and only two of these three sales were put on multiple listing after the fact (Click Here to View Listings). I know of three lakefronts which are off MLS but being offered for sale. At this level sometimes the most interesting properties aren’t the most obvious ones.

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