Million-dollar sales in Tahoe-Truckee area down 3% in 4th quarter from year ago

After strong gains for much of 2010, luxury home sales and the median sale price in the North Lake Tahoe and Truckee region took a breather in the fourth quarter with sales and the median sale price edging lower, according to Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Northern California’s leading luxury real estate services company.

A total of 34 homes sold for more than $1 million during the quarter from October through December, down 2.8 percent from the same period a year ago when 35 high-end homes changed hands. Sales also declined more sharply from the 46 properties that changed hands in the third quarter.

The median sale price of million-dollar homes declined 6 percent year over year to $1.5 million last quarter. That level was also down 13 percent from the third quarter of 2010.

Other key market indictors showed a pause in the market rally at the end of the year. Luxury homes sold in an average of 232 days, up from 161 days a year ago. However, sellers did receive 89 percent of their asking price, up from 83 percent a year ago. And 12 homes sold for more than $2 million, up from 11 in fourth quarter 2009.

The figures were derived from Multiple Listing Service data of all homes sold in the region for more than $1 million during the most recent quarter.

“The upper end of North Lake Tahoe’s housing market generally saw solid improvement in 2010, but the market did ease off a bit as the year came to a close,” said Michael Lombardi, manager of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in the North Lake Tahoe-Truckee region.

“Part of the reason is that closings were so strong earlier in the year and even late 2009 that it was a high bar to top. But in general, the luxury market is trending in the right direction again.”

Lombardi said that gains in the stock market, coupled with continuing improvement in the overall economy, bode well for high-end buyers. “There are a lot of positives for buyers right now, including solid inventories to pick from, attractive pricing and very low mortgage rates, so I’m encouraged by the prospects for the market as we head into the new year,” he said.

Some key findings from the third quarter Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage luxury report:

  • The most expensive sale in Truckee-Tahoe region was a seven-bedroom, seven-bath Tahoma property that sold for $9.5 million;
  • Truckee again boasted the most million-dollar sales 14, followed by Tahoe City and Olympic Valley with five, and Homewood with three;
  • It took an average of 232 days to sell a million-dollar home in the region, up from 170 days the previous quarter and 161 days during the same period last year.

The North Tahoe Luxury–Truckee Housing Report is a quarterly report by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, a specialist in high-end real estate sales. Through its internationally renowned Coldwell Banker Previews® program, the company is recognized around the world for its expertise in the luxury housing market.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage serves the North Lake Tahoe-Truckee area with six offices: 531 North Lake Tahoe Blvd. in Tahoe City, 475 North Lake Tahoe Blvd. in Tahoe City, 12068 Donner Pass Road in Truckee, 10095 Dorchester Drive in Glenshire, 6921 North Lake Boulevard in Tahoe Vista, and 2095 West Lake Boulevard in Tahoe City. For more information, please call 530.581.7779.