South Tahoe Home Sales Follow National Trends

November 9, 2012
~Theresa Souers, 2012 Public Relations Chair

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the median sales prices increased in the third quarter of 2012 as compared to the same period last year throughout 120 of 149 metropolitan areas.  In fact, home prices rose in 81% of US cities.  While not quite there yet, South Tahoe’s home prices are showing signs that a similar trend is coming our way.  When comparing the sales for the month of October in 2012 as compared to 2011, we find the following – the median home price rose from $236,000 to $270,000 and the percent of sales to list price rose from 95.7 to 96.8%.

When looking at the average median home prices for South Lake Tahoe for the past 12 months (November 1 – October 31) we still see an overall decrease in value, from $285,000 in 2011 as compared to $239,450 in 2012.  However the median home price for the past three months has steadily risen from $234,000 in August to the reported $239,450 at the end of October.

“The housing recovery still faces a number of potential headwinds,” Paul Diggle, property economist for Capital Economics Ltd. in London, said in a note to clients after CoreLogic’s report was released.  “But our central case is that tight supply conditions will mean that house prices will continue to rise steadily next year.”

Distressed Sales
The National Association of REALTORS® also reported that foreclosures and short sales, in which the price is less than the mortgage balance, accounted for 23 percent of third-quarter deals, down from 30 percent a year earlier.  The numbers reported for South Tahoe again represent similar trends.  During the third quarter of 2012, distressed sales made up 39% of the overall purchases.  This number is down from the 46% reported during the third quarter of 2011.  The breakdown of distressed sales for the third quarter is as follows: of the 193 homes sold, 39 were REO sales (bank-owned) and 36 were short sales.  During the 2011 third quarter there were 154 homes sold which included 46 REO’s and 25 short sales.  Year to date, we are seeing continued improvement in the ratio of distressed sales vs. traditional sales.  As of January 1 through November 9, there have been a total of 631 homes sales (single family and condos) of which 42.5% represented distressed sales.  Among these distressed sales, 155 were REO’s and 113 were short sales.  During the same time period of 2011, there were a total of 497 sales involving 47.1% distressed sales with 154 REO’s and 80 short sales.

According to an article published by Bloomberg on November 7, 2012, “a survey by Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest mortgage- finance company, showed Americans expect home prices to increase an average of 1.7 percent in the next 12 months. The share of respondents who said they expect home prices to decrease fell to 10 percent last month, down 13 percentage points from a year earlier and the lowest level since the monthly survey began in June 2010, Washington-based Fannie Mae said.”  Once again, South Lake Tahoe’s real estate market is following the national trends.  Comparing October 2012 to October 2011, we find that the monthly supply of homes (how many months it would take to clear the current inventory based upon current rate of closed sales) dropped from 8.4 (buyer’s market) to an encouraging 5.8 (balanced market.)  As of October 31, there were only 237 homes for sale as compared to 408 the previous year.  As of today, November 9th, 2012, there are only 206 homes currently active listed with the South Tahoe Association of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Services.

South Tahoe’s Real Estate Market Showing Signs of Improvement

~submitted by Theresa Souers
2012 Public Relations Chair
South Tahoe Association of REALTORS®

You may have been hearing a new message in the media lately – that “now is the time to buy real estate” and that the market is improving.  But all real estate is local.  Wonder how South Lake Tahoe is doing?

One of the most positive signs that South Shore’s real estate market is on the mend is that our inventory absorption rate – the amount of time it takes for houses available for sale to sell – has decreased significantly.  Compared to a year ago, the month’s supply of inventory is down a remarkable 26.4%.  Overall, the state’s month’s supply of inventory is down 5.6%.

Our inventory – the number of homes available for sale – is down 20.3% compared to last year.  The number of new sales coming on the market has also decreased by 7.4%.  With less supply, sellers have a greater chance that their home will sell more quickly to interested buyers.

Our median sales price continues to decline, however, year over year with a drop of 18.9%.  This is good news for buyers, though, with the means to get a loan and purchase.  South Shore has not been this affordable since 2001 with a median sales price of $236,500 for single family homes.  And interest rates remained historically low at just 3.55% for a 30-year fixed mortgage in July.

Historically, South Lake Tahoe’s real estate market has followed the Bay Area’s.  With robust activity in San Francisco, and many vacation home buyers coming from that area, signs are positive that South Lake Tahoe’s real estate market will continue to improve.

*Source: Statistical information from the South Tahoe Association of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service for South Lake Tahoe properties sold within the 96150 zip code for the period of July 2011 through July 2012, as well as the California Association of REALTORS®.