Tahoe-Truckee Real Estate: How Far Your Money Goes In 2021

Once the starting point for luxury homes in the region, $1 million now represents the median price for real estate in Lake Tahoe and nearby Truckee (TAHOE MOUNTAIN REALTY).

Lake Tahoe, and the town of Truckee to the north, has long been known as a weekend and vacation spot, where residents of the San Francisco Bay Area could escape via Highway 80 to ski in winter and hike in summer.

Like many communities, the increasing acceptance of remote work has seen Lake Tahoe shift to a popular destination for primary homeowners, a transformation that exploded with the pandemic and resultant hot real estate market.

tahoe truckee luxury real estate sales from 2006-2021

Home prices in Tahoe-Truckee have skyrocketed over the last year. For entry-level properties, prices have nearly doubled from about $500,000 to $1 million (TAHOE MOUNTAIN REALTY).

With demand exceeding supply at a rate of six-to-one, prices have increased more than 30% year-over-year throughout the market, says Doug Flynn, a broker with Tahoe Mountain Realty.

“Whereas $1 million had previously represented a starting point for luxury real estate, it now defines the regional median,” Flynn says.

Here’s what’s been moving at the entry, middle and high ends of the market in the Tahoe-Truckee region.

vaulted-ceiling living room inside a truckee luxury home in gated juniper hill

For Tahoe-Truckee’s high-end home-shoppers, expect to pay over $3 million. This six-bedroom home in Truckee’s Juniper Hill community is currently pending with an asking price of $4.375 million (TAHOE MOUNTAIN REALTY).

High — Above $3 Million

Tahoe lakefront properties and homes in Martis Camp, a private gated community located between Truckee and North Lake Tahoe, have seen extraordinary demand over the last year, with many homes sold off-market.

An estate called Bella Vista, with a five-bedroom main house and one-bedroom guesthouse with an RV garage, in the gated Juniper Hill community 15 minutes from the Truckee Airport, was recently listed for $4.375 million. A sale is pending.

exterior of a luxury home in truckee's gray's crossing community at 11040 Ghirard Road

For mid-range buyers, home prices fall between $2 million and $3 million. This 2020-built home in Truckee’s Gray Crossing community sold in February for $2.1 million, or $5,000 more than the asking price (TAHOE MOUNTAIN REALTY).

Medium — $2 Million-$3 Million

While historically sales have been low in the $2- to $3-million threshold, over the last year new developments in resort communities including Gray’s Crossing, Old Greenwood and Northstar have added to the inventory.

Buyers here have spent the last year here as their primary residence and Flynn predicts it’s likely to stay this way until in-person schooling returns in the fall.

In Gray’s Crossing, a resort community built around an 18-hole championship golf course, all 12 of the development’s Fairway Townhomes have sold, including a modern four-bedroom, 3 1/2-bathroom home at 11040 Ghirard Road.

queen anne victorian home in downtown truckee at 10230 Donner Pass Rd

Entry-level luxury homes in Tahoe-Truckee start about $1 million, according to Tahoe Mountain Realty’s Doug Flynn. This historic Queen Anne Victorian in downtown Truckee sold in June for a little over $1.46 million (TAHOE MOUNTAIN REALTY).

Entry — Under $2 Million

The “entry level” for the greater Tahoe-Truckee region has grown from about $500,000 to close to $1 million. According to Flynn, these properties, which tend to come with deferred maintenance, generally fall outside of resort communities around Truckee and purchasers are more likely to be looking for full-time residences.

Inventory here is a little more dated, though this is a relative term and extends to some homes constructed as recently as ten years ago in more traditional mountain architecture that includes peak roofs and heavy masonry accents.

Recently, an 1875 Queen Anne Victorian with five bedrooms and two bathrooms at 10230 Donner Pass Road, in the heart of downtown Truckee, sold for $1.46 million.

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I’ve been working as a journalist in the New York metro area for more than a decade and have developed a specialization in luxury real estate, writing about everything from the post-recession housing market in Fairfield County, Connecticut, to the third-home market in the Hamptons. I’m currently also a regular contributor to Newsday and Hamptons Cottages & Gardens. If you spot me in my Brooklyn neighborhood and I’m not knitting, I’m probably admiring the beautiful Victorians that surround my apartment building (and trying to figure out what they would sell for).