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2014 Real estate sales off to a good start

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As we begin the first week of March (which means that spring is right around the corner) it's a good time to take a look at the real estate sales activity in Incline Village and Crystal Bay for the first two months of 2014. All of the statistical data for this column and all of our columns is based on information gathered from the Incline Village Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Our local market is off to a good start this year with 45 transactions closing escrow during January and February. Granted, a significant percentage of the properties that closed escrow early this year went under contract in late 2013. However, seeing this type of strength in numbers during the depths of winter bodes well for real estate sales during the remainder of the year barring some unforeseen catastrophe.

The chart below shows the year to date sales totals for January and February combined for each of the past four years. While it would be nice to have a repeat of 2013 where over 450 houses, condos and freestanding condos (a.k.a. PUDs) changed hands to new owners in Incline Village and Crystal Bay it's important to recognize the fact that the historical sales average for our community is typically closer to 300 to 350 sales per year.

Year Houses Condos PUDs YTD Total
2011 11 11 3 25
2012 21 12 4 37
2013 28 22 5 55
2014 25 15 5 45

The numbers out of the starting gate show that we are on track to meet or exceed the historical average but with the current inventory level of approximately 174 properties for sale we will need at least 300 new listings to achieve the results that were delivered in 2013. As prices continue to rise and the inventory of properties for sale remains at or near its lowest levels in eight years, buyers will be competing for the most desirable properties even more so than they did last year.

It is interesting to note that the closed sales for single-family homes so far in 2014 range from $395,000 all the way up to $13 million and they include nearly every subdivision from lakefront properties up to high elevation homes in the upper Tyner neighborhood. More than half of the houses changing hands during the first two months of 2014 have been located in just the Ponderosa, Lower Tyner and Lakeview subdivisions.

These neighborhoods have always been very popular due to their proximity to the beaches, shopping and restaurants not to mention the lesser amounts of snow that one has to deal with when owning a property in a lower elevation location. With sales of luxury homes rebounding in the past year properties like the one pictured here at 762 Lakeshore Blvd. are finding themselves to be in greater demand.

With a total of 38 houses, condos and freestanding condos currently under contract, this means that we will likely finish out the first quarter of 2014 with between 60 and 70 properties closing escrow in our local market. Since the first quarter of the year is generally the slowest for real estate sales, based on the current numbers there is every reason to believe that we will once again see a strong sellers market with well over 300 properties changing hands this year.

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