The current inventory of single-family homes for sale in Incline Village and Crystal Bay is more than adequate to satisfy the general demands of buyers for the remainder of 2014. However, the Lakeview subdivision is a place where the inventory is inordinately low and the demand extraordinary high. We have already seen 16 properties close escrow in this part of our community during the first seven months of 2014 and there are currently two homes under contract. With only six properties listed for sale on the Incline Village MLS in the Lakeview subdivision that means the statistical inventory level in this part of town is less than three months worth.
Adding to the angst of buyers is the pricing situation since the least expensive home in the Lakeview subdivision currently listed on the Incline Village MLS is $1,449,000 and asking prices range all the way up to $4,195,000. While we did have 4 properties in this sector close escrow under $1 million earlier this year, the lack of supply coupled with the strong demand will likely continue to push prices upward in this area.
So, while most other parts of Incline Village and Crystal Bay have an oversupply of single-family homes for sale during the summer of 2014 the Lakeview subdivision is currently exhibiting a shortage of supply relative to actual demand. Whether or not we will see any new listings priced under $1 million during the remainder of this year is anybody’s guess. But the reality is that while most subdivisions in Incline Village and Crystal Bay are reflecting the transition from a seller’s market to a neutral (or even possibly a buyer’s market), the Lakeview subdivision is still skewed towards the benefit of sellers.
One of the things that make this particular location so special is the proximity to shops, restaurants and the beaches. While the lesser amounts of snow that accumulate in the wintertime is another attractive benefit that is just an ancillary consideration and not usually a primary deciding factor affecting whether or not buyers will make a purchase in this area. It’s nice to be able to leave your car parked in the garage and not need to use it to get to the beach, post office or shopping unless you really want to. Also, the paved path that runs along Lakeshore Drive beckons people of all ages to get outdoors and traipse through this lovely neighborhood.
During the first seven months of 2013 we only saw nine properties in the Lakeview subdivision change hands to new owners. The remarkable jump in sales in 2014 is even more extraordinary when you realize that overall sales of single-family homes in Incline Village and Crystal Bay are down substantially versus the previous year. To see this level of demand in one small part of town and combine it with a rather minimal supply of properties for sale means that buyers do not have a lot of negotiating leverage when trying to purchase a property in this neighborhood.
There was a recent private transaction where a property in the Lakeview subdivision sold for nearly 20% above the appraised value. This is a testament to the desirability of properties on a virtually level lot and in a good location just a couple of blocks from the beach. In 2014 there have been two sales of properties in this neighborhood where the price per square foot has exceeded $700. And mind you these are not lakefront properties, just high quality single-family residences on nice lots and in very good locations. Both of these transactions involved properties that had not officially been listed on the MLS and were the result of the authors of this column networking with other agents to successfully bring buyers and sellers together.
Buyers who are looking to purchase a property in the Lakeview subdivision will need to be on their toes and work closely with their agents to hunt down upcoming properties for sale if they cannot find what they are looking for among the active listings. With demand outstripping supply for properties in this particular location we can anticipate that there will be multiple offer situations from time to time and that prices will continue a steady march upward in the neighborhood.