It occurred to me that Buyers and Sellers at Lake Tahoe may be wondering about the effect that COVID-19 has had on the local home sale market. It goes without saying that since most non-essential businesses have been shutting down, it may slow home sale activity. Real estate agents and sellers have been evaluating the risk level regarding open houses and viewings. With most businesses either operational on a limited basis or not at all, out-of-town buyers may be evaluating their travel plans to Tahoe. We are all wondering about the effects this will have for people’s’ decisions to buy or sell.
Without question, we are a “wait and see situation”. There are seven counties in the bay area that are now under a “shelter in place” order. Since most of the Tahoe buyers are from the bay area, the impact could be substantial.
Let’s look at the most recent number of pending sales. According to the information in our local STAR MLS (South Tahoe Assoc. of Realtors Multiple Listing Service) there were approximately 20 new pending sales in February and 32 new pending sales in March. March 16th was the first day of most local governments announced self-containment. Since then there were 6 new pending sales.
March has already proven to be the strongest month for real estate sales this year. This could be attributed to the lower interest rates which were responding to the diving stock market. Sometimes the real estate market benefits from this as investors look for safer places to park their money. Traditionally, the real estate market sees an increase in activity as the spring blooms and the summer peak season draws near.
For any of the above reasons, the March real estate market activity is on the rise but is it sustainable? What remains to be seen is the impact from “shelter in place” and the spread of COVID-19. Like most of the economy, our local real estate market will not be immune from impacts created by the growing spread of a devastating disease.
I know that some of you are wondering if this is a good time to buy or to sell. With on the ground information, you may be able to make a better decision.
During this time of crisis, I will do my best to give my clients a weekly update regarding the impact to our local real estate market. In the meantime, you are welcome to contact me directly, cell 530-314-9008. I look forward to hearing from you!