The covid-19 pandemic has forced people to reassess their lives and work and has led many to conclude that they don’t need to live in the city. Life in the mountains or at the beach is way more attractive, leading to real estate booms in smaller communities across the country – including Lake Tahoe.
Lake Tahoe has seen a 158% increase in sales volume over the last year, causing property prices to explode. For example, a small 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom cabin is on the market for just short of half a million, reports the Tahoe Daily Tribune. Tahoe Realtor Ken Bednara reports a 66% increase in the volume of homes sold last year in South Lake Tahoe and a 15% increase in the median home price.
While property owners might like the sound of the value of their place increasing, it leads to a problem for people who work in those regions but can no longer afford to live there. Businesses also have a hard time retaining employees.
“Affordable housing is really workforce housing in Lake Tahoe, and it’s economic development 101. Right now our businesses are struggling to find employees to fill the jobs that they have and it’s because our housing costs are so expensive in this region.”
– Heidi Hill Drum, CEO of the Tahoe Prosperity Center
In a list of the 100 most expensive zip codes in the country, Lake Tahoe appears twice – Glenbrook and Crystal Bay (both on the lake’s Nevada side). The list, compiled by PropertyShark, lists California as the state with the most expensive zip codes – twice as many as the rest of the country combined. San Francisco has eleven alone, and fifty appear in the Bay area. The most expensive zip code in the whole country is 94017, Atherton, CA. The median property sale price in 2020 was $7-million.