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Douglas County home prices soaring in seller’s market

Kurt Hildebrand

The Record-Courier

Work is proceeding on a roundabout at Buckeye Road and Heybourne that will serve the project south of Buckeye.
Photo: Tara Addeo / The Record-Courier

GARDNERVILLE, Nev. — On Thursday, Oct. 15, of the 60 entry-level home listings in Douglas County, 48 were in escrow.

Nevada Board of Realtors President Elect Brad Spires said the market for entry level homes is very tight. Meanwhile, more expensive homes are in demand.

“Three years ago you couldn’t give away a million-dollar home,” he said. “There just wasn’t the demand.”

Spires said the migration from California has seen four dozen homes close at over $900,000 with 42 pending sales over that amount. He said he believes the county will see 100 sales before the end of the year, compared to 36 last year.

Spires said that low interest rates are buoying up the county’s market.

“That’s a huge part of it,” he said. “Interest rates are what’s helping folks continue to buy at the current rate.”

He said mortgage lenders are taking up to three months to get loans finalized because there are so many of them.

The average sales price of a Douglas County home shot upward by more than $200,000 in the third quarter, driving in part by a spike in Lake Tahoe homes.

According to numbers released by the Douglas County Assessor’s Office, the average sales price was $783,821, up from $580,384.

“There were 401 sales from July 1 to Sept. 30 and there was a huge jump in the median sales price from even last quarter,” Assessor Trent Tholen said. “I don’t know that we’ve seen anything like this before.”

The median home sales price during the quarter was $550,000, up from $427,000 in the previous quarter.

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The average sales price of a home in Carson Valley was $574,926 compared to $1.584 million at Lake Tahoe.

The quarter saw 318 Valley homes sold, the most since 2005.

Around 60 new single-family building permits were issued between July 1 and Sept. 30.

“The community continues to have a quality of life that makes people want to be here,” he said.

One thing that encourages Spires is seeing many Douglas High School and University of Nevada, Reno, coming back to the county.

“Of the Little League players I coached, eight of those kids are still living here or have come back, which is really, really neat,” he said. “That’s why we need housing affordable at every level.”

Spires takes over as president of the state board of Realtors effective Jan. 1, 2021, and says he will be heavily involved in the 2021 Legislature when it meets in February. He said this legislative session will be challenging the whole sate, not just one specific industry.

“We will be watching closely for new taxes and fees that could impact home ownership in Nevada,” Spires said “We at NVR will also be working to ensure that the state Real Estate Division continues to be funded at the necessary levels.”

Spires is a 30-year resident of Minden and has been an agent for RE/MAX Realty for most of that time.

He retired from the U.S. Air Force and joined the Civil Air Patrol, where he has achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Son Blaine is principal of Meneley Elementary School and son Chaz lives just a few blocks away in Minden.