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Housing Data

Introduction

Housing affordability in Basin is a major concern due to the lower wage incomes and housing price increases in the past few years. The lack of workforce housing is having a significant impact on employers’ ability to recruit workers to support business expansion. Real estate professionals also report that very few younger local families are able to purchase homes and must wait years for their income to increase to make a housing purchase feasible.

Percent of population able
to afford median
house price

Housing affordability in Basin is a major concern due to the income and housing price statistics just described. The lack of workforce housing is having a significant impact on employers’ ability to recruit workers to support business expansion. Real estate professionals also report that very few younger local families are able to purchase homes and must wait years for their income to increase to make a housing purchase feasible. This chart provides an analysis of the proportion of households that could afford the median priced home in 2015 in several of the major markets within the region. The analysis reflects the standard policy threshold that housing costs should not exceed 30 percent of household income. The monthly housing costs reflect current mortgage terms for home purchase as well as allowances for taxes and insurance. A balanced housing market would mean that 50 percent of households could afford to buy a median priced home. However, as shown in the table, the proportion of households who can afford the median priced single family home in their area range from 25 percent in South Shore to 10 percent in the East Shore area. The Basin-wide average is 21 percent. The values for condos are closer to the desired ratio, ranging from 41 percent in Incline Village to 32 percent in the East Shore and Basin-wide, except in the Homewood/Tahoma area where some condos are priced very high.

Notes:

  • Housing cost based on 30 yr mortgage at 3.5% APR, 10% down payment, plus 1.5% for taxes/insurance.Housing costs equal 30% of qualifying income.
  • Income based on US Census ACS 5-Year 2011-2015 Sample Tables B19001 and B25095
  • Source: ADE, Inc., based on data in Tables A-28-A29 and A- 26.2 

Percent of population able to afford median house rent

Rental housing is much more affordable for households throughout the region. All of the markets for which data could be obtained show well over 50 percent of households are able to pay median rent. It is clear that the workforce in the Tahoe Basin is disproportionately housed in rental housing and has fewer ownership opportunities. This is an issue for the upward mobility prospects of the workers and their families.

Notes: Source: ADE, based on ACS data for household income distribution and median contract rent, 2015.

Percent of population able to afford median house rent

Rental housing is much more affordable for households throughout the region. All of the markets for which data could be obtained show well over 50 percent of households are able to pay median rent. It is clear that the workforce in the Tahoe Basin is disproportionately housed in rental housing and has fewer ownership opportunities. This is an issue for the upward mobility prospects of the workers and their families.

Notes: Source: ADE, based on ACS data for household income distribution and median contract rent, 2015.

Percent of population able
to afford median
house rent

Rental housing is much more affordable for households throughout the region. All of the markets for which data could be obtained show well over 50 percent of households are able to pay median rent. It is clear that the workforce in the Tahoe Basin is disproportionately housed in rental housing and has fewer ownership opportunities. This is an issue for the upward mobility prospects of the workers and their families.

Notes: Source: ADE, based on ACS data for household income distribution and median contract rent, 2015.

Second Home Ownership Rates

Historically, the Tahoe Basin has seen a high rate of second home ownership, from about half to nearly two- thirds of the housing stock depending on the County. Based on more current data, these rates have been increasing , which is consistent with the loss of Basin population during the 2000’s. In 2017, Douglas County has showed an increase of absentee ownership from 54 percent to 56 percent but Washoe County had a much larger increase from 60 to 70 percent. El Dorado County has the highest share, at 78 percent, but this has remained steady since 2015. The City of South Lake Tahoe reports that about 12 percent of the housing stock is officially listed as vacation rentals, but 56 percent of units are rental vs. ownership housing. Placer County data does not reflect a consistent geographic base through the years but the most recent data is concentrated in the Tahoe Basin area and shows a much higher absentee ownership rate. With so many absentee owners, this reduces social cohesion and has implications for the level of local support of community services, including hospitals. When more than half the homes are not primary residents, this results in fewer dollars spent at local businesses, less sales tax dollars and less community and civic engagement, when compared to full-time residents.

Notes: Source: 2003 data: TRPA as reported in the Lake Tahoe Basin Prosperity Plan; 2015 and 2017 data: supplied by County Assessors.

[a] Placer County data for 2017 reflects areas within the Tahoe Basin, while earlier years include areas north of the Basin such as the Donner Lake Area.

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