By Rachel Wulff

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) – While the pandemic has caused financial problems for many industries, it’s actually resulting in a real estate boom in the South Lake Tahoe area.

Real estate experts said prices in the area are up 10 percent in just the last six months.

An A-frame custom home under renovation in Heavenly can’t get on the market fast enough.

“We have had an offer and we have decided to get closer to the finish line in this market,” said builder Eric Bickert.

Bickert said he will wait to list the property to get the maximum return on his investment due to a recent spike in real estate sales.

“It is like nothing I have ever seen,” Bickert said.

“The phone hasn’t stopped ringing since two months ago,” said real estate agent Brandie Griffith with Realty World Lake Tahoe.

Griffith said already low inventory is being swiped up by buyers from places like the Bay Area. The price per square foot in the area is lower, there’s more space, scenic views and the pandemic has made those things a priority.

“When we have been given orders we are going to be staying home with our kids all year, they would rather do it somewhere outside their city limits so they are coming to the mountains for more outdoor recreation here,” Griffith said.

Griffith said normally a quarter of her company’s inventory is pending or in escrow. As of now, three-quarters of that inventory is.

“We are seeing multiple offers on properties that are listed – above asking price, which is not really our norm,” she said.

For example, a small cabin in the area needing a total remodel is expected to receive two dozen offers.

Of the 62 active listings, currently in South Lake Tahoe, 13 are up to $550,000, 18 are up to $950,000 and 32 are over $1 million.

“And those houses are selling for as fast as the $400K houses where people are not afraid to put the Money down on A second home,” she said.

Bickert said Tahoe has always been a hot market. The stay-at-home order and work-from-home culture are just more reasons to move there, he said.

“Many people have always wanted to be here, now they can be,” he said.

In August 2019. there were 86 homes pending in the area. This year, there are 187 homes pending.

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