(TNS)—Buckle up your snowshoes—South Lake Tahoe was the most popular city in the U.S. for people browsing real estate in 2021, according to Zillow.
Data analyses from the real estate company found homes for sale in the Sierra Nevada town were the most viewed in the country on its website this year, with nearly 5,500 views per listing.
While many of those views are just from online lookie-loos, Zillow analysts say some of the interest translates into actual sales.
“We think that people aren’t just dreaming when they’re searching,” said Amanda Pendleton, a home trends analyst for Zillow. “In South Lake Tahoe, they’re actually buying and that’s what’s driving home price appreciation.”
The methodology Zillow used to calculate popularity was based on views per home listing, available housing inventory and home price appreciation in recent years, among more specific variables for retirement and vacation homes.
South Lake Tahoe has long been a vacation destination for Bay Area residents who like the quick drive inland to hit the slopes or enjoy the deep blue waters of its namesake.
Housing production is chugging along in the Tahoe region despite concerns about wildfires. Nearly 1,500 new housing units were built from 2010 to 2020 in the area where evacuations took place during last summer’s Caldor Fire—most of the new homes going up in South Lake Tahoe area, according to a Chronicle analysis of real estate data.
Home values in the region rose 38% over the past year, double the national average, Pendleton said. The average home in South Lake Tahoe is valued at $692,792, by Zillow’s calculations.
Those prices are an indicator that people are actively trying to buy homes, not just scrolling real estate listings in their downtime, Pendleton said.
“If you’re seeing that kind of extreme appreciation, it’s an indicator you’re having multiple bidders on each listing that comes on the market, and that’s driving up prices,” she said.
Real estate searchers also flocked to listings for several Southern California locales.
The Los Angeles suburb of Calabasas—where celebrity homeowners have included the
Kardashians, Justin Bieber and Britney Spears—and Malibu were the No. 2 and No. 3 most popular places for home listings in the U.S., Zillow said.
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