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Lake Tahoe, Mountain House named 2 of the hottest neighborhoods for 2021

As the pandemic has shifted buyer's demands for home spaces, one of the Bay Area's favorite vacation destinations has cracked the list of the top 10 hottest neighborhoods for 2021.

Lake Tahoe, Calif., took the No. 1 spot this year, as median views per listing went up 280% year-over-year, according to Redfin. The company's annual list ranks U.S. zip codes by year-over-year growth in listing views on Redfin.com and Redfin Compete Score — a measure of how difficult it is to win a home based on factors including days on market, share of homes that sold above their listing prices and sale-to-list price ratio.

"The Lake Tahoe housing market is hotter than ever. People are coming from San Francisco in droves and they're bringing their Bay Area salaries with them — everyone here drives a Tesla now," Redfin real estate agent Jaime Moore said in a statement. "City folks have decided that if they have to work from home and shelter in place, they might as well do it in the mountains. In their mind, Lake Tahoe is affordable because they can buy a second home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms for $750,000. In the Bay Area, they'd be lucky to find a one-bedroom condo for that price."

The median sale price for a home in 96145 is $945,000, up 28% from the same time last year. Home sales overall are up 87% from the previous year, with 35% of homes selling above list price.

While many locations on the list were already sought-after vacation destinations, others are increasing in popularity due to their proximity to major metropolitan areas combined with reasonable prices. Mountain House, Calif., which took the No. 10 spot on the list, is just 60 miles from San Francisco and has a median sale price of $712,500 (up 23% from last year). Median views per listing were up 265% from the previous year and 79% of homes are selling above list price.

Redfin agent Ali Schneider said homes in Mountain House were already increasing in demand before the pandemic, largely due to the quality of schools and ability to get more space for your money. "The market is very competitive, in part because inventory is extremely scarce," she said in a statement. "To win a home in Mountain House, you basically have to remove all contingencies and offer $50,000 to $75,000 over the listing price. We had bidding wars before the pandemic, but buyers certainly didn't need to offer that much over asking to win."

Neither Lake Tahoe nor Mountain House were on the list for 2020, though Redfin did slightly tweak the methodology this year. The only town within driving distance of the Bay Area that made the top 10 last year was Old Town Rocklin, Calif.

"What stands out most about this year's top 10 list is that every place is either a vacation spot or a suburb," said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. "You've got people who have been dreaming about moving to Lake Tahoe, who thought they'd have to wait for retirement. But now they've learned they never need to return to the office, so they don't have to put it off anymore. And then there are families who have been living in cramped San Francisco apartments who want to stay in the Bay Area, but they're spending all their time at home, they need more space, and they're less concerned about a long commute. Mountain House offers more house for your money than San Francisco, plus the schools are top notch."

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