The pandemic caused many people to try to grab more enjoyment from life, as evidenced by the latest vacation home counties report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). In 2020, vacation home sales rose by 16.4%, outpacing the overall growth in existing-home sales of 5.6%, and in 2021, vacation home sales increased 57.2% year-over-year compared to the 20% year-over-year growth in total existing-home sales.
Median existing-home sale prices in vacation counties, those areas where at least 20% of homes are purchased for seasonal, occasional or recreational use, increased 14.2% compared to 10.1% in non-vacation home counties.
What’s driving the trend? Many workers are able to work from home and think why not telecommute from a vacation destination? People who moved to vacation home counties increased from 78,114 in 2019 to 98,279 in 2020.
Vacation homebuyers tend to be older and have more income, according to NAR’s report on generational home buying. Buyers aged 40 to 54 had the highest household incomes with buyers aged 66-95 purchasing the most vacation homes.
If you’re planning to buy a vacation home, consider the following:
- Can you carry mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, etc. for two homes?
- Do you plan to use the home exclusively or rent it out part of the time?
- How often will you be able to use your vacation home?
- Will you take care of the property or hire a property manager?
- What are your long-range goals and exit plan for your second home?