Second Place – Part I

A national and local look at how the vacation- and second-home market is faring. By Gayle Bennett – Reprinted from The Real Estate Specialist

Last year was a banner year for second-home sales, which traced a steep incline in the upward trend line that has been lengthening since the housing recovery began.

200_320_Grant_Wood_American_GothiccoolNationally, an estimated 1.13 million vacation homes were sold last year, a 57.4 percent increase from 2013, according to National Association of REALTORS® 2015 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey. The overall share of vacation-home sales also grew dramatically, to 21 percent compared with 13 percent in 2013. These numbers are the highest since NAR began conducting the survey in 2003.

NAR attributes this market’s growth to baby boomers, who have benefited from consecutive years of strong stock and housing markets since the recession. The bulk of this demographic sees retirement in the not-too-distant future, and many are buying vacation homes that will soon become their primary residences.

According to the NAR second-home survey, 40 percent of vacation buyers purchased homes in a beach area, 19 percent in the country and 17 percent in the mountains. The Residential Specialist asked CRSs who cover each of those areas to share how their markets have changed since the downturn, describe their typical buyers and predict how they think the year will shake out.