Buyers bounce back into vacation home market

Julie C. Nichols General

HousingWire.com – Ben Lane

Buyers are back in the vacation home market at a rate not seen since 2006. Vacation home sales accounted for 13% of all home sales transactions last year, their highest market share since 2006. Vacation home sales jumped 29.7% to an estimated 717,000 in 2013, up from 553,000 in 2012, according to the National Association of Realtors 2014 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey. “Growth in the equity markets has greatly benefited high net-worth households, thereby providing the wherewithal and confidence to purchase recreational property,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.

“However, vacation-home sales are still about one-third below the peak activity seen in 2006.” While the rate of vacation home purchases was on the rise in 2013, the rate of investment homes fell 8.5% to an estimated 1.1 million in 2013. That’s down from the 1.21 million investment homes purchased in 2012. Yun said the pullback in investment activity is understandable. “Investment buyers slowed their purchasing in 2013 because prices were rising quickly along with a declining availability of discounted foreclosures over the course of the year,” he said.

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