Sales for vacation homes increased 16.4% in 2020 as many Americans worked remotely and fled high-density areas for more scenic lower-density areas. The National Association of Realtors’ recent report found sales increased by double digits in 2020 but soared 57.2% higher during the first quarter of 2021. Shutdowns due to the pandemic may have resulted in lower vacation home sales for 2020, says Realtor.com. More than half of the vacation homes sold this year went for all-cash, although median vacation home prices exceeded overall home price increases.
“Cash is king,” says Cororaton. “The housing market is just so tight that if you offer cash, you’re just putting a better deal out there and that’s increasing your chances of getting that home.”
However, vacation homes tended to stay on the market longer than homes in the rest of the country. That’s likely because they are often pricier properties, which can take longer to find buyers who can afford them. They sat for a median 59 days compared with 30 days in non-vacation home counties. It’s worth noting, though, these second or even third homes sold 13 days faster than the prior year.
Where are vacation-home buyers snatching up the most homes?
Buyers sought out beach and lake communities, primarily in the South along the East Coast. The top county was Lee County, home to Fort Myers and Cape Coral on Florida’s west coast. This was one of the state’s more affordable vacation destinations with a median list price for the county at $375,000 in May, according to the most recent Realtor.com® data. The price tag was just under the national median of $380,000.
Next up were Michigan’s Oscoda County, between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, with a median price of $165,000; Swain County, NC, at $399,000; Collier County, FL, home to Naples, with a median price of $649,000; and Dukes County, MA, home to Martha’s Vineyard, with a median price of $2.2 million.