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Lake Living Leads in Vacation Home Purchases During the Pandemic

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Market Data + Trends

Lake Living Leads in Vacation Home Purchases During the Pandemic


December 2, 2020
Lakefront house
Photo: Iriana Shiyan

Waterfront living has been divided into two categories: oceanfront or lakefront living. Homes on the ocean have typically been the most popular choice for those looking for vacation homes, until now. MarketWatch says that the pandemic has caused more Americans to want safety, which means more distance from others and more space, especially outdoor space. One home-rental management company reported “lakefront vacation rentals” searches increased by three to four times the typical amount this summer. Another lakefront living seller said he had never seen so much interest in lakefront homes before this year. 

“’Sanctuary’ is the word people are using to describe the property they’re seeking,” said Nicole Watkins at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty in Moultonborough, N.H. “People want to socialize outdoors with extended family instead of flying somewhere,” said Watkins, who specializes in the sale of waterfront properties on Lake Winnipesaukee. She said lake homes in her region are often located on larger lots than you’d typically find in beach towns, providing space for pools, outdoor living rooms, gazebos and guest houses.

There’s also a growing perception, based on the new era of social distancing, that beaches have become too congested. “Some buyers are saying that beach towns are too dense. And when you go to the beach, it’s too crowded,” said Glenn Phillips, chief executive of Lake Homes Realty in Hoover, Ala. Traffic on his website has tripled since May, with what he called “feeding frenzy” activity from people looking at properties in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.

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