Yun: Vacation Markets Expected to Stay Hot

Woman sitting in hanging chair in vacation home

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Since the pandemic began, vacation home sales have soared as Americans have looked for an alternate work-from-home space and a place to relax and spread out. That has prompted a vacation-town boom.

Vacation home sales have jumped 57% this year compared to 2020, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, told Marketplace that he expects the vacation-home market to stay elevated through the rest of the year. Many employers have chosen flexible work options that will continue to drive demand in the vacation-home market, he says.

But some of these vacation towns aren’t used to the rising number of year-round residents. Longtime full-time residents are complaining about increasing traffic, lack of parking, and crowded stores. Also, bidding wars for homes are driving up prices.

Buyers of vacation homes are more likely to pay with cash, a tactic that can give them an edge in today’s market. From January through the end of April 2021, all-cash sales rose to 53% of all vacation-home purchases compared to 22% of all-cash purchases for existing-home sales over that same period, according to NAR’s data.

NAR’s 2021 Vacation Home Counties Report identified the following top 10 counties for vacation-home sales:

  • Lee County, Fla.
  • Oscoda County, Mich.
  • Swain County, N.C.
  • Collier County, Fla.
  • Dukes County, Mass.
  • Alleghany County, N.C.
  • Garrett County, Md.
  • Barnstable County, Mass.
  • Alcona County, Mich.
  • Macon County, N.C.