Vacation, Resort, and Second Homes


In 2016, low housing inventory in 2016 impacted housing sales and prices across the nation. As inventory remained constrained, home prices increased. Also in 2016, the share of buyers who purchased a primary residence rose for the third year to 70 percent from 65 percent. The share of vacation home buyers declined for the third straight year to 12 percent from 16 percent. The share of investment buyers remained unchanged at 19 percent for the third straight year. The median vacation and investor home purchase price was higher in 2016 than in 2015. The typical price was $200,000 for vacation buyers, up from $192,000. Investors typically purchased a median-priced property of $155,000, up from $143,500. Thirty-six percent of investors and 29 percent of vacation buyers paid all-cash for their property purchase. When financing their purchase, 45 percent of vacation buyers and 47 percent of investors financed less than 70 percent of their purchase. The sales estimates are based on responses from nearly 2,099 U.S. adults who purchased a home in the last year. 

On this page, you will find information on the activity in the vacation/second home market as well as tips on working with the vacation/second home buyer. You'll also uncover a variety of resources available from the National Association in addition to updates on the RSPS certification.

Location of Primary Vacation & Investments Homes


We've already done the research for you.

Before you search elsewhere, take advantage of the research we've already done for you. Formerly known as Field Guides, References tabs contain links to external articles, titles from the NAR Library eBooks collection, websites, statistics, and other material to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives on each topic. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

Buyer Motivation and Expectations: ​Vacation Properties vs. Investment Properties

To use for vacations or as a family retreat

  • Vacation Properties - 42%
  • Investment Properties - 9%

For future retirement

  • Vacation Properties - 12%
  • Investment Properties - 18%

Low real estate prices/good deal

  • Vacation Properties - 12%
  • Investment Properties - 15%

Potential for price appreciation

  • Vacation Properties – 10%
  • Investment Properties – 16%

Low mortgage rates

  • Vacation Properties - 9%
  • Investment Properties - 8%

To generate income through renting property

  • Vacation Properties - 8%
  • Investment Properties - 37%


  • Vacation Properties - 1%
  • Investment Properties - 4%

Source: The 2017 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey can be ordered by calling 800-874-6500, or online. The report is free to NAR members and accredited media and costs $149.95 for non-members.

Vacation/Second Hom​e Market Activity

NAR Talking Points – How to Talk About the Second Home Market (National Association of REALTORS®, June 2017).

Florida, Texas and California – Top State Destinations Among Foreign Buyers in April 2016 – August 2017, (NAR Economist Commentaries, Apr. 26, 2017).

Vacation and Investment Home Sales, A Breakdown for 2017, (NAR Economist Commentaries, Apr. 26, 2017).

Vacation Sales Plunge, Investors Rise, (National Assocation of REALTORS®, Apr. 11, 2017).

Vacation Home Sales Plunged in 2016, as prices hit highest level in a decade, (CNBC, Apr. 11, 2017).

After a Very Good Year in 2016, the Vacation Property Market will Continue to Grow in Quebec in 2017, According to the QFREB, (Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards, Mar. 30, 2017). E

A Grander Version for Short Term Rentals, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, Mar. 2017).

You’ll be happiest in these 10 Locals, (National Association of REALTORS®, Mar. 9, 2017).

Second Home Residences on the Rise in Santa Fe, (Albuquerque Journal, Nov. 21, 2015). E

Perennial Vacation, Second Homes are Becoming the New Retirement Focus, (Alaska Airlines Magazine, July 6, 2015).

Vacation Home Rentals – Recent Tax Developments, (Tierra Grande, Feb. 11, 2015). E

Don’t give up on Millennials in the Housing Market, (Home Accents Today, Feb. 1, 2015). E

Vacation Homes Sizzle as Investment Homes Fizzle, (National Mortgage Professional, Oct. 14, 2014).

Vacation Home Sales Surge in 2013, Investment Property Declines, (National Association of REALTORS®, Apr. 2, 2014).

Tax Deductions for Vacation Homes, (HouseLogic, Dec. 21, 2012).

Working With Vacation/Second Home Buyers

What You Need to Know About Selling a Home in the Country, (RealtyTimes, Sept. 18, 2017).

Vacation Home Concept Grows North of Houston, (Houston Chronicle, Aug. 18, 2017).

Jersey Shore Aims Higher, (New York Times, June 18, 2017). E

Help Boomers Start Navigating Retirement, (National Assocation of REALTORS®, Feb. 24, 2017).

A Perk for Owners Near Football Stadiums, (National Association of REALTORS®, Nov. 8, 2016).

Vacation Home Tip Sheet, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, Mar. 2014).

Tax Rules for Vacation Home Sales, (Tierra Grande, Oct. 29, 2015). E

Second Home Buyers Still Relying on Family for Cash, (Daily Mail, Oct. 17, 2015). E

Who gets the Vacation Home?, (Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, May 1, 2015). E

The Master Series, Second Home Specialist John Resor, (REALTOR® Magazine, 2014).

Keeping Up With the R&R Crowd, (REALTOR® Magazine, May 2014).

RSPS (Resort & Second-Home Property Specialist)

RSPS Certification (National Association of REALTORS®, 2017).

Find a RSPS Specialist (National Association of REALTORS®, 2017).

Resort Area and Second Home Specialty, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2017).

NAR Education Matrix—Resort and Second Home Markets, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2017).

eBooks & Other Resources

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Buying a Second Home (Adobe EPUB and Adobe PDF)

The Complete Guide to Buying a Second Home or Real Estate in Mexico (Adobe PDF, Overdrive)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Investing in a vacation home for pleasure and profit, (Mason, OH: Thomson South-Western, 2006). HD 1341 B69

How a second home can be your best investment, (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2004). HD 1341 K28

REBAC roundtable 2004, volume II, resort, vacation and second home markets, (Chicago, IL: Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council, Inc., 2004). CD016

Making money from a second home: a practical guide to buying and managing a property for long lets, holiday lets or university accommodation, (United Kingdom: HowTo Books, Ltd., 2004). HD 1341 P26

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