NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.
Vacation/Second Home Market Activity
US Second Home Sales Slide in Pandemic-Era Vacation Hot Spots (Reuters, Oct. 30, 2023)
“The market for second homes is dominated by wealthier buyers less sensitive to the jump in interest rates and the persistence of high home prices, but inventory remains a barrier.”
Where People Are Buying Second Homes – 2023 Edition (Nasdaq, Mar. 28, 2023)
- Only two Northeastern metro areas make the top 10, but they claim the top spots once again. The Ocean City, New Jersey and Barnstable Town, Massachusetts metro areas rank No. 1 and No. 2 and have done so for four editions of this study in tandem. Secondary mortgages account for more than 61% of all approved mortgages in both areas.
- One in four secondary homes was purchased in 31 metro areas. The largest of these is the North Port, Florida metro area, which is home to nearly 860,000 residents while the Ocean City, New Jersey metro area is the smallest with roughly 95,661 residents. Median home values in these areas range between $161,500 and $744,400.
- This metro area is one of the few non-coastal areas that ranked near the top of the list. The Flagstaff, Arizona metro area ranks No. 5 and secondary homes make up more than half of all mortgages (51.05%). For context, the median home value in the area is just under $394,000.
For Every Vacation-Home Fantasy, There Is a Harsh Financial Reality (Wall Street Journal, Sep. 12, 2022)
“Sales of second homes are way down from last year’s boom, dipping below prepandemic levels (February 2020) for the first time in two years, due in part to high prices and rising mortgage rates, said Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin.”
Vacation Home Counties Report
(National Association of REALTORS®
- In 2020, vacation home sales rose 16.4%, outpacing the growth in total existing-home sales of 5.6%.
- In 2020, the median existing-home sales price typically rose by 14.2% in vacation home counties, compared to 10.1% in non-vacation home counties.
- In 2020, the top 10 vacation home counties were in the states of Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and North Carolina.
Working With Vacation/Second Home Buyers
This Big-Ticket Purchase May Be A ‘Grenade in Your Otherwise Well-Planned Retirement,’ Advisor Warns (CNBC, Sep. 25, 2023)
“Those bigger purchases, if not done really deliberately and diligently, can almost end up being almost like a grenade in your otherwise well-planned retirement,” said Patrick McGinn, president of Retirement Resources Investment Corp. in Peabody, Massachusetts.
8 Things to Consider Before Buying a Vacation Home (U.S. News, Dec. 12, 2022)
- Weigh the pros and cons.
- Be prepared to take on more responsibility.
- Consider your lifestyle.
- What are your financial goals?
- Location is key.
- Work with an agent who specializes in buying vacation homes.
- Look at your rental options.
- Answer the question: Is now a good time to buy a vacation home?
I'm A Financial Planner, And There Are 3 Things I Always Tell Clients Before Buying A Vacation Home (Insider, Apr. 12, 2021)
How much use will the property get? How will it be financed? How will rental use be managed?
RSPS (Resort & Second-Home Property Specialist)
RSPS Certification (National Association of REALTORS®)
Find a RSPS Specialist (National Association of REALTORS®)
Resort Area and Second Home Specialty, (National Association of REALTORS®)
NAR Education Matrix—Resort and Second Home Markets, (National Association of REALTORS®)
eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
Buying a Second Home (eBook)
How a Second Home Can Be Your Best Investment (eBook)
Second Homes for Dummies (eBook)
The Complete Guide to Buying a Second Home or Real Estate in Mexico (Audiobook, eBook)
Books, Videos, Research Reports & More
As a member benefit, the following resources and more are available for loan through the NAR Library. Items will be mailed directly to you or made available for pickup at the REALTOR® Building in Chicago.
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
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