The 2019 Vacation Home Counties Report by the National Association of REALTORS® (NA) gave us some surprises about locations and prices of vacation properties in the US. Let’s look first at locations.

NAR measured the top 26 vacation areas by analyzing the counties with the largest percentage of seasonal and or recreational homes.

  • Massachusetts nabbed the 1st and 2nd spots with Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. 56% of homes in these counties are vacation homes.
  • New Jersey and Colorado tied for 3rd Cape May County in NJ is home to 51% vacation properties. The Rocky Mountain counties west of Denver (Grand, Summit Eagle, Jackson and Pitkin) also claim 51% vacation properties.
  • Wisconsin claimed the 5th spot with the counties between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. These counties combined (Oneida, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln and Vilas) were home to 43% vacation properties.
  • Michigan took the 6th spot with the counties of Roscommon, Ogemaw, Gladwin, Iosco, and Arena between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan having 43% vacation properties.
  • Massachusetts also came in 7th at 42% with a collection of towns on Cape Cod in Barnstable County being ground zero for vacation properties.
  • Missouri’s combined counties of Camden, Miller, Pulaski, and Morgan came in 8th place with 40% vacation properties.
  • Minnesota’s Aitkin, Itasca, and Cass Counties’ 38% of vacation properties landed the state in 9th

As you can see, many homeowners prefer to own their vacation properties in the Midwest, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

Prices for vacation properties in the US increased +36% from 2013-2018, according to NAR’s latest home vacation report. This +36% is higher than the +31% price increase for all existing and new homes sold during this same period of time.

Using property records data from Black Knight, NAR found that the median sales price was usually less than $100,000 in the least expensive markets in Maine, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina, Vermont, Florida, California, Georgia, South Carolina, Arizona, Idaho and Oregon in 2018.

The most expensive vacation property markets included:

  • Nantucket as the most expensive with a median sales price of $1M. Nantucket was followed by Dukes County and Martha’s Vineyard in Barnstable County.
  • The Colorado Counties mentioned above.
  • The Florida counties of Naples and the Florida Keys.
  • California counties near Yosemite.
  • Arizona’s Coconino County that includes the Grand Canyon.

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