Key Highlights

  • Second-home purchases up +46% and 6% of mortgages in Q1 2021 compared to one year ago
  • Most of destinations on new hotspots list more affordable and typically near mountains/water

Second-Home Purchases Up Substantially from Last Year

Second-home purchases increased some +46% around the country from January through March in 2021 compared to Q1 in 2020, according to realtor.com.  Second-home purchases also represented a 6% share of mortgages during this same period.

New Second Home Hotspots Emerging

In using this data on second-home purchases, realtor.com discovered “new” second-home destination locations…locations that are relatively affordable…locations that are typically close to the water or to the mountains…locations that are accessible and relatively close to cities.

According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist with realtor.com, “The pandemic has underscored for many people the idea that it’s nice to have a place to go to.  If you can afford it, a second home that gives you an alternate place to retreat.”

Methodology Matters with This New Research on Second-Home Purchases

Realtor.com solicited the help of the real estate analytics firm Optimal Blue to evaluate mortgage data on second-home purchases during Q1 2021.

Consider that many who purchased second-homes prior to the pandemic purchased second-homes (and still do) with cash rather than mortgages.

Therefore, this new research on second-home destination locations reflects the buyers who used mortgages in order to buy their second-home.  No typically super-rich playgrounds such as Aspen or The Hamptons are found on this Q1 2021 “new” list of second-home hotspots.

Consider that realtor.com filtered out any area that had less than 100 loan originations.  Also consider that Realtor.com intended to ensure geogra[hic diversity by limiting one area per state on this new second-home hotspot list.

Newest Vacation-Home Hotspots according to realtor.com

  1. Marion NC
    1. Median home price end of Q1 2021: $344,500
    2. Increase in 2nd-home sales %: +21.8%
  2. Sturgis MI
    1. Median home price: $187,900
    2. Increase in 2nd-home sales %: 21.8%
  3. Brainerd MN
    1. Median home price: $329,900
    2. Increase in 2nd-home sales %: 21.8%
  4. Ruston LA
    1. Median home price: $242,000
    2. Increase in 2nd-home sales %; 19.4%
  5. Hudson NY
    1. Median home price: $595,000
    2. Increase in 2nd-home sales %: +18.7%
  6. Kapaa HI
    1. Median home price: $918,500
    2. Increase in 2nd-home sales %: +17%
  7. Edwards CO
    1. Median home price: $534,500
    2. Increase in 2nd-home sales %: +16.6%
  8. Branson MD
    1. Median home price: $256,200
    2. Increase in 2nd-home sales %: +16.5%
  9. Wisconsin Rapids WI
    1. Median home price: $162,450
    2. Increase in 2nd-home sales %: +14.8%
  10. Barnstable Town MA
    1. Median home price: $759,950
    2. Increase in 2nd-home sales %: +14.2%

For some of the pricier locations on this list, some buyers, according to Jack Cotton, a realtor with Sotheby’s International Realty in Massachusetts,“…want their own resort.  Privacy used to be at the top of the list; now (since COVID) it’s been supplanted by elbow room.”

 

Thanks to realtor.com and Optimal Blue.

 

*Also on this week’s calendar, there are two additional pieces on second- or vacation- homes, “Great Locations for Rental Properties” and “Property Owners Predicting a ‘Bonkers’ Summer.”

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