The National Association of REALTORS recently published its 2013 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, which covered existing and new home transactions for 2012—specifically all transactions related to vacation homes. Vacation home sales are continuing to rise this year. Last year vacation home sales rose by 10.1.

Vacation home sales made up 11% of all new home transactions last year. The median home price of vacation homes sold rose significantly by 20%. “We had a strong stock market recovery, which helps more people in the prime ages for buying vacation homes. Attractively priced recreational property is also a big draw,” said NAR Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun.

Many buyers purchased vacation homes as second-homes. Approximately 29% of vacation buyers said they are very likely to purchase another vacation home in the next two years. Of all vacation homes purchased, 45% were in the South, 25% in the West and just 17% and 12% in the Northeast and Midwest, respectively.

Lifestyle factors remain the primary motivation for vacation and second-home buyers. 78% of all vacation home buyers felt it was a great time to buy. 80% of these buyers plan to use their homes for vacationing with family. 27% expect to use their vacation home as a primary residence at some point in the future. 23% of these second-home buyers also plan to rent out their vacation home to others.

Last year the typical vacation home buyer was between 40 and 49 years old. 50-59 year olds were second likeliest to purchase vacation homes, and those with those 30 and 39 years old were the third likeliest. The typical vacation home buyer is 47 years old, with a median household income of $92,100.

Last year, the average vacation home buyer purchased their second-home within 435 miles of their primary residence. 34% of vacation homes were within 100 miles of homeowners’ primary residences, and 46% were more than 500 miles away. The average vacation home owner plans to maintain ownership of their vacation home for at least 10 years.

Source: The National Association of REALTORS

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