Vacation Home Sales Surges During Pandemic

Vacation home sales have been surging during the pandemic, according to NAR’s recently released 2021 Vacation Home Counties Report. In 2020, vacation home sales rose by 16.4%, outpacing the 5.6% growth in total existing-home sales. Vacation home sales have continued to pick up during January-April 2021, rising by 57.2% year-over-year, more than twice the 20% growth in total existing-home sales during the same period. The share of vacation home sales to total existing-home sales has increased to 6.7% in the first four months of 2021, up from a 5% share in 2019.

The surge in the demand for vacation homes has occurred during the pandemic when people are able to work from home, students are schooled virtually, people are taking safety precautions and staying away from crowded areas, and with urban-based recreation limited by social distancing regulations.

Vacation Home Counties Outperform Non-vacation Home Counties

Vacation home counties are outperforming non-vacation home counties in terms of sales pace, price appreciation, and how much faster the homes are selling on the market, according to NAR’s analysis of 145 vacation home counties and 1,060 non-vacation home counties.1

Existing-home sales typically rose by 24.2% on average in vacation home counties, more than double the 11.2% annual pace in non-vacation home counties.2

Home prices rose at a stronger pace in vacation home counties. The median existing-home sales price typically rose by 14.2% in vacation home counties, compared to 10.1% in non-vacation home counties.

Properties typically stayed longer on the market in vacation home counties at 59 days, compared to 30 days in non-vacation home counties, in 2020. However, the time to sell a home in vacation home counties has sped up more than in non-vacation home counties. In 2020, properties in vacation home counties typically sold more quickly by 13 days compared to eight days in non-vacation home counties.