What are the top second home destinations so far in 2023?As we approach the midway mark of 2023, it's a great time to reflect on the current state of the second home market. Despite a fluctuating real estate landscape, people continue to enjoy the flexibility of a "work from anywhere" lifestyle, and are eager to live life to the fullest and park their money in a solid place.Let's dive into the data and explore the top 15 hottest second home markets in the United States thus far for 2023. These are the markets across the US that are seeing the biggest upticks in second home buying activity.
These are currently 2023’s top destinationsTo determine the top U.S. second home markets, Pacaso analyzed second home transaction data alongside second home value. Here are the 15 counties that have the largest number of transactions so far in 2023.Source: Pacaso analysis of Optimal Blue second home transaction data through May 3, 2023.“With the spring homebuying season well underway and nearing the mid-way point of the year, the housing market continues to face challenges with inventory hitting a pre-pandemic low, leading to rising home prices. However, despite the recent uptick in mortgage rates, potential homebuyers remain optimistic and are returning to the market, as seen in the increasing number of mortgage applications,” said Pacaso CEO and Co-Founder Austin Allison. “We took a look at second home transactions thus far in 2023 and it is no surprise that Florida dominates the list, with eight out of the 15 counties with the most second home transactions in 2023. The Sunshine State's beautiful beaches and laid-back lifestyle continue to be major draws for buyers."
Beach cities and warm-weather destinations attract second home buyersThree warm-weather counties saw the greatest number of second home transactions in 2023: Maricopa County, Arizona; Horry County, South Carolina; and Lee County, Florida. Maricopa County, where the average second home price is $679k, had the largest number of second home transactions. The county is home to the vibrant desert cities of Phoenix and Scottsdale that offer locals and second homeowners alike world-class golf, chef-driven restaurants, countless hiking trails and exciting entertainment like Waste Management Phoenix Open, SuperBowl LVII and MLB Spring Training for the San Francisco Giants (and thus has long been a popular vacation destination)Horry County takes the next spot on the list of top second home markets, and it's easy to see why. With the allure of Myrtle Beach, this county boasts the most affordable second home real estate on the list with an average second home value of only $375,000. Myrtle Beach is a beloved vacation destination with its 60 miles of stunning sandy beaches, exciting attractions and celebrity-designed golf courses.Rounding out the top three markets is Lee County, Florida. This county is likely on the list due to its county seat of Fort Myers located on the Gulf of Mexico, which is widely recognized and consistently ranked as one of the nation's top destinations for beachcombing, shelling, kayaking and bird watching. But did you know that Fort Myers has more sunshine hours than any other city in Florida, surpassing even Key West? On average, locals and visitors in Fort Meyers enjoy around 271 sunny days per year, while the U.S. average is just 205 sunny days. It's no wonder that second home buyers are drawn to Lee County.
Florida, Florida, Florida!Eight out of the 15 counties with the most second home transactions this year are in the Sunshine State. In addition to having the largest number of transactions, three Florida counties saw the year-over-year price appreciation for second home real estate: Manatee County, Broward County and Sarasota County. It looks like the warm weather, beaches and laid-back lifestyle are a major draw for buyers."During the pandemic, we saw Florida's real estate market boom as many Northeasterners and others escaped to the Sunshine State. Florida's pandemic boom is continuing, even though other states have cooled down. Areas like North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton are a little less expensive than other places in South Florida, but offer less density, low-rise buildings, and white-sand beaches. Additionally, for those looking to plant roots later in life, it's worth noting that Florida is also a popular destination for retirees,” continued Austin.Manatee County, which saw a whopping 27.7% year-over-year appreciation in the value of its second homes, is an attractive location for buyers due to its pristine beaches, mild weather and numerous outdoor recreational activities. With a rich cultural scene, excellent dining options and a relaxed lifestyle, Manatee County is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
Jersey Shore is a beachfront haven for dreamy luxury second homesUnlike affordable counties like Horry County, South Carolina (average second home price of $379,000) and Clark County, Nevada ($444,000 average), Cape May County in New Jersey has the highest priced second home real estate on this list. Located along the picturesque Jersey Shore, Cape May County has an average second home price of $989,000 but has been a beloved summer destination for East Coast residents for years. One of the county's most popular towns is Avalon, which sits at the northern end of the "7 Mile Island" and extends a mile farther east into the ocean than neighboring resorts. Known also as the "Cooler by a Mile" town, Avalon is a favorite among second home buyers seeking a refreshing coastal retreat.
Pacaso listing: Avalon — Avalon, NJ