Buyers are snatching up second homes from coast to coast

Published Date: January 6, 2023

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The pandemic era will surely be remembered as a time of adaptation. We’ve dramatically altered the way we work, live, shop and travel, and those rapid shifts have been accompanied by anxiety-inducing economic swings. Despite this change and uncertainty, however, real estate has remained remarkably strong — particularly the second home market. After the economy took a dive in March 2020, real estate quickly rebounded and continues to exceed expectations. Low interest rates have spurred home sales overall, but remote work has also enabled a “pandemic migration.” As of October 2020, a third of Americans were still working from home, and a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that about 44% of workers have jobs that can be performed remotely (that number jumps to 67% for those with a Bachelor’s degree). Recognizing this opportunity, many major employers have extended telework options, some permanently. 

Demand for second homes is spiking

Untethered from daily commutes, some people have chosen to move their primary residence, while others have opted to purchase a second home where they can work or vacation without uprooting their life. A Redfin analysis found that buyer demand for second homes was up a whopping 100% in October 2020 compared to a year earlier — and it wasn’t a one-time surge. In fact, the second home market trend has been steady since June. According to the data, the increase in demand for second homes outpaced the demand for primary homes by 50% — an impressive statistic given the hot market for primary homes.

Seasonal destinations see big price jumps

Where are second home buyers looking? Homes in desirable vacation towns across the U.S. have been in high demand, with median sale prices up 21% in seasonal locations between October 2019 and October 2020, according to Redfin. While popular areas like Palm Springs in the West and Cape Cod in the East are seeing a lot of buyer interest, demand is trending up throughout the country, particularly in resort areas near major cities. The analysis pointed to Lake Geneva, WI, as an example of a new second home destination: An easy drive from both Milwaukee and Chicago, the town is a welcome change of pace for those who want to get away but are limited by travel restrictions or safety concerns. 

What does the future hold? 

While vaccines and treatments for Covid-19 will help usher out the pandemic, more flexible work arrangements are almost certainly here to stay. Being able to work from anywhere has transformed second home ownership into a feasible option with greater appeal than a hotel or vacation rental, providing the ease and enjoyment of a vacation with the security and comfort of a home away from home. And, with air travel still questionable for many, a second home feels like a safe and luxurious choice.    The market is booming, and Pacaso is uniquely positioned to make second home ownership more attainable, while removing many of the hassles. View our listings, and start to imagine a whole new way of thinking about “work-life balance.”

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Amie Fisher

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