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Vacation Home Sales Surge in 2013, Investment Property Declines

Media Contact: Walter Molony / 202-383-1177 / Email

WASHINGTON (April 2, 2014) – “Vacation home sales rose strongly in 2013, while investment purchases fell below the elevated levels seen in the previous two years, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

NAR’s 2014 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, covering existing- and new-home transactions in 2013, shows vacation-home sales jumped 29.7 percent to an estimated 717,000 last year from 553,000 in 2012. Investment-home sales fell 8.5 percent to an estimated 1.10 million in 2013 from 1.21 million in 2012. Owner-occupied purchases rose 13.1 percent to 3.70 million last year from 3.27 million in 2012. The sales estimates are based on responses from households and exclude institutional investment activity.

Vacation-home sales accounted for 13 percent of all transactions last year, their highest market share since 2006, while the portion of investment sales fell to 20 percent in 2013 from 24 percent in 2012.

Buyers listed many reasons for purchasing a vacation home:  87 percent want to use the property for vacations or as a family retreat, 31 percent plan to use it as a primary residence in the future, 28 percent wanted to diversify their investments or saw a good investment opportunity, 23 percent plan to rent to others and 22 percent intend it for use by a family member, friend or relative.

Forty-one percent of vacation homes purchased last year were in the South, 28 percent in the West, 18 percent in the Northeast and 14 percent in the Midwest.”

*”Vacation homes are recreational property purchased primarily for the buyer’s (or their family’s) personal use, while investment homes are residential property purchased primarily to rent to others, or to hold for other financial or investment purposes.”

National Association of REALTORS®.