Vacation-Home Sales Rise, Investment Sales Drop

Second-home sales were mixed in 2006, with the combined total of vacation- and investment-home sales accounting for 36 percent of all existing and new residential transactions - down from 40 percent of sales in 2005, according to the National Association of REALTORS.
NAR's annual Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey shows vacation-home sales rose 4.7 percent to a record 1.07 million in 2006 from 1.02 million in 2005, while investment-home sales fell sharply, down 28.9 percent to 1.65 million in 2006 from a record 2.32 million in 2005. By contrast, primary residence sales fell 4.1 percent to 4.82 million in 2006 from 5.02 million in 2005.
Twenty-two percent of all homes purchased last year were for investment, down from a 28 percent market share in 2005, while another 14 percent were vacation homes, up from a 12 percent share in 2005.
The report pegged typical vacation-home buyers as 44 years old, with median household incomes of $102,200. About 42 percent purchased vacation properties closer than 100 miles from their primary residence and 32 percent were 500 miles or more away. Some 79 percent said the primary reason for their vacation-home purchase was to use the home for vacations or as a family retreat. Other factors that influenced the buy include: 34 percent to diversify investments, 28 percent to use as a future home, 25 percent for the tax benefits, 22 percent for use by a family member or friend, 21 percent because they had extra money to spend and 18 percent to rent to others.
In terms of location, 29 percent of vacation homes were purchased in rural areas, 24 percent in resorts, 22 percent in a suburb and 10 percent in an urban area or central city. Sixty-seven percent were detached single-family homes, 21 percent condos, eight percent townhouses or rowhouses and four percent other.

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