Second-Home Buyers Expand Hot Spot Lists

May 2, 2016

Over the last decade, home prices in some of the top vacation home markets have skyrocketed.

The median vacation home price nationally last year was $192,000 – up a whopping 28 percent from 2014, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

That has put some popular vacation home markets out of reach for a growing number of buyers. As such, some second-home buyers are turning to “lower-priced” markets that have seen less price appreciation over the past decade.

The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted some second-home destination alternatives currently growing in popularity:

  • Hamptons to Bellport: Instead of the Hamptons, where it can be difficult to find a home for under $2 million, some second-home buyers are considering Bellport, a village on Long Island’s Great South Bay. The village also has an ocean beach. The median sales price for a luxury Bellport home (defined as the top 10 percent of all homes for sale) in 2015 was $746,050, a 12 percent increase from 2005, according to® data. For comparison, in East Hampton, the median sales price for a luxury home was $2.3 million in 2015, a 15 percent increase from 2005.
  • Aspen to Sun Valley: Idaho’s Sun Valley is becoming a growing alternative to second-home buyers. It’s less developed than other luxury ski resorts like Aspen, Colo., or Jackson Hole, Wyo., but second home buyers are finding their money can stretch further. Home prices in Sun Valley are about a third of what they are in Aspen, says Sue Engelmann, a real estate professional with Sun Valley Sotheby’s International Realty.
  • Palm Beach to Sarasota, Fla.: Palm Beach and Miami offer up some of the world’s most pricey real estate. But real estate professionals say second-home buyers can still find deals in Sarasota, where waterfront homes go for a “fraction of the cost,” says Rick Moeser with Christie’s International Real Estate. Home prices in Sarasota are still recovering from the real estate downturn in the mid-2000s. The median sales price for a luxury home in Sarasota was $652,508 in 2015, a 3 percent decrease from 2005, according to® data. On the other hand, the sales price for a luxury home in Palm Beach was $3.15 million, a 19 percent increase from 2005.

Read more about growing second-home alternative markets in The Wall Street Journal.

Source: “Get More for Your Vacation-Home Dollar,” The Wall Street Journal (April 28, 2016)