Second Homes Grow in Demand Among Luxury Buyers

June 25, 2020

The luxury housing market rebounded with force in May, outpacing the rest of the market in price growth and listing views online, according to realtor.com®’s Luxury Housing Report. Second home markets are garnering particular attention from this sector of buyers.

Home buyers appear to be shifting their focus from dense, urban metros to smaller, less populated areas and second-home markets.

“Unlike prior downturns, the luxury market is leading the recovery,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “Stay at home orders and social distancing have put a new value on the extra space. We’re seeing this in the luxury market as well, which could mean there is renewed interest from high-end buyers to find a second home that is within driving distance from their primary residence.”

Three second-home markets ranked among the top five overall luxury markets with the largest increases in listing views in May—Suffolk County, N.Y., home to The Hamptons; Palm Springs in Riverside County, Calif.; and Greenwich in Fairfield County, Conn. Online views of luxury properties jumped 56% in The Hamptons, 28% in Palm Springs, and by 24% in Greenwich compared to January, prior to the pandemic, realtor.com® reports.

Overall, online views for million-dollar homes nationwide increased 7.3% annually, outpacing its 6.2% growth prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, home price growth in the upper tier is outpacing the overall housing market, realtor.com® reports.

Housing shortages remain an obstacle that could stymie growth in the sector moving forward. Inventories of million-dollar listings fell 15.6% annually in May. However, luxury sellers are showing some signs of reemerging on the market with new listings, realtor.com® notes.

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