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Top 25 Places to Buy a Vacation Home

August 19, 2021

Vacation homes are in demand since the pandemic, but which hot spots are consumers targeting that offer some of the best investment potential?

Vacasa, a vacation rental management platform, released its 2021 Top 25 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home report, identifying the top U.S. destinations for purchasing a vacation rental property. Among other factors, researchers factored in average cap rate or yearly rate of return in determining the rankings.

“Market conditions are always shifting, but the accelerated and lasting adoption of short-term rentals during the pandemic has had a clear impact on second-home sales,” said Shaun Greer, vice president of sales and marketing at Vacasa. “The spike in guest demand and preference for new, more remote destinations is changing where prospective buyers can find the best investment properties.”

Gatlinburg, Tenn., topped this year’s list, climbing four spots from 2020. Newcomer cities claimed more than half of the spots in 2021, including Deep Creek Lake, Md., Cle Elum, Wash., Litchfield Beach, S.C., and Twentynine Palms, Calif.

The following are the top 25 places to buy a vacation home in 2021, according to Vacasa’s rankings:

  1. Gatlinburg, Tenn.: $320,111 (median home sale price)
  2. St. Augustine, Fla.: $365,576
  3. Gulf Shores, Ala.: $402,905
  4. Dauphin Island, Ala.: $382,699
  5. Norris Lake, Tenn.: $343,907
  6. Blue Ridge, Ga.: $290,934
  7. Palm Springs, Calif.: $539,370
  8. Deep Creek Lake, Md.: $439,367
  9. Seaside, Ore.: $466,086
  10. Ludlow, Vt.: $346,950
  11. Big Bear, Calif.: $372,667
  12. Rockaway Beach, Ore.: $330,831
  13. Cle Elum, Wash.: $551,586
  14. Big Sky, Mont.: $850,000
  15. Twentynine Palms, Calif.: $263,897
  16. Killington, Vt.: $317,336
  17. Bear Lake, Utah: $383,734
  18. Litchfield Beach, S.C.: $499,259
  19. Pagosa Springs, Colo.: $361,320
  20. Banner Elk, N.C.: $331,290
  21. St. George Island, Fla.: $471,501
  22. Ellijay, Ga.: $281,402
  23. Florissant, Colo.: $367,000
  24. Corolla, N.C: $608,953
  25. Holden Beach, N.C.: $580,847

View more information on each place as well as the cap rates at vacasa.com.

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