Sales of vacation homes jumped nearly 8 percent last year across the U.S., according to a report released Wednesday from the National Association of Realtors.
Buyers purchased 553,000 vacation homes in 2009, compared to 513,000 the previous year.
The median sales price jumped to $169,000 from $150,000 in 2008.
“The higher vacation home price may reflect increased sales in higher-priced markets, particularly in areas of Florida and California where prices became highly attractive for buyers over the past year,” said Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist.
Half of all vacation homes last year were purchased in the south, compared to 21 percent in the West, 17 percent in the Midwest and 12 percent in the Northeast. Seven out of 10 were detached single-family homes.
The typical vacation-home buyer last year was 46 years old, had a median household income of $87,500 and purchased a property that was a median distance of 348 miles from his or her primary residence.
Three out of 10 vacation-home buyers paid cash for their properties in 2009.
An association analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data concluded the nation has nearly 8 million vacation homes and 41 million investment units and 75 million owner-occupied homes. The investment units typically were purchased to generate rental income and were a median distance of only 24 miles from the buyer’s home.
— Robert Digitale