Is the Second-Home Market Entering a Boom?


Since the start of the pandemic, second homes in drive-to destinations have risen in popularity, John Burns Real Estate Consulting reports.

Numerous second-home markets are showing a climb in sales. For example, the Sierra Tahoe MLS reported its highest residential dollar volume on record in July, a 200% annual increase. Pending home sales in Bend, Ore., also jumped 150% annually in July. On the opposite side of the country, in the popular second-home market of Rehoboth Beach, Del., sales also have doubled on an annual basis.

“The psychology of ‘you only live once,’ or YOLO, is driving the surge in second-home sales,” according to a recent article posted by John Burns Real Estate Consulting. “Households who may have otherwise waited have decided now is the time to buy, often using funds that would otherwise be allocated to more traditional vacation travel. Today’s buyers are showing more interest in lifestyle and use than rental potential and future appreciation.”

The firm reports that many second-home buyers—most notably those with young school-age children—are looking for properties that are less than four hours from their primary residence. “They desire a getaway to ‘invest in family,’ as well as a place of refuge for the future,” John Burns Real Estate Consulting notes.

Prior to the pandemic, second homes were considered more for a weekend getaway, but now homeowners may be looking at these properties to enjoy for longer periods of time. If parents are working remotely and children are learning remotely, the needs for that second home may be differing, too. With longer stays in mind, buyers of second homes may place greater emphasis on ensuring high-speed internet, home offices, and learning spaces for their children, John Burns Real Estate Consulting reports.

National Association of Realtors

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