Real Estate

NAR: Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard have largest share of vacation properties

New Jersey’s Cape May and Lakes region of the Midwest are next on the list

Prices for vacation homes are rising faster than the rest of the market, the National Association of Realtors said in a report on Thursday.

The median sales price in vacation home counties rose 36% from 2013 to 2018 compared to 31% for all existing and new homes sold during the same period.

The report also listed the top 26 vacation home areas, measured as the U.S. counties with the largest percentage of seasonal or recreational homes. Massachusetts snagged the top two spots: Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, where 56% of homes were used as vacation housing.

Two areas were tied for No. 3, with 51% of the housing stock used for vacations: New Jersey’s Cape May and a collection of Colorado counties in the Rocky Mountains west of Denver: Grand, Summit Eagle, Jackson and Pitkin.

The north woods of Wisconsin was No. 5. In the area between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan – the combined counties of Vilas, Lincoln, Langlade, Forest and Oneida – 43% of housing was for vacation use, the NAR report said. The Michigan area between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron was No. 6, with 42% of its housing stock used for vacation homes.

For No. 7, it was back to Massachusetts. In Barnstable County, which means the collection of towns on Cape Cod, 41% of the housing stock is vacation homes.

No. 8 was in Missouri: the combined counties of Camden, Miller, Pulaski, and Morgan had a 40% vacation-home share.

When people think of buying or renting a vacation home, those aren’t the areas of the nation most people think about, said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

“Some people may visualize the common popular vacation destinations in the U.S. when considering a vacation home, such as counties in Florida or California,” said Yun. “Although those locations have their share of vacation properties, we see that some homeowners prefer some of the other counties, including those in Massachusetts and New Jersey. These areas are often known for harsh weather conditions, but are popular nonetheless.”

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