Seventy-eight percent of all second-home buyers said it was a good time to buy, compared with 68 percent of primary residence buyers. "This suggests that second-home buyers tend to be a step ahead of general buyers in sensing a market recovery," Yun said.
The typical vacation-home buyer was 47 years old, had a median household income of $92,100 and purchased a property that was a median distance of 435 miles from their primary residence; 34 percent of vacation homes were within 100 miles and 46 percent were more than 500 miles. Buyers plan to own their recreational property for a median of 10 years.
Lifestyle factors remain the primary motivation for vacation-home buyers, while rental income is the main factor in investment purchases.
Buyers listed many reasons buyers for purchasing a vacation home: 80 percent want to use the property for vacations or as a family retreat, 27 percent plan to use it as a primary residence in the future, 23 percent plan to rent to others and 23 percent wanted to diversify their investments or saw a good investment opportunity.
Fifty-five percent of investment buyers said they purchased for rental income, 30 percent wanted to diversify their investments or saw a good investment opportunity, and 20 percent wanted to use the home for vacations or as a family retreat.
Eleven percent of vacation buyers and 16 percent of investment buyers purchased the property for a family member, friend or relative to use, often for a son or daughter to use while attending school.
Forty-five percent of vacation homes purchased last year were in the South, 25 percent in the West, 17 percent in the Northeast and 12 percent in the Midwest.
Thirty-six percent of investment properties purchased last in the South, 28 percent in the West, 20 percent in the Northeast and 16 percent in the Midwest.
Forty-seven percent of investment buyers said they were likely to purchase another investment property within two years, as did 37 percent of vacation-home buyers. Twenty-nine percent of vacation buyers said they were likely to purchase another vacation home within two years, as did 31 percent of investment buyers.
Approximately 42.8 million people in the U.S. are ages 50-59 - a group that dominated second-home sales in the middle part of the past decade and established records. An additional 43.1 million people are 40-49 years old, which is the prime age for current buyers, while another 40.1 million are 30-39.
NAR's analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows there are 7.9 million vacation homes and 43.7 million investment units in the U.S., compared with 75.2 million owner-occupied homes.
NAR's 2013 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, conducted in March 2013, includes answers from 2,326 usable responses about homes purchased during 2012. The survey controlled for age and income, based on information from the larger 2012 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, to limit any biases in the characteristics of respondents.
The 2013 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey can be ordered by calling 800-874-6500, or online at www.realtor.org/prodser.nsf/Research. The report is free to NAR members and costs $149.95 for non-members.
The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. For additional commentary and consumer information, visit www.houselogic.com and http://retradio.com.
*Vacation homes are recreational property purchased primarily for the buyer's (or their family's) personal use, while investment homes are residential property purchased primarily to rent to others, or to hold for other financial or investment purposes.
Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. News releases are posted in the website's "News, Blogs and Videos" tab. Statistical data in this release, as well as other tables and surveys, are posted in the "Research and Statistics" tab.
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