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Who Buys Source

A survey by the National Association of Realtors determined that the typical vacation-home buyer in 2011 was 50 years old, and earned a median household income of $88,600.

NAR, 2012

Based on a survey by the National Association of Realtors, the median age of an investment property owner in 2011 was 50, with an income of $86,100.

NAR, 2012

Profiling adults 18+ whose household owns real estate property as an investment, along with those individuals whose household has acquired a vacation/second home:

GfK MRI, 2011

Of those adults 18+ whose household owns real estate property as an investment, 51.7% are men and 48.3% are women.

GfK MRI, 2011

Adults 18+ whose household owns investment real estate property, by age group: 18-24, 6.5%; 25-34, 12.2%; 35-44, 18.3%; 45-54, 25.6%; 55-64, 21.7%; 65+, 15.7%.

GfK MRI, 2011

Adults 18+ whose household owns real estate property as an investment, by income level: $100,000+, 48.6%; $75-99,999, 20.1%; $60-74,999, 10.1%; $50-59,999, 6.6%; $40-49,999, 4.4%; $30-39,999, 4.5%; $20-29,999, 3.0%; under $20,000, 2.7%.

GfK MRI, 2011

Adults 18+ whose household owns investment real estate property, by race: White, 83.8%; Black, 5.4%; Other, 10.8%; Hispanic origin, 9.3%.

GfK MRI, 2011

Adults 18+ whose household owns real estate property as an investment, by region: Northeast, 15.3%; Midwest, 20.1%; South, 35.9%; West, 28.7%.

GfK MRI, 2011

Adults 18+ whose household owns investment real estate property, by marital status: Single, 15.8%; Married, 70.9%; separated/widowed/divorced, 13.3%.

GfK MRI, 2011

Of those adults 18+ whose household has a vacation/second home, 51.5% are women and 48.5% are men.

GfK MRI, 2011

Adults 18+ whose household owns a vacation/second home, by age range: 18-24, 5.1%; 25-34, 6.3%; 35-44, 15.4%; 45-54, 22.2%; 55-64, 26.2%; 65+, 24.8%.

GfK MRI, 2011

Adults 18+ whose household has acquired a vacation/second home, by income bracket: $100,000+, 48.6%; $75-99,999, 15.5%; $60-74,999, 11.4%; $50-59,999, 7.6%; $40-49,999, 5.4%; $30-39,999, 4.8%; $20-29,999, 3.8%; under $20,000, 2.9%.

GfK MRI, 2011

Adults 18+ whose household owns a vacation/second home, by race: White, 88.6%; Black, 4.9%; Other, 6.5%; Hispanic origin, 6.3%.

GfK MRI, 2011

Adults 18+ whose household has a vacation/second home, by region: Northeast, 22.1%; Midwest, 21.7%; South, 36.1%; West, 20.1%.

GfK MRI, 2011

Adults 18+ whose household owns a vacation/second home, by marital status: Single, 12.7%; married, 74.6%; separated/widowed/divorced, 12.7%.

GfK MRI, 2011

When They Buy Source

According to research by the National Association of Realtors, consumers who bought vacation homes in 2011 planned to keep their properties for a median of 10 years. Investment buyers expected to keep their properties for a median of 5 years.

NAR, 2012

Why They Buy Source

According to a 2012 survey by HomeAway, Inc., the most frequently-mentioned reasons for buying a vacation home in the past year: Low real estate prices, 33%; desire for a family retreat, 30%; low mortgage rates, 13%; for future retirement, 11%; potential for price appreciation, 8%; other, 5%.

HomeAway, Inc., 2012

A 2012 survey by the National Association of Realtors identified the top reasons for buying a vacation home (multiple answers): To use the property themselves for vacations, or as a family retreat, 82%; to use as a primary residence in the future, 30%; to rent to others, 22%; for use by a family member, friend or relative, 16%.

National Association of Realtors, 2012

According to the National Association of Realtors, the primary reasons for purchasing an investment home in 2011 (multiple answers): To generate rental income, 50%; to diversify investments, 34%; bought for use by a family member, friend or relative, 14%.

National Association of Realtors, 2012

How They Buy Source

Forty-two percent of vacation-home buyers and 49% of investment-home owners paid cash for their properties in 2011. 

National Association of Realtors, 2012

The median sales price of a vacation home in 2011 was $121,300, down from $150,000 in 2010. The median cost of the typical investment property was $100,000 in 2011, up from $94,000 the previous year.

National Association of Realtors, 2012

A study by the National Association of Realtors determined that the median downpayment for both investment- and vacation-home buyers in 2011 was 27%.

NAR, 2012

What They Buy Source

Fifty percent of all investment home purchases in 2011 were classified as distressed properties, as were 39% of vacation homes.

NAR, 2012

Where They Buy Source

According to a National Association of Realtors survey, the typical vacation-home owner purchased a property that was a median distance of 305 miles from their primary residence in 2011, although 35% were within 100 miles and 37% were more than 500 miles away.

National Association of Realtors, 2012

The survey by the National Association of Realtors found that real estate investment owners generally bought properties that were situated near their primary residence in 2011 -- a median distance of 25 miles.

NAR, 2012

In terms of location, vacation homes bought in 2011 were likely to be in suburban or rural areas, while investment purchases were concentrated primarily in suburban locations.

National Association of Realtors, 2012

Where vacation homes were purchased in 2011, according to region of the country: Northeast, 15%; Midwest, 12%; South, 42%; West, 30%; outside the U.S., 1%.

NAR, 2012

Where investment properties were bought in 2011, by region of the country: Northeast, 15%; Midwest, 17%; South, 44%; West, 23%.

NAR, 2012

Business Trends Source

Sales of homes (both new and existing) purchased as investments surged 64.5% in 2011 to 1.23 million (up from 749,000 in 2010), while vacation-home sales rose 7.0% to 502,000 (up from 469,000 in 2010). According to NAR statistics, 27% of all homes purchased in 2011 were for investment purposes, with vacation properties accounting for 11% of all transactions.

National Association of Realtors, 2012

Based on a 2012 survey by the National Association of Realtors, 80% of second-home buyers said it was a good time to purchase real estate.

NAR, 2012

Analysis of Census Bureau data shows there are 8.0 million vacation homes in the U.S., and 42.8 million investment units.

U.S. Census Bureau, 2012

Based on research by the National Association of Realtors, 5% of homes purchased by investment buyers in 2011 had already been resold by the end of the first quarter of 2012, up from 2% in 2010.

National Association of Realtors, 2012

According to a 2012 National Association of Realtors survey, almost half of investment property buyers and one-third of vacation home owners said it was "likely" they would be purchasing another investment or vacation property within the next two years.

NAR, 2012

A 2012 survey of consumers who purchased a vacation home in the past year found that 91% of the respondents planned to rent their property within the next 12 months to either long-term or short-term renters or a combination of the two. The majority (70%) of people who plan to rent their property to short-term renters say they'll rent the home to vacationers, while 37% plan to rent to business travelers and 24% expect to rent to other tenants such as college students or people relocating to the area.

HomeAway, Inc., 2012

Misc Source

A 2011 study by HomeAway, Inc. found that among vacation home owners, 56% indicated they had spent more money on improvements to their vacation properties than on their primary residences in the past year.

HomeAway, Inc., 2011