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Every Market is a Second-Home Market

Media Contact: Sara Wiskerchen / 202-383-1013 / Email

ANAHEIM (November 12, 2011) - A diverse set of buyers and property types comprise the second-home sector and opportunities for second-home buyers exist in nearly every market, even in nontraditional, non-resort markets.

That was the message delivered today at the Resort and Second Home Forum at the 2011 Realtors® Conference & Expo. Attendees at the forum heard from several experts about how to identify second-home sales opportunities in their own local markets.

Americans appreciate the value of homeownership – so much that many of them own second homes, either as vacation retreats or investment properties. NAR data show that investment and vacation properties made up 27 percent of all home sales last year.

Realtor® Daniel Webster Johnson from Breckenridge, Colo., gave an overview of his local market, which is largely a second home community; more than 80 percent of residences in the area are vacation homes. He offered tips on how agents can successfully market and differentiate themselves from other agents in the market and identified common financing challenges often encountered by second home buyers, especially in high-cost markets.

“Primary residences and vacation homes can frequently change throughout the owner’s lifetime,” said Johnson. “A home that is currently considered a secondary home could easily become a primary residence to that family sometime in the future.”

Realtor® and Past NAR President Richard Mendenhall from Columbia, Mo., said that while his hometown isn’t a traditional resort town, it has a thriving second home market, mainly driven by the university and hunting communities. The community has a large university, and many families opt to purchase a home for their children while they attend school to live in rather than pay rent. NAR research shows one in five second-home buyers purchase the home for family members to use.

Mendenhall also said that second homes aren’t just for the wealthy and that homes in many non-resort communities are very affordable for people who want to get away or be closer natural attractions or recreational activities they enjoy. The national median price for a vacation home in 2010 was $150,000 according to NAR data.

Realtor® Bob Waggoner, from Donegal, Penn., noted that pending legislation and regulations could have a devastating effect on the local resort community. NAR believes that proposals calling for the elimination of the mortgage interest deduction for second homes should be rejected because it would devastate all home values in those communities.

Waggoner highlighted what commonly drives consumers to purchase second homes. He said his area, like many other communities with a large stock of second homes, has suffered from the downturn. The high inventories of homes available for sale is depressing home prices and values, but creating more opportunities for potential buyers who have been priced out of the second-home market in the past.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the News Media section.

REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark which may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. All REALTORS® are members of NAR.