YOLO (you only live once) took on a deeper meaning during the pandemic, and Americans’ glimpse of their own mortality may drive vacation home sales.
Since the start of the pandemic, second homes in drive-to destinations have risen in popularity, John Burns Real Estate Consulting reports.
Sales have climbed in numerous second-home markets. 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 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 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 – look for properties 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, many second-home purchases were more for a weekend getaway, but now homeowners seem to considering longer stays. If parents work remotely and children learn remotely, their needs for that second home may also be changing.
A desire for longer stays can also change expectations. Second-home buyers today may place greater emphasis on high-speed internet service, home offices and learning spaces for their children.
Source: “The Light: YOLO! Second-Home Boom,” John Burns Real Estate Consulting (Aug. 28, 2020)
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