Vacation homes sales on the rise again after serious slump

Vacation homes sales on the rise again after serious slump
Vacation homes sales on the rise again after serious slump

Americans are back in the second home market in significantly greater numbers, according to the National Association of Realtors.

In this country, where most of the sales occurred, half of the vacation homes purchased were in the South, followed by the West, Midwest and Northeast. Elsewhere, people clearly are looking for bargains. Among the favorite locales are several South and Central American countries, as well as Turkey and Croatia.

And one Panama vacation property company opting to crow about it neglects to mention that vacation home sales remain far below what they were before the recession began.

Vacation home sales rose 7.9% to 553,000 in 2009, from 513,000 in 2008, but that 2008 tally was down 30.8% from 740,000 in 2007. The plunge back then was largely attributed to a lack of equity from a primary home providing a convenient -- if perhaps ill-advised -- down payment for a second home. Clearly that remains a factor for many, just not for the three in 10 who paid cash for their vacation homes in 2009.