Vacation Homes Slim Down to Attract Buyers

Fashion mogul Calvin Klein isn't known for skimping on anything -- except for some underwear designs -- so it came as a surprise that he just downsized plans for his soon-to-be-built Hamptons beach house.

He isn't alone in wanting a more humble vacation retreat. While we already know about the great shrinking single-family home for average folks, now comes word that second homes aimed at the most affluent buyers are also slimming down.

A sales slump and bloated inventories are forcing developers to build smaller, less expensive houses, especially in resort communities, the Wall Street Journal reports. From Caribbean islands to ritzy Rocky Mountain retreats, prices are being slashed by as much as 44 percent -- along with, of course, square footage, acreage and some amenities.

It's easy to see why: Vacation home sales peaked at around one million in 2005, but dipped to about half that last year as the overall real estate market tanked. There's been a bit of an uptick this year, but that's coming off of deep lows.

So will smaller, cheaper cottages help kick-start the depressed market for second homes?