Home-buying trends have shifted significantly amid the pandemic, and now buyers may be flocking to areas that are traditionally considered vacation destinations, according to a new report from Zillow.
Page views of for-sale listings in these areas are up by nearly 50 percent from last year—a 37 percent increase in page views nationally. The following vacation metros are some of the areas seeing an increase in demand: Jersey Shore, Myrtle Beach, Key West, Lake Tahoe, Cape Cod and Park City, Utah.
Additionally, the following areas all saw YoY pending sales with a more than 30 percent increase: Salisbury, Md., Traverse City, Mich., and Brainerd, Minn.
“As millions of office workers transitioned to working from home during the pandemic, many of them reconsidered where they might like to live now that the commute no longer mattered,” said Zillow senior economist Jeff Tucker. “Vacation towns beckoned to many buyers, offering natural amenities like proximity to the ocean and mountains, along with robust retail and restaurant industries to serve traditional seasonal visitors. It’s too early to tell how many of these new vacation town home buyers are moving permanently or planning to return after the pandemic—they may not even know yet themselves—but owning a second home in a traditional vacation area provides a lot of long-term flexibility.”
This new trend is also reflected in the homes being saved on Zillow. For example, homes for sale in Key West are saved 8.7 times more than listings nationwide, and homes in Hilton Head and the Poconos are saved five times more. The next four most popular vacation areas being saved are: Panama City, Naples, Fort Myers and Punta Gorda—all of which are seeing at least three times more favorites than listings nationwide.
“The recent spike could be due to international travel restrictions and the ability to work and school from home,” said Tommy Mack, a Best of Zillow Premier Agent with Coastal Collection Real Estate in the Florida Keys. “I have many new clients who say they’ve always wanted to move here and now they can because of changes in day-to-day life from COVID.”
Areas in the Northeast are also seeing more traction. Ocean City, N.J. has the highest share of vacation homes at almost 50 percent.
“I love the beach and I would rather be here,” said Emily Rush, a 27-year-old project manager for a market research firm near Philadelphia, who used to spend her summers vacationing in Ocean City. “Since I can successfully work remotely, I wanted to live in a place where I can disconnect after work. I feel more relaxed near the water and that’s allowed me to have a better work-life balance while working from home. It also felt like a safe investment because if I eventually return to the city, I will still have a great rental property or vacation home.”
For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.