Did you know vacation home purchases were up 54% year over year for 2014 and that vacation home purchases represent 21% of the real estate market?  That’s big business and a big opportunity for advertisers…

When we think about considered purchases for the home, we intuitively start with a primary residence — owner occupied and perhaps containing 2.5 children, a cute dog, and, if not a white picket fence, at least a well-cared-for-lawn and a modern home security system.

But what about the lake house within a two hour drive?  This property and so many others like it needs to be furnished, maintained, and, perhaps, marketed as a rental property during key seasonal periods.

And yet advertisers may be overlooking an opportunity to speak to vacation home owners directly about their needs for their second property.  The first step is understanding the market and consumer makeup, and the National Association of Realtor’s recent market study is a great place to start.

Here are some study highlights in graphic form:


It’s not surprise that the most popular style of vacation home is a beach house, but it is a bit suprising that median distance is 200 miles from primary residence and the media square footage is 1500.


It’s no surprise that vacation home buyers are enthuiastic about the housing market and likely to use a real estate agent in the local market, but it’s interesting to note that “looking online” is identified by only 20% of those surveyed as being the first activity performed in their housing search.

Questions & Conclusions

We’d be interested to see what kind of lift Airbnb is giving the vacation home market, although that isn’t outlined in NAR’s recent report.  However, the report is full of interesting insights like those above, so it’s well worth heading over NAR’s site to do some further reading on the vacation home boom.

The NAR report also flags the sector’s astonishing growth as being led by retiring, wealthy baby boomers, although we wonder if the market also isn’t getting a boost from millineals interested in a more mobile, less-constrained work/life balance.