Do you live year-round in Nantucket County or Dukes County in Massachusetts? If you do, you're in a distinct minority. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), some 55.5 percent of residences in both those counties are vacation homes.
The NAR defines a vacation home as a vacant seasonal, recreational or occasional-use housing unit, according to its recently released 2019 U.S. Vacation Home Counties Report.
The report also gives detailed pricing information on each of the counties it lists. Aside from the top 26 vacation home counties—which are counties where at least 20 percent of the housing stock is taken up by vacation homes—the report also names the most and least expensive vacation home counties and the most and least affordable vacation home counties, as well as who can afford vacation homes.
This is the first time NAR has produced a report that looks specifically at the price and affordability of vacation home destinations.
"The NAR conducts studies on many types of buyers and market niches so we were interested in looking at vacation homes and how prices have moved versus the overall growth in home prices, and what areas are affordable for buyers," Gay Cororaton, NAR's director of Housing and Commercial Research, tells Housecall.
The two least expensive vacation home counties in the country are Aroostook County in Maine and Miller County in Missouri. In each of these counties, the median sales price for a vacation home hovered right around $20,000.
Cororaton admits that the fact that there are inexpensive vacation homes that a family earning the median income can afford was one of the most surprising findings in the report.
On the other end of the spectrum, Nantucket County is by far the most expensive vacation home county in the U.S. with a median sale price of $1 million. Pitkin County in Colorado is a distant second with an average sale price of $710,443.
Below are the 26 most popular vacation home counties in the country, according to NAR, as well as the percentage of homes that are classified as seasonal, recreational or occasional use:
For the full report and a breakdown of NAR's methodology, click here.