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July 14, 2021 at 8:00 AM EDT
Demand For Vacation Homes Falls For the First Time in a Year, Marking Possible End of Pandemic-Driven Surge
Redfin reports mortgage-rate locks for second homes fell 11% year over year in June after a year of double- and triple-digit increases

SEATTLE, July 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- (NASDAQ: RDFN) — The number of buyers who locked in mortgage rates to purchase a second home nationwide fell 11.1% year over year in June, a reversal from the yearlong surge in demand for vacation homes driven by the pandemic, according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage.

With the pandemic winding down, vacation-home demand is declining from the peak it reached earlier this year. Demand for second homes started surging in June 2020 as pandemic-related lockdowns and remote work made vacation destinations ultra-desirable and affluent buyers took advantage of low mortgage rates.

This is the first decline since April 2020 and follows more than a year of double- and triple-digit increases in mortgage-rate locks for second homes.

"Demand for second homes is dropping back down to earth as many employees return to the workplace this summer," said Taylor Marr, Redfin's lead economist. "That return to the office, along with soaring prices and tighter lending standards for second homes, is shifting homebuyer demand in favor of primary residences. The allure of owning a vacation home outside the city still exists—as it did even before the pandemic—but the big second-home boom we've seen over the last year is abating."

The drop in the year-over-year growth rate is somewhat exaggerated because mortgage-rate locks for second homes soared in June 2020. After accounting for the impact of the June 2020 surge, it's clear that demand for vacation homes is starting to slow down but is still slightly above pre-pandemic levels.

The price-growth gap between seasonal and non-seasonal towns has narrowed since the height of the pandemic

Home prices in seasonal towns, where second homes are often located, rose 28% year over year in June to $468,000. June marks the 12th month in a row of 10%-plus year-over-year price growth for homes in seasonal towns.

"With workplaces making their remote work policies permanent and employees feeling more confident making long-term decisions, many Americans are moving full time to scenic vacation towns rather than purchasing second homes," said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. "That's one reason why demand for second homes is waning while seasonal areas remain popular. My family is one example of the trend: Partly because I'm able to work remotely, my family sold our house in Seattle and moved full time to Lake Geneva, WI to be closer to family and take advantage of its relaxed lifestyle and recreational activities."

Meanwhile, home prices in non-seasonal towns were up 26% to $421,000. The price-growth gap between seasonal and non-seasonal towns has narrowed since the height of the pandemic. The discrepancy peaked in September 2020, when prices in seasonal towns increased 22% year over year, versus 13% for non-seasonal towns.

To view the full report, including charts and methodology, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/news/second-home-demand-drops-june/

About Redfin
Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a technology-powered real estate broker, instant home-buyer (iBuyer), lender, title insurer, and renovations company. We sell homes for more money and charge half the fee. We also run the country's #1 real-estate brokerage site. Our home-buying customers see homes first with on-demand tours, and our lending and title services help them close quickly. Customers selling a home can take an instant cash offer from Redfin or have our renovations crew fix up their home to sell for top dollar. Since launching in 2006, we've saved customers more than $1 billion in commissions. We serve more than 95 markets across the U.S. and Canada and employ over 4,100 people.

For more information or to contact a local Redfin real estate agent, visit www.redfin.com. To learn about housing market trends and download data, visit the Redfin Data Center. To be added to Redfin's press release distribution list, email press@redfin.com. To view Redfin's press center, click here.

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SOURCE Redfin

Redfin Journalist Services: Isabelle Novak, 414-861-5861, press@redfin.com