Seeking An Affordable Vacation Home? Here’s Where To Look

Realtor.com names the top 10 most affordable towns to find a vacation home in today’s unprecedented market.

Struggling to find a second home in today’s hot market? Forget Lake Tahoe, Nantucket and Jackson Hole. 

If your primary focus is finding an affordable market to buy a second home, you’re looking for Branson, East Stroudsburg and Whitewater.

Those are the top three most affordable locations to find a vacation home, with houses selling for less than the national median average, according to Realtor.com.

Using data for the median price of homes sold in markets where at least 20 percent of homes are second-home sales, Realtor.com came up with a ranking of the top 10 most affordable towns to look for a vacation home.

“We’ve seen rising demand for homes in vacation destinations within a three-hour drive of major metro areas, especially in mountain and waterfront areas where people can be outdoors and there’s less [population] density,” Daned Kirkham, senior director of real estate at Vacasa, told Realtor.com. “Even as urban markets have seen tourism return, the popularity of off-the-beaten-path getaways hasn’t wavered.”

Realtor.com says second-home sales are down from a peak shortly after the pandemic began, not because of a drop in demand but rather a spike in prices.

The median price of a home sold in the U.S. has risen to $408,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Yet Realtor.com found seven towns in markets with at least 25 second-home purchases in January and February where the median home price was less than the national median price.

Most affordable vacation home markets, by median sales price

  1. Branson, Missouri: $299,000
  2. East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania: $299,500
  3. Whitewater, Wisconsin: $314,000
  4. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: $341,000
  5. Cullowhee, North Carolina: $365,750
  6. The Villages, Florida: $378,690
  7. Lake Havasu City, Arizona: $383,210
  8. Salisbury, Maryland: $479,100
  9. Claremont, New Hampshire: $497,500
  10. Sevierville, Tennessee: $685,000

Realtor.com

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