Vacation homes purchased closer to home

Bargain prices for vacation and second homes are luring more home buyers to the idea of purchasing one. Rising costs of travel and more cost-conscience buying habits, however, have many of these buyers bypassing typical vacation destinations and resorts and choosing to buy a vacation home closer to their primary residence.

The median distance between the buyer’s primary residence and vacation home shrank 19 percent from 2010 to 2011. The median distance in the most current survey is 305 miles, according to National Association of Relators’ housing data.

“The shift in buying habits partly reflects the changing portrait of the typical vacation-home buyer,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “In the recent past, the vacation-home market was led by families looking for places with attractions for children as well as adults. But a growing number of buyers are older and seeking vacation homes that transition into retirement homes.”

Furthermore, vacation home buyers are purchasing second homes with the idea to rent them out to help offset costs, which has also made staying close to their second home appealing.

"People want to stay within driving distance because they're more able to maintain the homes, they have better networks in place, and friends and family nearby to use and sustain the homes," Jon Gray, vice president of, told The Wall Street Journal.

Source: “Getting Away—But Not too Far,” The Wall Street Journal (May 2012)