76% of Vacation Home Owners Say Now is a Great Time To Buy, But Where? Second Home Hot Spots (Get Ready to be Shocked)

This is a good way to gauge where you should buy your second home if you plan on leasing it to supplement income. As you probably know, the sluggish, morose economy continues to drag down the travel industry: one publication I know ceased their entire travel section due to lack of ads. But there is one segment of the industry that is still showing a heartbeat:  vacation home rentals.

That’s why 76% of current vacation homeowners think now is a great time to buy a second home. According to those gurus over at HomeAway.com, and the latest HomeAway Vacation Rental Marketplace Report (released today), more than two-thirds of owners who have vacation properties in areas where summer is the peak season reported occupancy rates of 76 percent or higher, with an average nightly rental rate of $240.67.

Looking at the average occupancy rate for the hotel industry between June and August, it was only 68 percent, with an average room rate of $101.90.

“While various segments of the travel industry are experiencing a general weakness, the latest HomeAway Vacation Rental Marketplace Report shows that rentals of vacation homes clearly experienced strong results this summer, with continued strength expected as we approach the year-end holiday travel period.  In particular, the Gulf Coast region extending from Florida to Alabama bounced back this summer, perhaps more quickly than anyone anticipated.  Finally, vacation rental owners are feeling confident enough about their businesses to say that now is a good time to buy a vacation home – more than three-fourths of owners polled affirmed this sentiment,” says Brian Sharples, Chief Executive Officer of HomeAway.

More than half of vacation rental owners say they spent more money on improvements to their vacation home in the past 12 months than they did on improvements to their primary residence. One-fourth of vacation rental owners say their bookings for the last four months of 2011 are higher than for the same time period last year.

Here’s the top ten markets where traveller demand is on the rise– buy here:

  1. Venice, Fla. (up 367%)
  2. Fort Morgan, Ala. (up 347%)
  3. Indio, Calif. (up 337%)
  4. Miramar Beach, Fla. (up 313%)
  5. Port Aransas, Texas (up 281%)
  6. Carillon Beach, Fla. (up 265%)
  7. Charlottesville, Va. (up 260%)
  8. Sonoma, Calif. (up 237%)
  9. Rockport, Texas (up 226%)
  10. Sunnyside, Fla. (up 223%)

These are the new markets rocking and rolling for vacation home owners, go figure:

  1. Galena, Ill.
  2. Mesquite, Nev.
  3. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  4. Charleston, S.C.
  5. San Clemente, Calif.
  6. Rockport, Texas
  7. Hollywood, Calif.
  8. Bradenton, Fla.
  9. Amelia Island, Fla.
  10. St. George, Utah

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