The Rise of Second Homes

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It has been interesting in the last six months (since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic) to see various trends that have emerged in the real estate market as a result of the economy and consumer needs. One of the interesting trends in national real estate is a boom in second homes.

Historically, second homes have often been utilized as part-time residences. We have often seen this in our area with “snowbirds”—people who traditionally spend the winter somewhere warm (such as Arizona) and the summer in Durango (where it’s cooler). With the rise of vacation rentals in the recent years, some people will purchase a dream home and rent it out as a VRBO or AirBnB, with plans to retire someday in the second home.

This week, real estate news reports an increase in second homes within driving distance for many people. A recent article states, “‘The psychology of ‘you only live once,’ or YOLO, is driving the surge in second-home sales,’ according to a recent article posted by John Burns Real Estate Consulting. ‘Households who may have otherwise waited have decided now is the time to buy, often using funds that would otherwise be allocated to more traditional vacation travel. Today’s buyers are showing more interest in lifestyle and use than rental potential and future appreciation’ ” (https://magazine.realtor/daily-news/2020/09/01/is-the-second-home-market-entering-a-boom). Another article notes many people previously purchased second homes as investments, but there is a shift for buyers to utilize second homes immediately (https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/07/success/real-estate-coronavirus-buying-an-optional-home/index.html).

As many families with school-aged children adapt to distance learning and a significant number of adults work remotely, second homes take a different viability for many people. They provide the ability to have your own space (mitigating COVID risk), and provide vacation/lifestyle alternatives. We have seen the luxury market have an increase in sales with inventory moving, but we are also noting that Durango offers a lifestyle many people desire, and with our location within driving distance to larger cities in Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico, this is a logical location for many. It is a trend we will be interested to continue to monitor as second homes become more of a priority for many Americans. As always, please let us know if you would like to discuss the real estate market for primary, secondary, or investment properties.