Friday, April 17, 2009

Vacation Home Prices and Sales Plunged in 2008, says NAR. This is News?

Surely nobody following the economic crisis was surprised when the National Association of Realtors announced recently that second-home prices and sales fell in 2008.

The real question is: what now? Is there any good news that might pull sellers and real estate agent out of the mire?

In three words, I don't know... and I doubt anyone else does, either. There is anecdotal evidence that banks are beginning loosen up their purse strings a wee bit for primary homes. But vacation or second homes are being sold in large measure either for cash or with seller finanding, say experts.

The data from 2008 itself: bleak.

"The median price of a vacation home was $150,000 in 2008, down 23.1 %from $195,000 in 2007. The typical investment property cost $108,000 last year, which is 28 % below the 2007 median of $150,000," according to the NAR press release. The actual number of vacation homes purchased last year was down more than 30 %, while investment-home sales dropped more than 17 %.

The most important stat: "more than 4 out of 10 investment buyers and more than 3 in 10 vacation-home buyers paid cash for their properties. That's heartburn territory for sellers.

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