Buyer Motivation and Expectations

Date: Apr. 5th, 2011
Contact: National Association of Realtors

Field Guide to Vacation, Resort, and Second Homes (Updated March 2011)


While the U.S. economy is slowly pulling out of a recession, 2009 was a turbulent economic year. In 2009, 73 percent of residential property buyers reported that they purchased a home to use as their primary residence. For the remaining 27 percent of buyers, the motivation to purchase an investment property is influenced by a different set of factors. The purchase of a vacation home is largely a lifestyle choice, often with the expectation that the home will become the buyer's primary residence in the future. In 2009, one in ten home buyers purchased a vacation home

Buyer Motivation and Expectations:  Vacation Properties vs. Investment Properties

To use for vacations or as a family retreat:

  • Vacation Properties - 89%
  • Investment Properties - 19%

To rent to others

  • Vacation Properties - 25%
  • Investment Properties - 59%

To diversify investments/good investment opportunity

  • Vacation Properties - 29%
  • Investment Properties - 44%

To use as a principal residence in the future

  • Vacation Properties - 26%
  • Investment Properties - 8%

For a family member, friend or relative

  • Vacation Properties - 13%
  • Investment Properties - 18%

For the tax benefits

  • Vacation Properties - 14%
  • Investment Properties - 14%

Because the buyer had extra money to spend

  • Vacation Properties - 6%
  • Investment Properties - 6%

Source: 2010 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey