Despite the down housing market, vacation home sales are on the rise, the Wall Street Journal reported. Many vacation communities saw sales increases in 2010. Mercer Island, Wash., reported that sales tripled between 2009 and 2010, while Hilton Head Island, S.C., saw a 14 percent increase in sales last year. Palm Beach, Fla., also reported high sales, with a 40 percent increase in 2010, bringing the sales volume to 2007 levels.
According to National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, wealthy buyers are more optimistic about the future, making them more likely to purchase a second home. He noted that second-home sales are highest in areas with more stable labor markets.
Low sale prices also are driving the increase in sales. Many vacation areas are reporting decreases in sales prices; Hilton Head saw prices drop by approximately one-third in the last five years. Financing can be especially hard to get however, so buyers that can pay cash are in the best situation to benefit from the low prices.