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The country’s housing market is in a downturn as interest rates have skyrocketed and inflation has risen to record levels. However, the demand for luxury second homes is still thriving, according to Pacaso’s latest report on the top vacation home destinations in the country for 2022.
Using mortgage rate lock data and average second-home prices by real estate analytics firm Optimal Blue, the fractional real estate company ranked this year’s most sought-after spots that saw significant annual gains for homes priced above $1 million. And while an oceanfront county in Florida topped last year’s report, this time around, it’s endless mountain views that won buyers over.
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Utah's Washington County is the big winner, with an average second home price of $1.37 million and a 10.3% increase in mortgage rate locks year-over-year. Red-rock canyons and towering mountains make up the scenery in the Beehive State's southwesternmost county that borders Nevada and Arizona. Visitors and residents of Utah's fifth most populous county enjoy proximity to breathtaking Zion National Park, Snow Canyon State Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and the Grand Canyon. Washington County's year-round dry climate has always been a draw for vacationers looking for scenic hiking trails, adrenaline-pumping rock climbing, and world-class golf. And with Las Vegas only a couple of hours away, the destination also offers proximity to top-notch shopping, dining, and entertainment.
"Washington County, Utah, was at the top of the list and while Zion National Park has long put the county on the map as a top travel destination, we hadn't seen many luxury second home purchases here in previous years," Austin Allison, CEO and co-founder of Pacaso, told Travel + Leisure. "Buyers' pandemic-altered lifestyles have given them the flexibility to reevaluate their priorities, find a home at a price that works for them, and in close proximity to things that they value, such as nature, outdoor pursuits, and more."
Second on Pacaso’s list is Florida’s Osceola County, just south of Orlando in the central part of the state. Known as the Gateway to the Everglades, the area, home to the city of Kissimmee, also draws second-home buyers with family-friendly amenities such as theme parks and excellent dining, shopping, and golfing facilities. The proximity to Florida’s beautiful Atlantic coast beaches also contributes to its popularity. Pacaso’s report notes that the average home price in Osceola County this year was $1.65 million, with a 6.1% increase in mortgage rate locks.
Nevada County in California takes the bronze medal. Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and near Lake Tahoe, it is the perfect escape for winter sports enthusiasts. Nevada County’s average home value in 2022 was $1.64 million, and the area saw a 4.5% increase in home mortgage locks.
Other notable mentions on Pacaso's list of the most popular second home markets in 2022 were California's Napa County (No. 5); Hawaii's Kauai County (No. 6); and New York County (Manhattan) at No. 9.
You can read Pacaso’s full report here.
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