Top 10 Luxury Second Home Markets Of 2023 And Ones To Watch In 2024

Pacaso December 10, 2023

Buyer

Top 10 Luxury Second Home Markets Of 2023 And Ones To Watch In 2024

In this year's Top Second Home Markets Report, we unveil the top 10 luxury second home markets of 2023 and delve into the top 10 markets to watch in 2024."The primary U.S. housing market grappled with dynamic challenges throughout 2023, characterized by low inventory, high rates, and rising prices,” said Pacaso CEO and Co-Founder Austin Allison. “These challenges have reverberated into the second home market, giving rise to new trends, including a return to metro-adjacent homes and the emergence of new front-running destinations that offer buyers significant price appreciation and access to outstanding nearby amenities.”

 
2023’s top luxury second home markets

To determine the top U.S. markets, Pacaso analyzed the year-over-year growth in closed transactions of second homes valued over $1 million. Here are the 10 U.S. counties that saw the biggest increases in second home transactions in 2023.

 

*Source: Pacaso analysis of First American Data & Analytics second home transaction data YTD.

 
New England favorites, distinctive West Coast coastal retreats, and metro-adjacent hideaways nab top spots

Newport County, Rhode Island, takes the lead with an impressive 64% surge in second home transactions in 2023, marking a significant increase from 2022. Famous for its iconic Gilded Age mansions, once the favored second home spots for renowned families like the Vanderbilts and Kennedys, Newport boasts a diverse range of activities and attractions, from scenic strolls along the Cliff Walk to savoring the town's most unique shops and restaurants. Other New England counties, traditionally acknowledged as vacation getaway destinations, saw substantial growth in second home transactions in 2023. Noteworthy destinations such as Kennebunkport and Portland, Maine, along with Portsmouth, Rhode Island, recorded more than a 13% increase in transactions from 2022.

 
Big Apple border suburbs

Amongst this year’s top 10 markets for second home transactions is Fairfield County, Connecticut (14%) and Westchester County, New York (10%). "In today's dynamic real estate landscape, it's no surprise to witness metro-adjacent counties like Fairfield and Westchester, leading the charts in second home transactions. With the onslaught of hybrid back-to-office policies by several companies, home buyers are seeking the perfect blend of spacious, nature-centric living, all while maintaining the convenience of a short train ride to the city,” said Austin Allison.

 
Distinct western waterways spark interest

Douglas County, Nevada (13%), and Island County, Washington (11%), experienced notable year-over-year increases in second home transactions among the top markets. Douglas County, located on the southeastern border of Lake Tahoe, is renowned for lakeside gems like Zephyr Cove and Stateline on the California-Nevada border. Further up north, Island County, Washington, housing Whidbey Island, is primarily recognized for the Naval Air Station but is most visited for its stunning Pacific Northwest landscape, encompassing beaches, hills, and farmland.

 
Destinations to watch in 2024

An addition to this year's Pacaso second home markets report is our analysis of destinations to watch in 2024. To determine the top U.S. markets to watch, Pacaso analyzed the top U.S. counties that saw the biggest appreciation in second home value for homes priced above $1 million. 

 

*Source: Pacaso analysis of First American Data & Analytics second home transaction data YTD.

 
Florida gets its time in the sun

The pandemic-fueled rush to Florida and the surge in second home transactions in previous years seemingly persist, as three Florida counties secure spots on Pacaso’s 2024 watchlist. The top market to keep an eye on in 2024 is Volusia County, Florida, witnessing a remarkable 47% year-over-year increase in average second home value. Volusia also experienced a surge in second home transactions, registering a 19% growth and ranking as the second-largest year-over-year expansion. Volusia is most known for Daytona Beach and other picturesque beach towns like New Smyrna Beach and Ormond Beach. Notably, Volusia County has emerged with the highest average second home price in 2023 year-to-date, boasting an impressive average of $4,105,174.Orange County and Indian River County, Florida are also on our must watch list as they both saw more than 20% appreciation on luxury second homes.

 
Destination dupes

“Expedia recently highlighted the phenomenon of 'destination dupes'—budget-friendly alternatives to popular locations—that have left a lasting impact on the travel scene,” said Allison. “It seems this trend is extending into the real estate realm, with locales providing more affordable housing options while offering comparable amenities, access to outdoor activities, scenic beaches, and charming towns, akin to their more famous counterparts. Consider Bald Head Island, North Carolina, as a dupe to South Carolina’s Kiawah or the Charleston barrier islands, Mt. Rose as a substitute for Tahoe’s ski resorts, and even Golden, Colorado, as an alternative to the expected Colorado mountain towns.”In Washoe County, Nevada, home to Reno, also known as the “biggest little city,” there was a remarkable 26% appreciation from 2022. This growth is attributed to its proximity to Lake Tahoe, absence of state income tax, and the presence of amazing yet less-populated ski resorts such as Mt. Rose.Brunswick County, North Carolina, the southernmost county in the state, experienced a 26% appreciation. This picturesque area is home to idyllic beach towns like Ocean Isle, Oak Island, and Bald Head Island.  Meanwhile, Jefferson County, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, witnessed an impressive 37% appreciation. Located in close proximity to the city, it offers a short drive to ski resorts and is home to the iconic Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre.

 
Park City prevails 

Summit County, Utah, the cherished home of the year-round destination Park City, has experienced an impressive 18% increase in second home values from 2022 to 2023. It comes as no surprise that this beloved destination, recognized as one of Pacaso's core second home locations, boasts one of the largest and most pristine ski areas in the U.S. Alongside its proximity to outdoor recreation in all seasons, a lively downtown atmosphere, and its role as the host of the internationally renowned Sundance Film Festival, Park City continues to be a sought-after destination. Homes within the Pacaso marketplace in Park City consistently deliver significant resale gains. 


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