Americans Decide to Work Where They Vacation as Second-Home Purchases Rise

The flight from the city to the country was well-documented at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, as people who once loved the public-transit, walkable lifestyle of the city realized that it put them at risk for the virus. Throughout the months of the pandemic, there has been a strong trend toward buying second homes or relocating permanently to vacation homes, as more jobs gain the option for working remotely. Here are some of the ways that Americans have adjusted their behaviors regarding second-home purchases and occupancy.

What Agents Are Seeing

According to HomeLight’s Q4 2020 Survey, there are multiple trends occurring in vacation home sales. First, there is a marked trend toward people moving from first homes to their second homes that had previously been rental properties that were used only occasionally for vacation. The thought process is that working remotely has allowed people to relocate from a less-desirable property that was well-located for work commuting. Now, they feel untethered and want to work from a space that is more usually associated with vacationing.

For those who haven’t lost work or income during the pandemic, there is also a trend toward making one’s second home purchase. Low interest rates, less demand for living near work, and a desire for home to be spacious and an oasis in a world with very little communal entertainment all contribute to this trend. It’s pretty easy to sell a house fast in this economy, and some folks who might find a vacation home purchase to be a stretch are using that purchase to start renting another home out.

What Vacation Home Shoppers Want

It’s only reasonable that people looking for a second home or vacation home are going to have slightly different priorities than their peers who are shopping for a primary residence. Agents are seeing nationally that 45.1% of shoppers for second homes want warm weather, as well as an affordable price at 44.9%. After that, the potential for earning rental income, being close to a body of water, and having low maintenance costs are all high ranking factors.

Given the high price of real estate in the Pacific Northwest, it is understandable that our region values the potential rental income a little higher here than in other parts of the country. Still, the possibility to ride out the remaining time of social distancing from a vacation home that will eventually bring in rental income for your family is certainly appealing!


Top real estate agents are noticing that the ultra-hot seller’s market has continued, in no small part due to the ultra-low interest rates on mortgages. While inventory in many areas is low, if you can find a vacation home in your price range and aren’t tied to a particular commute, you might have the opportunity to make home a bit more comfortable and beautiful for the coming months if you choose to live where you vacation.