- The number of vacation towns with a larger share of “favorites” per home listing than the typical U.S. listing has nearly tripled since the start of the pandemic.
- The typical home in 18 out of the top 20 most popular vacation markets is appreciating faster than the typical U.S. home.
- Vacation home mortgage application purchases increased almost 30% between 2019 and 2020.
Demand for homes in vacation areas has been trending upward since the start of the pandemic, with indicators including increases in search traffic on Zillow and faster levels of home price appreciation largely outpacing the U.S. overall.
While many employers veer toward more flexible arrangements that allow employees to work from anywhere, Zillow data shows an ever-rising interest in “vacation towns” – metropolitan areas where at least 10% of the total housing stock are vacation homes. The share of vacation towns with above average interest has nearly doubled from pre-pandemic levels. Zillow page traffic to homes for sale in such areas steadily increased over the last two years, from roughly a quarter (27.7%) of vacation markets having more views per listing than the country at large in January 2020, to almost half (48.2%) in January 2022.
The vast majority of vacation towns are in areas that offer sunny weather and/or amenities near lakes, oceans and mountains, ideal for those interested in year-round outdoor living. Of all vacation areas analyzed, Astoria, Oregon, a port area in the northwestern corner of the state, has the highest rate of page traffic on Zillow compared to the U.S., with nearly three times as many page views per listing (2.8 times) than the rest of the county. Rounding out the top five are Barre, Vermont (2.6 times more than the U.S.); Breckenridge, Colorado ( 2.1 times); Portland, Maine ( 2.1 times); and The Lakes Region of New Hampshire  ( 2.0 times).
Similarly, homes for sale in vacation towns are also seeing more “favorites”on Zillow, which is a way for people to catalog listings so they can return to or share them with someone later. From January 2020 to January 2022, the share of vacation towns with a larger share of “favorites” per listing than the typical U.S. listing almost tripled, rising from 10.9% to 30.7%. Previous Zillow research has shown highly saved homes sell faster and for more money. The top three vacation markets with the highest number of favorites per listing in January 2022 were Astoria, Oregon; and Bennington and Barre, Vermont. Each has roughly two times or more favorites per listing than the average U.S. listing.
In many vacation towns home value appreciation is also outperforming the rest of the country. Out of the top 19 most popular vacation towns for which we have home value data, 16 are seeing more than 20% annual home price appreciation, higher than the typical U.S. home (19.9%).
Early signs of consumer demand for vacation areas at the start of the pandemic translated to a nearly 30% rise in vacation home mortgage applications from 2019 to 2020 (the latest year for which data is currently available from The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)). Given the uptick in interest in vacation-market homes during the pandemic, it’s likely this rose again in 2021. Unsurprisingly, applications for vacation homes were highly concentrated around coasts and mountain ranges in 2020, as those who could afford a second home were looking to spend more time soaking up the sun or hitting the slopes. The counties with the highest share of home purchase applications accounting for vacation home applications were Kane County, Utah, Nantucket County, Massachusetts, and Grand County, Colorado.
2022 Most Popular Vacation Towns on Zillow 
|Metro||Share of Vacation Homes||Ratio of Favorites per listing Compared to U.S.||Ratio of Page Views per listing Compared to U.S.||Typical Annual Home Value Growth (Jan 2022)|
|Astoria, OR||22.5%||2.3 times||2.8 times||20.0%|
|Bennington, VT||25.9%||2.0 times||2.0 times||15.4%|
|Barre, VT||13.1%||2.0 times||2.6 times||19.1%|
|Portland, ME||13.4%||2.0 times||2.1 times||21.2%|
|East Stroudsburg, PA||21.7%||1.9 times||1.6 times||33.8%|
|Laconia, NH||30.6%||1.8 times||2.0 times||29.7%|
|Oak Harbor, WA||10.8%||1.8 times||1.9 times||28.5%|
|Rutland, VT||18.9%||1.7 times||1.6 times||20.0%|
|Boone, NC||29.1%||1.7 times||2.0 times||34.8%|
|Shelton, WA||20.2%||1.6 times||1.5 times||32.7%|
|Newport, OR||25.6%||1.5 times||1.9 times||31.9%|
|Cullowhee, NC||26.7%||1.5 times||1.6 times||26.4%|
|Kill Devil Hills, NC||35.3%||1.4 times||1.7 times||29.9%|
|Breckenridge, CO||63.7%||1.4 times||2.1 times||39.1%|
|Berlin, NH||26.9%||1.4 times||1.8 times||NA|
|North Port, FL||15.8%||1.3 times||1.5 times||36.9%|
|Kalispell, MT||15.2%||1.3 times||1.6 times||54.4%|
|Durango, CO||11.9%||1.3 times||1.5 times||34.4%|
|Palatka, FL||11.7%||1.3 times||1.2 times||19.1%|
|Traverse City, MI||22.8%||1.3 times||1.6 times||23.9%|
 “The Lakes Region of New Hampshire” refers to the metropolitan area of Laconia, New Hampshire, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. We chose to use the former name for familiarity.
 In this analysis, “The Lakes Region of New Hampshire” refers to the Laconia, New Hampshire metropolitan area as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. We chose to use the former name for familiarity.
 “Most popular” refers to metro areas with the highest number of “favorites” per listings out of all vacation towns analyzed.
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