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Florida Leading the Way in Second-Home and Luxury-Home Sales

Pacaso has released data on the hottest second home markets in the United States year-to-date. In assembling the list, the company utilized Optimal Blue data to identify the top 15 U.S. markets based on counties with the highest number of second home and luxury home transactions from January 1 to May 3, 2023.

Among the top counties with the most second home transactions in 2023, warm-weather destinations and coastal towns, particularly in Florida which proved to be the most popular among buyers. Florida dominated the top spots for second home transactions, with eight of the 15 counties with the highest number of transactions located in the Sunshine State.

"With the spring homebuying season well underway and nearing the mid-way point of the year, the housing market continues to face challenges with inventory hitting a pre-pandemic low, leading to rising home prices. However, despite the recent uptick in mortgage rates, potential homebuyers remain optimistic and are returning to the market, as seen in the increasing number of mortgage applications," said Pacaso CEO and Co-Founder Austin Allison. "We took a look at second home transactions thus far in 2023, and it is no surprise that Florida dominates the list, with eight out of the 15 counties with the most second home transactions in 2023. The Sunshine State's beautiful beaches and laid-back lifestyle continue to be major draws for buyers."

Maricopa County, Arizona, takes the top spot on the list with the largest number of second home transactions in the country for 2023. The county's vibrant desert cities of Phoenix and Scottsdale offer world-class golf, chef-driven restaurants, countless hiking trails, and exciting entertainment options, making it a popular vacation destination.

Horry County, South Carolina, is the second most popular location for second homes in 2023, boasting the most affordable second home real estate on the list, with an average value of $375,000. Myrtle Beach's 60 miles of sandy beaches, exciting attractions, and celebrity-designed golf courses make it a beloved vacation destination.

Lee County, Florida, rounds out the top three markets with the most second home transactions in 2023. The county seat of Fort Myers, located on the Gulf of Mexico, is consistently ranked as one of the nation's top destinations for beachcombing, shelling, kayaking, and bird watching.

According to the data, Manatee County, Florida, Broward County, Florida, and Sarasota County, Florida, have seen the greatest year-over-year price appreciation for second home real estate and luxury homes.

Cape May County, New Jersey, tops the list for the highest price of second home real estate of the counties with the most second home transactions in 2023, with an average value of $989,000. Located on the Jersey Shore, Cape May County has been a summer destination for East Coast residents for years, and continues to be a top spot for second homes in 2023. Avalon, one of the county's most popular towns, is a favorite among second home buyers seeking a coastal retreat.

For the study, Pacaso identified the top U.S. second home markets by selecting the 15 counties with the highest second home transactions between January 1 and May 3, 2023. Counties without at least 50 second home transactions during this period were excluded from the analysis. Transaction and second home value data was provided by real estate analytics firm Optimal Blue, and includes a sizable share of the market that is taken to be representative of the whole. Second home transactions and average second home purchase price data were sourced at the county level.

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.

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