Demand for vacation homes spikes as lower mortgage rates entice buyers

The demand for vacation homes is surging as falling mortgage rates give U.S. homeowners the confidence to splurge on beach houses and mountain retreats, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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Along with affordable borrowing costs, growing -- albeit  narrowly concentrated wealth -- drove up the sales price for vacation homes compared with hosing overall, according to the trade group's 2019 U.S. Vacation Home Counties Report.

In the five years through 2018, the average sales price in vacation home counties -- areas where seasonal homes make up 20 percent or more of the county’s total housing -- jumped 36 percent, compared with an overall increase of just 31 percent. Vacation home counties make 6.6 percent of the 3,141 counties in the U.S.

The ones with the biggest increases were Pike and Monroe in Pennsylvania; Price and Washburn in Wisconsin and Nantucket in Massachusetts.

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Overall, household net worth has nearly doubled from a decade ago, according to Realtors Association chief economist Lawrence Yun, reaching an all-time high of $100.3 trillion in 2018.

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Home prices have been climbing since 2012, with some cities touching record highs, Yale economics professor and author Robert Shiller told FOX Business earlier.