Vacation Home Marketers Optimistic for 2011

Realtors and other professionals that cater to the property market are preparing to enter the typically busy season for home sales. Several economic indicators point to a slower than average market this year. Continued high levels of unemployment and difficulties in obtaining financing are 2 problems that may crimp housing sales. But this year’s  report by The Cotton Solution shows that the vacation home market may be recovering.

According to Cotton analysts,  42% of consumers are considering a real estate purchase this year, compared to 44% in 2010 and 36% in 2009.  Those in the market for a new home say the purpose of the purchase will be:

  • Primary home 38%
  • Vacation home 36%
  • Investment 26%

This is a huge improvement over 2010 for the vacation home market when only 4% of prospective buyers planned that purpose for the home.

In another bit of good news for realtors and home sellers, only 32% of prospective buyers must sell their homes prior to making a purchase. Last year, 42% of prospective buyers were in that position.

Here is the time frame for the planned purchase of a new home:

  • Within 6 months 25%
  • 6–12 months 37%
  • 1–2 years 24%
  • 2+ years 14%

From a marketing perspective, here are the sources that prospective buyers are using when they start a search for a new home:

  • Internet 66%
  • Real estate professional 27%
  • Newspaper 5%
  • Magazine 2%

The market still needs to improve in general to encourage more consumers to consider making a purchase in the immediate future. Over 26% of consumers say a price reduction of 20%-40% would bring them into the market while developer incentives and upgrades would induce 15% of consumers to buy immediately.  Perhaps the best news for both sellers and realtors is that 36% of prospective home buyers are planning to make the purchase on a cash basis which means there will be no hold-​up regarding financing and appraisals.

[Source: 2011 Cotton Report. The Cotton Solution. March 2011. Web. 28 Mar. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.