Vacation home sales have increased nationally for the fourth straight year according to data released recently by the Sussex County Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
NAR’s 2015 Investment and Vacation Home Buyer’s Survey reveals that vacation home sales throughout the country rose to an estimated 1.13 million last year, the highest since the national real estate trade association began the survey in 2003.
This mirrors the most recent data from SCAOR, which details the latest in a string of steady real estate gains in Delaware’s southernmost county and an increasing number of buyers purchasing their homes with cash. The latter is true especially of the second homeowner market in southern Delaware.
Sussex County is also the most popular area in the state for the sale of vacation homes, particularly because of the 26 miles of Atlantic coastline and the burgeoning real estate market in the county’s beach communities.
Nationally, vacation home sales accounted for 21 percent of all transactions in 2014, the highest market share since the survey was initiated.
For clarification purposes, vacation homes are defined by NAR as “recreational property purchased primarily for the buyer’s personal use.” This differs from the category of investment homes, which are purchased primarily to rent to others, or to hold for financial or investment purposes.
Earlier this year, SCAOR reported that more than $1.45 billion in real estate had changed hands in Sussex County during the 2014 calendar year, which was an 8 percent increase over the previous year.
Single-family home sales for 2014 rose 5 percent over the previous year, with the average three-bedroom home in the county selling for a median price of $366,157 during 2014.
Much of this growth was a result of the dynamic coastal market enjoyed in Sussex County, where the highest percentage of the 4,700 properties were sold during 2014.
“While most areas in Sussex County are up, there’s no doubt that the biggest gains have been realized in the coastal areas. But that’s not unusual, given that vacation homes nationally are accounting for an ever-growing piece of the real estate pie,” says Dean. “People from other areas continue to buy homes at our beaches, and we don’t foresee that changing anytime soon.” To read more about issues related to Sussex County’s real estate industry, go to www.scaor.com.