As Vacation-Home Sales Gain Momentum, Travel Costs Keep Buyers Closer to Home
This article by Robbie Whelan was in today’s Wall Street Journal. It really reinforces what we have been witnessing here at Heritage Harbor. People are starting to select better values closer to home as they seek to invest wisely in their second home / vacation home / “pretirement” home. Starved Rock Country is close to Chicago, suburban Chicago, Bloomington, Peoria, Rockford, and Champaign/Urbana but it feels like a world away. Located in historic Starved Rock Country, Heritage Harbor offers a world class itinerary of vistas, venues, events and adventures. Heritage Harbor offers waterfront luxury at a greater value for discerning home shoppers.
Here are a few of the highlights from the article. The first sentence tells the whole story…
- Sales of vacation homes are picking up as low prices pull buyers off the fence. But with travel costs rising and consumers still uncertain about the economy, many buyers are snapping up properties closer to home.
- The shift in buying habits partly reflects the changing portrait of the typical vacation-home buyer. In the recent past, the vacation-home market was led by families looking for places with attractions for children as well as adults. But a growing number of buyers are older and seeking vacation homes that transition into retirement homes.
- “People want to stay within driving distance because they’re more able to maintain the homes, they have better networks in place and friends and family nearby to use and sustain the homes,” said Jon Gray, vice president of HomeAway.com, a website that lists vacation rentals. A survey in March by site operator HomeAway Inc. found that the most popular markets among vacationers this year are those that can be reached in a drive of four hours or less from home. That makes those markets good investment opportunities for the 91% of vacation-home buyers who plan to rent their properties when they aren’t using them.
- The rising cost of gas and airfares is a huge factor for many buyers. The average cost of a gallon of gasoline was $3.83 this week. While down from the two-year peak of $3.97 reached in May 2011, gas prices have been rising steadily since mid-December, when they fell to a 10-month low of $3.23 a gallon. Airfares, meanwhile, jumped 14% between March 2010 and March 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.