Vacasa unveils top 25 places to buy a vacation home in 2021

US: Portland-based vacation rental management platform Vacasa has released its 2021 Top 25 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home report.

The company’s fourth annual report ranks the best US destinations to purchase a vacation rental property based on average cap rate, or yearly rate of return, and reveals a number of new markets with investment potential.

During the pandemic, mortgage-rate locks for second homes significantly outpaced those for primary residences, but Redfin analysis shows that that gap is starting to shrink. For the first time since June 2020, the second home market has also cooled to near pre-pandemic levels.

Shaun Greer, VP of sales and marketing at Vacasa, said: “Market conditions are always shifting, but the accelerated and lasting adoption of short-term rentals during the pandemic has had a clear impact on second home sales. The spike in guest demand and preference for new, more remote destinations is changing where prospective buyers can find the best investment properties.

“According to our 2021 Vacation Rental Buyer Report, more people are looking to capitalise on the opportunity too, with 70 per cent of current buyers looking to invest in their first rental property–a significant jump from the 46 per cent who were first-time buyers in 2019,” he added.

Though several destinations from last year’s report make repeat appearances this year—including the top ranking Gatlinburg, Tennessee, climbing from number four in 2020—newcomers claimed more than half the spots in 2021. Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, Cle Elum, Washington, Litchfield Beach, South Carolina and Twentynine Palms, California, are among the new markets, suggesting that investment-friendly properties can be found in waterfront, mountain and desert regions.

To compile its rankings, Vacasa analysed home sales and vacation rental performance data from the last twelve months for vacation destinations throughout the country where Vacasa and its licensed subsidiaries manage vacation rentals.

Last month, Vacasa, which manages more than 30,000 homes in over 400 destinations in North America, Belize and Costa Rica, announced that it was set to go public via a merger with special purpose acquisition company [SPAC] TPG Pace Solutions before the end of the year, at a valuation of approximately $4.5 billion.

It follows the company’s acquisitions of Wyndham Vacation Rentals for $162 million in October 2019 and TurnKey Vacation Rentals’ 6,000-strong premium home portfolio in April, as well as this month’s purchases of Meyer Vacation Rentals in Alabama and SeaBreeze Vacation Rentals in California.

Follow this link to see all the locations that made Vacasa’s Top 25 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home report.