Despite tight credit, second-home sales keep pace with the rest of the market

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One in 10 residential sales in the U.S. last year went to vacationers who intended to use the property as a second home, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors. Despite the tight credit market for second homes, that market share was unchanged from its level in 2009. And despite depressed home price levels, the market share for investment sales also held steady, accounting for 17 percent of all residential sales nationwide, just as it did in 2009. Both vacation home buyers and investors purchased a disproportionate number of distressed properties, compared to buyers of primary residences, the NAR data shows. While just 5 percent of primary home purchases were sold as foreclosures or in trustee sales, that share was 17 percent for investment purchases and 11 percent for vacation home purchases. “The fall in home prices has opened opportunities for more families to enter the second-home market,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “The median income of investment buyers today is lower than it’s been in recent years.” TRD