6 U.S. Destinations Where Vacation Homes Have Increased More Than 50% in Value

 Hint: none of them are in Florida.

Owning a vacation home has never been more popular. The work-from-home trend has caused a boom in second home investments nationwide and even internationally, with Mexico and Italy just two of the countries seeing a surge in real estate transactions from American buyers.

The median second home sale price in the country during the first quarter of 2022 was up almost 20 percent year over year, according to a new report by vacation-property sharing company Pacaso. The company also looked at the counties experiencing more than 50 percent growth in second home prices — six in total — and ranked the most popular ones.

The undisputed winner is Valley County, Idaho, which has seen a whopping 98 percent increase in median second home purchase price compared to 2021. Home to scenic Payette Lake and the resort town of McCall, the county offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities and year-round recreation.

Popular viewpoint in Ponderosa Park near McCall in Valley County, Idaho
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The second spot goes to Cumberland County in Maine, with a 91.3 percent increase in vacation home prices in the first quarter of 2022. While the county comprises three urban areas — Portland, South Portland, and Westbrook — it is also home to many islands and coastal towns such as Cape Elizabeth that attract visitors with their laid-back vibe, breathtaking ocean views, and rich history.

Gillespie County in Texas, which recorded 77.7 percent growth in its median second home price, ranks third. Located about 74 miles north of San Antonio and 83 miles west of Austin, it draws urbanites with its many wineries, picturesque vineyards, and pastoral landscapes.

Rose Hip and Portland Head Lighthouse
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"The permanent shift toward work from home has forever changed the way people work and is giving second home buyers more flexibility to spend time away from their primary home and office," Pacaso co-founder and CEO Austin Allison told Travel + Leisure. "Coupled with rising home price appreciation, demand for second homes in regionally driven destinations is growing faster than premier destinations, like Aspen or Malibu."

The company also ranked the counties with the most second home transactions. Fannin County in Georgia was the clear winner with an impressive transaction increase of 109.8 percent from last year. Lincoln County in New Mexico takes the silver medal with 61.5 percent growth in second home transactions during the first quarter of 2022.

Scenic view of dramatic sky over landscape during sunset, Gillespie County, Texas
Erik Pronske/500px/Getty Images

"Communities within a short drive from major metros are gaining interest as many families are looking for a second home where they can spend more time living and working," Allison added, noting that proximity to outdoor recreation and "a desire for community connection" are the leading factors in second home purchases.

You can read more details about Pacaso's report and its findings here.

Updated by
Dobrina Zhekova
Dobrina Zhekova headshot
Dobrina Zhekova is a freelance writer with over a decade of editorial experience in Europe and the U.S. She covers luxury travel, art, architecture, and design. Her writing has appeared on InStyle.com, Vogue.com, Elle.com, and more.
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