The Quiet Boom in the Vacation Home Market

by Richard Ragatz, Gabriel Gelb



`Presently about 5 percent of U.S. households own vacation homes and probably a higher percentage own vacation property in anticipation of building the home at a later time. In Houston, a recent sample of households with median annual incomes of over $3,000 revealed that while 6 percent of the households currently owned a vacation home, an additional 8 percent owned vacant property for recreation or investment. The study also found that another 39 percent of the sampled 508 households had "given serious thought to owning a resort lot or property for recreation or investment purposes." This article describes the present scope of the vacation home market, why it is underdeveloped, factors affecting future demand and how business can capitalize on this burgeoning opportunity. Few national studies have looked at vacation housing and it is rarely treated as the "product" it actually is. Also, that once-a-decade compendium of basic information, the U.S. Census, has never included a well-defined category for vacation homes.

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