THE MARKET FOR SECOND HOMES
Some lean years ahead; Expect an unprecedented worldwide boom in the next decade
The street that I live on counts about 24 homes and quite frankly I don’t know everyone who lives on my block. However, of those people I do know, I’m guessing about 10 percent of the families own second homes. If I spoke with the folks with which I have no more than a nodding acquaintance and learned if they had a place in the mountains, I estimate the number of second-home owners on my street could probably rise to 20 percent.
Taken by itself, my street would probably be considered a fairly mainstream middle-class neighborhood, although there is a higher than usual number of very successful small-business owners who live on the block.
My neighborhood in Mesa, Arizona, is somewhat reflective of other middle-class environs, which means if I extrapolate in a reasonable manner, I can conclude that the proportion of the U.S. population that owns second homes should be between 10 and 20 percent. As it turns out, that’s about right. The National Association of Realtors reports 10 percent of U.S. homeowners also own a second home. Gary Engelhardt, an economics professor at Syracuse University’s Center for Policy Research, who undertook a study on housing trends among baby boomers puts the percentage at 15 percent.
My suppositions aren’t always so correct. When ...