New Hampshire’s Vacation Market Is Thriving
COVID-19 has made an impact on American homes that most didn’t anticipate, creating a mass interest in vacation homes. Nationwide, second-home purchases are up 46% as more and more people seek an escape from their current routines. Buyers from Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, southern New Hampshire, and primarily Massachusetts are shopping for homes in North Conway, Bartlett, Jackson, and Madison.
New Hampshire’s Vacation Home Market
The pandemic spurred interest in seeking rural retreats among residents of densely populated metropolitan areas like Boston and New York. The final push to purchase that many needed was the prospect of working remotely, giving professionals in cities a new outlet to balance travel and work. Technology also played a factor in meeting interested buyers’ demands; while in-person showings were temporarily stopped, online showings continued and thrived.
“People are saying, ‘I’m going to buy a piece of privacy,’” said Andy Smith of Peabody & Smith Realty. “We can offer virtual tours, walking a prospective buyer through every room and up every staircase… We’ve closed sales with buyers who have not set foot in the home.”
Evidently, the Granite State is capturing the hearts, minds, and wallets of families looking for a change. Towns like Cheshire have received increased online interest with a 327% uptick in online searches for properties since last year. This interest has resulted in higher median prices for homes, up 24% compared to last year as the state’s sales volume rose 30%.
Why New Hampshire?
Buyers are flocking from all around the Northeast to live in New Hampshire for several reasons. To begin, New Hampshire is one of the least taxed states in the country. There is no state income tax or sales tax. There are also beneficial estate laws, such as property tax exemptions for the elderly, which delight retirees.
New Hampshire’s affordability also tops the list of reasons to move here, especially when compared to surrounding states like Massachusetts where the average home value is just shy of $500,000. New Hampshire’s average home value is just over $350,000, and the overall cost of living is more affordable than the Bay State.
Outside of tax benefits and cost-effective living, New Hampshire’s natural beauty has enabled a reputation for endless recreational activities. Some in the Northeast might even say it rivals popular Western states like Colorado, although the cold in the East is far worse than the cold in the West.
How Agents Can Enter New Hampshire’s Vacation Market
Whether you’re interested in branching out into a new niche market or buying a vacation home for yourself, there are important decisions you should make before moving forward. Vacations require planning and logistics, and so will buying or selling a vacation home.
If you’re interested in getting into the vacation home market, consider pursuing NAR’s Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist Certification. It’s also important to know which locations are popular for investors right now so you can hone your marketing collateral and strategy appropriately:
- 34% purchased properties in a suburb or subdivision
- 33% purchased properties in a beach area
- 24% purchased properties in a small town
- 21% purchased properties on a lake
- 19% purchased properties in an urban area
- 15% purchased properties in a rural area
Selling a second home that may double as an investment requires a different skill set than selling a typical family home — primarily an in-depth knowledge of the tax implications that second homes carry. Additionally, clients looking to purchase a vacation home are more focused on the resale value, rental income, and taxes owed than they are on school zones and luxury kitchens. So, do your research, explore your local vacation market, and enjoy your new niche!