Vacasa Ranks the Top 25 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home in 2021

More than a dozen new markets claimed a spot on this year’s list, as continued guest demand for vacation rentals broadens investment opportunities

PORTLAND, Ore., August 17, 2021—Vacasa, North America’s leading vacation rental management platform, today released its 2021 Top 25 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home. The company’s fourth annual report ranks the best U.S. destinations to purchase a vacation rental property based on average cap rate, or yearly rate of return, and reveals a number of new markets with investment potential.

During the pandemic, mortgage-rate locks for second homes significantly outpaced those for primary residences, but Redfin analysis shows that gap is starting to shrink and, for the first time since June 2020, the second home market has cooled to near pre-pandemic levels. That’s potentially good news for second home buyers, as less competition can create more affordable inventory.

“Market conditions are always shifting, but the accelerated and lasting adoption of short-term rentals during the pandemic has had a clear impact on second home sales. The spike in guest demand and preference for new, more remote destinations is changing where prospective buyers can find the best investment properties,” said Vacasa’s VP of sales and marketing, Shaun Greer. “According to our 2021 Vacation Rental Buyer Report, more people are looking to capitalize on the opportunity too, with 70% of current buyers looking to invest in their first rental property–a significant jump from the 46% who were first-time buyers in 2019.”

Though several destinations from last year’s report make repeat appearances this year—including the top ranking Gatlinburg, Tennessee, climbing from #4 in 2020—newcomers claimed more than half the spots in 2021. Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, Cle Elum, Washington, Litchfield Beach, South Carolina and Twentynine Palms, California, are among the new markets, proving that investment-friendly properties can be found coast-to-coast in waterfront, mountain and desert regions.

To see all the locations that made the 2021 Top 25 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home, the full report is available here.

Vacasa’s Top 25 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home Methodology

To determine its ranking of top vacation rental markets, Vacasa analyzed home sales and vacation rental performance data from the last twelve months for vacation destinations throughout the country where Vacasa and its licensed subsidiaries manage vacation rentals. To determine average gross rental income for a market, we used actual performance data for the market as a whole, where available, except that Vacasa-only data was used for markets where Vacasa manages more than 50 units and actual Vacasa rental performance beats the market average by at least 25%. To calculate average cap rate, we considered the averages of the following in each market: property taxes, utilities, HOA fees, insurance, and property management fees.

About Vacasa

Vacasa is the leading vacation rental management platform in North America, transforming the vacation rental experience by integrating purpose-built technology with expert local and national teams. Homeowners enjoy earning significant incremental income on one of their most valuable assets, delivered by Vacasa’s unmatched technology that adjusts rates in real time to maximize revenue. Guests can relax comfortably in Vacasa’s 30,000+ homes across more than 400 destinations in North America, Belize and Costa Rica, knowing that 24/7 support is just a phone call away. In addition to enabling guests to search, discover and book its properties on and the Vacasa Guest App, Vacasa provides valuable, professionally managed inventory to top channel partners, including Airbnb, and Vrbo.

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