NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Been dreaming of a vacation home? Somewhere warm to get away? Or maybe a cabin in the woods? Prices are right if you can afford it.
The median price of a vacation home was $150,000 in 2010, down 11.2% from a year earlier, the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday. In contrast, the national median for primary residences fell only 4.5% in 2010, according to NAR.
"The fall in prices has opened opportunities for more families to enter the second-home market," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist.
Still, vacation homes accounted for just 10% of all sales last year, and investment properties made up another 17%.
Those percentages were little changed for 2010 as home sales declined across the board. There were 543,000 vacation homes sold, down from 553,000 in 2009; investment purchases fell to 867,000 from 940,000.
One factor depressing sales was the difficulty in getting mortgages due to tight credit markets. Buyers often did an end-around this problem by paying cash. Nearly 40% of vacation home sales were cash deals, while nearly 60% of investment deals were handled that way.
Those buyers who did get mortgages brought big down payments to the closing tables, according to Walter Molony, a NAR spokesman. For vacation homes, the average was 30%, far more than the standard 20% down. Investment buyers with financing paid an average of 32% down.
Many of the second homebuyers targeted distressed properties. About 17% of investment purchases were foreclosures, while vacation homebuyers chose distressed prosperities 10% of the time, NAR said. Only 10% of families buying primary residences last year went with foreclosures.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.83%||3.59%|
|15 yr fixed||2.94%||2.70%|
|30 yr refi||3.78%||3.64%|
|15 yr refi||2.98%||2.84%|
Today's featured rates:
Andrew Crider lost his welding business and his home when the real estate market crashed. Now the Nevada man is offended by comments Donald Trump made showing the billionaire rooted for the housing collapse. More
As the Verizon workers' strike continues to drag on, shares of the telecom giant have lagged the broader market -- as well as top competitors AT&T and Comcast. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More
Investing your money in an annuity today could give you a guaranteed lifetime monthly payment when you retire. More