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||3.97%||4.01%|
|15 yr fixed||3.13%||3.14%|
|30 yr refi||3.97%||4.05%|
|15 yr refi||3.19%||3.16%|
Today's featured rates:
Sterling Jewelers, the company that owns Kay Jewelers and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, has been accused of fostering a culture of sexual harassment and discrimination against its female employees. More
In the years after Arizona mandated all employers to use E-Verify to check new hire's legal status, the number of undocumented workers fell dramatically. But the number of opportunities that were made available for legal residents didn't materialize at nearly the same rate, researchers found. More
Prosecutors said they will indict Lee Jae-yong, the de facto chief of the giant South Korean conglomerate, on bribery and other charges. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More
California is the hardest state for first-time homebuyers, according to a new report from Bankrate.com, while Iowa is the easiest state to put down roots. More