It came as a big surprise to the real-estate industry this past year that second homes accounted for more than one-third of annual sales.
Before 2005, the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) survey techniques failed to accurately gauge the size of this market, even though anecdotal evidence had indicated a substantial increase in second-home purchases over the previous decade.
And, although baby boomers make up a large part of the second-home market, a growing number of foreign buyers also are in it, taking advantage of a weaker dollar.
In Seattle, many second-home buyers have children in college here or work in the high-tech industry and live between Seattle and their hometowns. Many folks also have places here for the summer and then go to their condo’s in Palm Springs in the winter.