Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Vacation Home Sales Are Hot


Last updated 1/5/2016 at 8:44am

It may come as no surprise when people refer to Borrego Springs as hot.

If you have ever been brave enough to experience the desert in the summer you know exactly how hot it can be. But there is a nationwide trend underway that puts new meaning in the word hot when it comes to communities like Borrego Springs.

Vacation home sales are seeing tremendous growth in recent years. We have a very diverse group of people who call Borrego Springs home for at least part of the year. While our full time population is just under 3,000 people, our population can swell to several times that number during the peak of the season. This is because the majority of property owners in the valley are considered vacation home owners.

Let’s take a closer look at who they are and where all these people are coming from.

There are two main groups of part-time residents. The first group is what many refer to as the Snowbirds. These are typically people who live somewhere else for part of the year and head our way to escape the cold wintery weather where their other residence is located. They come for our relatively temperate climate and tend to stay for some or all of the winter months.

The second broad group of seasonal residents is not really all that seasonal. This group is mostly made up of people who own a primary home within a few hours of Borrego Springs. Many of them are still working and look at their home in Borrego as a place to get away from the rat race of city life. They may also have plans to one day retire in their vacation home. These people tend to come for weekends and holidays with an occasional longer stay when they can juggle it with all the other commitments in their life. They are typically close enough to easily drive out for the weekend.

Vacation home sales have been on an uptrend for the last several years. According to the most recent National Association of Realtors report, vacation home purchases are at their highest level since the survey began in 2003. In 2014 the share of vacation home buyers rose to twenty one percent from thirteen percent the previous year. That is an astonishing fifty-seven percent increase in vacation home purchases in just one year! According to the report onethird of the vacation home buyers plan to use their property for vacations or as a family retreat, 19 percent plan to convert their vacation home into their primary residence in the future, 13 percent bought for potential price appreciation and 13 percent purchased because of low real estate prices and they found a good deal.

More than 80 percent of vacation buyers and investment buyers reported that now is a good time to purchase real estate. This surge in vacation home purchases is likely due to several factors. Demographics are playing a key role in this trend. Baby Boomers make up a large portion of the population in the United States and a number of them are on the cusp of retiring. Many are seeking the tranquility of a resort area or a small town like Borrego Springs.

The stock market’s strong performance over the last several years has also contributed to the wealth of many people who are now considering a vacation home. In addition, the value of coastal properties has largely recovered. This is giving potential buyers more flexibility to refinance their primary residence and purchase a vacation home. These factors have raised the overall confidence level which has resulted in the record number of sales. This trend of vacation home buying shows no signs of slowing. People nearing retirement age are still very active and they are seeking places to have fun as they play out the latter part of their lives.

Because of our mild winters, proximity to the coastal communities of Southern California, and the variety of outdoor activities available, Borrego Springs will continue to attract a high percentage of vacation home buyers looking for their place in the sun.

– David Cragoe is the owner/ broker of Road Runner Realty and voluntarily writes articles for the Real Estate section of the Borrego Sun.


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