BAM Key Details: 

  • Pacaso just shared its list of the top 15 second home markets in the U.S. for 2023, based on Optimal Blue data. 
  • Eight of the top 15 markets are located in Florida. 

Pacaso just released its list of the 15 hottest second home markets in the U.S. year to date, based on Optimal Blue second home transaction data from January 1st to May 3rd, 2023.

Among those counties, those with warm-weather destinations and postcard-worthy coastal towns, especially in Florida, were the most popular with second home buyers. 

Florida took up over half the list; eight of the 15 counties with the highest number of second home transactions so far this year are in the Sunshine State. 

With the spring homebuying season well underway and nearing the mid-way point of the year, the housing market continues to face challenges with inventory hitting a pre-pandemic low, leading to rising home prices. However, despite the recent uptick in mortgage rates, potential homebuyers remain optimistic and are returning to the market, as seen in the increasing number of mortgage applications. We took a look at second home transactions thus far in 2023 and it is no surprise that Florida dominates the list, with eight out of the 15 counties with the most second home transactions in 2023. The Sunshine State’s beautiful beaches and laid-back lifestyle continue to be major draws for buyers.

Austin Allison

Pacaso CEO and Co-Founder

The 15 hottest second home markets in the U.S. in 2023 and their average home prices

    1. Maricopa County, AZ: Average price $679,000 (0.8% increase YoY)
    2. Horry County, SC: $379,000 (7.9% increase YoY)
    3. Lee County, FL: $525,000 (-11.1% decrease YoY)
    4. Sussex County, DE: $615,000 (-5.1% decrease YoY)
    5. Collier County, FL: $840,000 (-2.1% decrease YoY)
    6. Palm Beach County, FL: $749,000 (9.9% increase YoY)
    7. Barnstable County, MA: $856,000 (0.4% increase YoY)
    8. Sarasota County, FL: $660,000 (13.1% increase YoY)
    9. Clark County, NV: $444,000 (-7.3% decrease YoY)
    10. Pinellas County, FL: $589,000 (4.8% increase YoY)
    11. Bay County, FL: $483,000 (2.1% increase YoY)
    12. Riverside County, CA: $846,000 (0.4% increase YoY)
    13. Broward County, FL: $691,000 (16.8% increase YoY)
    14. Manatee County, FL: $777,000 (27.7% increase YoY)
    15. Cape May County, NJ: $989,000 (-9.3% decrease YoY)

At number one is Maricopa County, Arizona, which includes Phoenix and Scottsdale and offers a variety of attractions—including world-class golf courses, chef-driven restaurants, hiking trails, and popular entertainment options. 

The number two second home market is Horry County, South Carolina, which has the most affordable second home real estate of all the counties on the list, with an average value of $375,000. Plus, you get Myrtle Beach with its 60 miles of sandy beaches, along with celebrity-designed golf courses and other popular attractions. 

Rounding out the top three is Lee County, Florida. Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, the county seat of Fort Myers consistently ranks as one of the top U.S. destinations for beachcombing, shelling, kayaking, and bird-watching. 

Three Florida counties on the list—Manatee County, Broward County, and Sarasota County—have the highest numbers for year-over-year price appreciation for second homes.

Topping the list for the highest price for second home real estate is Cape May County, New Jersey, with an average value of $989,000. From the picturesque Jersey Shore to popular towns like Avalon, Cape May County is a favorite summer destination for many East Coast residents.

Check out the Pacaso blog for more details. 

Takeaways for real estate agents

If your clientele includes second home or vacation home buyers, keep these lists and supporting data on hand to share with them. 

Those who’ve been on the fence about buying a second home in Lee County, Florida, for example, might be encouraged by the 11.1% annual drop in home prices. On the flip side, someone seeing prices creep up in Maricopa County, AZ, or in Barnstable County, MA, might be more motivated to buy now before prices rise all the more. You don’t know what details could change things for your clients and prospects, so keep tabs on any information that could impact their decision.

And make sure they understand the challenges as well as the benefits of buying a second home.