17 U.S. Cities Where Second Home Buyers Are Driving Up Real Estate Prices

17 U.S. Cities Where Second Home Buyers Are Driving Up Real Estate Prices

The allure of owning a second home in some of the United States’ most picturesque and desirable locations has led to a surge in real estate prices across several cities. From the snow-capped peaks of Aspen to the sunny shores of Miami, affluent second home buyers are reshaping the housing markets, making it increasingly difficult for local residents to find affordable homes. This trend not only affects the cost of living but also influences the local culture and community dynamics. As property values continue to climb, the challenges of maintaining a balance between welcoming tourists and supporting the local population become more pronounced. Here we explore 17 U.S. cities where the impact of second home purchases is most acutely felt, highlighting the changes and challenges each location faces.


Aspen, Colorado

Aspen, Colorado, is famed for its luxurious ski resorts and has become a top choice for affluent second home buyers. The influx of investment has led to some of the highest real estate prices in the nation, often far outstripping local earning potentials. This disparity has raised concerns about the long-term sustainability of the community and its ability to accommodate both wealthy visitors and year-round residents. The city continues to grapple with finding a balance that will keep its unique charm intact while being accessible to a broader demographic.


Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada

Lake Tahoe, straddling California and Nevada, offers stunning natural beauty that attracts numerous second home buyers. Its scenic vistas and year-round recreational activities have led to a robust market, with property values soaring as demand increases. The resulting economic impact has made it increasingly difficult for local families to find affordable housing. The dual-state location faces unique challenges as it tries to manage growth while preserving the environmental and cultural qualities that make it so appealing.


Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, has transformed from a secluded mountain town into a retreat for the wealthy, with second homes making up a significant portion of its real estate market. The town’s popularity with affluent buyers has led to escalating property prices, which impacts the affordability for long-term residents. Jackson Hole’s pristine environment and outdoor lifestyle continue to draw people, but there is a growing need for policies that will ensure the housing market remains accessible to everyone. The community is focused on balancing its economic benefits with the preservation of its small-town character and natural beauty.


Nantucket, Massachusetts

Nantucket, Massachusetts, experiences a significant transformation each season as second home buyers flock to the island, creating a dynamic shift in its demographic. The seasonal population increase drives up real estate prices, making it challenging for local residents to afford housing. Nantucket’s unique charm and picturesque settings continue to attract a wealthy clientele, leading to a competitive market that favors luxury investment over local living needs. The island is exploring ways to maintain its historic character while providing sustainable housing solutions for its year-round population.


Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina, with its rich history and vibrant culture, has become increasingly popular among second home buyers. This influx has led to a heated real estate market, where the demand often outstrips supply, escalating property values. The city’s architectural beauty and coastal lifestyle continue to draw interest, creating challenges for locals looking for affordable living options. Charleston is actively seeking ways to balance its growing popularity with the need to preserve its cultural heritage and ensure housing affordability for its residents.


Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida, known for its vibrant nightlife and beautiful beaches, has seen a surge in real estate prices due to its popularity with second home buyers from around the world. This trend has resulted in increased housing costs, which pose a significant challenge for local residents attempting to find affordable housing. Miami’s diverse culture and attractive climate continue to make it a top destination for international buyers looking for vacation homes. The city is working on strategies to manage its growth effectively and ensure that it remains a livable place for all its residents.


Park City, Utah

Park City, Utah, renowned for its ski resorts and outdoor recreational opportunities, has attracted a large number of second home buyers, pushing real estate prices to new heights. The town’s small size and limited housing stock exacerbate the problem, creating a significant barrier for locals seeking affordable housing. As Park City continues to grow in popularity, the community faces the challenge of accommodating both its tourist economy and its resident population. Efforts are underway to ensure that growth does not compromise the town’s character or the quality of life for permanent residents.


Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona, is renowned for its stunning red rock landscapes and has become a prime location for second home buyers, which has dramatically impacted the local real estate market. This influx has led to rising housing prices, making it difficult for local residents to afford living in their own community. Sedona’s natural beauty and serene environment continue to attract those seeking a peaceful retreat, intensifying the demand for housing. The city is exploring measures to manage this growth sustainably, ensuring that it remains accessible to both visitors and long-term residents.


Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs, California, attracts second home buyers with its unique mid-century modern architecture and consistently sunny weather, leading to a robust and competitive real estate market. The city’s appeal as a resort destination has resulted in increased property prices, which often makes it challenging for locals to find affordable housing. Palm Springs continues to be a favorite among retirees and vacationers, further driving the demand for second homes. Efforts are being made to balance the city’s economic interests with the need for sustainable local housing policies.


Telluride, Colorado

Telluride, Colorado, is a small yet popular ski town that has seen real estate prices skyrocket due to high demand from second home buyers. This trend has made it increasingly difficult for local residents to secure housing, as the market caters more to wealthier non-residents. Telluride’s charming, small-town appeal and beautiful mountain setting continue to attract a high number of tourists and second home investors. The community is striving to find solutions that will allow it to retain its character while also accommodating the needs of its permanent residents.


Key West, Florida

Key West, Florida, is renowned for its laid-back atmosphere and stunning beaches, which make it a popular destination for second home buyers. This influx has led to rising housing prices, significantly affecting affordability for local residents. Key West’s distinct culture and vibrant community continue to draw visitors, but the local housing market struggles to keep up with the demand. The city faces ongoing challenges in balancing tourism with the needs of its residents, prompting efforts to address housing affordability.


Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, experiences seasonal spikes in its population due to the high number of second homes, which drives up local real estate prices. This trend impacts the availability and affordability of housing for year-round residents. The area’s attractive beaches and quaint towns continue to be a draw for vacationers and second home buyers alike. Cape Cod is seeking ways to manage its seasonal population changes without losing its charm or displacing long-term residents.


Hilton Head, South Carolina

Hilton Head, South Carolina, known for its picturesque beaches and premier golf courses, has seen a surge in second home buyers. This has not only increased real estate prices but also changed the community dynamics, posing challenges for local residents trying to find affordable housing. Hilton Head’s popularity continues to grow, which fuels the demand for luxury properties and vacation homes. The community is actively looking for solutions to ensure it remains welcoming and accessible to both tourists and permanent residents.


Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico, is celebrated for its vibrant arts scene and historical significance, attracting many second home buyers. This influx has contributed to escalating housing prices, making it increasingly difficult for locals to afford homes. Santa Fe’s cultural richness and unique architectural style continue to draw interest from around the country. The city is exploring strategies to balance its artistic appeal with the housing needs of its permanent population, ensuring it remains a thriving and inclusive community.


Bend, Oregon

Bend, Oregon, has rapidly become a haven for second home buyers due to its exceptional outdoor recreational opportunities and appealing lifestyle. This popularity has led to a hot housing market, where prices are increasingly out of reach for many locals. Bend’s growth as a residential and vacation destination continues to impact its housing market dynamics. The city is now focused on developing policies that will ensure it can sustain its growth without excluding long-term residents from the housing market.


The Hamptons, New York

The Hamptons, New York, serves as a prestigious retreat for many New Yorkers, with second homes dominating the local real estate market. This exclusivity has led to soaring property values, often making it difficult for year-round residents to find affordable housing. The area remains highly desirable for its picturesque landscapes and elite social scene, which continues to attract a wealth of investment in vacation properties. The Hamptons are grappling with the challenge of maintaining their exclusive appeal while ensuring the local community remains vibrant and accessible.


Malibu, California

Malibu, California, with its stunning beachfront settings, is a top market for second homes, leading to exorbitant real estate prices and significant shifts in the local economy. The high demand for luxury properties continues to impact the availability and affordability of housing for regular inhabitants. Malibu’s allure as a celebrity hotspot and its spectacular ocean views keep it on the map as one of the most sought-after locations for high-end buyers. The city is facing ongoing pressures to balance its status as a luxury destination with the needs of its long-term residents, striving to create a more inclusive housing market.



The rising influence of second home buyers in various U.S. cities underscores a broader issue of housing affordability and community sustainability. As these cities continue to attract wealthy investors, the challenge lies in ensuring that growth benefits all residents, not just the affluent. Local governments and communities must work together to develop strategies that preserve the unique character of these areas while providing viable housing solutions for their full-time populations. Balancing tourism and resident needs is crucial to maintaining the vibrancy and diversity that make these cities desirable places to live and visit. Ultimately, the goal is to foster environments where both visitors and locals can thrive, ensuring that these cities remain dynamic and inclusive communities.

By: Local News X I msn.com I June 2, 2024

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