Vacasa Posts: 2022: Top 25 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home – Port St. Joe is No. 24!

Rising home prices open up new top markets

While vacation rentals in the most popular vacation destinations can still deliver healthy returns for homeowners, climbing median home prices are affecting cap rates in several of our past top markets. The upside? That cap rate compression gives buyers even more options to consider, with over a dozen new markets on the list this year.

Inventory is catching up with demand

After several years of historically high demand—coupled with historically low inventory—the real estate market is stabilizing and inventory is catching up. That’s good news for buyers who have more opportunity to regain some leverage in what is still, predominantly, a seller’s market.

Still trending: beachfront road trips

A theme among this year’s top markets? Drive-to, waterfront destinations—which is a similar theme in our other reports, too. According to our 2022 Vacation Rental Buyer Report, short-term rental buyers are most interested in beach markets, up 10% over 2021. On the guest side, sunny beaches dominated the 10 most-searched cities in Vacasa’s 2022 Vacation Rental Search Report.

A price point for every buyer

The 2022 Vacation Rental Buyer Report also shows that younger buyers are now the majority of vacation home purchasers, and millennials and Gen Z are willing to spend a bit more than the older generations—with budgets often over $400,000. Fortunately, this year’s list features markets with median home prices both above and below that threshold, so buyers can find a location that meets their financial goals and motivations.

Regardless of buyer experience, agent experience is key

Though the same buyer report indicates that experienced vacation rental buyers are growing in number—following a surge of first-time buyers over the past few years—both sides agree: “Vacation rental industry knowledge” is the most important agent qualification (which Vacasa Real Estate has in spades). In addition to providing rental income projections, an experienced agent should also be knowledgeable about local short-term rental regulations and permitting.

Top 25 markets for buying a vacation home in 2022

Market Cap rate Median home sale price
1 Lake Anna, VA 12.2% $435,000
2 Port Aransas, TX 10.7% $295,000
3 Palm Coast, FL 10.3% $354,000
4 Corolla, NC 10.2% $930,000
5 Okaloosa Island, FL 9.0% $425,000
6 Fort Lauderdale, FL 8.5% $490,250
7 Phoenix, AZ 7.8% $470,000
8 Saugatuck, MI 7.8% $510,000
9 Sylva, NC 7.7% $333,000
10 Gulf Shores, AL 7.5% $437,250
11 Cape Coral, FL 7.3% $436,475
12 Frankfort, MI 7.3% $454,900
13 Tucson, AZ 7.1% $340,000
14 Daytona, FL 7.0% $260,500
15 Boothbay, ME 6.9% $413,000
16 Savannah, GA 6.8% $300,000
17 Nags Head, NC 6.7% $887,000
18 Westport, WA 6.7% $446,547
19 Nashville, TN 6.6% $470,000
20 Bradenton, FL 6.5% $436,450
21 Depoe Bay, OR 6.4% $486,000
22 Dauphin Island, AL 6.4% $775,000
23 Hatteras Island, NC 6.4% $850,000
24 Port St. Joe, FL 6.4% $500,000
25 Hilton Head Island, SC 6.3% $688,000