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Vacation home survey figures.

Second-home sales accounted for one-third of US real estate transactions in 2007, which is close to historic norms.

This is one of the findings of a survey released last week by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the findings suggest different cycles for different sectors over the past two years.

"Investment home sales declined sharply in 2006 as speculators disappeared, leaving the market to serious buyers, with the pattern continuing in 2007," he said.

"Vacation home sales rose to a new record in 2006 because there was a pent-up demand from buyers who couldn't find a property as a result of tight supplies in preceding years."

The combined total of vacation and investment home sales declined with the overall market in 2007, but still accounted for 33% of all existing and new home sales.

The market share of homes purchased for investment last year was 21%, down from 22% in 2006, while another 12% were vacation homes, compared with a 14% market share in 2006.

The total share of second homes declined from 36% of transactions in 2006.

NAR’s annual Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey shows vacation home sales dropped 30.6% to 740,000 in 2007 from a record 1.07 million in 2006, while investment home sales fell 18.1% to 1.35 million last year from 1.65 million in 2006.

At the same time, primary residence sales declined 10.0% to 4.34 million in 2007 from 4.82 million in 2006.

The median price of a vacation home was $195,000 in 2007, down 2.5% from $200,000 in 2006. The typical investment property cost $150,000 last year, unchanged from 2006.

59% of vacation homes purchased in 2007 were detached single-family homes, 29% condos, 7% townhouses or row houses, and 5% other. In 2006, single family homes accounted for 67% of vacation-home sales, while condos were 21%.

For more information about the survey visit NAR's website.

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