Best Of StateImpact: Why The Vacation Home Market Matters

petiteoiseau_noir / Flickr

Recreation--both summer and winter--is a huge driver of NH's second home market

Working on a site that deals with business and the economy, we look at a lot of reports.  Economic reports, financial reports, government analyses…it goes on and on.  So when we heard about the importance of second homes to New Hampshire’s economy, our first instinct was to reach for a report.

We came up empty-handed.

And when that happened, we decided to try to get our arms around how important vacation homes really are to the state’s economy, what this market looks like during The Great Recession, and what it could mean for the Granite State’s future.

This topic was a rich one for us, spawning a series of posts, interactive maps, and even a show on NHPR’s call-in show, “The Exchange.”

We ran with these posts shortly following the launch of StateImpact.  So if you missed the coverage (and the cool maps), we’ve got you covered!

Vacation Homes in New Hampshire: The Who, The What and The Where: Our inaugural post on the second home market in New Hampshire.  We break down how many vacation homes are in the state, and offer an interactive map.  Just click on the town, and find out how many second homes it hosts–and what percentage of total housing stock they make up.

Vacation Communities And The Rest Of New Hampshire: How Their Tax Rates Compare: Property taxes are always a hot topic in New Hampshire.  We look at the tax rates for popular second home communities, and how they stack up to the rest of the state.  Do high-dollar second homes drive up property taxes on the middle class, or push them down?  And is it worth trying to create a separate property tax rate for second homeowners?

What You Need To Know About The Vacation Home Market: A Realtor’s Perspective:  We talk with a long-time Lakes Region realtor about how hard the second home market was hit by the recession, who’s buying vacation homes these days, and how his firm returned to profitability.

Are Second Homeowners The Next Wave Of New Hampshire’s “Silver Tsunami?”: This piece offers another angle on the second homes market–with so many of these houses owned by Baby Boomers, what happens if (or when?) they choose to convert them to full-time retirement homes?  We explore the question with economists and demographers, examining this vital piece of the New Hampshire economy in light of the so-called “Graying of the Granite State.”

StateImpact Talks NH’s Seasonal Home Economy On “The Exchange”:  Morning talk show host Laura Knoy and her motley band of producers were intrigued by our coverage of vacation homes.  So they invited StateImpact reporter Amanda Loder to sit in with one of our sources–economist Russ Thibeault–to discuss the economic, social, and political issues tied to this real estate market on “The Exchange.”

How Much Do Vacation Homes Contribute To NH’s Economy?: Before going on “The Exchange,” economist Russ Thibeault tracked down an old report by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests that actually does put a dollar value on the economic impact of vacation homes.  Reaching back into the mists of mid-1990’s history, the report gives us a good (if aged) starting point for getting a ballpark figure on the importance of this market.


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