Tourism is huge in New Hampshire. And a big, but under-studied, piece of that economy is the second home market. Although the Division of Travel and Tourism keeps track of occasional and overnight visitors, it doesn’t keep track of vacation home owners. So it’s hard to pin down a hard number on their economic impact. But it’s safe to say it’s big.
According to information from the 2010 US Census, New Hampshire hosts 63,910 second homes.
That’s more than 10 percent of the state’s total housing stock, and places New Hampshire in the top three vacation home states by percentage. And despite the recession, the market appears to be going strong. Since 2000, the state’s seen an additional 7,500 seasonal homes crop up. Real estate analysts and economists say the bulk of the state’s second homes are owned by Baby-boomers from the Boston metro.
Although many communities count at least one seasonal home, there are clear areas where they tend to be concentrated. The Lakes Region hosts a number of high-value second properties. In fact, the town of Moultonborough boasts the most seasonal homes, at nearly 3,000. The other major concentration is in the White Mountains. Waterville is a popular spot for ski enthusiasts; only 10 percent of the town’s homes are occupied by year-round residents. Farther into the North Country, five very small towns are made up entirely of seasonal homes. The largest is Success in Coos County, which is a community made up of 63 residences.