What makes the perfect vacation home? That can be a personal decision. It’s often a place you have a connection to. For most people, it needs to be close to home and easily accessible. It should be somewhere you can relax but also with plenty of fun activities. And of course, the price has to be practical for your lifestyle and income. Vacation rental management platform Vacasa, just released its fifth annual Top 25 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home report this week. And this year, several North Carolina destinations ranked as one of the best places to buy a vacation home. Locations are ranked on capitalization (cap) rate, or rate of return on your investment.

Some notable findings from the report:

  • 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. There are 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. According to our 2022 Vacation Rental Buyer Report, short-term rental buyers are most interested in beach markets, up 10% over 2021.
  • 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.

The Best Places To Buy A Vacation Home Including Three In North Carolina