Vacation home sales took a vacation last year

By Diana Olick | CNBC

Soaring prices are hitting the vacation home market, as a growing number of Americans now choose to rent rather than buy their beach and mountain homes.

Sales of vacation homes slumped nearly 22 percent in 2016 to the lowest level in three years, even as overall home sales hit their highest level in a decade, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Vacation homebuyers also were more likely to take out a mortgage to help offset higher costs.

Several markets in the South and West — the two most popular destinations for vacation homebuyers — saw strong sales gains for years as job growth came back online after the financial crisis. But vacation home sales tanked last year as demand outstripped the supply of available homes, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the NAR.

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