Despite concerns about rising interest rates, the second-home market remains strong, according to a recent study of top second-home markets from EscapeHomes.com.

The median year-over-year price increase for second homes in EscapeHomes.com’s Price Index was 22 percent in the first half of 2004. Beach and mountain destinations led the way in appreciation with Holden Beach, N.C., and Park City, Utah, at the top of the list, but all destinations in the index showed robust price appreciation.

“We continue to see strong price appreciation and high consumer demand in our index markets for several reasons,” according to EscapeHomes CEO David Hehman. “First, the large base of baby boomers entering retirement years is putting pressure on these markets. Second, the top vacation and retirement markets are limited in choice homes. And finally, people are choosing real estate to diversify their portfolios, especially since interest rates are still at historic lows.”

EscapeHomes.com Price Index for Second Homes is currently based on these market areas: Bend, Ore.; Holden Beach, N.C.; Incline Village, Nev.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Naples, Fla.; Park City, Utah; Santa Barbara, Calif.; Sarasota, Fla.; St. Helena, Calif.; and Truckee, Calif.

EscapeHomes.com is an online marketplace for second-home real estate that matches buyers with real estate professionals who specialize in local markets.

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