The Big Chill: Vacasa Releases New Report on the Top U.S. Winter Markets to Buy a Vacation Home

North America’s largest vacation rental property manager ranks the top places to purchase as guests travel over the holiday season

PORTLAND, Ore., (Dec. 18, 2018) - Vacasa, the largest vacation rental property management company in North America, has released a new report outlining the top U.S. winter markets to buy a vacation home as potential buyers of vacation rentals hit the road for holiday travel, winter ski trips, and to experience the market at its peak before buying.

“This is the prime time for exploring vacation homes in winter markets. Travelers are seeking out a true winter experience, whether that entails spending time with family and friends indoors or hitting the slopes for a long ski weekend,” said Shaun Greer, senior director of real estate for Vacasa. “While doing so, they are able to get a feel for important buyer checklist items, including what the internet connectivity is like in the area, how the roads are being maintained leading up to the property, travel time to activities, and more.”

Data from Vacasa in markets where the company manages homes reveals that winter markets have seen a double-digit increase—more than 20 percent in just one year—in vacation rental occupancy from November through January, turning the heads of short-term rental buyers across the country toward winter destinations. Given the growing trend, Vacasa’s new report highlights which markets are delivering the highest return on investment for those considering purchasing a vacation home based on cap rate.

Vacasa’s top U.S. winter markets to buy a vacation rental:

  • Okemo/Ludlow, Vt.
  • Mount Hood, Ore.
  • Leavenworth, Wash.
  • Park City, Utah
  • Steamboat Springs, Colo.
  • Big Bear Lake, Calif.
  • Pagosa Springs, Colo.
  • Flagstaff, Ariz.
  • Stowe, Vt.
  • North Lake Tahoe, Calif.

Vacasa’s list of top winter markets includes some national favorites, as well as local markets within a few hours of major metropolitan areas. Not all destinations are downhill-skiing dependent, but most are close to a popular ski area, providing guests with plenty of activities in the winter months. Those traveling throughout the winter are encouraged to shop now and, if a home or market is a fit, consider purchasing, as a new study reveals some of the biggest discounts in home prices occur between October and February.

“If your winter experience proves positive and you’re ready to progress in the buying process, closing on the home in the shoulder season, which we consider April through October, can be beneficial as well,” said Greer. “If the home has been managed properly, the new owner stands to inherit a healthy number of reservations in the winter months, which equates to guaranteed guest income.

About Vacasa

Vacasa is the largest vacation rental management company in North America and offers property management and other real estate services directly and through licensed subsidiaries. Leveraging industry-leading technology, Vacasa maximizes revenue for homeowners and its partners, and provides unforgettable experiences for guests. Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Vacasa and its subsidiaries manage a growing portfolio of more than 11,000 vacation homes in the U.S., Europe, South and Central America, and Africa. In nine years, Vacasa has grown to more than 2,500 employees, has been honored as the Oregon Better Business Bureau Large Business of the Year and was ranked ninth on the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies list. For more information, visit