Forsaking the beach and the lake

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Forsaking the beach and the lake

Usually at this time of year the well-off begin contemplating their summer migration to places like the Hamptons and Cape Cod. But this year a lot more beach houses and lake cottages will be standing empty.

The housing downturn has been particularly tough for second-home markets where it's taking much longer for properties to sell. The wealthy have seen their incomes drop and their portfolios sink during the past six months, and fewer of them can afford to maintain more than a single home and are happy to rent a vacation home rather than to own one. We asked Zillow.com to come up with a list of vacation markets that are suffering most and ones that are holding up relatively well. Of course, the home-value data are through the end of last year, so some of these relatively strong markets might not be as strong any more.

Source: Zillow.com

Editor's Note: This is not a ranking of the best and worst markets, but rather a sampling. The annual home value change compares the fourth quarter of last year to the same period a year earlier. The ranking is based on Zillow.com's Home Value Index, which is the median "Zestimate" for a given geography for a given time period. The Zestimate™ is Zillow's estimated market value of a home. This figure is computed by taking many different data points from public records and entering them in a proprietary formula.