When visiting places on vacation it's always tempting to look at real estate prices and talk to people who own there.
Often times, owners will talk about the amazing appreciation they have experienced. I have visited places in the US where tourism/vacationing is the primary economy and the values have been climbing for decades without any other jobs!
Are there indicators that a vacation area is going to continue to appreciate? Do certain things (proximity to certain metros, historic trends, zoning restricitons, etc.) contribute to making a highly appreciating vacation market?
1- First of all avoid the big tourist trap resort areas. They all have appreciated in value and you will be buying at the top of the market. The only exception is if you buy something totally dilapidated and those properties are quickly snapped up by wholesalers and local developers.
2-Focus on second and third tier resort areas that are in states that no one thinks about.
3-Focus on second and third tier resort areas near the big tourist resort cities.
4- The only alternative is to create a resort area. There's lots of empty acreage of land across America for dirt cheap.
5-Start off building cabins around a lake or an RV parks overlooking colorful scenaty.
6-Price them for American working families and not for well heeled and monied folks.
7- Make money on volume and not on margin