By Matthew Power. A new study by the National Association of Realtors has some surprising news about second homes. There are a total of roughly seven million second homes, about twice as many as previously thought. Vacation homes represent about 6 percent of all home sales, or 400,000 per year; the income of buyers averaged somewhat lower than expected, at $77,000.

Reason for Buying

Getaway for family: 51%

Retirement home: 18%

Investment: 15%

Rental income: 15%

Other: 1%

Source: NAR