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Second homeowner survey data reveals pandemic-related uptick in use  

Cape Cod’s second homeowners are spending more time here, according to results of a recent survey conducted by the Cape Cod Commission, the Donahue Institute at UMass Amherst and the Center for Public Opinion at UMass Lowell. 

A random sample of 20,000 second homeowners were invited to respond to an online survey; 924 homeowners completed the survey.  

The average age of respondents was 66, up from 65 in 2017 and 60 in 2008. Second homeowners cited access to the coast, the Cape’s historic character, environmental quality, and outdoor recreational activities as key factors that led to the decision to buy a home here.  

Overall, personal use of second homes appears to have increased. Forty-four percent of respondents, many of whom live in Massachusetts, said that they used their property more during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many respondents who live outside Massachusetts said the pandemic did not change the use of their home.  

Fifty-two percent (52%) of respondents were retired, while 46% were employed at the time of the survey. Employed second homeowners were working remotely and in hybrid situations at high rates during the pandemic. However, less than half of employed respondents said they planned to move permanently to Cape Cod. Among those who did, only 9 percent intended to work full-time, in contrast to over two-thirds who intended to retire. 

The survey also asked second homeowners about their interest in making their homes more energy efficient and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Many were only in the planning stages of making these modifications, but there was interest in several possible actions. 

Survey results show that Cape Cod remains a destination for retirees and individuals looking for open space, access to the coast, and outdoor recreation.  

The Cape Cod Commission periodically surveys the second homeowner population on Cape Cod to understand how second homes are used, how they might be used in the future, and how second homeowners participate in the local economy. The findings of this research inform economic development and land-use planning across Cape Cod. This is the third survey that has been issued. 

Detailed results and further information can be found by visiting: 

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