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Many pandemic homebuyers purchased vacation homes, which are frequently vulnerable to natural disasters. In 2020 and 2021, purchases of second homes with high flood risk rose 45% from the prior two-year period (2018-2019), according to a Redfin analysis of ClimateCheck data and public housing records. There were also significant increases in purchases of second homes with high storm risk (40%) and high heat risk (39%). 

Demand for second homes surged during the pandemic as low mortgage rates, remote work and the desire to escape the city drove up demand for vacation properties. Overall, purchases of second homes were up 37% in the past two years from the two years before the pandemic. Demand has since fallen back below pre-pandemic levels as life has returned somewhat to normal, but many Americans now own at-risk second homes, which has implications for the future.