Interesting article in the NY Times "Escapes" section today — Bright Spot in a Bad Economy: Renting Out (Your Second Home). Basically, the author is saying that vacation home rentals are becoming more and more popular. The reasons? Better value than staying at luxury hotels, and in a down economy, more vacationers are turning to close-by drive away destinations rather than exotic (and more costly) fly-away vacations. That's definitely been the case here in Sullivan County, where everyone I know who put their vacation home up for rent, for just a few weeks or the whole summer, has been fully booked and turning customers away. Now, that isn't a reason to go out and buy a second home as an investment for summer rental. The rental season here is just too short (summer/fall only, and we don't have a winter ski rental season), and the numbers don't add up as purely an investment. Another driver of rental demand this summer has also likely been potential buyers deciding to rent rather than buy until they have more confidence in the market — and if the market stabilizes over the next year and buyer confidence strengthens, that may temper rental demand somewhat.