More than one-third of all residences sold last year were second homes, according to new research conducted by the National Association of Realtors.The trade group, which for the first time did extensive research on the subject, found that 23% of all homes purchased last year were for investment while another 13% functioned as vacation homes. In 2004 a record 2.82 million in second homes were acquired. Mortgage bankers fund second homes, which are referred to as "investor properties." Homes that are non-owner-occupied tend to have stricter underwriting standards, with some mortgage bankers requiring at least 20% down and charging a higher note rate. After analyzing Census Bureau figures for 2003, the NAR estimates that there are 43.8 million second homes in the United States, compared with 72.1 million owner-occupied units. The NAR can be found online at http://www.realtor.org.

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