This article builds on the current recognition of the uneven geography of the second home phenomenon. Where other studies have attempted local-scale analysis of second homes, there has been a tendency to characterise localities as homogeneous and a failure to fully recognise key geographical variations in the composition of second home characteristics within local areas. This analysis demonstrates the importance of understanding the distinct place speciﬁcity of this composition including, crucially, the signiﬁcance of the ‘residual’ category of second homes. Using data from the Spanish housing census together with local ﬁeld observations, this place-speciﬁc heterogeneity is examined in the municipalities of the predominantly mountainous rural setting of the Alpujarra region in Granada Province, southern Spain. The wider relevance of the study area relates to its demographic history of rural depopulation combined with its popularity as a second home residential tourism destination as well as more recent localised patterns of counterurbanisation.