Timeshare industry still growing, up 2.4 percent

from TimeSharing Today

There are 8,400,000 timeshare intervals in the United States according to recent studies released by the American Resort Development Association (ARDA). According to the State of the Vacation Timeshare Industry: United States Study 2012 Edition conducted by Ernst & Young, sales of vacation products increase slightly from the previous year.

Occupancy at timeshare resorts was 79%, a figure that continues to outpace traditional hotel occupancy (60% in 2011) year after year. Fifteen percent of the timeshare occupancy rate was comprised of renters, with 64% occupied by either owners or exchange guests.

Year 2011 sales volume increased by 2.4% from 2010. There were about 353,800 timeshare intervals sold at an average price of $18,400 - the number of intervals sold increased by 7.5% in 2011, while the average price decreased by 4.7%.

The weighted average maintenance fee charged per interval was $786, up almost 8% from 2010. The average was $636 for studios, $630 for one bedroom units, and $909 for units with two or more bedrooms.

Sales prices and maintenance fees tend to be higher for resorts with greater levels of sales volume, likely owing to the fact that these resorts are newer resorts.

The most common resort type in the U.S. timeshare industry is the beach resort. Theme park and golf resorts tend to be the largest; island resorts are the most expensive and have the highest occupancy.

Florida continues to have the most resorts, and resorts there tend to be much larger than in most other regions. Hawaiian resorts have the highest average sales price and occupancy rates.

Resorts with higher average sales prices also tend to have higher occupancy and maintenance fees. Again, this may derive from the fact that these tend to be newer resorts with more amenities and desirability.

As of December 31, 2011, there were 1,5484 timeshare resorts in the United States. These resorts represented approximately 194,200 physical timeshare units - 125 units per resort on average. If lock-offs are counted as separate units, there are an additional 52,800 units, for a total of approximately 247,000.

The two bedroom unit is the most common type at 64% of units, followed by the one bedroom at 21%. Nine percent of units have three or more bedrooms; another 6% are studios. This mix of unit types has remained relatively consistent for the past several years.