Is Now a Good Time to Buy Timeshare?

If you are considering buying a timeshare, you might be wondering if now is a good time to do so. There are several factors to take into account when making this decision. The timeshare development industry has been growing steadily since the 2008 recession, according to annual studies conducted by the American Resort Development Association, with larger, healthier companies consolidating and expanding their inventories. This modest growth trend is likely to continue in 2017, unless an unexpected economic crisis or political event changes things. Rapid growth of the market, however, is hindered by factors such as low resale value, stringent government regulations, and uncertainty of the future.

buy timeshareAccording to Timesharing Today, there are several transitions in progress that will affect current and prospective timeshare owners. Maintenance fees, for example, are expected to increase between 2-5% on average this year as HOA boards attempt to offset increasing delinquencies with the need to renovate older units and onsite amenities at legacy resorts. The secondary market will likely continue to struggle as many original timeshare owners begin to age out of their timeshare travel and resale inventory outnumbers demand. While timeshares were a popular vacation option for baby boomers and the generation before them, it seems as though millennials are not as enthralled with the idea. Younger generations are tending to prefer short, spontaneous vacations as opposed to week-long stays at one resort, and are especially cautious of lifelong purchase contracts. It remains unclear how the millennial generation will react to and impact the timeshare industry as they age.

Another wild card factor for the future of the timeshare industry is the trajectory of President Trump’s time in office. During his campaign, the Republican Party adopted a platform that included a promise to dismantle the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which investigates complaints about financial credit and loan programs that may defraud consumers. It is currently investigating numerous industries and at least one timeshare company, Westgate Resorts, for their practice of financing owners’ timeshare purchases. Again, Trump’s regulatory reform policies remain unclear.

So, while there are some uncertainties that lie ahead regarding the industry as a whole, it still may be a good time to purchase. You can be confident that at this moment in time, the timeshare industry is growing steadily and relatively healthy. Be sure, however, to ask yourself these questions and do your research before moving forward. Make sure you are ready for the large time and financial commitment that comes with timeshare ownership. And also be aware that once you own a timeshare, it can be very difficult to get rid of, as the struggling resale market suggests.

Vida Vacations Timeshare Experience

We received the following submission from one of our users about their experience purchasing a timeshare with Vida Vacations in Mexico:

timeshare experience“We went to a timeshare presentation at the Riviera Maya in Nov. 2015. It was the worst thing we could of done. Sadly we were scammed. In the sales presentation we asked many questions, and some questions various times. Every question or doubt we had regarding the contract was put to ease by the 2 sales persons who dealt with us. We have tried contacting them at many different numbers and sent them letters. We have been promised that our calls will be returned but they are not. They will not cancel the purchase or contract and they will not even bother to speak to us and find a resolution.

We found 170 complaints on one website against this merchant and their timeshare sales such as the one we bought. I also found dozens of complaints at other complaints boards, at the better business bureau and dozens of other sites online. If you search online Vida Vacations or Vacation Privileges or Mayan resorts you will see endless lists of customers who like us were lied to and scammed.

DO NOT VISIT THIS RESORT OR GO TO THEIR TIMESHARE PRESENTATION NO MATTER WHAT IS OFFERED TO YOU. DO NOT BUY FROM THESE THIEVES.”

Timeshare and the Economy

There is no doubt that the timeshare industry has a significant impact on the economy at regional, state, and national levels. The American Resort Development Association (ARDA), the national trade association that represents the vacation ownership and resort development industries, offers a detailed look at the direct and indirect ways in which the timeshare industry affects the economy through reports produced by its research arm, ARDA International Foundation (AIF). According to timeshare and the economyAIF’s most recent economic report, which is based on 2015 data, the timeshare industry provided:

522,782 jobs, an 8% increase over 2013

$28.1 billion in total labor income, a 19% increase over 2013

$79.5 billion in total U.S. economic output 

$10 billion in total spending by timeshare vacationers, 34% onside and 66% offsite

$10.2 billion in total taxes, a 21% increase over 2013 – 59% federal, 20% state, and 21% local

As you can see from the data above, the timeshare industry plays a major role in consumer and business spending in the U.S. The industry provides various full- and part-time jobs including jobs on the resorts themselves, sales and marketing, corporate operations, construction of new resorts, renovation of existing resorts, and vacation spending. These jobs generate over $28 billion in salaries and wages, and more than $10 billion in tax revenue per year.

While the timeshare industry has clearly had a positive impact on the U.S. economy as a whole, the local economic benefits also are substantial, particularly in Florida, California, and South Carolina, the three states with the most resorts, representing roughly 38% of all U.S. timeshare resorts. During their vacation stays, timeshare owners and guests spend money onsite at the resorts as well as offsite in the communities where the timeshare resorts are located. According to the Economic Impact of the Timeshare Industry on the U.S. Economy, 2012 Edition, cited in an article by the University of Central Florida’s media platform UCF Today, “timeshare visitors spent an average of $1,785 per travel party during their vacations in Orlando in 2011. Based on this spending level and an estimated number of travel parties, visitors spent an estimated $363 million at Orlando area timeshare resorts in 2011 and $1.3 billion at other businesses (outside of timeshare resorts), totaling $1.6 billion in consumer spending.”

If these numbers are any indication, we will continue to see a positive economic trend as it relates to the timeshare industry in the years to come.