Key Highlights from ARDA’s Survey of Timeshare and Resort Management Companies

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 18:30

The American Resort Development Association (ARDA) recently posted a review of the report State of the Vacation Timeshare Industry: United States Study, 2013 edition. The report highlights the industry overview, health and outlook for the year 2012.  The main source for the report comes from an Ernst & Young LLP survey of resorts and timeshare management companies on behalf of ARDA International Foundation (AIF).

The report covered the vacation timeshare industry’s size.  At the end of 2012 there were 1,551 timeshare resorts across the nation with an average of 122 units and about 8.3 million weekly intervals owned.  There was a 6% increase in sales.  This is the largest growth in sales volume since the economic downfall.  Developers sold an estimate of 366,200 intervals with an average of $18,700 per interval.  
The health of the industry was also considered.  Timeshare owners have shown a steady use of their properties as the occupancy rate was around 77% with 14% of this coming from rentals.   Maintenance fees were up 5% at $822 per year which reportedly does not include what’s collected for property taxes, special assessments or contributions to reserves.
The beach resort is the most common, theme park and golf resorts are the largest and island resorts have the highest occupancy and maintenance fees.  Florida is still in the lead for the most and largest resorts while Hawaii has the highest average sales price and occupancy rates.  Half of total sales were for intervals priced between $20,000 and $29,999.
This was the first year participants disclosed information about the management of resorts.  The focus was on special assessments, reserve balances and contributions.  Fifteen percent levied at least one special assessment with the majority used to pay for a resort refurbishment.  The median reserve balance varied across the nation.  The median was $14,300, however in Hawaii 50% of resorts have balances of more than $25,000 per unit.  In South Carolina 14% of resorts have a higher balance than that. 
The outlook is promising as there is an interest in new developments.  Respondents estimate that they will build 7,900 new units in 2014.  This is a drastic growth in comparison to last year’s prediction when it was expected at 1,900.  The timeshare industry is working through inventory collected from the economic downfall.  This expected trend past the downfall provides an encouraging future for resort and timeshare properties and resort management companies.
Number of Resorts 1,551
Number of Units 189,200
Average Resort Size 122 Units
Intervals Owned 8.3 Million
Sales Volume $6.9 Billion
Intervals Sold 366,200
Average Sales Price $18,700
Annual Maintenance Fees $822 per Interaval
Occupancy Rate 76.9%
Rental Revenue $1.6 Billion
Read the full Developments article here and ARDA members and non-members can purchase the full or executive summary here.
Kristen Fitzpatrick