Have you ever been in an airport, looked around and wondered if any of those folks own a timeshare? Maybe not, but you’d be surprised at how many actually do enjoy the benefits of timeshare ownership.
In the last few years, the timeshare industry has boomed. Sales are up, hotels are building new resorts, and the profile of timeshare owners is changing. In an effort to understand the changes happening in this blossoming industry, the ARDA (American Resort Development Association) has conducted some studies and released some statistics on the modern timeshare owner.
Are you a typical timeshare owner or an exception to the rule? Could these statistics determine why all of your friends have bought a timeshare in the last few years? Read below to see where you stand in the timeshare ownership lineup.
Age of Timeshare Owners
A recent TUG forum poll showed that the average timeshare owner is somewhere between the ages of 50 and 75, with the median between 54 and 63. Many commenters confirmed the poll numbers, but said they had purchased their timeshare much earlier, sometime in their 40s, and have enjoyed their timeshare(s) for the last decade.
One user said, “We’re in our mid 60s and purchased our first Marriott [timeshare] in 1993, Royal Palms, 1995 Harbor Cub HH, and Ocean Club Aruba preconstruction in 1997. We have really had a wonderful experience using them ourselves, giving as wedding gifts to our children and now having grandkids come with us.”
Another user commented, “We bought our first Marriott timeshare in 1995 as a means to provide our blended family joint vacation time. Hubby was 54 and I was 44. At this time I am looking forward to a family vacation in June at the Summit Watch in Park City, Utah with the 4 kids, their spouses and all 7 grandkids.”
Photo by U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Amber E. N. Jacobs
These numbers and comments point to two important things: the ages of the average timeshare buyer and owner, and more importantly the ways these middle aged consumers have used their timeshares. The ages of timeshare owners is not arbitrary, it alludes to the great advantages received by happy timeshare owners, a place to be with family and create lasting memories.
Demographics released by the ARDA noted that 78.1% of owners are either married or have a domestic partner and 23.6% have a child under the age of 18 living at home, further proving that timeshare ownership is ideal for families.
Income of Timeshare Owners
The ARDA International Foundation (AIF) released information from a study on timeshare owners in November 2014. The study showed multiple interesting conclusions that have excited the ARDA and may point to why the timeshare industry has been steadily growing in the last few years.
In older demographic information released by the ARDA, the average income of a timeshare owner was $72,900, and was often thought of as a number that didn’t necessarily represent the income of timeshare owners, but the median between the two extremes.
Timeshare companies found that timeshare owners either made between $50,000 to $60,000 or something closer to $100,000–making $70,000 appear to be the median. Although $60,000 is a comfortable living for most, the rising cost of maintenance fees made timeshare ownership difficult for many people in that bracket, who would rather unload a timeshare costing $600 a year than continue paying the fees. On the other side of the spectrum, $600 a year is much more reasonable to someone making $100,000 a year, who would likely spend more than than on a vacation to these high quality resorts.
This tradition has manifested in the results of the AIF study, which showed that new owners tend to average a median household income of $94,800. The study showed that new timeshare owners valued the long-term vacation savings and flexibility a timeshare provides: 36% buying a timeshare to save money on future vacations and 31% buying for the flexibility a timeshare offers.
More good news is that timeshare owners that are looking to unload their property are working with timeshare resale companies, which can offer timeshares at unbeatable prices and still yield positive returns for sellers. The AIF study showed that 57% of new owners spent $10,000 or more on their timeshare, but did not point out whether new timeshare buyers could have saved money purchasing a timeshare resale.
The New Timeshare Owner
AIF’s study, titled the Shared Vacation Ownership Study, found a bunch of exciting information on the new timeshare market.
Howard Nusbaum, president and CEO of ARDA, said, “We’re excited not only about the fact that sales are up in our industry, but also about why they are up. While existing owners continue to enjoy the lifestyle and purchase more timeshare[s], it’s the new owners that are responsible for the majority of qualified new sales.”
New timeshare owners proved to be nearly 10 years younger than typical timeshare owners, with 39% Gen Xers, 30% Millennials, and a median age of 39. The new crowd is 42% African American or Hispanic and are also highly educated, with 72% being college graduates and 23% having graduate degrees, which also helps account for the rising median household income.
Photo Credit: Canyons Resort
New owners are also taking the advice of many timeshare companies and veteran owners and doing their research before purchasing. Seventy-five percent of the study’s subjects reported having had some interaction with a timeshare resort before purchasing and 44% said they initially stayed at the resort where they bought as a guest of another owner. Forty-two percent experienced timeshare vacations through renting first
and 35% said they attended multiple sales presentations before buying, an interesting turn of events since timeshare presentations have been demonized as high-pressure situations forcing unexpecting victims into bad purchases.
These numbers show a change in the timeshare industry. Once criticized as a shady market full of scams and regrets, the industry has fought hard to rebuild its reputation. Through legislation passed to protect owners and active convictions against timeshare scam artists, noble companies have risen to the top of the industry and are offering fair, quality timeshares to wanting buyers.
Why Buy a Timeshare?
The new evidence is exciting. Timeshares are being sold honorably and to a satisfied public. The AIF study showed that timeshare ownership across the United States has risen from 7.2% in 2012 to 7.9% in 2014, with the numbers continuing to grow.
The uses for timeshare owners vary widely and evenly, with usage fairly equally spread between summer, fall and spring and travel distance ranging from under 500 miles to over 1,000 equal between owners as well. In a survey conducted by RCI, a prominent exchange company, 50% of their sample of owners owned a seashore or ocean beach property, followed by 29% at a golf destination, 21% at a snow skiing destination, and 20% at a lake or river destination. Almost 30% of the owners surveyed proudly owned more than one timeshare.
The same RCI survey found that exchange opportunity was responsible for motivating 84% of owners to buy a timeshare. Sixty percent cited being able to save money on future vacation as a motivator and 52% noted that they simply liked the timeshare resort, amenities and/or unit as their reason for buying.
Variety, family, and saving money on vacations–these are the reasons to buy a timeshare resale. Are these motivations for you? If so, contact one of our licensed timeshare agents and learn more about buying a timeshare, the money saving deals Premier Timeshare Resale can offer, and the advantages that come with timeshare ownership. Join the over 25 million timeshare owners in the United States today!