Attendance at the Ragatz Associates’ ninth Fractional Interest Conference, held in San Francisco last month, was down to 400 delegates (compared to 740 last year) because of the economic crisis, but organisers remained upbeat about the event and the future of the fractional ownership industry.
“It is a slow time for everyone, but we feel quite positive overall regarding the economy,” said Richard Ragatz, President of Ragatz Associates.
The Conference was the platform for the presentation of the association’s latest survey on the shared ownership resort real estate industry in North America, which looked at the developments in fractional interest projects, private residence clubs and destination clubs.
The survey identified 314 fractional interest projects and private residence clubs in North America, along with 12 destination clubs. The majority of these (68 per cent) are in the United States, with 17 per cent in Canada, six per cent in the Caribbean and nine per cent in Mexico. Of the 314 developments, 138 are currently in active sales.
The total sales volume in the shared-ownership industry decreased by 34 per cent in 2008. This figure is not so bad when compared with a 40.5 per cent drop in whole-ownership vacation home sales, proof of the bigger resilience of fractional ownership products.
“Fractional ownership is a very good product for the current uncertain times, as it is based on value and rationality, and not on speculation. We expect that shared-ownership products will come back stronger and faster than the rest of the vacation ownership industry as the economy recovers,” Mr Ragatz concluded.