Time Share Ownership Increase in South Florida Corresponds with Real Estate Trends

South Florida time-share professional, Josephine Kirk, discusses the corresponding time-share ownership increase and real estate trends

Since the sub-prime mortgage issue in 2007, South Florida real estate trends have gone on an interesting roller-coaster ride. An initial free-fall in valuations left a stagnant buyers market in the tri-county area, followed by a never-before-seen foreclosure market, collapse of many home owners and condo associations, leaving residents with increased tax burdens due to so many unpaid bills, and leaving sellers with the burden of having to set their property aside from the rest to sell quickly for a price well below what they’d like.

A recent interview with time-share professional Josephine Kirk focused on the trends between vacation ownership and traditional real estate ownership in South Florida.

Q: Do you feel that the economic conditions and real estate trends in South Florida from 2007 to now have affected the vacation ownership industry in the area?

Whether fortunately or not, these problems only greatly affected the middle-class residents of South Florida, while the luxury and vacation sectors took a short hit, and then continued to grow. Right now, luxury real estate in South Florida is worth just as much as ever, while a majority of it is only used for winter vacationing.

The appeal of time-share ownership is that the consumer can purchase the weeks that they’re interested in, in the areas that they’re interested in without having to foot the expense of absolute ownership to use the property 2 weeks out of the year.

In this respect, I feel that vacation ownership through time-share has gained popularity in a down economy and will continue to grow in middle and upper echelon households.

Q: Do you feel that South Florida is an ideal location to own time-share or a home/condo property?

Well absolutely. We’re surrounded by beautiful ocean, beautiful people, rich culture, the world’s best golf courses–who wouldn’t want to spend the rest of their life here? Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of spending the rest of their life here.

With that being said, owning time share gives individuals the ability to plan their time in South Florida without having to worry about hurricanes, maintenance, repairs–everything is covered by the resort and you split expenses with 51 other ‘owners.’ Ideal for the big-city business people who don’t have time to deal with casualties.

Owning a Condo or home is more beneficial if individuals plan on spending 6+ months in South Florida per year. Many residents are ‘snow birds’–residents that come down from the North East during the winter months to escape the cold weather and snow–which we never see in Florida.

Q: In your opinion, what are the best things to look for as far as vacation ownership in South Florida?

Obviously, location is a strong factor. If your primary purpose is to vacation in Florida to get a tan, make sure you’re on the beach. If you’re more of the adventurous vacationer, something closer to the everglades might be more realistic for you–like a condo in Weston, or a time-share in Bonnaventure.

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From the interview, a lot of vital trends were extracted in the long run–as the real estate market collapsed in some areas, so did vacation ownership. However, vacation ownership bounced back much more quickly than the slowly rising real estate market, and if vacation ownership is any indication of what’s to come for the South Florida real estate market, then now is the time to buy. Prices are on an increase and with the slowing of foreclosures being let onto the market, the decrease in South Florida construction, and the constant flow of residents to the area, it is once again turning into a seller’s market.

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