Supply may be shrinking, but that's hardly an indication prices will rise.
There were 28 home sales in my subdivision in 2007. I tracked them because I planned to appeal my tax assessment. The other night, I went to the township's website and looked up how many there were for 2008. There were 12.
Now, if you look at Realtor.com there is clearly less supply (i.e. fewer homes for sale), but the reason for that is the prices are so low that people are only selling if they have to. And this smaller supply has done nothing to stop the slide, as the last 3-4 sales have been the lowest yet.
IMO, the slip in timeshare prices will stop if Marriott resumes aggressively exercising ROFR. But I don't believe prices will go up. They almost never go up except for new resorts where the developer is aggressively raising prices phase-by-phase. That approach won't work now IMO. So I think even with ROFR back, prices will just stop sliding.
And I have no confidence ROFR is coming back at most resorts any time soon.
Now you are saying that "they almost never go up." That's better than what you've previously said which is that they never go up.
Prices will go up if Marriott is able to sell at a Retail price at a specific resort that is significantly higher than the current resale market will support and there isn't enough supply to meet their demand. It can be at any resort where Marriott has a sales presence, like Ocean Pointe, where the resort has been sold out for a while, but Platinum weeks are highly desirable.
It all depends on how fast the economy comes back and rental rates at those resorts firm up to the point where buying directly from Marriott makes sense again.
Also, let's take a look at Marriott Ko'Olina where I was just at last week. There is a resort right next to the Marriott which are whole condos called the Beach Villas at Ko'Olina. They are selling for over $1M for a 2 bedroom, 2 bath luxury condo. At 50 intervals and the lower cost units, you have the underlying real estate value of $20,000 for a single week. In checking various rental sites, I found rentals at this resort for between $2000-4000 per week depending on season. Not sure what they plan for occupancy rate, so the average weekly rent needs to be reduced by a factor to account for vacancies.
So, the real estate value for a Mariott Ko'Olina is roughly $20k. If you can buy one is this very bad market for between $5000-10000, you have to believe that Marriott is destroying more than $5000-15000 through its timeshare program to believe that is a bad value. And further that that destroyed value will NEVER be recaptured.
If you can pick up an oceanview annual 2br, 2bath Ko'Olina unit for $7500, that's not a bad deal. The whole condo equivalent would be less than $400k for an oceanview unit on the beach front in Ko'Olina at that price. That's a great deal in any market.
In addition, I asked various employees at the Marriott Ko'Olina what there occupancy rate is. They said it averages well over 90% and was closer to 96% for most of 2008. Marriott rents the 2br villas in the winter months for $644 per night. The Kama'aina rate for locals is $322 per night or $2250 per week for a mountain view unit. The maintenance fees are about $1400 per week.
If I could get an annual Ko'Olina for $7500 and Marriott can sell these units for $20k in the future which is significantly less than what they are selling for today, they will likely exercise any deals under $12k to provide them with a nice 40%+ margin.
If, and I repeat, If this scenario plays out, anyone who purchases these units for $7500 or below could see a nice increase in their equity.
It is possible that Marriott goes out of business, but if that happens, then it is more likely that the real estate will be sold off as condos and if they sell off for $1M for whole condos, then that weekly interval owner gets $20k instead of $12k.
You would really have to believe that Hawaii Real Estate will tank and never come back to believe that a $7500 purchase of a one week interval will NEVER be worth more than that $7500 to believe this is a bad deal. In fact, several on this message board have bought units in this price range for eoy and annual packages and they all believe they got a steal.
All I am doing is putting some math around the numbers so that people can understand the risks, downside and potential upside of such purchases.