We already know that owner resales are a fantastic way to save on timeshare ownership, especially if you're looking at the larger vacation clubs like Disney Vacation Club (DVC). If you're really looking to maximize your "bang for the buck", however, you might also be asking when to buy. For a long time, there was no data on the subject - merely conjecture. Just recently, however, Fidelity conducted an analysis to determine the average sales prices of DVC resales by each month. To obtain their data, Fidelity analyzed over 3,000 DVC transactions spanning the years of 2010 to 2013. All the sales occurred through Fidelity's own resale division, and market changes like inflation are not accounted for.
A graph reveals their findings. Over the course of the year, the number of sales starts off slow in January, begins to escalate in March before peaking in June and holding steady through the summer months. September sees a sharp decline in sales, a small rise in October, another drop in November and December sales rise just a bit before the cycle repeats. Summer clearly sees the most successful sales, but interestingly this is not when prices per point are the lowest.
February sees the absolute lowest prices at just an average of $58.86 per point, lending credence to the commonly-held idea that many owners will drop their prices around maintenance fee season, hoping for a quick sale. From there, prices steadily rise before peaking in September and leveling off through the autumn months and up to January where they fall begins again. Even so, the prices aren't terribly varied - we never see more than a $2.68 difference per point. While enough to make a marked difference on a large resale, it isn't likely to break the bank if you're planning on purchasing anyway.
Taking a look at the resorts sold is also quite telling. Anyone who frequents DVC resorts will know that Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort and Disney's Old Key West Resort often have quite a bit of availability, save for peak holiday weeks. This is also represented in the graph - Saratoga Springs and Old Key West each occupy a very large chunk of total sales, followed by Disney's BoardWalk Villas. Disney's Vero Beach Resort, Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort and Villas at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel represent the lowest number of sales. This may be partly due to their smaller amount of villas when compared with the larger Orlando properties partly as well as their respective locations experiencing lower crowds and demand when compared to Orlando. The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Aulani saw so few resales they were not represented in the graph.
Can the data revealed by Fidelity be applied to other major point-based vacation clubs? It's unlikely - converted Marriott points are reverted to their deeded weeks upon sale, and Diamond (DRI) points are tough to analyze due to the Collections system. One must also keep in mind that traditionally Orlando is traditionally a summer destination when families can vacation. Per month sales and point prices might vary wildly in areas with different high seasons - think a ski resort where high season might be December or January!
Check out the full analysis on Fidelity's blog for a more in-depth look at the data, and share your thoughts in the comments!