Today’s property market allows for an exciting new niche in holiday home buying and selling: fractional ownership. Most of us are
familiar with discredited timeshares. A timeshare is a form of ownership which allows a right to the use of a property (but only the
use of, not the ownership). These properties are typically resort condominium units, in which multiple parties hold rights to use
the property and each sharer is allotted a period of time (typically one week and almost always the same time every year) in which
they may use the property. This usually takes the form of a lease or a “right to use” basis, in which the sharer holds no claim to
ownership of the property. They do not benefit from its increase in value over time.
Fractional ownership is different – you
actually get to own part of the property – and it is thus catching on as a way to afford a holiday home with more flexibility than
timeshares and other shared ownership schemes of the past. The term “fractional ownership” originated at Colorado ski resorts in the
US at the turn of the Millennium. Resort homes were becoming more and more expensive in these areas, pricing many buyers out of the
market. Homeowners needed a new way to market their properties when it was time to sell. The concept spread to other types of resort
areas across the US and then to Caribbean and South Africa.
Housing markets may never be the same again, as fractional ownership
is currently a growth market, having increased 50% in the US over the past three years. This growth is being duplicated all over the
world, and is especially catching on in the UK, and promises to continue to expand globally as more markets open up to the possibilities.
Many buyers and sellers are in a great position to take advantage of this market.
For example, if you find yourself wanting or
needing to sell your second or holiday home, but can’t attract the kind of buyers you need – what if you could offer them, say, three
months in the home each year for around a quarter of the price? Would you have more people looking at your home? Would you be excited
about being able to continue living for several weeks out of the year in the home you have loved, furnished and nurtured, and yet
share the cost of running it with others? Maybe you already know a few people who might jump at the chance to share your holiday home
If you have saved and hoped to buy a second home for years, but find it hard to justify the expense when you can only
use it for e few weeks or months at a time – would it interest you to take advantage of all the benefits of home ownership at a fraction
of the cost? Would it be exciting to boost your lifestyle and amaze your friends and colleagues while making a sound investment at
the same time? Maybe you can’t decide between a home in a ski town or a warm summer retreat – how about being able to have both for
less than you might spend on one such home?