x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Pros and cons of sharing

Timeshare and shared ownership schemes are often marketed as less risky than buying holiday homes in times of distressed property prices.

Timeshare and shared ownership schemes are often marketed as less risky than buying holiday homes in times of distressed property prices. But such schemes do not necessarily fare better during downturns and are often costly purchases, analysts say. "Historically, timeshare had been used as a way to offload distressed property," said Chiheb ben Mahmoud, the MENA region senior vice president of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.

This led to a tarnishing of timeshare's reputation, with some consumers not getting what they expected in destinations such as Spain. But this has changed in recent years. "The trend, however, has been reversed by the entry of major hotel operators, especially Marriott, in the sector," said Mr ben Mahmoud. "Now most of the big hospitality brands offer vacation ownership schemes." Timeshare is generally defined as the right to use a property for a number of weeks a year, while fractional ownership schemes allow customers to buy a stake in a property.

"The fact that the shared-ownership business was thriving simultaneously with the property and stock market boom is perhaps an indication that timeshare is not associated with distressed property markets," said Mr ben Mahmoud. @Email:rbundhun@thenational.ae