Where have all the timeshares gone?

I know there are a handful of people out there who have taken the bait: just sit through a short, two-hour presentation, and we’ll pay for your trip to luxurious-fill-in-the-blank-destination. Well, more and more of you are saying “no” this year. Timeshare sales are expected to fall 30% this year, following the glory days of 2004 to 2008.

Until last year, everything looked great for the timeshare business. Sales did fall 8.5% in 2008, the first downward turn since the industry came into existence in 1975. But, maintenance fees stayed under control (increasing from $471 to $646 from 2004 to 2008), and sale prices surged around 30% from $15,790 in 2004 to $20,152 in 2008. Last year, $10.6 billion in timeshares were sold.

So, with the timeshare pitchers facing their worst year in more than three decades, no might be a decent time to sit through one of those “information sessions.” If you want to go back to the same place on vacation every year, you’ll probably be able to squeeze a bit of extra savings out of them!