|Realtors see potential in shared ownership|
Guardian Business Reporter
Published: Sep 19, 2012
The real estate industry has not benefitted much from shared ownership investments in the past, but top realtors are confident about its place in the sector to generate sales and employment.
John Christie and Larry Roberts admitted to Guardian Business that shared ownership has not been popular in the local market, noting that internationally-based companies tend to benefit. Christie, vice president at H.G. Christie Limited, called shared ownership investments such as timeshares more of a lifestyle choice rather than an investment.
“I think where The Bahamas is benefitting from in that market is at places like the Reef at Atlantis, where you actually own your unit and you are able to enter it into the rental pool. Baha Mar is doing the same. That’s where The Bahamas benefits from in terms of timeshare or vacation ownership,” he pointed out. “I think timeshares are great if you love the place and plan to visit often. Then they work well. I don’t really think of timeshares as an investment but more of a lifestyles choice. If you’re coming to Atlantis over and over and you love it, then it’s good to have a timeshare. I am not sure if they go up in value or not. It operates differently than real estate.”
According to the CEO of Bahamas Realty Larry Roberts, shared ownership is an industry that has evolved over time. However, it is not one that local realtors are familiar with.
“It’s not an industry that any of us knows that well. It’s an industry that has evolved over time. The West Winds properties were two of the first timeshare properties. Fractional ownership is where a number of people might own a property for the whole year. In other words, they have a membership that entitles them to whatever period that particular home is vacant for. The Ritz Carlton on Winding Bay has fractional ownership,” he explained.
“Everyone has been working on other ways of selling these properties, to offer persons who may not want to otherwise own it outright an opportunity to have an interest in a lovely property in a great location, which is less than the cost to own it outright.”
There are different products that have evolved as a result of timesharing, such as the condo-hotel concept, he noted. He said the concept appears to have worked quite well for resorts on Paradise Island.
“As a realtor, I welcome any type of development that works because it creates more jobs. I think it’s a win-win all the way around,” Roberts said.
The comments from top realtors come as delegates gather at the Peabody in Orlando for a Shared Ownership Investment Conference. It is designed for those who want to learn more about the future trends in resort financing, sales, marketing, and operations in that industry.
The conference ends on Thursday afternoon.