Under the heading “A Shared Destiny”, Lucy Warwick-Ching wrote a very balanced article on destination clubs and fractional ownership. It appears in this weekends House & Home section of the FT.

She interviewed and quotes several people from different aspects of the shared luxury property arena, including club executives and club owners and members. And she notes the trials and tribulations that all facets of the sector have gone through in this troubled economy.

Some of the trends that are included in the article are:

  • Clubs have restructured to balances out their expenses to the current slower growth. This has included raising dues in some cases.
  • Newer clubs have been predominantly equity based clubs, in which members are owners, “The clubs that have sprung up during the past couple of years have been structured in ways that protect participants and profitability,” says the FT.
  • More clubs have introduced trial offers
  • Clubs can now buy homes at lower prices with the drop in property values

The article covers some of the benefits of membership including “a refrigerator stocked with their favourite foods and champagne on ice. To make the stay easier, golf tee times on a championship course would be reserved in advance and a masseur booked to tie in with arrival.” Peter Kempf, European chief executive of DCP International’s Equity residence club noted “As well as making dinner reservations we can organise a surprise birthday party or a lesson on pottery with a world renowned ceramicist.”

The full article is here