It's a question that we get on social media, Disney Vacation Club forums, emails, and phone calls. Everyone wants to know if there is a specific time of year when they can get the best deal on DVC membership. We've seen a lot of speculation about when owners are most eager to sell or when the points are likely to depreciate, but none of these assumptions are predicated by hard data. To truly know when you should buy DVC resale, we should take a close look at the numbers.
Examining DVC Resale Volume and Cost
In order to find a legitimate answer, we analyzed the transaction records of well over 3,000 Disney Vacation Club resales that took place between 2010 and 2013. The information was provided by a single resale company (Fidelity Real Estate Agency) and does not take into account market changes such as inflation.
What we found is that although there are usually more DVC resale transactions in the summer, the cost per point is slightly lower in the early months of the year. Many people have suggested that sellers might drop prices as the due date for maintenance fees draws closer, and our data at least validates that hypothesis by revealing that February has the lowest average prices.
The data shows a sharp increase in the average cost per point in July, and though there are some fluctuations, the average prices remained slightly elevated through the second half of the year. Even so, the variation between the highest and lowest average cost per point was only $2.68.
Interestingly, in addition to being one of the least expensive months to buy Disney Vacation Club, our data indicated that February is also one of the best times of year to purchase large point packages (200 points or more). These two findings are likely linked because larger point packages typically sell at a lower price per point, though our data does not conclusively prove that this is a cause and effect relationship responsible for February having the lowest average cost per point. The number one month for large point packages appears to be July, but this is also historically one of the most expensive months by cost per point. May was the best month for small point packages.
Despite what several owners have suggested on Disney Vacation Club forums, we didn't see any correlation between announcements/policy changes from Disney and cost per point. That's not to say that individual sellers won't be influenced by policy changes; there's just no indication from the data that these announcements have resulted in any meaningful trends in the past. A substantial change in the DVC market, such as the forthcoming opening of Polynesian villas, may still potentially cause short-term fluctuations in the Disney Vacation Club resale market in the future, but we haven't seen any empirical evidence to support that hypothesis.
Buying at Particular Disney Vacation Club Resorts
When it comes to shopping for a specific home resort, Saratoga Springs was the most popular across the board (no surprise there), and saw the most resales in June. Old Key West and Wilderness Lodge also had their highest number of resale transactions in June.
Note that Grand Floridian and Aulani were also included in our data pool, but the monthly sales were too few or too inconsistent to draw meaningful conclusions, and so they were omitted from the chart above.
August was shown to be an exceptional month for buying at Bay Lake Tower, Grand Californian, Hilton Head Island, and Vero Beach. Animal Kingdom saw its highest resales in May, Beach Club in February, and Boardwalk in March. While these statistics represent interesting trends in DVC resales, availability varies each year and buyers can often find a great point package for the home resort of their choice at any time of the year.
It's difficult to draw any definite conclusions that can be professed as "hard facts" but the data clearly indicates certain trends that are worth keeping in mind when planning a Disney Vacation Club resale purchase. For one thing, according to the data, prospective buyers have a better chance of paying a lower price per point in the first half of the year, particularly in February and March.
Demand for DVC resale properties is typically pretty consistent, so it is likely (though not proven) that the peak of Disney Vacation Club resales during the summer is the result of an increase in resale listings. If you have a very specific point package in mind, shopping May through August might be your best bet. Or, you could always sign up for Fidelity's DVC priority mail list, which saves you time by delivering the latest listings to you inbox.
Don't forget to leave thoughts and questions in the comments section below!