is it me. i just seem to have a hard time getting a resort now at 7 months. even harder now to get a split stay. years ago i never had a problem getting a resort at 7 months but now it's tooth & nail trying to get one
Yes, it seems to be the general consensus that it is getting more difficult in the last 5 years or so ... with multiple theories on why, and many contributing factors.
First, it depends a lot on the room type. Studios have always been more difficult than 1BRs for example. I don't see many complaints from people looking to book 1BRs.
Part of it also depends on the time of year that you travel, since there are some DVC 'seasons' that have always been very difficult (such as early-December), and others that continue to be somewhat easy (such as late-August and September). I just booked a BWV Standard View Studio for late-August, and I got it at 7 months. That would be unheard of in Oct-Dec (hard to get BWV period during F&W), and difficult any time of the year.
Most of the year you should be able to get something at 7 months, even if you have less choices than in the past or are limited to SSR, AKV, OKW ... but it is still wise to book a room at a home resort just in case you can't switch at 7 months.
Some theories on why it is getting more difficult at 7 months ...
Bungalows (PVB) and Cabins (CCV). Too many of these points are now in the system, but people are not using these points to actually stay in those expensive rooms, which puts booking pressure on all of the other room types, and other resorts. Using the PVB example, there are 20 bungalows and 360 studios (roughly 5% of the rooms are bungalows), but if you look at the total number of points sold the bungalows account for roughly 25% of the total points at the resort, though most of those people really just book studio, and don't own enough points to even stay in a bungalow. At CCV it is actually worse with the cabins being roughly 33% of the points sold, and it is noticeable that the CCV studios are often selling out well before 7 months, and sometimes are even hard to get at 11 months.
Too many small/cheap contracts are being sold. As the price of DVC gets higher and higher, people are buying smaller contracts to be able to afford it. This puts even more pressure on the smaller/cheaper rooms, since they don't have enough points for anything else.
Saratoga Springs. Most people who buy resale at SSR do it due to the combination of lower upfront cost, lower dues, and more years left on the contract. Plus SSR is a huge resort with a large number of points, but is less desirable to stay at. This combination seems to make it a sweet spot for "value" when buying resale... but, most of those people are not actually using those points to stay at SSR and instead are booking at 7 months. Myself included.
There are other factors too... but these seem to be some of the big ones that are likely impacting what you are seeing at 7 months.