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Golf Club Communities Back on Buyers’ Radars

Developers’ push for golf course communities peaked around 1990 before demand started to collapse. But the COVID-friendly outdoor activity is popular again.

NEW YORK – Homes in residential golf communities have faced years of sluggish sales and mostly stagnant prices. But they’re seeing a surge in demand during the pandemic, The Wall Street Journal reports.

It’s not just for the golf, however. Buyers like the expansive outdoor green space, and the potential for dining and socializing opportunities that usually come with it after the COVID-19 outbreak diminishes.

Golf home communities saw overdevelopment in the 1980s and 1990s, but as interest in the sport waned over recent decades, many golf courses have been forced to close. Now, however – in the midst of the pandemic – golf may be getting a boost.

The outdoor sport takes place in wide open spaces, and it can be played while remaining socially distant. In August, Americans played 10 million more rounds of golf in August thank they did one year earlier – a 20.6% increase, according to the Golf Datatech and National Golf Foundation.

Meanwhile, home sales in golf communities are rising. The Cliffs, which includes seven residential golf communities in the Carolinas, reported a 161% increase in sales volume in the third quarter compared to a year ago. In Scottsdale, Ariz., the Desert Mountain golf club community almost doubled its home sales in a year-to-year comparison since Sept. 1.

In Jupiter, Fla., the Admirals Cove golf community reported 84 home sales from January to late October, up from 57% from a year ago. Jeff Lichtenstein, a local real estate professional, says buyers are drawn to the safety precautions clubs are taking, as well as the outdoor exercise classes and free delivery of clubhouse meals.

“There’s a lot of amenities in a pandemic that you never see outside of there,” he told The Wall Street Journal.

Source: “Before Covid, Golf Club Communities Were in the Rough. Now They’re Seeing Green,” The Wall Street Journal (Dec. 9, 2020) [Log-in required.]

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