The pandemic is renewing interest in living on a golf course, according to Sotheby’s International Realty 2021 Luxury Outlook report. After five years of closures around the country, golf courses are once again gaining popularity, with Sotheby’s reporting a 26% increase in golf property searches globally from January 2020 to February 2021 compared to 2019. “2020 was the year that golf homes became hot commodities,” Philip A. White Jr., president of Sotheby’s International Realty, told The New York Times.
The states with the most golf courses include:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
“Most of our clients are having record years in rounds of golf played and golf club memberships sold,” Mike Kelly, managing partner of the 59 Club USA, which analyzes customer service and trends in the golf industry, told Mansion Global. “Those that are selling real estate into these environments, especially those in more vacation-like settings away from bigger cities, are also seeing great results this year.”
Prior to the pandemic, golf faced declining interest, and the market had become oversaturated with golf properties. That lead to some closures across the country. Suddenly, homeowners who had once paid a premium to live on a golf course were unsure of its fate. In some developments, builders turned empty courses into new housing developments or looked or repurposed the land for agrihoods.
Now, golf is becoming a rediscovered sport since the pandemic. It’s easy to stay socially distant while playing golf, which has prompted renewed interest in the sport. “Golf properties offer privacy and security, which is what home buyers want right now,” Doug Treadwell, owner of Golf Life Properties, told the Times. Golf Life Properties sells golf homes in the U.S. to international buyers. Treadwell says his company sales volume was around $85 million last year, up from $40 million in 2019.
Source: “Golf Homeownership Is Heating Up, Even Where You’d Least Expect It,” The New York Times (March 22, 2021) and “The Grass Is Greener: Golf communities seeing New Buyers Amid Pandemic,” Mansion Global (Aug. 16, 2020)