Golf Property remains above Par


While some holiday home markets continue to feel the pinch – golf property investments remain well above par, says Laura Henderson

Property buyers it seems, with an eye for a lucrative return are putting their hard earned cash into golf real estate, regardless of how they feel about the game, with the sector becoming an increasingly profitable area for second-home purchasers. Golf tourism across the world is worth in the region of £7.5 billion each year and as a leisure sector, it is growing at over double the rate of rival leisure based travel markets. “Property on offer is appealing to savvy investors who are well aware that golf resorts make excellent investment locations for both a high yielding rental strategy and one relying on consistent capital appreciation and resale demand,” says Carlton Carugati of the Global Golf Tourism Organisation (IAGTO). While Spain and Portugal are still top of the popularity charts, the market is expanding into new holiday territory. Adds Carugati: “Eastern Europe notably Turkey, Albania and Croatia are opening up, while long-haul getaways such as South Africa and the Caribbean with their longer seasons appeal to retirees.”


Las Colinas - Spain
If it’s clear blue skies and dramatic scenery you’re after when striding the fairways then the picture postcard scenery of Las Colinas Golf and Country Club may well persuade you to pack your clubs and break for the Valencia border; villages hanging on mountainsides, roads making breathtaking curves around steep hills, and everything covered in bright colours of green vegetation, all just a 45 minute drive from Alicante airport. The brainchild of blue-chip real estate developer Gmp, 10,000 hectares of abundant natural topography: gently undulating hills and valleys, topped off by a Cabell B. Robinson 18-hole championship course, all conspire beautifully to envelop this low-density residential community. The resort’s real estate portfolio is comprehensive and garnering healthy interest from a cosmopolitan buyer base. Located at the heart of the estate in a ‘private island’ setting framed by woodland hills, the bijou community of Enebro comprises a limited edition collection of bespoke villas designed by acclaimed architectural firm Woods Bagot. Several different styles of three and four bedroom villas with individual outlooks are carefully positioned to maximise golf and sea views. Properties boast extensive outdoor living space – terracing and pool areas, whilst indoor accents focus on maximising the use of natural light, with floor-to-ceiling picture windows. Prices start from £585,000. For individuals happier to plan their very own bespoke design home, the resort also has a limited number of premium plots in the prestigious Palmera community with frontline fairway views.” Plot prices start from £200,000. Owners in Ebrero and Palmeras are granted preferential access to a range of on-site sporting amenities via the resort’s dedicated sport’s scheme, as well as membership of Troon Advantage, an exclusive club with a portfolio of VIP benefits worldwide.


St Francis Links - South Africa
Authentic African style in a refined setting springs to mind when you first set eyes on St Francis Links, ranked in the national top 10 courses in South Africa by Golf Digest. Situated midway between Port Elizabeth and Plettenberg Bay on the scenic Eastern Cape, this prestigious golf estate has spent the past few years perfecting its Signature fairway offering to rival the likes of St Andrews and other top golfing communities worldwide. But while the challenging 18-hole links masterpiece created by Jack Nicklaus has garnered many plaudits, the resort has also built a strong investor following alongside. “WBHO – the developer’s vision was to create a ‘gentleman’s estate,” explains project spokesperson Jeff Claus, the focal point being the Signature golf course but with lifestyle enhancements including exclusive access to leisure amenities including a state-of-the-art leisure centre and pool, in addition to reduced green fees across Nicklaus courses and top rated clubs in South Africa and abroad.” Today, a balanced percentage of the gated 400 hectare site has been developed, with the remainder given over to nature trails, landscaping and communal garden areas. Houses (400 in total) and chalets (120) are traditional in style with white walls, thatched roofs and large ‘plantation’ verandas. Owners have the option of purchasing a plot to self-build or opting for a turnkey re-sale. Adds Claus: “Property owners automatically become members of the golf club, plus we’ve a golf academy on site, which makes the estate appealing to families with youngsters looking to build their game.” Annual dues of £2,300 include golf fees, with unlimited golf for the principal member, as well as resort municipal and maintenance services. Turnkey homes start from £115,000. Jeff adds: “Those who have purchased for future construction have the added benefit of extended building timelines of 15 years, as approved by the estate’s board of directors. A minimal environmental levy is also in place to keep undeveloped properties maintained for landowners who have not built within the original five-year building period.”

Portugal – Quinta do Lago
Nestled within 2,000 acres of UNESCO protected parkland in the heart of the Algarve, just 15 minutes from Faro airport; since the resort’s inception in 1972, tees and greens investors have made up a healthy quota of buyers to date, but the development’s coast-and-country setting with 3.5km of golden sandy beach is also proving a draw with families on-the-go. Marginal changes to property prices in the past three years have enabled the resort’s residential portfolio to further diversify with homes spanning the price range from a mid-range £250,000 to over £10m. “The master plan has always had nature at its heart,” says property sales consultant Jamie Robinson. “The result is a low density development with more than 70% green belt land.” Tree-lined residential areas dotted among resort amenities are interwoven with four award winning championship golf courses, including latest addition Laranjal, voted the best course in Portugal in 2011. Overlooking the Ria Formosa Natural Park and San Lorenzo Golf Course; the release of Quinta’s San Lorenzo North neighbourhood offers would-be investors the last opportunity to own a plot on the estate, with just 26 lots ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 square metres with POA. Adds Robinson: “Purchase options range from ‘turnkey’ – taking buyers through every step from concept design to the delivery of their home, as well as plot only – a popular option for those familiar with purchasing and building overseas. Some guidance will be given, but the planning, licensing and building of the property remains the responsibility of the owner.” Owners will have the opportunity to place their homes in the resort’s managed rental pool, with occupancy rates nearing 100% during July and August. Luxury villas in one of the established neighbourhoods rent for £7,000 per week, £1,500 for a smaller turnkey unit. Adds Robinson: “80% of rental income is retained by the owner, making it feasible to cover annual running costs.”


Abode Affiliates

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