Buyer Sentiment Shifts Toward Home Purchases in Gated Golf Communities
By Golf Central Magazine
By Golf Central Magazine
We’ve all read the stories and seen the graphs the past 6 months, golf has never been more popular. But outside of daily play, what are future private club members saying about the transition from North to South? Once more, where do they want to live?
At Golf Life Navigators (GLN), we are fortunate to have a crystal ball of sorts to peek into the future of the marketplace for private club memberships. Generally, we know what the market and demand will look like 6-12 months ahead of where it is today. What we are seeing in 2021? A significant surge in consumer demand for private club lifestyle, golf and real estate in the Sunbelt.
“Comparing the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2019 vs. 2020, membership tours are up 50%,” says A.J. Szymanski, Director of Sales & Marketing at The Nest at Pelican’s Landing in Bonita Springs, Florida. “After the real estate market balances itself from extraordinary low inventory levels, our team anticipates setting records for new membership sales in 2021. Even after an increase in initiation fee, demand is through the roof.”
Szymanski went on to say that in the second half of 2020, 90% of the club’s new members purchased a home within the gates of his club community. This is a key metric for most club communities as there is always a desire to increase capture rate of resident vs. golf member. In recent years, the average capture rate for club communities has been between 40-50% (based upon 799 or fewer residences).
Prior to Covid (and 2020 in general) our team watched closely as 51% of prospective members – who used GLN to search for a private club – intended to live outside the gates of a golf community. This was a significant trend that had us concerned as we are sensitive to the above-mentioned metric of “capture rate” for the benefit of clubs across the golf industry. However, after studying buyer trends – post the emergence of COVID – we are seeing a dramatic shift in buyer sentiment toward the purchase of a home inside the gates of a golf community. As of today, that number has reached 64% of all prospective members seeking a home in a gated community – a 13% shift in less than 9 months. In short, this is a great sign for gated golf communities and their efforts to increase capture rate.
When asked “why?”, most buyers say they are now seeking a home in a safe, secure and controlled environment due to the shifts in society and life in 2020. Will this trend last or is it just a result of the recent times? At GLN, we believe it is going to last for the foreseeable future.
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