Golf Properties

A special meeting of Aberdeenshire council overwhelmingly backed Donald Trump’s plans for a £1billion golf resort in north-east Scotland this week.

Mr Trump’s spokesman, Mr. George Sorial said he was “very pleased and very grateful” for the council’s backing and that the support was a “very big step in the right direction”. Mr. Sorial had warned previously that failure by the council to endorse the plans could jeopardize the entire scheme. The meeting was largely symbolic however  last week the Scottish government said it would have final say on the application after being previously rejected by a council committee on environmental grounds.

The council also voted to unseat Martin Ford as chair of the committee which, on his casting vote, rejected the application last time round.

The leader of the Scottish National party group on the council, Joanna Strathdee, said councilors needed to restore the business and wider community’s confidence in the planning process and show the world that north-east Scotland was open for business, environmental issues be damned.

So you want to buy that villa a few metres from a golf course in a hot, exotic country and are not quite convinced why to buy…here are Golf Homes Worldwide Magazine’s ten reasons to invest in a golf property:

  1. A good investment. The lifestyle factors are important when planning a property purchase however the financial aspects are key. The benefit of purchasing on a course is that the demand for golf property remains high, providing an exit from the market at any point. Buying a property off-plan will also usually result in significant capital gain by the time the course has opened.
  2. Money earner. There is excellent holiday rental potential both in the domestic and foreign markets as the popularity of golf continues to grow. On some developments rental returns of up to 6% per annum are offered (for a set period of time after purchase).
  3. Year-round use. Buy a property in a country such as Spain, Dubai, Florida or South Africa and not only will you be able to make the most of your property all year round but you would also have the option to rent it out 365 days a year.
  4. Value for money. Compare average property prices in the UK of £200,000 to just about anywhere else in the world and you can get so much more for your money if you buy overseas. Plus, how many opportunities are there to buy on a golf complex in the UK?

NOT one brick has been laid, not one piece of timber has been erected. But already this home comes with a price tag of $155m (€119m) and has triggered considerable controversy. The price for the property, planned for central Montana by a US real estate magnate makes it, in theory, the most expensive property in the world – beating the record of an unsold 103-room mansion in Windlesham, Surrey, with an asking price of €112.

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Golfers do not have the reputation for being the most adventurous of sporting communities: they are more often associated with Pringle diamond knits than adrenalin highs. But, surprisingly, golf fanatics are now looking at more and more exotic locations for their golfing fix. Not for them a run-of-the-mill bolt hole in Spain or Portugal. When these adventurous types buy a second home they are going to far-flung places such as South Africa, the Caribbean, Newfoundland and the Middle East.

It sounds mad to embark on a six-hour flight for a game of golf, but some buyers are prepared to make a round trip of more than 1,000 miles for a long weekend spent on the fairways. The golfers say that, if you take into account the time spent hanging around airports and car hire offices on the way to the Algarve, you might as well add a couple of hours to the flying time and arrive at somewhere more exotic, with loads more attractions for non-golfing partners.

Many of those buying villas and apartments in or near golf developments half-way around the world are drawn by milder weather, making it possible to play golf throughout the year. Others opt for multi-sport centres. In Florida and the Caribbean, they play golf in the cooler seasons and surf, swim and snorkel in the hottest months. In Newfoundland, they ski in the winter and whack a ball around the greensward in the summer.

While those who have yet to discover golf tend to think that one course is very much like another, the true golf fanatic is prepared to cross oceans for the challenge of playing on courses with new and fearsome difficulties, such as the boiling mud pools, steam vents and craters in New Zealand or the crocodiles in the water hazard on the Lost City Golf Course in Sun City, South Africa.

The boom in golf developments abroad is linked to the perceptions of overseas property investors, who often choose a golf development, despite higher costs, because they hope rental prospects will be better. Many think that buying in a country where sunshine makes playing possible throughout the year will also increase rental prospects, particularly if the property can also be let on the US market.

James Peters, a low-handicap golfer, and his wife, Sarah, bought a five-bedroom chalet standing in nearly three acres of pine woods at Blueberry Lake in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, for about £200,000. They get a rental guarantee of 7 per cent for one year. James, 33, who runs the Nevada Bob golf concession at Selfridges, London, says: “I went to Portugal recently on a golf trip and paid £115 for a round on the San Lorenzo course. It was fantastic and worth the money, but other nearby courses are nearly as expensive and poor value. In Canada you can play on a top-quality course for about £30 and everything else is cheap. There are eight courses within a 30-minute drive. We plan to go back with a crowd soon and to visit in the summer. Blueberry Lake has just 50 chalets in 200 acres of woodland around a private lake and spa.”

Flights from Heathrow to Montreal take seven hours and the resort is a 90-minute drive away. There are also plenty of other attractions for non-golfers, with a choice of trail riding, white-water rafting, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, dog-sledding, tennis, rock climbing, fishing and canoeing.

Jagjit Sohal, 54, paid £250,000 for a four-bedroom villa in an Emaar Development in Dubai, two miles from the Emirates Golf Club. There are a number of good courses in the city, including the sandy Dubai Country Club, where players are given a piece of artificial turf to carry around, and, for night-time use during the hottest months, the floodlit Nad Al Sheba Club.

Flights to Dubai take about six hours and there is a wide choice of direct flights. Non-golfing partners should not get bored either, with Dubai’s shopping malls, gold souk, beaches, restaurants, clubs, dune-driving and horse-racing. Rental prospects, however, are unclear: the huge amount of new building over the past few years may hinder long-term prospects.

Sohal says: “I play cricket in the summer and in the winter I like to play golf twice a week, but in England you can’t rely on the weather. I have played in Portugal and Spain, but now I plan to go to Dubai about four times a year.”

Source: Times Online