Where are the current golf and property hotspots?
This year we have seen a resurgence in the established markets of France, Spain and Portugal as resorts there have been quick to adapt to market demand and, as a result, have reaped the benefits.
Resorts including Terre Blanche in France, Quinta do Lago in Portugal and PGA Catalunya Resort in Spain are enjoying a recovery in demand for real estate with a broad range of properties for sale ranging from plots and luxury high end villas (from €1m) to lock and leave apartments (from €250,000) and across the board they all continue to sell well.
Newer venues to our network such as Troia Resort, Portugal and Finca Cortesin, Spain are also proving to be popular with investors, particularly French nationals.
Eastern Europe is still ‘up and coming’ but the signs are positive. As the countries in this region, such as Bulgaria, become more established as golfing destinations we anticipate more inward investment in the coming months and years.
Despite ongoing instability in some Middle East regions, the UAE and in particular Dubai has remained remarkably resilient while other neighbouring countries are on a slightly weaker footing. A strong tournament line-up, diverse property portfolio and high investor yields, when compared with other European cities, continues to support Jumeirah Golf Estates as a good buyer opportunity within this region.
Where are buyers coming from?
In recent months we have witnessed the return of the German, Dutch and Belgian buyers in particular, predominantly looking to invest in the established markets of Southern Europe.
Exchange rate volatility has had an impact on inward investment to European resorts, with the American investor returning in 2016 where we saw a particularly strong dollar against the euro. Things have since steadied, but Europe in particular remains an attractive proposition for Europeans, Americans and even British, who have been adversely affected by exchange rate volatility since the vote to leave the European Union.
Backed by steady economic performances, Scandinavian buyers, for whom Spain has always been a popular destination of choice for overseas investment (and continues to be), are now casting their net wider, with Thailand proving particularly popular.
What are buyers looking for?
Ultimately, buyers look for two things; suitability and value. This is particularly true for those looking to purchase a holiday or retirement home, or those looking to downsize to something more manageable. But even those looking to acquire their third or fourth property and who are looking for something special will still want to know their investment represents value both now and in the long term.
Are buyers’ needs changing?
Something we assess and provide guidance on to the European Tour Properties network is investing for the next generation. Increasingly, we see lifestyle pursuits as a high priority in the minds of buyers. A world class golf course can act as the ‘hook’, but what more can a resort offer? Is there a resident’s club, a gym, restaurants, water activities or a short golf course suitable for children and families? Buyers are looking for a destination where there is a broad range of lifestyle activities available within the parameters of the resort.
At European Tour Destinations, 80% of regular golfers are familiar with the European Tour brands and what they stand for so developing customer relationships over time can be critical to success. This is an area where we consult with resorts to ensure they cultivate these relationships while being sensitive to the changing needs of customers and residents to ensure they develop their resorts in the right areas for the years to come.
What’s the outlook for golf and property?
The macro-environment is ever changing, so naturally global opportunities and challenges will emerge over time and impact on resort real estate.
At a resort level, introducing a programme of investment aimed at proactively addressing the needs and wants of both investors and prospective residents will establish not only a location, but a vision for them to buy into. Pair this with a strategy to attract visitors, and a resort can begin to establish its position as a destination in its own right.