The stars are aligning to make 2011 a likely turnaround year for sales of properties in golf communities in the southern U.S.  For those who have been waiting to “time” the market, it looks as if their time is at hand.

Prices will not rise quickly to the levels we saw before 2007; the national unemployment situation and lingering consumer skepticism will keep any improvement at a slow, if steady, pace.  However, we see plenty of signals that prices may have reached bottom in southern golf communities.  Baby boomers sense it, and the numbers of exploratory visits to communities we follow have increased more than 10% in recent months.  Sales are up as well.  And over the last couple of months at my web site, GolfCommunityReviews.com, I have received more requests for advice and assistance in finding a golf community home than at any time in the last five years.  We see other evidence of a renewed interest in southern migration:

The stock market rebound has re-established value in 401Ks and given baby boomers renewed confidence in their financial security. That makes the decision to relocate a little easier.  After holding out for a market rebound, boomers are now pricing their primary homes to sell.  The mass media reminds us often that 30% of American homes are “under water,” but that means 70% have equity in them.  With southern golf properties at their lowest prices in years and boomers choosing to downsize as they move into retirement, accepting market price for their primary homes seems more attractive.

The smart money has entered the leisure residential golf market.  Representatives of investor groups looking to gobble up distressed golf communities before prices begin to rise have contacted me for information in recent months.  When smart, organized investors buy into the market, smart individual buyers cannot be far behind.

Private golf club initiation fees have dropped, and some have vaporized completely.  For those baby boomers and vacation-home owners looking for a low- or no-risk golf membership in a private or semi-private club, the choices have never been greater…or cheaper.

If you would like more information on specific golf communities in the southern U.S., please contact me through my web site, GolfCommunityReviews.com.