Real Estate Investors See the Green in Golf Courses

Amid a glut, investors buy golf courses on the cheap
"Golf will be a really good business," says Trump, who's buying the Doral Golf Resort and Spa for $150 million Photograph by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Looking for real estate bargains? Consider golf courses. Investors from Donald Trump to luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers are wagering there’s money to be made buying them. Stand-alone 18-hole golf properties in the U.S. sold for a median price of $3 million in the first nine months of last year, down from $4.5 million in 2006, according to data from broker Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services. Prices slumped after lenders including the finance arm of General Electric stopped providing money for building courses and investors in commercial mortgage-backed securities retreated amid losses on deals made at the height of the property bubble. “Lack of financing is really causing a discount to value, and investors are taking advantage,” says Steven Ekovich of Marcus & Millichap. “Golf courses may never be as cheap as they are today.”

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