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Feb 11, 2015
Thorny Patch


(JOHNS ISLAND, SC) We’re not quite out of the woods yet. Though the reports have been mostly positive, the private club and community market is still taking hits sustained during the real estate recession. A case in point is yesterday’s bankruptcy filing by The Golf Club at Briar’s Creek, as reported in The Post and Courier. The club was named “Best New Private Course” by Golf Digest when it opened in 2002. With initiation dues of $100,000 and a heralded Rees Jones-designed course, Briar’s Creek was considered one of golf-rich South Carolina’s most exclusive private clubs. Its founding membership includes Houston Texans owner Robert McNair, who is now spearheading an effort to buy the golf club for $11.3 million. In its bankruptcy filing, Briar Creek listed $31 million in unsecured debt, with about $26 million of that owed in refundable initiation fees and loans from club founders and members. Under the proposed terms of sale, those creditors will only retrieve a fraction of what they are owed.

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Feb 09, 2015
The Boerne Supremacy


(BOERNE, TX) The Texas Hill Country is famous for its respite from the region’s hot summers, but at the luxury master planned community of Cordillera Ranch the real estate numbers have been red hot. In 2014, they sold 33 homes at an average of $886,000 and saw total homesite sales increase by 32 percent. They also welcomed more than 70 new members. Trending in 2015: 46 new homes are under construction totaling more than $60 million in new starts – easily the highest total of any upscale community in the San Antonio area. Another 39 homes are in the architectural review approval process – a 65 percent increase over 2013. Helps that Cordillera Ranch unveiled three new sections in 2014: Phase II of the Di Lusso Villas, Bear’s Ridge hilltop view homesites and a limited number of golf course frontage lots on the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course – the first of its kind in seven years.

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Feb 06, 2015
Kiawah Stays Hot


(KIAWAH ISLAND, SC) An oceanfront homesite that sold for a record $22 million helped boost real estate sales on Kiawah Island to over $311 million last year and marked the fifth consecutive year homesite sales have increased year-over-year. The total sales volume included 270 properties on Kiawah and Cassique. Homesite sales – the vast majority of which were resales – were especially strong, with  sales up 7.5% in 2014 and dollar volume up over 17%. And in case you’ve been wondering if a homesite on Kiawah Island was within your price range, about three-quarters of homesite sales in 2014 were priced at $1 million or less. Want a home on that lot? The average price for a single-family home was $1.75 million.

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Feb 04, 2015
Finish Work


(MOSELEY, VA) Better late than never. Make that way better. Located less than 30 minutes from Richmond, Virginia, the residential community of Magnolia Green has plenty going for it. The all-inclusive lifestyle features parks and hiking trails, swimming pools, sports courts, playing fields and soon all 18 holes of its Nicklaus Design golf course. Formerly Westham Golf Club, Magnolia Green opened with just nine of its holes complete in 2010. Like many private golf communities that opened during the real estate recession, they struggled out of the gate. Then in stepped iStar Financial, which not only bought the property, but took over its management. To date, iStar has invested nearly $50 million in the community with a second residential phase and $10 million amenity package scheduled to break ground in 2015. Now the region's top-selling community, Magnolia Green features homes from just under $200,000 to $1 million. And soon, all 18 holes of the Nicklaus course.

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Feb 02, 2015
Super Results


(PALM BEACH, FL) Of all the factors that have helped the real estate market rebound, perhaps none has done as much for luxury home sales as the stock market. Take Palm Beach County, where almost 1,100 $1 million-plus homes sold last year, up 16% from 2013. Not only was there a healthy increase in the number of luxury properties that sold, they sold more quickly, too. The average time on the market was 130 days, down 22% from the previous year. According to the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches (as reported by the Palm Beach Post), the stock market’s performance has a direct correlation to the luxury real estate market. No surprise there. But what is encouraging for private golf communities is that the stock market’s performance also affects retirees. Several boffo years in a row for Wall Street increased the buying power of those looking for the ideal place to call home for their retirement years.

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