For a while, it was all the rage to develop housing on or near a golf course. Today, however, interest in golf is on the wane. Put those two things together and you've got a giant headache for everyone involved—homeowners who once paid a premium are watching home values decline, golf courses are going out of business, and developers are struggling to fill vacancies. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the issue, backed up with sobering stats. More than 200 courses closed in 2017, while about 15 opened, according to the National Golf Foundation. That speaks to the decline in interest in the sport, largely pinned on fewer younger players picking up clubs. Meanwhile, about 1,200 private clubs exists that include homes on or near a course, and most were built in the 1980s and '90s.
With finances tight, these clubs are raising annual dues or implementing new rules that make membership mandatory for all home buyers within the boundaries. That has led to a slew of lawsuits from disgruntled homeowners. And those who try to sell often discover a disturbing reality: "What we are consistently seeing is that those properties, all else being equal, are selling way below what they should be selling for,” says a Florida real estate economist. One resident of the Fountains of Palm Beach community, for example, says houses that once went for $400,000 are going for half that price. Meanwhile, her annual dues have risen from $5,000 to $24,000. Click to read the full story. (Read more golf stories.)