If someone had set out to invent a period, an age, a time ideally suited to a resurgence of private club communities, they couldn’t have done better than creating the Covid-19 era.
The strictures the pandemic imposed on Americans quickly spurred renewed interest in private club communities, which offer secure, fully-serviced environments.
They are often close enough to population centers to enable safe travel there by car but sufficiently removed from urban density to allow for social distancing.
The Result: A surge in purchases of second homes no longer seen as discretionary, due to travel restrictions. Buyers of homes in these communities are able to benefit from spending more time in them, thanks to Covid-era work-from-home and home-schooling options. What’s more, at a time when the great outdoors is deemed far less risky than being inside, club offerings of golf, tennis, pickleball, and water sports deliver even more appeal than they customarily do.
Private club communities like Sonoma, Calif.’s Mayacama, and North and South Carolina’s The Cliffs have witnessed increased buying interest during the pandemic. In fact, Mayacama reported 2020 home sales soared more than 300% over 2019. The Cliffs, a collection of seven private golf clubs in the Western Carolina mountains, has seen an 80% increase in home sales during the scourge of Covid-19.
Observes Rob Duckett, president of The Cliffs, “Last year, the private club industry experienced historic growth, mostly due to buyers suddenly being able to live and work from anywhere. The Cliffs is seeing this momentum continue into 2021. Buyers are still looking for high-end real estate listings in remote settings that offer an abundance of club amenities and outdoor activities, as well as proximity to mid-sized markets.”
Not surprisingly, the surge has applied to the use of recreational amenities as well. Overall golf play at The Cliffs increased by 21%, with weekend play higher by 42%.
The increased embrace of clubs at private club communities could ensure another kind of club – the one made up of buyers at such communities – continues to grow.