The housing market was on a huge upswing through about May 2006. It’s stagnated there for a while and now there is talk of the bubble bursting. The sub-prime market – mortgages made to those who don’t qualify for legitimate mortgages – is a mess, and part of the problem. Overvaluation is also a problem.
Here’s a nice graph of what’s happening with housing prices in 20 major cities (link):
So, what’s the effect on golf courses? Myrtle Beach last year:
Sixteen area courses closed in 2005 and 2006, all with redevelopment plans that included housing developments.
The rash of course closures has remedied a struggling golf market that had been saturated with layouts, and contributed to the flooding of a housing market that has been burdened with increased listings but slower sales over the past two years.
If courses aren’t now jumping to convert to the housing developments, at least they’re not closing. I suppose that’s an improvement.
Looking at the cities listed in the graphic above, we can get a sense for what “golfing cities” housing markets are hit the hardest. I don’t have any data on the state of golf course closings or developments in these cities, but my best guess would be that course development projects will slow with the housing market.