Asset full of holes did a whole lot better than expected
Date of Article
Aug 26 2015

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26 August 2015, Recognising an asset for its potential rather than its current use has brought a vital lift in value for an East Anglian golf course.

With the decline in the leisure economy, properties set up as leisure facilities have seen a decline in their fortunes. When the owner wants to exit the business, marketing it as something different could pay dividends.

The facts initially facing owners of properties such as golf courses are rather stark. Land we recently sold was worth maybe £2,000 to £3,000 an acre in its current use but with agricultural land seeing prices of £10,000 an acre, in some cases substantially more, marketing as agricultural land made sense.

We recommended that the site could be returned to agricultural use and, allowing for the cost of restoring it, we believed it had reasonable prospects of making at least £8,000 per acre.

Private discussions with farmers in the locality saw the property sold, exceeding the guide by a significant margin. We were also able to negotiate some additional sales around the edge to other buyers.

The original owner of the 230 acre Golf Club, near Royston, is delighted with the outcome. The club consisted of 185 acres of golf course, a reservoir, golf driving range, green keeper’s store, clubhouse including bar restaurant, pro shop, and changing facilities, and car parking.

The course was no longer economic to run but the price of it as a golf course did not reflect its true value and the owner naturally wanted the best price achievable.

By reviewing its potential, confirming its agricultural value, and successfully negotiating the sale the outcome was far better than the owner originally expected. The sale was also completed far more quickly than it would have been if the course was still trying to find a buyer in the leisure sector, which is still struggling to return to normality as the country climbs out of recession.

Not everyone has a golf course to dispose of but we frequently come across areas of land that could be marketed in a creative way to appeal to the wider audience in order to maximise the value.