Demand for golf club memberships in Singapore has slowed, even as prices at some clubs have fallen by as much as 25 per cent. This follows the Government's decision to reacquire land from several country clubs.
Membership fees at more than half of the 11 private clubs have dipped. And because of reduced demand, two established brokerage companies have handled fewer transactions in the past year.
This comes after the Ministry of Law's announcement last February that a number of land leases would not be renewed beyond their respective expiration dates and portions of existing golf courses would be earmarked for other use.
Keppel Club has been hit hard after it was confirmed that its 44 hectares of land will be taken over for a housing development by 2021.
With six years left and no alternative site for relocation, the 111-year-old club has seen its membership price slashed from $16,000 last January to its current $14,000. In 2007, it was valued at $43,000.
The same can be said of the 27-hole Orchid Country Club (OCC) in Yishun, whose value in January 2014 has been slashed by a quarter to its current $30,500 amidst uncertainty about its future.
Its present lease expires in 2023 and the authorities will not offer OCC an extension beyond 2030.
The situation has led to less interest from those dreaming of joining an exclusive club, noted broker Fion Phua from Tee Up Marketing The veteran agent handled 83 transactions in 2014, almost a fifth less than the previous year.
It was a similar tale of caution from Lee Lee Langdale of Singolf, which has negotiated club membership deals since 1991.
She said: "The market is quite soft now as there's still a lot of uncertainty even at those clubs that have long leases as people are waiting to see how much the top-up fees are for members.