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Scottsdale, Arizona
With more than 200 courses, Scottsdale might just be golf heaven. It has near perfect weather year round (330 days of sun) and attracts pro players and vacationing newbies alike to the private and moderately priced municipal greens located around the High Sonoran Desert. The area is home to TPC Scottsdale, the course that holds the most-attended PGA Tour stop, the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Over the past two years, “the market shifted from one of the worst in the country to one of the top three,” said Don Matheson of the Matheson Team and RE/MAX Fine Properties. “Inventory is shrinking and prices are rising, although not dramatically.” Courses with real estate range from public  to private country clubs. Troon North is public with 36 holes of excellent golf, while Desert Mountain is private with six championship Jack Nicklaus courses. Every type of property is available, from large single-family villas to condos to fractional ownership, where buyers purchase a 1/8 or 1/12 fraction of a property that translates to a certain number of weeks they can stay. “Generally fractionals start around $20,000,” said Matheson, “while fee simple, or freehold, properties start at $200,000 and go up.” According to Matheson, prices are predicted to rise 7% to 9% over the next 12 months.

East Valley Tribune: regional newspaper covering towns around Phoenix and Scottsdale


North Island, New Zealand
From the Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club on the Kapiti Coast outside of Wellington to Kauri Cliffs in the far north, the North Island is a golf mecca down under. The country’s spectacular bays, cliffs, dunes and natural flora make playing here a challenge for even scratch players. Paraparaumu has hosted the New Zealand Open 12 times and Kauri Cliffs is one of the best in the world with six cliff-top holes that sheer off into the Pacific Ocean. This is not to say the South Island is a slouch when it comes to golf courses. The Hills in Arrowtown, which recently hosted the Pro-Am Championship, is a spectacular spot surrounded by the barrenness of the Remarkables Mountains and the Crown Range peaks.

Hawke’s Bay on the southeast coast of the North Island has 26 different courses, including the world-famous Cape Kidnappers which Golf Magazine ranked 33rd in the world. Homes in most areas across New Zealand are increasing in affordability due to very low mortgage rates and the median house price is now only 355,000 New Zealand dollars. However, so far in 2012, Hawke’s Bay properties became less affordable by 2.9%, although it is still a buyer’s market. Near Cape Kidnappers in Te Awanga, beach houses can go for around $200,000 to $500,000 New Zealand dollars with some single-family houses with Pacific views going for $1 million or more. “There is also an exclusive subdivision called Parkhill where sections sell between $400,000 to $900,000,” said Paul Whitaker, Hawkes Bay regional manager of Property Brokers Ltd. “The lots are approximately two acres and all have beautiful sea views.”

Hawke’s Bay Today: area news, business and events

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