You may be seeing a sudden increase in communities and subdivisions with “country” or “country club” in their names. A recent study by the University of Georgia found that the link with a status symbol such as a country club in a subdivision’s name resulted in purchase prices averaging 5.1% more than those paid for other, less “prestigiously” named properties
Looking at 20 years of data from Baton Rouge, LA, the researchers concluded that a
“more deliberate and empirically-based study of property names could enable significant improvements in return on investment for investors and long-term home owners. In addition, some assumptions about the primary drivers of home values may be challenged; buyers’ perceptions of real property attributes may prove as valuable as or more valuable than the real utility of some attributes."The study showed that wealthier buyers were more likely to pay a premium for a life-style name than for the advantage of being in a neighborhood with good schools for their children, but also that in economically depressed times, they were less willing to pay for any premiums.
As developers and homeowners wait for the light at the end of the long tunnel that is the housing market, this news may still feel like a little skylight opening up.