National real estate consulting firms rank Lakewood Ranch as a top-10 best-selling community
Sarasota, FL (January 12, 2016) - For the fifth year in a row, Lakewood Ranch has been recognized as one of the best-selling master-planned communities in the country.
Both California-based John Burns Real Estate Consulting and Maryland-based RCLCO have ranked Lakewood Ranch as one of the top-selling master-planned communities in the United States. Coming in at No. 9 in the Burns report, and 8 in the RCLCO survey, Lakewood Ranch outpaced many other recognizable and well-known communities in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, South Carolina, and even Florida.
There were, in fact, more than 28,000 visitors to the Ranch’s information centers and models in 2015, which translated into 535 new home sales, up from 475 in 2014 – an increase of 60 units, or a 13 percent increase year-over-year. Lakewood Ranch beat the average increase year-over-year for the top 20 master planned communities, according to John Burns’ numbers. The strong rate of sales growth demonstrates the continued appeal of masterplans, John Burns’ officials said, which offer buyers a desirable lifestyle incorporating schools, recreation, convenience, and value.
“Lakewood Ranch continues its success,” said Lesley Deutch, senior vice president, consulting, for John Burns. “The strong school system and growing local job base, coupled with the Florida lifestyle and multiple golf courses, makes Lakewood Ranch a desirable destination for working professionals and retirees alike.
“The master-planned community has benefited from its strategy of inviting new builders to the MPC, such as Meritage, Del Webb, WCI and Mattamy, who offer a wide array of home products, sizes, and prices,” Deutch said. “As a result, Lakewood Ranch now offers products ranging from $190,000 townhomes to $5,000,000+ custom estates.”
In Florida, MPCs continued to experience higher demand across the state, from both family and older buyers, according to Todd Larue, managing director, and Cameron Pawelek, senior associate at RCLCO. Top-selling communities reported that product diversification was a critical success factor behind sales, driven by luxury offerings above $500,000 and, increasingly, value-oriented offerings between $200,000 and $350,000.
The “uptick” in Lakewood Ranch’s sales was due to the strong numbers in the existing communities of Bridgewater, Esplanade, Central Park, Country Club East, and The Lake Club, as well as the introduction of two new communities: Neal’s Indigo and Mattamy’s Harmony. Plans to expand amenity offerings at Lakewood Ranch, including renovations to the existing athletic center and clubhouse, and a new amenity center and clubhouse at Country Club East, were also key sales drivers in 2015.
At the end of 2015 there were 8,925 existing homes and 1,053 existing apartments within Lakewood Ranch. There are currently 261 single family homes and 640 apartments in various stages of construction, as well as 60 model homes showcasing 20 builders. The trend is expected to continue, with Del Webb’s 1,200+ -home active adult retirement community having held its grand opening in December of 2015 and more neighborhoods in Country Club East on the way. In addition, Pulte’s Mallory Park (townhomes and villas), Standard Pacific’s Arbor Grande (single family and villas), Meritage’s Savanna (single family), and Lennar’s Lakewood National bundled golf and Polo Run single family home communities will all be selling in 2016.
Also in 2015, Lakewood Ranch opened a satellite information center at the Mall at University Town Center, undertook a renovation of the info center at University Parkway, and began construction of a new information center near the corner of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Rangeland Parkway, all part of a concerted effort to drive traffic to and increase sales at the Ranch.
In addition to the myriad of neighborhood and home product choices, the widely varied offerings of the community are also credited with the Ranch’s continued growth. Rex Jensen, president and CEO of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch (the developer of Lakewood Ranch), said the combination of the successes of the Ranch’s commercial properties and their subsequent job creation; the Main Street and other shopping areas, the Premier Sports Campus, Sarasota Polo Club, and the Ancient Oak Gun Club, Lakewood Ranch “continues to remain the premier new-home destination on Florida’s West Coast.” The Ranch has become a hub for sporting events, non-profit functions, festivals, concerts and shows. “The community continues to attract more visitors; once they’re here, they want to stay.” Jensen said.
This is the sixth year that John Burns Real Estate Consulting has ranked top-selling U.S. master-planned communities. RCLCO has been ranking master-planned communities since 1994.
About Lakewood Ranch
Lakewood Ranch is the 17,500-acre award-winning master-planned community in Sarasota and Manatee counties on the West Coast of Florida. Just minutes from the Gulf Coast beaches and cultural assets in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch is already home to more than 25,000 residents and features A-rated schools, a hospital, the Sarasota Polo Club, the 75-acre Premier Sports Campus, the Ancient Oak Gun Club, its own Main Street with theaters, and shopping and dining. There are also more than four million square feet of commercial property, with entitlements for up to 12 million square feet.