Lakewood Ranch named nation’s fourth best-selling community

In Lakewood Ranch, home sales increased 45 percent from 2015 to 2016.
In Lakewood Ranch, home sales increased 45 percent from 2015 to 2016.

In the past six months, Lakewood Ranch has moved up one place to become the nation’s fourth best-selling master-planned community, according to Maryland-based real estate consulting firm RCLCO.

Sales increased 45 percent from 2015 to 2016, from 535 units to 775, according to the RCLCO report.

Lakewood Ranch now ranks only behind Irvine Ranch in Orange County, Calif., The Villages near Ocala and Nocatee near Jacksonville. The pace of sales in Lakewood Ranch far exceeded those in the top three communities.

“Home sales at the nation’s 20 top-selling master-planned communities (MPCs) surpassed 2015 totals by 6 percent, with 20 percent of communities experiencing more than 40 percent growth in sales,” the RCLCO report said. “Texas, Florida and California continue to be hot markets and accounted for 60 percent of the 20 top-selling communities with each state containing four of the top-selling MPCs.”

Master-planned communities are targeting millennials and active adults and empty nesters in roughly equal numbers, with product offerings and in their marketing efforts, the report said.

Lakewood Ranch has added more urban and attached products to increase its share of millennials by offering both a lifestyle and price point attractive to that generation.

The Villages had been the best-selling community in the United States for 14 years. This was the first time The Villages had been edged out of the top spot, a result of being nearly built out.

As recently as 2015, Lakewood Ranch ranked 12th in the nation for home sales when it posted 264.

RCLCO started tracking new home sales nationwide in 1994.

James A. Jones Jr.: 941-745-7053, @jajones1