LAKEWOOD RANCH JUMPS TO NO. 4 IN THE COUNTRY
Lakewood Ranch has been recognized as one of the top-five, best-selling master-planned communities (MPCs) in the country by two, independent real estate consulting firms.
Coming in at No. 4 in the RCLCO survey and No. 5 in the Burns report, Lakewood Ranch outpaced many other recognizable and well-known communities in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, and even Florida. Lakewood Ranch saw 775 new home sales in 2016, up from 535 in 2015 – a 45 percent increase year-over-year.
MPCs that achieved increases in sales generally credit successful market segmentation—the targeting of various age, income, and household segments with appropriately priced and designed residential product types and lifestyle amenities, said RCLCO officials in their annual report.
Another of the most prevalent features of the top-selling MPCs, RCLCO said, is the inclusion of mixed-use districts, which tend to be heavily food-oriented and typically include other convenience retail and services supportive of daily living, such as Lakewood Ranch’s Main Street. Yet another common attribute of the most successful communities – at which Lakewood Ranch excels – is the availability of various healthy community features, including fitness classes, active lifestyle activities, and easily accessible parks and multiuse or dedicated paths and trails that offer a variety of experiences, including biking, walking, running, hiking. Finally, proximity to nature was listed as a valued component.
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 moved up in the 2016 rankings, as the MPC benefited from numerous new neighborhood openings and expansion of existing neighborhoods. And public builders bring momentum. With at least five new public and two new private builders now operating at Lakewood Ranch, they said, the MPC offers homes across all price points and product types.
In terms of age segmentation, MPCs are targeting millennials and active adults/empty nesters in roughly equal numbers, both with their product offerings and in their marketing efforts, The RCLCO report said. Lakewood Ranch is adding more urban and attached products specifically to increase their share of millennials by offering both a lifestyle and price point attractive to this generation.
One of the underpinnings of the Ranch’s ongoing success has been its continual reinvestment in the community, as is illustrated by the expansion of amenity offerings at Lakewood Ranch’s Golf and Country Club. A recent multi-million-dollar project included renovations to the existing athletic center and clubhouse and construction of The Lodge, a new clubhouse at the Royal Lakes Golf Course in Country Club East, which helped drive sales in 2016.
Also in 2016, Lakewood Ranch opened a new information center near the corner of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Rangeland Parkway, and undertook a renovation of The Lake Club Model Home Preview Center – 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. Laura Cole, vice president of LWR Communities, LLC, said that due to the combination of the successes of the Ranch’s commercial properties and their subsequent job creation; the Main Street and other shopping areas, and 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,” Cole said. “The community continues to attract more visitors; once they’re here, they want to stay.”
RCLCO has been ranking master-planned communities since 1994; for more information, visit www.rclco.com. This is the seventh year that John Burns Real Estate Consulting has ranked top-selling U.S. master-planned communities; for more information, visit www.realestateconsulting.com.
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Lakewood Ranch is the 31,000-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, shopping and dining, and more than four million square feet of commercial property. For more information visit www.lakewoodranch.com.