April 5, 2019
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Lisa M. Barnott, (941) 757-1542
LAKEWOOD RANCH HOME SALES HIT RECORD LEVELS
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla.) Lakewood Ranch reported a record 417 sales for the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 7 percent over the same quarter in 2018. Momentum of sales in the first three months of the year grew month-over-month, with March boasting an all-time monthly sales number of 170.
Florida buyers make up roughly half of The Ranch’s sales, according to Laura Cole, senior VP of LWR Communities, LLC, and of that 50 percent, half come from within the community. Tampa remains the largest feeder market for young families, who buy here for proximity to job markets (including within Lakewood Ranch), A-rated schools, and family amenities. There has also been increasing activity from Orlando and the east coast of Florida.
Outside of Florida, The Ranch continues to draw from high tax markets in the Northeast – New York and New Jersey account for almost a quarter of all outside new home purchases. There has been growing activity from the Mid-Atlantic, including Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland, as well as from California.
With few exceptions across the board, March saw sales increases for all villages and builders. Condo sales, such as those at Waterfront on Main Street, were strong; age-targeted and/or restricted Del Webb, Esplanade and Lakewood National saw gains, and multi-gen villages like Mallory Park and Savanna were very strong. The Isles, a new village, and Woodleaf Hammock (which hasn’t even opened its models yet) are beating their projected pace. Waterside, The Ranch’s village in Sarasota County, had its best month since opening, with 16 sales in March. The diversity of neighborhoods and product types ensures the availability of something for every stage of life, Cole said.
Homebuyer traffic in The Ranch is up 10 percent over the first quarter of 2018, with a higher number of new, qualified buyers in the market. Cole attributes the increase to a number of factors, not the least of which was the downward trend in mortgage rates and improved buyer psychology. “We, like most of the country, experienced buyer malaise in Q4 of 2018. The Federal Reserve’s announcement of its intent to keep short-term interest rates where they are for the rest of 2019 creates much needed stability and confidence. Also, there is no doubt that buyers from high-tax markets like New Jersey are accelerating their decisions to move to Florida and Lakewood Ranch.”
Job growth in Lakewood Ranch has also attracted new residents and buyers – LWR added 2,631 jobs and 1.1 million square feet of commercial development in 2018, per economist Hank Fishkind.
Not to be ignored is the fact that Lakewood Ranch has become a community in every sense of the word, Cole said. “Our residents had deep roots in their communities of origin. They look at Lakewood Ranch and know that they have everything they need in close proximity, maintained at the highest level, with the greatest hospitality in mind. We’ve earned a reputation for fulfilling our promises. This inspires confidence and trust in people with high aspirations who are relocating to a place for a better quality of life. It also doesn’t hurt that we are near the best features that the Sarasota/Manatee areas offer.”
Record-breaking first quarter sales come on the heels of Lakewood Ranch having been named the best-selling multi-generational community in the country for 2018.
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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 36,000 residents and features A-rated schools, a hospital, the Sarasota Polo Club, the 75-acre Premier Sports Campus, its own Main Street with theaters, shopping and dining, and more than 5.5 million square feet of commercial property. For more information visit www.lakewoodranch.com.
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