Lakewood Ranch accounts for a quarter of all new home construction in Sarasota-Manatee
Lakewood Ranch has never had construction start on more homes in a 12-month period than the year ending this spring, with the developer of the master-planned community reporting 2,638 housing starts through March.
That was a 55% increase over the comparable period a year earlier and represented one-fourth of all housing starts in Sarasota and Manatee counties, Lakewood Ranch said in a news release.
Laura Cole, senior vice president at Lakewood Ranch, said that before COVID-19 the Sarasota-Manatee area was overlooked and undervalued as a primary home location.
“The pandemic blew the doors off that notion and accelerated relocations to our area from across the U.S,” she said.
Data from Zonda, a national housing research firm, shows North Port-Sarasota-Manatee statistical metropolitan area had 6,982 home starts in 2020. That increased to 10,622 in 2021.
Quarterly data from Zonda for more than 40 metropolitan areas in the U.S. shows the Sarasota-Bradenton area tops in housing starts growth year-over-year, “and now ranks in the top 20 markets nationally in terms of total annual housing starts,” the news release from LWR Communities LLC stated.
So far this year, home starts are up 46% for the metro area as a residential building boom continues throughout the area, said Kristine Smale, a senior vice president at Zonda.
Smale said Lakewood Ranch had positioned itself well to capitalize on the drastic swing in migration seen over the past two years by providing a wide range of homes attractive to retirees as well as people starting families.
“The Sarasota region’s desirable quality of life coupled with highly-ranked schools and a growing job market combine to offer a compelling location for households in all life stages, including young professionals, growing families, empty nesters and retirees,” Smale said.
Lakewood Ranch’s housing starts were “more than triple the new home production volume of runner-up Wellen Park” in North Port, the news release stated.
The master-planned community that stretches across southern Manatee County into northern Sarasota has been named the best selling master-planned community for all ages several years in a row.
Last year, it was the second fastest selling master-planned community in the country behind the age-restricted The Villages in Central Florida.
Lakewood Ranch said 16 builders are operating in the development.
“People are chasing a better quality of life in Florida and looking for a community that delivers a cohesive living experience today,” Cole said. “We are constantly working on how best to accommodate our current and future residents’ interests, needs, and lifestyles.”
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