LAKEWOOD RANCH BEST-SELLING MULTI-GEN COMMUNITY IN THE NATION
Lakewood Ranch has been recognized as the best-selling, master-planned multi-generational community in the country by John Burns and RCLCO (two independent real estate consulting firms) for the third year in a row.
Lakewood Ranch saw 2,149 new home sales in 2020, up from 1,648 in 2019 – a 30 percent increase year-over-year and the best sales year on record for The Ranch.
The pandemic-era desire for floorplans with independent offices, separate entertainment rooms, technology packages, and pools and increased outdoor living space helped drive sales, as did the demand for multi-generational floorplans to accommodate family members – both seniors and adult children. Low interest rates and a dwindling inventory of resale homes also helped spur sales.
Laura Cole, senior vice president of Lakewood Ranch, said that while COVID-19 has driven some buyers to act, there are longer term trends at play as well. “The pandemic caused an acceleration of purchase decisions for some buyers already in the market, especially young families seeking their first home and people nearing retirement,” Cole said. “A strong desire to upgrade one’s quality of life through home and place was a powerful motivator to purchase a home this year.
“Many buyers said that COVID-19 has created a need to reestablish roots in an environment that affords a more connected and active lifestyle, while offering ample open space and tranquility,” Cole continued. “Lakewood Ranch’s vast green space and amenities – including space for walking, hiking, and biking – were very attractive to those seeking to escape urban centers and increase their ability to socialize outside while observing social distancing requirements.”
Even with restrictions in place, buyers have been purchasing homes – in many cases, sight unseen – with the help of interactive chats and virtual community presentations from the Lakewood Ranch Information Center, an easily navigable Lakewood Ranch website with a 3D interactive map, and builders’ virtual tours.
The Ranch continues to be successful at market segmentation, filling multiple market niches with homes available with price points from the $200s to more than $1 million. There are more than 20 unique villages from which to choose, with more than 20 different builders, including four new villages that opened in 2020: Taylor Morrison’s Esplanade at Azario, Lennar’s Lorraine Lakes, Neal Communities’ Windward, and Pulte’s Sapphire Point.
Although sales at all price points have been strong, the luxury market continues to perform extremely well, Cole said. “The community was prepared to meet increased demand from the millennial buyer while still accommodating move-up families, empty-nesters, retirees, and seniors,” Cole said. “Our strength continues to come from the diversity of our neighborhoods and homes, abundance of shopping, dining, and services, job base, and exceptional lifestyle offerings.”
Lakewood Ranch’s award-winning lifestyle program transitioned from completely in-person events, to virtual offerings, and then to a hybrid of both formats. A new Lakewood Ranch app was launched to complement the myLWR.com community website, which is a one-stop-shop for “everything Lakewood Ranch,” including a community calendar, bike and trail map, business directory, and service requests, among other things.
Popular amongst residents – and prospective buyers – are miles of trails and paths, parks offering a disc golf course, watercraft launches, and dog parks for socially distanced, outdoor activity; and nationally recognized sports venues like the Premier Sports Campus and the Sarasota Polo Club. The Ranch is also home to A-rated schools, 10 institutions of higher learning, and the nationally recognized Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. The Ranch has been recognized by ideal-LIVING magazine as a “best health and fitness” and “best wellness” community.
Waterside Place, one of three town centers in Lakewood Ranch, has drawn widespread attention as it nears a second quarter of 2021 completion. Located on the southern edge of The Ranch in Sarasota County, it will be a blend of arts and entertainment, with diverse dining options, commercial, retail and office space, and an eight-acre park, which will be the eventual home of the Farmers’ Market at Lakewood Ranch.
Also attractive to buyers is Lakewood Ranch’s status as a major job center, with more than four million square feet of commercial real estate in place and entitlements for up to 14 million. There are more than 1,350 businesses in diverse sectors such as biomedical, technology, insurance, and education.
Not to be overlooked is Lakewood Ranch’s proximity to the beaches, and cultural and sports offerings that allow residents to experience a higher quality of life without sacrificing big-city conveniences.
Lakewood Ranch has been among the top-selling master-planned communities in the country for 10 out of the last 11 years, according to RCLCO.
RCLCO has been ranking master-planned communities since 1994; for more information, visit www.rclco.com. This is the 12th 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 33,000+-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 42,000 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 four million square feet of commercial property. For more information visit www.lakewoodranch.com.
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