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Jan. 8, 2020 Lisa M. Barnott, (941) 757-1542
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 RCLCO and John Burns (two independent real estate consulting firms) for the second year in a row.
Lakewood Ranch saw 1,655 new home sales in 2019, up from 1,479 in 2018 – an 11 percent increase year-over-year and the best sales year on record for The Ranch. The 11 percent increase exceeded the average growth of 8 percent on the top-selling list, RCLCO officials said.
Lakewood Ranch has been among the top-selling master-planned communities in the country for nine out of the last 10 years, according to RCLCO, who ranked The Ranch second in its “Best of the Decade” list.
Favorable market conditions contributed to Lakewood Ranch’s success in 2019, according to Laura Cole, senior vice president of LWR Communities. Sales came from throughout Florida, as well as from high tax markets in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, such as New York, New Jersey, Boston and Maryland. People are also coming, in increasing numbers, from Georgia and California. Low interest rates, a booming stock market, and a strong overall economy have helped bolster buyers’ confidence.
Lakewood Ranch’s multi-generational approach continued to pay dividends in 2019. “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 lies in the diversity of our neighborhoods, abundance of shopping, dining, and services, job base, and exceptional lifestyle offerings. It is not unusual to see one sale turn into two, three, and even four sales as families and friends quickly follow the initial purchaser.”
The 2019 numbers were achieved, in part, by the opening of new neighborhoods like Kolter’s Cresswind, The Palisades from Freedom Homes by D.R. Horton; and Woodleaf Hammock, featuring M/I Homes and Meritage Homes. The growth of Waterside, the village located on the southern edge of The Ranch in Sarasota County, has also contributed. Waterside is situated around several lakes; its much-anticipated town center, Waterside Place, is expected to be complete at the end of this year.
Popular amongst residents are a vibrant Main Street that has become a shopping, dining and entertainment destination for the region, miles of trails and paths, parks offering a disc golf course, watercraft launches, and dog parks; and nationally recognized sports venues like the Premier Sports Campus and the Sarasota Polo Club. The Ranch is also home to A-rated schools, nine institutions of higher learning, and the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center.
Lifestyle remains a major driver of sales. The Ranch is home to a national award-winning lifestyle director, a flourishing farmers’ market anchored by more than 60 local vendors, more than 50 diverse clubs, and a seemingly endless calendar of community events, including theater in the field, festivals and tournaments. New in 2019 was area’s first “Mindful Triathlon” – a 5K run, yoga and meditation. Coming online in the first quarter of 2020 are a resident website, with a directory exclusively for Lakewood Ranch businesses, and Ranch Nite Wednesdays, which will feature food trucks, cornhole leagues, music and celebration, at the Sarasota Polo Club at Lakewood Ranch.
The Ranch continues to be successful at market segmentation – the targeting of various age, income, and household segments with appropriately priced and designed residential product types – filling multiple market niches. Lakewood Ranch currently offers buyers 17 unique villages from which to choose, with a wide variety of homes types and price points ($200k to well over $1M) by 21 different builders. In 2020, five new villages are scheduled to open to add to the already robust offerings. Two new apartment communities opened in 2019, with another on schedule to be complete in 2020.
Lakewood Ranch is 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.
One commercial center, CORE (Collaboration Opportunities for Research), is a biotech, research and business-focused campus that is home to the Brain Health Initiative (BHI), formed by The Academy for Brain Health and Performance in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital, a Harvard Medical School Teaching Hospital. This large-scale effort is designed to uncover the factors that affect brain health and performance, as well as discern, develop, and test interventions aimed at enhancing brain health and optimizing performance throughout the lifespan. The Ranch was named to ideal-Living magazine’s “best wellness environment” category in 2019, due in part to the association with the BHI.
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.
RCLCO has been ranking master-planned communities since 1994; for more information, visit www.rclco.com. This is the 11th 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 38,000 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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