Lakewood Ranch’s exceptional sales numbers have boosted the community’s ranking to second place in the nation for mid-year 2018 for the first time in its history, according to Maryland-based real estate consulting firm RCLCO.
Lakewood Ranch bettered its 2017 mid- and year-end position of No. 3 and outpaced many other recognizable and well-known communities in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Colorado, and even Florida.
The Ranch secured 826 new home sales through the end of June of 2018, versus last year’s figure of 622; an increase of 33 percent. Only one other community in the top 10, located in Nevada, demonstrated a larger percentage of growth. Lakewood Ranch has been among the top-selling master planned communities in the country for seven years.
Lakewood Ranch, after several years of increasing sales, has displaced the previous second place holder, Orange County, California’s Irvine Ranch. This has been aided by the opening of neighborhoods like Waterside, RCLCO officials said. The new village is located on the southern edge of the MPC and, as its name suggests, is oriented around several lakes. Waterside will include a town center on the lake.
Lakewood Ranch’s improvement over its mid-year sales in 2017 is also due to successful market segmentation – the targeting of various age, income, and household segments with appropriately priced and designed residential product types and lifestyle amenities – filling multiple market niches, RCLCO officials added.
The Ranch is a thriving place that embodies small town living with big city conveniences, said Laura Cole, vice president of marketing for Lakewood Ranch. “There are vibrant and varied shopping districts, unique sporting venues such as the Premier Sports Campus and the Sarasota Polo Club, a hospital-the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, and A-rated public schools, Cole said. Anything that is not found on property is in close proximity, including access to I-75, the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, and the beaches and cultural offerings of Sarasota and Manatee counties.
“More than 24 years into its development, the Ranch conveys a profound sense of ranch town life,” Cole said, “a relaxed well-being that is gracious and hospitable to everyone.” Even with the pace of growth escalating, Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, Inc., the Ranch’s developer, maintains a commitment to open space – more than half of the community’s 31,000 acres is open space, including 45 percent for nature and close to 10 for recreation. “The Ranch is sensitive to and integrated with its surroundings and history,” Cole said. “This makes it unique and authentic.”
With all of the choices Lakewood Ranch offers, you can easily find yourself here, Cole continued. “The community continues to benefit from the addition of builders who offer an every-expanding array of home products and sizes,” she said. There are more than 20 builders with upwards of 70 models, with prices ranging from the $200,000s to more than $5 million. Increasingly, young families are starting to positively impact sales in communities like Savanna, Mallory Park, and Polo Run, the Ranch’s first 100-percent solar neighborhood. There are also established, high-quality lifestyle neighborhoods with unique programs, which are attracting people at higher price points, like Esplanade and Country Club East.
The Ranch offers a rich and textured life not available anywhere else, Cole said. “Our Main Street, our parks, our trails, all of our amenities – both physical and intellectual – focus on vitality and activity. One of our most highly sought-after amenities is the more than 150 miles of interconnected trails and sidewalks.”
Sales in Lakewood Ranch are coming from throughout Florida, including an influx of buyers from Tampa, Orlando, and the east coast, as well as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois and the mid-Atlantic. People are also coming, in increasing numbers, from Georgia and California. Another area of growth is younger adults following their parents. Thanks to technology and the proximity of four international airports for business use, millennials are able to leave highly congested metropolitan areas and pursue their careers and family life here. Our schools, medical facilities, sports and entertainment options, location close to the beaches and cultural offerings allow them to experience a higher quality of life without sacrificing their big-city conveniences.
The Ranch is also a great place to start or expand a business, with more than four million square feet of current commercial development and entitlements for up to 14 million square feet. Some 2,600 acres have been set aside for future development and mixed-use, campus-style business parks, including CORE, a site for national life sciences and health care companies.
RCLCO has been ranking master-planned communities since 1994; for more information, visit www.rclco.com.