Houston Communities Dominate National Home Sales Survey

HOUSTON – (By Dale King, Realty News Report) – Houston master planned communities dominated the national rankings, placing eight communities in the nation’s  top 50 home selling neighborhoods in 2020, according to RCLCO Real Estate Advisors.

RCLCO’s annual national survey ranks the nation’s top 50 master-planned communities according to new home sales  Again in 2020, residential projects in Florida and Texas led the RCLCO rankings. For 2020, both states notched stellar results in a couple of categories, despite the COVID-19 pandemic which, the survey says, was not considered a major detriment to the master-planned community sales market.

Some residential analysts say suburban housing markets have benefited during the 2020 pandemic as consumers have retreated from urban areas and dense multifamily projects in favor of more spacious single-family communities in the suburbs. Low mortgage rates boosted home sales last year.

Houston helped the Lone Star State claim victory in the number of communities placed in the top 50. “The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land [metro] ranks as the top-selling area, both in terms of total communities within the top 50 (eight MPCs), as well as total sales with more than 5,000 homes sold among the 50 top-selling MPCs,” says the RCLCO report.

Houston area communities recognized in the top 50 are:

Bridgeland (9), in Cypress. Developed by Howard Hughes Corp., reported 873 new home sales in 2020, up 19 percent from 2019.

Balmoral (12), in Houston. Developed by Land Tejas, sold 841 in 2020, up 80 percent from 2019.

Sienna (15), in Missouri City. Developed by Johnson Development/Toll Brothers, sold 773 in 2020, up 50 percent from 2019.

Tamarron (25), in Katy. Developed by D.R. Horton, sold 604 in 2020, up 84 percent from 2019.

Cross Creek Ranch (36), in Fulshear. Developed by Johnson Development Corp., sold 510 in 2020, up 5 percent from 2019.

Elyson (40), in Katy. Developed by Newland Communities, sold 497 in 2020, up 43 percent from 2019.

Harvest Green (43), in Richmond. Developed by Johnson Development, sold 481, up 35 percent from 2019.

Sierra Vista/Sterling Lakes (45), in Arcola. Developed by Land Tejas, sold 474 units in 2020, up 37 percent from 2019.

Florida continues to dominate the top five in that list. “The Villages, with 2,452 home sales, is again ranked as the top-selling community in the country,” says the report. “Sarasota’s Lakewood Ranch claimed the second overall spot, which also represents the top-selling all-ages community in the country. Las Vegas, Nevada’s Summerlin, Venice, Florida’s Wellen Park (formerly West Villages) and Salt Lake City, Utah’s Daybreak make up the remaining top five communities.”

Other bullet point stats from the RCLCO survey include:

  • The 50 top-selling master-planned communities in 2020 experienced total sales about 20 percent higher than in 2019.
  • Communities in this year’s top 50 report for which sales data was available in 2019 had an average increase in sales of 40 percent in 2020.
  • Sales within the top 10 MPCs were more than 12 percent above their 2019 counterparts.

While the names on the list of high-performing communities probably didn’t surprise folks who keep watch on the MPC market, the fact that COVID-19 was not an overpoweringly negative factor probably did. “Key findings indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic influenced about 30 percent of buyers in their purchase of a home, but most said it was not their primary motivation,” the survey says.

The “key trends” that had a greater impact on sales included “demographic shifts, low interest rates and very low levels of resale inventory. Combined, they dramatically boosted new home demand. These factors had more overall impact than COVID-19 concerns in driving the market, although the pandemic has clearly encouraged some buyers to act sooner to obtain the housing they desire.”

Interviewed for the RCLCO report, Garilyn Bourgeois, director of marketing for Brookfield Properties, speaking about its Eastmark community, said that “COVID-19 has increased the desire for newer, better, and bigger spaces. However, it is the low interest rates that have provided the opportunity for many buyers, and the historically low levels of resale inventory which has accelerated urgency and increased demand for new homes.”

This increased urgency due to the combination of historically low mortgage rates and historically low levels of supply was echoed by officials at other top selling MPCs. Laura Cole, senior vice president at Lakewood Ranch, the Number 1, all-ages community in the country, noted that the local resale market with just 1.4 months of supply has driven more homebuyers to new homes, helping to sustain Lakewood Ranch near the top of RCLCO’s list.

Jan. 6, 2021 Realty News Report Copyright 2021

File: Houston Communities Dominate RCLCO Master Planned Communities Top 50

File: (2) RCLCO. Bridgeland. Houston Communities Dominate sales on new homes in 2020.

Image: Bridgeland. Howard Hughes Corp.

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