John Burns Real Estate Consulting has released their annual list of the 50 Top-Selling Master-Planned Communities of 2017.
This year, 10 Florida communities made the list, compared to 11 communities last year.
Of the 50 communities on the list, only 4 sold more than 1,000 new homes last year, but two of the four are in Florida.
Keep in mind that not all of the communities on the list are active-adult or even age-targeted communities, but I think you’ll agree that to some extent most of them contain features and amenities conducive to retirement living.
Let's take a closer look at the Florida communities that made the list.
#1. The Villages
The only community with more than 2,000 sales last year with 2,231 new home sales, The Villages retook the top spot on the list from California's Irvine Ranch which edged them out in 2016.
The Villages needs little to no introduction for most people. It is so popular that I have a whole other website and book about it.
A 55+ community located about an hour north of Orlando, it has been one of the nation’s top-selling communities for several years now, and its easy to see why.
The Villages has more holes of golf than any other community/facility in the world and at the time of this writing there are 648 holes of golf in The Villages. Residents get free golf for life on the 38 9-hole executive courses, but must pay a separate fee for the 12 championship courses.
But it's not just about golf. There are three town squares with nightly entertainment. There are more than 2,000 organized clubs and activities. Home price range anywhere from the $100k’s to over $1 million so there's something for almost every budget.
While its a great community with a fantastic array of amenities, it’s simply not for everyone. For one thing, it now has more than 120,000 residents. Though it is spread out over a huge area, and takes up parts of three counties, it can feel crowded at times, particularly during what is referred to as “the season” when all of the snowbirds come down for the winter.
#3. Lakewood Ranch
Located in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch recorded 1,206 new home sales in 2017.
While not all of Lakewood Ranch is geared towards retirement, parts of it are, including the 55+ Del Webb at Lakewood Ranch.
#5. West Villages
Also located in the Sarasota area is West Villages which had 992 new home sales in 2017.
West Villages offers homes across all price points and primarily targets retirees and second-home buyers, but it has also attracted families due to the highly-ranked area schools.
The West Villages came to be when four separate communities combined to create one big master-planned community.
Nocatee has been a fixture on the list for several years, and this year they had 875 new home sales.
Nocatee is located in Ponte Vedra, which is in the Greater Jacksonville area, and is comprised of a number of neighborhoods from a variety of homebuilders including Del Webb, David Weekly Homes, ICI Homes and more.
#15. Lake Nona
Lake Nona is a very popular Orlando area community close to plenty of amenities like shopping, restaurants, the Orlando International Airport and more. The U.S. Tennis Association recently opened a state-of-the-art training facility in Lake Nona with more than 100 tennis courts which will boost interest in Lake Nona in the coming years.
Lake Nona had 523 new home sales in 2017.
#17. Bartram Park
At the “Southern Gateway” to Jacksonville, Bartram Park is situated in one of North Florida’s fastest growing areas. There are a number of builders operating in Bartram Park, and last year they combined for 490 new home sales.
Viera is a master-planned community on the east coast of Florida in the Melbourne area. Viera recorded 447 sales in 2017.
I'm an east coast Florida guy by birth, and one thing I like about Viera's location is that its right by Cape Canaveral which gives you easy access to a number of cruise lines that depart from there.
Summerlake is a family-friendly resort lifestyle community in Orlando. In 2017 they had 382 new home sales.
Tradition is a Master-Planned community on the east coast of Florida that sold 361 homes in 2017.
While Tradition is home to all types of neighborhoods, there are active adult sections within it like Vitalia at Tradition being developed by Taylor Morrison.
Waterset by Newland Communities is a major Tampa-area master-planned community located 17 miles south of downtown Tampa and 10 minutes from the Tampa Bay shoreline.
The Waterset master plan covers more than 1,300 acres in Hillsborough County, including a lakeside café and recreation center, swimming and fitness facilities, a Montessori preschool, six acres of lush community parks and miles of greenways and recreational trails. The property is a few minutes west of Interstate 75 in the laid-back coastal community of Apollo Beach, providing easy access to destinations throughout the Tampa Bay, Bradenton and Sarasota areas.
Waterset had 324 new home sales in 2017.
You can see the complete list here.
As I like to say every year that this list comes out, keep in mind that “top-selling” does not always mean “best”.
Finding the best Florida community for you is a very personal decision that you can only come to after plenty of research and time spent visiting a number of communities that seem like they may be a fit.
In addition to the above communities, be sure to check out the many Featured Communities on our site.
While they don’t sell as many homes each year, we do find them to be among the most popular with our readers.