The Villages has sold an “estimated” 1,500 new homes at the half way point of 2022 according to real estate consulting firm RCLCO. The figure is only an estimate because The Villages does not release official mid-year sales numbers.
If that figure is accurate though, it would mean The Villages is on pace for a 25% drop in new home sales vs. last year when they sold 4,004 new homes. If The Villages does end up with approximately 3,000 new home sales this year, nobody will be crying in their coffee as that is still an astounding number of new home sales. For reference, over the last 20 years The Villages has averaged about 2,800 new home sales per year. You can look back at their historic track record here.
15 Florida communities in total made the mid-year Top 50 list, and they accounted for approximately 36% of the total sales. Like The Villages, a handful of the other Florida communities are also 55+ communities themselves or contain neighborhoods within them that are 55+.
While you should not base your decision on what community you ultimately end up in based on how many homes they sell, the data is useful in that you know if they're selling this many new homes, they've got something to offer that a lot of people, maybe even you, are interested in.
Here's a look at the other Florida communities that made the list.
Lakewood Ranch in the Sarasota area is not all 55+ but there are a few neighborhoods that are 55+ like Del Webb Lakewood Ranch and Cresswind Lakewood Ranch. Lakewood Ranch as a whole though came in at a solid #2 on the list with 1,026 new home sales so far this year.
Babcock Ranch in the Punta Gorda area in Southwest Florida took the #10 spot with 422 new home sales and was the only other Florida community in the top 10.
Viera in the Melbourne area on Florida's east coast was #13 with 381 new home sales. There is a new Del Webb community coming soon there that should open later this year.
Ave Maria in the Naples area recorded 367 new home sales so far this year. Ave Maria is home to Del Webb Naples.
Wellen Park is just minutes from the beaches of Venice on Florida's West Coast. Wellen Park features boutique shops and restaurants, a number of 18-hole championship golf courses, and it is the new home of Atlanta Braves Spring Training. So far in 2022 they've had 345 new home sales.
Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach and Latitude Margaritaville Watersound each have sold 300 new homes so far this year, landing them right next to each other at 23 and 24 on the list. It might seem strange to you that they had the same amount of new home sales, but both of these communities are on similar release schedules, at least so far this year, and once they do a release the homes sell pretty much right away due to the long waitlists both communities have.
On Top of the World in Ocala was not far behind in the 26th spot with 288 new home sales so far this year.
Epperson is a master planned community in the Tampa area that sold 276 homes the first half of 2022. The Lagoon at Epperson was the first completed Crystal Lagoons amenity in the nation.
Riverland is home to the 55+ communities Valencia Cay (sold out), Valencia Grove (sold out), and now Valencia Walk at Riverland which recently opened for sales. Riverland came in at number 30 on the list with 260 new home sales so far this year.
Westlake is located in Palm Beach County, between Wellington and Palm Beach Gardens, and it is home to the 55+ community Cresswind Palm Beach at Westlake. So far this year 258 homes have sold in Westlake, earning them the #31 spot on the Top 50 list.
Lake Nona in the Orlando area is close to several 55+ communities. So far 230 new homes have sold there in 2022.
Jacksonville is home to eTown, a master planned community that has sold 227 new homes so far in 2022. The 55+ community Del Webb eTown is located there.
The last Florida community to earn a spot on the Top 50 Mid-Year 2022 list is Nocatee, located about 25 miles southeast of Jacksonville. There you will find Del Webb Nocatee, and the community as a whole sold 212 new homes the first half of this year.
The report which you can read here also highlighted a few other key things. One is that total new home sales among the 50 Top-Selling Master-Planned Communities declined by 18% in the first half of 2022 compared to the same time period last year. That's to be expected, as January through June of 2021 were 6 of the most feverish months in the history of real estate and completely unsustainable in the long term.
On the pricing side, “nationally, the average price among all new single-family homes is up 15% since Mid-Year 2021, and over 40% since April 2020 and the depths of pandemic pricing.”
The report notes that most developers are welcoming the slower pace of sales as it gives them a chance to catch up on closings and build up some inventory. The report goes on to detail ways that master planned communities tend to weather downturns better than other communities.