I recently released my updated list of what I think are the best places to retire in Florida, but two real estate consulting firms, RCLCO and John Burns Real Estate Consulting, recently released their 2022 lists of the country's 50 top-selling master-planned communities.
It should come as no surprise that many of these top-selling communities are located in some of Florida's best places to retire.
- The Villages was #1 top-selling in the country with 3,923 new home sales
- The top 3 selling communities were all in Florida
- 18 Florida communities mentioned between the two lists
- According to RCLCO, Florida represented about 46% of sales among all ranked communities, followed by Texas with 30%
There always seem to be a few discrepancies between the two lists. For example, some communities appear on one list but not the other. Also, some communities that appear on both lists have different sales numbers attributed to them.
I don't know which list is the most accurate, but for the most part, they're pretty similar. Below I've listed all of the Florida communities that appear on either list.
Keep in mind that some of these communities are 55+, some are all ages, and some are a combination of the two.
The Villages – 3,923 new home sales
Both lists agree that The Villages is once again the best-selling community, 55+ or otherwise, in the nation. I've been tracking new home sales in The Villages since 2003, and this is the fifth-highest sales year on record for them since that time.
Learn more about The Villages here.
Lakewood Ranch – 1,846 new home sales
Just minutes from the beaches of Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch is the #1 best-selling multigenerational master-planned community in the country.
With everything from low-maintenance condominiums to single-family houses starting in the $400k's, Lakewood Ranch offers a neighborhood option for just about every type of family and budget. There are also a few 55+ community options available, including Del Webb Lakewood Ranch and Cresswind Lakewood Ranch.
Get more information about Lakewood Ranch here.
Silverleaf – 1,034 new home sales
Silverleaf, an all-ages community in St. Augustine, was the only other community in the country to join The Villages and Lakewood Ranch in the 4-digit club.
Babcock Ranch – 934 new home sales
Located in Southwest Florida, Babcock Ranch has been designed to help residents live their happiest, healthiest life. Situated on 18,000 acres, adjacent to an extensive wilderness preserve, Babcock Ranch features hiking and biking paths, greenways, and lakes perfect for outdoor adventures.
America’s first solar-powered town, Babcock Ranch houses an 870-acre solar farm operated by Florida Power & Light, and the entire town is outfitted with fiber optic internet for a fully connected lifestyle. A new 55+ community called Regency at Babcock Ranch is opening in 2023.
Get more information about Babcock Ranch here.
Viera – 722 new home sales
Located near Melbourne on Florida's east coast, Viera has always been pretty popular, and 55+ neighborhoods already exist there, but the opening of a new Del Webb community here in 2023 should really put them on the map among retirees.
Wellen Park – 722 new home sales
For retirees seeking an active lifestyle on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Wellen Park in the Venice area is a next-generation community made up of friendly neighborhoods and a vibrant downtown.
There aren't any 55+ neighborhoods in Wellen Park yet, but the wide range of community amenities, and proximity to great Venice area beaches, great restaurants, and Braves Spring Training baseball more than make up for that fact. Home prices generally start in the $400k's.
Learn more about Wellen Park here.
Epperson – 719 new home sales
Epperson is a master-planned community in the Tampa area. The Lagoon at Epperson was the first completed Crystal Lagoons amenity in the nation.
Latitude Margaritaville Watersound – 605 new home sales
Latitude Margaritaville Watersound is the 2nd Jimmy Buffett-inspired 55+ community in Florida, and the 3rd one overall when you include Latitude Margaritaville Hilton Head.
It is located near the famed State Road 30A, a scenic stretch of road in the Florida Panhandle, between Panama City Beach and Destin.
Learn more about Latitude Margaritaville Watersound here.
Latitude Margaritaville Daytona Beach – 601 new home sales
The first-ever Latitude Margaritaville 55+ community is still selling quite well.
Inspired by the lifestyle and music of Jimmy Buffett, amenities here include a fully outfitted gym / Spin Room, an indoor whirlpool spa and lap pool, Latitude Town Square where you’ll find the Bandshell with live music, The Last Mango Theater, Barkaritaville Pet Spa, Latitude Bar & Chill Restaurant, Changes in Attitude Bar, Paradise Pool with beach entry, cabanas, and tiki huts, plus, an amenity that you don’t see every day…your very own private beach club!
Get more information about Latitude Margaritaville Daytona here.
Ave Maria – 586 new home sales
Located in the Naples area, Ave Maria is home to Del Webb Naples, a fairly large community of around 2,000 condos, townhouses, and single-family homes. This community has an (optional to join) 18-hole championship golf course, sports courts, resort and lap pools, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and 2 large clubhouses with a full-time Lifestyle Director.
Learn more about Del Webb Naples here.
Westlake – 550 new home sales
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.
Riverland – 455 new home sales
Riverland is home to the 55+ communities Valencia Cay (sold out), Valencia Grove (sold out), and now Valencia Walk at Riverland. Valencia Walk brings together GL Homes’ famous 55+ resort-style living with an amazing master site plan where you can walk to nearby shops and restaurants, spend the day at the beach, or simply enjoy all the amenities right within your own neighborhood.
Tradition – 430 new home sales
Tradition is a master-planned community in Port St. Lucie. The Town Center creates a natural community hub for residents to meet and socialize, where events like a weekly farmers market invite one and all to gather. The extensive Tradition Trail winds through the community connected to over 300 acres of parks, inviting residents to explore the outdoors, meet up with friends, or enjoy a casual stroll and visit the Town Center.
Tradition is comprised of several different neighborhoods. While some neighborhoods are open to residents of all ages, Tradition also includes several 55+ neighborhoods from developers like Del Webb, Mattamy Homes, and Minto.
Lake Nona – 403 new home sales
Lake Nona is close to several Orlando 55+ communities, but it is also home to Gatherings of Lake Nona, a community of 216 condos with amenities like a large clubhouse, outdoor pool, and a dog park.
Nocatee – 386 new home sales
Just minutes from Jacksonville and St. Augustine, and about 4 miles from pristine beaches, there are a handful of neighborhoods in Nocatee to choose from.
Del Webb Nocatee is a new 55+ gated community here. The Canopy Club offers luxury amenities just a golf cart's drive away, including a zero-entry pool, pickleball courts, fitness studio, and even an onsite Tavern & Grill with private wine lockers.
Get more information about Del Webb Nocatee here.
On Top of the World – 377 new home sales
Located in beautiful Ocala Florida, On Top of the World was actually higher on one list with 601 new home sales, but what I think happened is that this was the combined total for On Top of the World and Calesa Township, since both communities are adjacent to one another and built by the same developer.
For our purposes here, we'll focus on On Top of the World since it is 55+ and Calesa Township is not. Leisure amenities at On Top of the World include 54 holes of golf on three courses, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, a private R/C flying field, bocce, racquetball and basketball courts, fitness center, health club and spa, restaurants, cultural venues, and much more.
Residents can also participate in over 175 clubs, leagues, hobbies, and lifelong learning opportunities.
Get more information about On Top of the World here.
Mirada – 371 new home sales
Located about 30 miles N/NE of Tampa, Medley has a number of neighborhoods within, but the 55+ part is Medley at Mirada, a gated community of 858 attached and single-family homes. Residents here have access to their own private amenities like a community clubhouse, fitness center, and resort-style pool. Then they can also enjoy the impressive selection of amenities in the larger Mirada community.
Southshore Bay 353- new home sales
Located between Tampa and Bradenton, Southshore Bay has one 55+ community with 655 attached villas and single-family homes. Available amenities here include a community clubhouse, fitness center, outdoor pool, and a large Crystal Lagoon.
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