Robert Charles Lesser & Co., LLC Announces Top-Selling U.S Master-Planned Communities for 2005

December 31, 2005
By Gregg Logan, Managing Director
Community and Resort Master-Planned Communities

BETHESDA, MD – The Villages, with 4,262 sales, is the top-selling master-planned community (MPC) in the U.S. for the third straight year, based on total new homes sold in 2005, according to Robert Charles Lesser & Co., LLC, a leading independent real estate advisory firm.

RCLCo has released its top MPC rankings since 1994, when it first undertook this effort to gain greater insight into the master-planned community industry.

Top-Selling MPCs of 2005 Chart

Master-planned communities are large-scale developments featuring a wide range of housing prices and styles, an array of amenities and multiple non-residential land uses (such as commercial, hotels, and educational facilities) offering residents an attractive and convenient environment in which to live, work, and play. Some communities provide lifestyle options for multiple market segments, while others target a specific buyer type such as active adults age 55 and over.

Each year, RCLCo invites communities across the U.S. with gross sales of 300 homes or more to participate in the annual survey. To compile the list, RCLCo examines historical rankings as well as new sales information. Last year, 18 communities reported sales of over 1,000 homes. This year, the number dropped to 13. Many of the large MPCs in the western United States that started in the 1980s and 1990s are nearing sell-out, and their peak sales years have past. As large tracts of land relatively close to metropolitan areas become scarcer throughout the country, it will be interesting to see whether the number of communities with over 1,000 sales continues to drop, or whether the drop in communities with over 1,000 sales between 2004 and 2005 was a temporary reflection of the national slowdown in sales experienced in late summer/early fall. However, the communities on the list who opened before 2004 saw an average 2% increase in sales between 2004 and 2005. In fact, 2005 had the highest number of sales in the Top 10 since 1994, most likely due to the large number of sales in the top four communities.

What is the formula for success? Most of these communities are in areas that are continuing to experience rapid population growth with steady, if not strong, employment growth, ample housing options appealing to a wide range of consumers, and large tracts of available land in desirable climates.


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