Real estate consulting firm RCLCO has released the results of their survey of the top-selling master-planned communities (MPCs) for 2021, with The Villages topping the total new home sales list for 2021 and Lakewood Ranch as the top all-ages community, both located in Florida.

According to RCLCO’s survey data, home sales in the 50 top-selling U.S. master-planned communities grew by a modest 5 percent compared with 2020, with a 14 percent decrease in sales during the second half of the year compared with the first.

Since 1994, RCLCO has conducted a national survey identifying the top-selling MPCs through a rigorous search of high-performing communities. The ranking is based on total new home sales as reported by each individual community, and establishes updated rankings from the previously released year-end report, The Top-Selling Master-Planned Communities of 2020.

In summary:

  • The top-selling community in the country is Central Florida’s The Villages, which is age restricted, with 4,004 sales, 65 percent ahead of last year’s pace.
  • Sarasota’s Lakewood Ranch is once again the top-selling all-ages community in the nation with 2,574 sales.
  • Nevada’s Summerlin earned the third-place rank with 1,619 sales.
  • A lack of new home inventory—despite the consistent and growing demand for new homes—was generally cited as the reason for this modest sales growth, with supply chain disruptions, labor market tightness, and cost surges among the top reasons given for the inventory shortages.

RCLCO managing director Gregg Logan, a ULI product council member with Community Development Council, Gold Flight, notes, “The results of this year’s top-selling MPC report confirm that demand for new single-family homes within MPCs remains high, with favorable demographic tailwinds suggesting this strong demand will continue in 2022. However, supply chain disruptions and the lingering impacts of COVID-19 have prevented many MPCs from fully capitalizing on the growth in demand seen over the past year. As these challenges are resolved in the coming months, we are optimistic for the success of master-planned communities in 2022.“

In addition to this ranking and report, RCLCO prepared an interactive map tool that visualizes the sales at Top-Selling MPCs across the country from 2013 to 2021.

“Lakewood Ranch was in a strong position to capitalize on migration trends boosted by the pandemic,” said Laura Cole, senior vice president of LWR Communities, the residential arm of Lakewood Ranch. “Our housing diversity, multi-generational appeal, and expanded amenities drew buyers from high tax markets across the U.S., buyers with accelerated retirement plans, and buyers untethered to their jobs.” Cole is also a ULI product council member.