Can't Stop, Won't Stop

Lakewood Ranch Remains One of the Nation's Top-Selling Communities

For the fifth consecutive year, the master-planned community earned top recognition from two independent real estate firms.

By Kim Doleatto January 10, 2023

an aerial rendering of Waterside Place in Lakewood Ranch

Waterside Place in Lakewood Ranch.

Lakewood Ranch, the master-planned, sprawling neighborhood "out east," has once again earned top rankings RCLCO and John Burns, two independent national real estate consulting firms.

Lakewood Ranch was named No. 2 in the nation for overall sales and was the No. 1 multi-generational community nationwide, with 1,846 home sales in 2022. The Villages, an active-adult community in Central Florida, was No. 1 in the nation for overall sales in 2022, with 3,923. Florida represented about 46 percent of sales among ranked communities, followed by Texas at nearly 30 percent.

Although numbers were down from a record-breaking 2021, which saw 2,574 home sales, Lakewood Ranch's sales still exceeded 2019 numbers.

Strong migration trends to the Sunshine State, and particularly the Sarasota-Bradenton area—which appears repeatedly in national and international rankings for its high quality of life—benefited sales and housing demand even while markets cooled down.

New home sales among the 50 top-selling master-planned communities in the nation dropped by 20 percent in 2022. And while the Florida real estate market fared better than most, in the second quarter of 2022, sales dropped by 13 percent compared to the first quarter, as buyers became more cautious amid mortgage rates that rose above 7 percent in October. 

Lifestyle shifts that ticked up during the pandemic continued to influence local buyers seeking out suburban areas, multi-generational living and outdoor fun.

Lakewood Ranch—all 33,000-plus acres of it—is a thriving metro of more than 20,000 homes from 17 builders. It's home to nearly 60,000 residents, and it’s growing, with seven new neighborhoods slated to open this year, like this one in Waterside Place. Another, called Monarch Acres, consisting of just eight luxury homes is "coming soon," according to Lakewood Ranch's Villages list.

Homes span the gamut from apartments to golf-course-view executive mansions. There are 1,800-plus businesses—everything from mom-and-pop pizzerias to corporate headquarters. Schools and medical facilities include a hospital and LECOM, one of the country’s largest schools of dentistry. There’s also a range of outdoor amenities, including 11 parks and 150 miles of trails, as well as the Sarasota Polo Club and the 75-acre Premier Sports Campus.

The community debuted its first “village,” Summerfield, in 1995, when homes there started in the high $80,000s. Now they range from roughly $350,000 to $4 million, minus HOA fees. Rentals are also now available.

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