January 8, 2021
For an illustration of the growth in single-family home sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, take a look at RCLCO’s annual ranking of the top 50 master-planned communities (MPCs).
Aside from a couple of outliers that saw annual declines, the top 50 MPCs enjoyed total sales volume 20% greater than in 2019. At properties with same-store figures for 2019 and 2020, the year-over-year increase averaged 40% and ranged as high as 121%.
That being said, RCLCO’s latest report cautions against putting too much weight on the effects of the pandemic. “It makes sense that many would attribute the defining characteristic of this year (a global pandemic) as the cause of everything that made this year unique – including the record setting pace of new homes sales not seen since the mid-2000s,” says RCLCO.
“However, the speculation that the record sales pace was primarily driven by households fleeing higher-density urban areas to lower-density suburbs as an escape from COVID is not supported by the data. While it is true that the health crisis has driven some consumers to act, there are longer term trends at play.” These trends were accelerated by the pandemic, rather than created by it, says RCLCO.
Those key trends include demographic shifts, low interest rates and very low levels of resale inventory which combined have dramatically boosted new home demand. RCL says these factors have had more overall impact than COVID-19 concerns in driving the market, although the pandemic has clearly encouraged some buyers to act sooner to obtain the housing they desire.
Florida and Texas together account for about 63% of total sales among the 50 top-selling communities. Florida continues to dominate the top five of the list, with The Villages, Lakewood Ranch, and Wellen Park in the first, second, and fourth spots, respectively.
Among metropolitan areas, the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX MSA ranks as the top-selling area, both in terms of total communities within the Top-50 (eight MPCs), as well as total sales with over 5,000 homes sold among the 50 top-selling MPCs.
Photo courtesy of The Villages.
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