Austin is a master when it comes to master-planned communities. A report released January 5 by RCLCO Real Estate Advisors shows Austin-Round Rock metro area is home to three of the 50 top-selling master-planned communities in 2020.
The three local communities on the list are:
- Mariner Real Estate Developer's Santa Rita Ranch in Liberty Hill, ranked 21st, (641 homes sold, up 72 percent from 2019)
- Scarborough Lane’s Sunfield project in Buda, ranked 26th (595 homes sold, up 89 percent)
- Brookfield Residential’s Easton Park, ranked 29th (577 homes sold, up 90 percent)
On a percentage basis, both the Easton Park and Sunfield projects notched the biggest gains in home sales among the Texas communities on the list.
"The 50 Top-Selling Master-Planned Communities in 2020 experienced total sales about 20 percent higher than in 2019, and communities in this year’s Top-50 report for which sales data was available in 2019 had an average increase in sales of 40 percent in 2020," the report says.
And while COVID-19 drove some buyers away from dense urban centers, into communities in the suburbs, that's not the entire picture.
“COVID-19 has increased the desire for newer, better, and bigger spaces," the report says. "However, it is the low interest rates that have provided the opportunity for many buyers, and the historically low levels of resale inventory which has accelerated urgency, and increased demand for new homes.”
According to the study, Texas and Florida accounted for nearly two-thirds of total sales among the 50 top-selling communities last year. Austin isn't the only Texas metro to pop up on the list.
In fact, Houston has the highest total for any city in the U.S. In all, eight communities there sold more than 5,000 homes last year, which also was the highest total for any metro area.
Leading the Houston pack is Bridgeland, a master-planned community in Cypress developed by The Woodlands-based Howard Hughes Corp. The report says 873 homes were sold there last year, up 19 percent from 2019. That total put Bridgeland at No. 9 among the top 50. It is the highest-ranked community in Texas for the number of homes sold.
Dallas meanwhile had four in the top 50 and San Antonio had one.