Jan 18, 2016
2015 Top Selling Communities

 (WASHINGTON, DC) The Villages, despite seeing sales drop by 12% in 2015, once again sits atop the list of the year’s top-selling U.S. master-planned communities with 2,294 total sales. The survey of the best-selling communities was compiled by RCLCO, which has conducted a national survey identifying the top-selling master-planned communities every year since 1994. While the Houston area claimed more top-selling master-planned communities than any other metro area in the U.S., Eastmark in Arizona (up 181%) and Vistancia (up 107%) had the most impressive jump in sales. Below are the top 20 in home sales for 2015, along with their percentage change from 2014.

1. The Villages, The Villages, Fla., (-12%)

2. The Irvine Ranch, Orange County, Calif., (17%)

3. Nocatee, Jacksonville, Fla., (30%)

4. Stapleton, Denver, (31%)

5. Riverstone, Houston, (-15%)

6. Summerlin, Las Vegas, (38%)

7. Eastmark, Mesa, Ariz., (181%)

8. Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota, Fla., (9%)

9. Cane Bay Plantation, Charleston, S.C., (35%)

10. (tie) Lake Nona, Orlando, Fla., (19%)

11. (tie) Westridge, Dallas, (52%)

12. Vistancia, Phoenix, (107%)

13. Providence, Las Vegas, (-7%)

14. Paloma Creek, Dallas, (23%)

15. Valencia, Los Angeles, (-10%)

16. Aliana, Houston, (-11%)

17. (tie) Wildwood at Northpointe, Houston, (0%)

17. (tie) Canyon Lakes West, Houston, (7%)

19. (tie) Daybreak, Salt Lake City, Utah, (23%)

19. (tie) Woodforest, Houston, (0%)


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Jan 15, 2016
Lehman’s Loop

(OCALA, FL) This should be fun. While traditionally-sized golf course often take up 120 acres or more of land, Trilogy Golf Club at Ocala Preserve is readying to debut a course that uses a mere 50 acres. Designed by Tom Lehman and Tripp Davis, the small footprint course employs a loop design with multiple configurations and routing that will vary according to the day of the week, reports the Ocala Star Banner. The configurations will range from a six-hole, par-18 short-course that can be played in less than an hour to a more traditional 18-hole, par-72 course. Golfers will also be offered a match play concept based on the playground basketball game of Horse. The club will host its first tournament on Saturday, Feb. 6. The public can register for free on the club’s website for the event. 18 winners will be awarded a foursome. While on the website, you can also register for a course tour (and complimentary round of golf at later date) with Lehman and Davis on Feb. 2.

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Jan 13, 2016
Dirty Laundry

(NEW YORK) Cash may be king in real estate, but it’s about to become a royal pain in the behind. The Treasury Department is shining its light on illicit money flowing into luxury real estate, reported The New York Times today. Starting in Manhattan and Miami-Dade County, the Feds will begin identifying and tracking secret buyers of high-end properties. Their objective is to flush out all-cash purchases made by shell companies that often shield purchasers’ identities. In other words: money laundering. Says The Times: “It is the first time the federal government has required real estate companies to disclose names behind all-cash transactions, and it is likely to send shudders through the real estate industry, which has benefited enormously in recent years from a building boom increasingly dependent on wealthy, secretive buyers.” While it is legal to use a shell company to purchase real estate, the suspicion is that the purchases are being used to launder dirty money. Astonishingly, an investigation by The Times found that almost half the homes sold in the U.S. for $5 million or more are purchased using shell companies. 

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Jan 11, 2016
Breaking New Ground

(PALM CITY, FL) Members at Harbour Ridge Yacht & Country Club already enjoy an enviable lifestyle in the heart of Florida’s Treasure Coast. They have two miles of waterfront, three marinas, access to the Gulf of Mexico, and two picturesque golf courses. Soon they’ll have a new $8.9 million fitness, tennis, swim and salon/spa facility. The Club broke ground last week on the facility, which is expected to be completed over the next year. It will replace the existing Fitness/Tennis Center and pool, update the tennis counts, add a separate realty office and expand the parking lot. Members will be especially pleased that the project will be completed without a member assessment or any additional long-term debt. “This is money well spent,” says Cesar Trujillo, on-site Keller Williams Project Manager. “Harbour Ridge will reap the benefits of this investment in fitness and wellness for years to come. I feel confident it will attract new, young members looking for the complete package of amenities that can only be found in a country club environment like Harbour Ridge.”

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Jan 08, 2016
Sarasota is Sizzling

(SARASOTA, FL) Florida is hot again. And we’re not just talking the weather. Perhaps no region was hit as hard as the Sunshine State by the real estate bust, but the market is coming back in a big way, especially in the Sarasota area. In fact, 2015 will go down as the region’s busiest real estate market ever. Sarasota Magazine reports that “Industry insiders are using phrases like ‘shattering records’ and ‘skyrocketing sales prices’ to describe the frenetic pace of resales and new construction. Homes are selling quicker, construction is strong, buyers are trending younger, and consumer confidence is on the rise. True, prices are still 25% to 30% off the highs of a decade ago, but they are trending upward. Realtors, developers, and sellers are practically giddy. To top it all off, the 9,600-acre The Ranch in the West Villages is making noise again. 18,000 to 25,000 new homes are expected to built there over the next three decades. In December, they broke ground on The Renaissance Neighborhood in the development.

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