Raising the roofs
Houston is a master when it comes to master-planned communities.
A report released January 5 by RCLCO Real Estate Advisors shows the Houston metro area is home to eight of the 50 top-selling master-planned communities in 2020. That’s the highest total for any metro area in the U.S. In all, those eight communities 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.
Heath Melton, executive vice president of Howard Hughes, tells RCLCO that many of the buyers in the company’s Bridgeland and The Woodlands projects have been seeking master-planned communities with plenty of green space, parks, playgrounds, and trails. RCLCO says outdoor amenities have gained ground during the coronavirus pandemic because social-distancing requirements have curbed a lot of activities.
Here’s how things stacked up in 2020 for the Houston area’s seven other master-planned communities on the list:
- Balmoral, a community in Houston that sold 841 homes last year, up 80 percent from 2019. That total earned Balmoral a 12th place ranking. Houston-based Land Tejas is the developer.
- Sienna, a community in Missouri City that sold 773 homes last year, up 50 percent from 2019. That total garnered Sienna a 15th place ranking. Houston-based Johnson Development and Fort Washington, Pennsylvania-based Toll Brothers are the developers.
- Tamarron, a community in Katy where 604 homes were sold last year, up 84 percent from 2019. That total resulted in a 25th place showing for Tamarron. Arlington-based D.R. Horton is the developer.
- Cross Creek Ranch, a community in Fulshear that sold 510 homes last year, up 5 percent from 2019. That total put Cross Creek Ranch in the No. 36 spot. The developer is Johnson Development.
- Elyson, a community in Katy that sold 497 homes last year, up 43 percent from 2019. That total landed Elyson in the No. 40 spot.
- Harvest Green, a community in Richmond that sold 481 homes last year, up 35 percent from 2019. That total earned Harvest Green the No. 43 spot. The developer is Johnson Development.
- Sierra Vista/Sterling Lakes, a community in Arcola that sold 474 homes last year, up 37 percent from 2019. Land Tejas is the developer.
While Houston reigns as the top metro area for sales of master-planned homes in 2020, it isn’t the only Texas metro to pop up on the list. Communities in Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio also showed up in the RCLCO ranking. DFW gained four spots in the top 50, Austin earned three spots, and San Antonio picked up one spot.
The Bridgeland community in Cypress is the highest-ranked community in Texas for the number of homes sold. But on a percentage basis, two communities in the Austin area — Brookfield Residential’s 29th-ranked Easton Park project in Austin (577 homes sold, up 90 percent) and Scarborough Lane’s 26th-ranked Sunfield project in Buda (595 homes sold, up 89 percent) — notched the biggest gains in home sales among the Texas communities on the list. The other Austin area community in the ranking is Santa Rita Ranch in Liberty Hill, appearing at No. 21 with 641 homes sold (up 72 percent from 2019). The developer of Santa Rita Ranch is Fairway, Kansas-based Mariner Real Estate Management.
The four DFW communities on the list are:
- SouthStar Communities’ WoodCreek in Fate, ranked 23rd with 623 homes sold (up 55 percent from 2019)
- Hillwood Communities’ Union Park in Little Elm, ranked 24th with 607 homes sold (up 71 percent from 2019)
- D.R. Horton’s Silverado in Aubrey, ranked 27th with 584 homes sold (no comparable figure for 2019)
- Hillwood Communities’ Pecan Square in Northlake, ranked 37th with 509 homes sold (no comparable figure for 2019)
Representing San Antonio on the list is Valley Ranch, ranked No. 34 with 542 homes sold, up 64 percent from 2019.
RCLCO says Texas and Florida account for nearly two-thirds of total sales among the 50 top-selling communities last year.