Top 20 Master Planned Communities Midway through 2014

You cannot build a home without a Lot.  The availability of lots and ability to refresh supply has become the theme this year, as competition rises throughout the country.  Based on Metrostudy’s quarterly lot-by-lot survey, the Top 20 MPCs started more than 14,800 homes in the past twelve months, roughly the same as the number of starts noted in 2Q13 at 14,900 (still 60% above levels in 2Q12).  Starts still outpaced annual lot deliveries among more than half of the Top 20 MPCs, with a combined total of 13,700 lot deliveries over the last four quarters.  Of the seven MPCs that started fewer homes annually between 2Q13 and 2Q14 compared the previous year, only one delivered more lot than it had twelve months earlier.  And while lot deliveries are expected to increase further into early 2015 in most areas, as long as home starts grow at even a modest pace, lot supply will remain constrained, leading to continued change among communities within the Top 20 MPCs. Central Florida’s The Villages remains the top MPC in the country with 3,447 annual new home starts through 2Q14.  The Villages also delivered the most lots over the past twelve months, more than 3,100, which accounted for 25% of all annual lot deliveries in the Central Florida Market. The biggest gains in starts activity were achieved by the Great Park in Orange County, California.  Opening last year at this time, the redevelopment of former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station posted more than a 2168% gain in starts over the past twelve months (+542 homes started).  Nearby, the Rancho Mission Viejo community followed with a 256% increase and starts in both Houston’s Canyon Gate West and Jacksonville’s Nocatee communities also rose by more than 50%. (Note: Please click on the chart to view a larger image) tmpc 2014 2Q There were five new additions to the list over the past 12 months (see chart).  Those communities slipping out of the top 20 this year include:  Sienna Plantation, Mountain House, Highlands Ranch, Firethorne, and Westridge.  Additional highlights from the Top 20 Master Planned Communities:

  • Production is increasing throughout the nation, but Texas still carried eight of the top 20 spots on the list, with Houston holding seven spots.  Additionally, Florida reported four communities.  Nevada and California each reported three communities, while Colorado and Utah each netted one.  Communities within Arizona and Washington DC are on the rise and challenging to enter the Top 20 (both have at least one community within the next ten spots).
  • 13 of the Top 20 MPCs started more homes during the past 12 months compared to the previous 12 months. Only six communities, however, have delivered more lots over the past twelve months than they started.
  • The highest rising communities on the list were new entry, Great Park (at #9), Nocatee rising from #10 to #3, and Stapleton, up from #11 to #7 through the end of 2Q14.
  • As noted earlier, the largest year-over-year gain in start production were reported in Great Park (+2168%), followed by Rancho Mission Viejo (+256%), Canyon Gate West (+68%), and Nocatee (+53%).  Declines occurred in seven communities among the top 20 MPCs, including Cinco Ranch (-34%), Mountain’s Edge (-34%) and Providence (-34%). 
  • Three of the communities on the list were less than 15% away from build-out through 2Q14:  Cinco Ranch, the Woodlands, and Mountain’s Edge.  Only three communities were less than 40% complete:  Great Park, Daybreak, and Nocatee.
  • Two developers achieved multiple MPCs on the list:  Johnson Development (all three MPC’s were in Houston) and Focus Property Group (both in Las Vegas).
  • Seven of the Top 20 MPCs held less than a 10.0-month supply of Vacant Developed Lots.  Four communities were down to a 5.0-month supply or less:  Rancho Mission Viejo (2.7 months), Great Park (2.8 months), Stapleton (4.7 months), and The Villages (4.8 months).

These results are based solely on the Metrostudy lot-by-lot housing survey.  Results are not based on a phone survey to individual developers, nor homebuilders.  Metrostudy’s independent survey monitors the supply of detached and attached homes on a quarterly basis.  In most markets, our survey tracks all condominium, townhome, duplex, and single family construction activity.  The survey allows us to consistently and accurately track the size of the total market, as well as supply and demand within various levels of each market.  Further, it helps to establish the depth of each market and the scope of the competition.  The information included within this report has been collected in the field by Metrostudy staff, driving and surveying every lot in every community, within each market surveyed.  Rankings are based on the annual start activity of each master plan surveyed under this methodology.

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