Are Master Planned Communities Desirable to Buyers?
Once characterized as high-velocity construction projects with tennis courts, golf courses and cookie-cutter architecture, master planned communities have evolved in recent years. These days, savvy developers have become more deliberate in their understanding of their markets, delivering a more diverse product with greater green space, recreational amenities, retail and employment centers. These efforts have led to a growing nationwide demand for MPCs, especially among Millennials and active seniors.
Master Planned Communities are becoming increasingly popular among home buyers seeking convenience, comfort and a genuine sense of community. Designed to be self-sufficient, a well-planned Master Planned Community is essentially a large-scale community that encompasses fitness and recreational services, residential units and business and retail units. This is contrary to traditional settlements that grow in an ad-hoc fashion, with no real thought given to practicality or ergonomics.
According to The U.S. Department of Commerce, residential Master Planned Communities have traditionally outperformed general subdivisions in terms of value appreciation and sales volume. This trend appears to be accelerating in many parts of the country, especially when Master Planned Communities include a few specific features.
What Makes a Successful Master Planned Community?
In its latest report on the nation’s top-selling master-planned communities, the real estate advisory firm RCLCO uncovered some key factors that help determine buyer appeal. According to the data, the most successful Master Planned Communities credited successful market segmentation of Millennials and active seniors, along with the inclusion of a town center, amenities, services and retail functions supportive of daily living. The most successful communities shared a few other common attributes, including accessible parks and bike paths and various healthy community features, such as active lifestyle activities and fitness classes.
On the other hand, slow-selling Master Planned Communities had their own similarities, including higher prices, reduced lot inventories and delays in home completions.
Which Regions Rank Best?
In most instances, Master Planned Community sales coincide with a region’s economy. While robust employment rates drive demand for all homes, they tend to be especially important for large-scale communities. According to RCLCO, Texas, Florida, South Carolina and many of the Western states stand out as having the nation’s top-selling master-planned communities. Much of this is related to local economic trends; however, there are also other factors at play, including demographic and regional preferences that coincide with specific types of Master Planned Communities.
With this in mind, it’s clear why market segmentation is so key to developing a successful Master Planned Community. With a clear understanding of local market segments, builders can better tailor their designs to meet the interests of local buyers.
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