Master-Planned Communities

The Top 50 Master Plans Sold Over 34,000 New Homes in 2023

Dillan Krieg photo
Avery Blackman
Jody Kahn
Cara Lavender Headshot photo

Dillan Krieg

Avery Blackman

Jody Kahn

Cara Lavender

January 5, 2024

Master-planned communities (MPCs) enjoyed strong new home sales in 2023 against a backdrop of mortgage rates approaching 8%, economic uncertainty, and the return of seasonality. The 500+ communities we surveyed enticed home buyers with a desirable lifestyle, including community amenities, good schools, and various housing options.

John Burns Research and Consulting congratulates the management teams behind the top 50 master-planned communities, who sold at least 368 new homes per community during 2023. This threshold is the third highest in our 13-year survey history, trailing the record 460 sales required to achieve a top 50 spot in our 2021 ranking.

Interactive Map

Three factors contributed to higher new home sales in master plans.

  • Lifestyle: Master plans offer numerous features that make them premium choices for prospective home buyers, including high-quality amenities, good schools, security, varied home selections, and intentional and cohesive planning that improves the quality of life. Ken Perlman, a national master-planned community expert and head of consulting in the West for John Burns Research and Consulting, explains:
 
  • Lot inventory: Master-planned communities provided builders with a runway of lots and the opportunity to build homes in highly desired communities. Improved new home sales in 2023 had builders scrambling to secure replacement lots and open new communities. The master plans’ lot supply also supported builders’ shift to offering additional quick-move-in homes to capitalize on the low resale supply.
  • Builders’ incentives: Builders’ full-term rate buydowns supported 2023 sales by countering elevated mortgage rates, which is especially helpful for first-time buyers. In 3Q23, just 13% of surveyed builders reported not using rate buydowns, shrinking from 46% of builders in 3Q22. Many builders confirm that flexible incentives, or “flex cash,” are also very helpful, mainly appealing to move-up and luxury buyers.
 

2023 master-planned community sales compared to prior years

  • Over 34,000 home buyers purchased new homes in the top 50 master plans in 2023, reflecting a +24% increase from roughly 28,000 in 2022. Rapidly escalating mortgage rates in 2022 slowed new home sales dramatically, setting a recent low combined sales total among the top 50 master plans.
  • The 34,000+ combined sales in 2023 surpassed the roughly 31,000 sales in the top 50 master plans in 2019, a year we benchmark for normal, pre-pandemic housing demand with considerably lower mortgage rates.
  • Top 50 master plan sales peaked at 37,000 in 2020 and 36,000 in 2021, reflecting the pandemic-fueled housing demand, migration patterns, and work from home.

Contact us for support and information.

Our experienced consulting team helps developers maximize sales by segmenting master-planned communities by life stage, price range, and lot size while helping to shape community identity. Our team is helping developers tackle affordability challenges in new ways, from unique product offerings to identifying which amenities residents value the most.

 

For more information on the master-plan ranking, metro and regional new home sales and pricing trends, and our residential land, builder, single-family rental operator, resale agent, and fix and flip surveys, please contact Jody Kahn, Avery Blackman, or Dillan Krieg.

 

For information on our 2024 New Home Trends Summit or to subscribe to our New Home Trends Institute, please contact us

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About The Author

Dillan Krieg photo
Dillan Krieg
Research Analyst II, Surveys
Dillan produces and analyzes our for-sale survey reports, including our Builder Survey, Real Estate Agent Survey, Land Survey, and Master-Planned Community Survey. He also covers the 6 major Northeastern markets for our monthly Metro Analysis and Forecast report and assists in our Short-Term Market Rating process.
Avery Blackman
Avery Blackman
Research Analyst II, Surveys
Avery supports JBREC’s monthly and quarterly report updates, as well as a few JBREC surveys. She analyzes our proprietary surveys, including Real Estate Agent Survey, Land Survey, Fix-and-Flip Survey, Builder Survey, and the Single-Family Rental Survey.
Jody Kahn
Jody Kahn
Senior Vice President of Research Surveys
Jody delivers timely and accurate insights on housing market trends at the metro, regional, and national levels. She combines statistics and commentary from JBREC’s independent surveys with data trends, forecasts, proprietary indices, feedback from consultants, and decades of housing experience to give clients insights that support business decisions.
Cara Lavender Headshot photo
Cara Lavender
Research Manager, Surveys
Cara provides timely and accurate insights on housing market trends at the metro, regional, and national levels by analyzing emerging qualitative trends and local quantitative drivers to assess their impact on the industry.

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