The Villages 2016 MLS Resales Stats

Last week I wrote about The Villages 2016 new home sales stats, and this week I’m back with the MLS (resales) stats.

In 2016, a total of 1,096 sales took place through the MLS.

Keep in mind that these stats do not include resales sold by/through the developer’s resale division, which does not participate in the MLS.

If we take the developer at their word that their resale arm (non-MLS) accounts for 60-70% of all resales, then we can ballpark that there were around 3,000 resales sold in 2016.

In the chart below, you can see which price brackets accounted for the most sales in the MLS:

2016-villages-mls-by-price-bracket

As you would expect the $150k-$300k price range saw the most sales.

In this next image you can see total number of sales, average sales price, total volume, and average days on the market in the MLS:

2016-mls-rolledup-stats

Compare that to stats from 2015:

2015-mls-rolled-up-stats

…and you can see that the volume of sales through the MLS is up 18%.

As I’ve said for years, as the developer sells fewer new homes, the number of resales will increase.

There aren’t less people interested in moving to The Villages. There are just fewer new homes in prime areas, and so many more newcomers are choosing to look more closely at resales in the better areas.

Some people thinking about buying a home in The Villages blindly work solely with the developer…either out of ignorance or convenience…looking at new homes they are building, and resales that they represent.

These people are missing out on 30-40% of resale inventory that they could be seeing if they were working with a Realtor that has access to the MLS.

I make it easy for readers to get connected with an agent and see the 30-40% of resale homes their currently missing.

You can learn more about that here.

The Villages sold 1,966 new homes in 2016

For the first time in a number of years, The Villages no longer holds the title of Top-Selling Master Planned Community.

According to John Burns Real Estate Consulting, in 2016 The Villages sold 1,966 new homes. That’s down 14% from the previous year when they sold 2,294 homes.

“The Villages masterplan, a retiree haven located north of Orlando, finally showed signs of running out of lots while also raising prices on the remaining homes, selling 1,966 homes after many years of exceeding 2,800 sales annually.”

This drops them to the #2 spot on the list, behind Irvine Ranch out in California, which sold 1,989 homes.

To put things in perspective though, The Villages still sold more than the #3 and #4 communities on the list combined.

So, still pretty incredible numbers, though down a little from what we’re used to seeing. Totally expected as new home inventory dwindles.

The Villages Ranked #22 on 2016 Builder 100 List

brownwood-truck
We all know that The Villages is the best selling Master-Planned community in the country, as well as the fastest growing metropolitan area in the country.

But perhaps even more impressive is the fact the The Villages is ranked #22 on this year’s Builder Magazine “Builder 100” list of the nation’s top homebuilders.

That’s down slightly from the #19 spot last year.

The rankings are determined by the number of new home closings.

You can check out the entire list here.

The list also gives us a peek at gross revenue, which for The Villages was reported to be at $672,000,000. My assumption is that this is just revenue from new home sales, and does not include all of the other revenue streams The Villages developer benefits from.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, what makes this accomplishment so impressive is the fact that most (if not all) of the other builders ranked above and below The Villages build in multiple states and communities, whereas The Villages just builds in one community.

To me, that’s pretty incredible.

Trulia: 71% Cheaper to Buy than Rent in The Villages

Popular residential real estate website Trulia.com releases a bi-annual rent vs. buy report, and this time they focused on the question “Should Retirees Rent or Buy?”.

To try and answer that question, Trulia looked at median home values and median rent in 100 U.S. cities with the largest share of residents aged 65 and over.

In doing their calculations they assumed that buyers would have a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with a 20% down payment, would be in the 15% tax bracket, and would stay in the home for fifteen years.

What they found was that based on a median home value of $250,019 and a median monthly rent of $3,100, it is 71% cheaper to buy in The Villages than it is to rent.

In fact, The Villages was the retirement city where buying held the biggest advantage over renting.

It is interesting to note though that the rest of the top 10…they’re all in Florida:

Source: Trulia.com
Source: Trulia.com

But Is It Really True?

Hard to say for sure.

I guess if you use their numbers and assumptions, yes, for sure.

But one issue I have is the figure they’re using for median monthly rent.

My instinct tells me that this number is probably higher than it should be because of seasonality.

We all know that the price of rentals can be as much as 2x higher in the winter months when all the snowbirds are in town, so I’d love to know how they arrived at their figure.

From what I’ve seen and heard, generally a home that is rented out on a yearly basis will have a lower annualized monthly rent than one that is rented monthly or seasonally.

That’s partly because the monthly and seasonal rentals have to account for more frequent move-in/move-out expenses, marketing, and so on.

In any case, whether the right figure is 71%, or 60%, or something else, over the long term buying definitely has its advantages over renting in The Villages.

I do recommend that people rent for a little while…even if its just a few months….before they buy, just to get a feel for the area and make certain its the right place for them.

But renting for the rest of your life is probably not ideal, nor the most cost effective.

To be a full-time renter means you run the risk of having to move every couple of years when the owner decides they are ready to move to The Villages full-time and want you out of their home.

That might be o.k. once or twice but I think it would get tiring after a while.

You can check out Trulia’s full report here.

How Do We Avoid Buying in a Neighborhood With a Lot of Rentals?

Got this question from a reader recently and I thought maybe it was one that some more of you may have thought about but never asked.

Question:

“We are very interested in a patio villa, however, it seems that many of these homes are not occupied by full-time Village residents but rather used as rentals.

We want to move to The Villages full-time but are concerned about purchasing in a neighborhood only to find that most of the homes are primarily rentals, thus, not offering a true community/neighborhood year round.

Can you offer any insight on this scenario?

Are we misreading the situation–is it of concern to others, etc? Thank you.”

As usual with heavy real estate related questions, I posed it to the agent I refer all of my readers to.

Answer

“I would say that they are correct that the percentage of patio villas that is only part-time occupied is greater than that of the larger type homes, but I don’t find that people pay much attention to that 🙂

Further, I would spend an additional $30k (less than 20% of the $180k price of the villa) and get into a ranch/cottage if I was going to live in it full time – the square footage is still in the 1150 range for the smallest ranch at $190k, but the Amarillo/Sunkissed at 1392 sq ft at $210k is a far better buy – 3 bedrooms, inside laundry, double garage vs 2br/garage laundry/1.5 garage. Also, the rear lanai is more private and adds to the space of the home better than the front lanai does to the patio villas.

And the ranch neighborhoods have a higher year-round occupancy rate, at least it appears that way to me.”