Santa Rita Ranch was one of the best-selling master-planned communities in the country in 2021, according to RCLCO’s latest data. This demand, developers said, has caused the Williamson County community to ramp up development in 2022.
RCLCO ranked communities based on new home sales and Santa Rita Ranch came in at No. 38 with 515 sales, ninth-best in Texas and No. 1 in the Austin area. That equates to about 1.4 home sales per calendar day in ’21.
Santa Rita Ranch was recognized for sales volume in 2020, too, with 641 new homes sold.
Texas was heavily represented on RCLCO’s 2021 list, with 18 master-planned communities in the top 50, including Sunfield in Buda at No. 40.
Santa Rita Ranch spans 3,700 acres in Liberty Hill — about 45 minutes north of downtown Austin — making it one of the largest master-planned communities in the region. In addition to robust sales, it ranked No. 1 among MPCs for new home starts for the 12 months that ended in September, according to Zonda.
According to Santa Rita Ranch developer Ed Horne, one of the reasons demand is so high in the community is the wide range of price points, which start in the $300,000 range and go up to $1.5 million.
“From the beginning, we said we wanted a mixture of product and price points,” Horne said. “In today’s environment, we have a lot of people moving here with children. And we have their parents moving to be near the grandbabies. That’s a huge part of our market.”
He said some culs-de-sac are made up of entire families in neighboring homes.
Choosing builders, too, is central to making this price spread possible, Horne said.
“I’ve been in the homebuilding business 40-some odd years, and I know, personally, the home builders in this region,” Horne said. “I know who does the best job with what product types.”
The community has 13 builders, according to its website, including Perry Homes, Coventry Homes and Lennar, which all rank as some of the busiest volume builders in the metro.
To keep up with demand, Horne said development in Santa Rita Ranch has been running in high gear. Since December, he said they have delivered 920 new lots to builders. He said the reason home sales decreased between 2020 and 2021 was because they ran out of lots. Now, they’re trying to catch up with a backlog of demand while preparing for more to come down the pike.
“We’re anticipating 2022 to be an even bigger sales market,” Horne said.
Starting this week, sales will begin on an age-restricted community in Santa Rita Ranch, built by Pennsylvania-based Toll Brothers. This will be the builder’s first community of this type, for residents 55 and up, in Texas. The community will include more than 1,000 new houses, plus a $10 million clubhouse, according to Horne.
Commercial elements of the community have been growing as well, with a forthcoming Kids ‘R’ Kids daycare in the works. A little south on Ronald Reagan Boulevard, H-E-B in November opened a store of nearly 103,000 square feet at Bar W Ranch Marketplace.
Information provided by – Austin Business Journal
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