In another sign of Houston’s real estate market heat during the pandemic, 10 of the area’s top neighborhood developments have made it to a national list of the 50 best-selling planned communities in 2021. A look at the list provides insight into what new home buyers are flocking to in Greater Houston Area neighborhoods.
Planned communities are dominated by newly built homes and are significantly larger than standard housing estates. Often spanning thousands of acres, planned communities typically offer homes at various price points in a collection of neighborhoods or villages with walking paths, parks, pools, golf courses, and many amenities. Communities often include mixed-use downtowns, office buildings, retail, and even schools.
In the Houston area, Bridgeland, Balmoral, Tamarron and Sienna all made the top 25 communities on RCLO’s list, along with six other communities in the area that were on the top 50 list.
“Houston again ranked as the No. 1 metropolitan area in terms of total number of planned communities” on the list, RCLO director Karl Pischke said in an emailed statement to The Chronicle. “Houston continues to offer a lifestyle that many buyers are looking for, and at a price that some, such as those moving from high-cost-of-living areas, find quite attractive.”
Bridgeland is an 11,500-acre planned community located in Cypress, Texas, approximately 33 miles northwest of downtown Houston. With 713 homes sold in 2021, the community ranked second in Texas and 15th nationally in highest sales volume.
It was actually down 18% from 2020, when an unprecedented wave of sales swept away more inventory than expected, said Health Melton, regional president of community developer Howard Hughes. .
Supply chain constraints forced many builders to temporarily limit sales as building materials became hard to come by, Melton said. These constraints, coupled with wetter weather conditions and clearance delays, slowed lead times, which hurt sales compared to the previous year.
“The pullback in home sales is in no way about a lack of demand ‘- it’s really those other factors that really impact the overall housing market,” Melton said in an interview.
The community is also ready for an influx of new homes. Bridgeland’s last village, Prairieland, is expected to accommodate more than 7,000 new homes. This growth is in addition to a planned single-family rental neighborhood and a recently completed apartment project, starting in Bridgeland, as well as new schools planned by the Cy-Fair Independent School District and the Waller Independent School District. .
Balmoral, a Land Tejas community in the Humble/Lake Houston area, ranked No. 17 on the list with 704 home sales in 2021, down 16% from 841 in 2020. Sales have taken off since opening the two-acre Crystal Clear Lagoon in the Pleasure Village in late 2018, moving Balmoral into the top 25 communities nationwide by sales volume.
Tamarron, a DR Horton community in Katy slated for more than 8,000 homes, ranked No. 19 with 684 home sales. Sales are up 11% from 618 sales in 2020. The community, which has homes ranging from 1,260 to 3,360 square feet starting at $300, is poised to be one of the top sellers for years to come, as more than 50% of the community remains to be built, according to DR Horton. Located along the new Texas Heritage Parkway, Tamarron is served by both Katy ISD and Lamar Consolidated ISD.
The nearly 25-year-old community of Sienna, Missouri City continues to be a favorite with buyers. The 10,800-acre community, a Johnson Development and Toll Brothers development in Fort Bend County, ranked No. 24 among the nation’s best-selling communities in 2021 with 646 sales, according to RCLCO.
“It’s exciting to see such demand for a community entering its 25th year. Since its inception, over 10,000 homes have been sold in Siena and there is still plenty of land to be developed in the future,” manager Alvin San Miguel said in an emailed statement.
Despite the strong sales which were actually a 16% drop from the previous year as a shortage of land for homes through 2021 combined with shortages of building materials weighed on sales, added Miguel . However, the tide is turning and the company is “well positioned to achieve projected sales in 2022 and look forward to another strong year,” he said.
The community has on-site water parks, two fitness centers, tennis courts, golf course, dog park, sports park, miles of trails, and numerous parks and fields games. Seven Fort Bend Independent School District schools are located in the community.
Sierra Vista/Sterling Lakes
Sierra Vista/Sierra Lakes, Land Tejas developments along the Texas 288 Corridor, ranked #32 on the list with 579 home sales. Sales are up 22% from 474 homes in 2020. Buyers can find a variety of floor plans starting at $200,000, according to Land Tejas. Residents of Sierra Vista share amenities with neighboring Sterling Lakes.
Breckenridge Forest, an Express Homes by DR Horton community in the spring, ranked No. 34 on the RCLCO list with 569 home sales in 2021. Homes range from approximately 1,300 to 2,500 square feet and start below $300,000. Sales are off to a good start for 2022, with 220 homes under contract and just 60 lots left to build, according to DR Horton. Facilities include a park, swimming pool and pavilion.
Meridiana is tied for 45th on the RCLCO list, with sales up 19% in 2021. The 2,700-acre development of Rise Communities in Texas 288 at Meridiana Parkway in the Manvel area recorded 467 home sales in 2021, up from 391 in 2020. Residents enjoy events such as farmers markets and festivals at the Oasis Village amenities complex. Students attend schools in the Alvin Independent School District.
In addition to homes in a range of price points, Serenity at Meridiana offers new homes for residents 55 and older. Balcara Group is planning a neighborhood of single-family homes for the rental market. Commercial developments are being built nearby.
Woodforest is tied for 45th for the most sales nationwide with 467 home sales in 2021, according to RCLCO. Sales jumped 21% over the previous year in this community developed by Johnson Development. Located in Montgomery County, north of Houston, the 3,000-acre community offers homes at a variety of prices ranging from $260,000 to millions, as well as a senior-friendly neighborhood. The community also offers a wide range of homes, there are several swimming pools, sports fields, parks and playgrounds, as well as the Pine Market mall with shops and restaurants.
Cross Creek Ranch spans 3,200 acres in Fulshear, about 34 miles west of downtown Houston. The Johnson Development community has just released residential sites for the final 300 acres of the planned development. Like many other communities in Johnson, residents can access an extensive set of amenities, including multiple swimming pools; disc golf; a dog park; playgrounds; and tennis, pickleball, basketball and wallball courts, as well as four schools. Buyers can access a price range from $280,000 to around $1 million, plus a seniors’ quarter.
Cross Creek Ranch ranked 48th on the RCLO’s list of best-selling communities with 457 homes sold, a 10% drop from the previous year. The decline is the result of builders selling off available homes and townhouses, Rob Bamford, senior vice president and general manager of Cross Creek Ranch, said in a statement.
“The good news is that in 2022 we are opening new sections at Cross Creek Ranch that will make the wide variety of homes available to the community,” Bamford said.
Elyson, a 3,642-acre community along Grand Parkway and FM 529, ranked 49th with 456 sales in 2021. Sales were down 8% from 497 in 2020. Projected for 6,000 homes, Elyson is now part of Brookfield Properties following its acquisition. of Newland Communities last year. The plan includes 750 acres of parks, trails, recreation centers, waterways and open spaces. Elyson, opened in 2016, is served by Katy ISD. The location is midway between the Katy Freeway and US 290, making it accessible to job centers in West and North Houston via the Grand Parkway.