Kicked off a decade ago, this Berkeley County village hasn't wavered from being one of the larger and more consistent build-outs in the U.S., according to figures supplied by a real estate information company.
Cane Bay Plantation placed 13th largest in terms of home sales in the past six months for master-planned communities, RCLCO Real Estate Advisors reported in a mid-year update. The collection of neighborhoods off U.S. Highway 176 posted 315 transactions in January through June compared with 308 a year earlier, a 2 percent increase.
The Summerville area development climbed into the top 50, based on sales compiled by real estate trackers, in the early 2010s. Cane Bay has kept pace since then, riding at or near the top 10 in growth.
For the past 24 years, RCLCO conducted a national survey to determine the leading master-planned communities. For the mid-year update, the company contacted communities nationwide to update the size rankings.
Home sales among the top 50 were strong in the first half of 2017, according to report authors Todd LaRue, managing director, and Karl Pischke, senior associate with RCLCO Real Estate Advisors. On average, communities experienced about 19 percent growth in sales, they say.
Master-planned communities that racked up sales increases "continue to credit successful market segmentation — the targeting of various age, income and household segments with appropriately priced and designed residential product types and lifestyle amenities," the authors note. Communities that saw sales slow, which were not named, "cited a lack of moderately priced homes as a principal cause."
A number of the top master-planned communities reported stronger-than-usual sales in moderately priced housing choices appealing to first-time homebuyers or downsizing empty nesters, an indication that affordability has been a key factor, the real estate advisor group says.
Meanwhile, "many developers describe their 'millennial product' as being smaller in size, but requiring higher finish levels with specific technology upgrades to appeal to the younger buyers," the RCLCO Real Estate Advisors writers point out. "These homes are largely single-story with an open floor plan," they say.
Also, the communities are pointing to "amenities that allow consumers to engage with both each other and the outdoors," and how they're being used to attract buyers by showing the connectedness of properties and owners. Top-notch attractions that sales people promote to give them an edge over more standard competition include exercise studios, walking paths, community centers with planned events, outdoor kitchens, greenhouses and community gardens.