LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (January 16, 2020) – Neal Communities closed out a successful 2019 with 1,000 overall home sales. The company also contributed over $889,500 in charitable donations to support initiatives in education, youth, health and human services, community support and more.
Neal Communities’ family of companies enjoyed similar success in 2019. Their Waterscapes Pools and Spa division closed 394 pool sales and Neal Land and Neighborhoods acquired land to build 15,000 new homes. Neal Signature Homes, the company’s luxury home division, sold 68 total properties.
Neal Signature Homes’ latest community in Venice – Aria – opened in Fall 2019 and is already benefiting from strong sales. The luxury home division plans to open at least one more community in Venice this year to serve the higher-end market.
With the start of a new year, Neal Communities’ senior leaders recently reflected on trends they saw in 2019 and how they expect the current economic climate might affect the local housing market in 2020.
“Overall, 2019 was another strong year for the local housing market due to rising home values, low interest rates and continued migration to Florida,” said Pat Neal, Founder and Chairman of Neal Communities. “At Neal Communities, we saw significantly increased homebuyer activity coming from northern states and from millennial buyers.”
Neal Communities credits a significant portion of their home sales to millennial homebuyers, particularly in the company’s northern region. The younger generation’s percentage of debt is now at a 40-year low, while they also benefit from record levels of employment. These current economic factors have led to high consumer optimism, encouraging real estate investment that is expected to continue in 2020.
Homebuyers of all generations are now increasingly relocating from the northeastern states, particularly New York and New Jersey. Overall, 42% of the company’s homebuyers live outside the state of Florida when they purchase their Neal Communities home.
“Because of higher taxes, lower-funded schools and the cold climate, northerners are choosing the Sarasota area as their new home at rates that now surpass relocations from the midwestern states,” said Neal. “We believe that Florida is the reward for a life well lived elsewhere.”
While the average buyer profile is changing in the Sarasota area, housing affordability continued to challenge homebuyers in 2019. As home prices continue to appreciate, some prospective homebuyers are priced out of the market. To help combat the rising cost of housing, Neal Communities plans to open three new affordable home communities in Parrish, Lakewood Ranch and Venice in 2021.
As the housing market has thrived over the last several years, Neal Communities has similarly made significant gains in homebuyer ratings, referral rates and employee retention.
“We’re very proud that both our North and South region homebuyer ratings for customer service are over 90%,” said Neal. “Not only do our customers enjoy and trust our build process, they also widely refer us to their friends and family.”
Always aiming to improve their product offerings, Neal Signature Homes has updated floorplan designs to meet and anticipate homebuyer desires. For 2020, the company has consulted with a California-based architect to introduce a new home design aesthetic to the company’s floorplans. The designs include an emphasis on outdoor living, bright and airy layouts and modern elements, already reflected at the company’s Aria community.
Neal Communities also witnessed a growing popularity of smart home features among all generations. The company now offers a smart home package, which comes standard in some communities, for homebuyers looking for advanced connectivity.
“We’ve also noticed the ‘Amazon experience’ making its way to real estate, particularly over this past year,” said Mike Storey, President of Neal Communities. “We expect that consumers will continue to look for easier and faster service, even when purchasing a home.”
Neal Communities has eased the homebuying process by streamlining services such as title, financing and design to make the purchase process as simple and efficient as possible.
Aside from design, the company also considers external economic factors to anticipate the local housing market’s performance for 2020.
“In an election year, we actually see the housing market perform very well,” said Storey. “Contrary to popular belief, consumers are becoming somewhat immune to election year turmoil when it comes to homebuilding and buying.”
Mortgage interest rates also remain low with no immediate signs of an increase, which continues to encourage real estate investment.
As the company pursues growth opportunities throughout the coming year, philanthropy also remains a top priority for the company. Over $124,000 in community support has already been pledged for 2020.
For more information on Neal Communities, visit www.NealCommunities.com.
About Neal Communities
Neal Communities, based in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, is Southwest Florida’s largest and most established locally owned and operated private builder. During the company’s 50-year history, it has built over 15,000 new homes in more than 90 acclaimed communities from Tampa to Naples. The company consistently ranks among the nation’s top 100 home builders and has earned numerous awards including the prestigious Builder of the Year from Professional Builder in 2015 and America’s Best Builder in 2012 from BUILDER Magazine. With a core belief that “Where You Live Matters,” Neal Communities has given more than $7 million to local charities throughout Southwest Florida and is committed to the communities where they live, work and build. Company sales in fiscal year 2018 were $464 million.
Additional Neal Communities brands include Neal Signature Homes, Neal Land Ventures, Charlene Neal PureStyle, Waterscapes Pools & Spas, Neal Communities Funding and Allegiant Title Professionals. For more information, please visit www.NealCommunities.com.