Houston was home to some of the nation’s top-performing master-planned communities over the past decade, according to Bethesda, Maryland-based RCLCO Real Estate Advisors.

The report found that three local MPCs were among those with the most appearances on RCLCO annual top 10 list over the past decade. Houston was the only Texas market represented on the list. 

Cinco Ranch in Katy, which was developed by California-based Newland Communities, was tied with The Woodlands, owned by The Howard Hughes Corp., and Riverstone in Fort Bend County, which is owned by Houston’s Johnson Development Corp. All three communities had four top-10 appearances over the past 10 years. They also tied with one other out-of-state community for the No. 8 spot.

Also earning a mention was Newland Communities’ Telfair in Sugar Land, which had two top-10 appearances, enough to tie for No. 15 with four other MPCs nationwide.

Nationally, The Villages in Florida had the most top-10 appearances with 10. 

While Cinco Ranch, The Woodlands and Telfair earned honors for their performance over the past decade, none of the three made the list of top performers in 2019. All three communities are nearly built out, so new home sales have declined.

On this year’s list, Howard Hughes Corp.’s Bridgeland was the top-selling community locally, with 734 home sales in 2019, marking a 52 percent increase over 2018. That was enough to put Bridgeland at No. 12 among MPCs nationally list.

However, there appears to be some debate over whether Bridgeland was the top-selling MPC in Texas last year.

RCLCO’s list puts Sonwest’s Sonterra, which is located near Austin, just ahead of Bridgeland at No. 11. RCLCO said Sonterra had 741 home sales last year, based on annualizing year-to-date sales numbers as of December.

But a separate report by Irvine, California-based John Burns Real Estate Consulting put Bridgeland ahead of Sonterra on its 2019 list of top-selling MPCs nationally. John Burns’ report ranked Bridgeland at No. 12 with 733 home sales, while Sonterra came in at No. 14 with an estimated 700 home sales.

In all, seven local MPCs made both top-50 lists of top-selling communities this year: 

  • Bridgeland in Cypress (Howard Hughes Corp.)
  • Sienna in Missouri City (Johnson Development/Toll Brothers)
  • Cross Creek Ranch in Fulshear (Johnson Development)
  • Harmony in Spring (Land Tejas/Johnson Development)
  • Balmoral in northeast Houston (Land Tejas)
  • Aliana in Fort Bend County (Airia Development Co.)
  • Towne Lake in Cypress (Caldwell Communities)

RCLCO’s list also included two Johnson Development communities — Harvest Green in Richmond and Woodforest in Montgomery — that tied for No. 51. In all, Houston had more MPCs on the list than any other market in the U.S. 

Florida’s The Villages again ranked No. 1 on both lists, with 2,429 home sales in 2019.

-Jeff Jeffrey, Reporter for Houston Business Journal