Written By: Karen Labuca for Culture Map

The Houston area is the home to several suburban communities — from Tomball to Pearland, and more. With a city as large and as spread out as Houston, the housing market was bound to flourish and attract families to dwell in these enclaves.

One might ask what the difference is between a master-planned community and a subdivision — or even wonder if they’re living in one or the other. Master-planned communities include a large amount of amenities such as bike and jogging trails, lakes, a golf course, etc . . . while a typical subdivision is quite smaller in size and may have a recreation center or park.

Cinco Ranch has also become the No. 1 community for new home sales in Texas and plans to expand even further with 1,200 new homes.

It turns out that few do master-planned communities as well as the Houston area. Two of the top five selling master-planned communities in the country are in the Bayou City’s shadow. The Woodlands ranks No. 2 in the United States and the Cinco Ranch No. 3 according to data complied by John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

Founded in 1974, The Woodlands started off as one of America’s first master-planned communities and it’s grown into one of the country’s most celebrated. It positions itself against other contenders by emphasizing a unique location that’s “nestled amongst a deep native forest, a natural refuge and a place that fosters the best in famly life,” in the words of its promotional materials. The Woodlands took the No. 2 spot in the nation because of its 945 home sales in 2011, up from 786 home sales in 2010.

Cinco Ranch, an established community located near Katy, has been able to succeed because it offers a “diverse range of new-home products, fresh model homes, and exemplary schools,” according to Heather Gould, the marketing director at Newland Communities, the developer of Cinco Ranch. With this strategy, Cinco Ranch claimed the No. 3 spot with 862 home sales in 2011.

Cinco Ranch has also become the No. 1 community for new home sales in Texas and plans to expand even further with 1,200 new homes, according to real estate tracking firm RCLCO.

Ten other master-planned communities in the Houston area made the Top 50 in the country in sales figures.

  • Telfair in Sugar Land ranked No. 10 with 381 sales in 2011.
  • Bridgeland in Cypress ranked No. 13 with 334 sales.
  • Riverstone in Sugar Land and Missouri City ranked No. 15 with 302 sales
  • Shadow Creek Ranch in Pearland ranked No. 17 with 277 sales.
  • Sienna Plantation in Missouri City ranked No. 18 with 267 sales.
  • Eagle Springs in Humble ranked No. 25 with 234 sales.
  • Cross Creek Ranch in Fulshear ranked No. 28 with 225 sales.
  • Westheimer Lakes in Richmond and Katy ranked No. 33 with 200 sales.
  • Summerwood in Humble ranked No. 36 with 188 sales.
  • Firethorne in Katy ranked No. 37 with 180 sales.

Two of the master planned communities listed are worth checking out. We have land and retail space available in both Riverstone and Sienna Plantation.  For a full list of the top 50 planned communities please click here.


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