Investment, Lifestyle, Property, Vacation homes & real estate

Master-Planned Communities Reign in Orange County, California



Master planned communities (MPCs) are more popular then ever before as builders cater to sophicated buyer tastes with high end features, resort style amenities, and lots of open space. Situated in a region with a strong economy, good job market, beaches, schools, entertainment, and many shops and restaurants, Orange County, California is at the top of the Master Planned Community rankings. 

Irvine Ranch in Irvine, California placed even higher than the previously top placed MPC, the Villages in Ocala, Florida to take number one spot for top selling MPC in the USA in 2016. The next spots were also taken by Orange County, California communities, with Great Park Neighborhoods in Irvine, Rancho Mission Viejo in south Orange County, and Baker Ranch in Lake Forest. They were also rated in the top 20 MPCs nationwide, according to 2 national surveys, from Irvine-based John Burns Real Estate Consulting and Washington, D.C.–based RCLCO.

These top selling Orange County MPCs have a great advantage in terms of location in that each is near high-paying jobs in sectors such as technology, biotech, finance, health care, aerospace, with higher education available locally to attract the region’s highly educated workforce. 

Each of these communities show that there is a desire among many buyers for social communities with integrated shopping and town centers and have led to the creation of neighborhoods that are more compact and connected, with paths and trails that create a walkable and bikeable environment.

Each of these top rated communities have a mix of housing types to attract many types of buyers and at multiple price points. Options within each range from starter condos, flats, and townhouses costing $400,000 to large, single-family luxury homes on large lots that can cost up to $3 million.

Who are the buyers of these relatively expensive homes? Some of them come from southern California, including Orange County,  but a large number of the buyers are international much due to a recent influx of immigrants. Foreign investors from China, India, Korea, and other asian countries have been buying investment and vacation homes in recent years, some moving permanently and relocating to the area and some simply spending time as a second home. 

The specific drivers for these Master planned communities are award-winning schools, proximity to jobs, and easy regionwide access via the freeways. Also high on the list of importance are trails and resort type amenities such as pools, recreation centers, sports fields, community kitchens, entertainment spaces, and social programming.

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