Housing Industry Girds for a Builders’ Shakeup


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, October 23rd, 2016 – Much remains to be seen from the housing sector’s post-Great Recession recovery with the recent power play amongst Lennar Homes, WCI Communities, and M/I Homes, three prominent builders of homes for sale in Sarasota and Manatee.

Lennar Homes is poised to shake up the hierarchy of U.S. homebuilders, having announced this September its plan to acquire WCI Communities to the tune of about $643 million. Already ranked as the country’s second largest builder in terms of 2015 revenues, Lennar will dislodge top-ranking D.R. Horton once WCI shareholders approve the purchase either December or January next year. The boards of Lennar and WCI have already approved the deal.

More Muscle in the Market

Housing Industry Girds for a Builders’ Shakeup

Lennar stands to gain significant competitive advantage from the expanded market coverage and economies of scale it can derive from its purchase of WCI which is ranked no. 49 in the top 100 U.S. homebuilders. Lennar’s CEO, Stuart Miller, said the land portfolio of Bonita Springs-based WCI is a perfect fit to his company’s Florida footprint, and it will expand its reach on the move-up home market.

Based in Miami, Lennar builds in 14 states across the U.S. and supplies housing needs in over 40 markets, with affordable retirement homes as its best-known product offerings. WCI, on the other hand, appeals amongst adult buyers seeking second homes. This company’s builds are mostly concentrated in the Sunshine State’s coastal markets including its wide selection of homes for sale in Sarasota and Manatee.

Current WCI projects in the Manatee include Copperlefe, a proposed 159-home project in Upper Manatee River Road. It has presence too in Tidewater Preserve, Links at Rosedale and Country Club East in Manatee, and in the Venetian Golf & River Club and Sarasota National in Venice.

Lennar’s Sarasota‒Manatee coverage includes River Strand in Bradenton, Bridgewater and Savannah in Lakewood Ranch, Gran Paradiso in Venice, and Villas at Charleston Park in North Port.

M/I Sets Lakewood Ranch Wheelhouse

In another development, national homebuilder M/I Homes announced this September the opening in Lakewood Ranch of its homebuilding division for the Sarasota‒Manatee market. Previously, this homebuilder’s Tampa division is managing M/I Homes’ projects in the two counties.

These developments include Creekwood Townhomes, Brookside Estates, and Twin Rivers in Manatee County. This homebuilder, which is ranked 14th in the industry, is also behind Muirfield Village, a community in Sarasota County that is now nearly sold out. Its builds here are typically priced from the low $200s up to the mid-$400s.

2015 Merger in the Fray

CalAtlantic Homes, now ranked fifth amongst America’s biggest builders, is likewise pouncing on the wealth of market opportunities for Manatee and Sarasota homes for sale. This homebuilder, which resulted from the merger of Standard Pacific and Ryland Homes last year, is set to start marketing at Arbor Grande also at the master-planned Lakewood Ranch.

This community is located off White Eagle Blvd in a 113-acre site just south of the Eagle Trace development of Neal Communities, another major regional player in the market for Manatee and Sarasota homes for sale. Arbor Grande is planned as a gated community of some 300 single family homes with resort-like amenities and starting prices in the $300s.