New plans revealed last week contain details about another village in the Southern Oaks region.
Those documents also provide a little more insight into The Villages development strategy.
All of this clearly indicates plans are moving much faster to develop south of Warm Springs Avenue, formerly County Road 468, along the east side of Florida’s Turnpike toward the 1,100 acres of surplus land the city of Leesburg has agreed to sell to the Developer.
Maps of the new village, which did not list its name, put it about one-half mile south of Warm Springs Avenue and one-quarter mile northeast of the turnpike and then to the south and abutting the previously named Village of Bradford.
The project master plan proposes up to 1,400 residential units within 450 acres in this new village.
Last week, W. Grant Watson, Wildwood’s special magistrate who also serves as the city’s Planning & Zoning Board, found sufficiency in the Developer’s site plan application on the 450 acres and referred it to the Wildwood City Commission for consideration at an upcoming public hearing.
Also: The Villages earned a key endorsement from Watson last week on its application to rezone for age-restricted use the 5,664 acres of under-used and undeveloped agricultural land that it purchased earlier this year in Southern Oaks. He found sufficiency in The Villages request for a zoning map amendment on two noncontiguous areas. One includes the property roughly located south of Florida’s Turnpike and east of U.S. Highway 301 near what will become Village De Luna. The second and larger piece of property is several miles south of Warm Springs Avenue, east of CR 501 and west of the turnpike and then south of CR 470. The application now goes to the city commission for final review at a public hearing.
Also: The special magistrate also found sufficiency last week in The Villages’ request for a site plan revision in the Southern Oaks Phase 4A master plan, about 98 acres north of Warm Springs Avenue and east of the turnpike. This property includes the Meggison Road extension that will intersect with Warm Springs Avenue, an undetermined number of residential units to the eastern portion of the property and an unspecified amount of commercial space to the west along the turnpike. It, too, requires final commission approval at a public hearing.
Also: While this growth occurs, home values remain on a solid upward climb within The Villages metropolitan statistical area, according to new data released last week by CoreLogic, the Irvine, California-based real estate data and analytics firm. Year-over-year single-family home values increased by 5.4 percent in June, according to this company that supports the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index. That’s three-tenths of a percent above the readjusted 5.1 percent increase reported for May home values in The Villages MSA. The researchers also reaffirmed in the June data their ongoing conclusion that The Villages MSA is the healthiest residential market in Florida. It is the only MSA in the state classified as “normal,” a market where all levels of property are considered neither undervalued or overvalued.
Also: One other Irvine-based provider of property data reaffirmed the residential strength of The Villages MSA in an analysis of homes with a mortgage. Researchers at ATTOM Data Solutions found that The Villages MSA has a higher percentage of equity-rich properties than the Florida average of 23.7 percent. In ZIP code 32162, about 28.1 percent of all properties were classified as equity rich; 26.3 percent in ZIP code 32159 and 23.8 percent in ZIP code 32163.
Also: Another provider of real estate data found similar strength in The Villages MSA. New York-based SmartAsset ranked Sumter County and The Villages as the No. 1 county in the state where a homeowner was likely to be approved for a mortgage. It ranked Sumter with a loan funding rate of 63.59 percent, compared with Santa Rosa, 62.37 percent; St. Johns, 62.29 percent; Manatee, 61.35 percent; and Okaloosa, 60.53 percent. Out of the top 10, the researchers listed Lake County as having a 59.74 percent loan funding rate.
Also: All of this market strength points to a paradox when considering the recent actions of the Sumter County Commission, Sumter School Board and Wildwood City Commission. Elected officials on each of those boards recently proposed 2018-19 property tax cuts in advance of adopting them at final public hearings in September. This would be the 14th consecutive year the Sumter commission adopted a property tax rate at or below the rolled-back rate, the state Legislature’s definition as to what constitutes a tax increase or in this case a tax decrease. It would be the 11th consecutive year the school board adopted a property tax rate at or below the rolled-back rate. And the Wildwood commission also proposed a tax cut by adopting a millage rate at the rolled-back rate.
David R. Corder is a senior writer with The Villages Daily Sun. He can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5241, or firstname.lastname@example.org.