We’re No. 1, again!

The Village of DeSoto as seen from a drone. Continuing construction to the south paints a picture of a healthy master-planned community.

The Villages is once again America’s top-selling master-planned community, according to one of the nation’s leading real estate consulting and analytical firms.

With a 14% increase in year-over-year sales, The Villages leads the rankings by Bethesda, Maryland-based RCLCO Real Estate Advisors for the seventh consecutive year.

The Villages also was No. 1 on the firm’s Best of the Decade list for being in the top 10 in sales in each of the last 10 years.

“This master-planned community showed extreme resilience even during the worst of the last recession,” said Gregg Logan, managing director of the firm that has tracked nationwide sales since 1994. “Although some had predicted that The Villages would be winding down residential sales by now, it’s going strong and off to a great start this decade.”

Sarasota’s Lakewood Ranch was second with 1,655 home sales and Summerlin of Henderson, Neveda, was third with 1,320.

Logan attributed the amenities-rich lifestyle here for The Villages’ unparalleled popularity.

“When you look at a master-planned community, there’s a physical plan — roads and houses,” he said. “But the key thing that makes these communities successful is a lifestyle master plan. The Villages has a strong lifestyle master plan. It’s the clubs and all the activities, and it’s delivered at a competitive price point.”

Homeowners Mike and Gail Long, of the Village of McClure, know firsthand why The Villages attracts retirees like them. They bought one of the 2,429 homes sold here last year.

Mike is a third-generation Villager; following his late grandmother, Ruth Plisinski; then his parents, Ken and Colleen Long, of the Village of Belvedere.

“There’s so much to do here, and everyone is so friendly,” he said. “We’ve met so many people, and it’s easy to meet other people. When they say it’s Florida’s Friendliest Hometown, it truly is. I’m their biggest advocate.”

 The couple enjoys golf, bicycling, hiking the Hogeye Preserve Pathway and swimming laps at the Everglades Recreation Center sports pool. He’s taking painting classes. She’s into archery. They’re planning to take up pickleball.

“You never get bored here,” said Mike, a retired Colgate-Palmolive Co. sales professional. “If you can’t find something to do in The Villages, then there is something wrong.”

State Rep. Brett Hage, R-Oxford, said the ranking reaffirms The Villages’ regional impact.

“President Theodore Roosevelt once said, ‘Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing,’” he said. “It is evident through the actions of The Villages Developer that this is work worth doing. It’s fantastic. As a businessman, I love to see the economic growth, the surety of jobs and prosperity through hard work. I say, ‘Well done.’”

Senior writer David R. Corder can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5241, or david.corder@thevillagesmedia.com.