Real estate briefs: Sarasota-Manatee-Charlotte region



Neal Communities has recorded seven sales at its newest neighborhood, Eagle Trace, near Lakewood Ranch in Manatee County, since it opened Dec. 8.

The community is located just south of State Road 64, a few miles east of Interstate 75. “We expect its central location to drive sales,” said David Hunihan, Neal Communities’ director of sales.

Eagle Trace offers houses from Neal’s Celebration series, and paired villas from the Coral series. The White Sand 2, popular with buyers, is built as a model for the first time. The menu of model homes includes two villas — the Crystal Sand and the Tidewater.

Eagle Trace is a maintenance-included community that will have a recreation center, two dog parks, a children’s playground, tennis court and community pool.

The first phase will include 182 home sites, with additional phases scheduled to open in 2014. Homeowners are expected to move in during the first quarter of 2014.

Eagle Trace is one of 10 new communities that Lakewood Ranch-based Neal Communities opened in 2013.

“We expect to end this year with more sales than ever before in company history, with 795 so far,” said Hunihan.


Sales of newly built, single-family homes declined 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 464,000 units in November from an upwardly revised strong pace of 474,000 units in the previous month, according to data released today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Except for October 2013, this is the strongest sales pace since July 2008.

“The very low supply of new homes on the market (167,000 units, or a 4.3-month supply) and tight credit conditions for home buyers show that builders are still cautious about getting ahead of themselves,” said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.


Ranch Lake Apartments is expected to open in January on 48 acres near Lakewood Ranch with a variety of floor plans.

Surrounded by more than 84 acres of protected conservation land, Ranch Lake Apartments offers natural lighting from oversized, impact-resistant windows. Closets are spacious. Designer kitchens feature granite counter tops, wood cabinets, ceramic-tile floors and a full-appliance package, including microwave vent hoods and full-size washers and dryers, with carpeted floors and balconies or patios. Select units have storage rooms.

Amenities include tennis and basketball courts, fitness center, yoga studio, pool with lanai, gas grills and a dog park. The clubhouse has a cybercafé with wi-fi.

Ranch Lake Apartments is east of Interstate 75 off State Road 70. Information: 896-8886 or

REAL ESTATE is edited by Real Estate Editor Harold Bubil (941-61-4805;, with page design and copy editing by Assistant Business Editor Terry Galvin.

Last modified: December 27, 2013
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