Friday, January 6, 2017

The Best 55+ Master Communities (Includes 2016 Updated List)

Heritage St. Charles
Here is my annual update on the 50 top master communities from the list by John Burns real estate, a premier real estate consulting company.  I take their well-researched listings and extract the 55+ communities from it and present it here.  Of course we are only interested in active adult communities, but I have put in a couple that aren't age restricted because I thought they were particularly appropriate for seniors in retirement or pre-retirement.  

Please refer to my two previous years lists for comparison as to which ones made it again this year.  However, there are many new ones on the 2014 list and more than previous years.  The 2015 list should be out in the early part of 2016.  Update: See the 2016 List changes, below.) 

A big change was that there were no communities from Arizona which had 3 last year.  Keep in mind that as communities near sellout they would naturally fall off the list.

2017 Update:  (Listing master communities performing in 2016). 

There wasn't significant change last year from the previous year so we didn't update last year (2015).   Here is the 2016 list:

Master Communities on the 2016 Top 50 List by John Burns (ones that have at least one 55+ community in them): 

In the top 50 are:
  • The Villages #2 on the John Burns List
  • Nocatee #3
  • Lakewood Ranch #5
  • Summerlin #6
  • Cane Bay #7
  • Eastmark #11
  • Rancho Mission Viejo #17
  • Vistancia #18
  • Daybreak #19
  • Verrado  #22
  • Crosscreek Ranch  #23
  • Woodforest  #27
  • Green Valley Ranch #31  (Fairway Villas)
  • Ave Maria  #35
  • Cadence  #36
  • Briar Chapel  #40
  • Viera #41T
  • Town Lake Houston #41T
  • Traditions  #46
  • Fishhawk Ranch Tampa  #47T
  • Del Sur (Auberge in San Diego) #47T

2014 Top 50 List (Posted Previously):

This lists master communities with the most sales (in 2014).  We are listing only the 55+ ones or has an age-restricted community within it (with a couple exceptions as noted).  


  • The Villages #1

In Central Florida by Village of Lake Sumter.   Developer still maintains the #1 position on the list as on previous years lists.  They keep growing for a couple more years but are running out of land in this hugely popular community.

  • Lakewood Ranch #9
Esplanade - Active lifestyle with low maintenance by Taylor Morrison in Sarasota, Florida.  Villas and single homes.

Del Webb Lakewood Ranch - Coming soon - Sign onto VIP List now - 55+ Resort-style - Lakewood Ranch is in Manatee County and near Sarasota.

  • Nocatee #3
    Del Webb Ponte Vedra at Nocatee

In Ponte Vedra, Florida, near Jacksonville.  There is a Del Webb community Del Webb Ponte Vedra.  The popular master community remains #3 on the list.

  • Valencia Reserve and Valencia Cove #30
    Valencia Cove, West Palm Beach, by GL Homes

Valencia Reserve, Palm Beach, Florida, by GL Homes, on last year's list and made the list this year has sold out, but GL Homes makes the list again with Valencia Cove.

  • Viera  #37

New this year.  Heritage Isles is the active adult community - price $100,000-$400,000 -  single family, townhomes, condos, villas - clubhouse, restaurant, tennis, recreation, trails, swim pool, social activities and more. Off 95 exit 191 Viera Discovery Center open daily  at 7380 Murrell Rd., Viera - 321-242-1200

By Lennar  - not over 55 but has all the amenities for senior living and retirement in popular Naples.

  • Ave Maria #49

55+ in Naples made the list this year and there is Del Webb at Naples in that community by Barron Collier Companies.


  • The Woodlands #12

In Houston, TX by The Irvine Company - has an independent and assisted living community.  It was on last year's list.  Del Webb community coming in 2016.  

  • Teravista by Newland Communities #44

Round Rock (Austin) - On last years list.  Village Builders has a NextGen home. These homes have a home within a home, conceived by Lennar Homes.   

Down in rank #44 down from #37 -  By Newland communities  - Coming Senior Campus with an independent and assisted living/memory care facility planned to open in 2016.  32 units of independent living and is adjacent to skilled nursing facility.  

So much to offer seniors:  Emerald Cottages of Round Rock will have 2 bedroom/2 bath plans for lease for 55+   Each cottage will also have a garage. 

Emerald Cottages, Franklin Park Assisted Living and Bel Air at Teravista will serve seniors as they transition from independent to assisted living. Also skilled nursing and rehab is available. 

Next to Teravista Golf Club, and shopping.  Texas A&M College of Medicine is nearby.  Also hospital and medical centers are convenient making this a true senior campus for central Texas.  Emerald and Franklin planned to open in fourth quarter 2016.  4211 Teravista Club Dr., Round Rock TX 512-861-2103

  • New on the list:  Woodforest  by Johnson Development Corp. #20

Houston - has a 55+ community called Bonterra by Taylor Morrison - $400’s

  • Crosscreek Ranch #21

Houston - the 55+ community is Bonterra at Crosscreek Ranch by Taylor Morrison and is their 2nd Bonterra community in Houston.   West Houston area.  

  • Shadow Creek Ranch   #43

Has The Colonnades at Reflection Bay - elegant resort lifestyle.  Limousine service, concierge, mediterranean architecture, restaurants, Chapel and more.

Also has assisted living, nursing and a memory care facility, Autumn Leaves. Autumn Leaves is located at 11200 Discovery Bay Dr. 713-436-3941


  • Highlands Ranch #40

In Denver, Colorado, by Shea Homes. Many senior activities. (up to #40 from #50)

  • The Meadows  #46

Denver, Colorado.  Bonaventure of Castle Rock is an Independent and assisted living community. There is also a memory care option.  Slightly down from last year's list.

  • New on the list:  Green Valley Ranch #36

Denver - Fairway Villas - This currently is the only 55+ community at Green Valley Ranch.  


  • Summerlin - The Howard Hughes Corp. #17

Sun City in Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada.  #17 down from #12 on last year's list.


  • Daybreak #28

Salt Lake City - Garden Park over 55 community at Daybreak.  (28 down from 23)

Washington DC Metro Area

  • St. Charles #42
    Clubhouse at Heritage St. Charles

By St Charles Companies -  Heritage at St Charles by Lennar in Waldorf is the 55+ community - more plans coming for seniors in this area.


South Carolina

  • Cane Bay Plantation #23

Still on the list and up from last year.  The 55+ communities of the gated Del Webb Cane Bay is here and Four Seasons at Lakes of Cane Bay is coming by K Hovnanian Homes.


  • Brambleton #24

In Wash DC metro - in wealthy Loudoun County, Virginia.   Birchwood at Brambleton 55+ is a new community within this master.

2015 has turned out to be a very successful year for real estate builders and developers.  Can't wait to see the list for 2015.  Check back with us early 2016.  (Update:  See 2016 List changes, above.) 

...and thank you for visiting.



  1. We are re-locating from Ct. and want to RENT in a 55+ community. Do you have a list of these communities in Tampa-St. Pete, Clearwater vicinity?
    Thank you -

    1. Thank you for writing. The list would depend on the type of community you want. Here are a couple suggestions of pages to look at:

    2. One more to add to list that I forgot to mention:

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