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East County Thursday, Jun. 18, 2020 1 month ago

Realtors predict brisk luxury market in Lakewood Ranch

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The average new home and lot price in the Lake Club of Lakewood Ranch has climbed to $1.03 million.
by: Jay Heater Managing Editor

On Realtor Roger Pettingell's website, it identifies him as a "luxury waterfront specialist."

Of course, the waterfront always has been where you go to find high dollar homes.

Lakewood Ranch might be starting to buck that trend.

Pettingell represented sellers Mike and Cathy Verble in the $3.69 million sale of their home at 16416 Baycross Dr., in the Lake Club of Lakewood Ranch. The buyers were represented by Michael Saunders Realtor Barbara Najmy and the sale was complete June 8.

"It's like Longboat Key," Pettingell said. "The sales once were all under $1 million there. Now condos are $3 million. But there was never the product there to sell."

Similarly, Pettingell said the Lakewood Ranch market is maturing and with the addition of more high-end homes in the Lake Club and Concession, sales of $3 million and above will become more common.

"We're seeing a lot of activity in the Lake Club," Pettingell said. "It's the same kind of lifestyle (as the Longboat Key neighborhoods), but not on the water."

Najmy always has believed the Lake Club, where she and her husband Joe purchased a lot and built their home in 2006, would have the same draw as the high-priced waterfront communities.

"I still have photos from when I came out here in 2006 and the land was raw," Barbara Najmy said of the Lake Club. "But this community was created to be unique. The developers (Schroeder-Manatee Ranch) put $30 million into the landscaping and stonework of the community. I don't know that I ever will see that again.

"SMR looked at communities in Naples (as a model for the Lake Club). Nobody believed it would take off in this area. My husband wondered what we were doing. I told him, 'Don't worry, this will be the most unique community in Lakewood Ranch. That was January of 2006."

Najmy now calls the Lake Club the Longboat Key or Bird Key of Lakewood Ranch.

The Baycross Drive home sale was the second highest resale in Lakewood Ranch history and the third highest-priced home sold. 

The top resale and overall sale in Lakewood Ranch was the $4.6 million that was paid for the home at 15410 Anchorage Place (in the Lake Club) in 2017. Najmy represented the seller in that transaction.

The No. 2 highest priced home sale in Lakewood Ranch was a new home sold for $3.91 million at 15506 Anchorage Place in the Lake Club. The fourth-highest is a $3.6 million resale of a Country Club home at 7028 Portmarnock Place.

The Lake Club as a whole has experienced brisk sales in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The community has seen sales of 57 home and building lots through May 30, compared to 42 sales through the same period last year. in 2020. The average price of a new home or lot in the Lake Club is $1,030,000, which is 58% higher than it was in 2019 at this time.

"We are continuing to see healthy signs of growth," Najmy said.

Although it was just one sale, Najmy said the Baycross Drive sale was significant in terms of the Lakewood Ranch market.

"It shows from the buyers' perspective that they get the same value out east here as the Sarasota waterfront," she said. "I believe this is a healthy sign of growth in our market."

Najmy said there was a "magical" feel to the Baycross Drive home.

"There is a grandeur to the house," she said. "But there also was a warmth as you walked throughout the spaces. Mike Verble had a vision to build something that would take you away to a different place."

The home is 9,223 square feet and sits on a 2.49-acre lot that includes an eighth of a mile running track, a tennis court, a basketball court, a gym, a motor courtyard, a billiards room, media rooms, a library, a 1,000-bottle wine cellar, a designer pool and a raised spa.

A centrally-located green complex is surrounded by five tee boxes that would allow golfers of any level to sharpen their short game.

It is five bedrooms with five and a half baths. There are four fireplaces, a grand parlor with a 13-foot high double iron door entry and 22-foot ceilings. The home includes Travertine and hardwood flooring, tons of granite, coffered ceilings with exposed beams, curved stone ceilings. a gourmet kitchen with Wolf appliances.

John Cannon built the home in 2015.

Pettingell said more luxury home sales are on the way in the Lakewood Ranch area. He has a $3.995 million home listing in the Concession at 20906 Parkstone Terrace.

"We are seeing a big push for single family (luxury) homes and space," he said. "The world is changing from a safety standpoint and more people are going to want to work from home."

He said those high-dollar sales will continue even if it's not the waterfront.

"Lakewood Ranch has a national reputation," he said. "They have done a fantastic job with their marketing."

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