Lakewood Ranch Tour of Homes kicks off

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LAKEWOOD RANCH - In the market to buy a new home or maybe just look? Now is your opportunity.

The Lakewood Ranch Tour of Homes kicked off on Friday. There are 47 model homes on the tour, and according to county officials, this year is the first in several that the housing market is steadily rising and the number of sales in Lakewood Ranch alone are proof.

It's taken some hits and made minor improvements over the last few years, but now things are looking up, consistently, for the housing market. “The nose of the airplane is headed in the right direction for the first time in a while. Actually, today, we've had over 439 new home sales here in Lakewood Ranch, that's a 46% percent increase year to date,” says Jimmy Stewart, Vice President of Sales, LWR Communities.

Stewart says over 60% of all home sales in Lakewood Ranch are new home sales, and that trend is evident at Manatee County's Building Department with a waiting room full of contractors applying for permits.

“Manatee County is experiencing a good number of building applications and permits that are coming online this year, as opposed to last, we're up over 30%,” says Manatee County Spokesperson Nick Azzara.

In October alone, building permits for new single family homes are up 60% in Manatee County. “A number of homes are being built in Lakewood Ranch and the Parrish areas. They've been on the books for a number of years but they're now being built in response to customer demand,” says Azzara.

While this home is listed for nearly $600,000, Stewart says Lakewood Ranch offers something for a buyer with any budget. “We have home prices, and home packages here in Lakewood Ranch that start in the 150's and over 5 million, so what we're seeing is in that middle market are the major purchases.”

The Tour of Homes runs through November 18th and displays homes built by over 16 different builders.