Two of Florida's master-planned communities are now ranked at the top for U.S. housing starts.

Two of Southwest Florida's master-planned communities — already among the fastest sellers in the nation — are now ranked at the top for housing starts.

Lakewood Ranch was No. 1 in the U.S. with 1,561 new annual home starts as of the second quarter, according to a new report from data supplier Metrostudy.

RELATED: More real estate news

The 31,000-acre community, which spans Manatee and Sarasota counties, beat out The Villages in central Florida by 11 home starts for the lead, Metrostudy said.

The West Villages, the 9,650-acre community between Venice and North Port in south Sarasota County, ranked sixth nationwide with 876 annualized starts.

"With a broad offering of new homes for every stage of your life coupled with a long-standing reputation for amenities and lifestyle, Lakewood Ranch became the ‘Most Active Community’ in the United States for new housing starts as of second-quarter 2019, surpassing The Villages for the top spot," said Metrostudy regional director Tony Polito.

This study follows a report this month that ranked the two local master-planned communities among the busiest home sellers in the nation.

Lakewood Ranch was second, with 824 sales, and West Villages was third, with 679, in the midyear home sales scorecard from real estate consultant RCLCO.

Buyers in Lakewood Ranch come from throughout Florida, according to developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, as well as from New York and New Jersey, which account for nearly a quarter of all out-of-state purchasers. A growing number of buyers have been seen from Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland and California.

“Lakewood Ranch’s sales — and subsequent starts success — is a result of its exceptional location, multi-generational approach and diversity of neighborhoods, as well as an ever-growing list of daily conveniences and social engagement opportunities,” Laura Cole, senior vice president at LWR Communities LLC.

Nine Florida developments earned spots in Metrostudy's top 25 communities by annual starts.

This story originally published to, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the GateHouse Media network.