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Talk of the bay

New-home starts in Citrus and Hernando are soaring

Published October 31, 2005

Sign of the times around Tampa Bay: For the first time, residential developments in Hernando and Citrus are among the top 10 in annual new-home starts in the Tampa Bay area, according to the Tampa office of Metrostudy, which tracks housing starts.

Sterling Hill, in Spring Hill, came in fourth on the list with 521 starts in the third quarter. Citrus Hills, in central Citrus, was eighth with 364.

The others: FishHawk Ranch (Hillsborough), 889 starts; Ballantrae (Pasco), 584; Rivercrest (Hillsborough), 548; Meadow Pointe (Pasco), 452; Live Oak Preserve (Hillsborough), 444; Seven Oaks (Pasco), 387; Valhalla Townhomes (Hillsborough), 346; and Covington Park (Hillsborough), 321.

Citrus Hills earned its way onto the list because a new diversity of product types - attached, detached, townhomes - attracted a wider base of buyers than in the past, when it was a single-family, build-on-your-own-lot development, Polito said. Now Tamposi/Nash is the exclusive builder. Baby boomers who bought lots years ago are now building second homes, bumping up the number of housing starts. Eventually there will be 10,000 homes on 10,000 acres.

At Sterling Hill, the big numbers come from its location west of the Suncoast Parkway, which makes commuting to Tampa possible, and the attraction of nearby new schools, Polito said. It offers a variety of home styles and types by Avatar Properties, Grant, Inland, Lennar, M/I, William Ryan, Windward and US Home. Devco Developments currently has approvals to build 1,410 homes on 555 acres and is seeking approval for another 60 acres and 90 homes. Devco is responsible for Meadow Pointe and Oakstead, both in Pasco County.

[Last modified October 28, 2005, 18:31:01]

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