At Neal Communities, a record and ready for more growth

At Neal Communities, a record and ready for more growth

Via Sarasota Herald Tribune Staff Report

Neal Communities says it sold 864 new homes for $276 million in 2014, pulling 500 permits in Manatee County — where it says it has gained a 20 percent market share — and setting a company sales record.

Neal sold 490 homes last year in Manatee County, 190 in Sarasota County and 184 its southern division in Lee and Collier counties.

Also in 2014, the company hit the milestone of building its 10,000th house since it launched in 1970.

“We experienced several factors this year that contributed to our record-breaking success,” said Pat Neal, CEO and founder of Neal Communities. “Historically low mortgage rates and 42 percent of home buyers paying with cash equals a strong Southwest Florida market.”

Neal said the company saw smaller downpayment options start to re-emerge in the mortgage market, and some wage growth.

The company opened nine new communities in 2014, from Manatee to Collier counties. Its executives expect to unveil eight more this quarter, starting a five-year expansion plan.

“Excluding four communities currently under construction in Hillsborough County, we have 29 communities currently selling homes,” Neal said.

Neal has added 70 employees as part of its growth.

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