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Electric carts parked along The Villages street

Move Over Villages, There’s a New Top Location

Sun City Center, located just outside of Tampa, came in third on’s list of most popular places to retire. The Villages came in fourth.

TAMPA, Fla. – As a widely popular destination for the over 55 set, it’s not shocking that The Villages of Florida was recently named as the fourth most popular place in the U.S. to retire by — but it might be a bit of a surprise to learn that another retirement community in the Sunshine State nabbed the number one slot as nation’s top retirement spot for 2024.

In a new report, researchers at pulled together the average list prices for all U.S. cities along with median age data from the U.S. Census Bureau, over the past year. Then they combed through all the listings on for the same time period to pinpoint the percentage of those listings that used keywords in the description to indicate a retiree friendly community.

As part of their list of top ten retirement towns for 2024, two Florida communities made the top five, with Sun City Center claiming the top spot in the country.

Sun City Center

Located just 30 minutes outside of Tampa, the 55 plus community of Sun City Center came in third on the list last year, and according to Hannah Jones, an economic research analyst at, “It has the magic combo that aging populations prioritize: a warm beach and a big city nearby.”

“This top ranking retirement town, on the south side of Tampa, offers buyers easy access to the beach and to the amenities and resources of the large metro area,” Jones said.

With a variety of condos, duplexes and single-family homes available, ranging from $50,000 to $350,000, the average price of a home in Sun City Center is $315,000.

Boasting a population of around 31,000, this Hillsboro County community has eleven golf courses, indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center and a sports complex. And everything is completely accessible by golf cart, including the grocery stores, doctor’s offices, restaurants and retail stores.

Sun City Center also offers a wide variety of clubs, including ham radio, computers, art, woodworking, photography, sewing, cards, investments, dancing and more.

The community runs “debt-free,” operating on a pay as you go basis, without any reliance on special assessments to meet budgetary needs. It also offers much lower homeowners’ association dues than many other places in the state, at $324 annually.

The Villages

Coming in fourth place across the Nation is The Villages of Florida, where the average price of a home is around $400,000. said The Villages is experiencing a bit of a population boom, with a 4.7% increase in residents between July 2022 and July 2023.

The Villages offers more than 50 golf courses, libraries, restaurants, movie theaters and several town squares — all of which are easily accessible by the community’s extensive network of golf cart friendly roads.

Rather than a HOA fee, The Villages charges a $195 monthly “amenity fee” which allows residents to access everything in the community.

But no matter what retirement community feels like home, Irma Sanabia, a Florida real estate agent with Coldwell Banker, warns it’s not all sunshine for retirees in the Sunshine State.

“People looking to relocate here should be aware of some drawbacks,” Sanabia said. Like a community’s strict age restrictions, “Something doting grandparents should keep top of mind before they move in.”

© 2024 Advance Local Media LLC. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.