WCI Communities, the formerly public home builder that has emerged from bankruptcy as a private, took the unusual step Thursday of releasing sales information from several of its Florida communities in response to the Commerce Department's report on May new-home sales.

In a press release distributed through wire services, WCI said it "today announced brisk new-home sales among its communities in South and Southwest Florida despite a U.S. Commerce Department report this morning on disappointing new home sales during May."

The sales information, however, was limited. According to WCI, it has sold half of the home sites released since early May in a gated, master-planned community of more than 3,000 homes in Broward County called Heron Bay. Prices range from $360,000 to $640,000, WCI said.

The company also said nearly all of the new residences in Marquesa Royale, a luxury penthouse condominium neighborhood adjacent to the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, have been sold. These residences, six per building, are priced from the mid-$700,000. WCI said two of the 18 units released are still available and that it plans to release the final building for sale soon "to keep up with demand."

In Pelican Preserve, an adult community in Fort Myers with homes priced from the mid $100,000s to the mid $300,000s, 50 new homes have been sold in the past 10 months since it introduced three new neighborhoods.

"New home sales are meeting or exceeding our projections in several of our South and Southwest Florida communities," said Douglas L. Schwartz, senior vp of WCI. "There is clearly a pent-up demand for new construction homes. ..."