RCLCO, the Washington D.C.-based real estate consultancy, is out with its annual list of the top-10 selling master planned communities in the nation, and four of them are in Houston.

Leading the pack was Newland Communities' Cinco Ranch in Houston, with 887 net sales, a gain of 14%. One of four Houston communities to crack the top-10, Cinco Ranch supplanted Focus Property Group's Mountain's Edge in Las Vegas, which fell to No. 3 in 2009 from the top spot in 2008 as sales declined 32% to 596.

Second place, up from third in 2008, went to The Woodlands Development Company's Woodlands in Houston with sales of 633, down 16% from 2008. After Mountain's Edge at No. 4 came Newland's Telfair, also in Houston, with a 9% year-over-year sales gain to 450. Rounding out the top-5 was Focus'Providence in Las Vegas, which moved 388 homes, a 25% drop from 2008.

At No. 6 was Kennecott Land's Daybreak in Salt Lake City with sales of 375, a 7% increase from 2008. No. 7 went to Rancho Sahaurita's Rancho Sahaurita in Tucson, with sales of 358, down 29%. At No. 8 was Pulte 's Del Webb's & The Anthem at Merrill Communities of Del Webb Anthem at Merrill Ranch with sales of 294, up 41% from 2008. No. 9 was Shea Homes/Sunbelt's Vistancia in Phoenix with 283 sales, down 29%. In 10th place was The Johnson Development Group's Sienna Plantation in Houston with sales of 280, a 24% drop from 2008.

RCLCO said the total number of net sales for a majority of the 20 bst-selling communities were down in 2009, with declines ranging from 8% to 84%. Despite a movement toward diversifying residential product types, single-family detached units continue to be the product of choice for buyers of MPCs, with single family representing 90% of total new homes sales in the top 20 MPCs).

It also said buyers in 2009 demonstrated a strong proclivity for smaller lot home purchases (greater than four dwelling units per acre) as opposed to the larger lot homes that had traditionally been preferred by MPC buyers. A majority of buyers were in the 30-39-year age group.

The company also said a majority of survey respondents (71%) believed home prices within their MPCs would increase by 1% to 5% this year. More than 400 communities were surveyed.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Houston, TX.