Port St Lucie Real Estate

ST. LUCIE COUNTY: Port St. Lucie // St. Lucie West // Ft. Pierce area
MARTIN COUNTY: Stuart // Palm City

Port St. Lucie, the fastest growing community in the U.S.A., is located in St. Lucie County about 2/3 the way down Florida's east coast.

Homes For Sale

Port St Lucie is not only a great place to live, but is also a great place to invest.  Looking for homes for sale in Port St Lucie?  Contact Ron Klowden, Realtor for help with houses for sale or vacant lots for sale in the St. Lucie West area, gated communities such as Ballantrae, PGA Village, or nice, safe family neighborhoods.

Port St. Lucie fastest-growing city in country, Census reports June 30, 2005


Port St. Lucie was the fastest growing city in America last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The city grew by 12,689 people in 12 months, from July 2003 to July 2004. The increase brought the population to 118,396 and jumped the city five places up the Census Bureau's list of the fastest-growing cities of more than 100,000 people.

Port St. Lucie is the real estate investors paradise. Looking for Waterfront, ocean access, riverfront, a home, condo, townhouse, villa, luxury estate, investment property, lot.... in a retirement community, on a golf course, fishing paradise, or just a nice family neighborhood... from resales to new home builders, starter homes to estates........Port St. Lucie has it all.

Port St Lucie - A Great Place to Live

Located in the center of the Treasure coast , Port St. Lucie is within easy access to all of Florida's attractions.

Port St. Lucie, recently recognized as "The Safest City in the State of Florida with a Population Over 50,000". The Port St. Lucie Police Department was also cited as one of the best of the best in Community Policing.

On the eastern side of the city, there is a 6,000 acre State preserve called "the Savannas", as well as the Indian River Lagoon estuary, and the Atlantic Ocean. Fourteen miles of the St. Lucie River flow through the central area of the city, offering many acres of natural habitat.

The City of Port St. Lucie is equal in size to West Palm Beach. Central to its growth has been the major development of St. Lucie West, a 4,600 acre master planned community. Ten percent of Port St. Lucie's population and tax base is represented there.

Port St. Lucie is home to the spring training camp for the New York Mets and its State Champion St. Lucie Mets; the Professional Golf Association's (PGA) winter home; and a family-oriented Club Med at Sandpiper, which boasts the highest occupancy of any Club Med in the world.

Port St. Lucie is the home of the first PGA learning center at the PGA Village complex. It sits on 30 acres just northeast of PGA Golf Club's South Course, and features a golf shop, demonstration area, club-fitting area, golf school, complete fitness area, practice tee with bunkers, putting course, putting green, practice holes, fairway bunkers and a chipping area. The center also serves as a laboratory for golf instruction studies.

In a recent issue of GOLF MAGAZINE, St. Lucie's PGA Village Golf Club was voted one of the "Top 10 places you can play." GOLF DIGEST ranks the club's Tom Fazio North and South Courses #1 and #7, respectively in its listing of Best New Courses. A third course by Fazio was awarded by GOLF DIGEST as one of the "Great Value Places To Play."

Another great Championship Jack Nicklaus Signature Course is found at Ballantrae Golf & Yacht Club, located conveniently in the East section of Port St. Lucie.  Ballantrae not only boasts a great golf course but is on the St. Lucie River with direct ocean access.  A Community of 430 homes, this great, gated community is in the perfect location, on the waterway, close to shopping, 15 minutes from the beaches and more!.

Many more communities are either being developed or have sprung up in Port St. Lucie..... One of the NATIONS FASTEST GROWING REAL ESTATE MARKETS.

Port St. Lucie is :
2 hrs from Orlando, Disney World and all the fun facilities of that area.
2 hrs from Miami/ Ft. Lauderdale, and the greater metropolitan area resorts, etc.
45 min from Palm Beach Airport, great for your guests and close to "big city shopping".
0 min. from Ocean Access waterways and fresh water lakes.
0 min. from Palm Trees and tropical breezes.
0 min. from a dip in your Swimming Pool.

If you are interested in learning more about living/investing/vacationing in this area:

Contact RON KLOWDEN, Realtor

Below is a Palm Beach Post article which  gives you some additional insight into this wonderful area.

TERESA LANE, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
July 4, 2004

If you think the second-fastest growing city in the nation is grabbing headlines now, just wait a year or two. Port St. Lucie, which enjoyed a property value increase last year nearly double what any other large city has seen in Florida history, is on the cusp of a western explosion that, until now, has largely been ignored in growth tables. The 5,000-acre Tradition development, which may be joined by another 9,500 acres to the south in the coming weeks, recorded only 124 homes as of Dec. 31, when the county property appraiser tallied city values and determined the city had gained $1.6 billion in value in a single year.

No homes existed in newly annexed areas when the U.S. Census Bureau determined that, as of July 31, 2003, Port St. Lucie was gaining residents faster than all other large cities in the country save one. With 12,000 homes planned at Tradition and another 11,460 planned at newly annexed PGA Village, North Pointe and two projects owned by Lennar Corp. and Kenco Communities, the 6,053 single-family homes permitted in the city last year will be overshadowed in the coming years as thousands of new homes west of Interstate 95 join those being built in the city's core to the east.
"Our annual sales in Tradition will far exceed what we've seen in St. Lucie West, and we sold 1,600 homes there alone last year," said Shawn Reilley, vice president of Core Communities, which is developing both projects. "We've got more builders at Tradition, and the market has expanded greatly. There's a huge pent-up demand for home lots."

Kolter Property Co. is gearing up for sales at its 3,026-acre development north of Tradition, to include 5,800 homes, three golf courses and a 350-room resort hotel, while developers of another 700 acres annexed recently hope to get a jump-start on the sizzling housing market before interest rates climb higher.

North Pointe, another community of 4,000 houses, townhouses and ranchettes that was to sprout this year, has been delayed by a contract dispute between the sellers and prospective buyers.
Mayor Bob Minsky says city employees are bracing for even more home building in the coming years as western developers try to capitalize on their multimillion-dollar costs of turning orange groves into small cities with roads, sidewalks and water lines.

"Tradition, Kolter and Tesoro are putting massive amounts into their infrastructure, and I think they're going to try to accelerate sales to get a return on their investments," Minsky said. "I think there's a lot of people who are scared of the interest rates and want to build now."

Plagued for years by a glut of cheap land where home sizes were limited by a lack of municipal water and sewer service, the city saw a historic 40 percent rise in property values last year, because of a half-billion dollars worth of new buildings springing up east of I-95 and nearly three times that amount of growth in existing homes and businesses.

Prices of once-worthless vacant building lots have soared to $50,000, prompting the city to consider carving up small park sites into building lots to capitalize on the frenzy.
After remaining flat during 1999 and 2000, the number of new homes being built in Port St. Lucie began to rise in 2001, when 1,662 new home permits were issued. The following year, the figure hit 2,840, and by 2003, a record 6,053 builders applied for new home permits in Port St. Lucie.

During the first six months of 2004, the numbers show no signs of slowing. In fact, construction is up 33 percent this year over last, with 3,548 permits issued as of June 30. Building officials say there's no end in sight, judging from the number of pre-application meetings they've had recently.

"You can't drive down any street in the city and not see a new home going up," said Joel Dramis, technical services manager for the city's building department. "We've got a new building going up just to house all the additional inspectors we need."

Building official Joe Salema is a little more direct. "I'm telling our guys, you've got enough work for 20 years," Salema said. "We've had so many pre-construction meetings with builders in these annexation areas, it's mind-boggling. I don't know when it's going to stop."

The Census Bureau's news that Port St. Lucie was the second-fastest growing city in the nation between July 2002 and July 2003 has sparked new interest among retailers and corporations seeking new outlets. Core Communities employees are attending trade shows across the country to lure major corporations to planned office parks in Tradition and a 3,200-acre project to the south that the city could annex as early as this month.

Reilly said he had dinner in Orlando Wednesday night "and everybody was amazed that we were No. 2 in the whole country. It was on the front page of USA Today. You can't buy that kind of publicity."

Building inspectors are gearing up for the onslaught, nearly doubling their employees in the past two years and teaching employees to speak Spanish to adapt to the changing workforce. Large builders also are allowed to hire their own private building inspectors, speeding up inspections while the city retains oversight and the ability to spot-check all jobs.

Part of the home-building spike is being fueled by out-of-town investors who have read stories about Port St. Lucie's remarkable growth and want to get in while prices are still affordable. Although many longtime residents think $50,000 for a lot and $180,000 for a medium-priced home seem outrageous in what was once a bedrock of affordability, the prices remain low compared with those in South Florida and the Northeast, from which most buyers hail.

"A lot of builders have told me investors are coming in from as far away as California and Texas and giving them $1 million to build five or 10 houses," Dramis said. "The owner will rent them a year or two and wait for prices to go even higher before they sell them. It's a lucrative market, especially when you look at how prices are rising every few months."

Indeed, prices of homes in Port St. Lucie and the rest of the Treasure Coast have soared since 2001, when the median price - the point at which half cost more and half cost less - of a house was $117,600. That figure rose to $133,200 in 2002, and to a staggering $187,800 this year, surpassing the statewide average for the first time, the Florida Association of Realtors reports.

As long as interest rates remain near historic 40-year lows, experts predict the boom will continue through next year. "For those of us who have been here 30-plus years, we can't understand what the attraction is all of a sudden," Dramis said. "We don't have a beach, a museum or a Toyota plant. People in Stuart used to say you shouldn't buy property in Port St. Lucie, because it's going to be a slum. Now, it's the hottest place in the country."

With Martin County's anti-growth mantra, experts say St. Lucie County was a natural for the next big housing boom north of land-starved Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Despite Port St. Lucie's obvious deficiencies inflicted by GDC - no downtown, houses built on major roadways, few commercial and office districts - the mixing of small and big homes has, in some cases, reduced the tendency for individual neighborhoods to fall prey to blight.

Some believe that helps Port St. Lucie maintain the lowest crime rate among large cities in Florida, a factor Bob Moeckel considered when moving here in 2002. "My business partner and I were robbed at gunpoint 1 mile from Miami International Airport, and my friend of 30 years and his business partner were shot and killed" in 1998, Moeckel said. "I have sent out over 1,700 letters to businesses warning them of the dark side of Miami."

Small-town feel remains

Despite Port St. Lucie's meteoric rise from a population of 330 in 1970 to 116,000 today, it has maintained its small-town feel, a factor some fear it could lose as it zooms toward a projected population of 280,000 by the year 2022.

That figure could climb to 340,000, nearly the population of modern-day Miami, if city council members vote this month to annex an additional 9,500 acres at the southwest quadrant of St. Lucie County.

Sprawled over 97 square miles, Port St. Lucie is the fourth-largest city in Florida, according to 2000 Census figures. It would zoom to 112 square miles, tying second-place Tampa in size, if the council annexes land southwest of I-95 and Gatlin Boulevard owned by Core Communities, Ansca Homes and G.L. Homes of Florida.
Basking in the national limelight of prosperity, Mayor Minsky admits to being awed at the number of milestones the city has reached during his final term in office, but he views it as blissful vindication for those who predicted Port St. Lucie would never be more than a cheap place to live.

"It should help us bring jobs and industry here because companies will see we have the labor pool, and it's a desirable place to live," Minsky said. "It's like waving a red flag in front of a bull. It's the best publicity we could ever hope for."

If you are interested in learning more about living/investing/vacationing in this area:

Contact RON KLOWDEN, Realtor


Ron   Klowden
Ron Klowden Real Estate Consultant


FL License #SL 3059534

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