Florida's Port St. Lucie Is Nation's Fastest Growing City

SEPTEMBER 2005
- Hurricanes Don't Deter Members - Association members, living in Port St. Lucie, Florida, eighty-three
in number, have the distinction of living in the fastest growing city
in the United States over a one-year period, according to the most
recent national census figure.

Located
about 50 miles north of West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie grew by 12,689
people to reach 118,396 over the most recent one-year period, a 12
percent jump.

The median price of a
home in Port St. Lucie was $253,200 in May 2005, high by most Florida
standards, but lower than the median price of $390,900 in West Palm
Beach, where prices rank ninth highest in the nation.

Although
Port St. Lucie was hard-hit by Florida's hurricanes last year,
especially Frances and Jean, we haven't found any of our 83-member
residents leaving.

"My husband and
I bought a mobile home in Golf Village three years ago for $21,000,
similar units are now selling for $50,000. We suffered extensive damage
during Hurricane Frances, but that could happen anywhere in Florida,"
said Donna Stanton a State D.E.S. retiree.

Doug
Barry, an MWRA retiree, bought a home in Port St. Lucie four years ago
for $129,000. Today similar homes in his area are selling for $375,000.
His home was hit by hurricanes twice within a two-week period causing
home insurance to nearly triple in cost. "I love the weather here, but
not the hurricanes, and I don't miss the cold up north. But I would
return to Weymouth if the real estate there was not sky-high," Barry
said.

Marge Costello, a state MDC
retiree, and her husband bought a house in Port St. Lucie for about
$160,000 five years ago. "It would sell for twice that amount now.
Prices are escalating at the same rate as Massachusetts in this part of
Florida," she said. "It's a rapidly growing coastal area and the
hurricanes have not scared anyone away. People just have the damage
repaired or re-build. Insurance and taxes are going crazy."

Mayor
Bob Minsky says he expects the boom to continue until the population
tops 300,000. "This was nothing more than an 80-square-mile swamp when
they started it in 1961. People like the lifestyle here," he said.

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