NOCATEE, Fla. – A new real estate study recognized Nocatee as the third fastest growing master planned community in the country for the second year in a row.
Home sales slipped about 12 percent in 2016, but still Nocatee came in only behind The Villages in Ocala and Irvine Ranch in Orange County, California, in terms of sales.
Many homes in the Nocatee area are still under construction. Experts believe the drop in home sales stemmed from builders wanting to be sure homes were delivered on time, not from a lack of interest.
Kristin Lunsford said she loves living close to Nocatee.
“We come here grocery shopping. We come here for dance class. There's doctors here,” she said.
Lunsford said about 10 years ago she started seeing advertisements for the community but moved out of state.
When she moved back, she was shocked.
“It's crazy to see this whole area that used to be nothing, now beautiful houses, so many neighborhoods,” Lunsford said. “The parks, the sports facilities, all of the amenities are great.”
According to numbers from RCLCO Real Estate Advisors, in 2013, 838 homes were sold in Nocatee. That number increased to 851 in 2014 before jumping to 1,105 in 2015. In 2016, sales fell back to 973.
“The market response has been even stronger then perhaps what was anticipated,” said Gregg Logan, managing director for RCLCO. “I think it's been a bit of a challenge to keep up with demand in a place like Nocatee.”
As new homes and businesses go up, the others continue to thrive. The growth management director for the county said because of the master plan for Nocatee, the infrastructure is there to keep up with the growth.
Lunsford said that plan also makes it easier on families.
“When you have little kids, getting places can sometimes take a lot longer than you predict,” Lunsford said. “Here in Nocatee, you see all the golf carts, you can just get the kids on the golf cart quick.”
Logan said one of the benefits of master planned communities like Nocatee is that it's difficult for them to ever become overcrowded, despite continuing growth in the area.