PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- A small first coast community finds itself at the top of a national list. Nocatee is growing at a rapid rate. It's the fifth best-selling community in the nation.
Just a year after the Nocatee development opened in 2007, the recession hit. Local Realtor, Priscilla Johnson says developers realized the market was collapsing and decided to scale down on their projects and in turn home prices. Nocatee has since grown to include more than 2,300 families.
Driving through the area you'll likely see "coming soon" or "now open" signs. Neighbors say they're constantly popping up all over the place.
"We were here before the Publix was built," said resident Aaron Bacus. "Greatest thing since sliced bread when that came in."
Bacus has lived in the seven-year-old master-planned community for five years so far.
"I can remember a couple of years ago you couldn't even give away a house in here and now it's hard to find one," said Bacus.
He is in the mortgage business and can recall a time when home sales were slow all across the country. However, things in Nocatee have certainly bounced back.
"I remember when this was just dirt," said Johnson.
On board nearly since its inception, Johnson knows first-hand exactly how Nocatee landed a spot on the A-list released by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, an independent research provider and consulting firm focused on the US housing industry.
Over the years she's sold close to 100 homes in this community.
"In new construction, Nocatte has outperformed every area of new construction in northeast Florida," said Johnson.
She says it's all about location. The coastal master-planned community located in Ponte Vedra is just miles from the beach.
A new St. Johns County K-through-8 school will open in the fall. Developers are adding a splash park, kayak launch and recently announced, First Baptist Church will launch a new location in Nocatee. Johnson says there were 11 communities last year and this year they'll add two more. More than 838 homes were sold in 2013, that's a 65 % increase over 2012.
"Creating something out of nothing and being a part of it is kind of fun," said Bacus.
St. Johns County also plans to build a fire station in Nocatee. Home prices in the community vary from the $100,000 to over $1 million.
To view the full list of the communities who made the list visit the website,John Burns Real Estate Consulting.