by George L. Ballou, II
Watson Realty Corp.
Menton & Ballou
In 2015 I wrote an article for SJM about St. Johns County. Today we revisit the subject as well as the original article;
I am often asked what is it about St Johns County that makes it so special. Why is it the most sought-after location in all of Northern FL. I have been in the real estate business for well over 30 years and no matter where I have lived there is one fact you can take to the bank…wherever you find a highly rated school system you will also find growth, strong property values with greater appreciation potential, people who value education, and a strong economic environment providing a solid tax base. Congratulations once again to St Johns Co. We have been recognized for having the #1 school system in the state of Florida for 2015.
When I deal with buyers who are relocating to our area they show up fully aware of what they want to find and that is a home in the St Johns County school system. This simple fact is what drives everything else in our county. Developers are flocking to SJC with incredible plans to develop and expand places like Nocatee, Shearwater, Markland & Twin Creeks and the foundation for this commitment to our area is the school system! When my wife and I relocated to Florida just 6 years ago from VT along with my daughter and son-in-law they asked me to assist them in finding a home and business location. When I asked my daughter if she had a place in mind she was absolute in her knowledge that St. Johns County was the only option for them. To be honest I asked “where is that” and she quickly rattled off the statistics that every parent seems to know around here…it’s the #1 school system in the state! Prior to moving to Florida my first answer would have been that there is no state income tax in Florida. Leave it to parents to see past that issue to the real heartbeat of a community…schools!
According to the Chief Economist for Realtor.com in 2015 home sales were up approximately 7% from 2014 driven by a 6% increase in resales and a 15% increase in new construction. Once residential growth re-established itself from the desperate times just a few years ago the retail and commercial development followed. These commitments create jobs and new communities and a positive and forward-looking expectation for all and this is especially true in St. Johns County. Everywhere you look roads are being improved, businesses are opening up and new residents are moving in.
The outlook for the future is very positive in our county. Besides our schools we enjoy a unique location to the ocean, river and coastal waterways. In addition, convenient access to major highways for commuting, shopping and enjoying the amenities of our area makes our lifestyle opportunities one to be envied!
In 2017 once again we were the #1 Rated School District in FL? “Rankings are based upon several key factors such as the strength of academics, health and safety, diversity and quality of teachers”!
In real estate, St Johns County single family unit sales for existing homes was up 9.6% and new construction sales were up 18% county wide. This compares to National figures up 1.1% for existing homes and 4.7% for new home starts. St Johns County was recently honored for having 2 of the Top 20 Best Places to Live in FL…Ponte Vedra Beach and St. Augustine! Unemployment for the county for 2017 year end was 2.8%...lowest in the entire state of FL.
As you can see, not much has changed since my article back in 2015…we are still doing great! Oh…we do have one problem apparently…not enough housing inventory!
Local Authors & Experts for St. Johns Magazine