Port St. Lucie, Florida: America's 3rd Fastest Growing City

The NY Times tells us:

Americans have been moving west and south for decades, and last year was no
different. All but three of the 50 fastest-growing cities from 2004 to 2005 were
in those regions of the country, with many in California and Florida...

This migration of people from the northeast is what's fuelling real estate prices in South Florida. As the Keys, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm become increasingly packed with people, developments sprawl westward where the Everglades used to be (it's really sad to see a white heron delicately picking its way over someone's golf-green front lawn looking for a meal).

But there is a westward limit to the expansion. At some point, especially with the state of gas prices, westward expanstion peters out. Commutes above about 90 minutes become unacceptable to most people. Keep in mind that there's basically no public transportation down here, so that's 90 minutes at the wheel of your car, parked on I95, burning up premium unleaded at $3.35 a gallon.

Because of these factors, the sprawl has been directed north. Port St Lucie is one of those previously quiet little hamlets that woke up one morning to the sound of bulldozers knocking over mangrove stands and ancient banyans. Now, you can own a sterile 3-bedroom home on recovered swamp and swat mosquitos (because all the mosquito-eating birds are gone) and get in your SUV and drive to Wal-Mart for a hot dog and nachos on weekends.

It's the condo nightmare writ large.

But don't worry, folks, keep coming -- it's a seller's market.