St. Augustine, founded in 1565, is the nation’s oldest continuously occupied city. In Flagler County, 25 miles south, half of all homes were built after Palm Coast became a city, less than 15 yrs ago.
Palm Coast, FL – September 19, 2014 – Palm Coast and Flagler County are unique in several ways, not the least of which is their stark contrast to nearby St. Augustine. Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is the nation’s oldest continuously occupied city. Palm Coast was non-existent until the early 1970s. It now boasts nearly 80,000 residents. It incorporated as a city at the turn of the century. Not yet 15 years old, it is one of the nation’s newest cities.
The median year built for Flagler County homes is 2000. For the City of Palm Coast, it’s 2001. A 2009 survey by the U.S. Census Bureau found that the median year built for all U.S. homes was 1975. Fewer than 15% were built after 2000. Certainly, that measure has risen slightly since 2009, but not by much. Homebuilders haven’t been very active in the intervening years. Palm Coast was just being born in 1975.
My point is that U.S. homes are more than twice as old as those in the Palm Coast metro area (which includes all of Flagler County).
Because they are newer, local homes are more likely to be in tune with current homebuyer needs and style trends, including:
- Energy efficiency
- Up to date floor plans with large kitchens, great rooms, larger baths and more storage
- Increased storm resistance
- Safety, since substantial building code changes were introduced a decade ago
Palm Coast and its newer surrounding developments are master-planned communities, with all the benefits that accrue with modern planning. Residential units are clustered, preserving wetlands and leaving plenty of space for recreational and leisure activities. I am always struck as I drive west over the toll bridge when I look out and see mostly tree canopy with few buildings in sight. It’s incredible that nearly 80,000 people live in Palm Coast.
- With few exceptions (e.g. Florida Park Drive), homes are built on residential streets in quiet neighborhoods, not on thoroughfares.
- Twenty-three miles of salt water canals create 46 miles of salt water canal frontage with access to the Intracoastal Waterway. Several canal lots are still available
- The Intracoastal Waterway traverses the county north to south
- Miles of beaches with plenty of public access and parking
- Miles of trails for walking or bicycling
- And of course, there is the weather
The housing recovery is beginning to suffer in some parts of the country due to a shortage in building lots. Because Palm Coast and Flagler County ranked ‘fastest growing’ in the past decade, we are blessed with plenty of “approved” development areas. There are 24,358 platted vacant residential lots in the county; half of them within the City of Palm Coast. These lots are mostly “shovel-ready,” awaiting only a building permit. In addition, there are several un-platted developments approved for additional residential and commercial growth.
Use the Comments section below to suggest other ways in which our area is special to you or share with GoToby readers the reasons you chose to live here.
Be sure to tune into WNZF Radio (1550 AM) for my new radio show, “Real Estate Matters,” on Sunday mornings at 9:00. This week’s guest is Suzanne Johnston, Flagler County Tax Collector.