It’s Almost Christmas & Real Estate is Selling on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


Sanibel Lighthouse Merry ChristmasSanCapAssnLogoThe island is expected to have many holiday vacationers and visitors arriving tomorrow, with even more coming the following Saturday. Weather is forecast to remain sunny and in the mid to high 70’s during the day until Christmas when a dip to the mid 60’s is expected. Perfect holiday weather!

Here are a couple of news items, followed by the action posted in the Sanibel& Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

SanibelSusan Realty Happenings

SANSLogoIsland real estate activity slowed down considerably earlier this week as folks prepare for the holidays. Yesterday, we had a flurry of calls which resulted in a couple of new listings being posted soon. Thank goodness for internet advertising, as the local newspaper deadline has already passed for Christmas, so these new properties will appear in print locally in the New Year edition.

Tuesday morning SanibelSusan attended the local kick-off meeting for the 2015 Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® leadership team. I will chair the Association’s Grievance Committee next year. Luckily, it is one of those committees that (here on Sanibel and Captiva) is needed about as often as the Maytag repairman – hardly ever. The Grievance Committee receives ethics complaints and arbitration requests from members and the public to determine if taken as true on their face, a hearing is to be warranted.

Florida Realtors logoOn Wednesday morning, I also attended the requisite annual training from Florida Realtors® for all Grievance and Professional Standards committee members.

December Membership Meeting – Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

SanCapAssnLogoYesterday was our island Association of Realtors® general membership meeting which included a cookie swap (that was a first) and a presentation encouraging more members to get involved in 2015. I have always found that volunteering time and energy to your profession comes back in business and future success, so hopefully with the economy rebounding and subsequently our Association growing again, some industry newbies will be motivated by what they heard.

The Association’s 2014 Honor Society recipients were announced at this meeting. There were 22 Sanibel & Captiva Island Realtors® who earned the award this year. That’s my magic number, as I made it again for the 22nd year in a row.

With the next two Thursdays being holidays, the next Association of Realtors® Caravan of new listings will not be until January 8 when it’s an East-end caravan.

Bennett’s Expands Hours & Menu

Bennetts logoBennett’s Fresh Roast has extended its hours and menu offerings at its Sanibel shop, 1020 Periwinkle Way, including the addition of Artisan Gelato by Norman Love. Now open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days per week, the Norman Love gelato is offered beginning at 11 a.m. daily until closing while supplies last. A variety of 12 popular and seasonal flavors is offered daily with three sizes available including Love’s popular waffle cone.

Bennett’s also now is offering table service at breakfast as well as lunch and their menu has begun featuring wild Maine blueberry pancakes and strata from 6 to 11 a.m. daily while supplies last. Strata flavors including ham, sausage, and spinach and feta will be rotated during the week. For more info, visit BennettsFreshRoast.com.

Winter Is Best Time to Sell, Study Shows

REDFIN logoUnderstandably, winter is the best time for real estate sales on Sanibel & Captiva Islands. That is when the most prospective buyers are in Florida. It was a surprise, however, to read this article in “Daily Real Estate News” on Monday.

“The housing market doesn’t hibernate in the winter. Sellers who list and buyers who buy often find the winter season the most advantageous time to make a move in real estate, according to a new study by the real estate brokerage Redfin. The winter season officially takes place between Dec. 21 and March 20, and real estate professionals should be ready for a season that often brings in more focused and active sellers and buyers.

“In an update to a two-year analysis it completed last year, Redfin researchers studied nationwide home listings, sales prices, and time-on-market data from 2010 through October 2014. The study found that February is “historically the best month to list, with an average of 66 percent of homes listed then selling within 90 days,” according to Redfin’s research.

“Even in cold weather cities – such as Boston and Chicago – researchers found that home sellers were better off listing their homes in the winter than during other seasons. The winter tends to net sellers’ more than their asking price during the months of December, January, February, and March than listings from June through November. Listing during those four winter months has resulted in higher percentages of above-asking-price sales than listing during any months, other than April and May.

“Redfin researchers found that in 2012 December listings were producing the highest percentage of above-asking sales for the entire year at 17%. Researchers say the winter market is less competitive for sellers since many people tend to wait until the spring to list. The smaller inventory of active listings helps sellers get more attention from buyers on their properties. Also, many large corporations often transfer employees or hire new ones early in the year, creating opportunities for winter sellers from very motivated purchasers.

“Homes that are “priced right and show well can sell any time” of the year, says Nela Richardson, chief economist for Redfin. Winter buyers tend to be “serious buyers… Most people are not window-shopping” in December and January, like they do in the spring months, Richardson adds.

“Sellers shouldn’t worry about the holidays hampering their chances either. A 2011 study conducted by realtor.com® found that 60% of real estate professionals advise their sellers to list a home during the holidays because they believe it’s an opportune time to sell. Nearly 80% of the real estate professionals surveyed said that more serious buyers emerge during the holidays, and 61% say less competition from other properties makes it an ideal time to sell.

“As for buyers, they may find winter a good time to make a move too. Sellers often are more flexible about negotiations over prices and terms than they would in the spring, real estate professionals say.

“People get more realistic at this time of year,” particularly if their homes hadn’t sold during the summer and fall, says Mary Bayat, a broker in Washington, D.C., and chairwoman-elect of the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®.”

NAR Testifies on Capitol Hill

Capitol hillPosted Monday, on the “Real Estate Services E-Newsletter Update”:

“On December 9, the U.S. Senate Banking Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development held a hearing entitled, “Inequality, Opportunity, and the Housing Market.” Mabel Guzman, the 2014 National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Conventional Financing and Policy Committee chairwoman and broker for @properties in Chicago, IL, testified on behalf of NAR. In her testimony, Ms. Guzman focused on ongoing challenges and disparities in the housing market and housing finance system. Specifically, Ms. Guzman covered six main issues, which include:

(1)   the national economy is impacting the supply of both credit and housing inventory;

(2)   high guarantee fees and loan level pricing adjustments charged by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) are hurting consumers;

(3)   excessive Federal Housing Authority (FHA) premiums are negatively impacting housing;

(4)   FHA and GSE condominium restrictions are preventing homeownership opportunities;

(5)   housing policies add to lending concerns; and (6) foreclosures and short sales remain problematic for thousands of American families.”

12 Wellness Tips for the Holidays

NAR posted the below calendar from the National Safety Council on their Realtor®Mag Blog this week. Some good reminders here:

?????????????????????????​​Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 12-19

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Gulf Beach #102 2/2 $749K, Sundial #R304 2/2 $845K, Sundial #R401 2/2 $849K (our listing – some photos below).

4 price changes: Spanish Cay #F6 1/1 now $275K, Loggerhead Cay #461 2/2 now $499K, Pointe Santo #B4 2/2 now $664K, 2400 Los Colony Rd 3/3 $1.495M.

3 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #453 2/2 listed for $459K, Sundial #Q202 2/2 listed for $694K, Island Beach Club #330E 2/2 listed for $795K.

1 closed sale: 2615 Tamarind Rd 2/2 $347K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 $589K, 741 Nerita St 3/2 $699K.

3 price changes: 1076 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $590K, 375 East Gulf Dr 4/3 now $1.489M, 3744 West Gulf Dr 4/4 now $1.595M.

5 new sales: 702 Donax St 2/2 listed for $439K, 3001 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 listed for $449K (short sale), 589 Rabbit Rd 2/2 listed for $499K, 1520 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/3.5 listed for $1.995M. Without contingencies: 1429 Sanderling Cir 3/3.5 listed for $1.575M.

3 closed sales: 4612 Rue Belle Mer 2/2 $615K, 1901 Sanibel Bayou Rd 4/3 $750K, 5427 Osprey Ct 3/3.5 $1/159M.

LOTS

1 new listing:  5121 Sanibel Captiva Rd $227,555.

1 price change: 2263 Starfish Ln now $499K.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 1182 Sand Castle Rd $199.9K, 1246 Sand Castle Rd $212.5K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5318 3/3 $625K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Marina Villas #603 2/2 listed for $640K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1127 Longifolia Ct 4/4 $5.795M, 16697 Captiva Dr 5/4 $10.5M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

Until next Friday…Merry Christmas!

The December Fun Continues on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


SanCapAssnLogoWith the holidays fast approaching and folks scurrying to prepare, this week there likewise was a sudden flurry of real estate activity on Sanibel.

Several sales were announced at our Association of Realtors® weekly Caravan Meeting yesterday, while later in the day SanibelSusan got the listing paperwork signed on a home in The Sanctuary which will be posted as a new listing next week. At about the same time, two offers were received on two properties that we have listed. Those too are “in the works”! Season may be here early. We sure hope so!

The action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service follow a couple of news items below. You will notice that we have a new listing on Martha’s Lane too. Below are a few photos:

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Realtors® Support Friends Who Care Toy Drive

Kiwanis santaFriends Who Care, Inc. has been assisting island residents since 1983, providing for children and adults in crisis situations, and working anonymously through information from local churches and schools. Again this year, the islands Association of Realtors® joined the effort by donating, collecting, and buying toys/gift cards which were presented to this non-profit at our meeting yesterday. The items will be sorted, wrapped, and ultimately delivered on December 23 to those in need by The Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club Santa Run. Big thank you to teammate Elise’s kiddos, Payton and Ryan, who did the toy shopping for SanibelSusan’s donations this year!

Real Estate’s Most Loyal Age Group

bloomberg businessweekMy experience shows that this is the trend on Sanibel and Captiva too. This is what “Bloomberg Businessweek” had to say on Monday about real estate’s most loyal age group:

“Americans age 65 and over are holding onto home ownership instead of downsizing into rentals or moving to senior centers, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. Indeed, the largest jump in buyers this year was among people between the ages of 65 and 74. This age segment increased to 13% of all buyers from 10% a year earlier, according to National Association of REALTORS® data.

“”They want to remain as home owners now because it represents stability, so they don’t have to deal with generating fluctuating payments for rent,” says Chris Mayer, a real estate professor at Columbia University Business School in New York. Even during the housing crisis, the home ownership rate for Americans 65 and over stayed around 80% while it dropped for every other age group, according to Census Bureau data. Since then, Americans under 35 have seen the largest decline in home ownership, falling to 36% from 48%, Census data shows.

“In 1982, the home ownership rate for every age group was higher than it was in 2013 — except for those 65 and over. “This group has been a ballast for the market,” says Chris Herbert, acting managing director at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. “If not for them, we would have seen a much lower home ownership rate overall, more homes on the market, and more weakness.”

“Seniors usually have less mortgage debt than younger home owners, greater wealth than they had four years ago, and longer lifespans than previous generations, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. For those aged 65 to 74, their median net worth rose 5% to $232,100, which is the largest gain for any age group from 2010 to 2013, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. “They have a quadruple bonus: They benefited from real estate, the best in equity and bond returns, plus higher GDP per capita growth well before the crisis during the 1980s and 1990s,” says Amlan Roy, head of global demographics and pension research for Credit Suisse Group AG’s investment bank in London. “It’s unlikely to repeat.”

“While older Americans are staying in real estate, they are carrying more mortgage debt than previous generations, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In 2010, about 40% of those over 65 were still making house payments compared to more than 70% of those 50 to 64, according to a report earlier this year by the Joint Center for Housing Studies.”

Older Americans are indeed a pillar of the housing market!

Six Features in Demand Among Luxury Buyers

In Refin’s blog this week, an article says:

REDFIN logo“Luxury sales have been soaring in recent months, outpacing the rest of the housing market. Deals on existing homes priced above $1 million climbed more than 16% in October compared to a year ago, according to National Association of REALTORS® housing data. The increase was bigger than that of any other price segment.

“So what home features are these luxury buyers on the hunt for in their million-dollar–plus homes? The real estate brokerage Redfin recently uncovered some trends in home features and interior designs by looking at what’s in demand among their luxury clients as well as what’s trending on luxury listings. Here are some of the luxury home design trends they noticed driving 2014:

  1. Luxury showers: Forget the Jacuzzi tub. The luxury buyer wants a luxurious shower. “Since most people take more showers than baths, they want to have a stand-alone shower with multiple shower heads,” notes Charlie Baker, a Redfin real estate professional in San Diego.
  2. Fire pits by pools: Fire pits and gas fireplaces beside a pool are gaining in popularity, says Roseann Cossman, a Redfin real estate professional in Phoenix. “One quick way to warm up after a dip in the pool is to curl up next to a fire, and now that fire is just steps away,” Crossman says.
  3. Tasting rooms: Wine cellars are no longer a dark place in a basement or a closet. Home owners are placing more in living areas to host tastings with friends.
  4. White kitchen cabinets: High-end kitchens with cabinets in white, gray, or black with matching or contrasting countertops are gaining in popularity among the luxury market, notes Anna Schwoerer, a Redfin real estate professional in Virginia. Meanwhile, natural-colored wood cabinets are on their way out, she says.
  5. Quartz countertops: Luxury properties are showing more quartz or sandstone in countertops and making granite countertops look more outdated, says Jordan Clarke, a Redfin real estate professional in San Diego. “Quartz comes with a few benefits over granite; it is not as porous and therefore requires less maintenance, it is less prone to staining, and it is better able to withstand abuses during its lifetime,” Clarke says.
  6. Grand powder rooms: The powder room is getting a big makeover. These half-baths are getting more attention and fancier with elaborate mirrors, sinks, and lighting fixtures.”

Island Events & Festivities Continue 

Sanibelcityseal logoA news release from the City today included info on a couple of special events this weekend.

Here is the scoop on those events and some others occurring this weekend on Sanibel and Captiva.

Today (12/12)

6-9 p.m.            Grand opening of the South Seas Holiday Stroll

Tomorrow (12/13)

10 a.m.-3 p.m.   Art on the Veranda at Bailey’s Center

4:30 p.m.          Junkanoo Parade on Captiva in the village

5:30-7:30 p.m.   Captiva Lighted boat parade, view from McCarthy’s, Jensens’, Green Flash, ‘Tween Waters

6-9 p.m.            South Seas Holiday Stroll

8 p.m.               Boat parade after-party at Captiva’s Keylime Bistro

Sunday (12/14)

8.a.m.-1 p.m.     Sanibel Island Farmers Market on City Hall Grounds

6-7 p.m.            Captiva Community Carol Sing at Chapel by the Sea

BIG ARTS Community Chorus Holiday Concert

BIG-ARTS-Community-chorus-holiday-concert-2009It was great to see teammates, colleagues, client, and friends in the audience at our BIG ARTS Community Chorus Holiday Concert on Tuesday night.

If you like the “12 Days of Christmas” song, below is the final verse of the rendition that we sang during the concert. Words were written by chorus-mate, Mike Bugler. It’s fun!

‘Twas the twelfth day of Christmas,

On Sanibel, by the sea

I saw Twelve Dolphins Dancing

Eleven Lighthouse Lookers

Ten Pelicans Plunging

Nine No-See-Ump Swatters

Eight Tourists Tanning

Seven Shellers Shelling

Six Billy’s Bikers

Five Man-a-tees

Four Wading Birds

Three Fishing Men

Two Turtle Tracks

And a Gator in the Sanc-tu-ary!

White_Christmas_(musical)Chorus-mate, Dick Brown, Dad to author Dan Brown, also composed his own verbiage for the familiar Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”.

With a few of the verses changed for some soloists dressed in different attire, it drew a few laughs from the audience too.

Soloist (a Sanibel gal):

The sun is shining, the sea is blue,

The orange & palm trees sway.

There’s never been such a day

In Sanibel U.S.A.

But it’s December the twenty-fourth,

And I’m longing to be up north.

Refrain:

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

Just like the ones I used to know,

Where the treetops glisten

And children listen

To hear, sleigh bells in the snow.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

With ev’ry Christmas card I write.

May your days be merry and bright,

And may all your Christmases be white.

Soloist (in heavy winter clothing):

I’ve had it with this white Christmas,

I’ve had enough of all this snow.

I’m so tired of my wool coat,

My runny nose & sore throat,

And spreading flu ‘neath mistletoe.

 

Refrain:

We really love our grandchildren

Although two weeks with them’s a lot.

Oh, to be on Captiva, on a yacht,

Where all our Christmases are hot!

Soloist (island couple in beach attire):

There’s nothing like a green Christmas,

Not like the ones we used to know.

Instead of ice-chipping,

We’ll go skinny-dipping,

And dream of never shov’ling snow!

Refrain:

We’re dreaming of a green Christmas,

With sunny skies & a warm beach scene.

May your days be merry and serene

And may all your Christmases be green!

I’m dreaming of a warm New Year

With all my friends on Sanibel

Where I’ll walk the beach

And maybe reach

To find a rare junonia shell.

I’m dreaming of a warm New Year

With all my friends so dear & swell,

Where my soul is happy, & I’m well,

With all my friends on Sanibel.

 

Stinton: News Corp Deal Is a ‘Global Play’

Realtor.com logosThis article posted on-line yesterday on “Daily Real Estate News” elaborates on the recent acquisition of Realtor®.com by News Corp:

“National Association of Realtors® “NAR CEO Dale Stinton talked about the global opportunities that could come out of News Corp’s acquisition of Move Inc. in a wide-ranging interview he gave on Real Estate Coaching Radio earlier this week.

“”What’s missing [when people talk about the News Corp acquisition] is that this is going to be a global play,” Stinton told radio host Tim Harris. “This is the first time you’ve seen the largest trade association in the world, combined with the No. 3 portal in the space, matched up with a platinum-level media company that knows how to deliver messaging and branding to the public. That triumvirate is a very strong, unique basis for approaching the consumer.”

“One thing people often forget, Stinton said, is that NAR has global reach, too—relationships with more than 80 cooperating real estate associations around the world. While Stinton said it was too difficult to predict exactly what changes News Corp would make, creating a much better consumer experience and getting realtor.com® back into the No. 1 position are top priorities.

“Stinton called the News Corp acquisition one of the milestone events during his 31-year career with the association. Others included the creation of realtor.com® during the formative years of the Internet, the decision to marshal REALTOR® Party resources to advocate on the state and local level, and NAR’s eight-year, ultimately successful, campaign to prevent banks from owning real estate companies. “Imagine what the [financial] crisis would have looked like if banks had been in real estate,” he said.

Among other topics Stinton touched on were the association’s efforts to set REALTORS® apart from non-member licensees in consumers’ minds and increasing the availability of safe, affordable mortgage credit.”

Loan Defaults Plunge to Pre-Recession Levels

real estate daily newsThis is good news, also posted on “Daily Real Estate News”, on Wednesday:

“More home owners are keeping up with their mortgage payments. The nationwide mortgage loan delinquency rate — the number of borrowers 60 or more days past due on their mortgage — is projected to drop to 3.12% by the end of this year. By 2015, TransUnion researchers predict, the delinquency rate will reach 2.51%, the lowest level since reaching 2.61% in the third quarter of 2007, prior to the Great Recession.

“Mortgage delinquencies peaked in the first quarter of 2010 at 6.93%. Since then, the delinquency rate has steadily been dropping.

““We expect the national mortgage loan delinquency rate to continue its decline throughout 2015, marking four consecutive years of quarterly decreases,” says Steve Chaouki, head of financial services for TransUnion. “We anticipate interest rates to remain relatively low next year and unemployment rates to continue their decline, both of which should help fuel home sales and improve consumers’ ability to pay.

“Foreclosures are also expected to continue to funnel through the legal system in 2015, which will reduce delinquencies that have been lingering for some time,” he continues. “All of these factors will contribute to a further decline in mortgage delinquencies.”

“Nevertheless, TransUnion researchers project that while delinquencies will likely fall to precession levels, they likely will remain above the historic norm of 1.5 to 2%.  Delinquencies had started to rise prior to the recession.

“TransUnion predicts that 33 states will have delinquency rates lower than 2.5% by the end of next year.

“The largest mortgage delinquency rate drops likely will occur in Nevada (dropping from 4.65% to 2.97%); Georgia (falling from 3.31% to 1.92%); Maryland (falling from 4.17% to 2.83%); and Illinois (down from 3.37% to 2.17%), according to TransUnion’s report.

“On the other hand, delinquency increases are projected to occur in only three states: Idaho (rising from 2.16% to 2.44%); Massachusetts (inching up from 3.18% to 3.265) and North Dakota (up from 0.97% to 1.02%).”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 5-12

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Seashells #27 2/2 $323K, Sanibel Arms West #B5 2/2 $499K, Loggerhead Cay #202 2/2 $559.9K.

2 price changes: Colonnades #44 now $189.5K, Lighthouse Point #219 2/2 now $449.8K.

4 new sales: Spanish Cay #A6 1/1 listed for $259.7K, Sanibel Surfside #133 2/2 listed for $849K, Pointe Santo #A2 2/2 listed for $849K, Wedgewood #204 1/1 listed for $2,225,555.

4 closed sales: Colonnades #1 1/1 $185K, Sundial #C307 1/1 $305K, Sundial #I203 1/1 $359K, Sandalfoot #5A3 2/2 $820K.

HOMES

8 new listings: 744 Martha’s Ln 2/2 $479K (our listing), 963 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $599.9K, 1024 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 duplex $649K, 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $700K, 5406 Osprey Ct 3/2 $779K, 4037 Coquina Dr 3/3 $848K, 1429 Sanderling Cir 3/3.5 $1.575M, 2984 Wulfert Rd 4/3 $2.2M.

4 price changes: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $349K, 1452 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex now $359K, 3001 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 now $449K (short sale), 6111 SanibelCaptiva Rd 5/4/3 now $18.95M.

6 new sales: 2407 Shop Rd 2/1 listed for $339K; 4599 Brainard Bayou 3/2/2 listed for $529K; 1674 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed for $549K, 490 Christine Rd 2/2 listed for $569,555; 1800 Woodring Rd 2/2 listed for $1.349M, 2302 Wulfert Rd 4/5 listed for $1.449M.

3 closed sales: 705 Oliva St 3/2 $747.5K, 1339 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $950K, 784 Birdie View Pt 4/4 $1.615M.

LOTS

1 new listing: Pine Ave $200K.

4 price changes: 9239 Dimmick Dr now $149K, 1299 Par View Dr now $229K, 1336 Eagle Run Dr now $245K, 6486 Pine Ave now $379.9K (foreclosure).

3 new sales: 864 Birdie View Pt listed for $349.5K, 860 Birdie View Pt listed for $389K, 1540 San Carlos Bay Dr listed for $1.195M.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.
HOMES

1 new listing: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $2.795M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.
LOTS

1 new listing: 11545 Wightman Ln $1.345M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

Susan

Until next Friday, happy weekend wishes to all,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s Luminary Weekend 2014 on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


SanCapAssnLogoSanibelSusan is happy to report good attendance at the local Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday. Not many sales or price reductions were announced, but the strong turnout shows that sales associates are ready for “season”. My team also had plenty of visitors at Somerset at the Reef where Realtors® and neighbors got to view our new listing there. Here are a couple of photos of the fabulous view from that condo!

The week’s report of the action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Christmas Festivities Beginning 

luminary bagsIt is “luminary weekend” on Sanibel and Captiva so the islands are expecting a spurt of activity with folks here to enjoy the festivities today on Sanibel and tomorrow on Captiva. All week decorations have been going up and businesses have been preparing for the many events that begin this afternoon. Here is a quick summary of what is ahead over upcoming two weekends:

Today (12/5)

historical village logo3-5 p.m.            Homesteaders’ Christmas Open House at Sanibel Historical Village

5:30 to 9 p.m.    Sanibel Luminary, includes a flash mob inside Baileys at 5:30 p.m. Trolley stops at east-end (Lighthouse Cafe area), Jerry’s Center, Tahitian Gardens, Periwinkle Place, School House Theater lot, The Village Shops, Palm Ridge Rd, Olde Sanibel Shoppes, & Bailey’s Center

Sunset-Aria-on-Captiva-beach5-6:30 p.m.        Free opera concert on the beach at ‘Tween Waters

Sat (12/6)

CHV_Golf-Cart-Parade-4223:30 p.m.          Decorated golf cart parade at 3:30 p.m., starts at South Seas

5:30 to 9 p.m.    Captiva Luminary. Trolley stops at Chadwick’s Square, Bubble Room, Andy Rosse Ln/McCarthy’s Marina, Green Flash, & ‘Tween Waters

Fri (12/12)

Jensen-logo5:15 p.m.          Jensens’ Mullet March parade, salute to veterans, starts at Jensens’

Sat (12/13)

4:30 p.m.          Junkanoo Parade on Captiva in the village

CHV-Boat-Parade-2012-45:30-7:30 p.m.   Lighted boat parade, view from McCarthy’s, Jensens’, Green Flash, ‘Tween Waters

8 p.m.               Boat parade after-party at Keylime Bistro

Christmas Bird Count

National_Audubon_Society_logoSanibel-Captiva Audubon will hold its annual Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, Dec 12. The results will go to the National Audubon Society to be included in the 115th National Christmas Bird Count which began on Christmas Day in 1900. More than 50,000 observers participate each year in this census of early-winter bird populations. Volunteers are needed (birding skills are desirable, but not necessary). Call 239-246-1054 to volunteer.

The Luxury Market’s Achilles Heel

million dollar billA “Daily Real Estate News” article posted yesterday sources “Sales of Million-Dollar-Plus Homes Growing, But Who’s Buying Is Shifting,” Redfin (Dec. 3, 2014)”

“Million-dollar homes are selling faster than other types of homes, but the typical luxury buyer is changing. “Markets that are most dependent on international demand are seeing a steady and dramatic decline in sales of million-dollar-plus homes,” according to a new report by Redfin. “Meanwhile, sales of expensive homes continue to rise at a steady pace in cities where those sales rely less on investors, both foreign and domestic.”

“As international investments wane, other home buyers are courting high-end real estate markets. Metros such as Houston with strong, diverse job markets, most notably in the energy and technology fields, are seeing a big spike in demand for luxury properties. Houston saw a 42% increase since last year in sales of homes costing $1 million or more, Redfin reports.

“Luxury markets that have traditionally been driven by high international interest remain strong, but year-over-year growth in home sales for $1 million and more has decreased, according to Redfin’s report. Redfin points to California markets such as Los Angeles, Orange County, and Riverside-San Bernardino; Florida markets such as Miami, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale; and Las Vegas as having seen high-end sales go from 46% to 5% in the past year due to the decrease in foreign buyers. “This sector of the market, particularly in the places that have typically had strong foreign interest, will need traditional [and well-heeled] buyers to offset disappearing demand from international investors,” according to Redfin’s report.”

5 Ways to Keep Negotiations on Track

contract-hand-shake-clipartHere’s some good advice from RISMedia on Dec 1, 2014:

“There are a lot of things that could sink a deal, but during negotiations, there are several factors that are important to keep it from running off course. Jose Perez of real estate services firm PCMS Consulting lists five things that come into play during a successful negotiation.

  1. Home buyers and sellers should never negotiate directly.
  2. Try to minimize any surprises. Spelling out all of the factors involved in the transaction as early as possible can help get the ball rolling smoothly.
  3. Each party should be able to back up their position with logic and facts. Perez says there should be no late-game requests “just because.”
  4. Transparency is critical because it will avoid distrust and stalled deals.
  5. Don’t let egos get in the way of a deal closing. “When you bring your ego to the table, you’re negotiating against yourself,” Perez says.”

1 in 5 Markets Developing Housing Bubble?

Open HouseAny mention of the term “housing bubble” catches my eye, so it was somewhat with surprise that I read the following article sourced to RealtyTrac:

One in five housing markets has exceeded their historical affordability norms and may be showing early signs of a housing bubble. RealtyTrac analyzed 475 counties and looked for three early warning signs of a possible housing bubble:

  • If a market was less affordable in October 2014 than it was during the 2005-to-2008 housing bubble.
  • If a market was less affordable in October 2014 than its historical affordability average since January 2000.
  • If a market had a rising foreclosure rate on loans originated in 2014 compared to loans originated in 2013.

“”Affordability and foreclosure rates by loan vintage are two key metrics that will help consumers, investors, institutions, and policy makers identify if a housing market is at risk for another price bubble,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “While 99% of markets have not returned to the irrational affordability levels during the previous housing bubble, one in five markets has now exceeded their historical affordability norms, which is a strong sign that either a new home-price bubble is forming in those markets or that home-price appreciation will soon plateau until incomes can catch up.”

“RealtyTrac found that 21% of the counties analyzed were less affordable than their historical affordability averages. Some of those counties included: Los Angeles County, Calif.; Harris County, Texas (Houston metro area); Kings County, N.Y. (Brooklyn); Dallas County, Texas; Bexar County, Texas (San Antonio metro area); Alameda County, Calif. (San Francisco metro area); Middlesex County, Mass. (Boston area); Oakland County, Mich. (Detroit area); and Travis County, Texas (Austin area).

“RealtyTrac’s analysis also found that 12% of the 475 counties had higher median prices than the peak reached during the 2005-to-2008 housing bubble. Topping the list were Kings County, N.Y. (Brooklyn); New York County, N.Y. (Manhattan); Travis County, Texas (Austin); Honolulu County, Hawaii; Fulton County, Ga. (Atlanta); Mecklenburg County, N.C. (Charlotte); and Erie County, N.Y. (Buffalo).”

REALTORS® Expect Modest Price Growth in Next 12 Months

If you missed the map and article about expected real estate price growth by state that was posted in “Economist Commentaries” on Dec 1 (it was on the news a lot), I will post the map on my blog later today. Here is the verbiage:

“With rising inventory  and modest expectations of demand growth,  REALTORS®  responding to the  October 2014 survey expected home prices to increase modestly in the next 12 months, according to data gathered from the October 2014 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey:  http://www.realtor.org/reports/realtors-confidence-index [1]. Local conditions vary with expectations anchored on factors such as the level of inventory, the state of the local job market, and credit conditions.

“The median expected price increase is about 3%.  The map shows the median expected price change in the next 12 months based on the August – October 2014 surveys [2]. No state had a median expected price growth above 5%.  States  with the most upbeat price expectations (orange) include California, Washington, North Dakota, Texas, Florida, Georgia, the District of Columbia, and Massachusetts–states with strong housing markets, job growth, and economies.

StateMedianPriceMap

[1] The median expected price change is the value such that 50% of respondents expect prices to change above this value and 50% of respondents expect prices to change below this value.  A median expected price change is computed for each state based on the respondents for that state. The graph shows the range of these state median expected price change. To increase sample size, the data is averaged from the last three survey months.

[2] In generating the median price expectation at the state level, we use data for the last three surveys to have close to 30 observations. Small states such as AK, ND, SD, MT, VT, WY, WV, DE, and the D.C. may have less than 30 observations.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Nov 28-Dec 5

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Tennisplace #B23 2/1.5 $310K, Sundial #A305 2/2 $825K.

3 price changes: Colonnades #44 1/1 now $193K, Captains Walk #A2 1/1 now $245.9K, Seascape #104 3/3 now $2.195M.

2 new sales: Seashells #33 2/2 listed for $299K (short sale), Loggerhead Cay #322 2/2 listed for $519K.

3 closed sales: Seashells #38 2/2 $279K, Kimball Lodge #304 2/2 $430K, Sandalfoot #4D2 2/2 $580K (our buyer).

HOMES

12 new listings: 938 Palm St 3/2 $425K; 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $499K; 220 Palm Lake Dr 3/3 $599,999; 1075 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $629K; 728 Windlass Way 3/2 $649K; 1347 Jamaica Dr 2/2 $679.5K; 3968 Coquina Dr 3/2 $699K; 8999 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $775K; 1258 Par View Dr 3/2 $789K; 2388 Wulfert Rd 3/4 $1.148M; 390Old Trail Rd 4/4.5 $1.978M; 960 Whelk Dr 3/3 $2.299M.

6 price changes: 828 Rabbit Rd 2/1 now $409K, 1063 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 now $510K, 2596 Roosevelt Pl 3/2 now $739K, 251 Daniel Dr 3/2 now $809K, 857 Birdie View Pt  3/2.5 now $995K, 1800 Woodring Rd 1.349M.

3 new sales: 548 Chert Ct 3/2 listed for $585K, 1854 Farm Trl 3/2 listed for $599K, 1710 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 listed for $699K.

4 closed sales: 4606 Brainard Bayou Rd 2/1 $350K, 1238 Par View Dr 3/3 $782.5K, 1329 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $765K, 3537 West GUlf Dr 3/3 $3.2M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 3338 West Gulf Dr $360K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4202 1/2 $320K.

1 price change: Seabreeze #1253 3/3 now $1.569M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4212 1/2 $257.5K, Beach Villas #2511 2/2 $545K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 11537 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 $2.345M, 15172 Wiles Dr 5/2 $7M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

I hope to see you on the Luminary Trail…Susansanibel Luminary trail

Thankfulness Abounds as the Sun Shines Brightly on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


Temps 11-28-14It’s just SanibelSusan at the office today following our chilliest morning of the season yet – 48 degrees F this morning, though it now has warmed up to 64. From the forecast, it looks like this will be our last cold day for a while. Temperatures are expected to get back into the high 70’s/low 80’s before the weekend ends, and continue into next week. We probably will be wearing shorts again by island luminary nights next weekend, December 5 and 6. 

Thanksgiving Day on the island was clear and cool. Lots of families are here vacationing. It’s a great start for the Master Arts & Crafts Fair which began today at The Community House across the street from Sanibel Square. This usually is one of their most attended events of the year, so The SanibelSusan Team is hopeful for some walk-in traffic. 

free_christmas_tree_ipad_wallpaper_s-13The BIG ARTS Community Chorus sings two sets there tomorrow (Saturday) morning and then sings again tomorrow night at the South Seas Plantation tree lighting – all good practice for our Holiday Concert which is Tuesday, December 9 at BIG ARTS Schein Performance Hall. Tickets are going fast! 

Below are a couple of real estate news articles followed by the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the past seven days.

5 Reasons Housing Markets Are Thankful

realtor logoHere is SanibelSusan’s 2-cents worth on an article posted Wednesday on “Realtor® Magazine” on line:

“The housing market has seen plenty of challenges the last few years, but could brighter days be ahead? Based on recent housing reports, some markets are reporting a rosier picture now than for the first half of the year — and growing optimism heading into next year for a lasting turnaround. 

“Reason for Good Cheer? Here are five market gauges that many in the real estate industry are thankful for this holiday season: 

“1. Mortgage rates are still low. Home buyers can take advantage of borrowing costs that remain near historical lows. Last week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.99% nationwide, marking the sixth consecutive week of averages near 4%. In October, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage reached its lowest average of the year at 3.97%. “If you are planning to buy a home in the next year, it’s better to do it sooner rather than later,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist,…Still, many economists aren’t expecting the rate surge in the new year to be quite as drastic as previously seen. Fannie Mae recently revised its forecast for 2015, expecting low mortgage rates to stick around longer into the year. Fannie Mae now projects rates will average 4.3% next year, a drop of about two-tenths of percentage points from its forecast earlier in the year.” 

Susan says: Most island sales continue to be “cash”, but the consumer confidence generated by the low interest rates definitely helps the market on Sanibel and Captiva. For those buyers looking to finance, the good times continue. The time is right for a real estate loan!

“2. Home sales have been inching up. In many markets, more sales are being reported. Existing-home sales in October were above year-over-year levels for the first time in 12 months, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest report. Sales are at their highest annual pace since September 2013.  The job market may be a big contributor behind that increase, says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “This bodes well for solid demand to close out the year and the likelihood of additional months of year-over-year sales increases,” Yun said in a recent statement.” 

On Sanibel and Captiva, home sales also continue to improve. Last year, 197 homes sold on Sanibel. Year-to-date, there have been 187 closings with another 29 Sanibel homes under contract = 216 which is the first time the number of Sanibel homes sold has passed 200 since 2005 when 266 homes sold.

On Captiva, 18 homes sold last year, compared to 23 closed sales to-date there, with another home under contract = 24 home sales or about the same as years 2011 and 2012.

“3. Buyers are getting more choices. Home buyers are finally getting more selection in homes for-sale. Unsold inventory is 5.2% higher than a year ago, representing a 5.1% supply at the current sales pace.  “The growth in housing supply this year will likely prevent the drastic sales slowdown and coinciding spike in home prices we saw last winter due to low inventory,” Yun says. “However, more housing starts are needed to increase supply, meet current demand and keep price growth in check.” New-home construction is gradually picking up in the latter half of the year, also bringing more inventory into many markets. Single-family housing starts rose 4.2% month-over-month in October to 696,000 units, reaching the highest level since November 2013, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Census Bureau reported. What’s more, the future looks bright that the increase will stick around for the time-being: Building permits — a gauge for future building activity — increased 4.8% in October to an annual rate of 1.08 million units. “The rise in single-family starts is more proof that the economy is firming and consumer confidence is growing,” says Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. ‘We expect continued momentum into next year.””

Here on the islands, where build-out is near, we do not have that same increase in inventory and new product. With just 142 Sanibel homes currently for sale (and 44 on Captiva), island Realtors® just hope there is have enough product to sell this winter. Condominium inventory is low too, with just 122 Sanibel condos for sale (37 on Captiva), compared to the 168 Sanibel condos that have sold this year (23 on Captiva). The island market continues to rebound! 

“4. Foreclosures are falling. In October, distressed home sales dropped into the single digits for the third month this year. Distressed sales, which include foreclosures and short sales, fell to 9% in October, compared to 14% a year ago, NAR reports. Foreclosures and short sales typically sell at a discount — 15% or 10% below market value, respectively — and can place downward pressure on overall home prices in an area. The decrease in foreclosures is helping more home values to stabilize in communities. 

Still, while distressed sales are trending downward overall, several pockets across the country are still battling elevated levels, particularly in judicial states like Florida, Maryland, and New York, NAR President Chris Polychron recently said in a statement.”

Thankfully, the islands did not have many foreclosures, but for those Realtors® who sell off-island throughout the other communities in Lee County. They agree.

“5. Home prices are stabilizing. The median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $208,300 — 5.5% above October 2013, according to NAR’s latest report. It marks the 32nd consecutive month of year-over-year price gains. The double-digit gains in prices from last year have mostly faded away. “Many of the fastest-appreciating real estate markets last year have now settled into a more sustainable pattern of single-digit appreciation,” Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, a real estate data provider, said at the end of October. Still, the gains in home prices over the past year have made home owners feel more optimistic about selling. Forty-four percent of about 1,000 home owners surveyed in Fannie Mae’s October 2014 National Housing Survey said now is a good time to sell, marking an all-time survey high.”

Yes, island prices are stabilizing too. The average Sanibel home price has been over $800K since 2011, while condo prices did not really jump until this year. 2014 Sanibel average condo price = $666,072. That average has not been over $600K since 2010. 

On Captiva where the market is smaller, the averages are not as discerning; but even so, the average Captiva home price was $2.8M this year, compared to $2.5M last year, and $1.5M in 2012. Average Captiva condo sale price this year is $646,350, not much different from last year, $659,185.

Luxury Sales Outshine Rest of the Market 

CNBC_Logo_FlatCNBC posted an article last week that was reposted in the “Daily Real News” on Friday. It relates to our island market: 

“Sales of million-dollar homes are soaring: Deals on existing homes priced above $1 million climbed more than 16% in October compared to a year ago, according to National Association of REALTORS® housing data. The increase was bigger than any other price segment. “There is little volatility in the stock market. It is whoppingly higher, so people in the top 10% of wealth are really feeling confident now,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

“Sales are also rebounding for listings in the $750,000 to $1 million range, up 12% year-over-year according to NAR. Meanwhile, sales of homes priced under $100,000 dropped 6% year-over-year in October. The largest growth in luxury markets were mostly centered in Miami; Los Angeles; Riverside, Calif.; and New York. International buyers—particularly those from China, Canada, Europe, Russia, and South America—are continuing to help drive up the U.S. luxury market.

“Other markets that are often considered “affordable” are seeing bigger pockets of luxury taking hold too. For example, in Houston, the median home price has risen above the national average and landed No. 6 on a survey by the real estate brokerage Redfin of markets with the most million-dollar sales, beating out Boston, Washington, D.C., and Seattle. “It’s the new economy of the energy boom and other industries moving inland and taking dollars with them,” says Nela Richardson, chief economist for Redfin. “Our agents are going crazy in Houston.”” 

Check How Mobile-Friendly Your Website Is

SANSLogoAn article this week in “Daily Real Estate News” says that Google soon will be labeling websites “mobile-friendly”. Naturally, the first thing I did after reading the article was to take the Google on-line test to see how www.SanibelSusan.com fares. The answer is: “Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly.”

The article says: “The purpose of the new label is to help prevent frustration among mobile searchers, who are growing tired of visiting sites with too-small text, difficult-to-tap links, or sites that have to be scrolled sideways to view all the content. Google started adding the “mobile-friendly” label to its mobile search results last week. To earn the label, Google says a site must meet the following criteria: 

  • Software that is not easily viewed on mobile devices (such as Flash) is avoided. 
  • The text is readable without the visitor having to zoom in.
  • The site automatically sizes the content to fit the screen, so that visitors don’t have to scroll across or zoom to view the page’s contents.
  • Links are far enough apart so visitors can tap them with ease.

“To find out how mobile-friendly your site is, Google offers a Mobile-Friendly Test. You can plug in your URL and you’ll receive a report on how mobile-friendly the page is. The criteria could later be used to determine where your site falls in search results.

““We see these labels as a first step in helping mobile users to have a better mobile web experience,” Google writes in a statement announcing the new labels. “We are also experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal.”” 

RSPS (Resort and 2nd-Home Property Specialist)

RSPS LogoI got a phone call today with a referral from a fellow RSPS. That is a Realtor® who also holds the Resort & 2nd-Home Property Specialist designation. Though I teach the segment about this same subject during our local Association of Realtors® island designation class series, it has always surprised me that only six local Realtors® (yours truly included) have taken the time to earn this national designation. I know for a fact that many island property owners also own property in other resort areas like the mountains of Aspen, Steamboat Springs, New England’s White Mountains, and the Carolinas; the beaches of Cape Cod and Hawaii, plus the Pacific/Atlantic seaboards, and the Great Lake areas. So, I hope those referrals keep coming, the islands are a great fit for buyers looking to invest in the resort and 2nd-home market. 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 21-28 

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Colonnades #11 1/1 $195K, Island Beach Club #330E 3/2.5 $795K, Sand Pointe #214 2/2 $749K, Somerset #B101 3/2.5 $2.2M (our listing). (Below are a few more photos of this new listing at Somerset at The Reef. The streaming video with showing the fabulous beach/Gulf of Mexico views and waterside enclosed balcony is being prepared later today. It will be posted soon!)

1 price change: Seashells #15 2/2 now $324.9K.

3 new sales: Sundial #J203 1/1 listed for $425K, Sundial #G101 2/2 listed for $445K. Compass Point #101 3/2 listed for $1.169M.

3 closed sales: Ibis at The Sanctuary Ibis #301 2/2 $421K, Nutmeg Village #107 #2/2 $615K, Plantation Village #B321 3/3 $2.075M. 

HOMES

6 new listings: 1712/1714 Sand Pebble Way 4/2 duplex $399K; 999 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 $599K; 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $649,946; 1490 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4.5 $1.859M; 1137 Golden Olive Ct 5/3.5 $2.275M; 1204 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 $4.1M.

4 price changes: 564 Hideaway Ct 3/2 now $589K, 1717 Windward Way 3/2 now $649K, 1528 Angel Dr 3/2 now $849K, 1272 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 now $3.895M.

8 new sales: 1644 Bunting Ln 3/3 listed for $495K, 660 Durion Ct 2/2 listed for $549K, 1477 Albatross Rd 4/3 listed for $598.8K, 1207 Par View Dr 3/2 listed for $759K, 1674 Sabal Palm Dr 3/3 listed for $865K, 501 Sea Walk Ct 3/2 listed for $889K, 9448 Cotten Ct 3/2 listed for $898K, 1779 Venus Dr 4/5.5 listed for $3.998M.

2 closed sales: 3990 Coquina Dr 3/2 $570K, 1777 Serenity Ln 5/4.5 $754K.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 776 Birdie View Pt $375K. 

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5320 3/3 $650K.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5230 1/2 $280.5K, Sunset Beach Villas #2218 2/2 $568.5K. 

HOMES

3 new listings: 14981 Binder Dr 3/3 $1.149M, 11500 Chapin Ln 4/4.5 $2.195M, 15009 Binder Dr 4/5.5 $4.295M.

3 price changes: 43 Oster Ct 2/2.5 now $784.9K, 15747 Captiva Dr 6/6.5 now $5.995M, 16428 Captiva Dr 7/8/2 now $9.5M.

1 new sale: 11520 Laika Ln 2/2 listed for $2.75M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. 

Our ad in the local “Island Sun” this week including a special thank you to all of our clients, colleagues, and business associates who have contributed toward making it another great year for SanibelSusan Realty Associates. We always are thankful to be living and working on this wonderful island, but especially enjoy thanking those who have helped to make it possible! Best holiday wishes to all! SanibelSusan (Susan Andrews)

Pre-Thanksgiving 2014 on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


Fishing PierSanibel and Captiva Islands got a pre-winter chill this week with temperatures down into the high 40’s on Tuesday night when some of that polar vortex weather made its way to Florida. It’s back into the 70’s during the day now, with the next cool-down expected on Wednesday just in time for Thanksgiving which is expected to be sunny, but in the mid-60’s. Perfect cooking weather!

Below are a few news items followed by the activity posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

City Presentation to Island Realtors®

Group at SanctuaryYesterday at the November Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® monthly membership meeting, Sanibel City Manager Judie Zimomra and her management team including Planning Director, Jim Jordan; Police Chief, Bill Tomlinson; and Interim Director of Natural Resources, Holly Milbrandt, were the speakers.

judie zAlways our most heavily attended meeting of the year, their talks were a great reminder, particularly at Thanksgiving time, of how lucky we are to live and work on this wonderful island and how fortunate we are to have such a terrific City Manager leading the way. Judie as Sanibel’s City Manager for 14 years has seen us through hurricanes, a sewer system installation, and garnered many accolades for the island.  She and the City Attorney are the two Council-hired employees that provide the checks and balances to each other and to our local government. Here are a few highlights from her pitch:

Sanibelcityseal logoSanibel recently celebrated their 40th anniversary of City incorporation – a City governed by councilmen with no posted political affiliations but rather by individuals who cooperatively support the Sanibel Plan and harmonious island life. This 5-seat council elects two members every four years and three others four years later. This March, two terms are up.

In elaborating on the history of the island for some of our newer members, the City Manager reminded us that Island Water is a non-profit, that the Sanibel Fire Department is not part of City government; but rather is an independent district, much like the Sanibel Library which also is independent.

sanibelmapbikeRecently, Sanibel was promoted to the “silver level” nationally for its offerings as a biking community. After being awarded the “bronze level” some years ago, it indeed is another feather in the Sanibel cap to now be ranked one of the top four biking communities in the state of Florida. (The silver level is the highest achieved in the state with the other three recipients being Gainesville, Venice, and The Villages.)

This alternative transportation method now boasts additional connectivity by the recent expansion of the path along Causeway Road, Periwinkle Way, and through the conservation land around the Bailey Homestead. For example, from the peninsula of Marine Pointe, where I used to live, bikers now can go via the boat ramp and under the bridge onto the path and on to Jerry’s or even Bailey’s for groceries.

Judie also told us about two big grants recently awarded to the City. A $200K grant will fund building a dedicated bike path on Bowman’s Beach Road and separate the cars from the bikers, improving safety and providing a better way to the beach for owners in The Sanctuary and for the 32 new homes that soon will be constructed near the Wulfert Road entrance.

A second grant for $469K was garnered by the City and “Ding” Darling. It will be used to construct a new entrance and egress to Wildlife Drive.

Judie too spoke about the new agenda management software that has been added to mySanibel.com making it possible for those on-line but in remote locations to listen “live” to City meetings. So even if you are on vacation, up north, or on an iPhone/iPad here, you can plug in to hear any City meetings. The new software also archives the meeting recordings so it is possible to revisit them after-the-fact. Meeting handouts are bookmarked as attachments too, so the listener can follow along with the printed material. As Judie said, “It’s user-friendly software. If you can watch a cat dance in a YouTube video, you can do this too.”

Our City Manager and her team often speak out-&-about on the island, particularly during “season” at various events and annual meetings. If you have a chance to hear them, you too will be reminded of what a great job they do for us!

Rush to Buy Homes During the Holidays?

ForbesThe below article in “Daily Real Estate News” on Monday was sourced to Forbes.com (November 14). Though the islands are not a traditional year-’round market for real estate sales, much of what the article says applies here too. Here is the exact article, followed by some personal comments.

“Home owners may be doubtful that the months of November and December will bring about a home sale. After all, aren’t potential buyers sidetracked with the holidays and likelier to postpone their house hunt due to bad weather and shorter days?  But sometimes the “off-peak” time to sell can actually be the perfect moment for sellers. Several studies show that, on average, homes listed in November and December are more likely to sell, sell more quickly, and more closely approach the asking price, according to an article at Forbes.com.

“A 2011 study conducted by realtor.com found that 60% of real estate professionals advise their sellers to list a home during the holidays because they believe it’s an opportune time to sell. Nearly 80% of the real estate professionals surveyed said that more serious buyers emerge during the holidays, and 61% say less competition from other properties makes it an ideal time to sell.

“Thanksgiving is particularly good, the article notes. Buyers may have held out through the busy summer months hoping to find a better deal, but now they may be searching with increased urgency. Some buyers may be motivated to close before the end of the year for tax purposes. They can purchase a home late in the year to deduct home purchase costs on their taxes, such as points, interest, and property taxes. Also, certain sellers who sold their homes during the summer season may be facing a capital gains tax. They may be highly motivated to buy in November to avoid paying capital gains tax (since closing on the purchase of another house is required within 180 days.”

On Sanibel and Captiva, the most island sales occur first quarter, followed by last quarter when we have the most prospective buyers in town, and sometimes related to the weather. SanibelSusan agrees that holiday buyers can be serious and may make an emotional purchase because of the holidays. A sale I made on Christmas Day to a family that often only gets here then, was a special one. The SanibelSusan Team holidays are spent in town so we are ready to service our listings and show property to any prospective buyers wanting to view property. We will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, but still available and nearby if we get a showing request then.

5 Real Estate Predictions for 2015

FreddieMacLogo_3Here’s what Freddie Mac posted on this subject:

“Expect the home-purchase market to strengthen along with the economy in 2015, according to Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for November. “The good news for 2015 is that the U.S. economy appears well-poised to sustain about a 3% growth rate in 2015 — only the second year in the past decade with growth at that pace or better,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Governmental fiscal drag has turned into fiscal stimulus; lower energy costs support consumer spending and business investment; further easing of credit conditions for business and real estate lending support commerce and development; and consumers are more upbeat and businesses are more confident, all of which portend faster economic growth in 2015. And with that, the economy will produce more and better-paying jobs, providing the financial wherewithal to support household formations and housing activity.”

“Freddie Mac economists have made the following projections in housing for the new year:

Mortgage rates: Interest rates will likely be on the rise next year. In recent weeks, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has dipped below 4%. But by next year, Freddie projects mortgage rates to average 4.6% and inch up to 5% by the end of the year.

“Home prices: By the time 2014 wraps up, home appreciation will likely have slowed to 4.5% this year from 9.3% last year. Appreciation is expected to drop further to an average 3% in 2015. “Continued house-price appreciation and rising mortgage rates will dampen affordability for home buyers,” according to Freddie economists. “Historically speaking, that’s moving from ‘very high’ levels of affordability to ‘high’ levels of affordability.”

“Housing starts: Homebuilding is expected to ramp up in the new year, projected to rise by 20% from this year. That will likely help total home sales to climb by about 5%, reaching the best sales pace in eight years.

“Single-family originations: Mortgage originations of single-family homes will likely slip by an additional 8%, which can be attributed to a steep drop in refinancing volume. Refinancings are expected to make up only 23% of originations in 2015; they had been making up more than half in recent years.

“Multi-family mortgage originations: Mortgage originations for the multi-family sector have surged about 60% between 2011 and 2014. Increases are expected to continue in 2015, projected to rise about 14%.”

“Ding” Darling Thanksgiving

Ding Darling Society logoThe “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society has the copyright to political cartoonist Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling’s work of November 1908 which is captioned “People who only remember to be thankful once a year sometimes get badly out of practice.” It is posted in their newsletter this week, where they also say,

“We at “Ding” Darling are thankful every day that the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist possessed the forethought to preserve Sanibel acreage for wildlife and the enjoyment of generations to come. Happy Thanksgiving one and all. Start a new holiday tradition and tour around Wildlife Drive on Thanksgiving Day and give thanks for all you see. (Note: The Refuge Visitor & Education Center will be closed that day, but all other facilities will remain open.)”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity November 14-21

Sanibel

CONDOS

9 new listings: Spanish Cay #B2 2/2 $394K; Sanibel Moorings #1422 2/2 $419,914; Coquina Beach #4B 2/2 $458.8K; Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 $529K; Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 2/2.5 $675K, Tarpon Beach #204 2/2 $785K, Snug Harbor #113 2/2 $1.049M, West Shore #6 3/3 $1.795M, Wedgewood #204 3/3.5 $2,225,555.

4 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #1622 2/2 now $439K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #201 2/2 now $479K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 now $799K, Sanibel Seaview #C3 4/4 now $1,999,999.

2 new sales: Colonnades #51 1/1 listed for $179K, Seashells #11 2/2 listed for $321.9K.

View from Island Beach Club #P6D, both listed & sold by SanibelSusan

View from Island Beach Club #P6D, both listed & sold by SanibelSusan

4 closed sales: Sundial #H407 1/1 $380K, Sanibel Moorings #611 2/2 $435K, Sayana #202 2/2 $800K, Island Beach Club #P6D 2/2 $969K (our listing & sale).

HOMES

7 new listings: 4599 Brainard Bayou 4/3 $529K, 1211 Periwinkle Way 3/2 $540K, 660 Durion Ct 2/2 $549K, 2449 Harbour Ln 2/2 $895K, 2543 Tropical Way Ct 3/2.5 $995K, 2302 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1.449M, 1779 Venus Dr 3/5.5 $3.998M.

6 price changes: 1835 Ardsley Way 2/1 now $309K, 395 Old Trail Rd 5/4 now $859K, 6433 Pine Ave 4/3 now $875K, 1748 Jewel Box Dr 4/4 now $1.098M, 600 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2.5 now $1.279M, 2118 Starfish Ln 4/5 now $1.859M.

2 new sales: 543 Chert Ct 3/2 listed for $499K, 701 Durion Ct 3/2 listed for $530K.

1 closed sale: 6451 Pine Ave 3/2 $489K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 5723 Baltusrol Ct $399K.

1 price change: 5307 Umbrella Pool Rd now $379K (our listing).

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 861 Birdie View Pt $318.9K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Marina Villas #603 2/2 listed for $640K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

4 new listings: 11461 Dickey Ln 3/2 $1.495M, 11530 Paige Ct 4/4.5 $4.1M, 1121 Schefflera Ct 4/4.5 $4.499M, 16151 Captiva Dr 4/3 $10.8M.

No price changes, new or  closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving from The SanibelSusan Team!

pilgrims-and-indians-and-turkey

Sanibel Weekend Weather Forecast in Degrees F – Saturday 75 & Sunday 79 – WhoooHooo


SanibelSusan is back at her post this week where it is always great to get home and back to business even after a wonderful fun-filled vacation. Island traffic is noticeably heavier now than it was three weeks ago, while the weather remains mostly the same – sunny and picture perfect, unlike those nasty photos we are seeing on the news with snow and cold weather elsewhere.

Now through Easter is always a great time to be enjoying winter in Southwest Florida. I had lunch today with a colleague in the vacation rental business and he said that their phones are ringing off the hook with folks looking for last-minute holiday reservations.

Our listings had a few showings this week and our local Association of Realtors® Thursday Caravan meetings have changed to the “season” schedule of every week. Following a few news items below is the action posted in the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

On teammate David’s travels this week he took the following bird photos. I thought you might enjoy them too – from osprey to sandpiper to eagle. (Bet you notice the mono-filament line wrapped around the osprey too. It’s a good reminder to always be careful with that stuff.)

osprey fishing line

 

Sandpiper

Eagle

On the real estate front, the number of units available still is down, though business is picking up, albeit is slowly. Homes and larger-sized condos continue to be in most demand. All indications are that it will be a terrific winter with prices continuing to rebound – we sure hope so!

Island Sales Stat Summary

Sanibel                         Condos                        Homes                         Lots

                                     #          Avg Price         #          Avg Price         #          Avg Price

For sale                        112      708,608           149      1,308,066         90        503,335

Closings pending         16        634,519           21         948,452           5          305,180

2014 sold thru 11/12    145      661,379           183      823,155           22         453,957

2013                             161      573,557           197      910,321           26         416,502

2012                             151      551,244           183      823,598           33         487,687

Upcoming Island Events

Shell MuseumNov 16 – tomorrow – Sat – 19th Birthday The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum – so free admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.shellmuseum.org

taste of the island logo_2014Nov 16 – Sun – 33rd Annual “Taste of the Islands” at The Dunes from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. (postponed from last week)

BIG Arts logoNov 21 – Fri – BIG ARTS Strauss Theater reopens for the 2014/2015 season with “Divas” which includes hits by some of the most successful female vocalists including Judy Garland, Aretha Franklin, Carole King, & Whitney Houston. “Divas” runs until Dec 4, www.bigarts.org/theater

Sanibel Community HouseNov 23 – Sun – Sanibel Thanksgiving Celebration at The Community House at 6:45 p.m. The BIG ARTS Community Chorus (& your favorite (I hope) alto) will be performing.

Luminary SantaDec 5 – Fri – 30th Annual Sanibel Luminary from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. (rumor has it that there will be another flash mob at Bailey’s this year)

Dec 6 – Sat – Captiva Luminary from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Captiva Boat paradeDec 13 – Sat – Captiva Holiday Village 5th Annual Lighted Boat Parade at 6 p.m.

 

 

It’s Final: News Corp Acquires Realtor.com®

Realtor.com logosToday’s announcement from “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS”:

“Media giant News Corp has officially completed its acquisition of Move, Inc., firming up its stake in the online real estate arena and tying its name to the REALTOR® brand. Move, Inc. is a leading provider of online real estate services and the operator of realtor.com®. News Corp says the merger will extend the media company’s global and digital operations as well as “bolster the real estate pillar of its business.”

“In partnership with the National Association of REALTORS® and its one million members, we look forward to turbo-charging realtor.com® and making it the most popular and profitable property site in America,” Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp, said in a statement.

“News Corp, a media and publishing business of which Rupert Murdoch serves as the executive chairman, owns such titles as The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s. It also has a majority ownership of the REA Group Ltd., a leading Australian residential property website. The Move network of websites reaches more than 30 million online visitors per month.

““We provide people with the information, tools and professional expertise they need to make the best and most informed real estate decisions, and we work to uphold the indispensable role of the professional in the real estate experience,” Steve Berkowitz, chief executive officer of Move, told REALTOR® Magazine in late September after the merger was announced.   “News Corp shares our vision, which is one of the many reasons this combination is such good news for our customers, consumers, and the industry as a whole.”

“National Association of REALTORS® President Chris Polychron praised the deal.  “The National Association of REALTORS® is excited about NewsCorp’s successful acquisition of Move, Inc.,” Polychron said in a statement released this morning. “REALTORS® are about making consumers’ real estate dreams a reality, and the unique strengths of News Corp, Move, and our REALTOR® members will enhance our ability to do that. NAR looks forward to its new partnership with News Corp and is committed to working with both companies to seek and develop new opportunities that help REALTORS® and consumers flourish in today’s real estate marketplace.””

The Next Big Home Feature Buyers Want?

Here’s some info from Wednesday’s “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS” on-line:

houses-clipartfree-christian-clip-art--image-of-a-house-a-home---cropped-image-xoshp3ls“Home owners are showing a bigger appetite for smart home technology. Nearly half of consumers — 46% — say it’s important their current home or the next home they purchase have smart home technology, according to a survey conducted by ERA Real Estate and HGTV of nearly 2,500 consumers who recently participated in an HGTV national focus group on smart home technology.

“Home owners and buyers say they see the value in smart home technology for comfort, safety, and cost savings, and 51% surveyed say they would consider installing smart home technology in their home to make their home more marketable to future home buyers.

“The younger segment of the millennial generation is the most likely age group to spend money on smart home technology — 10 times more likely than the percentage of generation X members who say they’d consider adding smart home technology to their homes, the survey reported. “While still a growing trend, smart home enhancements have the potential to increase savings, safety, and resale value,” says Charlie Young, president and CEO of ERA Real Estate. “As we have seen through this survey and our one-on-one interactions with buyers and sellers, a smart home is one that is well positioned for the future and aligns with a growing reliance on mobile technology.”

“Indeed, 70% of millennials say it’s important that smart home technology integrate with their smartphone.

While smart home technology has often been thought to be driven by mainly security, survey researchers did not find security as the main motivation for adding smart home technology. Instead, home owners say they’re using or wanting smart home technology mainly because of the money-saving potential, such as through automated climate control, energy management, remote home monitoring, and lighting control systems. What’s more, consumers of all generations said they’d automate their thermostats before their lighting or security systems, and one in 10 Americans say they’d automate their TV over their lighting or security systems.”

Life Doesn’t Rise or Fall With Interest Rates

realtor logoAs a long-time fan of NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, here is his article from the November “Realtor®Mag”:

“Housing market can weather the effects of expected mortgage spikes.

“Mortgage rates haven’t budged, remaining at historic lows throughout the year amid economic growth that has generated 2.5 million net new jobs over the past 12 months and a record high stock market. But uncertainty looms in light of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s announcement that the economic stimulus program known as “quantitative easing” will halt by year’s end. Moreover, an increase in the short-term Fed funds rate is expected by the middle of 2015. The course of U.S. monetary policy, in short, will be less accommodating going forward.

“In the meantime, perhaps because of geopolitical risks in the Middle East and Ukraine, or because of weaker economic conditions in Europe, a plentiful amount of money has flowed into the safe U.S. bond market, thereby holding interest rates down. Inflation has been low so far, too, rising only by 2%, another factor behind the low rates.

“Sooner or later, though, interest rates will have to rise. From the low 4% rate that prevailed for most of this year, the average mortgage rate will likely cross over the 5% threshold sometime in 2015 and probably rise to near 6% by 2016. Such a change makes homes less affordable, a clear negative for residential sales. But job creation and the accompanying rise in consumer confidence, along with some loosening of underwriting standards, might more than compensate for the rising rates.

“But what will be the impact on home owners who have locked in super low rates? How resistant will they be to giving those up? That’s something we’ll be tracking. But if past behavior is a guide, most home owners won’t stay put just to hang onto a low mortgage rate.

“Our own research supports this. Nearly half of recent buyers indicated the desire to have a different-sized home or live in a different neighborhood as the key reason for moving. Having kids and selecting a school district they like makes people move. Another third of recent movers cited changes in a job or ­marital status. Retirement was a factor for ­others. Only 3% mentioned changes in mortgage costs as a reason for moving.

“Low interest-rate lock-ins seem to matter far less than life cycle events. Even as rates move up, life moves on.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity November 7-14

Sanibel
CONDOS

4 new listings: Spanish Cay #C5 2/2 $379K, Blind Pass #G203 2/2 $520K, Island Beach Club #330C 2/2 $795K, Shell Island Beach Club #5A 2/2 $895K.

4 price changes: Colonnades #51 1/1 now $179K, Loggerhead Cay #453 2/2 now $459K, Sundial #Q202 2/2 now $694K, Sanibel Surfside #133 2/2 now $849K.

3 new sale: Tennisplace #C35 2/1.5 listed for $310K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #301 2/2 listed for $449K, Sayana #103 2/2 listed for $715K.

2 closed sales: Sundial #I103 1/1 $314K, Pointe Santo #B45 2/2 $710K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 548 Chert Ct 2/2 $585K, 1026 Bird Watch Way 3/2 $589K, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 $2.995M.

4 price changes: 590 Lake Murex Cir 2/1.5 now $649.9K, 1337 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.149M, 375 East Gulf Dr 4/3 now $1.589M, 4265 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 now $4.395M.

2 new sales: 1901 Sanibel Bayou Rd 4/3 4/3 listed for $829K, 1339 Par View Dr 3/2.5 listed for $999.9K.

1 closed sale: 800 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 $975K.

LOTS

3 new listings: 707 Emeril Ct $319K; 5633 Baltusrol Ct $349,555; 4334 West Gulf Dr $959,959.

3 price changes: 6411 Pine Ave now $335K, 6486 Pine Ave now $399.9K (foreclosure), 4988 Joewood Dr now $529K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva
CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5230 1/2 listed for $309K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

Nothing to report.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

Whether selling or buying, please call The SanibelSusan Team.

Susan, David, Elise, and Lisa are island experts and ready to help you!

SANSLogo

November Real Estate & More on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


imageAs SanibelSusan has been moseying across the Atlantic, the rest of The SanibelSusan Team has been covering things on the islands. Big thank you to David, Elise, and Lisa for making that vacation possible. Now for the week’s Sanibel and Captiva scoop also penned by Elise and Dave:

It has been another beautiful weather week. Dave had a closing off-island and below are a few other news items followed by the action posted in the Multiple Listing Service this week. First a photo of the private fishing pier at Mariner Pointe. We still have two terrific listings there!

MPFishingPieraREALTOR® Party Allies Win Key Races

Posted by Realtor®Mag Wed, November 5th:

“Real estate issues stand to be well represented in Congress over the next two years as REALTOR® Party-backed candidates on both sides of the aisle won closely watched races in yesterday’s national midterm elections.

NAR-backed Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who is poised to become Majority Leader in 2015 with the Republican takeover of the Senate, has been a strong supporter of the mortgage interest deduction, rural housing development, and other top real estate issues throughout his 30-year career.

“NAR congratulates Sen. McConnell and looks forward to working with him on real estate–related policies important to REALTORS® and to all home and commercial property owners,” NAR President Steve Brown says.

McConnell had been in a tough race with Alison Lundergan Grimes, a business attorney in Lexington, but, as in several closely watched races throughout the country, the Republican ended up on the winning side.

On the crucial House Financial Services Committee, several real estate champions on both sides of the aisle retained their seats with strong support from the REALTOR® Party. These include Joe Heck (R-Nev.), Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz). In addition to receiving support for their campaigns from the REALTORS® Political Action Committee, they also benefited separately from independent expenditures from the REALTOR® Party. These independent expenditures include mailings and other types of outreach that are undertaken separately from, and without coordination with, the candidates’ campaign efforts.

In the Senate, Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), who sits on the important Finance Committee, retained his seat with help from the REALTOR® Party independent expenditure program.

In all, the REALTOR® Party, which has been recognized as one of the most bipartisan national political operations in the country, charted a more than 90 percent win record in the elections, with wins coming on both sides of the aisle.”

Congratulations! Florida Voter Mandate Delivered on Amendment 1

Florida voters delivered the only mandate in the midterm election -in support of Amendment 1. Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Amendment passed by a statewide vote of 75% well beyond the 60% needed. This is a great bipartisan victory that reflects residents understanding that protecting our natural resources protects our economy.

SCCF reports they plan to bring this mandate forward with them to the upcoming legislative session to fund restoration projects and protect and advance Florida’s award willing parks and wild places.

2014 Taxes

The Lee County 2014 real estate tax bill are out and posted at http://www.leepa.org.

City of Sanibel Marks 40th Anniversary of Incorporation

Saluting the city’s founding fathers as well as the citizens who were part of the push toward independence, more than 50 people gathered at MacKenzie Hall on Tuesday morning to mark the 40th anniversary of the historic vote to incorporate Sanibel as a city. The 45-minute celebration, attended by several former council members and mayors of the city, included personal remembrances, a display of historic photographs and artifacts as well as the singing of “Happy Birthday” To Sanibel. On November 4, 1974, an incredible 84.6% of all registered voters on Sanibel went to the polls, with 63.6% casting their ballots in favor of incorporation.

Free “Ding” Darling Kid’s Fishing Derby

Kids who are able to hold their own fishing pole can participate in the free 2nd annual “Ding” Darling Kids Fishing Derby to be held on the Sanibel Causeway Islands Park (Island A) on Saturday, November 8. J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) co-sponsor the event. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. on the causeway, and ages 15 and younger start fishing at 9 a.m. and finish at 11 a.m. An awards ceremony is at 11:30 a.m. Judges will record catches during the session. After the results are tallied, they will award winners in two age groups: 10 to 15, and 9 and younger. Based on total inches of fish caught, the refuge will award first, second, and third place prizes, plus awards for the largest and smallest fish hooked in both age categories. Participants should bring fishing poles, but Tarpon Bay Explorers will provide a limited number of loaner poles for those who don’t have their own equipment. Shallow Bait and Dale Shirley will be supplying the bait. Throughout the day, volunteers and staff will teach fishing skills and safe, ethical fishing practices and will engage children in fish crafts.

Taste of the Islands Postponed

Due to 90% chance of rain on Sunday, CROW’S Taste of the Islands at Dunes Golf and Tennis Club is being postponed until next Sunday, November 16, 2014 from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Come out next weekend & support CROW.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 31-November 7

Sanibel
CONDOS
3 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #412 2/2 $499.9K, Nutmeg Village #307 2/2 $749K, West Shore #3 3/3 $1.795M.
3 price changes: Spanish Cay #A6 1/1 now $259.7K, Blind Pass #E206 2/2.5 now $433.3K, Sanibel Arms West #M8 2/2 now $479.9K.
2 new sales: Sundial #C307 1/1 listed for $339K, Nutmeg Village #107 2/2 listed for $659.9K.
3 closed sales: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #6 2/2.5 $500K, Nutmeg Village #308 2/2 $725K, Sundial #E108 2/2 $780K.

HOMES
5 new listings: 1710 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 $699K, 497 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 $715K, 248 Daniel Dr 2/2 $749K, 251 Daniel Dr 3/2 $824.9K, 5424 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 half-duplex $899K.
6 price changes: 702 Donax St 2/2 now $439K, 3168 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $539K, 857 Birdie View Pt 3/2.5 now $1.029M, 190 Violet Dr 3/2.5 now $1.15M, 842 Limpet Dr 4/3.5 now $1.645M, 830 Limpet Dr 4/4.5 now $1.695M.
3 new sales: 2615 Tamarind Rd 2/2 listed for $37y9K, 1238 Par View Dr 3/3 listed for $799K, 784 Birdie View Pt 4/4 listed for $1.625M.
3 closed sales: 5289 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 $495K, 2735 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1M, 1048 Kings Crown Dr 4/4 $1.165M.

LOTS
3 new listings: 3013 Poinciana Cir $250K; 1310 Par View Dr $379,555; 6419 Pine Ave $899K.
3 price changes: 1820 Farm Trail now $249K, 1429 Albatross Rd now $269K, 1311 Par View Dr now $279K.
1 new sale: 218 Violet Dr listed for $352K.
No closed sales.

Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings.
4 price changes: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 now $299.5K, Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 now $639K, Gulf Beach Villas #2031 2/2 now $670K, Lands End Village #1610 3/3 now $1.865M.
1 new sale: Beach Villas #2511 2/2 listed for $575K.
1 closed sale: Ventura Captiva #5B 3/3.5 $850K.

HOMES
No new listings.
1 price change: 16428 Captiva Dr 7/8/2 now $9.95M.
No new or closed sales.

LOTS
Nothing to report.

Until next weekend, SanibelSusan!

Catching Up From Oct 24 & 31 on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


SanibelSusan has been busy with a little R&R, while the team has been covering business as usual. Below are some news articles and local info, followed by the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the 2-week period ending on Friday. Sorry for the delay in posting!

Sanibel Catering Company

imageBailey’s General Store formally expanded into catering with the opening of Sanibel Catering Company (by Bailey’s). Sanibel Catering Co. is a direct tribute to the Sanibel Packing Co., the firm started by Frank Bailey in the late 19th century along San Carlos Bay. Sanibel Packing Co. evolved into Bailey’s General Store which moved to its current location in the 60’s. Two of Frank Bailey’s three sons ran the general store and surrounding shopping center until Francis Bailey died last year. His brother Sam died in 2010. Today Francis’s son-in-law, Richard Johnson is at the helm.

This news follows other growth for Bailey’s, a retail outlet at The Sundial Beach Resort and Spa. The new Sundial store will be a 1,000 sq.ft. space, selling sandwiches, salads, deli food, and more. The new Bailey’s Market Place is part of the renovation and expansion at Sundial. It will open in a few weeks.

QRM Rule Opens More Doors for Consumers

Good news posted in “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS”:

“The mortgage-financing environment for households could improve as a result of a rule federal regulators put in place Tuesday. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is the first of six financial regulators to release the final version of the long-awaited qualified residential mortgage (QRM) rule, which stems from the big 2010 banking reform bill the federal government enacted after the financial crisis.

“The QRM rule provides a set of requirements a loan must meet to be considered safe and eligible to be sold to investors as part of a mortgage-backed security without the lender having to retain 5% of the loan amount on its books. Because the QRM loan comes without the risk-retention requirement, lenders should be able to make more loans — and for cheaper — because they don’t have to pass along that risk-retention cost to borrowers.

“The National Association of REALTORS® has been vocal for several years about the QRM rule, saying it should be broad rather than prescriptive and that it should match up with the qualified mortgage (QM) rule, which took effect at the beginning of this year. The QRM rule does, in fact, do that. The QM rule provides ability-to-repay standards for safe and affordable loans, whether or not they’re securitized for sale to investors.

“”NAR applauds the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for finalizing the Qualified Residential Mortgage rule today, which includes a broad definition of QRM and aligns with the Qualified Mortgage standard implemented earlier this year,” NAR President Steve Brown says.

“Under the QRM rule, as under the QM rule, loans are generally considered qualified if the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio is 43%, among other things. There is no onerous down payment requirement, as regulators had originally proposed. “Importantly, the final rule relies on sound and responsible underwriting rather than on an onerous down payment requirement to qualify as a QRM loan,” Brown says. “NAR strongly opposed earlier versions of the rule that included 20 and 30% down payment requirements, which would have denied millions of Americans access to the lowest-cost and safest mortgages.”

“The rule takes effect in 12 months. That will give lenders time to align their internal processing systems with the requirements. Since lenders have already been aligning their systems to the QM rule, the process can be expected to go smoothly.

“For lenders, having the two rules in alignment provides the clarity they’ve long been asking for. One result of this new clarity could be a widening and deepening of loan availability, which has been one of the main stumbling blocks to increased home sales. At a press conference Tuesday, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said the alignment of the two rules could help make credit more available and boost sales. “Certainly this is a victory for consumers,” Yun says.

Increased Traffic at RSW

“The Island Sun” reported that during September, 366,038 passengers traveled through Southwest Florida International Airport, an increase of 8.2% compared to September 2013. Year-to-date, passenger traffic is up 4.3% from the same period last year. The traffic leader in September was Delta with 81,989 passengers traveling to and from Fort Myers. Southwest Florida International Airport served more than 7.6 million passengers in 2013 and is one of the top 50 U.S. airports for passenger traffic.

Waterside Inn Sold

Also reported by “The Island Sun”, Waterside Inn, Sanibel’s second largest family-owned beach resort, sold on October 24 for $10,000,000 according to Lee County records. Bert and Joanie Jenks have owned the property for the past 16 years. The buyers, from Indiana, plan to retain Waterside Inn’s employees and operate the resort in the same fashion as the Jenks family. The property, located at 3033 West Gulf Drive and formerly known as the Snook Motel, has 27 gulf-front tropical cottages and hotel efficiencies.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity October 24-31

Sanibel
CONDOS
1 new listing: Seascape #205 3/3 $1.849M.
1 price change: Seashells #36 2/2 now $335K.
7 new sales: Seashells #33 2/2 listed for $299K (short sale), Seashells #38 2/2 listed for $299K, Sundial #I103 1/1 listed for $337.5K, Sundial #I203 1/1 listed for $395K, Pointe Santo #B45 2/2 listed for $749K, Sandalfoot #5A3 2/2 listed for $849K, Plantation Village #B321 3/3 listed for $2.299M.
5 closed sales: Coquina Beach #4F 2/2 $400K, Loggerhead Cay #451 2/2 $450K, Sanibel Arms #C4 2/2 $485K, Pointe Santo #E22 2/2 $688.5K, Pointe Santo #D45 2/2 $750K (our listing).

Pointe Santo beach

HOMES
3 new listings: 1671 Hibiscus Dr 4/5 $998,899; 1339 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $999.9K; 1138 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2.5 $1.385M.
4 price changes: 547 Chert Ct 3/2.5 $695K, 430 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 now $805K, 1748 Jewel Box Dr 4/4 now $1.148M, 2118 Starfish Ln 4/5 now $1.859M.
4 new sales: 3990 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed for $599.9K, 1238 Par View Dr 3/3 listed for $799K, 800 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 listed for $1.099M, 2964 Wulfert Rd 5/5.5 listed for $1.947M (short sale).
1 closed sale: 940 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $885K.

LOTS
1 new listing: 5706 SanibelCaptiva Rd $479K.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 1182 Sand Castle Rd listed for $199.9K.
1 closed sale: 1402 Middle Gulf Dr $250K.

Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2218 2/2 listed for $575K.
No closed sales.

HOMES
No new listings.
1 price change: 16910 Captiva Dr 4/4 now $4.735M.
No new or closed sales.

LOTS
Nothing to report.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity October 17-24

Sanibel
CONDOS
4 new listings: Seashells #38 2/2 $299K, Sundial #Q205 3/2 $850K, Sanddollar #B204 2/2 $920K, Sanddollar #A203 3/2 $1.015M.
3 price changes: Colonnades #44 1/1 now $197K, Seashells #33 2/2 now $299K, Kings Crown #307 3/2 now $899K.
1 new sale: Sandalfoot #4D2 2/2 listed for $619K (our buyer).
No closed sales.

HOMES
2 new listings: 3716 Coquina Dr 3/2 $489K, 1644 Bunting Ln 3/3 $495K.
3 price changes: 8987 Mockingbird Dr 3/3 now $799K, 600 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2.5 now $1.195M, 1520 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/3.5 now $1.995M.
4 new sales: 2621 SanibelCaptiva Rd 3/2 listed for $299K, 4606 Brainard Bayou Rd 2/1 listed for $399K, 3251 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed for $629K, 1426 Causey Ct 3/2 listed for $729K.
2 closed sales: 1221 Par View Dr 3/2 $700K, 1021 Fish Crow Rd 4/3 $700K.

LOTS
No new listings.
1 price change: Bowman’s Beach Rd now $179K.
No new or closed sales.

Captiva
CONDOS
1 new listing: Beach Villas #2322 1/1 $589K.
1 price changes: Lands End Village #1610 3/3 now $1.875M.
No new or closed sales.

HOMES
Nothing to report.

LOTS
Nothing to report.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

Fall Is In The Air on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


Beach (Medium)Fall is definitely in the air – or as fall-ish as it becomes on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. A cool front arrived Wednesday night which brought a drop in humidity and lower evening temperatures. Whenever the humidity is under 70%, it is a wonderful thing in Southwest Florida.

toll boothIsland traffic is slowly increasing as snowbirds return. Local TV news last night reported that the total number of visitors to Southwest Florida has increased considerably over the last year. In August alone, nearly 8,000 more vehicles crossed through the Sanibel toll booth.

Below are a few news items, followed by the week’s activity in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

2014 Annual Meeting – Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

SanCapAssnLogoThe islands Association of Realtors® had no caravan meeting this week, but last night was the annual meeting and election.

Yours truly, the 2014 Nominating Committee Chair, is happy to report that two new directors have been elected to our nine-member board. Congratulations to Dustyn Corace and Deb Smith.

Upcoming Events

Ding Darling Society logo“Ding” Darling Days – at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge from Sunday, Oct 19, through Saturday, Oct 25. www.DingDarlingDays.com

Island PawsHowl-o-Ween – Island Paws Costume Contest & 10th anniversary, on the patio of Over Easy Cafe Friday, Oct 24 5-7 p.m.

(Judging at 6:30 p.m.) Proceeds benefit Gulf Coast Humane Society. This is great fun to watch even if you don’t have a pet!

SanibelCityHall40th Anniversary of Sanibel’s Incorporation – reception (hosted by Sanibel Historical Preservation Committee) at City Hall at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Nov 4.

Record-Setting Year for Sea Turtles

SeaturtlehatchlingsSCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) recently reported that 411 Sanibel nests (110 on the east end and 301 on the west end), shattered the island’s previous high marks of 358 sea turtle nests established in 2000. In addition, the previous record of nests on the east end was 69 in 2012. Captiva had 124 nests this year.

SCCF logoIn addition to SCCF employees, more than 130 volunteers patrol the islands’ beaches every day throughout sea turtle nesting season (May to October).

Sanibel Land Development Code Subcommittee Report

Sanibelcityseal logoAs reported by the “Island Sun” today, “following Tuesday’s planning commission session, the Land Development Code Review Subcommittee (LDCRS) heard the annual report on amendments made to the City’s codes made during the past two years”….According to City Planning Director, Jim Jordan, “amendments made during the two-year span included:

  • Inter- and intra-connectivity standards for providing access between properties and to the shared use path.
  • The phasing of preliminary plats approvals for major subdivisions.
  • Legislation to regulate floating dock platforms preempted from permitting by the Sate of Florida.
  • Legislation requiring the installation of reflective tape wrapping on telecommunication towers greater than 75 feet above ground.
  • To allow pervious brick pavers installed within the driveways and parking areas of single-family, duplex and triplex to be treated as 100% pervious.
  • To allow for an increase in the room size of one-bedroom resort housing unit to develop up to 600 sq. ft. of habitable floor area.
  • Update the list of permitted uses within the commercial district and providing a process to consider new uses that are similar in nature and intensity to those uses that are listed in the code.
  • A new provision allowing minor nonstructural alterations and modifications to the rooflines of lawfully existing structures devoted to a nonconforming use.
  • Requirements, procedures and standards for maintaining and securing distressed buildings and structures.”

Recent Appointments

KevinThe City of Sanibel announced on Wednesday that Mayor Kevin Ruane as been appointed by Florida Governor Rick Schott to serve on the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. The Task Force is composed of 14 members including federal, tribal, state, and location representatives, developing policies, strategies, plans, programs, projects, and activities that address the restoration, preservation, and protection of the South Florida Ecosystem. The success of the Everglades restoration will have a tremendous economic impact on the coast communities of South Florida, including Sanibel. Congratulations, Kevin!

Chris HeidrickToday’s “Island Sun” reports that Chris Heidrick, Association of Realtors® affiliate and “principal of Heidrick & Co. Insurance on Sanibel has been appointed as Chairman of the National Flood Insurance Task Force for the Independent Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA). In this new position, he also will serve on the Flood Insurance Producers National Committee which is dedicated to improving the National Flood Insurance Program through consultation, cooperation, and regular communication with the Federal Insurance Administration/FEMA.” Congratulations, Chris!

In Feb, both Kevin and Chris joined a Lee County Commissioner and several local mayors in DC to present suggestions for reasonable flood insurance reform. Most of the ideas were included in The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, signed by the President in late March. The Act successfully removed the most harmful provisions of Biggert-Waters, which threatened the local economy. I got rebates from both my home and office flood insurance premiums just this week.

“In the coming year, Chris’s primary focus will be on a smooth re-authorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 2017.”

3 Industry Trends to Watch This Fall

BankRate.com logoHere’s a recent article posted on “Daily Real Estate News” and sourced to BankRate.com (October 2014):

“The housing market is expected to heat up this fall, despite buyers showing greater signs of being conservative in their home purchases. Bankrate.com recently highlighted some of the following trends to watch this fall in the nation’s real estate market:

“1. An overall pick up in housing activity. Low inventories of homes for sale in many markets have been blamed for cooling the summer months more than expected. However, more inventories are hitting U.S. markets, which could unleash some pent-up demand among buyers. At the end of August, housing inventory was at 2.31 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.5-month supply of homes, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. That’s 4.5% higher than a year ago.

When buyers have greater options in their home shopping, they may be more likely to finally jump off the sidelines, says Jonathan Corr, president and chief operating officer for Ellie Mae. “The housing market is going to be a function of the economy,” Corr says. “I think we are going to see steady growth in the coming months.”

“2. Buyers are more cautious. In what most housing experts describe as a “seller’s market,” buyers are showing signs of getting more conservative with their spending, Pava Leyrer, director of training for Northern Mortgage Services in Grandville, Mich., told Bankrate.com. “They are sticking to their budgets,” she says. The past housing crisis has prompted buyers – particularly the younger generation — to be more cautious, as they’ve learned that home prices don’t always appreciate. The younger generation views a house as a place to live and not the great investment that their parents once considered, says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. Forty percent of the millennial generation believes buying a home is a safe investment with great potential, compared to about 50% of boomers, according to a survey by Fannie Mae National Housing Survey.

“3. Mortgage rates will climb – really. Housing experts warned that mortgage rates would rise this year, but those forecasts have largely been wrong to this point. However, the Mortgage Bankers Association expects the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to start its climb to 4.5% by the fourth quarter, and continue to gradually climb and reach 5% by mid-2015. That’s prompted some lenders and real estate professionals to urge their buyers to lock in a mortgage rate now, while they are still at yearly lows.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity October 10-17.

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Compass Point #111 2/2 $1.169M.

4 price changes: Sundial #H411 1/1 now $272.5K, Seashells #33 2/2 now $319K (short sale), Seashells #36 2/2 now $325K, Sundial #I103 1/1 now $337.5K.

1 new sale: Colonnades #1 1/1 listed for $195K.

Beach Walk2 closed sales: Tennisplace #A26 2/1.5 $325K, Island Beach Club #310F 2/2 $450K (our listing & sale).

HOMES

6 new listings: 2621 SanibelCaptiva Rd 3/2 $299K, 1452 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $379K, 735 Donax St 3/2 $479K, 1287 Par View Dr 3/2 $910K, 1224 Par View Dr 3/3 $1.149M, 784 Birdie View Pt 4/4 $1.625M.

6 price changes: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $369K, 4636 Buck Key Rd 2/2 now $449K, 317 East Gulf Dr 2/2 half-duplex now $449K, 315 East Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex now $449K, 297 Ferry Landing Dr 3/3 now $1.295M, 2514 Blind Pass Ct 4/3/2 now $1.425M.

No new sales.

4 closed sales: 2098 Wild Lime Dr 2/2 $280K, 989 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 $550K, 981 Main St 4/2.5 $562K, 1266 Isabel Dr 3/3 $1.7M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1182 Sand Castle Rd $199.9K.

2 price changes: 1336 Eagle Run Dr now $245K, 1311 Par View Dr now $285K.

1 new sale: 3338 West Gulf Dr listed for $410K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sunset Beach Villas 2/2 $$575K.

1 price change: Lands End Village #1610 3/3 now $1.885M.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #4212 1/2 listed for $275K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16249 Captiva Dr 3/2.5 $2.375M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

flip-flopsHappy Friday, everyone! SanibelSusan

It’s Been a Summer-Like Week on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


Island Traffic & Real Estate Activity

SanCapAssnLogoThough the traffic on Sanibel and Captiva Islands noticeably picked up over the last few days (mostly with service/contractor vehicles and winter residents coming back early), there do not seem to be buyers here this week. SanibelSusan had the only sale announced at our Association of REALTORS® Caravan Meeting yesterday. See the report at the bottom of today’s blog for all of the activity posted in the island Multiple Listing Service this week.

Island Beach ClubI continue to visit our listings to get new photos as some of them get pre-season improvements. I visited Island Beach Club this afternoon where the work is progressing albeit slowly on the window replacement work.

While his morning, in-between tenants and cleaners, I also got into our listing at Loggerhead Cay in time to snap a few photos of the new carpet and living room sofa/love seat. This condo earns excellent income, if you are an investor looking for a condo where the numbers make sense. It is unit #353, 3rd floor looking down the courtyard to the gulf. Priced at $499,000, it also grosses nearly $40K/year in rental income!

Island Happenings

After a teaser day of low humidity and cooler temperatures, weather has been back to bright sunny summer temperatures for most of the week.

FruitOpening day of the Sanibel Farmers Market last Sunday, though a whole month earlier than past years, was packed. Almost all of the previous vendors are back as well as some new ones. I checked it out late morning and found it to be as busy as it usually is in high season. Some new finds for me were with the smoothie makers and the exotic fruit vendor (samples included dragon fruit & lechees.)

Upcoming Events

With “season” just around the corner, this week I received lots of organization emails and calendars touting events scheduled in the upcoming months. So many, in fact, that if you know when you will be enjoying the islands, you may want to plan ahead and check out the link above to “Upcoming Events“. Some events have limited seating and require advance tickets or reservations. I will continue to post new events as we hear about them. It’s gonna be a fun busy winter!

News Corp Bets on REALTORS®

realtor logoThere are varying opinions on the below article. However, at a group meeting this afternoon with some of the brokers, leaders, and movers/shakers of the Sanibel/Captiva real estate community, there definitely was a consensus that the real estate consumer (buyer or seller) is best served by a REALTOR®.

A special guest who drove across the state to chat with us is someone also passionate about the REALTOR® remaining at the center of the transaction. Big thank you to our friend and colleague from Miami, Moe Vessi, for sharing his thoughts with us. Moe was 2002 President of Florida REALTORS® and 2012 President of the National Association of REALTORS®, and is a working REALTOR® like the rest of us.

IMG_2959

L to R, Martha Smith (Director, SanCap Assn of Realtors), David Schuldenfrei (2014 President, SanCap Assn of Realtors), Robin Humphrey (Past President, SanCap Assn of Realtors), Moe Vessi (Past President, National Assn of Realtors & Florida Realtors), Peggy Hummel, CEO SanCap Assn of Realtors), Susan Andrews (Past President, SanCap Assn of Realtors), Shane Spring (Director, SanCapAssn of Realtors)

Particularly on these unique and small islands where our MLS is not syndicated, we often hear about third party web sites that offer incomplete or inaccurate information – all the more reason to rely on a REALTOR® and realtor.com® where cooperative sales occur. Here is the article about the future of realtor.com, posted Wednesday on REALTOR®Mag.

“The global media and information services company that owns such venerated titles as The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s announced Monday its intent to purchase Move Inc., operator of realtor.com®.

The company is News Corp, a top-in-class media and publishing business with experience in real estate through its newspapers and its majority ownership of the REA Group Ltd, the leading Australian residential property website, which also has a presence in Europe and Asia. With Monday’s announcement, News Corp made clear its intent to plant a major stake in the U.S. online real estate space. And the company is putting its considerable weight behind the REALTOR® brand.

““This partnership will help shape the future of real estate,” said National Association of REALTORS® President Steve Brown. “News Corp’s ability to reach and engage consumers, combined with realtor.com®’s quality content and the real insights REALTORS® provide will transform the current landscape.”

“In 2013, News Corporation separated into two distinct, publicly traded companies—News Corp and 21st Century Fox. Rupert Murdoch is executive chairman of News Corp, a multinational news and information company headquartered in New York. The company reported more than $8.5 billion in revenue in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. “We intend to use our media platforms and compelling content to turbo-charge traffic growth and create the most successful real estate website in the U.S.,” said Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp. “We are building on our existing real estate expertise and expect to leverage the potential of Move and its valuable connections with REALTORS® and consumers around the country.” (See the presentation News Corp shared in an investor call this morning.)

“Move, Inc. draws nearly 35 million visitors each month to its network of real estate sites for consumers and real estate professionals. The company’s flagship site is realtor.com®.  “We provide people with the information, tools and professional expertise they need to make the best and most informed real estate decisions, and we work to uphold the indispensable role of the professional in the real estate experience,” said Steve Berkowitz, chief executive officer of Move. “News Corp shares our vision, which is one of the many reasons this combination is such good news for our customers, consumers and the industry as a whole.”

“The realtor.com® domain is owned by the National Association of REALTORS®, and the site is operated by Move through an agreement between the REALTORS® Information Network, a NAR subsidiary, and RealSelect, a Move subsidiary. NAR leadership and the RIN board, meeting over the weekend, voted to approve the acquisition, which is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. News Corp and Move are both traded on the NASDAQ. On Monday, September 29, Move’s stock closed at $15.29 and News Corp closed at $16.80.

“NAR has posted a FAQ at realtor.org and will continue to communicate with its members as information becomes available. But one thing is certain, according to NAR CEO Dale Stinton. This change in ownership will only strengthen realtor.com®’s core mission: to serve consumers with the best, most accurate real estate data while keeping REALTORS® central to the real estate transaction. “Throughout the 20th century, NAR worked to ensure that REALTORS® were indispensable to consumers and the real estate transaction,” Stinton said. “This partnership is yet another 21st century example of this effort.  NAR will continue to seek opportunities such as this for REALTORS® to flourish in today’s marketplace by remaining first and foremost in the consumer’s mind.””

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity October 3-10

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Colonnades #1 1/1 $195K, Compass Point #101 3/2 $1.169M.

3 price changes: Seashells #33 2/2 now $329K (short sale), Lighthouse Point #323 3/2 now $899K, Clam Shell #C 2/2 now $1.195M.

View3 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #611 2/2 listed for $449K, Sayana #202 2/2 listed for $859K, Island Beach Club #P6D 2/2 listed for $990K (our listing & buyer).

2 closed sales: Sundial #D207 1/1 $230K, Tarpon Beach #203 2/2 $659K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 3251 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $629K, 1130 Seagrape Ln 4/3 $827K.

3 price changes: 490 Christine Rd 2/2 now $569,555; 5753 Pine Tree Dr 3/4 now $749K; 749 Pyrula Ave 3/3 now $1.225M.

5 new sales: 320 Palm Lake Dr 2/2 listed for $439K, 1221 Par View Dr 3/2 listed for $758K, 1329 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 listed for $849K, 5427 Osprey Ct 3/3.5 listed for $1.2472M, 1266 Isabel Dr 3/3 listed for $1.795M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1332 Eagle Run Dr $255,555.

1 price change: 6486 Pine Ave now $444.9K (foreclosure).

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 1504 Angel Dr $679K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Land’s End Village #1660 3/3 now $1.535M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16897 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 $3.49M.

1 price change: 15891 Captiva Dr now $2/949M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

1 new listing: 16915 Captiva Dr $1.39M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

Until next Friday, TGIF, SanibelSusan