More Real Estate Sales This Week on Sanibel Island


With Easter next weekend, “high season” on the islands is nearly over. Steady real estate sales were posted again this week making some Realtors® wonder what inventory will be left to sell through the summer. Yes, plenty of inventory remains in many complexes and subdivisions, but the in-demand water-view and near-beach homes are moving, as are large high-end condos.

Beach2

After a few news items below is a summary of the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week. First a summary of the Sanibel sales activity this year, compared to 2014 and the current inventory.

Prospective sellers, usually those who bought in the “peak” (i.e. 2006), often ask how the market has rebounded as compared to when they purchased. Price-wise, the market is back to somewhere between 2004 and 2005 (when the market was rising) or about 2008 (as it was declining). In a nutshell, property values are coming back nicely. Volume-wise on Sanibel, the 73 condo, 128 home, and 21 lot sales posted this year are huge increases in units sold. That’s what has some Realtors® worried.

Captiva’s smaller inventory has not seen the same increased level of activity, but I bet it comes later in the year.

SANIBEL           CONDOS                     HOMES                            LOTS

No.   Price          DOM    No.   Price            DOM    No. Price         DOM

For sale             111  $729,019   364     139   $1,445,729   227     78   $476,635   765

Sales pending    32    $791,600   352      65     $903,405      195      12   $513,038   449

Sold & closed:

1/1-3/27/2015    41    $726,982    373       63     $904,342     309      9     $314,433   356

1/1-3/27/2014    32    $717,964    208       50     $771,469     299       6    $386,592   633

NOTE: Prices & DOM (days on market) are averages.

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. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Upcoming Sanibel Capital Improvements Projects

Sanibelcityseal logoWith the on-site of “off-season”, at Sanibel’s Capital Improvements Review subcommittee meeting this week, several ongoing and upcoming projects were discussed and approved. Here are just three of the several that were mentioned in the “Island Sun” today:

  •  Lighthouse Beach restroom construction is under way.
  • Bowman’s Beach shared-use path project will install a pathway from San-Cap Road to the beach park. Expected completion just after July 4.
  • Two intersection improvements (Periwinkle Way/Casa Ybel Road and Tarpon Bay Road/Island Inn Road) are in the planning design phase. Construction to be completed by end of November.

Why Age 61 Is Important to Real Estate

realtor logoThis was posted on Realtor®Mag on-line last Saturday:

“By age 61, the majority of people feel free to choose where they most want to live, according to a new study by Merrill Lynch, “Home in Retirement: More Freedom, New Choices.” “Throughout most of people’s lives, where they live is determined by their responsibilities,” according to the report. “Most careers demand that people live within a reasonable commuting distance from where they and/or their spouse work. However, as people enter their 50s and 60s, they begin to cross what this study reveals to be the ‘Freedom Threshold.'” That’s the age when people say they can finally choose where they want to live, according to the survey of more than 3,600 retirees.

“Indeed, two-thirds of the retirees surveyed say they are now living in the best home of their lives. Most retirees move at least once during retirement. But surprisingly, only half choose to downsize into a smaller home. Three in ten of retirees decide to upsize into a larger home.  The top reason to upsize: They want to have a home that’s comfortable enough for family members to visit and stay with them, according to the survey. “Retirees often find their homes become places for family to come together and reconnect, particularly during holidays or summer vacations,” according to the report. Some choose to upsize so that family members can live with them too.

“Retirees say the ideal place allows spending time with others their own age yet they also seek to be around those of diverse ages. Compared to younger people, older Americans are far more likely to want diversity in age and generation among their communities and neighbors. As such, just 7% of retirees surveyed have opted to move into age-restricted retirement communities.”

NAR Takes the Global Stage at Cannes

globe7Posted in Broker IssuesCommercial Real Estate, by Wendy Cole on March 12, 2015, this article talks about how Realtors® are expanding into the international market. Cynthia Shelton, Florida Realtors® 2009 President, and others from Florida were in attendance.

“The improving U.S. economy and strengthening dollar provided a welcoming backdrop for the National Association of REALTORS®’ first foray to the major global real estate exposition known as MIPIM held this week in Cannes, Frances. More than 21,000 attendees from 93 countries have gathered to explore global investment opportunities at the trade show.

“The eye-catching 1,200 square-foot NAR-U.S. Pavilion highlighted the association’s commitment to global commercial interests while raising awareness about top markets for foreign investment in the United States. The pavilion showcased three robust U.S. markets that are internationally-recognized for their success in attracting foreign investment: Miami, Chicago, and Birmingham, AL. “There are quite a lot of connections to be made here at MIPIM,” said NAR Treasurer Mike McGrew, who is part of NAR’s delegation at the show.

“Attendee Cynthia Shelton, a commercial practitioner with Colliers International from Orlando, FL and current  Committee Liaison to the NAR Leadership Team was energized about the NAR’s presence at the show. “This is going to make the U.S.A. the place to be, to invest in even more than it is now,” she said, in an interview from a MIPIM broadcast on YouTube. “REALTORS® represent the boots on the ground. We’re hoping to bring more investors to the U.S. to invest in things like office buildings, residential developments, and retail.  When investments happen, cities give credits, get more taxes, and allow us to develop better projects which helps our schools and employers.”

“The wide range of countries at the show— from Belgium to Brazil— is generating considerable buzz. “Governments have invested large sums to attract attention from buyers, developers, and interested parties,” said Christopher Zoller, CRS, and 2015 residential president of the Miami Association of REALTORS®. “We are getting lots of inquiries here from people looking for investors or investments, developers or developments, small personal purchases or large scale opportunities. It is exciting to see the global scale of real estate excitement.”… NAR’s presence at the show has broadened awareness of the role of REALTORS® in commercial and global real estate. Approximately 70,000 NAR members offer commercial brokerage and related services. An additional 283,000 members are involved in a combination of residential and commercial work.”

Foreclosure Rates Near a ‘Significant Milestone’

RealtyTracLogo_166x32Realtor®Mag on-line Tuesday posted this article which is sourced to “RealtyTrac”. Florida continues to have a significant number of foreclosures, but has seen a 35% decrease since last year.

“Foreclosures continue to fall across the country and the return to normal levels may be on the horizon for many places, according to a new report. Foreclosure filings fell 4% in February, reaching the lowest level since July 2006, according to RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. Foreclosure filings reflect the number of default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions. The U.S. foreclosure rate now stands at one in every 1,295 homes that received a foreclosure filing in February.

“”Given that August 2006 was the peak of the housing bubble, this eight-and-a-half year low in foreclosure activity is a significant milestone and a sign that nationwide foreclosure activity is on track to return to historic norms this year — and is possibly even headed below historic norms given the skinny-jeans-tight lending standards over the past five years,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “In markets where foreclosures were processed more efficiently we are seeing foreclosure numbers now below pre-crisis levels in some cases. Conversely, the cleanup of deferred distress is continuing in markets where a logjam of in-limbo foreclosures is still lingering from the housing crisis — as evidenced by rebounding foreclosure activity in those markets.”

“24 states posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity. Activity was most elevated in Massachusetts (up 53% year-over-year) and New York, up 19%.

“The following states posted the nation’s highest foreclosure rates:

  1. Maryland: 1 in every 564 housing units received a foreclosure filing in February (foreclosure activity has fallen 1 percent compared to a year ago there, however)
  2. Nevada: 1 in every 569 homes received a foreclosure filing (a 12% rise from a year ago mostly from a rise in foreclosure starts)
  3. Florida: 1 in every 570 housing units (despite a 35% decrease in foreclosure activity compared to a year ago)
  4. Indiana: 1 in every 871 housing units
  5. Idaho: 1 in every 877 housing units
  6. New Jersey: 1 in every 895 housing units
  7. Illinois: 1 in every 906 housing units
  8. Delaware: 1 in every 957 housing units
  9. Ohio: 1 in every 1,000 housing units
  10. North Carolina: 1 in every 1,088 housing units”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 20-27 

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Dugger’s Tropical Cottages #2 1/1 $329K, Sundial #C207 1/1 $429K, Seawind #A106 2/2.5 $479K, Mariner Pointe #842 2/2 $499K (our listing), Sanibel Arms #F2 1/1 $639K, Sundial #K102 2/2 $839K.

(A few photos from Mariner Pointe below. 1st one is the view toward bay from #842, 2nd one is the view toward the canal. Others are some of the water-front amenities. There is a 2nd pool, on-site manager, & deeded beach access too.)

1 price change: Tigua Cay #489 3/3.5 now $2.495M.

7 new sales: Sunset South #9D 2/2 listed for $399K, Sanibel Moorings #1622 2/2 listed for $439K, Lighthouse Point #132 2/2 listed for $497K, Sanibel Siesta #308 2/2 listed for $500K, Sealoft Village #105 2/2 listed for $529K, Blind Pass #G105 3/3 listed for $769K, Sanibel Surfside #211 2/2 listed for $798K.

5 closed sales: Donax Village #8 2/2 $449K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 $475K, Sanibel Arms West #B5 2/2 $492K, Lighthouse Point #215 3/2 $522.5K, Atrium #204 2/2 $1.3M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 3364 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $819K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 $985K, 1245 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 $1.749M, 5125 Joewood Dr 3/3 $3.195M.

8 price changes: 3724 Agate Ct 2/2 now $549K, 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $599K, 1409 Causey Ct 3/3 now $599K, 4648 Buck Key Rd 3/2 now $679K, 1173 Kittiwake Cir 4/2 now $699.9K, 428 Bella Vista Way E 4/4 now $1.695M, 6017/6019 Clam Bayou Ln 4/3 now $1.775M, 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/4/3 now $4.25M.

13 new sales: 1452 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed for $330K, 744 Martha’s Ln 2/2 listed for $479K (our listing), 1825 Ardsley Way 3/2 listed for $515K, 475 Sea Walk Ct 3/2 lissted for $524.9K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 listed for $595K (short sale), 1228 Anhinga Ln 3/2 listed for $598.5K, 963 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $599.9K, 1586 Century Ct 3/2.5 listed for $629K, 543 Chert Ct 3/2 listed for $639K, 547 Chert Ct 3/2.5 listed for $695K, 603 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed for $670K, 3968 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed for $699K, 1173 Kittiwake Cir 4/2 listed for $699.9K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 listed for $985K, 2980 Wulfert Rd 4/6.5 listed for $2.995M.

9 closed sales: 317 East Gulf Dr 2/2 half-duplex $415K, 315 East Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex $425K, 1294 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $480K, 590 Lake Murex Cir 2/1.5 $635K, 297 Ferry Landing Dr 3/3 $1.2M, 600 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2.5 $1.275M, 960 Whelk Dr 3/3 $1.83M, 4204 Dingman Dr 5/4.5 $1.85M, 461 Lighthouse Way 4/4 $1.995M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1310 Par View Dr now $369,555.

1 new sale: 6419 Pine Ave listed for $799K.

1 closed sale: 2380 Wulfert Rd $190K.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Bayside Villas #5106 1/2 $289K, Marina Villas #902 2/2 $650K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Lands End Village #1606 3/3 listed for $1.85M.

2 closed sales: Lands End Village #1610 3/3 $1.785M, Lands End Village #1606 3/3/3 $2M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15843 Captiva Dr 3/3 $6.45M.

3 price changes: 16785 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 now $1.55M, 11523 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $1.999M, 16910 Captiva Dr 4/4 now $4.72M.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: 16585 Captiva Dr 5/4/2 $2.5M, 15747 Captiva Dr 6/6.5 $5.575M, 17020 Captiva Dr 7/8/2 $5.9M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 856 S Seas Plantation Rd now $2.48M.

No 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. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Until next Friday, best wishes for a great weekend! Susan Andrews/aka SanibelSusan

Spring

Another Sunny, Make You Smile Kind of Friday on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


Another Friday here already? How can it be? It may be that with the onset of spring, a few winter residents are leaving Southwest Florida. At my off-island dry cleaners last night they said they saw a huge drop in business this week. We haven’t seen much of a drop on the islands though. Traffic continues to be a challenge and our pals in the rental business say there will be another big turn-over of vacationers tomorrow.

Office Happenings This Week

SANSLogoSeason is flying by with The SanibelSusan Team’s time this week filled with showings, opening listings for showings, chasing down feedback, tracking tenants, updating pro forma/fliers, home inspections, monitoring contracts, and even a couple of listing presentations. Not the usual time of the year for new listings, but as the saying goes, “it pays to be the first born, the second wife, and the third listing agent.”  I expect we have a couple of those to announce in the weeks to come. (“Those” being new SanibelSusan listings, as the first two requirements of that saying are already met.).

Photos below taken by Dave from his cell phone from the roof of Bldg 1 at Seascape during the home inspection this afternoon by Ron Dehler, Horizon Home Inspection Service. It’s a gorgeous beach day!

Seascape Boardwalk

Seascape Bldg 1 roof 3-20-15

The week’s activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing system is after a few other news items.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® March Membership Meeting

SanCapAssnLogoGood sales activity and again several price reductions were announced at our March Association of Realtors® Breakfast Meeting yesterday. There were two speakers at our meeting, both home inspectors. Their topics were radon and formaldehyde. Here are a few tidbits from their presentations:

  • Radon: Radon is the 2nd largest cause of lung cancer (smoking being first). The results of radon testing are tracked by state Departments of Health & EPA facilities. Interestingly the inspector, Adam Dalton with AmeriSpec, said that of the radon tests performed in Lee County 28.8% tested high for radon. (What is not known is how many are not tested. From my experience that answer is “many” or the majority by far.) He also said that the most radon has been found in high-rise condos. The composition of the concrete in the basic structures being the culprit. He also offered that the typical wood piling home on Sanibel with open lower level is probably the least likely to have a problem because this gas likely would dissipate because of the airspace below. When asked if granite – so popular in today’s remodels can be a cause – he said, “yes”. He also said that airing out a property before a radon test (rather than leaving it closed up for 12 hours as the test requires) will not produce a better reading, because the test protocol does not begin counting the test measurements until 4 hours into the test. The test is over an extended period (usually several days) and hourly records the amount of radon gas, temperature, pressure, and humidity. He also said that radon readings are usually higher during rain when the gas moves up.
  • Formaldehyde: Jonathan Tongyai with SanCap Inspections spoke on this subject. He said the formaldehyde scare is fairly new. As recently reported in a segment of “60 Minutes”, a synthetic wood floor product sold by Lumber Liquidators has tested high for formaldehyde. The company has been accused of selling contaminated laminated flooring made in China. As this inspector said, when in doubt have a test performed, but usually the smell is obvious when the product is new. Common sense should prevail for the consumers and inspectors, but when in doubt, test.

Florida Realtors logoFlorida Association of Realtors® 2015 Honor Society: At the same meeting, several Realtors® from our Association were presented with Florida Realtors® Honor Society pins. Local Association President Eric Pfeifer reminded members that only 20 of our 291 Sanibel/Captiva Realtor® members achieved local Honor Society status for their work in 2014, so to have several members also achieve state recognition is huge.  He then prefaced announcing that this is my 16th-year in Florida’s state Honor Society, by saying SanibelSusan is an old-timer. He can expect pay-back for that. Others in attendance and also receiving that state recognition are shown in the photo below: Jim Hall, yours truly, Eric Pfeifer, Toby Tolp, David Schuldenfrei, and Shane Spring. Congratulations to all!

2015 FL Realtors Honor Society

Favorite Refuge: Vote ‘Ding’

Ding roseate“Ding” Darling counts among the top 20 contestants for Favorite National Wildlife Refuge in USA Today’s Readers Choice Awards and is currently in 2nd place. They need our daily votes. Click here to vote once a day until noon on Monday, March 30, 2015. We know “Ding” Darling is the best, help them let the whole country know!

The Families Have Voted: These Are Their Favorite Destinations

Many locals have remarked this year that “since the islands keep making those lists, more people have come, and that’s why the traffic is so bad in-season.” If that’s the case, here’s yet another one. I saw the below article posted by Yahoo’s Travel Editor on-line yesterday.

“Sanibel, Fla., with its abundant seashells, was named the top overall family attraction. (Photo below by: Thinkstock)

Photo Thinkstock beach

“If you’re thinking of a family trip and wondering where in the U.S others are taking the kids these days, one survey suggests they favor an itinerary like this: picking up seashells on a small Florida island, observing animals in a rain forest, and of course, eating at the Cheesecake Factory.

FamilyFun magazine just announced its travel awards, the result of polling 2,000 American families to rate their favorite destinations across five categories. The top overall winner was Sanibel, Fla., an island town with ample white beaches and seashells, and the power to chill out even the most high-strung parents and kids. The magazine reports one Texas mom as saying, “It’s just a relaxing place that lets kids be kids.”

Also ranking in the top three for favorite tourist towns were Gatlinburg, Tenn., and Savannah, Ga….”

50th Anniversary of Island Water Association

island waterIf you have not taken a tour of the Island Water Association facility on San-Cap Road, be sure and add it to your “do list”. SanibelSusan has toured it several times and always found the whole process of producing island water to be fascinating and the facility to be amazingly clean! Here is some info from the “IWA Pipeline” Spring 2015 edition:

“This year marks 50 years of The Island Water Association providing fresh drinking water to its members. IWA was incorporated on January 19, 1965, as a not-for-profit association (501(c)4) whose purpose was “To construct, maintain, and operate a water system for the supplying of water for domestic, commercial, agricultural, industrial, and other purposes to its members….”  Its founders and first Board of Directors were John Kontinos, E. G. Konrad, C. Smith Kauffman, Francis Bailey, and Paul Stahlin.

“IWA’s first franchise agreement was granted by Lee County in July of 1965. Our first water supply came from the Pine Island Water Treatment Plant via an 8” subaqueous pipe laid across the bay from St. James City to the end of Dixie Beach Rd.  The pipe and all valving are still in place, but leaks in the pipe prevent its use. Our last gallon of usable water from Pine Island was obtained in 1983.

“By 1972, IWA realized it needed its own supply of water, as the 8” line from Pine Island was becoming insufficient to meet demand, and the price of bulk water was becoming prohibitive. An Electro-Dialysis plant was completed in 1973, drawing well water from the Hawthorn aquifer. It was able to produce around 1MBD of water, which served the population throughout the 1970’s. In the late ‘70’s, it was obvious the ED plant would not keep up with current population growth, so a reverse osmosis plant was commissioned on the present day site of IWA. It opened in 1980, originally producing about 1MGD, adding to the ED plant production. When the RO Plant was up to full production by 1992, the ED plant was shut down forever. The RO Plant is now capable of producing around 5.9MGD, although current demand is around 3.3MGD. It draws its feed water from 14 active production wells.”

Island Water Meter Access

Island Water logoFollowing up on the article above, here is a real-estate related article from the same IWA newsletter.

“When a new home is built on Sanibel or Captiva, or a water meter is upgraded due to a home remodel, the Island Water member must sign a Water Users Agreement. Item C.6 of the agreement states: “The Member shall keep an area clear and accessible for 2 feet on all sides of the water meter and backflow prevention device.” Before we changed all of our meters to radio read meters, Scott, our meter reader, had to hand read every meter, and often had to trim overgrown vegetation to access the meter. With the new remote read meters, inaccessible meter boxes and backflow devices have now become a problem for our Distribution Technicians when there is an issue that demands access to the meter or backflow device, such as high usage or a leak. Also, as a courtesy to our members, our technicians test the backflow devices on a semi-annual basis. We are the first to admit that we are not landscape experts, so we would prefer the homeowner maintain the 2’ radius surrounding the meter and backflow device. In addition, please make sure we have a clear path 3’ wide and 7’ tall to the meter and backflow device. Thanks!”

Is That Closet Worth More Than a Prime Location? Apparently Yes!

realtor logoSometimes the articles posted in real estate trade journals are not a fit for our island resort community, so it was with interest that I saw the above headline in an article in the March on-line REALTOR® Magazine. Of course location remains the most, if not one of the most, important considerations in Sanibel and Captiva real estate. Here, it is all about, location, location, location.

The rest of the article had some valid points, however. Island buyers are looking for these things too, just perhaps not as a compromise to location:

“So what features are so important that they are willing to make such big sacrifices as the location of the home? Here are the top items that home owners said they’d be willing to make sacrifices on location in order to have:

  • Move-in ready home: 64%
  • At least one bathtub in a home: 54%
  • More space than their current residence: 51%
  • His and her closets: 23%
  • Spa-like master bedroom: 23%
  • Large eat-in kitchen area: 23%
  • Kitchen island: 22%

“In addition to the more common home options, we’re starting to see regional trends emerging among homebuyer preferences,” says Ryan Marshall, executive vice president of homebuilding operations, marketing and sales for PulteGroup. “From outdoor kitchens in Florida, to spice kitchens in California, shoppers are increasingly discerning when it comes to home features that could be the deciding factor in their next move.”

Other popular regional trends the survey identified were accordion-style glass doors in the Southwest; multi-generation floor plans and screened-in porches in the Southeast; balconies off the kitchen and rooftop terraces in the Northeast; and “Jack n’ Jill” bedrooms and coffee bars in the Midwest.

“Overall, the most important areas to home buyers when choosing a new home: kitchen (29%), bedroom (22%), and living room (18%).”

Free Homeowners’ Seminar – Insurance Panel

SanCapAssnLogoThe Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® is sponsoring a free seminar at The Community House on Wednesday, March 25, from 10 to 11:45 am. Information will be provided by a panel of Association Affiliate Members who work in the insurance field. Enjoy coffee at the “meet and greet” from 10-10:15, followed by the seminar from 10:30-11:45. Join these seasoned insurance professionals for updates and answers to important questions and news on properly insuring your home and valuables. Featured speakers are: David Arter with Private Client Insurance Services, LLC; Chris Heidrick with Heidrick & Company Insurance; Angela Roehl with Rosier Insurance; and Dawn Zettler with Insurance and Risk Management Services.

Sanibel – New Residents’ Reception

Sanibelcityseal logoHosted by Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane and City Councilmembers Mick Denham, Chauncey Goss, Marty Harrity, and Jim Jennings, new residents of the island (within the past 24 months) are invited to attend a New Residents’ Reception at City Hall on Thursday, April 9, from 9 to 11 a.m. Please RSVP by April 3 to sancouncil@mysanibel.com or 239-472-3700.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 13-20 

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 $649,946; Coquina Beach #2C 2/2 $729K; Seascape #201 3/3 $1.849M.

5 price changes: Sanibel Arms #E7 1/1 now $365K, Sundial #O201 2/2 now $699K, Sundial #F201 2/2 now $799K, Compass Point #111 2/2 now $1.95M, Sanibel Sunset #202 3/2 now $1.745M.

5 new sales: Colonnades #11 1/1 listed for $195K, Spanish Cay #B2 2/2 listed for $394K, Sanibel Siesta #701 2/2 listed for $525K, Beachcomber #C102 2/2 listed for $1.575M, Sedgemoor #206 3/3.5 listed for $2.499M.

7 closed sales: Sundial #F406 1/1 $329K, Sanibel Arms West #G5 2/2 $490K, Seawind II #2 2/2.5 $635K, Sundial #Q205 3/2 $800K, Kings Crown #317 2/2 $920K, Gulfside Place #125 2/2 $1.17M, Yacht Haven #1 3/2 $1.5M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 9248 Dimmick Dr 3/3 $649.9K, 5749 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $749K, 1237 Isabel Dr 5/6.5 $2.995M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 3/4 $4.195M.

10 price changes: 4636 Buck Key Rd 2/2 now $419K, 220 Palm Lake Dr 3/3 now $580K, 2220 Camino Del Mar Dr 3/3 now $599K, 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $619K, $603 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $670K, 1182 Kittiwake Cir 3/3 now $699K, 9445 Beverly Ln 3/2 now $775K, 1528 Angel Dr 3/2 now $799.5K, 1048 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $815K, 1204 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 now $3.895M.

8 new sales: 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 listed $440K, 257 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed for $649K, 3131 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed for $689K, 2210 Camino Del Mar 3/2 listed for $695K, 6101 Castaways Ln 4/2 listed for $850K, 820 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2 listed for $989K, 4308 West gulf Dr 3/3.5 listed for $1.879M, 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 listed for $2.4M.

9 closed sales: 918/920 Main St 5/5 multi-family $380K, 320 Palm Lake Dr 2/2 $424K, 1613 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $455K, 739 Elinor Way 3/3 $550K, 218 Daniel Dr 2/2.5 $750K, 3840 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $849K, 1287 Par View Dr 3/2 $865K, 836 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2/2 $1.195M, 561 Lighthouse Way 5/4 $1.75M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 915 Main St $199K, 2133 Starfish Ln $399K, 2479 Harbour Ln $599K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 1299 Par View Dr listed for $229K, 6411 Pine Ave listed for $339,999, 2494 Blind Pass Ct listed for $649K.

1 closed sale: 2403 Blue Crab Ct $470K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #5222 1/2 listed for $322K, Lands End Village #1654 3/3 listed for $1.685M.

3 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3232 2/2 $440K, Gulf Beach Villas #2012 2/2 $583.5K, Captiva Shores #5C 2/2 $837.5K.

HOMES

No new listings.

4 price changes: 16785 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 now $1.63M, 11500 Chapin Ln 4/4.5 now $1.995M, 15009 Binder Dr 4/5.5 now $3.75M, 11530 Paige Ct 4/5.5 now $4M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 16915 Captiva Dr $1.195M.

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. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Sun clip artUntil next Friday, here’s hoping your weekend is sunny too.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

 

 

Woohoo, Real Estate is Moving on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It’s the end of another terrific week on Sanibel, with bright blue skies and summer-like temperatures. The island again is reporting to be at full occupancy, including a few spring breakers here with families. The bike paths and beaches are busy, the Sanibel Thriller continues to draw the dolphin followers, the fishermen are reporting great catches, and waits are the norm at local restaurants. Multiple island day-time and evening events continue keeping everyone busy too.

Beach1

Most of us in the real estate business are crowing that is this is the busiest winter ever, with many of us working not quite 24/7, but certainly 10-14/7. Be sure to check out the action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days after a few news items below.

SanibelSusan Realty Sponsors BIG ARTS Photography Scavenger Hunt

Photo Scavenger HuntMark your calendars for the BIG ARTS Photography Scavenger Hunt on Tuesday, April 7. SanibelSusan Realty again this year is sponsoring, with the proceeds to benefit BIG ARTS scholarship programs.

BIG Arts logoThis fun-filled event demonstrates what happens when a scavenger hunt meets the digital age. Grab your camera and some teammates to join in the adventure where you will walk, bike, or drive on your quest to photograph your own interpretations of the clues. Creativity is encouraged!

3 p.m. Pick up clues & map at BIG ARTS Center.

5 p.m. Return to BIG ARTS for a gourmet boxed dinner.

6 p.m. Dessert reception & video showcase of the day’s digital photographs, with awards ceremony.

Tickets are $45 for the full event or $8 for the reception only. Teams should have 2-4 members. Tickets available at the BIG ARTS Marks Box Office or for more info call 239-395-0900.

20 Housing Markets That Are Heating Up

Realtor_comlogoHere’s some good news just in time for spring around the country (posted on “Daily Real Estate News” on Monday.)

“Just in time for spring selling season to start, sellers are finally starting to put their homes on the market, upping the selections for buyers, according to the latest analysis from realtor.com®. Higher inventories and buyer demand are expected to boost closings this month, according to realtor.com®. “The biggest macro trend is that we’re finally seeing inventory grow,” says Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “This is a very important trend for many reasons – in particular, because it will help keep prices at a more moderate level down the road.”

“Affordability had become a chief concern recently in the housing market. So what’s changed and why are more sellers putting their homes on the market? Smoke says home owners are being encouraged by the current higher prices. But Smoke says those will level out as supply rises to meet demand.

“According to realtor.com®’s February data, 20 markets are already showing a big upswing based on the ratio of listing views at realtor.com® to the number of listings for-sale. Those 20 markets are:

  1. Waco, Texas
  2. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
  3. Santa Rosa, Calif.
  4. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo.
  5. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.
  6. Ann Arbor, Mich.
  7. Fort Wayne, Ind.
  8. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, Calif.
  9. Charleston, W.Va.
  10. San Luis Obispo et al, Calif.
  11. Columbus, Ohio
  12. Boulder, Colo.
  13. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich.
  14. Hartford-West Hartford et al, Conn.
  15. Manchester-Nashua, N.H.
  16. San Francisco-Oakland et al, Calif.
  17. San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.
  18. Charleston-North Charleston, S.C.
  19. Toledo, Ohio
  20. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H.”

BIG ARTS Community Chorus Spring Concerts

Community-Chorus-in-concertBIG Arts logoSanibelSusan’s March blog would not be complete without a plug for the BIG ARTS Community Chorus Spring Concerts. Most readers know that I stay sane “in season” with the Tuesday nite diversion of chorus rehearsals. Having grown from just a handful of singers in the early 90’s, the chorus is now 80+singers strong. Though we also will be performing the “Star Spangled Banner” at the Red Sox/Minnesota Twins last spring training game on April 1, our spring concert essentially ends the year for us, or at least until October rolls around again.

Tickets went on sale last week and already are going fast for the spring concert which this year again will be performed two nights to fill the demand. Get advance tickets at BIG ARTS Box Office at 900 Dunlop Road. Performances are at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, and Thursday, March 26.

Guaranteed to give you a few smiles and keep you humming for days, this year we are performing a variety of doo-wop tunes, a medley of “Carousel” show song, famous music from Strauss operetta “Die Fledermaus”, and my favorite, a patriotic number called “Song for the Unsung Hero”.

Sanibel Traffic

sanibel trafficIt seems that every island discussion this week has some mention of the traffic. Rental organizations are hearing complaints from tenants, Realtors® are hearing protests from prospective buyers, restaurants advise patrons are missing their reservation times, and the general public acknowledges that it takes longer and without reliability these days to get from one end of the island to the other.

Some say it is because the island is at 100% capacity. Some say it is because of the “day-trippers”. Others are convinced that though it’s a short-term problem (just a few months out of each year), it is one that has been neglected or not solved.

So, it was with interest that I read the article in the “Island Sun” today advising that the topic came up at Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting. Several members voiced support for a traffic study being conducted by local Metropolitan Planning Organization offering to lend their assistance in the execution of that investigation.

Here’s hoping that the subject does not get pushed to the back burner once island traffic gets back to “normal” after season, because the problem is bound to resurface again next winter when I bet there is even more traffic thanks to the extended bad weather up north this year. The accommodations businesses are reporting that their bookings for 2016 are already “off the charts”.

Sanibel and Captiva “may be enjoying too much of a good thing”, said one report commenter. That may be true, but there certainly are solutions to making the roadways safer and delay-free. It is good news to hear that Sanibel again is pro-active.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 6-13 

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Lighthouse Point #132 2/2 $497K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-4 2/2.5 $699K.

5 price changes: Captains Walk #C7 1/1 now $237.9K, Sanibel Arms #E7 1/1 now $369K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #201 2/2 now $459.5K, Signal Inn #18 3/2 now $1.049M, Clam Shell #C 2/2 now $1.175M.

9 new sales: Colonnades #44 1/1 listed for $189.9K, Colonnades #41 1/1 listed for $194.5K, Sundial #I301 1/1 listed for $389K, Gulf Beach #102 2/2 listed for $749K, Kings Crown #216 2/2 listed for $940K, Kings Crown #101 2/2 listed for $1.195M, Lantana #102 4/3.5 listed for $1.495M, Seascape #104 3/3 listed for $2.195M (our sale), Somerset #B101 3/2.5 listed for $2.2M (our listing).

View from Seascape of Sanibel #104

View from Seascape of Sanibel #104

View from Somerset at The Reef #B101

View from Somerset at The Reef #B101

3 closed sales: Cottage Colony West #118 1/1 $600K, Wedgewood #305 3/3.5 $1.25M, West Shore #903 3/3 $1.7M.

HOMES

11 new listings: 1667 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $440K, 5089 SanCap Rd 3/2 $489.9 (short sale), 9106 Mockingbird Dr 2/2 $565K, 543 Chert Ct 3/2 $639K, 257 Daniel Dr 3/2 $649K, 1209 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $789.9K, 2999 Twin Ponds Dr 3/2 $865K, 489 Lake Murex Cir 3/2.5 $975K, 820 Sand Dollar Dr 2/2 $989K, 5773 SanCap Rd 2/2 $1.159M, 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 $2.4M.

10 price changes: 838 Rabbit Rd 2/1 now $399K, 4636 Buck Key Rd 2/2 now $429K, 778 Cardium St 3/3 now $479K, 2220 Camino Del Mar 3/3 now $649K, 5424 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 half-duplex now $849K, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr #1A (Moonshadows) 3/3 now $899K, 4620 Rue Bayou 3/3 now $949K, 1328 Seaspray Ln 4/4 now $949K, 1314 Par View Dr 4/3 now $999.9K, 518 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 now $1.129M.

10 new sales: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed for $329K, 868 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed for $385K, 3716 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed for $459K, 1825 Ardsley Way 3/2 listed for $515K, 401 Lagoon Dr 4/4 listed for $875K, 5880 SanCap Rd 3/2 listed for $889K, 1331 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed for $945K, 261 Ferry Landing Dr 2/2 half-duplex listed for $998.5K, 2617 Coconut Dr 3/2.5 listed for $1.35M, 5235 Indian Ct 4/3.5 listed for $1.598M.

7 closed sales: 3001 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 $405K (short sale), 457 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $475K, 1674 Bunting Ln 3/2 $525K, 598 Boulder Dr 3/2 $533K, 8987 Mockingbird Dr 3/2.5 $667K, 1287 Par View Dr 3/2 $865K, 857 Birdie View Pt 3/2.5 $925K.

LOTS

No new listings.

4 price changes: 1311 Par View Dr now $259.9K, 5290 Punta Caloosa Ct now $347K, 2494 Blind Pass Ct now $649K, 6217 Starling Way now $1.379M.

2 new sales: 1301 Par View Dr listed for $219,555; 1311 Par View Dr listed for $259.9K.

1 closed sale: 1316 Par View Dr $320K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Captiva Bay Villas #B 3/3.5 now $1,995,555.

2 new sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2337 2/2 listed for $674.9K, Lands End Village #1654 3/3 listed for $1.685M.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #903 2/2 $60K

HOMES

No new listings.

3 price changes: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 now $2.695M, 16897 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 now $3.19M, 13550 Palmflower Ln 4/3.5 now $4.995M.

2 new sales: 1 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 listed for $2.395M, 16183 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 listed for $3.985M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

1 new listing: 16297 Captiva Dr $1.75M.

No price changes, new listings, or price changes.

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. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

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Until next Friday, happy weekend from SanibelSusan. Though I will likely be showing real estate all weekend, I bet teammate Dave is taking a few photos with his new camera lens. Here’s one he took earlier and shared with us in the office.

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Read Why SanibelSusan’s Friday Sanibel/Captiva Islands Real Estate Blog is Late


SanibelBeachAnother Friday has arrived and SanibelSusan is not going to dwell on the additional heavy traffic on Periwinkle Way from the Shell Fair which ends tomorrow. To put a positive spin on it, for those properties that we don’t already open for showings, my team and I are offering delivery service to Realtors® needing keys or fliers.

This week, island weather likely again contributed to the many visitors enjoying the 70- and 80-degree temperatures, sunny days, blue skies, and also the gorgeous moon-glow skies at night. A favorite photos from island photographer, Jim Anderson, JMA Photography is above. The beach looked just like this week, including this afternoon.

Although not many sales were announced at the Sanibel/Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday, many were posted in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Several price reductions were reported too, common for the end of February with just a few weeks left of “high season”.

At SanibelSusan Realty, we are showing property, holding open houses, writing offers, and negotiating contracts like crazy! We love it and hopefully will have some new sales to add the Multiple Listing Activity next week. That is why SanibelSusan’s blog is a few hours late.

Meanwhile, the island listing/sales activity over the past seven days follows a couple of news items below.

Sanibel Dark Skies Ordinance Passes Unanimously

Sanibelcityseal logoAs reported today in the “Island Sun”: This week, Sanibel City Council approved the revised Dark Skies Ordinance, ending 13 months of revisions, adjustments and “fine tuning” by the planning commission, city staff, and public input. The ordinance was established to protect the natural beauty of the island’s night skies as well as its habitat for a variety of animals, particularly sea turtles during nesting season. Beach-front properties and new construction already are required to be compliant. Non-beachfront properties have until January 1, 2018. Read the ordinance, its requirements and view a video about it at www.MySanibel.com.

Why Canada’s Snowbirds Are Under U.S. Scrutiny

TRC LOGORSPS LogoIsland sellers often ask their Realtors® if they do much business with out-of-country buyers. Thankfully SanibelSusan’s TRC (Transnational Referral Certified) and RSPS (Resort & 2nd-Home Property Specialist) designations often result in referral business that comes from over the border or across the pond.

For those readers wondering about the implications of Canadian residents spending their winters in Florida, here is an article that was posted in the February RSPS Newsletter and published earlier in “Reuters” on February 10.

“Canadians who normally head south of their border for warmer weather are keeping closer track of their time in the United States because if they stay too long, they could lose their Canadian health benefits and might owe U.S. income tax.

“Just last year, the two countries implemented an agreement to scan passports and share the information, meaning that, unlike in past years, America’s tax authorities now know exactly how long snowbirds are spending in warmer climes like Florida, California and Arizona.

“And that has many worried Canadians monitoring their stay on American soil. People like 74-year-old former TV producer Richard Simpson, who stays in Fort Myers, Florida, from the end of October through April, then heads back to Toronto. “People have this fear in the back of their heads about playing it too loose, and spending too much time down here,” he said. “Whenever there’s a ‘Canada Night’ gathering, it’s the No.1 topic of conversation.”

“The magic number is 182 days in a single year. More than that, and Canadians risk being considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes. If Canadians overstay their welcome, they risk creating a U.S. claim on their worldwide income, getting barred from the country for five years and losing prized health care, according to Dale Walters, the Phoenix-based chief executive officer of KeatsConnelly, a financial planning firm that specializes in cross-border issues.

“Even less than 182 days, though, and they still might meet what the U.S. Internal Revenue Service calls its “substantial presence” test. It is a complicated formula, but if snowbirds spend more than roughly 120 days per year in the United States over a three-year period, the IRS starts getting interested in them.

“”The technology has finally gotten to the point where they can track border crossings easily,” said Walters. “Snowbirds are very aware of this. Some of them have become pretty paranoid about it.”

“But the lure of a warmer climate can be very powerful indeed. Canadians purchased U.S. properties worth $13.8 billion in the 12 months leading up to March 2014, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. That makes for 15% of all international sales. Canadians’ favorite spots, perhaps not surprisingly: Florida, Arizona and California, making for almost three-quarters of all their purchases.

“More than 500,000 Canadians own real estate in Florida alone, according to BMO Financial Group Swhose Annual Snowbird Outlook – issued last October – predicts continued gains for snowbird homeowners.

“The pace of those home purchases will likely slow, thanks to a falling Canadian dollar that has seen the loonie sink to around 80 U.S. cents. For those who have already purchased in the United States, the combination of rising real-estate prices and a U.S. dollar-denominated asset has proved to be a clever hedge indeed. “For Canadians who bought a couple of years ago, they have already gained 20% on the rising U.S. dollar alone,” says Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. “At the same time, home prices in many areas also rose double digits. So it was an excellent time to buy.”

“Compared to record-high Canadian real estate in hot markets like Toronto and Vancouver, housing in the American sunbelt is still attractively priced, the BMO report notes.

“So how can snowbirds avoid running afoul of the authorities, and not jeopardize their Canadian status or attract the scrutiny of the IRS? Many have been tweaking their calendars already, says KeatsConnelly’s Walters. While typical snowbirds used to return to Canada in April, he says, many have now shifted earlier to March.

Some, like Simpson, throw some cruising into the mix to pad their schedules. Since a March or April return to Canada can still be on the chilly side, Simpson sometimes leaves Florida to keep under the 182-day limit, but then takes an international cruise until things warm up.

“Also, know the letter of the law. Even if snowbirds meet the IRS’ “substantial presence” test, for instance, they can still fill out the agency’s Form 8840. It asserts closer connections to Canada, and should stave off any potential problems.

“Finally, when crossing the border, Walters advises that snowbirds come equipped with a “border kit” that proves Canadian residency in multiple ways – things like utility bills and property-tax statements. As for Richard Simpson, he does not regret leaving his homeland behind, at least for the coldest parts of the year. “Whenever I see the Canadian weather on TV, I think, ‘Thank God I’m here in Florida, and thank God I’m wearing shorts.'””

McMansions Remain a Hot Buy

realtor logoRealtor®Mag posted this article late last week on its “Daily Real Estate News”:

“Existing-home sales mostly fell flat in January, but a closer look at the data shows one segment of the market is seeing a lot of activity. McMansions – those traditionally large homes in the $750,000 to $1 million range – saw a sales growth rate of 13% in January, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. That is the fastest growth rate of any other home price range.

“NAR’s latest housing reports:Home Sales Off to a Bumpy Start in 2015 and Tight Supplies Put Home Prices on the Move. “It’s a reflection of the U.S. economy where the upper end has done much better in this recovery in terms of income,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, told MarketWatch.

“As the stock market hits new highs, the luxury buyer is continuing to be a strong player in the housing market this year. Last year, the million-dollar plus segment had the strongest growth. “Now, it’s the next level that is beginning to pick up,” Yun says.

“As for more traditional buyers, they may be locked in to their current home. Home owners who snagged low interest rates may be reluctant to trade up or move on unless job or family changes press them to, Yun notes. That’s how he explains why the strengthening job market as well as rent growth is not currently leading to a stronger housing market than expected. “People may be delaying two years, four years before returning to normal moving patterns,” Yun says.”

Nearly 80% of Housing Markets Are Stabilizing

FreddieMacLogo_3Here is some more good news, also from the last Thursday “Daily Real Estate News”:

“Thirty-eight of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, are now showing an improving three-month trend in housing activity, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Multi-Indicator Market Index. What’s more, 40 of the 50 major metros Freddie Mac tracks are also showing a three-month improving trend.

“Yet, Freddie Mac’s national MiMi value stands at 74.9, which still indicates a weak housing market overall. The all-time MiMi high was 121.7, recorded in April 2006; its lowest point was 57.2 in October 2010, when the housing market was at its weakest point. Since its low in 2010, the housing market has rebounded 31%.

Freddie Mac’s MiMi index monitors the stability of the nation’s housing market by assessing each single-family housing market relative to its long-term stable range. It takes into account such data as home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios, on-time mortgage payments, and the employment market.

Overall, “housing markets are getting back on track,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “The national MiMi improved for the fourth consecutive month. Nearly 80% of the state and metro housing markets MiMi tracks are improving or in their stable range of activity. … Low mortgage rates and moderating house price growth are helping to keep payment-to-income ratios favorable for the typical family in most of the country. In fact, Los Angeles is the only metro market with an elevated MiMi payment-to-income indicator whereas most other markets remain quite affordable. And of course, labor markets are generally improving.””

Sanibel Island Survival Camps for Teens

Sanibel Sea schoolAnother article in the “Island Sun” today caught my eye. Makes me wish to be a teenager again.

This summer Sanibel Sea School is offering three weeks of survival camp for teens (13- to 18-year olds) yearning to embark on an adventure. Can they endure a night on the island with only a fishing net, a coconut, and a paddleboard? Sound like fun?

Each week the group will venture into the lesser-known places on Sanibel for a week of exploration. Attendees will learn the basics of paddle-boarding, and then learn survival skills that will be as useful in a city as on a desert island. Tire changing races, fire starting contests, and shelter-building competitions are all part of the plan, along with basic first aid and figuring out how to find food and water in the wilderness. One night, they will paddle out to camp on Picnic Island and put their new skills to the test, where conditions will be primitive, bugs will be many, and memories should be everlasting. Each week will be different so teens can attend just one or sign up for the series. The sessions are June 22-28, June 29-July 3, July 13-17. Register on-line at www.SanibelSeaSchool.org/summer-camp-2015.

Sanibel-Captiva Art League Clothesline Sale

clothesline saleProperty owners often ask us when the “clothesline show” will be this year.

That event is an excellent time to purchase island art from San-Cap Art League Members. I just heard that this year, the sale will be Sunday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House (across the street from SanibelSquare and SanibelSusan Realty).

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Feb 27-Mar 6 

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Colonnades #41 1/1 $194.5K, Breakers West #C2 2/2 $535K, Sundial #H303 2/2 $589K, Seascape #301 3/3 $1.315M.

3 price changes: Sundial #H211 1/1 now $269K, Coquina Beach #4B 2/2 now $449K, Sundial #O201 2/2 now $725K.

7 new sales: Tennisplace #B23 2/1.5 listed for $310K, Sundial #I301 1/1 listed for $389K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 listed for $490K, Loggerhead Cay #574 2/2 listed for $549.9K, Sundial #Q205 3/2 listed for $825K, Atrium #204 2/2 listed for $1.295M, Lantana #102 4/3.5 listed for $1.495M.

6 closed sales: Sundial #C306 1/1 $310K, Lighthouse Point #113 2/2 $450K, Loggerhead Cay #191 2/2 $630K, Pointe Santo #B4 2/2 $580K, Sand Pointe #228 2/2 $720K, Kings Crown #307 3/2 $880K.

HOMES

8 new listings: 5131 SanibelCaptiva Rd 2/2 $535K, 1702 Sand Pebble Way 3/2.5 $535K, 667 Anchor Dr 4/3.5 $1.1M, 1501 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 $1.15M, 1220 Morningside Place 5/5 multi-family $1.198M, 2617 Coconut Dr 3/2.5 $1.35M, 5235 Indian Ct 4/3.5 $1.598M, 3675 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $4.4M.

9 price changes: 1347 Jamaica Dr 2/2 now $550K, 1228 Anhinga Ln 3/2 now $598.5K, 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $629.9K, 741 Nerita St 3/2 now $649K, 3131 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $689K, 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now $699K, 395 Old Trail Rd 5/4 now $815K, 6101 Castaways Ln 4/2 now $850K, 1331 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $945K.

10 new sales: 2621 SanibelCaptiva Rd 3/2 listed for $279K, 702 Donax St 2/2 listed for $399K, 918/920 Main St 5/5 multi-family listed for $449K, 1063 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 listed for $510K, 475 Sea Walk Ct 3/2 listed for $524.9K, 5406 Osprey Ct 3/2 listed for $729K, 2596 Roosevelt Pl 3/2 listed for $739K, 819 Lindgren Blvd 4/3.5 listed for $1.149M, 2720 Coconut Dr 3/3.5 listed for $1.5M, 6170 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3 listed for $1.595M.

10 closed sales: 938 Palm St 3/2 $390K, 1717 Windward Way 3/2 $635K, 6001 Clam Bayou Ln 3/2 $745K, 6433 Pine Ave 4/3 $875K, 1671 Hibiscus Dr 4/3 $875K, 566 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $890K, 630 Periwinkle Way 4/3 $970K, 2400 Los Colony Rd 3/3 $1.4M, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 $2.9M, 4265 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $4.1M.

LOTS

No new listings.

5 price changes: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $214,555; 5126 Sea Bell Rd now $245K; 5116 Sea Bell Rd now $250K.

1 new sale: 4636 Rue Royale listed for $429K.

1 closed sale: 2379 Wulfert Rd $300K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 now $629K.

1 new sale: Beach Villa II #2418 2/2 listed for $650K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1131 Longifolia Ct 4/4 $3.69M.

4 price changes: 14981 Binder Dr 3/3 now $1.099M,16251 Captiva Dr 4/5.5 now $3.595M, 15891 Captiva Dr 5/4 now $3.649M, 16151 Captiva Dr 4/3 now $9.9M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 16950 Captiva Dr listed for $2.995M.

No 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. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

SANSLogo

Thinking of island real estate? Contact a member of The SanibelSusan Team, we are working close to 24/7 this time of the year (not really, but at least 12/7!

‘Til next Friday, SanibelSusan

Sharing Roadways, Eating Spaghetti, & Selling Real Estate on Sanibel/Captiva Islands


It’s been a week of warm temperatures, but a few cloudy/foggy/drizzly days on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Don’t usually have many of those in the winter. The overcast days continue to cause traffic delays when visitors turn to retail therapy and restaurant dining, instead of enjoying the great outdoors. The SanibelSusan Team like challenges, so it has been an interesting week scheduling showings, opening properties for viewings, and being on time for appointments.

Gulf-front properties have been exceptionally fun to show as there actually has been some serious wave action this week – Sanibel surf.

SanibelSurf Feb 2015

There has been another flurry of real estate activity this week too. It is described more fully in the weekly report of the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service action below. We have had showings, open houses, been out showing, written offers, received offers, announced sales, and also heard about a few disappointed prospective buyers because they didn’t make their showing arrangements before their travel plans or because they were too late in making offers.

It’s “season” with hot properties getting activity. You know we are full service when we show our listings at night using a flashlight. That was SanibelSusan’s role Wednesday night! Wrote an offer though, so it was productive!

Upcoming Sanibel/Captiva Events

It’s again that time of the year when multiple events are happening often simultaneously. Lots of choices if you are looking for social events. Here are a few favorites coming up:

kiwanis logoAnnual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner – February 28, tomorrow night, 4 to 8 p.m., followed by after party and auction at the Sanibel Community House, proceeds to benefit scholarships & local youth programs. It’s a great evening of island-style camaraderie, CU there!

Shell show photo78th Annual Sanibel Shell Show & Festival – March 5, 6, & 7, Thursday & Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Community House (adjacent to SanibelSusan Realty).

Captiva ABC Campaign Dinner & Auction – March 5, Thursday, at 5:30 p.m. at Captiva Civic Center. Limited seating, call 239-472-2111 for more info.

BIG Arts logoBIG ARTS Concert Band Spring Concert – March 6, Friday, at 7 p.m. in Schein Performance Hall, BIG ARTS. Tickets at the Marks Box Office, 900 Dunlop Rd.

The Hottest Winter Home Markets

Since our winter real estate market is busy too, it was with interest that The SanibelSusan Team read the below article posted on-line at “Realtor®Mag” on Tuesday:

Realtor.com logos“While most of the United States is currently under a deep freeze, real estate markets in many cities across the country are heating up, according to the recent Hotness Index compiled by realtor.com®. Not surprisingly, warm locations continue to be hot spots for winter buyers. Miami, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Raleigh, and San Diego rank highest on the Hotness Index, and see busy Spring level home-buying activity earlier than other cities across the country.

“To compile the Hotness Index rankings, economists from realtor.com® looked at 2014 monthly search volume on realtor.com®, adjusted for population, and combined climate data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “The correlation between warmer metropolitan areas and more January searches makes sense, as it’s easier to get out and go house hunting in these cities,” said Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist for realtor.com®. “In these markets, looking for a home in November or January makes as much sense as August.”

“Winter home-buying activity isn’t just booming in cities with balmy climates. Chicago is a surprisingly hot real estate market in the winter months, according to the Hottest Index. Despite Chicago’s frigid temperatures, their prime buying season actually begins in January and home showings during snowstorms are the norm.

Some suggest that what’s driving this push towards an earlier Spring buying season is the lack of inventory in many metropolitan areas. “Prices are appreciating and homes are selling more quickly,” Smoke said. “These are the criteria that we use to define a healthy market. When inventory is growing as well, the hot market can keep its momentum, which benefits both sellers and buyers.””

If this hotness index was based on 2014 data, SanibelSusan can hardly wait to see the data for 2015. After the brutal weather this year, more buyers should be flocking to the sunshine state. It is a little early in the year to be comparing statistics, but already on Sanibel in 2015, 20 condos have sold/closed, compared to just 11 in 2014. That’s healthy improvement. Now if we could only get into those units that are heavily booked, we could see more activity. Those sales likely will not occur until spring when units become easily viewable again. It’s going to be a good year!

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Feb 20-27 

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sundial #F306 1/1 $379K, Sundial #P404 2/2 $899K, Gulfside Place #123 2/2 $1.25M.

4 price changes: Sanibel Arms #E7 1/1 now $376.5K, Pointe Santo #B46 2/2 now $825K, Shell Island Beach Club #5A 2/2 now $864.9K, Kimball Lodge #306 2/2 now $1.139M.

Sandalfoot from beach

4 new sales: Sanibel Arms West #B5 2/2 listed for $499K, Sandalfoot #5C1 2/2 listed for $699K (our listing), Sundial #E408 2/2 listed for $925K, Gulfside Place #318 2/2 listed for $1.25M (our sale).

Gulfside Place

2 closed sales: Sundial #J203 1/1 $385K, Kinzie Island #A 4/3.5 $2.3M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 656 Anchor Dr 3/2 $690K, 2210 Camino Del Mar 3/2 $695K, 4458 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 $829K, 819 Lindgren Blvd 4/3.5 $1.149M, 1101 Schooner Pl 3/2.5 $1.189M.

11 price changes: 4109 SanCap Rd 2/1 now $289K, 2407 Shop Rd 2/1 now $299K, 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $565K, 220 Palm Lake Dr 3/3 now $585K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $595K (short sale), 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $599.9K, 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $669.9K, 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now $749K, 1173 Kittiwake Cir 4/2 now $749.9K, 547 N Yachstman Dr 4/3 now $935K, 2388 Wulfert Rd 3/4 now $1.98M.

10 new sales: 581 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed for $495K (short sale), 240 Southwinds Dr 3/2 listed for $549K, 4279 Gulf Pines Dr 4/3 listed for $699.95K, 625 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 listed for $769K, 218 Daniel Dr 2/2.5 listed for $829K, 190 Violet Dr 3/2.5 listed for $1.05M, 600 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2.5 listed for $1.2945M, 6170 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3 listed for $1.595M, 4204 Dingman Dr 5/4.5 listed for $1.995M, 960 Whelk Dr 3/3 listed for $2.299M.

10 closed sales: 1550 Bunting Ln 2/2 $375K, 543 Chert Ct 3/2 $450K, 1026 Bird Watch Way 3/2 $555K, 548 Chert Ct 3/2 $562K, 1477 Albatross Rd 4/3 $565K, 5753 Pine Tree Dr 3/4 $679K, 251 Daniel Dr 3/2 $768K, 2470 Harbour Ln 3/3 $950K, 1800 Woodring Rd 2/2 $1.24735M, 2964 Wulfert Rd 5/5.5 $1.7M (short sale).

LOTS

1 new listing: 497 Sea Oats Dr $539K.

4 price changes: 3013 Poinciana Cir now $244.9K; 6411 Pine Ave now $339,999; 6519 Pine Ave now $995K; 6505 Pine Ave now $995K.

3 new sales: 2380 Wulfert Rd listed for $199K, 1316 Par View Dr listed for $320K, 4334 West Gulf Dr listed for $899K.

2 closed sales: Beverly Ln $170K, 6486 Pine Ave $359.9K.

Captiva 

CONDOS

1 new listing: Marina Villas #707 2/2 $695K.

1 price change: Sunset Beach Villas #2318 2/2 now $589,974.

2 new sales: Lands End Village #1601 2/2 listed for $1.259M, Lands End Village #1610 3/3 listed for $1.865M.

1 closed sale: Captiva Bay Villas #C 3/3.5 $2.2M.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 15009 Binder Dr 4/5.5 now $3.995M, 16910 Captiva Dr 4/4 now $4.725M.

1 new sale: 16249 Captiva Dr 3/2.5 listed for $2.375M.

1 closed sale: 11520 Laika Ln 2/2 $2.45M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 925 South Seas Plantation Rd $4.5M.

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. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

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(Photo above by our photographer, pal, Jim Anderson with JMA Photography.)

Until next Friday, warm weekend wishes to all,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

A Cold Snap, But Still Happy Visitors on Sanibel/Captiva Islands


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It is a crisp but sunny Friday on Sanibel. With some record cold temperatures in Southwest Florida last night, islanders are happily enjoying a warm-up to the low 60’s today. It is expected to be back to the mid-70’s tomorrow and through the weekend.

Happenings at SanibelSusan Realty

SANSLogoThere was good sales activity on both Sanibel and Captiva over the last few days, we had one listing go under contract and another sale close, but our requests for showings are down from last weekend, mostly because there are long-term tenants in many of the properties we have listed.

Near-beach home sales continue to dominate the market as baby boomers continue to transition from income-producing condos to more residential properties.

The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last week follows a couple of news items below.

Sanibel’s Vegetation Standards Protect Homeowners

Sanibelcityseal logoGood reminders from the City – good for sharing – came with recent quarterly sewer bills. Below is the one titled “Sanibel’s Vegetation Standards Protect Homeowners”:

“For decades, Sanibel residents have sought to maintain the island’s sanctuary character by protecting our native environment. To help in this effort the City has adopted vegetation standards for homeowners and businesses. These include:

  • A requirement that at least 75% of all vegetation (trees, shrubs, and ground cover) on a property be native plants; up to 25% may be non-invasive, exotic species.
  • Property must be kept clear of 8 specific invasive exotic plants such as Brazilian pepper.
  • Pruning of native plants is limited to 25% of the total leaf area in any one year.
  • The type and use of fertilizer is carefully regulated to protect our water. This includes a ban on fertilizer use during the summer rainy season.
  • A permit is always required to trim mangroves, to trim in the beach zone (dune), and to move or remove any native protected plant.
  • All landscape contractors or persons hired to work on landscape must have a Sanibel Vegetation Competency Card. All professional fertilizer applicants must also be certified by the City.

“Native plants survive and thrive in our highly variable weather conditions (summer heat and rain and winter droughts), alkaline soil and proximity to salt water. They require little or no supplemental irrigation, do not need fertilizer and provide habitat for native wildlife.

“The Natural Resources Department section of the City’s website, www.mysanibel.com, offers information and photos of native plants, a listing of licensed contractors, Sanibel’s vegetation standards and codes, the Environmental reference Handbook prepared by the City’s Vegetation Committee, and much more. The Vegetation Committee also offers free native plant tours of the grounds at City Hall at 10 a.m. on the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Saturday of the month from November to April. Additional information is available by contacting the Sanibel Natural Resources Department at (239) 472-3700. “

Move Inc. Ready to Take on Zillow-Trulia

Realtor.com logosWednesday’s “Daily Real Estate News” had the latest on the Zillow-Trulia merger. It’s going to be an interesting year:

“The real estate portal space is heating up with Zillow and Trulia finalizing their merger Tuesday. The number of major competitors serving this market has been reduced to two big titans: Move Inc., which operates realtor.com®, and Zillow-Trulia.

“Following the Zillow-Trulia announcement, Move released a statement saying, “2015 will mark Zillow’s year of the merge and realtor.com®’s year of the surge.”

“In an e-mail yesterday to Move employees, CEO Ryan O’Hara elaborated. “My expectation is that the two of us will wage a spirited battle for the hearts and minds of consumers and the industry, and we will push each other to be better performers – more focused on the customer, quicker to innovate, more committed to adding value at every stage of the real estate cycle. In this way, everyone wins.”

“Zillow finalized its acquisition of Trulia Inc. for $2.5 billion in a stock-for-stock transaction Tuesday. The acquisition forms Zillow Group Inc., which also houses New York-based StreetEasy and rental search brand HotPads. The company faces increased competition now that realtor.com®’s operator has the force of News Corp behind it. This past November the global media company, which operates real estate portals internationally and owns such titles as The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s completed its acquisition of Move Inc., tying its name to the REALTOR® brand.

““There is no digital replacement for the human touch,” Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corp said during the Real Estate Connect conference in New York in January. “No technology can meet all of someone’s needs. It takes a real person. … We want the shortest distance between the American Dream and a family’s reality to be realtor.com®.”

“The acquisition has already proved a boon to Move’s traffic. Move Inc.’s web and mobile traffic jumped more than 30%. In January, Move reported an all-time high of 37 million unique visitors to realtor.com®.

“Move/realtor.com® is extremely well-positioned to compete and thrive in this environment of industry consolidation and data-driven customers,” O’Hara said in his e-mail to employees. “Competing in business typically involves trying to be better, cheaper, faster or different than your competition. How will we compete?  By continuing to build the best web and mobile experiences for consumers and the best and most valuable tools for brokers and agents, and by providing the market with the most comprehensive, most accurate, and most up-to-date listings in the U.S.  I can also promise you we will quicken the pace of product innovation and apply more marketing muscle to our consumer and industry outreach.””

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Feb 13-20 

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial #I301 1/1 $389K, Sundial #F303 2/2 $495K, Sundial #S404 3/2 $837K, Kings Crown #101 2/2 $1.195M.

10 price changes: Casa Blanca #6 1/1 now $254.9K, Sunset South #9D 2/2 now $399K, Mariner Pointe #813 2/2 now $469K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #201 2/2 now $475K, Blind Pass #G203 2/2 now $495K, Blind Pass #G203 2/2 now $495K, Sundial #R304 2/2 now $799K, Pointe Santo #B46 2/2 now $825K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 now $1.149M, Sedgemoor #206 3/3.5 now $2.499M.

4 new sales: Sundial #C306 1/1 listed for $329K, Sanibel Siesta #105 2/2 listed for $424.5K, Donax Villlage #8 2/2 listed for $449K, Seawindd II #2 2/2.5 listed for $685K.

2 closed sales: Seashells #15 2/2 $319.5K, Sandpebble #3C 2/2 $327K.

HOMES

8 new listings: 475 Sea Walk Ct 3/2 $524.9K; 1322 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $565K; 580 Chert Ct 2/2 $580K; 4241 Old Banyan Way 3/2 $779K; 755 Pen Shell Dr 3/2 $899K; 1328 Seaspray Ln 4/4 $998,995; 1253 Anhinga Ln 4/4 $3.9M; 4241 West Gulf Dr 5/4.5 $3.995M.

14 price changes: 702 Donax St 2/2 now $399K; 982 Main St 3/2.5 multi-family now $445K; 1521 Wilton Ln 3/2 now $549K; 1228 Anhinga Ln 3/2 now $629K; 987 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 now $699K; 5406 Osprey Ct 3/2 now $729K; 1291 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 now $779K; 5424 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 now $859K; 1188 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/3 now $925,555; 1138 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2.5 now $1.295M; 375 East Gulf Dr 4/3 now $1.395M; 842 Limpet Dr 4/3.5 now $1.495M; 830 Limpet Dr 4/4.5 now $1.645M; 1490 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4.5 now $1.795M.

Front111 new sales: 1613 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex listed for $449K, 744 Martha’s Ln 2/2 listed for $479K (our Seller), 475 Sea Walk Ct 3/2 listed for $524.9K, 1294 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $529K, 3168 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed for $549.9K, 728 Windlass Way 3/2 listed for $649K, 248 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed for $749K, 8999 Mockingbird Ln 3/2 listed for $775K, 2582 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 listed for $789K, 4037 Coquina Dr 3/3 listed for $799K, 1056 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $899K.

6440 Pine4 closed sales: 999 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 $585K, 1337 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.025M, 6440 Pine Ave 3/3 $1.0875M (our Buyer), 1520 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/3.5 $1.92M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 540 East Lake Dr $197K, 3354 Barra Cir $319K.

1 price change: 6419 Pine Ave now $799K.

4 new sales: 9426 Sage Ct listed for $229,555; 3792 Coquina Dr listed for $329K; 6411 Pine Ave listed for $329,999; 4988 Joewood Dr listed for $459K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Captiva Bay Villas #B 3/3.5 $2.095M.

1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2031 2/2 now $645K.

1 new sale: Gulf Beach Villas #2012 2/2 $615K.

1 closed sale: Beach Homes #18 4/3 $2.34M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 $2.195M, 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 $7.495M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 11491 Dickey Ln 4/4 listed for $1.799M, 17020 Captiva Dr 7/8/2 listed for $6.75M.

1 closed sale: 15301 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 $1.9625M.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 956 South Seas Plantation Rd now $2.49M, 15879 Captiva Dr now $2.695M.

No 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. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Until next Friday, here’s a nice flock of roseate spoonbills to keep things cheerful!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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Sanibel Island Real Estate Is Moving, Traffic Not So Much


It is hard to believe that more people are expected to be on the islands next week for the President’s Day holiday. Suffice it to say, that Sanibel is busier now than The SanibelSusan Team ever remembers it and we are trying to “nicely” share with the many vacationers, snowbirds, and owners here enjoying it too.

No one seems to mind that the daily temperatures this week have, for the most part, only been in the mid-60’s. Bikers in their shorts and tee-shirts continue to fly by our office on the bike path, while we locals have rare chances to wear sweaters and jackets. Here are a few photos taken by our client/friend Ellie Hayward and others during some of the recent breezy days when the shelling has been amazing.

SanibelSusan had lunch this week with VIP’s Vacation Rentals Manager, and he said they do not have a single accommodation left that is available between now and Easter. Other companies and accommodations likewise report 100% occupancy. That is great news for the local economy, but tough traveling for us trying to keep showing appointments on schedule.

We also heard this week that the “Sports Illustrated” annual swim suit edition has hit the streets with some of the photos taken on the islands. Do suppose that could bring even more traffic to Southwest Florida?

SCCF 2015 Life Member/Benefactor Luncheon

SCCF logoTuesday, we attended SCCF’s 2015 Life Member/Benefactor Luncheon which concluded with a terrific presentation by Director Eric Lindblad on current and future conservation plans. This organization does so much for the islands, we should all be strong supporters.

Eric advised that thanks to cooperation with Tarpon Bay Explorers, SCCF in early April will begin construction of a new marine lab on the grounds of Tarpon Bay, facing the water, in the location of the former concession stand.

SCCF work at rehabbing and reconfiguring The Bailey Homestead continues with preliminary plans in-the-works for eventually moving the Native Plant Nursery there. It has already increased usage of the connected paths that now go from the Chamber of Commerce through the Shipley Trail to Pond Apple Park and City Park via the Starr D. Thomas Boardwalk. A colleague recently saw an eagle there. Here’s a link to the trails: http://www.sccf.org/content/86/SCCF-Walking-Trails.aspx

Other Island Happenings

rotary logoThe Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club’s 32nd Arts & Crafts Fair is tomorrow and Sunday at the Community House across the street from SanibelSusan Realty. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, they expect to have 7,000 attendees.

I’ll be at the office then, hoping they want to buy real estate to go with their other purchases. Here’s a link to the fair website: http://www.sanibelartfair.com/visiting-the-fair/

Happenings at SanibelSusan Realty

SANSLogoNext week again will be busy. We have some Open Houses planned and have a big (over 6,000-piece) bulk mailing going out. It’s our annual inventory lists for owners of all of the property for sale on the islands, plus for comparison, recent sales.

If you would like a copy too, just give us a call (888-603-0603 or 239-472-HOME (4663)) or send us an email (Susan@SanibelSusan.com).

Below after a few more news items is the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Vacation Home Tax Deductions

taxesTax time is here and though it is best to consult your tax advisor, here is a handy summary that was posted on-line by HouseLogic and reprinted in NAR’s “Real Estate News” on Monday.

“The rules on tax deductions for vacation homes are complicated. Do yourself a favor and keep good records about how and when you use your vacation home.

  • If you’re the only one using your vacation home (you don’t rent it out for more than 14 days a year), you deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes on Schedule A.
  • Rent your vacation home out for more than 14 days and use it yourself fewer than 15 days (or 10% of total rental days, whichever is greater), and it’s treated like a rental property. Your expenses are deducted on Schedule E.
  • Rent your home for part of the year and use it yourself for more than the greater of 14 days or 10% of the days you rent it and you have to keep track of income, expenses, and allocate them based on how often you used and how often you rented the house.”

Read more about home tax deductions at http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/tax-deductions/home-tax-deductions/#ixzz3RRnJm200

‘Domino Effect’ to Set Off 2015 Housing Wave

clear capital logoInteresting concept recently described in the “Daily Real Estate News”, sourced to a Clear Capital report of February 2, 2015 titled “Traditional Home Buyers, Make Your Move”:

“Home prices between the top and bottom segments of the housing market are rising, which could unleash a “domino effect” that builds first-time and move-up buyer momentum this year, notes a new real estate report by Clear Capital. But the build-up in traditional home buyers is coming at the cost of declines in the luxury home market.

“”The rate of appreciation for top tier homes is stalling, which is a more direct reflection of waning fair market demand,” says Alex Villacorta, vice president of research and analytics at Clear Capital. “While this is a concerning development, there is a silver lining. The moderating upper tier may give traditional buyers a moment to catch their breath, and entice move-up buyers to enter this segment of the market. The ripple effect of opening up inventory all the way down the price spectrum could provide opportunity and motivation across all segments, including first-time buyers, to enter the marketplace.”

“The lower and middle-range ends of the housing market is stabilizing, allowing traditional home buyers to re-emerge. “The next phase of the housing recovery is dependent on healthy demand from this segment,” Villacorta says.

“The lower-end of the housing market was once driven mostly by investor activity, but now doors are opening for first-time home buyers to break in.  Also, as the number of underwater mortgages steadily decreases, home owners in the mid-tier of the home pricing segment can finally trade up to a larger, more expensive home.

Lower-end properties have been outpacing price growth in the luxury market, Clear Capital reports. The low-tier has posted double-digit gains year-over-year of 10.2%, compared to the top tier, which saw the lowest price growth rate among the three tiers, at 3.6% year-over-year.

““This divide between a healthy low tier and stalling top tier could kick-off a domino effect,” Clear Capital notes in its report. “Stalling prices in the top tier of the market could create the perception of a good deal. This instills confidence in mid-tier home owners, motivating them to move-up to the top tier. In turn, this opens up more opportunity for low tier home owners to move-up to the mid-tier. … This domino effect could be the catalyst for balanced demand across all sectors of the market.

“The Midwest is leading the pack, according to Clear Capital. The Midwest posted double-digit gains in the low-tier segment at 13.6 percent, while seeing its top-tier of the market fall 3.3% with prices. The Midwest is the only region currently seeing price appreciation in the low and mid tiers, growing above 1%. As such, Clear Capital economists are predicting the Midwest to be the first region in U.S. to realize full buyer momentum among first-time and move-up buyers, due to its moderating top tier.”

“Bleu Rendezvous” Coming to Sanibel

Bue windowsMany islanders call it a “road trip” when we venture off island for dinner. A favorite spot for that since discovering it a few years ago is Blue Windows French Bistro in South Fort Myers which is a small classic French restaurant. Though tiny and only visited occasionally, I always see other islanders there enjoying it too, so it is great news that Christian and Mari Vivet are planning to open a second restaurant, Bleu Rendezvous, on Sanibel in May. It will be in the space of the former Sangria Grill at 2430 Periwinkle Way just up the street from our office.

According to a posting in the “News-Press” this week, “The Vivets, who usually close Blue Windows during the summer, plan to keep both restaurants open throughout this year. Christian hinted they might have other plans for the south Fort Myers store, but said it was too early to disclose anything. As for Blue Rendezvous’ menu, fans of Blue Windows won’t be disappointed. “We’re taking exactly what we’re doing here and doing the exact same thing there, even the same wine list at this point,” Christian said. “It’s worked for us so well, we didn’t see any reason to change it.”

“Blue Windows serves dinner Monday to Saturday at 15250 S. Tamiami Trail, south Fort Myers. Call 849-0622 or visit mybluewindows.com for more info.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Feb 6-13 

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Sundial #C306 1/1 $329K, Sundial #D312 1/1 $349K, Donax Village #8 2/2 $449K, Lighthouse Point #231 2/2 $670K, Sundial #F201 2/2 $829K, Tigua Cay #489 3/3.5 $2.595M.

6 price changes: Captains Walk #A2 1/1 now $239.9K, Sanibel Siesta #105 2/2 now $424.5K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 now $490K, Sanibel Arms #E8 2/2 now $499.9K, Sanibel Surfside #211 2/2 now $798K, Sundial #Q205 3/2 now $825K.

3 new sales: Seashells #15 2/2 listed for $324.9K, Sanibel Arms West #G5 2/2 listed for $525K, Kings Crown #317 2/2 listed for $940K.

4 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #453 2/2 $439K, Sand Pointe #235 2/2 $665K, Island Beach Club #330E 2/2 $783K, Wedgewood #204 3/3.5 $2.0625M.

HOMES

7 new listings: 2220 Camino Del Mar 3/3 $699K, 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $769K, 3840 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $849K, 401 Lagoon Dr 4/4 $ 875K, 4620 Rue Bayou 3/2 $979K, 1314 Par View Dr 4/3 $1.1M, 757 Windlass Way 3/2.5 $1.149M.

7 price changes: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $329K, 1211 Periwinkle Way 3/2 now $530K, 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 now $725K, 4037 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $799K, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr #1A 3/3 now $939K, 6015 Clam Bayou Ln 4/3.5 now $2.249M, 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 now $2.359M.

13 new sales: 240 Southwinds Dr 3/2 listed for $549K, 1075 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 listed for $629K, 497 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 listed for $715K, 732 Durion Ct 3/2 listed for $719.9K, 8999 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed for $775K, 3840 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 listed for $849K, 1287 Par View Dr 3/2 listed for $89.5K, 566 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed for $939K, 857 Birdie View Dr 3/2.5 listed for $995K, 630 Periwinkle Way 4/3 listed for $999.9K, 297 Ferry Landing Dr 3/3 listed for $1.295M, 1309 Seaspray Ln 5/5 listed for $1.898M.

2 closed sales: 490 Christine Rd 2/2 $534K, 1748 Jewel Box Dr 4/4 $1.058M.

LOTS

No new listings.

7 price changes: 0 Bowmans Beach Rd now $125K, 9239 Dimmick Dr now $139K, 9277 Belding Dr now $179.9K, 2324 Starfish Ln now $449K, 1242 Anhinga Ln now $525K, 1770 Dixie Beach Blvd now $699K, 4334 West Gulf Dr now $899K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Bayside Villas #5222 1/2 $322K, Sunset Beach Villas #2418 2/2 $650K.

1 price change: Sunset Beach Villas #2337 2/2 now $674.9K.

2 new sales: Captiva Shores #5C 2/2 listed for $898K, Captiva Bay Villas #C 3/3.5 listed for $2.395M.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #603 2/2 $585K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11520 Murmond Ln 5/5.5 $2.075M.

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. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

valentineUntil next Friday, best wishes for a great Valentines Day.

P.S. There’s no gift like a property in paradise for the one you love. SanibelSusan is working all day tomorrow for your last minute gift shopping!

Woohoo…it’s another sunny 70-degree Friday on Sanibel Island


beach with shellsIt’s another happy Friday for The SanibelSusan Team. The sun is out, the sky is blue, the temperatures are a pleasant 70 degrees, and we are told that the shelling is great after several breezy days this week. Lots of real estate is being shown and contracts written too.

Following a couple of news items, below is the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

Sanibel & Captiva Island Association of Realtors® Thursday Caravan Meeting

SanCapAssnLogoIt was unusual to have only four properties on our Association of Realtors® East-End Caravan yesterday. Maybe an indication that few new listings are coming on the market this year. Usually there is a flurry of new listings each January, but not so many this year.

Beach Erosion Near Blind Pass

Sanibelcityseal logoAt Sanibel City Council Meeting on Tuesday, the City’s Director of Natural Resources advised that he and staff have been closely monitoring the sand being lost along the Sanibel shoreline adjacent to San-Cap Road across from The Sunset Grill and Lazy Flamingo Restaurant. He reported that the 4’ escarpment is only about 30’ from the roadway. After discussion on a number of solutions, Council approved City staff taking “appropriate action” if conditions worsen in the affected area. With two cold fronts forecast, with increased wind having the potential to accelerate the escarpment, Council also authorized the use of emergency funds if needed. City staff will provide Council members with daily status reports on the situation.

Road Trips

edison festival of light logoiSometimes islanders call it a “road trip” when they venture off-island, whether it be for chores or to partake of what else Southwest Florida offers. This week, I noticed a few fun February “road trip” events, some that I have enjoyed in past years. Maybe you will like these reminders too:

Feb 7-8             ArtFest Fort Myers, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days at the waterfront in downtown Fort Myers, www.artfestfortmyers.com

Feb 15              Edison Festival of Light 67th Junior Parade at 2:30 p.m. in the downtown Fort Myers River District, www.edisonfestival.org

Feb 20              MusicWalk Fort Myers, 6 to 9 p.m., monthly event on the 3rd Friday where there is live music in various the River District locations, www.fortmyersmusicwalk.com

Feb 21              Edison Festival of Light 75th Grand Parade & Fireworks, beginning at noon at Centennial Park, parade at 7 p.m., www.edisonfestival.org

Feb 22              Edison Festival of Light “Mutt Strutt, noon, corner of Hendry & Edwards in downtown Ft Myers, www.edisonfestival.org

Feb 28              Burrowing Owl Festival at Rotary Park, Cape Coral, day-long event.

Island Crime Down 40%

police badgeAs reported in today’s “Island Sun”:

“During his annual presentation to the city council, the chief of the Sanibel Police Department reported a dramatic 40% decrease in criminal activity on the island in 2014, reduced from 210 federal reportable crimes (UCR) in 2013 to 125 last year.

““Within the federally reportable crimes, there were several noteworthy statistics,” Chief Bill Tomlinson told the council on Tuesday morning. “There was a 50% decrease in the report of thefts, a 40% decrease in the reported burglaries and a 75% decrease in vehicle theft.”

“The crimes category includes all non-UCR, such as trespass, drug violations, DUI, criminal traffic violations, criminal mischief, harassment, city ordinance violations and criminal citations.”

Dated Kitchens Get Long Overdue Makeovers

realtor logoRecently, I have had more than one conversation with clients considering remodeling their kitchens and wondering if that renovation will make their property more saleable when the time comes. The answer usually is “yes”, so when I saw the below article posted in “REALTOR®” Magazine on January 19, it reminded me of those conversations.

“Dated kitchens are getting a makeover in many homes this year. About a quarter of about 3,500 home owners recently surveyed say they are remodeling kitchens that are more than 30 years old and another 41% are updating kitchens that are 16 to 30 years old. Wow, have styles changed in three decades too – when red oak cabinets, laminate countertops, and brass fixtures were “in.”

houzz logo“Here’s an interesting stat: Home owners seem to be more committed to their kitchen than their spouse. Most kitchens last two to four times longer than the typical U.S. marriage – which is 8 years, according to Houzz’s Kitchen Remodeling Survey. That means when home owners remodel a kitchen, they devote a lot of time to making sure it’s just right since they’ll likely stick with it for many years to come.

““We already know that kitchens are the biggest driver of discretionary spending in the remodeling market,” says Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. “As the economy has improved, many home owners who delayed spending on kitchen updates feel like they now have the means to remodel. We should continue to see an uptick in discretionary spending on home improvements into 2015.

“So, what are home owners’ kitchen renovation plans?

  • Classic finishes: Home owners mostly are sticking to the classics, with finishes like white cabinets (49%) in shaker (37%) or raised-panel (22% styles. They’re also staying loyal to granite countertops (45%) and stainless steel appliances (83%).
  • Added storage: Ease of storage (65%) is a top priority driving remodeling trends. Organization features like a built-in pantry (44%), pull-out shelves (62%), deep cabinet organizers (38%), and built-in pet bowls (6%) are popular.
  • Entertainment spaces: An open-concept layout (52%), bar with seating (27%), and built-in wine storage (21%) are making kitchens a gathering place for family and friends.
  • Big makeovers with big dollars: When home owners choose to undergo a kitchen remodel, the majority are going big with projects requiring substantial construction (68%). As such, home owners are spending big too, with 36% planning to spend between $25,000 and $75,000 on updating their kitchens. More than half of home owners budget $25,000 or less for their upcoming remodels.
  • Complimenting the rest of the house: Home owners want their kitchens stylish and beautiful (59%), but they also want to make sure that the remodel integrates with the rest of the home too (55%). Other characteristics they say are important is that it is filled with natural light, adds to the resale value of their home, energy-efficient appliances, and pro-style cooking set-up.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Jan 30-Feb 6 

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Seawind II #2 2/2.5 $685K, Lighthouse Point #127 2/2 $699.9K, Island Beach Club #P2E 2/2 $799.9K, Sundial #E408 2/2 $925K, Kings Crown #118 3/2 $1.299M.

6 price changes: Casa Blanca #6 1/1 now $259.9K, Sundial #H411 1/1 now $272.5K, Sundial #I104 1/1 now $369K, Sanibel Arms West #M8 2/2 now $495K, Loggerhead Cay #574 2/2 now $549.9K, Compass Point #111 2/2 now $1.149M.

3 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #191 2/2 listed for $660K, Yacht Haven #1 4/3 listed for $1.495M, Kinzie Island #A 4/3.5 listed for $2.495M.

5 closed sales: Spanish Cay #F6 1/1 $260K; Seashells #11 2/2 $321K; Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-6 2/2.5 $684K; Compass Point #101 3/2 $1.13M; Wedgewood #204 3/3.5 $2,062,500.

HOMES

8 new listings: 766 Donax St 2/2 duplex $415K, 2065 Wild Lime Dr 3/2.5 $579K, 2582 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $789K, 0 Sea Pines 3/2 $849K, 276 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 $999K, 4308 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 $1.879M, 6019 Clam Bayou Ln 4/3 $1.999M, 2963 Wulfert Rd 4/6.5 $2.795M.

9 price changes: 1452 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex now $325K, 868 Rabbit Rd 3/2 now $385K, 450 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $549K, 625 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $769K, 1258 Par View Dr 3/2 now $775K, 566 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $939K, 428 Bella Vist Way E 4/4 now $1.749M, 2969 Wulfert Rd 6/6/2 now $2.19M, 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 now $2.359M.

6 new sales: 548 Chert Ct 3/2 listed for $585K, 590 Lake Murex Cir 2/1.5 listed for $635K, 201 Violet Dr listed for $869.5K, 8987 Mockingbird Dr 3/3 listed for $749K, 6433 Pine Ave 4/3 listed for $875K, 1309 Seaspray Ln 5/5 listed for $1.898M.

4 closed sales: 1596 Bunting Ln 2/2 $375K, 735 Donax St 3/2 $450K, 1207 Par View Dr 3/2 $715K, 1130 Seagrape Ln 4/3 $815K.

LOTS

4 new listings: 1316 Par View Dr $320K, 0 Sabal Sands Rd $349K, 9023 Mockingbird Dr $399K, 2494 Blind Pass Ct $695K.

4 price changes: 9232 Dimmick Dr now $215K, 1820 Farm Trail now $229K, 247+255 Robinwood Cir now $229K, 3723 West Gulf Dr now $2.995M.

1 new sale: 6486 Pine Ave listed for $359.9K (foreclosure).

2 closed sales: 864 Birdie View Pt $345K, 860 Birdie View Pt $350K.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 953 South Seas Plantation Rd 5/5 listed for $6.499M.

2 price changes: 16183 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 now $3.985M, 16910 Captiva Dr 4/4 now $4.73M.

3 new sales: 43 Oster Ct 2/2.5 listed for $784.9K; 16585 Captiva Dr 5/4/2 listed for $2,799,585; 15747 Captiva Dr 6/6.5 listed for $5.995M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 925 South Seas Plantation Rd listed for $5M.

No 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. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Until next Friday, here’s hoping your weekend is bright & sunny too!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Beach

The Sky is Blue & Real Estate is Selling on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It is another sunny Friday on Sanibel – what we call, “another picture-perfect day”. It reminds me of yesterday when I complimented an island pal on her Sanibel photos and she said “use them anytime”. So, before the rest of Friday’s blog, here are a few feathered friend pictures – thanks to Ellie Hayward. She took the alligator pix too!

 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

SanCapAssnLogoMore winter sales were announced at our local Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting yesterday and calls for showings are picking up too.

Below are a couple of news items followed by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service action over the last seven days. “Season” is shaping up to be a good one. The statistics below indicate the few sales already in process. During the next three months, the number of sales should jump.

CONDOS                      HOMES                         LOTS

                      #  / Avg $ / Avg DOM    # / Avg $ / Avg DOM     # / Avg $ / Avg DOM

SANIBEL

Available        117 / 751,571 / 403       155 / 1,258,601 / 243    79 / 499,905 / 722

Pending         27 / 755,406 / 373          43 / 1,086,499 / 320     6 / 496,250 / 663

Sold/closed in:

2015 to 1/30  8 / 491,094 / 398           10 / 784,468 / 365         1 / 352,000 / 192

2014              164 / 650,418 / 286        206 / 838,672 / 265       27 / 424,198 / 495

CAPTIVA

Available       43 / 885,909 / 372          50 / 3,503,921 / 318      6 / 2,280,000 / 330

Pending        4 / 1,113,500 / 118         4 / 7,337,250 / 442        1 / 1,390,000 / 116

Sold/closed in:

2015 to 1/30  0 / N/A / N/A                  0 / N/A / N/A                  0 / N/A / N/A

2014              22 / 624,068 / 421         23 / $2,826,717 / 364     0 / N/A / N/A

Island Happenings

SANSLogoSanibelSusan.com continues to bring us listing inquiries and this week one came from a follower of the “Upcoming Events” also posted on our web site. Tracking island happenings keeps us current. Here are a couple of new items recently noticed.

  • SCCF logoWater Quality Exhibit at SCCF Nature Center – Water quality is a subject key to our real estate business and an item often discussed at our state Association of Realtors® Land Use Committee meetings. A new 5-panel exhibit at SSCF’s Nature Center is the first on the island about water quality. Educational and fun for all ages, the centerpiece of this SCCF exhibit includes a touchscreen with an in-depth RECON overview. RECON is the River Estuary Coastal Observing Network which was launched in 2007. RECON sensors along the Caloosahatchee River, Pine Island Sound, Tarpon Bay, and San Carlos Bay gather data which aids in research and management of the water in these areas. The Nature Center at SCCF is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sanibelcityseal logoMayor’s Report to CASI – Last Friday, Sanibel Mayor Ruane updated CASI (Condominium Associations of Sanibel, Inc.) on the progress City Council has made this year in its goals of improving water quality, stabilizing city finances, and encouraging sensitive redevelopment. A few statistics he mentioned include that 27% of Lee County’s tax revenues come from Sanibel. Of each Sanibel property owner’s tax bill, 15 cents is retained by Sanibel, while 85 cents goes to the county. With some carefully selected projects like the Sanibel Civic Core which is being planned for the city hall/library area and expected to include BIG ARTS, the Senior Center, and the Sanibel Community Association, City-owned property may be eligible for bringing some of those tax dollars back to the island.
  • CROW logoCROW’s New Speaker Series – Beginning in February and running through March, CROW is offering more interactive and educational programs. As they are announced, dates will be posted on SanibelSusan.com “Upcoming Events”. More info at www.crowclinic.org.

Existing-Home Sales Rebound: 5 Stats to Know

for sale signBelow is a summary article from “Daily Real Estate News” last Friday. It’s a good synopsis of the real estate market nation-wide.

“Home sales picked up at the end of 2014, closing off a year that had a sluggish start but then showed encouraging signs in the second half, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest housing report, released Friday.

“Existing-home sales rose 2.4% in December month-over-month, bouncing back after a dismal November. Total home sales –reflecting completed transactions of single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops – reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in December. “Home sales improved over the summer once inventory increased, prices moderated, and economic growth accelerated,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Sales were measurably better in the second half – up 8% compared to the first six months of the year.”

“Overall for 2014, the median national existing-home price was $208,500, reaching the highest level since 2007, and a 5.8% increase from 2013 when it was $197,100. However, total existing-home sales were 3.1% lower in 2014 compared to 2013, NAR reports. Here’s a closer look at five housing stats from NAR’s latest report — reflecting December 2014 data — to gauge the market:

“1. Home sales: Single-family home sales rose 3.5% in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million compared to 4.32 million in November. Single-family home sales are 4% above the pace a year ago. Existing condo and co-op sales, on the other hand, dropped 5% in December.

“2. Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types in December was $209,500 – 6% higher than year ago levels. This marks the 34th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains.

3. Days on the market: Properties typically stayed on the market in December for 66 days, a slightly shorter time frame than a year ago when the average was 72 days. Short sales were on the market the longest amount of time at a median of 98 days in December, while foreclosures sold in 61 days. Non-distressed homes averaged 66 days on the market. About 31% of homes that were sold in December were on the market for less than a month, according to NAR.

“4. Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales edged up slightly in December, reaching 11% of sales compared to 9% in November. However, distressed sales are down from 14% a year ago. Of December existing-home sales, 8% were foreclosures and 3% were short sales. On average, foreclosures sold for a discount of 15% below market value while short sales were discounted 12%.

“5. Inventory: Total housing inventory at the end of December fell 11.1% to 1.85 million existing homes available for sale. That represents a 4.4-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 5.1 months in November. Unsold inventory is now 0.5% lower than a year ago.

““A drop in housing supply in December raises some affordability concerns in the months ahead as minimal selection and the potential for faster price appreciation could offset the demand from buyers encouraged by a stronger economy and sub-4 percent interest rates,” says Yun. “Housing costs – both rents and home prices – continue to outpace wages and are burdensome for potential buyers trying to save for a down-payment while looking for available homes in their price range.”

“By Region: The following is a look at how existing-home sales performed across the country in December:

  • Northeast: existing-home sales fell 2.9% to an annual rate of 660,000. Sales are 3.1% above year ago levels. Median price: $246,600, up 3.2% above a year ago.
  • Midwest: existing-home sales dropped 3.5% to an annual level of 1.09 million in December. Sales are 2.7% below December 2013. Median price: $159,100, up 5.3% from a year ago.
  • South: existing-home sales in the South climbed 3.8% to an annual rate of 2.17 million in December. Sales are 7.4% above December 2013. Median price: $184,100, up 6.6% from a year ago.
  • West: existing-home sales surged 9.8% to an annual rate of 1.12 million in December. Sales are 2.8% above a year ago. Median price: $299,600, up 5.6% year-over-year.”

Housing Demand Rises, Supply Is Bigger Issue

realtor logoAs the market rebounds another concern was highlighted by Realtor.com in another recent article. We are already seeing signs of not enough inventory on Sanibel and Captiva too. We all know that shrinking inventory often results in rising prices.

“Several signs in the housing market point to higher demand for real estate, but the big question remains whether the supply will be able to meet the rise in demand, writes Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com®, in new commentary at realtor.com®. “Supply is quickly becoming the biggest concern for healthy growth in home sales in 2015,” Smoke notes.

“Smoke points to the following three positive signs showing higher demand in the housing market:

Builders are more confident: Builders are remaining upbeat about the new-home market. The National Association of Home Builder’s Housing Market Index recently showed builder sentiment on the rise, with builders optimistic about the six-month outlook in the new-home market. New construction is starting to follow suit. Housing starts rose 4.4% in December, with that rise driven by an uptick in single-family construction. Single-family starts are at the highest number in six years, reaching a pace of 728,000 units in December. “That is a good early sign that homebuilders are gearing production for greater demand in the spring,” Smoke notes.

Low mortgage rates: Mortgage rates continue to hit new yearly lows, bringing borrowing costs down for home buyers and refinancers. As such, mortgage application activity rose to its highest level since June 2013 recently. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.63% last week, its lowest weekly average since May 2013, according to Freddie Mac. But economists are warning that the low rates won’t likely stick around much longer and could move up to 5% by the end of the year.

Existing-home sales rebounding: Demand has been growing in the existing-home sales market too. The annual pace of existing-home sales was 5.04 million in December, 3.5% higher than last year, according to the National Association of REALTORS® latest report.

“Housing supply remains the biggest issue, Smoke says. The inventory of existing-homes is at a 4.4-month supply at the current sales pace – well-below the 6-month supply that most economists consider healthy, according to NAR’s December report. “We need more markets to see listing growth over the next several weeks to keep appreciation at healthy, normal levels,” Smoke says.  “With three years of positive price appreciation behind them, existing-home owners in most areas should see conditions as very favorable for trading up. That is what the market needs to set the stage for significant growth this spring.””

Why I Bought Realtor.com®

Realtor_comlogoAs a Realtor® who has had successful results from Realtor.com, but many frustrations from inquiries from viewers looking at other third party real estate search sites, I have patiently been waiting for more news about Rupert Murdoch’s recent purchase. Here is the article posted on “Daily Real Estate News” yesterday. Love the last sentence!

“News Corp founder and executive chairman Rupert Murdoch took the stage at Real Estate Connect in New York on Thursday to explain why Move Inc., the operator of realtor.com®, was a better acquisition than its chief rivals in the online real estate space. Murdoch said Move and realtor.com® have a trifecta of powerful marketing points over Zillow and Trulia. “Move has the most up-to-date and accurate listings in the market,” Murdoch said, noting that realtor.com®’s listings are updated every 15 minutes.

““Move has a close relationship with the National Association of REALTORS®, and I believe real estate agents are crucial to every home sale in America,” he said. “Realtor.com® attracts transaction-ready consumers — they’re not just window shoppers — and that’s attractive to advertisers,” Murdoch said.

“Most people who begin their real estate search online eventually need human interaction and guidance, Murdoch said, and realtor.com® facilitates those connections. “There is no digital replacement for the human touch,” he said. “No technology can meet all of someone’s needs. It takes a real person. Realtor.com® helps bring home buyers, sellers, and agents together. We want the shortest distance between the American Dream and a family’s reality to be realtor.com®.”

“Murdoch reassured critics that News Corp’s goal is not to turn Move into a media company and take realtor.com® away from its mission of connecting agents with consumers. Instead, he said, he wants to enhance the realtor.com® user experience to help it better fulfill its mission. “We’re going to add to the user interface, make it more obviously friendly for agents and consumers,” Murdoch said. “We’ve got to make a better product, and then when we’re satisfied, we need to get out and market it hard. We understand that there’s a different business model in America,” continued the Australian-born media magnate, who owns media properties all over the world. “We don’t want to replace agents — we think they’re absolutely central.”

“Murdoch also predicted that the U.S. housing market would continue to expand and recover — another reason he was interested in buying a real estate company. He said the data he’s been seeing from Move thus far is encouraging, and the U.S. market offers the best bet for long-term growth in the world.

“Murdoch ended on a note that easily became the most talk-about moment of his appearance at Real Estate Connect. He said he believed in the ability of the realtor.com® name to attract consumers away from the site’s rivals because “we all know what ‘REALTOR®’ means.” And then he quipped: “What the hell does ‘Zillow’ mean?””

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 23-30 

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #L5 2/2 $524.9K, Sanibel Sunset #202 3/2 $1.795M.

3 price changes: Captains Walk #C7 1/1 now $244K, Sanibel Arms West #J4 2/2 now $459K, Sanddollar #A104 2/2 now $819K.

4 new sales: Sundial #F406 1/1 listed for $359.9K, Sanibel Arms West #L5 2/2 listed for $524.9K, Loggerhead Cay #191 2/2 listed for $660K, West Shore #6 3/3 listed for $1.795M.

1 closed sale: Pointe Santo #A2 2/2 $782.25K.

HOMES

8 new listings: 4109 SanCap Rd 2/1 $324K, 4619 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 $599.9K, 1085 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $669K, 1182 Kittiwake Cir 3/3 $739K, 923 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $889K, 1331 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $985K, 5418 Osprey Ct 4/3.5 $1.195M, 4525 Waters Edge Ln 3/3.5 $4.495M.

8 price changes: 2621 SanCap Rd 3/2 now $279K; 1602 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $499K; 9032 Mockingbird Ln 3/2 now $619,995; 741 Nerita St 3/2 now $679K; 3131 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $704,999; 1224 Par View Dr 3/3 now $1.099M; 518 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 now $1.179M; 2255 Troon Ct 4/5.5 now $1.55M.

6 new sales: 320 Palm Lake Dr 2/2 listed for $424K, 590 Lake Murex Cir 2/1.5 listed for $635K, 5753 Pine Tree Dr 3/4 listed for $749K, 1337 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 listed for $1.149M, 6440 Pine Ave 3/3 listed for $1.295M (our sale), 536 Lighthouse Way 4/4.5 listed for $3.395M.

1 closed sale: 960 S Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $1.299M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1311 Par View Dr now $269.9K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Tennis Villas #3115 1/1 $294.9K, Beach Villas #2614 2/2 $620K.

2 price changes: Bayside Villas #4114 1/2 now $269.9K, Bayside Villas #5316 3/3 now $619K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 928 S Seas Plantation Rd 5/5.5 $4.175M.

1 price change: 17130 Captiva Dr 4/4 now $4.499M.

2 new sales: 43 Oster Ct 2/2.5 listed for $784.9K; 16585 Captiva Dr 5/4/2 listed for $2,799,585.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 16915 Captiva Dr listed for $1.39M.

No 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 – best weekend wishes to all – from Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate News from Orlando to the Islands


Fl Realtors Mid-Winter 2015 logoIt’s a group effort today. I (Susan) am in Orlando at the Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings, while David and Elise are in the office minding the store.
Several of our listings had showings this week and island traffic picked up appreciably again over the holiday weekend, though many of those here on Monday seemed to be day-trippers.
I was out showing canal-front property both Saturday and Sunday and teammate Dave has been fielding several inquiries both last week and this from several entry-level buyers.
Open house signAnother cooperative group Open House is scheduled at The Sanctuary on the afternoon of February 4. We will have our listing at 5743 Balstusrol Court open then as The SanibelSusan Team continues to host open houses there and at other vacant listings as they are available.
After a few news items below is the action posted over the last seven days in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.
Florida Realtors® 2015 Mid-Winter Meetings
Florida Realtors logoThe Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Meetings in Orlando each January are when the state leadership team sets the stage for the year. I arrived in time for Wednesday’s Economic Summit where the future of the economy internationally and nationally, was further broken down to the state level, then by county.
Indications are that 2015 will be a good one for real estate sales in most of Florida. Lee County is one of the top areas experiencing a growth spurt again.
The profile of the prospective Florida buyer still varies greatly from east to west coast with little activity here from Asian and South America buyers which are a huge component on the east coast. Florida’s terrific weather, low gas prices, Panama Canal expansion, consumer confidence, general increased savings by the population, and pent-up demand are the biggest contributors to the bright outlook for future sales here.
(Interestingly, as we were preparing this update, teammate Dave pointed out the recent reports by Reuter and others about the weakening of the euro against the dollar and how that likely will affect European business which plays a key role in the economy of South Florida (both coasts). Additionally, with other recent reports this week of Russians looking to back out of U.S. sales contracts because of the fall of the ruble, it will be interesting to see how the year advances. The SanibelSusan Team’s business with international buyers has increased over the years, sometimes because of referrals through our sphere of influence, networking, and memberships in international real estate organizations. These economic snapshots are just that, so important to watch, and ever changing.)
SanCap2015RPAC awardsLast night, The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® again took home four of five state awards for RPAC contributions. We keep trying to win that 5th one too. Maybe next year!
government_affairs_rpac_logo_homeSanibel & Captiva continually earn the state prize for highest-percentage participation over goal mostly because our members recognize how important those contributions are. Realtor associations® get state and national support and monies back when they are needed for issues that affect real estate and property rights locally.
In past years, the islands have benefited from these dollars in efforts to improve water quality, promote beach re-nourishment, and ensure build-back.
realtor logoLater today, I am participating in a Professionalism Forum which is covering a new Ombudsman Program that has been mandated nationally for all local associations to adopt by 2016. This program averts the filing of ethics complaints through enhanced communication and problem-solving techniques.
SanCapAssnLogoAs the 2015 Chairman of Sanibel/Captiva’s Grievance Committee, this new program on the islands likely will make my job easy. Fortunately, the islands association rarely gets complaints from either the public or Realtors, but we are prepared just the same. More importantly we educate our members that strong ethics and the doing business by the golden rule are key.
Tomorrow, the Professional Development Committee meeting in the morning will cover motions from the Curriculum Subcommittee, Faculty Subcommittee, and Faculty and Program Development Subcommittee. This Committee is the group that handles all of the education for our members. No work for me on the Audition Panel this time, I have been appointment as a full committee member.
Late morning, I will play a role at the Professional Standards Forum where new national Core Standards including Citation Programs will be presented in a series of short vignettes. No costumes this year as these standards are serious changes. Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association has already adopted a Citation Program too. For a small association, we are very pro-active.
RSPS LogoIn the afternoon, I am a member of the Resort and Second-Home Specialists Forum where in addition to the information shared, it results in networking that brings The SanibelSusan Team business. Owners of real estate in resort areas often purchase more than one property. This state exposure, keeps in the minds of colleagues around the state who similarly work the resort and second-home market.
Tomorrow night after the District meetings (our District also covers Naples, Marco Island, Bonita/Estero, Fort Myers & The Beach, and Cape Coral), I will attend the Inaugural Banquet featuring the installation of the Florida Realtors® 2015 Officers, District Vice Presidents, and Presidents of Florida’s Chapters of National Association of Realtors® Institutes, Societies, and Councils.
Wondering how this convention-type stuff helps business? I am a firm believer that volunteering time and giving back to your profession brings rewards. It has worked so far and it keeps us ahead of the curve in industry happenings. I am pleased to be appointed to these state committees and happy to bring back all of the news and handouts to share with our local association members.
Sunday morning will have me on the road heading back to the island where I likely will be in the office by mid-afternoon. Meanwhile, teammates Elise and Dave are in the office today, with Lisa and Dave covering tomorrow, and Sunday morning. (Of course, I have been doing some wheeling and dealing by email/phone while here too.)
LCEC Rate Decrease
Lcec logoGood news from Lee County Electric Co-op. In their January newsletter, it says “While many utilities are increasing electric rates, LCEC is reducing rates for the second year in a row. 2015 begins the seventh year LCEC has not raised electric rates….The LCEC Board of Trustees approved a decrease in the PCA from $16.65 per 1,000 kWh to $14.60 per 1,000 kWh….”
In the same newsletter were some reminders of some no-cost ways to help keep even more money in your pocket:
  • “Manage your thermostat – no lower than 78 degrees in summer; no higher than 68 degrees in winter.
  • Use ceiling fans only when you are in the room..
  • Turn lights off when you aren’t in the room.
  • Clean fridge coils regularly.
  • Only run dishwasher/clothes washer when they are full.
  • Use microwave, toaster oven, crock pot more often.”
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 16-23 
Sanibel
CONDOS
3 new listings: Sundial #O201 2/2 $749K, Kings Crown #317 2/2 $940K, Kinzie Island #A 4/3.5 $2.495M.
2 price changes: Sandpiper Beach #504 2/2 now $669K, Sand Pointe #214 2/2 now $729K
7 new sales: Captains Walk #E5 2/2 listed for $299K, Lighthouse Point #215 3/2 listed for $575K, Pointe Santo #B4 2/2 listed for $664K, Loggerhead Cay #522 2/2 listed for $695K, Sand Pointe #228 2/2 listed for $799K, Gulfside Place #125 2/2 listed for $1.17M, Wedgewood #305 3/3.5 listed for $1.369K.
2 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #322 2/2 $495K, Sundial #Q202 2/2 $650K.
HOMES
9 new listings: 1550 Bunting Ln 2/2 $399K, 9475 Bunting Ln 3/2 $547.9K, 240 Southwinds Dr 3/2 $549K, 3724 Agate Ct 2/2 $585K, 1460 Court Pl 6/5.5 (multi-family) $699K, 9445 Beverly Ln 3/2 $799K, 6101 Castaways Ln 4/2 $880K, 461 Lighthouse Way 4/4 $1.995M, 2980 Wulfert Rd 4/6.5 $2.995M.
8 price changes: 702 Donax St 2/2 now $415K, 3716 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $459K, 1347 Jamaica Dr 2/2 now $615K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $629K (short sale), 190 Violet Dr 3/2.5 now $1.05M, 1990 Sunrise Cir 4/3.5 now $1.295M, 2981 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.595M, 1272 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 now $3.575M.
14 new sales: 1452 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed for $359K, 1550 Bunting Ln 2/2 listed for $399K, 938 Palm St 3/2 listed for $425K, 315 East Gulf 3/2 half-duplex listed for $449K, 317 East Gulf 3/2 half-duplex listed for $449K, 739 Elinor Way 3/3 listed for $579K, 1026 Bird Watch Way 3/2 listed for $589K, 6001 Clam Bayou Ln 3/2 listed for $789K, 228 Hurricane Ln 3/2.5 listed for $799K, 2470 Harbour Ln 3/3 listed for $999.9K, 1748 Jewel Box Dr 4/4 listed for $1.098M, 3744 West Gulf Dr 4/4 listed for $1.595M, 561 Lighthouse Way 5/4 listed for $1.895M, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 listed for $2.995M.
5 closed sales: 589 Rabbit Rd 2/2 $435K; 1644 Bunting Ln 3/3 $460K; 4599 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2/2 $520K; 1710 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 $691,675; 9448 Cotten Ct 3/2 $864K.
LOTS
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: Beverly Ln (Lot 19) listed for $196K.
No closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS
3 new listings: Bayside Villas #4206 1/2 $299K, Lands End Village #1601 2/2 $1.259M, Captiva Bay Villas #D 3/3.5 $3.595M.
No price changes.
2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3232 2/2 listed for $499K, Beach Homes #18 4/3 listed for $2.675M.
No closed sales.
HOMES
2 new listings: 11520 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5 $2.34M, 13550 Palmflower Ln 4/3.5 $5.495M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 15301 Captiva Dr listed for $2.249M.
No closed sales.
LOTS
1 new listing: 956 South Seas Plantation Rd $2.5M.
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.