Woohoo – Another Gorgeous Day on the Islands


Sanibel and Captiva have had wonderful warm sunny weather this week, until today when temperatures are expected to reach only the low 60’s. With more cool weather forecast for the next week too, the real estate action should be brisk. Hot beach days usually are when there are the fewest showings, so Realtors® love the chilly, but bright days – like today!

Beach

A report of the week’s activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below.

Upcoming Events

With those cool days ahead, here are few things to do inside:

Tomorrow, Feb 6 – Center4Life Seniors Arts & Crafts Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.’

Pink-Mask_for-Web1-266x300Also tomorrow, Feb 6 – Mardi Gras Celebration to support CHR (Community Housing & Resource) from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club. More info at www.SanibelCHR.org/Mardi-Gras-2016

Saturday & Sunday, Feb 13 & 14 – San/Cap Rotary Club Arts & Crafts Show at the Sanibel Community House. Sat 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun 9 a.m. to 4 p.m..  More info at www.sanibelartfair.com

kiwanis logoSaturday, Feb 27 – Annual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner at the Sanibel Community House.

Foreign Sellers Update

Recent federal tax legislation increases the FIRPTA (Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act) general withholding rate from 10% to 15% effective for closings on or after February 16, 2016.

Sanibel Outlets Acquired by Dahlmann Properties

Outlet storeAs reported today in the “Island Sun”, “Dahlmann Properties announced that it completed the purchase of Sanibel Outlets (formerly known as Tanger Outlets) on January 12…Work has already commenced on rebranding the property to Sanibel Outlets as well as a top-to-bottom assessment of the current tenant mix and physical plant…Dahlmann also owns Periwinkle Place Shopping Center, Heart of the Island Shopping Center, The Sanibel Inn, Song of the Sea Oceanfront Resort, Seaside Oceanside Resort, Sunset Beach Oceanside Resort, and The Dunes Golf and Tennis Club on Sanibel.”

Quilt Raffles to Benefit PAWS of Sanibel – Captiva

Dog quiltWe had a nice surprise yesterday when we got a visit from Sheila Rodriguez who has made two quilts to benefit PAWS of Sanibel – Captiva. One named “Muchas Poochas” is on display at Three Crafty Ladies, Heart of the Island Shops, 1628 Periwinkle Way.

Cats QuiltThe other called “Cats at Play While the Mice Are Away” is displayed at the Bank of the Islands, 1699 Periwinkle Way.

Please buy raffle tickets at these two locations.

PAWS (or Protection of Animal Welfare Society, Inc.) is a 501(c) 3 non-profit rescuing domestic animals here since 1987. Drawings will be March 31, 2016 and you need not be present to win.

If you are willing to foster, adopt, or help PAWS, please call Pam at 239-472-4823.

Real Estate Q&A: Don’t Be Tempted to Ditch Insurance

Florida Realtors logoGood answer here to a question that was posted at Florida Realtors® online yesterday:

“Question: We are snowbirds and have a condominium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where we stay five months a year. We keep nothing of real value in the property and don’t have a mortgage. We are thinking about canceling our hazard insurance on the property to save $700 a year. Is this a good idea? – Larry

“Answer: No. I understand your desire to save a few bucks, but this is not the way to do it.

“Your property insurance covers more than just your furniture. Depending on the details of your policy and the policy carried by your condo association, the insurance may cover your appliances, flooring and even your drywall. If there is a fire, for example, you will need to replace a lot more than just your furniture.

“Your insurance also should cover you if your water heater bursts and floods your neighbors’ units. If you are in town when the damage occurs, it also may pay for the hotel you have to stay in while the repairs are being made.

“Your insurance also will step up if one of your guests gets hurt while visiting. Just because they like you doesn’t mean they won’t sue you. Even when you are out of town, you may be sued if someone breaks into your condo and gets hurt. Many homeowners have a hard time justifying the cost of insurance, but there is a reason you have it. It can keep you from enduring a financial crisis.

“While I strongly recommend that you keep your policy in place, you should shop around to make sure that you have the right coverage and the best deal.

“About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He is the chairperson of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is an adjunct professor for the Nova Southeastern University Paralegal Studies program. The information and materials in this column are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in this column is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.”

Farm Water Hits SWFL, Leaves Coast Brown, Murky

News Press logoThe recent rains resulted in the below posting yesterday on www.news-press.com

“It was just a matter of time before polluted farm water from Lake Okeechobee made its way to Southwest Florida.

“”Boy, yeah, we saw it,” said Rick Bartleson, a water quality scientist at Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, when asked if the polluted water had worked its way here.  “The water at the (Sanibel) causeway is pretty brown (because) the flows are up to rainy season levels.”

“The South Florida Water Management District spent four days, starting Wednesday night, pulling water off farm fields south of the lake, although the district didn’t send out a public notice about the “emergency” measures until nearly 24 hours after they had started.

“Critics say these water management practices are largely responsible for toxic algal blooms that often plague both the west and east coasts of Florida.

“Polluted and unnatural water from Lake Okeechobee and lands within the Caloosahatchee River watershed kills sea grasses and oyster beds.

“Excess nutrients from the landscape contribute to the duration and frequency of harmful algal blooms, like red tide. Red tide, caused here by Karenia brevis, is a neurotoxin that causes fish and marine mammal kills and can lead to respiratory issues in humans

“Record rains have not made the situation better as the lake level is rising at the same time the state was back-pumping farm water into Okeechobee.

“With levels around 17 feet above sea level, well over the Army Corps mandated maximum of 15.5 feet above sea level, the only way to quickly drain the lake is to send billions of gallons of dirty water down the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers.

“Measurements taken by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation show more than 12,000 cubic feet per second flowing through the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam, an Army Corps structure that holds back lake waters. Discharges begin harming the Caloosahatchee River and its estuary when levels reach 2,800 cubic feet per second.

“Freshwater has also blown out much of the estuary, causing low salinity levels along the coast — which can kill marine species and disrupt the aquatic food chain.

“Recent Caloosahatchee flows have literally been off the chart.

“”When flows are at 2,800 (cubic feet per second at Franklin Lock), that is one level a harm, but this was another level,” Bartleson said. “Over 4,500 (cubic feet per second) is considered extremely high. We don’t even have an indicator that goes that high (to 12,000 cubic feet per second and above).”

“Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane said the city has received many emails from concerned residents and business owners. “There was definitely a breakdown in communication between the Corps and the water management district,” Ruane said. “But with the impressive rain, they’re going to have to pump some of the water off the farms.”

“Ruane, who was in Tallahassee Monday lobbying for more water quality projects in this region, said that the current water management system was designed to take in more water than it can push out, a fact that became painfully obvious during floods and record rains in 2013.

“”We’re going to have to pull out every trick in the playbook to offset some of these releases,” Ruane said.

“”We’re going to have to talk to as many private property owners as possible to store water. We’re in a bad situation. The effects of the releases sometimes you don’t see for months.”

“The rain is expected to continue for the next 60 days or so, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is calling for El Nino conditions to bring more rain and slightly cooler temperatures this winter.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 29 – February 5, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial West #H110 1/1 $299K, Sanibel Arms #8 1/1 $375K, Cottage Colony West #137 1/1 $649K, Sundial East #S404 3/2 $849K.

2 price changes: Sand Pointe #113 2/2 now $759K, Gulfside Place #117 2/2 now $1.295M.

6 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 listed at $529K, Lighthouse Point #113 3/2 listed at $639K, St.Criox #4 2/2.5 listed at $935K, Atrium #302 2/2 listed at $1.645M, High Tide #B101 2/2.5 listed at $1.795M, Tigua Cay #489 3/3.5 listed at $2.235M.

5 closed sales: Ibis at The Sanctuary #201 2/2 $450K; Loggerhead Cay #471 2/2 $485K; Lighthouse Point #312 3/2 $698,750; Clam Shell #C 2/2 $975K; Sunset South #5A 2/2 $1.138M.

HOMES

16 new listings: 1653 Bunting Ln 3/2.5 $459K, 1565 Bunting Ln 3/2 $599K, 1113 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $639.9K, 750 Nerita St 3/2 $699K, 2549 Harbour Ln 3/2 $799K, 595 Birdsong Pl 4/2 $849K, 1311 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $849K (our listing), 1259 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $869K, 4775 Rue Helene 4/3 $895K, 437 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 $895.9K, 1170 Buttonwood Ln 4/2 $975K, 1146 Buttonwood Ln 3/3 $999K, 1121 Skiff Pl 3/3 $1.2M, 815 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.299M, 1326 Seaspray Ln 4/4.5 $2.45M, 4355 West Gulf Dr 4/3 $3.8M.

ExtViewa

View from 1311 Sand Castle Rd

 

2 price changes: 6491 SanibelCaptiva Rd 2/2 now $1.95M, 2451 Blind Pass Ct 4/4.5 now $2.375M.

3 new sales: 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $539K, 1148 Shell Basket Ln 4/2 listed at $699K, 2388 Wulfert Rd 3/4 listed at $1.098M.

4 closed sales: 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 $360K, 542 Boulder Dr 2/2 $500K, 1516 Bunting Ln 3/2 $575K, 699 Anchor Dr 3/4 $950K.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 5148 Sea Bell Rd now $199K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 690 Birdie View Pt $360K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: Beach Villas #2618 2/2 $639.5K, Beach Cottages #1413 2/2 $950K.

HOMES

No new listings.

3 price changes: 15000 Binder Dr 3/2 now $1.049M, 11515 Murmond Ln 3/3 now $1.494M, 16500 Captiva Dr 5/5 now $4.995M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 1127 Longifolia Ct 4/3 $5.3M, 16660 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 $16.3M.

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.)

TweekedLowSunsetUntil next Friday, wishing you bright sunny days & magnificent sunsets regardless of the temperatures!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

A January Island Friday With Sunshine


cute-umbrella-clipart-Umbrella-Clip-art-17This week the Sanibel/Captiva weather improved, even saw a little sunshine, before it deteriorated again midweek. With a record 12″ of rain this month, compared to the average January when there are only 2”, those here on vacation probably are not happy campers.

There also was gridlock traffic on both Sunday morning and Monday evening when accidents on the causeway brought incoming and outgoing vehicles to a standstill. The Monday event had both main and secondary roadways at a crawl for hours.

There now is a lake in the parking lot behind the office, but clearing is expected today. The rain sure beats the white stuff stacking up in much of the country and the dry spell out west. Mother Nature and her friend El Nino get the attention of all of us!

Unfortunately with bad weather, island real estate action has slowed down. After a couple of news items below is the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week – just a handful of sales.

Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings

Florida Realtors logoThe Florida Realtors® leadership team and state committees meet twice a year in Orlando, now and again in late August. I was appointed to two this year and should make it to Orlando in time to attend the Major Investors RPAC (Realtor Political Action Committee) Reception tonight, followed by the annual RPAC Jamboree where the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® should clean up with several awards. After dying my hair pink last May as part of the challenge to raise a few more dollars, I sure hope we come home with trophies.

government_affairs_rpac_logo_homeIsland property owners may not know it, but the Sanibel/Captiva Association of Realtors® has put plenty of RPAC dollars to good use here. They have helped in beach re-nourishment, the eventual passing of the City’s build-back ordinance, and more recently to pay for the study that convinced local and state politicians that poor water quality negatively affects property values. Water quality issues have been in the forefront for our association for the last 20-some years with the fight continuing at the state meeting today when representatives from Sanibel report about what is happening with the water around Southwest Florida at the Florida Realtors® Land Use, Property Rights, and Sustainable Development Subcommittee Meeting.

Saturday I take part in the Florida Realtors® Professional Standards Forum, followed by the Resort & Second Home Specialists Forum. Saturday night is the Inaugural Banquet, then I’ll be back on the road first thing Sunday morning heading back to Sanibel.

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Shima Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar

The new Japanese steakhouse & sushi bar at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa is opening Feb 2. Called “Shima”. Make reservations at www.SundialResort.com/eat

AT&T Breaks Silence by Applying for Donax Tower Permits

AT&T_logo_svgSince I live on the east-end where AT&T service is non-existent without a booster cell in my house, I was excited to read the below article posted on line yesterday by the “Santiva Chronicle”:

“AT&T has applied for permits to install its equipment on Sanibel, a move that would improve cell reception and put an end to the impasse between the city and the communications giant.

“The application was made Wednesday, Jan. 27, just days after the mayor involved the island’s citizenry, but months after the island thought it would happen. The installation is expected in the second quarter of this year and Mayor Kevin Ruane said the city will do all it can to make it happen as soon as possible.

“The development and building permits applied for Wednesday by a third-party contractor will allow AT&T to install its equipment on the Donax Road cell tower already occupied by Verizon. The installation will significantly boost the wireless reception on a big part of Sanibel Island for AT&T customers.

“Ruane turned the city loose on AT&T last week. In appearances around the island, he gave citizens phone numbers and the e-mail address of AT&T’s Maria Johnson, the area representative, and urged all to contact her. The Chamber of Commerce transmitted the mayor’s message.

“All that came after months of inactivity that followed the sudden withdrawal last summer of permits to put up the equipment. The City Council discussed it in August and the resulting story in the Santiva Chronicle caught the eye of someone who introduced Ruane to Johnson.

“Then things went silent, according to Ruane. On Wednesday he found out why – Johnson left her position with AT&T in November. Ruane spoke Wednesday with Don Sadler, a new representative from AT&T, who told him the permits had been applied for and work would be completed no later than the second quarter. “We don’t have an exact time frame, but no later than the second quarter,” Ruane said.

“Ruane said he learned Wednesday that the tower isn’t owned by wireless providers like AT&T and Verizon, but by a third party and that the tower recently changed hands. The AT&T representative told him the sale required an engineering study and that has slowed progress. “I told him how frustrated the island is,” Ruane said. “He sensed my frustration.”

“That frustration has been building since the end of last year following his September meeting with Johnson.

“We had a face-to-face meeting,” Ruane said. “She told me this could take a long time, and I told her that, in all due respect, we have been waiting three years. She said she would try to get it moved up to the fourth quarter in 2015. “I took her at her word,” Ruane said. “Around the holidays I reached out to her, and her voice mail said the best way to reach her was to send a text. I sent text messages, and after three or four of not getting anywhere I started talking to groups and telling them what they can look forward to. I told them I have no update because nobody is communicating.”

“Ruane said Sadler told him correspondence to Johnson had been rolling into a central bank and Ruane surmised that the recent glut of contacts from Sanibel caught AT&T’s eye.

“In relating the news that the permits had been applied for, City Manager Judie Zimomra said that processing the permits will be a high priority.”

The Proper Home Seller Etiquette

Realtor.com logosSome good reminders here, from the Jan 26, 2016 “Daily Real Estate News” on line:

“What unwritten etiquette rules should home sellers follow to show their home to potential buyers? Realtor.com® recently highlighted a few of these must-follow etiquette tips…

  • Don’t stay for showings. Home owners who lurk during an open house or showing can unnerve buyers. “Buyers don’t feel as comfortable when the owner is at the home watching their every move,” says Nicholas Kensington, a real estate professional with Scottsdale Real Estate. “Get out of their way so that they can start to picture themselves living there instead of being spied on.”
  • Keep your car out of the way. “Make it easy for visitors to park and view the home,” Kensington notes. “No one likes parking issues. Having them is a sure way to get a viewing off to a bad start.”
  • Take the pets with you when you go. Not everyone likes pets. What’s more, some home buyers will have allergies and your pet could make them sick. “Imagine, as a buyer, having the background music set to ‘barking dog’ while you are trying to take in the home’s nuances that you, as the seller, have worked so hard to hone,” says Brenda Hayward, a real estate professional with Coldwell Banker.
  • Keep out important documents. “Leaving necessary documents in an easy-to-find spot isn’t just good for selling, it’s also good selling etiquette,” says Kensington. “Put out the home inspection report, appraisal, home warranty, monthly bill information — gas, oil, electric — and proof of any major repairs are all good things to let people look through when they are considering buying your home.”
  • Have some refreshments available. “Putting out a few small bottled waters in a small bowl of ice is always appreciated, along with some light, easy grab-and-go sort of refreshments like mints or cookies,” says Cara Ameer, a real estate professional with Coldwell Banker.
  • Don’t be stubborn. Sellers who are unwilling to negotiate will likely see their home linger on the market. “Focusing on your bottom line is always important, but greed can lead to disaster,” Josh Myler, a real estate professional with The Agency, told realtor.com®. “Remember a little of something is better than a lot of nothing. Generosity will lead you to your promised land.””

See the full list of tips at realtor.com®.

Source: “8 Unwritten Etiquette Rules Every Home Seller Should Know,” realtor.com® (Jan. 25, 2016)

Trends That Will Influence Homes in 2016

realtor logoAs Realtors® part of the job includes helping buyers and sellers learn what is new to meet their own needs as well as the desires of future buyers. The following article is a long one, so I shortened it up some – but right-on. Written by Barbara Ballinger, it came from the Tuesday on-line edition of RealtorMag®.

“Design changes, as does architecture. Trends don’t emerge as rapidly here as they do in say, food or fashion, but the economy, the environment, and demographics all spur shifts in the choices of materials, designs, layouts, and construction methods for single- and multifamily dwellings.

“These 12 trends reflect ways to cope with environmental challenges, incorporate new building materials and methods, and alter the looks and functionality of our homes. Hear top designers and architects explain why these emerging trends are important and how they’ll influence real estate choices in the near future.

“1. More Resilient, Sustainable Homes – Mounting climate change pressures mean buildings need to better withstand natural disasters. Similarly, because our natural resources are dwindling, it’s increasingly important that structures be designed and built sustainably. Industry professionals are finding materials and construction techniques to meet both challenges. The Fortified Home Certification standard—created by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety and Architectural Testing Inc.—represents engineering and building levels that provide sturdier structural envelopes that are more resilient against the worst weather conditions than those found in most current building codes. And the trends of making better use of natural resources and generating energy on site—for a double win of more energy and less money spent—will continue into 2016… Increased durability means more lives and buildings will be saved, costs to rebuild will be pared, and insurance premiums will be lowered. The trend is happening nationwide, not just in hurricane-prone locales like Florida….

“2. Classics, Made More Affordable – More home owners want quality, luxurious materials, but the finest choices aren’t always in the budget,…  With construction and material costs increasing, the need has emerged for less expensive options that still look luxe and hold up well. For example, instead of solid stone facades, architects may opt for stone veneer on studs and drywall instead of plaster inside. Or, rather than go with terra-cotta, a timeless but expensive material, they can select a handsome thin terra-cotta veneer applied to manufactured panels….

“3. Drought Awareness – Droughts continue to affect large areas of the U.S., making water more expensive and decreasing its availability, especially in the Southwest and California. Water-saving fixtures such as low-flow toilets and showerheads have become standard—even mandated—in many areas…. Water conservation will become as important as energy conservation, and homes that collect as much water as they consume will be as popular with buyers as Net-Zero–energy homes now are… with more demand for water-saving measures such as water-smart irrigation sensors, composting toilets, gray-water recycling systems, and rainwater harvesting.

“4. Digitized Manufacturing – Sustainable materials such as glass, in conjunction with new manufacturing technologies, are expanding the choice of colors, textures, and sizes of materials available for home design. At the same time, 3-D manufacturing, what some call the third industrial revolution, has created a new panoply of readily available, prefabricated materials as an alternative to more expensive custom choices…. The glass-and-LED combination is just one new technique that can result in a product that incorporates a sustainable material into a sturdy, practical, energy-efficient, and glamorous new surface for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Such choices greatly personalize rooms much more than another granite, laminate, or Corian top might do, and help to distinguish listings in a crowded market.

“5. Reclaimed Wood Floors – Many home owners crave authenticity, no matter how durable, affordable, and convincing the imitations may be. A case in point: the increased demand for reclaimed wood boards, which wear well, show the patina of age, and reveal visual character….The type of wood flooring found in many homes will take on greater importance for many segments of the home-buying population, and it may be that soon not just any wood will do. The crème de la crème of wood flooring —reclaimed boards—may become the equivalent of once sought after granite and now quartz or marble….

“6. Softening Modern Severity – With so many home owners now favoring modern design, yet not wanting a harsh, laboratory look, designers search for alternatives….

“7. The Tiny House Movement on Wheels – Downsizing is big, reflected in part by the growth of the tiny house movement. But flexibility and mobility are also sought after, and many desire a hipper method of attaining this than RVs can offer…. The design profession keeps looking for options beyond traditional, stick-built houses, hence the uptick in prefabricated, manufactured housing. This brand-new example offers shelter to those who are keen on smaller houses, but don’t like the idea of always staying put,… It also offers other possibilities for the real estate industry. It allows some home owners to “test drive” small-scale living. And if the trend continues to expand, landowners may find empty lots in vacation areas to be the perfect spot to rent out to these home owners on wheels.

“8. Walk-In, Universal Design Pantries – Currently there are 78 million baby boomers and the aging population is increasing — in fact, it’s expected to rise by 50% between 2010 and 2020, according to Aging in Place, a state survey of livability policies and practices. A deep, wide walk-in pantry allows a walker or wheelchair to maneuver through easily….

“9. Better Integration of Indoors and Outdoors – Screened porches once were the prime quasi-outdoor space in a home that could protect occupants from bad weather yet offer a feeling of the outdoors. But many porches block daylight and views, and they can only be used part of the year in some climates. Now, well-designed, large-scale door panels that fold up like garage doors or open into a home’s walls via big pocket doors are becoming more readily available at affordable prices,…  Some have highly functional, retractable insect screens, too… These new bigger openings permit better views of the outdoors, greater enjoyment, and easier access between indoors and outdoors….

“10. Softer, Layered Color Palettes – Color trendsetter Pantone typically debuts only one superstar color of the year. But in 2016, two are taking center stage: “rose quartz” and “serenity.” Both reflect the rise of softer colors, along with the continued use of whites and creams. Some designers think this color direction and its layered palettes lead to a more personalized, sophisticated design….Time will tell if a non-election year and fewer terrorism threats may inspire a return to bolder hues…. These new colors are already turning up inside homes in countertops and backsplashes….

“11. Copper Chic Surges (Even More) – The old standby of copper—think of those pots your parents, grandparents, or Julia Child used—started its re-emergence last year. And the reason that it’s becoming a more widespread alternative to stainless steel, wood, and other materials isn’t all surface. Yes, copper can add sheen, sparkle, and a 1940s Hollywood glamour. But an equally big impetus is that it reduces more than 99.9% of bacteria in between routine cleanings, important because antibiotic-resistant superbugs are on the rise…. This shiny gold-like hue will become more prevalent in homes as concern grows about buying healthy houses without mold, toxins, and bacteria. To help, U.S. manufacturers are producing more options in copper than just refrigerator, oven, and other appliance fronts, the developments that initially helped revive the trend. Throughout homes, buyers can add copper sinks, door handles, light switches, and trim. To enhance its appeal, manufacturers are also expanding the types of hues available. Already, there’s a copper-penny color, brushed nickel, yellow brassiness, and bronze on the market.

“12. Enhancing Entertainment Space with Niches and “Back Kitchens” – Living keeps getting more casual, and this is certainly the case in the kitchen. “Everything happens in the kitchen, and people don’t want to be closed away from interaction with their families,”…Consequently, they’re willing to put more into their kitchens — more space (500 square feet is not uncommon, he says), bigger budgets, better design, more windows and light, and the types of detailing, like moldings and beams, once reserved for more formal spaces…. As open plans that incorporate more important kitchen space become commonplace, finding ways to keep the workspace neat becomes key, too. This may mean more niches and elements that hide small appliances built into the main kitchen. Home owners with more room and a bigger budget might consider adding a “back kitchen,” where preparations take place and small appliances like toasters and coffee makers are stored. To maintain the interflowing social feel, the spaces remain open to one another. A growing number of home buyers may be willing to forgo a dining room….”

The Top States for Retirees in 2016

Florida the sunshine state“Those in the 65-plus bracket may find their money will go further and their quality of life will be better in certain areas of the country. To help figure out which ones are best, WalletHub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 24 metrics to determine the most retirement-friendly states:

  • Florida
  • Wyoming
  • South Dakota
  • South Carolina
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Texas
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Virginia
  • Arizona
  • Pennsylvania

Check out the full list, linked below, to see where your state landed.”

Source: “2016’s Best and Worst States to Retire,” WalletHub (January 2016)

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 22-29, 2016

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 3/3.5 $599K, Surfside 12 #A2 3/2 $799K, Sundial East $M301 2/2 $799K, Pointe Santo #B25 2/2 $849K, Atrium #302 2/2 $1.645M, High Tide #B101 2/2.5 $1.795M.

7 price changes: Lighthouse Point #113 3/2 now $639K, Sanctuary Golf Villages #2-2 3/3 now $739K, St.Croix #4 2/2.5 now $935K, Island Beach Club #350D 2/2 now $1.1M, West Shore #3 3/3 now $1.699M, Tigua Quay #487 3/3.5 now $1.989M, Sedgemoor #102 3/3.5 now $2.495M.

1 new sale: Coquina Beach #5D 2/2 listed at $375K.

1 closed sale: Tarpon Beach #204 2/2 $795K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 283 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 $1.995M.

7 price changes: 847 Casa Ybel Rd 2/2 now $410K, 1490 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $515K, 689 East Rocks Dr 3/3 now $765K, 1125 Captains Walk St 3/3 now $799.9K, 1740 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/3.5 now $1.19M, 1317 Eagle Run Dr 4/3.5 now $1.259M, 911 Strangler Fig Ln 4/3 now $2.85M.

3 new sales: 1065 Fish Crow Rd 2/2 listed at $684.9K, 532 Sea Oats Dr 3/4 listed at $1.275M, 3421 West Gulf Dr 5/4.5 listed at $6.975M.

2 closed sales: 1429 Sandpiper Cir 3/3 half-duplex $415K, 5436 Shearwater Dr 3/3 $950K.

LOTS

No new listings.

4 price changes: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $199,555; 2626 Coconut Dr now $317K; 9066 Mockingbird Dr now $380K, 5821 Pine Tree Dr now $559K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 13550 Palmflower Ln 4/3.5 $4.85M.

5 price changes: 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1.495M, 11500 Chapin Ln 4/4.5 now $1.895M, 11523 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $1.925M, 11514 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 now $2.345M, 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 now $3.75M.

1 new sale: 11461 Dickey Ln 3/2 listed at $1.395M.

2 closed sales: 16861 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 $1.7M, 11520 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5 $2.15M.

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.)

Bring on the sunshine, Florida is ready for it!

Happy weekend all, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Beach

 

Another Rainy Friday, But the Shelling is Great


shells 01-22-16There were not a lot of happy folks in Southwest Florida this morning as heavy rain and high winds passed through the area for the second Friday in a row, bringing less than ideal weather for the weekend. The storms are connected to the larger weather system that is expected to blanket the Northeast with snow and blizzard conditions. Thankfully, we just have to dodge a little water here.

Flights out of RSW heading to many northern cities were delayed and canceled, while downed power lines on Estero Blvd in Fort Myers Beach stopped traffic in both directions for several hours. In addition to the heavy rain today, the area is expected to experience strong offshore winds and higher tides through tomorrow with the region cooler over the weekend as temperatures will drop into the 60’s. Maybe the shelling will again be great after the storms pass.

SanibelSusan Realty Scoop

Sanibelsusan LogoOur successful semi-annual mailing to 7000+ island property owners and prospective buyers is in process. If you too would like a copy of our handy booklet summarizing all of the real estate sold on the islands so for the last few years, including what is for sale now, contact us at Susan@SanibelSusan.com or call 239-472-HOME(4663) or 888-603-0603.

Since last Friday, our new listing at Sandpiper Beach went under contract in record time, several other listings had showings, and we continue to get good walk-in traffic.

View a

View from Sandpiper Beach #101

Few if any accommodations are available on island, though we continue to get multiple inquiries every week. I heard today that the rental organizations were swamped with phone calls because renters leaving tomorrow have had flights canceled, while some incoming tenants expect to be stranded at home and don’t know when they will arrive. Days like this make us happy that we don’t manage any rentals. Though we want to help and will offer recommendations whenever we can. It is listing and selling real estate that is our forte.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday was the Association’s West-End Caravan with just a handful of Captiva properties open for viewing. A few new listings and sales were announced, though not as many as post holidays.

The activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Sanibel’s Well-Timed Traffic Attack Getting a Buzz

Sanibelcityseal logoA report in the “Santiva-Chronicle” earlier in the week had a nice summation of recent island traffic news:

“The City of Sanibel chose Monday to launch its traffic publicity campaign. It’s part of the traffic battle plan. Like a good battle plan it was timed and it attacked on several fronts.

“On Monday morning, Martin Luther King Day in the middle of January, the City simultaneously released a new video and flyer that warn the daytrippers of the folly of taking an in-season afternoon drive across the causeway to Sanibel and Captiva. Mayor Kevin Ruane does the video and he signed the flyer. All of it is now available front and center at mysanibel.com. A few hours later on Monday the mayor distributed an opinion piece to the area press that says the same thing.

“The timing couldn’t be better. Southwest Florida is heading into the peak of the tourist season. Sanibel decided, correctly, that now is the time to put the word out to the potential daytrippers, and just importantly to the places where the daytrippers stay. Don’t try to come to Sanibel on a whim. Plan it. Stay here, “for a few days, or a few weeks,” as Ruane says in the video.

“Only time will tell how much impact the new campaign will have. It’s getting some immediate buzz. The mayor’s piece and the Santiva Chronicle’s story about the traffic initiative both created traffic on the website, with the help of Facebook and Twitter. The Chronicle is widely seen both on and off the island, which is what the city wants.

“News-press.com has a good story today based on Monday’s releases from the city. Likewise, WINK News has an excellent report. It interviews Ruane and has plenty of footage to show that the island speaks the truth when it comes to traffic.

“See New-press.com report here and WINK News report here

“If you must drive, if you cannot stay for days or weeks, then “come early, stay late.” When here, park it, ride a bike and walk. All of this can help. And it applies to residents also. Islanders have become reluctantly hardened to traffic. The city is asking them to pick their spots when they travel around their own island.

“Let’s not kid ourselves. This isn’t going to eliminate traffic. The City Council, its many partners in the traffic initiative and all Islanders wish it would, but it won’t. But it can help. With 13,000 vehicles coming across the causeway daily during season, maybe a few thousand of them can be coached.”

16 Real Estate Trends for 2016

News Press logoHere is some news as posted on-line last night by the Fort Myers News-Press.com:

“From office space to man caves, CCIM’s (Certified Commercial Investment Members) 2016 Commercial Real Estate Outlook Conference delivered the state of the state.

“For the 16th year running, CCIM Institute hosted a blue ribbon panel of demographic, market and real estate investment experts Thursday to preview what’s ahead for commercial real estate in 2016.

“From the opening salvo – “Florida is positioned for 60 months of wonderful real estate opportunities” – here are 16 takeaways from their wide-ranging analysis of local and Florida-wide markets.

  1. How will downtown Fort Myers overcome crime-averse investors? High quality, economic development.
  2. Collier and Lee counties could become a combined metropolitan statistical area in 2016 because of their employment and infrastructure ties.
  3. Infill projects are big in almost every Florida market.
  4. In the Great Recession, housing supply outstripped demand times two in Lee County. Going forward, all markets are balanced, except in high seasonal population centers.
  5. Punta Gorda is drawing people to Charlotte County. “The city is new. You don’t find that often.”
  6. Boomers moving here aren’t as wealthy as we would hope. “Thirty-six percent will be living on Social Security alone. We need to build smaller and less expensive.”
  7. Snowbirds are coming to Southwest Florida earlier and staying longer. “We may be transitioning from a seasonal market.”
  8. People are paying a premium for well-located commercial properties. In Naples, a small strip opposite Mercado leased for $242/square foot. In Miami-Dade County, people pay almost $5,000/square foot to be on Lincoln Road.
  9. Retailers will need more distribution facilities as they switch to an Amazon model.
  10. Commercial rents, especially for small flex spaces of 10,000 to 20,000 square foot, have become challenging. It will drive up rates and spur new construction.
  11. Man caves — a space to store one’s cars and hang out — are a growing flex space trend. The caves are driving up flex space costs for traditional users.
  12. The sale-to-asking price for Lee County commercial properties in all categories is close to 90%, compared with 74 to 77% in 2010.
  13. Population growth will continue to support the growth of real estate in 2016. The market will remain stable in 2016, with more institutional and foreign investment.
  14. Lending standards will tighten again in 2016, causing some market pull-back, but nothing like what we saw in the last cycle.
  15. Banks have “plenty of money to lend. We are competitive and we are hungry for deals.”
  16. A rising interest rate is always a roadblock. The rising rate environment will price some people out who might be looking for the next bigger space or a step up in location.”

Market Unrest Pushes Down Mortgage Rates

FreddieMacLogo_3We knew this was coming – good news for those buyers needing financing – as posted this afternoon on “Daily Real Estate News”:

“For the third consecutive week, mortgage rates edged down, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage continuing its run below 4%, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.

“”The Freddie Mac mortgage rate survey had difficulty keeping up with market events this week,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The 30-year mortgage rate dropped 11 basis points to 3.81%, the lowest rate in three months. This drop reflected weak inflation and nonstop financial market turbulence that is driving investors to the safe haven of Treasuries. However, the survey was largely complete prior to Wednesday’s Treasury rally that drove the yield on the 10-year Treasury below 2%, down 29 basis points since the end of 2015.”

“Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Jan. 21:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.81%, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 3.92% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.63%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.1%, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 3.19% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.93%.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.91%, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.01% average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.83%.

Source: Freddie Mac

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 15-22, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Seashells of Sanibel #38 2/2 $395K, Loggerhead Cay #574 2/2 $569K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 $599K, St.Croix #4 2/2.5 $985K.

3 price changes: Lighthouse Point #217 2/2 now $555K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-1 2/2.5 now $665K, Sanibel Seaview #C3 4/4 now $1.749M.

6 new sales: Casa Blanca #6 1/1 listed at $250K, Sand Pointe #213 2/2 listed at $635K, Sandpiper Beach #101 2/2 listed at $799K (our listing), Kimball Lodge #306 2/2 listed at $989K, Snug Harbor #121 3/2 listed at 4998K, Sunset South #5A 2/2 listed at $1.195M.

5 closed sales: Blind Pass #E206 2/2.5 $400K, Sanibel Moorings #1422 2/2 $400K, Sanibel Arms West #M8 2/2 $500K, Island Beach Club #P2E 2/2 $1.039M, Nutmeg Village #113 2/2 $1.025M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 1970 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 $699K, 480 Peachtree Rd 3/3 $799K, 5753 Pine Tree Dr 3/4 $998K, 2939 Wulfert Rd 5/6 $1.895M, 3421 West Gulf Dr 5/4.5 $6.975M.

4 price changes: 1258 Par View Dr 3/2 now $775K, 1321 Par View Dr 3/2.5 now $924K, 532 Sea Oats Dr 3/4 now $1.275M, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 now $3.599M.

2 new sales: 450 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $549K, 513 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $825K.

No sold listings.

LOTS

2 new listings: 667 Birdie View Pt $349K, 5723 Baltusrol Ct $394K.

1 price change: 3723 West Gulf Dr $2.775M.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #2632 2/2 $710K.

No new price changes.

1 new sale: Ventura Captiva #1B 3/3 listed at $1.195M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11535 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 $2.339M.

1 price change: 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 now $6.795M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report

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

Whoops, you’ve gotta love Florida weather.

The sun just came out…at 4:35 p.m. on 1/22/2016!

Let’s hope it continues!

Happy weekend, everyone!  Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Beach b

Just the way we like it…in front of Coquina Beach condos.

A Friday for the Record Books – Another Sanibel Tornado Warning


It is SanibelSusan reporting that it seems these Friday updates are getting closer together. Maybe it is because the islands are busy and exciting things are happening here.

There was more cool weather this week so some of us now-Floridians have exhausted our long-sleeved wardrobe choices and are ready for a warm-up. Forecasters say that weekend temperatures should bet back into the 70’s, before another cool front arrives.

wysocki in Seagull 01-15-16

In Seagull Estates after the rain. Photo credit to Tina!

There was some excitement in Southwest Florida this morning with severe thunderstorms passing through including warnings of damaging winds, lightening, heavy rain, and brief tornadoes possible.

 

The island remained under tornado watch until just before noon.

There are patchy blue skies now (mid-afternoon) and they say that later tonight, even drier air is expected to filter in.

anchor 01-15-16

On Anchor Dr today after the rain. Photo credit to my neighbor Glenda.

Hopefully there will be a few hours of sunshine tomorrow before another front is expected to move across the gulf late Saturday/early Sunday, bringing another round of rain, thunderstorms, and gusts.

Monday through Wednesday next week, more sunshine is expected, but temperatures may be cooler with highs only in the mid to upper 60’s. I bet the shelling will be fabulous though!

Below are some news items followed by the postings in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

Sanibel realtors logoTo say that the Association’s Installation and Awards Banquet on Saturday night was memorable is probably an understatement. Nothing like being under the outside pavilion at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club during tornado warnings. It probably was good that we didn’t know the seriousness of the warnings which didn’t go off on most of our smart phones until after the twister hit in Cape Coral.

Kudos to the management team and restaurant staff at The Dunes who delivered full-course meals to all 125+ attendees during horrendous downpours and several losses of electricity. We certainly will not forget that evening for a long time.

Congratulations to all who received awards and were installed as officers and board members for 2016. A large group earned Honor Society status. I got my plaque for the 23rd consecutive year and also a gift from the Past President for chairing the Association’s Grievance Committee last year.

The Association’s Thursday Caravan meeting yesterday was well attended, but only nine properties were open for viewing, including our new listing at Sandpiper Beach. This January, more sales are being reported than new listings. I got to announce two new sales. At only two weeks into the year, it already has been a good one for us!

Fine Art Festival This Weekend

Community House logoLike the successful two-day event held after Thanksgiving each year at The Sanibel Community House, there is a similar event this weekend.  A Fine Art Festival which likely was canceled today due to the storms is expected to be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow (Sat 1/16). About 70 craftsmen will be displaying and selling their wares, ranging from bronze artists to jewelers and photographers.

Advance Notice for Next Friday

Captiva Marching Mullet BandThe Marching Mullet Band Parade with a salute to veterans and a mullet-friendly nod to “clean water” begins at Jensen’s Twin Palm Resort on Captiva at 5:40 p.m. on Fri, 1/22.  Mullet fun, through art, education, and entertainment precedes the parade from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

Foreign Investors See Big Opportunity in U.S.

bloomberg businessweekFrom Monday’s “Daily Real Estate News”:

“Foreign investors are expected to pour more money into U.S. real estate this year than they did last year, according to a newly released survey by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate….The survey showed that 64% of respondents said they intended to make modest to major increases in U.S property investments this year. Thirty-one percent said they plan to maintain their holdings or reinvest sales proceeds into other U.S. assets.

“New York remains the top target market globally, according to the survey.

““This is a very strong response,” says Jim Fetgatter, chief executive of AFIRE. He noted to Bloomberg that China’s economic slowdown, Brazil’s recession, and Europe’s immigration crisis have instilled in international investors that “the U.S., at the moment, really is the safest place for them to go.”

“The U.S. ranked as the country with the best opportunities for price appreciation in 2016, followed by Brazil, Spain, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, according to the survey.

“Investors from Canada, Asia, Europe, and Australia in search of higher yields have been making investments in office towers, warehouses, apartment buildings, shopping malls, and hotels.

“In the residential sector, foreign buyers have remained strong too….What’s more, foreign buyers, on average, paid nearly $500,000 for a home – compared to about $256,000 overall for the U.S. average house price. NAR’s report showed that the four states accounting for 50% of international sales last year were Florida, California, Texas, and Arizona.

“Source: “U.S. Real Estate to Draw More Foreigners in 2016, Survey Says,” Bloomberg (Jan 3, 2016)”

What’s Hot & What’s Not – in Home Decor in 2016

wall street journalAs quoted in a recent issue of “Daily Real Estate News” on-line:

“The Wall Street Journal recently had interior designers weigh in on the top design trends likely to make a big splash in 2016 as well as what’s likely to fall out of style. Here are some design trends to keep in mind…

“What’s In

Black metals: This metal was once reserved for outdoor furniture or bed frames, but not anymore. This unflashy metal is appearing as simple hardware, bathroom fixtures, and even flatware, British interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard told The Wall Street Journal. Black metal is also being blended into wood and glass.

Curvy home décor: Rounded tables and curvy aesthetics will likely appear in more furnishings. Radial and bullnose edges soften hard materials like marble, says Glenn Lawson of Lawson Flenning in Los Angeles.

Old-world style: “People want the traditional and dressy, with a shot of nostalgia, to feel like everything is going to be OK,” Tobi Fairley, an interior designer in Little Rock, Ark., told The Wall Street Journal. Expect to see more brocades, tapestries, Georgian and Empire antiques, as well as fringe, cording and tassels.

Scandinavian flat weaves: “With elegantly balanced geometric compositions, these rugs are a sophisticated answer to the omnipresent neutrals and sisals,” said Los Angeles designer Madeline Stuart. The Scandinavian designs are being weaved into both contemporary and traditional spaces.

“What’s Out

Rosy metallic: Copper and rose-gold metals were big in 2015, but, alas, the rosy-gold hues may have a look of being “cheap” in 2016, warns Barclay Butera, a designer with offices in Los Angeles and Park City, Utah

The industrial look: “Enough of looking like we are living in the garage,” says Joe Lucas of Lucas Studio in Los Angeles. The millennial-coffeehouse design is finally showing signs of fading, co-signs Timothy Brown, an interior designer based in New York.

Sisal and jute: These two types of fiber rugs may have overstayed their welcome in home décor, designers say. “They don’t feel soft or cushy on bare feet and are not very child- or pet-friendly,” says Timothy Corrigon, a Los Angeles designer. “It wears quickly, stains easily and is virtually un-cleanable,” adds Philip Gorrivan, a designer in New York.”

“Source: “Top 5 Interior Design Trends for 2016,” The Wall Street Journal (Dec. 29, 2015)”

 Five Things to Never Say When Selling a Home

realtor.comHere’s a good one posted Wednesday on line and sourced to Realtor.com:

“It’s a lesson worth remembering: Home sellers need to watch what they say to home buyers and their real estate agents. Real estate professionals recently shared with realtor.com® the phrases they say sellers should never utter:

1. “Our house is in perfect condition.”

“The home inspection may reveal otherwise, and, as a seller, you don’t want to wind up putting your foot in your mouth,” says Cara Ameer, a real estate professional with Coldwell Banker. “There simply is no such thing as ‘perfect condition.’ Every house, whether it is brand new or a resale, has something that needs to be fixed, adjusted, replaced, or improved upon.”

2. “We’ve never had a problem with …”

Sellers need to be careful to not utter any fibs, even those that seemingly are small, when selling their home. “You’re setting yourself up for potential liability,” Ameer says. “You may not even be aware of the problem at first, but it could translate into an embarrassing moment upon inspection.”

3. “It’s been on the market for …”

Sellers should never talk how long the home has been on the market with potential buyers, says Pam Santoro, a real estate professional with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. The information is available on the home’s information sheet for buyers to see for themselves. Sellers who wish to highlight this may find buyers believing they can get cheaper since it’s been on the market longer or have buyers wonder what’s wrong with the home that it has been lingering.

4. “We spent a ton of money on X, Y, and Z.”

Sellers who think that just because they spent a ton of money on some upgrade to the home shouldn’t believe that upgrade will be so desired by home buyers nor will it necessarily get them a ton of money back at resale. “The buyer doesn’t care whether you spent $10,000 or $100,000 on your kitchen,” says Ameer. “They are only going to offer what they feel the home is worth in relation to area comparable sales.”

5. “I’m not taking less than X amount for my home.”

“If you send a message that you are inflexible or not open to negotiating, it may not invite buyers to even try to work out acceptable price and terms as they will feel defeated from the start,” says Ameer. “Word may spread that you have this sentiment as a seller, and people may start to avoid the house.”

View all of the phrases at realtor.com®.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 8-15, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Lighthouse Point #111 2/2 $650K, Sundial East #P205 2/2 $825K, Golden Beach #2 3/2.5 $1.575M.

2 price changes: Sand Pointe #213 2/2 now $635K, Coquina Beach #2C 2/2 now $695K.

5 new sales: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 listed at $239K, Mariner Pointe #811 2/2 listed at $499K (our listing), Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 listed at $559.9K, Loggerhead Cay #202 2/2 listed at $559.9K, Clam Shell #C 2/2 listed at $999K.

Fishing Pier 2

Private community fishing pier at Mariner Pointe overlooking San Carlos Bay

 

2 closed sales: Seashells of Sanibel #28 2/2 $350K, Seawind #105 2/2.5 $502.5K.

HOMES

6 new listings: 847 Casa Ybel Rd 2/2 $425K, 9292 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $499K, 9106 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $650K, 2499 Harbour Ln 3/3 $795K, 563 Hideaway Ct 3/2 $849K, 907 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 $2.295M.

7 price changes: 2407 Shop Rd 3/2 now $364K, 1024 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 duplex now $539K, 600 East Rocks Dr 3/2 now $685K, 1525 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $787K, 5267 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $845K, 626 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 now $1.995M, 5075 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 now $3.99M.

4 new sales: 1576 Wilton Ln 3/2 listed at $439K, 1121 Sabal St 3/2.5 listed at $749K, 1224 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $1.095M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 3/4 listed at $4.195M.

2 closed sales: 564 Hideaway Ct 3/2 $570K, 2543 Tropical Way Ct 3/2.5 $1.05M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 5407 Osprey Ct now $489K.

Arrow Overhead.jpg

1466 Sand Castle Rd in The Dunes

2 new sales: 1304 Eagle Run Dr listed at $219K, 1466 Sand Castle Rd listed at $239K (our listing).

 

1 closed sale: Sabal Sands Rd, lot 8 $240K.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sunset Captiva #201 2/2 $1.069M, Lands End Village #1608 3/3 $2.595M.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #4206 1/2 now $285K.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2618 2/2 listed at $659.9K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

3 price change: 15000 Binder Dr 3/2 now $1.89M, 11535 Wightman Ln 3/3 now $1.175M, 16251 Captiva Dr 7/4/1 now $2.495M.

1 new sale: 16697 Captiva Dr 2/2 listed at $3.25M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

HybiscusUntil next Friday, here’s hoping there are blue skies & sunshine here, there, & everywhere!

Susan Andrews, aka SaninbelSusan

Woohoo, Another Fun Busy Friday at SanibelSusan Realty


It’s Susan, reporting another busy week at SanibelSusan Realty – two closings, two new listings, two inspections, out showing property a few times, a property open for Realtor Caravan yesterday, and several positive showings and listing inquiries. 2016 is off to a great start.

The weather cool down has made for a nice week too. Funny how observers easily can tell the difference between locals and visitors. Locals joyfully got to wear their long sleeves and jackets for the first time in many months. (Some say it was the first day under 70 degrees F after a record 300-some days). Vacationers, regardless of the temperature, are everywhere from beaches to bike paths to restaurants in their bathing suits and short shorts.

Business should continue to increase through the month. Full occupancy is not expected again until February, but island business should stay brisk until then too.

Before I get into more real estate news, if you missed the nature photos posted last week and taken by our friend Scott. Here are a few more he shared, taken in late December at J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Refuge and in Tarpon Bay. Thanks again, Scott – you saved me again during a busy week! :-)

12-28-15 Scott 512-28-15 Scott 112-28-15 Scott 7 White pelican12-28-15 Scott 412-28-15 Scott 312-28-15 Scott 6

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday was our first Thursday Caravan meeting since before the holidays. Surprisingly only a handful of activity was announced and only nine new listings were open for viewing. It was lightly attended too – as evidenced later by the few visitors at our Open House. The action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last week follows some news items below.

I was at the Association office all morning today for the kick-off meeting for the 2016 leadership team. Attended by Board of Director members and committee chairs, not only did it include some problem solving and goal setting, but our Venice friend and trainer, Chuck Bonamer, presented a class called “Critical Thinking”. It expanded on how the real estate business and work with members today require communications that, not only cross generations (civics, baby boomers, X Generation, and Y Generation), but also both low context and high context individuals. Chuck is a Realtor® Emeritus which means he’s been a Realtor® for more than 40 years and has served at the national level of the Realtor® organization. He offered some excellent tips.

The Sanibel/Captiva Realtors® annual Installation and Awards Banquet is tomorrow night at The Dunes. Fingers crossed for no rain as it will be outside under the pavilion.

Florida Realtors® Through the Years

Florida Realtors logo2016 marks the 100th year anniversary of Florida Realtors®. In 1916, the Florida Realtor® association was formed at a meeting in Jacksonville with 67 charter members representing 19 cities.

In 1917, Florida became the first state to join the National Association of Real Estate Boards.

In 1919, Florida population reached 1 million, with 63% of residents living on farms. Jacksonville had 100,000 residents, Tampa 50,000, Orlando 9,282, and Miami 644.

In 1925, the Florida Association of Real Estate Boards moved from Jacksonville to Orlando.

Emerging Trends

The January/February 2016 issue of FloridaRealtor® contains an article that has some interesting new technology applications, innovative housing designs, and federal regulatory changes that they consider will have the greatest impact in the coming years on state residential and commercial real estate markets. Here’s a summary:

FLORIDA TRENDS

 “Airport expansions. Tampa International Airport has embarked on a $953 million expansion project…, Orlando International Airport is well under way on a $1.1 billion expansion project that involves a people-mover connection between the main terminal and a $215 million Intermodal Transportation Facility that would include a new SunRail station for Central Florida commuters as well as the northernmost All Aboard Florida station….

“Seaport dredging. …PortMiami is ready to handle the massive post-Panamax cargo ships from Asia that will transit the expanded Panama Canal when the Central American project is completed in 2016. In Fort Lauderdale, Port Everglades has received approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a similar dredging project…These projects may stimulate South Florida’s economy and increase the value of industrial land in the region.

“Cuba travel & investment. As long-standing barriers to U.S. travel with Cuba diminish, Florida may become a staging ground for businesses seeking to capitalize on improved relations between the two countries….

“Affordable housing. New companies relocating here are finding it more difficult to find affordable housing for their employees….

“A new Central Florida community? A vast tract of ranch land in Central Florida could become home to 500,000 Floridians if initial development plans come to fruition. In October, Osceola County officials approved a framework for developing the Mormon-owned Deseret Ranch, which spans 133,000 acres south of Orlando….

“Rail lines. Construction is under way on the controversial $1.5 billion All Aboard Florida project, a privately funded passenger rail service that will connect Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Orlando….

“DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS

“A nation of immigrants. As the U.S. foreign-born population continues to rise, it could break at 125-year-old record within the next decade….

“An inflow from Puerto Rico. Continuing financial and social concerns in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico could lead to greater in-migration from Puerto Rico to Florida in 2016….

“RESIDENTIAL TRENDS

“Bigger houses? New houses are increasing in size, according to the National Association of Home Builders…A post-recession increase in single-family home size is consistent with the historical pattern coming out of recessions….

“More townhomes. Lack of prime land for residential development and higher construction costs are making it difficult for Florida builders to keep up with the demand for affordable homes…That’s one reason we are seeing more attached homes.

“Community amenities. One factor influencing demand for homes in golf course, country club and other planned communities is the current condition of the amenities. “Associations that were smart enough to invest in new clubhouses, fitness centers and social amenities are doing substantially better in attracting new buyers….

“TECHNOLOGY TRENDS

“Online search. Realtors will have to devote more of their time and resources to creating a strong online presence because online search is becoming the predominant way new customers will find them….

“Global portals. Portals like Zillow and Realtor.com serve the U.S. residential real estate market. “None of the other countries around the world is served by either of these…Pay close attention to the evolving relationships between U.S. and international portals to build connections with their global markets.

“Lead conversion. The Internet has evolved from promotion to search, to lead generation, to lead conversion….a very large number of these visitors are simply real estate surfing and with no intention to buy anytime soon. That huge gap between lookers and buyers means that brokers and agents need to learn how to scrub leads, identify the meaningful ones and convert them to actual dollars.

“Electronic signatures. Buyers and sellers appreciate the convenience and simplicity of being able to sign real estate documents electronically.

“Predictive analytics. Data on communities, neighborhoods, housing markets, walkability, traffic and a thousand other topics is readily available online.

“Collaborative design. Communications technology makes it easier for architects, designers and contractors to collaborate on new commercial and residential projects…That could accelerate the design process and reduce the overall project cost.

“INDUSTRY TRENDS

“Generational shift. Boomer real estate professionals need to stop talking about Gen Xers and Gen Yers as if they were kids. In 2015, the oldest Gen Xers turned 50….

“Mid-sized brokers being squeezed. Federal regulations that make it more difficult for brokers to operate affiliated mortgage and title companies, combined with the ever-increasing cost of technology, are putting a financial squeeze on mid-sized brokers….

“Team domination. Teams are out-producing individuals at rapid rates, and these rates are continuing to skyrocket….

“Serving investors. From Wall Street firms to local individuals, investors remain deeply interested in real estate as an asset….

“Sellers choosing high-producing agents. To serve sellers effectively, Realtors must increasingly invest in robust marketing and customer service systems….

“Agent reviews. “Agent reviews are becoming more important to home buyers. Progressive agents should ask their customers to leave reviews….

“FINANCIAL/REGULATORY TRENDS

“RESPA. Until recently, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) was administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). “Enforcement has not been very strict, but is about to change….

“Changes in tax rules. Many presidential and congressional candidates are talking about changes to the nation’s tax structure, such as eliminating the mortgage interest deduction on second homes or doing away with 1031 like-kind exchanges on the sale and purchase of qualifying properties….

“COMMERCIAL TRENDS

“An AirBNB model for offices. With the growth in the mobile workforce, more professionals and companies will need office space on a temporary or flexible basis….

“Downtown retail. In many Florida markets, downtown has been the last frontier for retail developers and tenants, who have focused on the affluent suburban neighborhoods. That focus continues to shift…Young adults are showing a greater propensity to live in downtown neighborhoods….

“Changing business practices. Commercial brokerage practices vary in different countries in Europe and South America. That could lead to changes in the way contracts are written in Florida, as well as brokers’ fiduciary obligations and fee structures….

“An Uber model for trucks. Rather than engage a trucking company to move goods to and from a warehouse near one of the state’s air- or seaports, shippers and freight forwarders may consider an on-demand Uber-like model….

“Shared-space warehouses. Advances in product identification technology now make it possible for third-party logistic providers to use one warehouse facility to store, pack and ship goods belonging to different customers….”

City Moves Ahead with Sewer; Eyes Captiva Sewage

Sanibelcityseal logoFrom Tuesday’s “Santiva Chronicle”:

“The number of residences on septic systems and not connected to the Sanibel sewer system is not down to zero, but it’s getting closer with the approval of Phase IV of the Sanibel Sewer Expansion Program by the Sanibel City Council on Tuesday, Jan. 5, at City Hall.

“Also Tuesday, the council viewed a city report regarding septic systems on Captiva and took several actions on a variety of subjects.

“Sewer System Phase IV – At a cost of about $1.2 million, the city will connect five properties on West Gulf Drive and 19 on Woodring Road to the sewer system. That will leave only 20 properties in four different areas of Sanibel to be connected in the final phase.

““This is a milestone,” City Manager Judie Zimomra said to the City Council. “Sanibel has invested more than $70 million on sanitary sewers island-wide. That’s a significant accomplishment on a barrier island.

“We have put ourselves in position to do this and today we are glad to move into the final phase,” Zimomra said.

The council had two options before it as to how property owners would be assessed. One was to split costs equally and the second was to put a $10,000 cap on assessments with the city picking up the balance. In its unanimous vote to move ahead with Phase IV, the council went with the $10,000-cap option.

““Sanibel needs to continue to walk the walk and talk the talk about the environment,” Mayor Kevin Ruane said. “Set the cap at $10,000. It’s important to finish what we started. We have the money in sewer reserves so we can do the projects as planned.”

“Many of the remaining unconnected properties are considered low-flow septic systems. They will be required to connect to the sewer systems when those septic systems fail. The Woodring part of the work in Phase IV will begin at 1800 Woodring Road.

“Captiva Sewage

“Sewage incidents on Captiva in April and October have the Sanibel Council concerned and the council unanimously approved a motion by Ruane to gather the stakeholders together and talk about solutions and possible penalties for violators.

“Captiva is an unincorporated part of Lee County that has no sewer system. The report the Sanibel Council received said Captiva has waste water treatment plants at Captiva Shores Condominium Association, South Seas Resort, ‘Tween Waters Inn and Sunset Captiva. It also said 171 septic systems are known on Captiva with another 355 likely septic systems for a total of an estimated 526 septic systems.

“In the course of the discussion, the council heard from several Captivans who stated the island’s willingness to sit down with Sanibel.

“One recent event found the waste water treatment plant at South Seas filled to capacity with untreated sewage having to be transported off the island. Another incident involved a 38,000-gallon spill that briefly closed Turner and Blind Pass beaches.

““We need to get the stakeholders together and have a conversation about what occurred,” Ruane said. “We need to talk about the short term situation that has occurred and talk about penalties, and simultaneously talk about a feasibility study.””

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 1-8, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Coquina Beach #5F 2/2 $495K, Mariner Pointe #712 2/2.5 $599K, Sanctuary Golf Villages #3-3 2/2.5 $699K, Sandpiper Beach #101 2/2 $799K (our listing), Snug Harbor #121 3/2 $998K.

2 price changes: Sundial West #I104 1/1 now $389.9K, Compass Point #221 2/2 now $624.9K (our listing).

3 new sales: Sundial West #F308 1/1 listed at $380K, Sanibel Moorings #1412 2/2 listed at $419,914, Island Beach Club #P2E 2/2 listed at $1.079M.

6 closed sales: Colonnades #15 1/1 $212.5K, Spanish Cay #C5 2/2 $358K, Mariner Pointe #332 2/2 $445.25K (our listing & sale), Sanibel Arms West #B1 2/2 $485K, Sundial West #B206 2/2 $546K (our listing), Pointe Santo #D5 2/2 $675K.

HOMES

6 new listings: 1576 Wilton Ln 3/2 $439K, 677 Durion Ct 3/2 $788K, 588 Hideaway Ct 3/2 $819.9K, 1658 Sabal Palm Dr 2/2 $875K, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 $1.895M, 1253 Anhinga Ln 4/4 $3.795M.

8 price changes: 1065 Fish Crow Rd 2/2 now $684.9K, 958 Cabbage Palm Ct 2/2 now $695K, 1328 Seaspray Ln 4/4 now $849K, 760 Windlass Way 3/3 now $995K, 1520 Angel Dr 4/3/2 now $1.279M, 411 Lighthouse Way 4/3 now $1.445M, 1730 Jewel Box 4/3 now $1.795M, 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 now $2.395M.

9 new sales: 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 listed at $440K, 3870 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $599K, 693 Emeril Ct 3/3 listed at $679K, 9455 Calla Ct 3/3 listed at $749K, 597 Lake Murex Cir 3/2.5 listed at $749K (our listing), 3724 Agate Ct 3/3 listed at $929K, 1555 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2.5 listed at $975K, 6015 Clam Bayou Ln 4/3.5 listed at $2.249M, 3911 West Gulf Dr 5/5.5 listed at $4.498M.

5 closed sales: 220 Palm Lake Dr 3/3 $520K, 2065 Wild Lime Dr 3/2.5 $570K, 9445 Beverly Ln 3/2 $630K, 1004 Fish Crow Rd 4/3 $855K, 812 Angel Wing Dr 3/3.5 $2.15M.

LOTS

1 new listings: 1466 Sand Castle Rd $239K (our listing).

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: 1820 Farm Trail $203K, 6002 White Heron Ln $685K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1641 2/2 $1.35M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11515 Andy Rosse Ln 6/6.5 $2.995M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 11520 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5 listed at $2.29M.

1 closed sale: 11546/48 Wightman Ln 3/2.5 $3.5M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 16297 Captiva Dr now $1.549M.

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 to more continued island fun….

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

New Year’s Eve on Sanibel Island


It’s SanibelSusan reporting on Thursday this week (rather than Friday), as my teammates got off at 1 p.m. today for the New Year holiday and will be off tomorrow. The office is open though – today, tomorrow, and through the weekend – so if island real estate is in your plan for 2016, SanibelSusan Realty is ready to help.

Before I get into more real estate news, here are a few more photos from our pal Scott, who not only purchased his property from us, but shares his island nature pictures with us too. These were taken earlier this week at J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge. (They are so terrific, I’m posting them individually, plus saving some for next week.) Thanks, again, Scott.

Scott Ding 2 12-27-15Scott Ding 3 12-27-15Scott Ding 4 12-27-15Scott Ding 5 12-27-15Scott Ding 6 12-27-15Scott Ding 7 12-27-15Scott Ding 8 12-27-15Scott Ding 9 12-27-15Scott Ding 10 12-27-15Scott Ding 11 12-27-15Scott Ding 12-27-15Scott Ding 13 12-27-15

Island Holiday Activity and More

When the islands had rental turn-overs this past Saturday, the roadways and bike paths abruptly changed from busy to jam packed. A few social media complaints by both visitors and locals resulted in a response from a resident who has been on Sanibel since the 50’s. He posted that, since vehicles have been counted coming across the causeway, Dec 28th is traditionally the peak-traffic day. Appears that this year was no exception. Some say it was backed up as far as Shell Point Blvd coming onto the island that day, late morning, and Periwinkle Way been slow all week.

Even by 6:30 p.m. most nights this week, the traffic in front of SanibelSusan Realty has been a crawl. Taking “the back” way to the causeway and east-end have been a must for me and my teammates. It’s time to tack a few more minutes onto every destination plan and to be on the lookout for drivers unaccustomed to the “laid back” lifestyle here.

Island Real Estate

There was no island real estate Caravan this week because of the holiday, but several of our listings had showings. We also again this week are thankful for another new condo listing. Last weekend, I showed property both Saturday and Sunday while during the week, Teammate Dave and I also went on another listing presentation and opened homes for some good showings. Dave also attended a couple of home inspections and we are both working on final action items for some upcoming closings next week, while Teammate Elise is keeping order to the showing requests and feedback. I put one of our new condo listings under contract yesterday, so 2016 already is kicking off to a good start.

Following a few news items below is the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last week’s blog.

Sanibel Inventory & Sales Statistics

Here is a summary of the Sanibel real estate inventory today. Included are sales this year compared to last year and 2006* which was when the Sanibel market peaked.

Status             # Condos  Avg. Price    # Homes  Avg. Price    # Lots Avg. Price

For Sale                 98      $831,689          121      $1,391,833          69        $523,301

Under Contract   23     $652,874           22       $835,236              4         $394,250

Sold/Closed in:

2015                       157    $705,249          235     $914,416              43        $394,207

2014                      164     $650,418          206     $838,672             27       $424,198

2006*                      143    $866,972         156     $1,143,682          18        $523,917

3 Trends Sellers Should Know in 2016

CNN MoneyBelow is a posting from Tuesday’s “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS” on line. As the above sales summary shows, Sanibel prices are not back to the levels of 2006, but the market here is definitely in the seller’s favor again.

“There are three dominant trends in real estate that sellers should be aware of going into the new year. CNN Money recently asked industry insiders to share what will be important when it comes to selling a home in 2016….

“A seller’s market dominates. Home prices have been climbing so much that they’re even matching their 2006 highs. Seller’s markets are more dominant in certain cities such as San Francisco, where bidding wars are widely reported and offers go well above asking price. “The more lucrative a region’s economic future appears to be, the easier you can expect it to be to sell a home,” according to the article.

“Mortgages will get pricier. Low mortgage rates have been the standard in the last few years, but that will soon change. The Federal Reserve is gradually beginning to raise rates, which will move mortgage rates higher and dampen affordability. Sellers should be aware that it may become more difficult for prospective buyers to secure financing.

“Tax benefits still abound. The largest tax break for ordinary taxpayers who qualify remains the exclusion on capital gains for the sale of personal residences. Single taxpayers are able to exclude a maximum of $250,000 in gains from the sale of a home. Joint filers get double that: $500,000.”

20 Markets Ending 2015 on a High Note

realtor.comAnother article from Tuesday’s “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS” on line. I bet if this article considered small markets, the island would make the list.

“Residential real estate overall may have cooled as 2015 comes to a close, but the slowdown wasn’t evident everywhere. Realtor.com®’s research team identified the top 20 medium-to-large markets where homes are selling the fastest and demand remains high (based on the site’s listing views). Topping the list for the second consecutive month is San Francisco, followed by San Jose.

“”While California closed out our latest ranking still firmly in control of the hottest markets, the Midwest and Florida are both seeing substantial improvement,” says Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “Pent-up demand and robust economic growth combined with limited supply will keep California tight in 2016, but more markets will challenge them as demand improves elsewhere.”

“A few markets that are newcomers to realtor.com®’s list this month are Tampa, Fla.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Midland, Texas.

“The following “hot” markets in December garnered about 1.4 to 2.9 times more views per listing than the national average at realtor.com®. Also, homes in these locales sold 29 to 51 days faster than the rest of the country.

  1. San Francisco
  2. San Jose, Calif.
  3. Vallejo, Calif.
  4. Dallas
  5. Sacramento, Calif.
  6. San Diego
  7. Denver
  8. Santa Rosa, Calif.
  9. Yuba City, Calif.
  10. Stockton, Calif.
  11. Los Angeles
  12. Oxnard, Calif.
  13. Nashville, Tenn.
  14. Palm Bay, Fla.
  15. Modesto, Calif.
  16. Detroit
  17. Boulder, Colo.
  18. Tampa, Fla.
  19. Fort Wayne, Ind.
  20. Midland, Texas”

Rate Hikes May Hurt Foreign Buyers Most

realtor logoAs reported on Forbes.com “Fed Rate Hikes Will Dampen Sales of U.S. Homes to International Buyers”:

“The Federal Reserve’s decision to gradually raise its short-term interest rates is expected to send mortgage rates higher in the new year and will likely have the biggest impact on foreign buyers from Western Europe and Canada, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®.

“”The reason is [it] will make the U.S. dollar stronger,” Yun writes in a column for Forbes.com. “That, in turn, will make it more costly to buy in America for foreigners. One major exception to this trend is likely to be Chinese buyers.”

“Higher interest rates lure foreign savings into the U.S., which strengthens the dollar, Yun adds.

“For example, Canadian currency has gone down 33% in value against the U.S. dollar over the past three years. American properties have risen by 24.7% in the same period, which means Canadians need to factor in 33% more for the cost of a home after currency conversion. That brings the total cost change to 57.7% to purchase a home in the U.S., Yun notes.

“Similarly, the cost of a U.S. home purchase has more than doubled for Russian or Brazilian buyers after currency conversion.

“At Forbes.com, you’ll find a chart that shows the change in currency for some of the biggest foreign buyers of U.S. real estate.”

Sanibel Still Waiting for AT&T Upgrade

AT&T_logo_svgPosted Tuesday on “Santiva Today”:

“Sanibel is still waiting for AT&T to install equipment on the Verizon tower on Donax Road.

“AT&T Customers on Sanibel: Have you noticed the improvement in the wireless signal you are getting? We didn’t think so. That’s because it hasn’t improved despite overtures last summer that the communications giant would soon be upgrading its equipment on the island.

““We’ve had no update from AT&T. We’re trying to get a realistic time frame,” Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane said Monday, Dec. 28. Last summer it looked like all systems were go for AT&T to upgrade its transmitting power with new equipment on the existing Verizon tower on Donax Road. A permit was issued to do the work, but then that permit was withdrawn without any reason given.

“That raised eyebrows on the City Council. “This is AT&T and this is 2015,” said Councilman Jim Jennings, a disgruntled AT&T subscriber. “I can switch, but it will raise my bill. I’m not the only one that is frustrated.”

Jennings needed to look only two seats to his right, Ruane’s seat, to find company. The east end of Sanibel has a weak signal and would quickly find better signals and reception with an AT&T upgrade. “Where I live is one of the worst places on the island,” Ruane said Monday. “I can tell you that an upgrade will help the island. It will help my family. It will help me. I’m tired of having my calls dropped coming across the bridge.”

“Ruane was confident in late August that the city had garnered the attention of AT&T. Ruane spoke with a regional AT&T liaison and came away from that conversation believing Sanibel would get an upgrade by the end of the year. The liaison contacted Ruane after seeing the Santiva Chronicle’s online account of the Aug. 5 City Council meeting.

““We will touch base again after the holidays,” Ruane said. “I’d like to have a sit-down conversation with AT&T. AT&T customers on the island want to keep their service and AT&T needs to pay attention to that. “We would like to have a time line from AT&T,” he said.”

Southwest Florida International Airport

RSW LogoAn article in local papers this week touts our RSW as receiving the highest rating in traveler satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2015 North American Airport Satisfaction Study. In its 10th year, the study measures overall traveler satisfaction with large and medium-sized airports in the areas of terminal facilities, airport accessibility, security check, baggage claim, check-in/baggage check and terminal shopping. Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW)’s score of 792 was the highest in the entire study this year where the average was 752 for medium and 719 for large airports. For more info on the airport, go to www.flylcpa.com.

Schedule of Events on www.SanibelSusan.com

Here and looking for things to do? Check out the link above about Upcoming Island Events. I frequently update it.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 23-31

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sandpebble #2B 2/2 $449K (our listing), Coquina Beach #4C 2/2 $519.9K, Loggerhead Cay #313 2/2 $529K, Loggerhead Cay #214 2/2 $639K, Island Beach Club #350D 2/2 $1.185M.

Sand Pebble aerial

Sand Pebble looking toward Sanibel River & golf course

 

2 price changes: Blind Pass #D105 2/2 now $444.9K, Blind Pass #G203 2/2 now $475K.

1 new sale: Mariner Pointe #411 3/2 listed at $549K (our listing & sale).

MP Bayside Pool

Mariner Pointe #411 looks over this pool to San Carlos Bay

 

2 closed sales: Sundial #H411 1/1 $2514K, Compass Point #111 2/2 $1.13M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1216 Par View Dr 3/2 $779K, 3724 Agate Ct 3/3 $929K.

1 price change: 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $725K.

3 new sales: 9477 Peaceful Dr 4/2 listed at $469.9K, 485 Peachtree Rd 3/3 listed at $749K, 1525 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $799K.

1 closed sale: 4355 West Gulf Dr 4/3 $3.5M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 978 Main St $229K, 592 Sea Oats Dr $349.9K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Ventura Captiva #1B 3/3 now $1.295M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1637 2/2 $1.23M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16697 Captiva Dr 2/2 $3.25M.

1 price change: 15000 Binder Dr 3/2 now $1.149M.

1 new sale: 1127 Longifolia Ct 4/4 listed at $5.795M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

new-years-eve-clip-art-1288760HAPPY NEW YEAR from Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

For Merry Christmas, It’s a Friday Blog on Wednesday


It’s SanibelSusan with my Friday blog two days early this week because of the upcoming holiday.

White Christmas Sign

Island & SanibelSusan Realty Scoop

With day-time temperatures expected to remain in the low- to mid-80’s for the next week, it will not be a chilly holiday here, but I bet visitors and vacationers are happy. The beach, bike paths, and roadways already are busy. Recent fishing reports have been good ones, while retailers and restaurants are crowded too.

Accommodations and rental managers advise that a few vacancies remain this week, but following the big turn-over this coming Saturday (12/26), there will be nary a room available.

Several clients spend their holidays on the islands. One knows that I am always looking for things to post on my blog so he shares his Sanibel photos. Here are a few of his bird pictures from Woodring Point, most taken today. Thank you, Scott!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

There will be no island real estate Caravan this week because of the holiday, but our listings had a few showings with several others planned. We are thankful for another new condo listing and that a home listing went under contract last Sunday evening. All of the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday, follow a couple of news items below.

2015 Florida Real Estate Year in Review

Florida Realtors logoThis article posted today on-line at FloridaRealtors®:

“In 2015, Florida’s real estate market faced changes big and small, good and not so good. Here are the most influential Florida real estate stories of 2015:

“The market? It’s back As a state famous for investment homes and international sales, Florida tends to be hit hard by recessions and blessed by economic booms. In 2015, it was the latter. According to Freddie Mac’s latest Multi-Indicator Market Index ­– a measurement of state and local markets’ strength – Florida’s real estate rebound led the nation, with Orlando the top U.S. rebound city. In the October 2015 housing report released by Florida Realtors, single-family home prices rose 12.4% year-to-year.

“Time to buy – but what? Homebuyer demand continues to rise from millennials to baby boomers, but there’s a problem: Buyers can’t find enough homes for sale. Overall, Florida’s tight inventory of for-sale homes last year (5.4-month supply in Oct. 2014) was below the six-month supply economists generally consider a balanced market – and it grew even tighter this year (4.4-month supply in Oct. 2015). Why? Some underwater owners still can’t sell; some boomers are staying put; and some investors scooped homes in the lower-price categories, leaving today’s first-time buyers struggling.

“Mortgage process scrambled Realtors knew the mortgage process inside and out until Oct. 3. On that day, almost everything changed as U.S. regulators rolled out a new set of borrower disclosures and rules. While the onus of the change fell on title companies and lenders that had to gut and redo software systems, Realtors had to understand the new disclosures and wrestle with locked-in-stone timelines that threatened closing dates. When the dust settled, however, the industry had adapted with only a little collateral damage.

“Easy money. Well, easier anyway Lenders’ purse strings loosened a bit in 2015 and more homebuyers discovered that they qualify. Mortgage-backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac introduced a number of buyer-friendly changes, such as mortgage down-payments as low as 3%. In addition, FHA lowered its mortgage insurance fees. To top it off, a number of banks eased their credit score requirements a bit, allowing more marginal borrowers to consider making the move to homeownership.

“No trouble here In the shadow of the recent real estate recession, a few local observers think that today’s rising home prices and limited inventory suggest that another real estate bubble could be forming. But experts shoot down the bubble theory, saying homes in only a few selected cities might be overvalued, and there’s no reason to panic. This time around, most loans are fixed rate, first-time buyer programs have increased the quality of purchasers, the economy is strengthening, and much of the recent rise in prices can be attributed to the construction industry’s inability to keep up with demand.

“Condo can-do For most of 2015, there was a disconnect between the home preferred by many first-time buyers – a condominium – and their ability to qualify for the most popular first-time buyers’ mortgage product: a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan. Since FHA first looks at the operation of a condo complex and its board, a rejection at that level means an automatic mortgage rejection for any unit in the complex. In November, however, FHA said it would relax its board rules, which should give buyers a new assortment of affordable options. Florida – with its range and diversity of condo projects – has the most to gain.

“Let the 2016 games begin In early 2015, Zillow completed its merger with Trulia, creating an online real estate advertising behemoth – and mega-provider News Corp took over Move Inc., the oversight company for realtor.com. But the story doesn’t end there. Consolidation is the watchword, and the battle heading into 2016 is “Who can offer the most real estate services in a one-stop shop?” The big players are rolling out transaction management programs, commercial real estate options, marketing programs and new technology that everyone needs – even if they don’t know it yet.

“Make it simple NAR and its wholly owned subsidiary, Realtors Property Resource (RPR), announced a new system for brokers’ data entry that could potentially simplify the business of selling real estate in 2016. Project Upstream/AMP (Advanced Multi-list Platform) is a behind-the-scenes tool to simplify listing data entry and distribution. Currently, a single listing may be keyed in several times for different purposes – for entry in the local MLS, other MLSs, the broker’s own website and one or more advertising websites, for example. Under Upstream/AMP, brokers will enter data only once. After that, MLSs and vendors that use the data will download the information from Upstream. NAR’s 2015 president calls it “an initiative that truly can be thought of as ‘game changing.”

“Drones on and on and on For most of this year, only Realtors with a pilot’s license and FAA approval could legally fly a drone. However, that changed in December when the FAA issued a rule that opened up drone use to everyone – with limitations. Some existing rules still apply, such as no flights higher than 400 feet or within five miles of an airport, but a new one requires every drone operator to register with the FAA – name, address, email, etc. – and every drone to be marked with that operator’s unique registration number. Experts believe up to 700,000 drones will be given as gifts this year, leading the FAA to make its long-awaited announcement right before the holidays.

“Mortgage rates on the rise As 2014 came to a close, most experts predicted that mortgage rates would rise in 2015. And they did the same thing a year earlier in 2014. And they’re doing so again this year. But one thing changed that increases the chances of higher mortgage rates next year: On Dec. 16, 2015, the Federal Reserve boosted its key rate 0.25 basis points for the first time in seven years. That increase has an indirect impact on long-term mortgage rates and a more direct, albeit small, impact on adjustable mortgage rates. Few experts predict a series of further rate increases in 2016, however. Some say the next one won’t come until June, while others expect a small boost every other time the Fed meets.

“THE NEW YEAR

“2016 real estate forecast Florida’s 2015 real estate rebound “outperformed the nation as a whole,” according to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. While the state ended the year “catching its breath after a very hectic late summer and early fall,” Tuccillo predicts that 2016 will continue to “settle down” as sales and home values rise – but at a less hectic pace.

“Against the backdrop of an expanding state economy with growing employment, home sales should increase by 8-10% over 2015 (numbers) and home prices (measured as actual value) should rise by about 5%,” Tuccillo says.

“Anniversary In 2016, Florida Realtors hits a milestone: Its 100th anniversary. In 1916, 67 real estate brokers from 19 cities gathered in Jacksonville to serve the Realtors of Florida and Sunshine State families. At the time, Miami had only 644 residents, while Tampa had 50,000 and Jacksonville 100,000. One hundred years later, Florida’s cities look different and Florida Realtors has over 150,000 members. Look for festivities to continue throughout the year.” (Note: SanibelSusan has already provided some old island MLS books that will be used in the state celebration beginning at the FloridaRealtors Mid-Winter Business Meetings in Orlando in late January. Sure have been a lot of changes in this business over the last 20-some years.)

“National Association of Realtors In 2016, Florida will have a strong voice at the national level when Florida Realtors 2003 President, Tom Salomone from Coral Springs, serves as president of the National Association of Realtors®. Salomone will oversee a network of 1 million Realtors throughout the U.S.” (Note: Tom is a good ambassador for us.  He has often traveled to Sanibel to participate in our local Realtor annual events including end-of-season RPAC auction fundraiser, and Installation and Awards Banquets. We Floridians love having the national president come from our state!)

16th Annual National Polar Bear Club “Polar Plunge”

2015 polar bear plungeSince it looks like the weather will be cooperating, if you want to test the waters, the Sanibel-Captiva Chapter of the National Polar Bear Club will host its annual meeting for brave plungers at the “crack of noon” on January 1 at Tarpon Bay Beach.

When the club began here in 2001, only 29 participated. The last several years have brought about 300. The photo (from CaptivaSanibel.com) above was taken during the chilly plunge in 2015.  It’s free and fun to watch too. Participants, wear your bathing suit and bring a towel. Sign in and song sheets for the singing of the traditional Polar Bear anthem will be handed out starting at 11 a.m.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 18-23

Sanibel
CONDOS
1 new listing: Mariner Pointe #411 3/2 $549K (our listing).
MP Bayside Pool
2 price changes: Blind Pass #G203 2/2 now $475K, Kimball Lodge 3306 2/2 now $989K.
3 new sales: . Nutmeg Village #307 2/2 listed at $599K, Nutmeg Village #113 2/2 listed at $1.079M, Shorewood #2B 3/3 listed at $1.395M
No closed sales.
HOMES
5 new listings: 938 Strangler Fig Ln 2/2 $599K, 9455 Calla Ct 3/3 $749K, 5303 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $749K, 513 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $825K, 4440 Waters Edge Ln 3/3 $1.495M.
1 price change: 5773 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $1.029M.
2 new sales: 1516 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $650K, 5743 Baltusrol Ct 3/3/2 listed at $1.35M (our listing).
20150813_140700.jpg
1 closed sale: 1312 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $675K.
LOTS
2 new listings: 1311 Par View Dr $319.9K, 6053 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $1.495M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 4636 Rue Royale listed at $429K.
No closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS
Nothing to report.
HOMES
2 new listings: 11526 Laika Ln 4/4 duplex $1.95M, 17101 Captiva Dr 7/6/1 $2.995M.
No new or closed sales.
LOTS
Nothing to report.

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

 Merry Christmas! Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

santa snowman

Counting Down to Christmas on Sanibel Island


It’s SanibelSusan with another Friday report. Sanibel and Captiva are festive and the roadways, beaches, and bike paths are filling with holiday visitors as the weather has stayed sunny and bright until today.

As I write this some needed rain is said to be bringing a brief cool front which will only last through Sunday when the highs only expected to be in the 70’s.

Back to the low 80’s by Sunday and through next week. Santa better wear his shorts!

Sanibel snowman

A Sanibel snowman – Dec 2015

 

Below, following some news items, is info on the real estate activity posted this week in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. Not many new sales are reported – none on Captiva and just three on Sanibel (two condos and a lot).

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday was the final Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® monthly breakfast meeting of the year.

DunesEntry2Held at the recently-remodeled clubhouse at The Dunes Golf and Tennis Club, the meeting included presentation of the Association’s 2015 Honor Society awards. It was rewarding to see several members receive the award for the first time, but sure made me feel old to get it for the 23rd year. Given in recognition of professionalism through education, participation, and service, 25 Sanibel/Captiva Realtors® from our 298 members received the award this year.

ASSOC LogoFourteen Realtor® SCIS (Sanibel-Captiva Islands Specialist) designations also were awarded at the meeting. Many of these were attendees at the class that I taught this summer (on Resorts & Second-Homes). To achieve this designation, members must complete 12-class curriculum requirements during a multi-year period. Since the program began, over 80 island Realtors® have become island specialists. These classes provide education specifically about buying and selling real estate on Sanibel and Captiva.

Upcoming Open Houses at The Sanctuary

sanctuary golf club logoThe Sanctuary Homeowners Association again is allowing open houses in the community once a month this winter, through April. The first one will be Wednesday, January 6, from 1 to 4 p.m. Others also are scheduled on Wednesdays – February 3, March 2, and April 6. These are easy opportunities to see all of the properties for sale in The Sanctuary during a single afternoon. Our listing at 5743 Baltusrol Court will be open – unless it sells first!

What’s Happening at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club

DunesYesterday’s membership meeting was the first opportunity many Realtors® had to visit The Dunes recently-remodeled clubhouse. The buffet breakfast was outstanding too.

The Dunes Club events include tennis and golf clinics, round robins, tournaments and league events, plus such social events as fine and casual dining, trivia nights, dinner with DJs, comedy nights, and other competitive sporting events.

Dunes logoIf you are wondering what the 2016 costs are to belong to the club at The Dunes, here is some information from their handout.

  • Full Club Membership – $7,450 (family) or $4,450 (single)
  • Senior Full Club Membership (over 80) – $3,750 (family) or $2,250 (single)
  • Associate Full Membership (45 & under) – $3,750 (family) or $2,250 (single)
  • 30-Day Golf Membership – Nov 1 to Apr 31 – $1,399 (family) or $899 (single)
  • 30-Day Golf Membership – May 1 to Oct 31 – $499 (family) or $299 (single)
  • Tennis, Sports & Social Membership – $2,525 (family) or $1,875 (single)
  • 30-Day Tennis Membership – Nov 1 to Apr 31 – $399 (family) or $299 (single)
  • 30-Day Tennis Membership – May 1 to Oct 31 – $199 (family) or $99 (single)
  • Sports & Social Membership – $1,325 (family) or $1,025 (single)
  • Social Membership – $650 (family) or $550 (single).

Captiva Landmarks Join National Register of Historic Places

Capitiva-Chapel-Outside-1024x768@2xLast week (as reported in the “Island Sun”), a pair of plaques, honoring two island landmarks – The Captiva School & Captiva Chapel-by-the-Sea and the Historic Captiva Cemetery – were unveiled to the public for the first time, two years after they were officially dedicated as part of the National Register of Historic Places.

According to the National Register of Historic Places website, The Captiva School & Captiva Chapel-by-the-Sea historic district is “significant at the local level under Criterion A in the areas of Exploration/Settlement and Social History”.

The one-room schoolhouse, built in 1901, also served as the primary place of religious worship for the early settlers of Captiva until it was converted into a Methodist mission church in 1921. The Captiva Civic Association, by agreement with the Methodist Church, took over operation of the building in 1947. The Methodist church deeded the property in 1954 to Captiva Chapel-by-the-Sea.

Prior to the entrance of the chapel property, the two-acre historic cemetery – founded in 1897 – includes a number of the early settlers of Captiva. The first interment of the cemetery was the unnamed stillborn daughter of Herbert and Hattie Brainerd, whose daughter, Ann, purchased the parcel in 1900 for a single gold coin. One year later, Ann died from tetanus from stepping on a rusty nail. Hattie Brainerd retained ownership until she deeded it to the Methodist church in 1936.

These landmarks join the ‘Tween Waters Historic District as the island’s representatives on the National Register of Historic Places.

Baby Boomers Blamed for Clog in Housing

baby boomersPosted on line on Dec 7 on “Daily Real Estate News”, here is an interesting take on low inventory.

“Some economists say the baby boomers aren’t selling their homes like previous generations did and not downsizing fast enough, which is leading to shortages of homes for sale and rising prices.

“Baby boomers are “clogging up the whole chain of home sales,” says Sean Becketti, chief economist of Freddie Mac. “They appear to be staying in the family home longer than previous generations, and the imbalance between housing demand and supply continues to boost prices.”

“Baby boomers are big players in real estate. In 2013, people age 55 and older controlled two-thirds of all home equity, according to the Federal Reserve’s most recent Survey of Consumer Finances.

“In previous generations, once the kids have moved out of the house, empty nesters tended to downsize and move to smaller homes or rent apartments. But so far, boomers haven’t made a move.

““Economists say boomers’ slower-than-expected rate of downsizing and selling is playing a contributing role in supply, demand and pricing imbalances in local markets — not creating those imbalances,” The Washington Post reports.

“Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, told The Washington Post that the lingering effects of the housing crisis and the Great Recession may be the reason why more baby boomers are postponing their moves. From 2008 to 2011, home owners of all ages lost lots of equity and many home owners may still be rebuilding equity to allow them to sell and move without having to bring money to closing, Yun says.

“But Fannie Mae’s Patrick Simmons, an economics and strategic research group director, says that the clog in the real estate pipeline from baby boomers not moving will not likely hold for much longer. “Boomers will not inhabit this vast inventory [32 million homes] forever,” he says. Their circumstances will inevitably change with age and they will move, and “their actions will reverberate through the housing market.””

Upcoming Island Events

Today & Tomorrow – Dec 18th & 19thOrchid & Bromeliad Show & Sale, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Village Shopping Center.

Sunday – Dec 20thSanibel Farmers Market, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., City Hall Grounds (every Sunday thru Apr)

Sanibel LighthouseChristmas Eve – Dec 24th – Annual Christmas Eve Beach Service at Lighthouse Beach at 5 p.m. featuring candle lighting and carol singing, with offering to benefit FISH (Friends in Service Here) and the Salvation Army. (Note: a special bike corral will be set up at the end of the bike path leading to Lighthouse Beach. Vehicle parking available at the Chamber of Commerce with trolley service to the beach.)

Saturday thru Tuesday – Dec 26th thru 29th 21st Annual Holiday Mini-Golf, 18-hole indoor golf course with prizes awarded daily, at the Sanibel Community House, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Real Estate’s Impact From Spending & Tax Deal

Florida Realtors logoPosted on-line yesterday (Dec 17th) by FloridaRealtors®:

“The U.S. House and Senate have come to an agreement on a massive spending and tax bill – the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill – that will be voted on today. Passage is expected, and President Obama said he will sign it.

“A number of provisions – and excluded amendments – touch on Florida real estate interests.

  • Florida families will permanently gain the ability to deduct sales taxes from their federal income taxes under the bill. The benefit applies only to states without an income tax and has applied in recent tax years. However, the temporary benefit becomes permanent when the new bill becomes law.
  • Several business tax breaks will be extended, including one for the purchase of small business equipment. The bill also extends a tax deduction for “bonus” depreciation of business property purchases, along with television and film production.
  • Green energy gets a boost from a tax break extension for energy from renewable sources – solar, wind and geothermal, for example – and biodiesel fuels and electric cars.
  • The bill creates new rules for the visa waiver program. Under the program, citizens of 38 countries can travel freely to the U.S. with only a passport; but after the new bill becomes law, citizens from these countries who have visited terrorist-identified countries such a Syria or Iraq in the past five years will be denied a visa waiver.
  • The EB-5 visa won’t be affected. In early versions of the omnibus bill, lawmakers considered changes to a visa program popular in some areas of Florida – the EB-5. Under the program, foreigners may obtain a U.S. green card if they invest $500,000 in projects that create American jobs. However, the FBI noted some problems with the program. In the end, though, a proposal to change the EB-5 visa was backed out of the bill.
  • The bill creates a new REIT provision. After passage, companies in most cases won’t be allowed to spin off property they own into a real estate investment trust (REIT).
  • More money goes to low-income housing. The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) praised the bill, saying funds still remain “wholly inadequate to meet the housing needs of low-income Americans,” but “the bill does not raid the National Housing Trust Fund … This will allow HUD to implement the National Housing Trust Fund in 2016 with funds from a modest assessment on the annual volume of business of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • The bill prohibits disposition of taxpayer-owned stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for two years. That timeframe will give Congress more time to consider housing finance reform.”

What the Fed’s Decision Means for Housing

Federal Reserve logoGood write-up here from “Daily Real Estate News” yesterday, Dec 17th, regarding the small uptick in interest rates.

“Since 2008, the Federal Reserve has kept a zero-interest rate policy in place. But on Wednesday, in a largely anticipated move, they voted to bring an end to that era and increased its benchmark short-term interest rate by 25 basis points from near zero.

“The Fed made clear that it’s going to issue a gradual tightening cycle over the coming months. That likely means mortgage rates will inch slowly upward, though most economists are predicting that it shouldn’t unnerve the housing recovery.

““The interest rate is still low compared to historical standards,” Kevin Young, an analyst at IBISWorld in Los Angeles, told The New York Times.

“The Fed controls the federal funds rate – also known as the short-term interest rate – that banks use to borrow money. That rate inadvertently ends up being passed on to consumers.

“So what does the Fed’s latest move mean for the housing market?

“Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, says that an uptick in short-term rates shouldn’t have a big effect on those looking to borrow in 2016. With rates going up by such a small amount, the Fed’s move actually could serve as a stimulant to the economy, he says.

“”The raising of short-term rates could be more of a confidence play to the market — it provides a signal that the economy is strengthening, and to the degree that the Federal Reserve is providing [that signal] and the lenders believe that, it may actually provide more lending opportunity for the banks,” Yun says. “As a borrower, even for the short-term borrower, what difference does it really make whether one is borrowing at 0.1% or 0.2%, when the Fed Funds Rate is historically at 3.3% or 3.5%?”’

“Some economists are predicting the Fed to raise short-term rates incrementally about four times by the end of next year.

““But we don’t expect mortgage rates to track the short-term policy rates directly,” writes Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com®. “In fact, we’re likely to see mortgage rates increase by only half or two-thirds as much.” Mortgage rates tend to track trends in long-term bonds.

“According to realtor.com®’s 2016 forecast, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will likely average 4.65% by the end of next year. Last week, it averaged 3.93%, according to Freddie Mac.

“Still, Smoke says rates will likely be volatile day-to-day and week-to-week in the year ahead as the financial markets try to anticipate the timing of the Fed’s policy changes.

““On the positive side, the massive amount of news coverage on the Fed’s move will finally hit consumers to realize that we are at the end of the low-rate era and that rates are now on the move up,” Smoke writes. “We think this will influence fence-sitting buyers – and, more important, fence-sitting sellers who intend to buy as well – to act before rates get much higher.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 11-18

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Lighthouse Point #325 2/2 $889K, Gulfside Place #117 2/2 $1.385M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Sundial West #H411 1/1 listed at $269.9K, Kings Crown #118 3/2 listed at $1.299M.

1 closed sale: Tennisplace #E31 2/1.5 $315K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1390 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 half-duplex $559K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 $899K.

2 price changes: 1211 Periwinkle Way 3/2 now $499K, 557 N Yachtsman Dr 4/3 now $799K.

No new sales.

8 closed sales: 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $492K, 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 $525K, 3181 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $550K, 215 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $579K, 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 $639K, 6019 Clam Bayou Ln 4/3 $1.1M, 4241 West Gulf Dr 5/4.5 $3.65M, 1220 Morningside Pl 5/5 multi-family $1.024M.

LOTS

5 new listings: 2356 Wulfert Rd $195K, 1305 Seaspray Ln $752K, 6519 Pine Ave $995K, 6505 Pine Ave $995K, 5340 Punta Caloosa Ct $1.598M.

2 price changes: 5121 SanibelCapiva Rd now $219,555; 2462 Wulfert Rd now $224.9K.

1 new sale: 1820 Farm Trail listed at $229K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 $299K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 19 Urchin Ct 2/2.5 now $879K.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Starfish santaUntil next week, when I’ll blog earlier than Friday, Merry almost-Christmas! Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Santa Goes Kiteboarding on Sanibel Island


It’s SanibelSusan, reporting that after a successful, though sometimes drizzly overcast, island luminary weekend, Sanibel and Captiva Island weather since Monday has been fabulous – mostly sunny or partly-cloudy days with temperatures just into the low 80’s during the days, low 70’s at night. Not quite Christmas weather, but getting close. Perhaps by next week it will get down into the mid-70’s during the day!

Driving Periwinkle Way on Sanibel, to the lighthouse, or on Andy Rosse Lane on Captiva are particularly fun this time of the year. Holiday decorations and twinkling lights contribute to the tropical wonderland of the islands. The decorations may remain through the first week in January.

Here are a few news items, followed by the real estate activity posted this week in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Wondering Where Santa Was Last Weekend?

These photos were taken at Sanibel’s lighthouse beach…

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SanibelSusan Realty Action This Week

Sanibelsusan LogoWe were lucky to be involved in two of the eleven closings on Sanibel this week – our Island Beach Club listing and a home I sold in Shell Harbor. Other days, while teammate Dave was busy with home inspections and open houses, I was out showing property a few times, as teammate Elise kept track of other showings, and inquiries. We also had visits from some owners thinking of selling.

Adding two team birthdays, the BIG ARTs Chorus Holiday Concert, a Realtor West-End Caravan Meeting yesterday, and a couple of offers, made for a pretty busy week. “Not so for them”, say our pals in the accommodations business. They say that their calls have essentially stopped – probably because they have few if any winter vacancies and because many folks are busy with holiday planning and festivities. Another dilemma for those rental organizations is that the balcony restoration project at Pointe Santo has turned into a lengthier process than expected. Now the two gulf-front buildings there cannot be occupied in January. Moving tenants is not an easy process. Sometimes, we are very thankful that we work just real estate sales – no rentals!

Planning Commission Approves Restaurant at The Village Shops

Village Shops on Sanibel signAt Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting, a proposed 50-seat restaurant for The Village Shops, 2340 Periwinkle Way, was approved (with conditions).

A conditional use permit and a development permit for RLR, or Royal Shell, was granted to go forward with the proposed restaurant.

Community House Renovation OK’d by Historical Preservation Committee

1927 Community House North Room

Sanibel Community House in 1927 (the old North room)

At yesterday’s Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting, Teresa Riska-Hall, Executive Director of The Sanibel Community House reiterated to our members that the Community House is not moving, but will be renovated. The following article is from The “Santiva Chronicle” on-line and was submitted by Tom Sharbaugh, President of the Sanibel Community Association Board.

 

“Renovation of the Sanibel Community House moved a step closer to reality as the plans received a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic Preservation Committee at the committee’s meeting Thursday, Dec. 3, at City Hall.

“The North Room portion of the Community House structure, now approaching 90 years old, is listed on the City’s Local Register of Historical Sites and Structures, therefore any modifications to the building must be reviewed by the committee to insure that proposed changes preserve the original appearance of the building. The planned renovation will repair deteriorating sections of the building exterior, restore the distinctive row of windows on the enclosed porch overlooking Periwinkle Way, and replace the aging roof with textured shingles resembling wooden shakes.

“Inside, the North Room will be restored to its original size by eliminating a storage closet. In addition, the original heart-pine flooring will be replaced with a new wooden floor. Said Teresa Riska-Hall, “People have always loved these pine floors, but after so many years they are worn so thin we’re just not able to refinish them anymore.”

“Beyond the North Room, the renovation will result in a redesign of the entire facility, inside and out, in an “old Sanibel” style harmonious with the original historic building. However, the vast majority of the renovation work will be devoted to installing new infrastructure and systems to bring the facility up to today’s code. This includes replacing outdated electrical, lighting, plumbing, air conditioning, fire alarms and sprinklers, and woefully inadequate restrooms and kitchen facilities.

“In approving the renovation plans, the Historic Preservation Committee was very complimentary of the design. The unanimous opinion of the committee was that the new work will improve the appearance and utility of the facility in a way that is respectful to Sanibel’s traditions and to the history of the original structure.

“Commenting on the plans, Committee member Lynn Campean said, “Architecturally, it is beautifully designed, and it meets our highest expectations.”

“Now that the historical appropriateness of the renovation project has been confirmed, permit applications for the project are tentatively scheduled to be heard by the Planning Commission in January.

“Most importantly, a major fundraising campaign will now move forward chaired by Community House Board Members Nicole McHale and John Talmage. Commenting on the upcoming Campaign, McHale said: “In the coming months we will be asking islanders to dig deep as we raise funds to preserve and protect this jewel of our community. Sanibel’s gathering place needs toilets that flush, sinks that drain, lights that come on when you flip the switches, and a host of other basic things. We’re excited to be coming to the members of our community to ask their help. The Community House belongs to all of us.””

‘Ding’ Darling Adds Acreage

ding darling goose logoAccording to an article in the local papers today:

“The ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge now is 9.1 acres larger than before with the addition of a parcel of wetlands and mangroves that came through a donation. “The property is not accessible by car and was big enough for one house. After being held for many years, the National Investment and Development Co. decided to turn it over to ‘Ding’ Darling. The property is adjacent to Bowman’s Beach.

““It’s a combination of wetlands, sand ridges and mangroves. It’s a generous donation of a valuable piece of wildlife habitat,” said John McCabe, immediate past president of the ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge.

“The donation was revealed on Dec. 5 at the annual meeting of the DDWS. The property is located along Bowman’s Beach with access to Clam Bayou and has a number of gopher tortoises as well as an active Osprey nest, and will provide opportunities for wildlife in this area.

““This will become part of ‘Ding’ Darling and will be managed in coordination with the City of Sanibel,” McCabe said. “Through this donation the property will remain what it is now – an excellent wildlife habitat for a wide variety of species, including gopher tortoises.””

Mortgage Rates Edge Higher This Week

Though most island sales continue to be “cash”, there still are some with financing. One of my closings this week was the first since the new rules went into effect from the Federal changes in early October. Though more complicated for lenders and title companies, Barrier Island Title Services Inc. did a great job transitioning to this more cumbersome process. Thank you, Angie Martin!

Here’s what “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS” posted today about mortgage interest rates:

FreddieMacLogo_3“Mortgage rates inched higher this week following on the heels of a better-than-expected November employment report, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey. “The economy added 211,000 new jobs in November exceeding analysts’ expectations, and the prior two months were revised higher as well,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “This momentum is likely to cement a decision by the Fed to begin raising interest rates this month. Following the release of the employment report, Treasuries rose 7 basis points and in response the 30-year mortgage rate ticked up two basis points to 3.95%.”

“Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Dec. 10:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.95%, with an average 0.6 point, rising from last week’s 3.93% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.93%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.19%, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.16% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.20%.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.03%, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 2.99% average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.98%.
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.64%, with an average 0.2 point, inching up from 2.61% last week. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.4%.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 4-11

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #A6 2/2 $539K, Kings Crown #110 2/2 $780K, Tigua Cay #487 3/3.5 $2.195M.

2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #1073 2/2 now $465K, Villa Sanibel #1B 2/2 now $659.9K.

5 new sales: Blind Pass #E206 2/2.5 listed at $412K, Loggerhead Cay #471 2/2 listed at $499K, Sunset South #4C 2/2 listed at $799K, Nutmeg Village #113 2/2 listed at $1.079M, Gulfside Place #317 2/2 listed at $1.495M.

6 closed sales: Captains Walk #B8 2/2 $335K, Sanibel Arms #E8 2/2 $462K, Sundial East #T302 2/2 $700K, Sundial West #F201 2/2 $650K, Island Beach Club #260D 2/2 $1.1M (our listing), Gulfside Place #203 2/2 $1.275M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1746 Windward Way 3/2 $595K, 1516 Bunting Ln 3/2 $650K, 693 Emeril Ct 3/3 $679K, 1391 Jamaica Dr 3/2 $1.295M.

2 price changes: 2407 Shop Rd 3/1 now $369K, 4619 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 now $569.9K.

1 new sale: 2543 Tropical Way Ct 3/2.5 listed at $1.15M.

3 closed sales: 720 Elinor Way 3/2 $639K, 842 Limpet Dr 4/3.5 $1.4M (our buyer), 3728 West Gulf Dr 5/5 $1.9M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1639 Serenity Ln $299,555.

1 price change: 2501 Wulfert Rd now $229K.

1 new sale: 690 Birdie View Pt listed at $384K.

2 closed sales: Pine Ave, lot 24 $175K, 1540 San Carlos Bay Dr $1.075M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Marina Villas #904 2/2 listed at $665K, Lands End Village #1637 2/2 listed at $1.275M.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4106 1/2 $265K, Gulf Beach Villas #2031 2/2 $618K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 57 Sandpiper Ct 2/2 $885K, 16251 Captiva Dr 7/4.5 $2.99M.

1 price change: 16177 Captiva Dr 8/7 now $5.95M.

1 new sale: 16861 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 listed at $1.99M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

It was another week of beautiful sunsets on the islands too! Here’s a favorite!

Dec sunset

’til next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Island Luminary 2015


SanibelSusan here, reporting that after a long Thanksgiving weekend with wonderful almost summer-like weather and a few real estate sales, the island thinned out a little this week as locals busily decorated for island luminary events. It is amazing how quickly the transition goes from family turkey dinners/parades/football to Christmas.

Merry Christmas Lighthouse

The bright sunny Southwest Florida weather changed yesterday as a few brief showers were followed by significant rain last night. It brought in a cool front, just in time for the festivities tonight. The high today is only expected to be 75 degrees, but the forecast says it will be back to the low 80’s/high 70’s starting again tomorrow.

Real Estate Happenings

Sanibelsusan LogoBelow, after a few news items, is the action posted over the past seven days in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

I was busy over the long weekend showing property and opening listings, while teammates manned the office. Though just a few sales were reported this week, one was one of our Mariner Pointe listings and my sale. We love it when that happens!

There were many more new listings than sales, including our new listing at Lighthouse Point #129. It may be a few more weeks before the number of new sales exceeds the number of new listings in a given week. In the meantime, here is a summary of inventory today (Dec 4).

Inventory is down and real estate is moving with the busy quarter coming up!

SANIBEL

# of Units                     Condos             Homes              Lots

Available For Sale        95                       114                     60

Under Contract             24                       30                       5

Sold/Closed in 2015     148                     222                    41

CAPTIVA

# of Units                     Condos             Homes              Lots

Available For Sale        36                       39                     4

Under Contract              3                         4                       0

Sold/Closed in 2015     31                       22                      4

(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 Island Events

This afternoon, Fri – Dec 4 – Pre-Luminary Celebration at Sanibel Historical Village Honoring World War II veterans, the buildings in the village are decorated inside and out era-appropriate. The small Community Chorus Ensemble will sing from 4 to 4:45 p.m. to kick off the Luminary celebration. www.SanibelMuseum.org

Village 2014

Sanibel Historical Village BIG ARTS Chorus singers pre-Luminary 2014

Tonight, Fri – Dec 4 – 31st Sanibel Luminary Trail from 5:30 to 9 p.m. when 1700 luminaries will light the island bike paths to kick off the holiday season. Trolley stops are at Lighthouse Café, Bennett’s Fresh Roast, Jerry’s Shopping Center, Tahitian Gardens, Periwinkle Place, School House Theater Lot, Palm Ridge Plaza, Olde Sanibel Shoppes, & Bailey’s Center. (Community Chorus singers will be at Bailey’s starting at 5:30.)

Captiva-Holiday-Village-Photo-Credit-Captiva-Holday-Village-Tween-Water-Inn

Tomorrow night, Sat – Dec 5 – Captiva Luminary Trail from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Trolley stops at South Seas Resort Chadwick’s Square, Captiva Village/Bubble Room, Andy Rosse Lane/McCarthy’s Marina.

CHV_Tween-Waters-Inn-7

BIG-ARTS-Community-chorus-holiday-concert-2009Tues – Dec 8 – BIG ARTS Community Chorus Holiday Concert at 7 p.m. It is gonna be great. Tickets are selling fast. So to ensure getting in, visit the box office before concert night. www.BIGARTS.org

Sat – Dec 12 – 6th Annual Captiva Lighted Boat Parade beginning at 6 p.m. Watch the event from shore at McCarthy’s Marina or cruise in the parade with passenger tickets with Captiva Cruises. Boats cruise down Roosevelt Channel. www.CaptivaCruises.com

captiva-christmas-boat

Sanibel Lighthouse & Cottages Deck Out for the Holidays

Sanibel-Lighthouse-Holiday-Decorations_largeFrom www.mySanibel.com:

“For the 9th consecutive year, the Sanibel Lighthouse has been decorated with holiday decor compatible with the era in which the Lighthouse was constructed. Built in 1884, the Sanibel Lighthouse is an enduring symbol of our island community and world recognized icon.

“As a holiday gift to the community, the City of Sanibel Public Works staff placed the green garland and red bows on the Lighthouse. Additionally, both of the adjacent Lighthouse Caretaker’s Cottages have been decorated with garland, bows, and wreaths for the holiday season. Decorations will remain on the Lighthouse and cottages until January 9th, 2016.”

Guided Native Vegetation & Landscaping Tours

Sanibelcityseal logoOffered by the City of Sanibel Vegetation Committee on City Hall grounds which are planted solely with native plants. Next tour is Wed, Dec 9 at 10 a.m. January tours are Wed, Jan 13, and Sat, Jan 23. See how you can plant a garden that reseeds itself with little maintenance, is good for the environment, and will attract birds and butterflies. Call the City’s Natural Resource Dept for more info at 239-472-3700.

Realtor.com 2016 Housing Forecast: Best Since ‘06

realtor.com

Florida Realtors logoHere is some good news that was posted on line at FloridaRealtors® yesterday:

“New home construction and moderate gains in the existing home market will deliver a one-two punch that pushes total home sales to the highest levels since 2006, according to the 2016 housing forecast issued by realtor.com, an online real estate service operated by News Corp subsidiary Move, Inc.

“The 2016 housing market will be a picture of moderate, but solid growth as existing home sales and prices slow to a 3% growth rate year-over-year, a result of higher mortgage rates, continuing tight credit standards and lower affordability.

“The new construction market will see more significant gains in 2016 as new home starts increase 12% year-over-year and new home sales grow 16%.

Total sales for existing and new homes will reach 6 million for the first time since 2006, realtor.com predicts – a result of a strong gross domestic product increase of 2.5% and continued job creation. However, the healthy economic indicators will be tempered by a lack of access to credit and rising home prices, which will ultimately limit housing demand and growth.

“”Next year’s moderate gains in existing prices and sales, versus the accelerated growth we’ve seen in previous years, indicate that we are entering a normal, but healthy housing market,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com. “The improvements we’ve seen over the last few years have enabled a recovery in the existing home market, but we still need to make up ground in new construction, which we could begin to see in 2016.”

“Three distinct segments of homebuyers will drive next year’s sales: Older millennials (25-34 years old), younger gen X’ers (35-44 years old) and retirees (65-74 years old), according to Smoke.

Millennials: They’re expected to make up the largest demographic of homebuyers in 2016, having represented 30 percent of the existing home market. Driven by increasing income, millennials will seek out homes that meet the needs of their growing families – putting the most weight on the safety of the neighborhood and the quality of the home. Commute time and a preference for older homes have these buyers looking in city-centers and closer-in suburbs. According to realtor.com’s proprietary research, the following markets are expected to be some of the most sought out markets for millennial homebuyers in 2016 due to their large numbers of millennials, strong employment growth, and relative affordability.

  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga.
  • Pittsburgh
  • Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark.
  • Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H.
  • Austin-Round Rock, Texas

Young gen X’ers: Accounting for 20% of home purchases in 2015, buyers between the ages of 35-44 will be back in the market again likely making up the second largest population of buyers in 2016. These buyers have rebounded from the financial crisis and are entering their prime family-raising and earning years. More than two-thirds of the buyers in this age group already own a home and will be moving out of a starter home into a larger home or more desirable neighborhood. All the markets on this list are seeing an uptick in growing families, declining unemployment and growing household incomes.

  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga.
  • Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo.
  • St. Louis, Mo-Ill.
  • Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C.-S.C.
  • Columbus, Ohio

Retirees: This group is expected to make up the third largest home buying segment in 2016. Ages 65-74, they will be selling their current home in an effort to downsize and lower their cost of living. Last year, they represented 14% of homebuyers. They will likely put their home up for sale at the start of the home-buying season in March or April, and aim to make a home purchase following the sale of their home. This age cohort has a very strong preference for newly constructed homes and put the most weight on an ability to customize the home. Homes in the following markets are expected to see the most retiree buying activity in 2016 due to a large share of population as well as rapidly rising home values.

    • Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H.
    • Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, Calif.
    • San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.
    • North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.
    • Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.

“According to Smoke, several markets are poised for substantial growth in prices and sales. Each market demonstrates strong demand dynamics, evidenced by 60% more listing page views on realtor.com than the U.S. overall, and inventory that moves 16 days faster than the U.S. average. Surging demand in each market can be attributed to growing household formation, a prosperous job market and low unemployment rates, as well as large populations of millennials, young gen-X’ers and retirees.

“Realtor.com’s 10 hottest markets for 2016 are:

  • Providence-Warwick, RI-Mass.
  • St. Louis, Mo.-Ill.
  • San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.
  • Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, Calif.
  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga.
  • New Orleans-Metairie, La.
  • Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark.
  • Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, N.C.-S.C.
  • Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C.
  • Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H.

“To see realtor.com’s forecast for 19 Florida cities and more trend information, visit their website.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity November 27- December 4

Sanibel

CONDOS

11 new listings: Sundial West #H408 1/1 $439K, Sundial West #H407 1/1 $465K, Lighthouse Point #113 3/2 $649K, Sundial East #O402 2/2 $655K, Lighthouse Point #129 3/2 $699K (our listing), Pointe Santo #C41 2/2 $850K, Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 $1.099M, Sanibel Surfside #127 2/2 $1.15M, Surfside 12 #B3 3/2 $1.249M, Kings Crown #105 3/2 $1.289M, Tanglewood #3 3/2 $1.595M

Bay_View

View from Lighthouse Point #129

No price changes.

2 new sales: Ibis at The Sanctuary #201 2/2 listed at $468.5K, Mariner Pointe #332 2/2 listed at $480K (our listing & sale).

Docks-to-Marina

From Mariner Pointe looking to the Sanibel Marina

1 closed sale: Sundial East #N301 2/2 $695K.

HOMES

10 new listings: 1490 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $539K, 3870 Coquina Dr 3/2 $599K, 5303 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 $679K, 3941 Coquina Dr 3/2 $749K, 485 Peachtree 3/3 $749K, 1121 Sabal St 3/2.5 $749K, 1321 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $949K, 941 Pecten Ct 3/2 $1.039M, 5115 Joewood Dr 4/3 $2.349M, 911 Strangler Fig Ln 4/3 $3.195M.

3 price changes: 450 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $529K, 760 Windlass Way 3/3 now $999.9K, 1052 Whisperwood Way 3/3 now $1.549M.

3 new sales: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 half-duplex listed at $339K, 1004 Fish Crow Rd 4/3 listed at $871.9K, 812 Angel Wing Dr 3/3.5 listed at $2.447M.

3 closed sales: 2006 Harbour Ln 2/2 $989K, 749 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.225M, 1137 Golden Olive Ct 5/3.5 $2.175M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16790 Captiva Dr 5/5 multi-family $5.25M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 11545 Wightman Ln $1.05M.

(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…hope to see you on the Luminary trails…

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan