SanibelSusan Realty listings again had good showing activity this week which was a chilly one with the last three nights down into the 40’s. Daytime temperatures went back into the 70’s today and are expected remain there for at least the next week, so locals and tourists alike are happy. Visitor traffic, as well as real estate activity, should increase this weekend and continue to increase as we get into early February and high season. Here are a couple of news items, followed by the MLS activity this week.
Manatee Viewing Center
Citizens Property Insurance
“The Orlando Sentinel” reported on Wednesday that newly elected FL Gov. Rick Scott wants to raise rates at Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to make them “actuarially sound,” but doing so would require homeowners covered by the state-run insurer of last resort to absorb a whopping 55 percent rate increase. Citizens is currently prohibited from raising rates by more than 10 percent a year, under restrictions lawmakers imposed in the aftermath of the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, when eight storms hit the state in two years. Citizens has ballooned into the largest insurance company in FL since those storms, as private insurers have dropped policies and fled the state. It has nearly 1.3 million policyholders, about 18 percent of the total residential exposure in the state. The vast majority of customers are in coastal areas; 42 percent are in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. If Citizens isn’t permitted to charge actuarially sound rates, it risks not having enough money to pay claims following a major storm or storms. And Citizens would have to make up that shortfall by taxing all of the state’s insurance policyholders – even those covered by private companies.
SCCF Forum on Caloosahatchee & Everglades Connection
Interesting program coming up at the Sanibel Community House on Tuesday, January 25 at 7 p.m. Called “Sugar and Salt: Our Beaches, Estuary and the Everglades Connection”, the event is sponsored by the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation with remarks and presentations from the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board, the Everglades Foundation, and SCCF.