Florida Real Estate Market Rebounding, Eagles, & Island Action

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It has been back to “quiet” this week on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Still gorgeous 80-degree weather and still plenty of people in town, but they all seem to be getting ready for the upcoming holidays rather than out looking at real estate. We had only a handful of listings shown and SanibelSusan was only out once showing property. It certainly is not the way we like business to be, but understandable this time of the year.

Good state-wide real estate news was posted on Florida Realtors® web site this morning. Here is that item and a few others, followed by the week’s activity posted in our Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

 Two Real Estate Reports Suggest Florida Rebound

“Two national studies – one from Realtor.com and one from Trulia – suggest that some Florida markets are poised for a real estate rebound. “This is a positive trend for Florida,” says John Tuccillo, Florida Realtors chief economist. “While Trulia and Realtor.com aren’t completely accurate in home prices and sales – mainly because they base their numbers on only homes listed on their website – it’s useful to look at visitor behavior and note the trends. If Trulia says more visitors are doing a home search in the Miami market, for example, it probably follows that Miami is experiencing an upswing in demand.”
“In Realtor.com’s “Top Ten Turnaround Report”, six Florida cities were considered good bets for an upswing in sales. Realtor.com, which is owned by The National Association of Realtors®, says it created a formula to rank a city’s turnaround potential based on recent price appreciation, changes in inventory, median age of inventory, number of Realtor.com searches by visitors and area unemployment. Realtor.com attributes the Florida cities’ success to year-over-year home price increases, reductions in inventory, lower unemployment rates and, in some cases, an upswing in international buyers. Realtor.com’s turnaround list includes:
1. Miami: Ranked No. 1 in the report, Miami hit the top based on “a healthy inventory that is only half the size from a year ago,” a lower foreclosure rate than the national average, and an increase in condo sales.
2.  Orlando: While No. 2, Realtor.com says Orlando had more home searches than any other city when compared to the total number of listings. It also had a significant drop in the number of foreclosures.
3. Fort Myers-Cape Coral: Median prices in Fort Myers-Cape Coral have increased year-over-year, foreclosures are down, inventory is lower and foreign buyers are attracted to the area’s real estate prices.
4. Phoenix-Mesa, Arizona.
5. Fort Lauderdale: Inventory has decreased and prices have increased, says Realtor.com.
6. Sarasota-Bradenton: About one in 10 foreign buyers look in Sarasota-Bradenton for a home, Realtor.com says. Listing prices have increased and inventory has decreased.
7. Lakeland-Winter Haven: According to Realtor.com, the number of distressed sales has decreased significantly and prices have gone up.
8. Boise City, Idaho.
9. Fort Wayne, Indiana.
10. Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Trulia’s Metro Movers Report – Trulia has debuted a new report that analyzed its home searches. In one study, Trulia looked at the number of people who searched for housing in a city – including renters – and compared it to the number of city residents looking elsewhere for a home. An area with a high number of inbound searches and a low number of outbound searches, Trulia reasons, suggests an increased demand for housing. According to the study, the North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota area had six times more searches by inbound people than outbound people, landing it in the list’s No. 1 position, but four other Florida cities also made the top 10 list:
1. North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota
2. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California
3. Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, South Carolina
4. Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach
5. Cape Coral-Fort Myers
6. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach
7. Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
8. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California
9. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nevada
10. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford
Trulia also looked at the Chicago and New York City markets to see where residents wanted to move. Three Florida cities ranked in the top 10 for Chicago residents: Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (No. 4), Cape Coral-Fort Myers (No. 6) and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (No. 10). In New York City, five Florida cities made the list: Miami-Miami-Beach-Kendall (No. 2), Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (No. 3), West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach (No. 5), Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach (No. 6) and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (No. 7).”

Captiva Views

SanibelSusan sometimes is asked if she lists and sells on Captiva Island too. “Oh, yes.” The above photos were taken earlier this week while I was out on Sanibel’s sister island. They were snapped behind ‘Tween Waters overlooking Roosevelt Channel to Buck Key, near the boat ramp by the marina.

Sanibel Eagles

Heading back to the office, son Dave pointed out this eagle nest just west of the entrance to the communities of Gulf Pines and Gulf Shores. It is a little difficult to see them – particularly in a photo taken from my cell phone from this distance, but there were two “white heads” in the nest – probably the resident eagles. Next time will bring my camera with telephoto.

Lots of Singing

Wow, our BIG ARTS Community chorus sure is getting popular. We usually don’t have our full complement of singers back in town until the first of the year, when we start gearing up for our spring concert. We are about 60-strong now. Here is our holiday singing schedule for those interested.

  • Nov 20, Sun, 7 p.m., during the Thanksgiving Celebration at The Sanibel Community House.
  • Nov 26, Sat, 10:45 a.m. & 11:15 a.m., two outdoor mini-concerts during the 20th Sanibel Masters Arts & Crafts Fair on the grounds of The Sanibel Community House.
  • Dec 2, Fri, during Sanibel Luminary, carolers at both the Sanibel Community House & Bailey’s Shopping Center.
  • Dec 3, Sat, during Captiva Luminary, 6:30-7:15 p.m. on porch at Shirley Allen Gallery, 11528 Andy Rosse Ln.
  • Dec 8, Thurs, 7 p.m., Holiday Concert at BIG ARTS Shein Hall, purchase tickets in advance.

Florida’s 2012 NAR President Outlines Agenda

Florida Realtors® are excited to have Maurice “Moe” Veissi as the new President of our national association. Moe was the President of Florida Realtors® in 2002 and has made many trips to the islands in support of our year-end events and fundraisers. Last week, during the 2011 Realtors® Conference and Expo in Anaheim, CA, Moe shared his perspective and insights into some key issues facing the real estate industry next year. “The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) will not waiver in its commitment to ensure access to homeownership, affordable housing and commercial investment. It’s a difficult time in many ways for real estate; some would go as far to say that homeownership itself is under attack,” said Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami. “With that said, challenging times often present opportunities, and I believe NAR and our Realtor members are ready and able to meet and overcome the obstacles ahead.”
As Realtors gathered in Anaheim, Congress debated whether to reinstate higher conforming loan limits, a change NAR has been promoting. “We’re working on behalf of homebuyers and sellers across the country who have been affected by the reduced loan limits,” said Veissi. “Some have tried to portray higher loan limits as benefiting the wealthy, but the fact is that most affected markets are not high-cost areas. More than 100 counties throughout the Midwest and more than 200 counties in the South have seen loan limits decline by more than $64,000.”
As the Nov 23 deadline for Congress’ Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or “Super Committee,” approaches, Realtors also stand ready to defend and support the mortgage interest deduction as an important tax benefit of homeownership and an incentive for home sales. “This is another issue that affects hard-working, middle-class Americans,” said Veissi. “Sixty-five percent of families who claim the MID earn less than $100,000 per year.”
Veissi is confident that Realtors will engage and meet the challenges facing the real estate industry during his year as 2012 NAR president. “I believe Realtors are at the heart of the deal – so much so that I’ve made it my theme for the year,” said Veissi. “Homebuyers, sellers and real estate investors rely on Realtors as a primary source for real estate information and guidance. And in today’s climate, Realtors can also be relied upon to fight for, and defend, consumers’ rights and opportunities to buy, sell and own real estate.”

Homeowners’ Monthly Mortgages Down ~40% 

This article was reposted on Florida Realtors® this week (originally from 2011 Information, Inc. and posted on HousingWire Nov 9):

“Improving housing affordability mixed with low mortgage rates means that homeowners are paying a lot less for their monthly mortgage payment than they did just a few years ago. In fact, they’re paying nearly 40% less on their monthly mortgage payment than homeowners paid in 2006. According to Fiserv (Financial Services Technology Solutions), the monthly mortgage payment for a median-priced single-family home today is $700 – a drop of close to 40% from 2006, when it was $1,140. “Housing affordability has improved dramatically because of declines in both prices and mortgage interest rates,” David Stiff, chief economist at Fiserv, said in a statement. “Nationally, purchase mortgage payments now account for only 13% of monthly median family income, the lowest percentage on record (since 1971), and compared to 23% in the first quarter of 2006.”

From the South Florida Water Management District November Newsletter

“Near-record rainfall made District news in recent weeks, as South Florida experienced the fourth-wettest October on record. Through three separate storms, South Florida Water Management District Operations staff moved water to help alleviate local flooding. Intense downpours brought rainfall accumulations of more than 15″ in some locations, temporarily overwhelming swales, roadways and community drainage systems. Slowly but surely, the District’s regional system assimilated this water and moved it into larger bodies, such as Lake Okeechobee. At one point, the 730-square-mile lake was rising more than an inch a day. While the intense rainfall brought its challenges, it also alleviated South Florida’s water shortage. With input from the Water Resources Advisory Commission last week, the District’s Governing Board discussed current water conditions and predictions for the dry season, deciding at its November meeting to rescind all water restrictions. As a cautionary measure as we move into the dry season, which is predicted to have below-normal rainfall this year, the Board also implemented a water shortage warning to maintain an ongoing need for vigilance.”

Sanibel & Captiva MLS Activity November 11-18

6 new listings: Nutmeg Village #106 2/2 $629.9K, Pointe Santo #D24 2/2 $679.9K, Snug Harbor #D 4/2 $699K, Shell Island Beach Club #5B 2/2 $789K, Nutmeg Village #108 2/2 $795K, Shorewood #2C 3/2 $949K.
11 price changes:  Sundial #C201 1/1 now $259K (short sale); Sanibel Moorings #1412 1/1 now $269,962; Sundial #C208 1/1 now $298K; Mariner Pointe #842 2/2 now $499K; Heron at the Sanctuary #1-1A 3/2.5 now $499.9K; Loggerhead Cay #211 2/2 now $519K; Sunset South #9A 2/2 now $544K; Snug Harbor #311 2/2 now $589K; Loggerhead Cay
#521 2/2 now $615K; Ferry Landing #1 2/2 now $1.349M; Wedgewood #102 3/3.5 now $2.295M.
2 new sales: Sundial #D203 1/1 listed for $399K, Pelicans Roost #302 2/2 listed for $830K.
2 closed sales: Sundial #G207 1/1 $205K (short sale), Sanibel Moorings #1622 2/2 $325K.
8 new listings:  535 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $387.5K, 1417 Causey Ct 3/2 $559K, 1350 Tahiti Dr 3/2 $699K, 1263 Par View Dr 5/2.5 $769K, 5743 Baltusrol Ct 3/3/2 $1.549M, 760 Periwinkle Way 3/2.5 $1.649M, 553 Lighthouse Way 4/4 $1.895M, 1878 Woodring Rd 3/2.5 $2.49M.
5 price changes: 1948 Roseate Ln 2/2 now $374.5K, 927 Limpet Dr 3/3 now $729.9K (foreclosure), 4960 Joewood Dr 4/3 now $925K, 1516 Angel Dr 3/2.5 now $998K, 5029 Joewood Dr 3/2 now $1.985M.
2 new sales: 721 Cardium St 2/1 listed for $297.5K, 978
Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex listed for $359.5K.
1 closed sale:  1251 Seagrape Ln 3/3 $1.95M.
1 new listing:  5737 Baltusrol Ct $329K.
1 price change:  605 Boulder Dr now $270K.
3 new sales: 3001 Poinciana Cir listed for $139K, 2418 Baltusrol Ct listed for $164.9K, 5618 Baltusrol Ct listed for $299K.
No closed sales.

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1636 3/3 $2.25M.
No price changes.
2 new sales:  Beach Villas #2613 1/1 listed for $450K, Captiva Bay Villas #D 3/3.5 listed for $2.995M.
No closed sales.
1 new listing: 16838 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 $6.75M.
2 price changes: 11530 Chapin Ln 3/2 now $1.099M, 15867 Captiva Dr 7/7.5 now $6.495M.
3 new sales: 51 Oster Ct 2/2.5 listed for $695K, 15 Seascape Ct 3/2 listed for $749K, 11536 Wightman Ln 3/3 listed for $799K.
No closed sales.
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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions. If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.


Best wishes from the entire SanibelSusan Team for a wonderful Thanksgiving.

We’ll be closed Thanksgiving Day but open through the rest of the weekend.

SanibelSusan will post her Friday blog on schedule. :-)

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