The SanibelSusan Friday blog is posted a little early this week, as now through Sunday are the Florida Realtors® Mid-Year Business Meetings. These are our state leadership kick-off events for what is expected to be a terrific year. For 2012, I am happy to be part of the “Resort & Second Home Specialists Forum” and the “Professional Standards Forum”.
Frommer’s Favorite 10 Destinations
This week, I came across an interesting article on-line posted by Arthur Frommer, founder of Frommer’s Travel Guides. As one who as found his guides to be “spot on”, it was great to see that when he wrote about his favorite vacations destinations, Sanibel was on the list. His article said: “To me, the leisure enjoyed during the holiday season is a perfect time in which to plan future vacations. And so I’ve compiled a list of my own favorite destinations, of which there are 10:
1. Sanibel Island, Florida
2. The Island of Bali, in Indonesia.
3. Paris, France
4. St. Johns in the U.S. Virgin Islands
5. Cairo, Egypt
6. Bonaire, one of the “ABC” islands of the southern Caribbean
7. Yachats, the Oregon Coast
8. Chiang Rai, Thailand
9. New York City’s Greenwich Village (& its Off-Broadway theaters)
Runners-up to my 10 best: Copenhagen, St. Lucia in the Caribbean, Oxford, Mexico’s San Miguel del Allende, and Rio.”
Local Installation & Awards Banquet
Last Saturday, our Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® had their Installation and Awards Banquet. Lisa, David, and I represented SanibelSusan Realty. I picked up an Honor Society award for the 19th year (wow, how time flies).
As part of our contributions to the community, local association members recently volunteered to keep Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) signs clean. SanibelSusan adopted the SCCF entrance sign and the Habitat Management sign on San-Cap Road, so if you have noticed that they are looking a little shabby, they should be sparkling in another week.
Fishermen Mark Your Calendars
Local fishermen, members of the Fort Myers Beach Tarpon Hunters Club, and professional fishing guides along with J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and Doc Ford’s restaurants staffs, including award-winning Doc Ford novelist Randy Wayne White, just announced a “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament. Slated for May 5, 2012, the event will have cable network coverage and a 100% purse. Expect to hear more about it in the weeks to come.
Free Refuge Days
By Presidential decree, “Ding” Darling’s Wildlife Drive will be open free of charge tomorrow, January 14, through Monday, January 16. The Refuge Education Center – which is always open free to the public – also will be open all three days, including the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
‘Strategic Default’ Poses Ethical Question
A thought-provoking article was posted in Florida Realtors this week. The source is “As Home Prices Fall, More Borrowers Walk Away,” MSNBC.com (Jan 9, 2012): “Some homeowners who owe more on the mortgage than a home is currently worth are turning over the keys and walking away – a move known as “strategic default.” The growing number of strategic defaults across the country is alarming, particularly since many of homeowners can still afford their mortgage payments but choose to walk away anyway.
“In 2010, about 30% of mortgage defaults were from homeowners who could afford to make their payments – that’s up from 22% in 2009, according to a 2011 survey conducted by finance professors Paola Sapienza at Northwestern University and Luigi Zingales at the University of Chicago.
“A recent study commissioned by the Mortgage Bankers Association likens the rise in strategic defaults to the spread of a disease. The longer the housing crisis goes on, the more other homeowners will be tempted to walk away, the study concludes. “As fundamentally social animals, humans consciously (and subconsciously) look to their peers when forming opinions, habits and behaviors,” according to the report.
“Strategic default has come down to an ethical question for some homeowners. “Guilt and morality are one side, and objective financial analysis are on the other side,” said David Martin, 68, who has considered walking away from a Seattle condo he owns with his wife because the condo is worth about $60,000 less than the balance on their mortgage. “They’re coming to two opposite conclusions. I wonder how many other people are struggling with the same question.” Martin and his wife have decided to stick it out, however, hoping for a rebound in housing prices in 2013 as they continue paying their mortgage.
“But other homeowners weighing the question are not always reaching the same conclusion. “It’s a looming problem that’s in the shadows,” Jason Kopcak, a mortgage trader at Cantor Fitzgerald, told MSNBC.com. “It’s very worrisome to mortgage lenders.”
“Strategic defaulters who walk away from their property, however, may have more to worry about than the morality and ethics of their action. They’ll face a blemish to their credit score; and in some states, lenders may still be able to pursue them in court in what’s known as a “deficiency judgment” seeking a full repayment of the mortgage balance.”
Real Estate Activity This Week
We saw a reduction in the number of showings this week which is typical after New Year’s week visitors go home, still had fairly good action though. I showed entry-level condos one day and finally got a condo sale together after a few weeks of negotiation. Lisa and David also had an excellent turn-out at our Caravan Open House in Seagull Estates yesterday.
This observation may be premature, but I am thinking that in certain areas/property types, we are beginning to see fewer new listings and more sales. Wouldn’t it be great for demand to finally eat up some of the abundant supply?
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 6-13
4 new listings: Sanibel Arms #D2 1/1 $229.5K, Sanibel Moorings #1512 2/2 $429K, Sea Pines #D 3/3 $499K, Loggerhead Cay #583 2/2 $569K.
5 price changes: Sundial #H108 1/1 now $249K, Lake Palms #7 2/2.5 now $299K, Loggerhead Cay #432 2/2 now $459K, Compass Point #213 2/2 now $579K, Sanctuary Heron #2B 3/3.5 now $610K, Surfside 12 #C4 3/2 now $825K.
5 new sales: Sundial #G206 1/1 listed for $279.9K, Blind Pass #G102 2/2 listed for $389K, Loggerhead Cay #422 2/2 listed for $422.5K, Loggerhead Cay #513 2/2 listed for $899K, Plantation Village #B122 3/3 listed for $1.895M.
2 closed sales: Colonnades #10 1/1 $160K, Loggerhead Cay #422 2/2 $422.5K, Tarpon Beach #201 2/2 $572.5K.
3 new listings: 1610 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $534.9K, 1170 Sandcastle Rd 3/2 $619K, 5820 Pine Tree Dr 2/2 $695K.
8 price changes: 2130 Sunset Cir 3/2 now $569K, 9454 Calla Ct 3/2 now $618,816, 557 N Yachtsman Dr 4/3 now $729K, 4960 Joewood Dr 4/3 now $799K, 1111 Schooner Dr 3/3 now $899.9K, 919 Almas Ct 3/2.5 now $1.225M, 4630 Rue Bayou 4/4 now $1.285M, 760 Periwinkle Way 3/2.5 now $1.499M, 1310 Seaspray Ln 5/4.5 now $3.695M.
9 new sales: 9003 Mockingbird Dr 5/4 listed for $499.9K (short sale), 1773 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed for 579K, 935 Lindgren Rd 3/2 listed for $599K, 244 Christopher Ct 3/2 listed for 599.9K, 450 Sea Walk Ct 4/3 listed for $624.9K, 1019 Lindgren Rd 3/2 listed for $739K, 970 East Gulf Dr 3/4.5 listed for $763K (short sale), 3746 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 listed for 1.249M, 598 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3.5 listed for $1.595M.
3 closed sales: 1797 Serenity Ln 2/2 $285K (our listing), 1436 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $300K, 1123 Sandcastle Rd 3/2 $500K.
1 new listing: 1226 Isabel Dr 1.8M.
No price changes.
No new or closed sales.
1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3121 1/1 $225K.
No price changes.
1 new sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2224 2/2 listed for 635K
1 new listing: 56 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.1 $699K.
1 price change: 11516 Andy Rosse Ln 6/6 now $2.345M.
3 new sales: 16891 Captiva Dr 3/2 listed for $1.389M, 11531 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 listed for $1.4999M, 16205 Captiva Dr 4/4 listed for $1.795M, 16742 Captiva Dr 3/3 listed for $2.795M.
1 closed sale: 11537 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 $1.975M.
1 new sale: 11515 Gore Ln listed for $595K.
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.