What’s Happening for Thanksgiving (& with Real Estate) on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Island Weather at Its Finest

Photo by our BIG ARTS Chorus accompanist Ellen Witten on her way to practice 11-13-2012

After a brief sampling of cool weather last week, the islands have been back to basking in sunshine and 77-82 degree temperatures every day this week. It still gets down to mid 50’s-low 60’s at night – or what we islanders often refer to as perfect weather. It is a little disconcerting to see Christmas decorations going up pre-Thanksgiving here in Sanibel Square, but fun to again remember that holiday festivities are just around the corner.

Top 10 Cities for Best Air Quality

In addition to great weather, Southwest Florida is known for its clean air. Here’s an article posted on-line yesterday by “Daily Real Estate News”:

            “In some cities, you can breathe a little easier. The maker of Honeywell air purifiers recently ranked the top cities with the best air quality, based on pollen counts, ozone concentrations, public smoking laws, green initiatives, and other factors. Here are the top 10 cities with the cleanest air: 

1. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL 

2. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL

3. North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, FL

4. Honolulu, HI

5. Tucson, AZ

6. Colorado Springs, CO

7. Albuquerque, NM

8. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

9. Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC

10. Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL”

Source: “25 Regions With the Best Air Quality: Metros Where You Can Breathe Easy,” AOL Real Estate (Nov 13, 2012)

Upcoming Sanibel and Captiva Holiday Events

Thanksgiving Celebration is Sunday, Nov 18, at 6:45 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House. This annual event for the whole family is always full of great camaraderie and music. SanibelSusan will be singing with the BIG ARTS Chorus. A new children’s chorus also is expected to perform. The event is non-denominational and admission is free with non-perishable food or monetary donations to FISH (Friends in Service Here).

Sanibel Masters Art Festival is just after Thanksgiving on both Friday and Saturday, Nov 23 and 24, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on the grounds of the Sanibel Community House. On Saturday on the east steps, BIG ARTS Chorus will perform two previews of their holiday concert at 10:15 and 11 a.m.

The Captiva for the Holidays month-long celebration begins with Sunset Arias on the beach, Saturday, Nov 24, 5 to 6:30 p.m., in front of “Tween Waters Inn.

On Friday, Nov 30, Captiva for the Holidays continues with a Mullet March at 4:30 p.m. (starting at Jensen’s), followed by a 5-piece band Joyous Jam beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Keylime Bistro and Fire Dancing at 6 p.m., also on Andy Rosse Lane.

5K Jingle Bell Walk for a Good Claus – The Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club invites families, friends, and leashed pets to join in a walk/run on Bowman’s Beach on Saturday, Dec 1, between 8 and 9 a.m., to benefit local children. Pre-register at www.sancapoptimist.org or at the beach starting at 7:30 a.m. Parking, T-shirts, water, and refreshments are free for participants. Registration donations are $20/person while kids (10 and under) and pets are free. Following the walk, the City of Sanibel Recreation Center will hold a free Block Party from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to celebrate their 5th anniversary.

Captiva for the Holidays events include a Junkanoo Parade on Saturday, Dec 1, starting on Andy Rosse Lane at 3 p.m., followed by a Lighted Boat Parade at 6 p.m. on Roosevelt Channel.

Volunteers Needed for Christmas Bird Count

San-Cap Audubon will conduct its annual Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, Dec 15. The results of this local count will go to the National Audubon Society for inclusion in the 113th National Christmas Bird Count. More than 50,000 state-wide observers participate in this census event each year. Birding skills are desirable, but not necessary. Call 239-395-3804 for more info.

Where Do Home Shoppers Look the Most on the Web?

“Daily Real Estates News” on-line posted the following article yesterday, which I annotated with where SanibelSusan listings are posted.

            “Today’s consumer is no stranger to using the Internet when home shopping. In fact, most buyers find the house they eventually buy first by searching on the Internet, according to buyer surveys. So where do they turn most frequently for their information? Their local multiple-listing service Web site is the top place home buyers look for homes, according to the National Association of REALTORS® 2012 survey of home buyers and sellers.

            “The following are the most popular Web sites used in a home search, according to the survey:

Source: “MLS Most Used Internet Resource for Homebuyers,” Inman News (Nov 14, 2012)

Continued Housing Growth Seen, But Inflation Looms

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun provided a peek at the economic future of residential real estate at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando last week. Here are a few points from his presentation as posted by REALTOR®Mag on line:

            “Home sales volume and prices are poised to keep improving over the next two years, outpacing growth in the broader economy, but look for moderate inflation to appear starting in 2015, making it harder for today’s renters to become home owners, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun told thousands of REALTORS® last Friday in a residential economic update at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando.

            “Yun is forecasting 4.64 million home sales this year, 5.05 million next year, and 5.3 million in 2014. Home price appreciation will see a similar positive upward trend, with the median existing-home price reaching $176,000 at the end of this year, $185,000 next year, and $195,000 in 2014. By 2015, the national median home price is expected to have risen by 15% from today’s level.

            “Contributing to the growth are the slowly improving economy, job creation, and an increase in household formation after a hiatus during the downturn, Yun said. Rising rental rates are also contributing, as renters who are able to get financing in today’s tight credit market find it makes more financial sense to buy while home prices remain relatively affordable. 

            “But inflation could pose a problem starting two years down the road, Yun said. Although inflation has remained tame today—at about 2% per year—starting in 2015 it could jump to between 4 and 6% a year. That will be a short-term boon to home owners, as they enjoy an increase in price appreciation, but that would make home ownership harder for the growing number of renters today who aspire to buy. Not only would prices rise, but mortgage rates would go up as well.

            “The continuing federal deficit is a reason inflation could jump in the future. But another cause might be the Federal Reserve buying mortgage-backed securities to help keep rates low. At some point soon, the Fed will have to start unwinding its position. When it does, interest rates and inflation will rise. Rental rates are expected to keep heading up as well, and that’s the biggest part of the Consumer Price Index. 

            “Yun and Mark Vitner, managing director and senior economist for Wells Fargo Securities, who also spoke at the forum, said Congress will have to start addressing the federal deficit soon, starting with an agreement to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff” the country faces at the end of this year as hundreds of billions in tax cuts expire. Both Yun and Vitner expect Congress to take short-term action to avoid that, but the pressure will be on to take long-term action after that. As a result, although housing is expected to keep improving, this big question mark will hang over the real estate market and the broader economy over the next few years.”

Cautious Optimism in Global Real Estate

“Daily Real Estate News” on Monday reported on another speaker at the REALTORS® Conference in Orlando:

            ““I’ll try not to be too gloomy, and I’ll try to find some silver lining,” said Adrian Cooper, CEO of Oxford Economics and one of the world’s leading financial minds. During the Global Forum Friday afternoon at the 2012 REALTORS® Conference & Expo, Cooper outlined his projections for the global economy and the implications for real estate. While the global economy is still on what Cooper called “a roller coaster ride with no sign of let up,” the economic data for the U.S. shows a “bright future within reach.” Through 2014 and beyond, Cooper expects GDP growth to accelerate more than 3% annually, in part due to Federal Reserve measures like low interest rates that help increase supply and bring unemployment down. However, low rates and the deleveraging of bank debt have yet to significantly drive the U.S. economy forward. Cooper also pointed to America’s recent energy boom as being “a real game changer” in terms of U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace.

            “The main takeaway from Cooper’s hour-long lecture was that as long as the Eurozone remains intact, positive economic growth in both the United States and emerging markets should underpin an improved outlook for real estate, and in particular, for housing prices. Should the European Union collapse, however, the prospects for housing prices would be significantly lower. “You know there could be no greater early warning sign of impending break-up of the European union than the Nobel Peace Prize coming our way,” Cooper quipped.

            “Eurozone troubles aside, these positive prospects have led to improvements in consumer confidence and spending. As life springs back into the collective budgets of American households, housing prices in many areas are moving back up. Consequently, home sales, housing starts, and new-construction permits are projected to increase through 2013, Cooper said. In light of these gains, Cooper remains hopeful but cautious. “We’re not expecting the housing market to suddenly start booming, but there is no longer a break in recovery,” he said.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Weekly Caravan Meeting & Real Estate Scoop

Good turn-out at our local Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday. Several new listings were announced, but few sales.

Compass Point gulf-front walkway

Our Compass Point listing was deep cleaned earlier in the week in preparation for seasonal rentals, so we held it open then and again today for those Realtors® who had not viewed or shown it. I was out showing a couple of times this week too.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 9-16

4 new listings: Duggers Tropical Cottages #6 1/1 $259K, Sanibel Arms #A5 2/1 $379K, Tarpon Beach #203 2/2 $629K, Wedgewood #303 3/3.5 $1.198M.
2 price changes: Beach Road Villas #106 2/2 now $344.9K, Sedgemoor #202 3/3.5 now $2.245M.
2 new sales: Compass Point #213 2/2 listed for $569K, Sundial #O205 2/2 listed for $659K. 
1 closed sale: Mariner Pointe #1092 2/2 $350K.

7 new listings: 4057 Coquina Dr 2/2 $286K (foreclosure), 1846 Ardsley Way 2/2 $339K, 429 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $579.9K, 1667 Sabal Sands Rd 3/3 $599K, 1031 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $690K, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 $3M, 1145 Bird Ln 5/5 $4.495M.
7 price changes: 5650 SanCap Rd 2/2 now $660K, 1225 Junonia St 3/2 now $799K, 2543 Tropical Way 3/2.5 now $995.9K, 836 Birdie View Pt 3/3 now $1.195M, 2429 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.445M, 872 Limpet Dr 3/3 now $1.695M, 5035 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 now $3.595M
3 new sales: 2560 Coconut Dr 3/3 listed for $495K, 199 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed for $624.9K, 6190 Henderson Rd 3/2 listed for $1.399M.
No closed sales.

2 new listings: 1429 Albatross Rd $293K, 3351 Saint Kilda Rd $345,555.
2 price changes: 4309 Gulf Pines Dr now $305K, 659 Anchor Dr now $448.5K.
No new or closed sales.

2 new listings: Tennis Villas #3213 1/1 $370K, Marina Villas #701 2/2 $549K.
No price changes or new sales.
2 closed sales: Gulf Beach Villas #2116 1/1 $380K, Lands End Village #1606 3/3 $1.8M.

1 new listing: 16910 Captiva Dr 4/4 $4.85M.
No price changes, new or 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.

Thanksgiving Wishes from all of us to all of you.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, & creates a vision for tomorrow.”

The SanibelSusan Team (Susan, Dave, Lisa, & Elise)

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