Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate in Paradise 2013

It is another Friday afternoon on Sanibel Island. Here are a couple of pictures taken at noon today at a West Gulf Drive beach access. If you closely in the first one you can see some folks behind these dunes grasses doing the “Sanibel stoop” in a tidal pool – always a good spot to find a few barely-buried shells.

2013-01-04 BeachStoop

2013-01-04 Beach

With the holidays winding down, it is bittersweet to see island decorations being put away for another year. Here’s a photo of Santa being put away at Jensen’s Twin Palms Resort and Marina on Captiva. Note the supervisory ibis atop the davit.

Jensen's santa

The New Year‘s week visitors had terrific weather nearly every day with warm afternoons (70s to 80s) and cool evenings (50s & 60s). Unusual fog both yesterday and today burned off early and we even had a surprise shower this morning – all good for keeping the islands lush green and tropical. We saw our first “season” traffic jams this week, with Periwinkle Way busier than it has been since last year at this time. Afternoons find Sanibel’s finest directing traffic at most of the 4-way-stops.

Mid-week, teammate Dave held a couple of open houses in hopes of attracting business; but with the weather so nice, attendance was sporadic. I had a good walk-in New Year’s eve – 1st-time visitors to the island. It didn’t take them long to decide that Sanibel is a very special place; so both Wed and Thurs afternoons, we looked at condos. It is great fun to share the wonders of the island with folks like that.

realtor logoLittle sales action was announced at our Realtor® Caravan meeting yesterday.

Below is an update of Sanibel’s current inventory, followed by the 2012 sales, compared to 2011.

                                     Condos                         Homes                          Lots

                                      #          Avg Price         #          Avg Price          #        Avg Price

For sale                        184       697,093            218     1,305,070          87      590,657

Closings pending          13        512,900            20       739,055             2        514,000

Sold/Closed in 2012      151      551,244           181      825,837            33      487,687

Sold/Closed in 2011      142      591,861           179      826,130           19       363,729

It will be interesting to see what happens when new government changes are enacted – or not. Some prospective buyers say that they are waiting to see what is happening with the “fiscal cliff” – others are taking stock market funds and instead investing in real estate where they see greater investment potential.

Below is some real estate news – beginning with the “fiscal cliff” – followed by the weekly report of action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Real Estate Provisions in “Fiscal Cliff” Bill

fiscal cliffHere is the Issue Brief that was posted on line Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors®:

“On January 1, 2013 the Senate and House passed H.R. 8, legislation to avert the “fiscal cliff,” the bill will be signed by President Barack Obama on January 2, 2013. Below are a summary of real estate related provisions in the bill.

Real Estate Tax Extenders

  • Mortgage Cancellation Relief is extended for one year to January 1, 2014
  • Deduction for Mortgage Insurance Premiums for filers making below $110,000 is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012
  • Leasehold Improvements: the 15 year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements on commercial properties is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.
  • Energy Efficiency Tax Credit: the 10% tax credit (up to $500) for homeowners for energy efficiency improvements to existing homes is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.

Return of the “Pease” limitations on itemized deductions for high income filers – Under the agreement so called “Pease Limitations” that reduce the value of itemized deductions are permanently repealed for most taxpayers but will be reinstituted for high income filers. “Pease” limitations will only apply to individuals earning more than $250,000 and joint filers earning above $300,000. The thresholds are indexed for inflation so will rise over time. Under the formula, filers gradually lose the value of their total itemized deductions up to a total of a 20% reduction. First enacted in 1990, and named for the Ohio Congressman Don Pease who came up with the idea, the limitations continued throughout the Clinton years. The limitations were gradually phased out starting in 2003 and were completely eliminated in 2010-2012. NAR has never had an official position on Pease limitations. The reinstitution of these limits has far less impact on the mortgage interest deduction than a hard dollar deduction cap, percentage deduction cap, or reduction of the amount of MID that can be claimed.

Capital Gains – Capital Gains rate stays at 15% for those the top rate of $400,000 individual and $450,000 joint return. After that, any gains above those amounts will be taxed at 20%. The 250/500k exclusion for sale of principal residence remains in place.

Estate Tax – The first $5 million dollars in individual estates and $10 million for family estates are now exempted from the estate tax. After that the rate will be 40%, up from 35%. The exemption amounts are indexed for inflation.”

Rental Demand to Edge Higher in 2013?

leaseAn article posted on Wednesday’s “Daily Real Estate News” said:

“Five to six million new renter households may be created within the next 10 years, likely caused from low inventories of homes available and tight credit conditions, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center.  Rental demand is expected to particularly increase among seniors looking to downsize their homes, as well as young adults and a growing immigrant population. “We expect to see an increase in household formation and for a variety of reasons that household formation is likely to be more heavily concentrated among renters and households who are likely to be renters for somewhat longer than was the case for the last 20 years,” Barry Zigas, director of Housing Policy for Consumer Federation of America, told HousingWire. 

“Tight credit conditions continue to be one main culprit holding back home ownership among some potential buyers. “Credit for home ownership borrowing will likely be tighter and potentially more expensive, relative to earlier times,” Zigas predicts. “Families will likely have less wealth because the rising generation is starting with less wealth. If down payments are at any significant level, it will be a barrier to acquiring a home for longer than may have been the case in the past.””

Seven Housing Markets Needing Big Jolt in 2013

Florida_state_map2Another “Daily Real Estate News” article also on Wednesday, mentions several Florida towns including our local area:

“While the housing market has made notable gains in the past year, some areas are seeing a longer road to recovery. AOL Real Estate recently listed some of the least healthy housing markets going into 2013, based on employment, foreclosures, home sales, and prices. Nearly all of these housing markets have seen notable improvements recently, but they still remain the nation’s least healthy housing markets entering 2013, according to AOL Real Estate.

  • Detroit: Foreclosures remain high and home values lost nearly 60% of their peak value.
  • Fort Lauderdale: Home prices likely hit bottom in 2012 but Fort Lauderdale still has the nation’s 3rd largest foreclosure inventory.
  • Miami: Foreign buyers are driving demand for luxury housing here, but Miami still faces the 4th highest unemployment rate in the nation.
  • West Palm Beach: Foreclosures remain high here with one out of every 349 homes having received a foreclosure notice in July.
  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers: While higher construction permits is a bright spot here, the area faces high foreclosure rates. 
  • Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville: Home sale prices have remained low, and this market was dubbed the No. 1 “foreclosure capital” in the nation as of July.
  • Chicago: Foreclosures remain high with the foreclosure rate rising 18% in 2012.”

View the 7 Healthiest Housing Markets for 2013.

Free “Island Jazz” Concerts

island jazzFor those lucky enough to be on the islands, from now until Easter is when the most educational and entertainment-related events are offered here. The first of the year’s free Sunday afternoon jazz concerts is January 13 at 3 p.m. in the Boler Garden of BIG ARTS. Comprised of eight local popular and well-seasoned jazz musicians, “Island Jazz” plays all styles of music from jazz standards and Dixieland to bop, pop, and more. At SanibelSusan Realty, our Sunday agents look forward to these winter events where we open our back door and hear the tunes. To attend in person, there is plenty of parking at BIG ARTS, but bring your beach chair as seating is limited.

Other concert dates and events through spring are posted on SanibelSusan’s calendar.

Two New Baby Bald Eagles466018-american-bald-eagle-perched-on-a-tree-branch

Here is a link to the Southwest Florida “Eagle Cam” which provides a 24/7 live video stream of an active pair of bald eagles in their nest in North Fort Myers. These bald eagles have been coming to the nest for the past 5 years between the months of October to April. Last night the second baby eaglet hatched. Take a look:

Sanibel & Captiva Island Multiple Listing Service Activity December 28 – January 4

1 new listing: Loggerhead Cay #451 2/2 $495K.
3 price changes: Blind Pass #D205 2/2 now $300K (short sale), Sanibel Moorings #1042 2/2 now $419K, Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 now $475K.
4 new sales: Sandpebble #1F 2/2 listed for $349.9K, Sanibel Arms West #L8 2/2 listed for $479K, Sandpiper Beach #404 2/2 listed for $695K, Gulf Beach #205 2/2 listed for $725K.
5 closed sales: Colonnades #9 1/1 $110K, Seashells #15 2/2 $255K (short sale), Sanibel Moorings #341 2/2 $380K, Compass Point #213 2/2 $510K, Sandpiper Beach #106 2/2 $635K.

7 new listings: 1409 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex #299K, 1045 Blue Heron Dr 3/3 $599K, 656 Anchor Dr 3/2 $639K, 526 N Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $649K, 1163 Seagrape Ln 4/4 $887.9K, 4164 West Gulf Dr 4/4 $1.995M, 4809 Tradewinds Dr 3/3.5 $1.69M.
5 price changes: 1366 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $649.9K, 1750 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2.5 now $679K (short sale), 1555 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2.5 now $975K, 6440 Pine Ave 3/2.5 now $1.64M, 775 Limpet Dr 3/3 now $1.695M. 
2 new sales: 1002 Greenwood Ct N 3/2.5 half-duplex listed for $349K, 4717 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 listed for $1.895M (short sale).
3 closed sales: 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 $435K (our listing), 656 Anchor Dr 3/2 $550K, 1314 Isabel Dr 4/3.5 $1.8M.

1 new listing: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd #329K.
No price changes or new sales.
1 closed sale: 659 Anchor Dr $375K

Nothing to report.

No new listings.
1 price change: 59 Sandpiper Ct 3/2 now $795K.
No 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.

Welcome to 2013!