Sanibel Sunrise & This Week’s Real Estate Scoop

 Sanibel Sunrise


The above photo looking from the causeway to the lighthouse was taken by SanibelSusan teammate and best daughter-in-law, Lisa.

Realtor® Happenings This Week

Shane Pix 09-05-13Another week is behind us on Sanibel Island with a sprinkling of showings and a Realtor® Meeting yesterday. The morning Open House Caravan was interrupted a bit by a last-minute call-to-action from Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane. In preparation for last night’s Town Hall meeting about the Lake “O” run-offs, he asked local businessmen to be at the Sanibel boat ramp at 10 a.m. where Florida Senator Lizbeth Benequisto came to see bay-water first hand. She also visited Pink Shell Resort on Fort Myers Beach. The photo here was taken yesterday at the boat ramp by Realtor colleague Shane Spring.

The Town Hall meeting was at The Lee County Emergency Operation Center and included a presentation by the Army Corp of Engineers and water management officials. The public also had opportunities to ask questions and comment. The good news is that City/State officials and the public are involved and they are raising cane (no pun intended)!

The Sanibel Real Estate Market

Below are a couple of other news items followed by the week’s Multiple Listing Service action. First a quick summary showing how the Sanibel market has fared during the first eight months of the year, compared to 2012. It’s getting better! (Prices are the median value.)

                                CONDOS                     HOMES                        LOTS                                 

                                #      Price       DOM     #      Price       DOM      #    Price      DOM

Sold (1/1-9/6/13)     129  539,000  351        163  699,000  295        15  449,555  506

Sold (1/1-9/6/12)      127 529,000  406        132  624,950  280         24  299,450  527

Wonder what inventory is like today? Recognizing that we are coming into what is traditionally a time when sellers list their property it is good that inventory is down (or there are fewer listings now than in other recent Septembers). Here is summary of Sanibel inventory today:

                                CONDOS                     HOMES                        LOTS                                 

                                #      Price       DOM     #      Price       DOM      #    Price      DOM

For sale                   137  539,935  444        151  948,000  359        85  369,000  890

DOM = days on market.

Florida’s Rating Improves

Florida_state_map2In a mass email last weekend from Jeff Atwater, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, he said: “…the Fitch Rating Agency reaffirmed Florida’s AAA credit rating and upgraded our outlook from negative to stable. Fitch’s announcement is great news for our state and an affirmation that our efforts to grow the economy, decrease debt and ensure government accountability are paying off…The Fitch report attributes Florida’s upgrade to a trend of economic stabilization and the implementation of fiscally prudent measures, such as a balanced state budget….”

Home Prices Showing Signs of Cooling?

ASSOC LogoThe Sanibel & Captiva real estate market has always been seasonal – i.e. “more” sales (than in the summer) in the last quarter of the year, usually to folks securing a winter getaway or seasonal vacation rental, followed by the “most” sales in the first quarter of the year when the most prospective buyers are in town. It still was interesting to read the below article posted Wednesday on “Daily Real Estate News” and further sourced to “HousingWire”:

“Home prices continue to appreciate nationwide, even amid rising borrowing costs due to an increase in mortgage rates. However, home prices may be showing some signs of slowing in the coming months, according to two housing reports released Tuesday.

“Home prices nationwide rose 12.4% year over year in July, according to the latest report by CoreLogic. That marks the 17th consecutive month of growth in home prices.

“A report by Clear Capital, also released Tuesday, showed home prices ticked up 10.2% year over year — however, Clear Capital’s report reflected August data. The last time Clear Capital noted a double-digit yearly price gain was in mid-2006 during the housing bubble, according to the report.

“CoreLogic experts predict that home prices will rise by 12.3% year over year in August. But home prices likely will start to curtail in the second half of the year, says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.  “Price growth is expected to slow as seasonal demand wanes and higher mortgage rates have a marginal impact on home purchase demand,” Fleming notes.

“Clear Capital economists note that the low-tier price segment of the housing market showed the lowest quarterly gain in prices since April 2012 — increasing just 2%. “Considering the low tier price segment of the housing market led the recovery, the cooling in this segment will likely transfer through to the broader housing market,” says Alex Villacorta, vice president of research and analytics at Clear Capital.””

A First-Ever Flip in Mortgage Affordability

wall street journalYesterday, “Daily Real Estate News” sourced a Wall Journal Article. It says:

“For the first time ever, interest rates for jumbo mortgages have dropped below the average rates for conforming mortgages, lenders say. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate conforming mortgage last week was 4.73% while the average for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.71%, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. “In my 30-year career, I’ve never seen nonconforming loans priced below conforming loans,” says Brad Blackwell, executive vice president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Typically, rates for jumbo mortgages run at least 0.25% points above rates for conforming loans. In 2008, jumbo mortgage rates peaked at 1.8% points above conforming rates, according to data….Jumbo mortgages are those that exceed the $417,000 limit to qualify for backing by mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The limit may be lifted to $625,000 in some high-cost markets, such as New York and Washington.”

Annual International Coastal Cleanup

SCCF logoIf you are on the island on Saturday, September 21, please join the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) in participating in an international volunteer effort to rid coastlines and waterways of marine litter, pollution, and debris. As many as 600,000 volunteers worldwide help in this annual event which is going into its 27th year. Participation is easy, just bring friends and family to the SCCF Nature Center at 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Road between 9 a.m. and noon on the 21st to check in and pick up your Coastal Cleanup data cards and trash bags. If you bring your own gloves and water, it will reduce the use of plastic. There will be lunch and snacks on the Nature Center porch from 10 a.m. until noon when you bring your trash back to deposit in the dumpster. Last year in Florida alone, 23,362 people collected 452,913 pounds of trash on 1,175 miles of coast. To reserve your clean-up spot or get your data cards in advance, call 239-472-2329.

Captiva Bridge to Close Briefly During Captiva Triathlon

PrintThe 3rd Annual Galloway Captiva Triathlon organizers advise that the all regular traffic on Captiva Drive will be closed from 6:45 to 8:45 a.m. on Sunday, September 15. Approximately 900 athletes and 30 teams will compete in the sold-out event spanning both the 14th and 15th, with proceeds benefiting the Backpack and School Pantry Program of Community Cooperative Ministries.

The children’s triathlon is first on Saturday morning where 140 young athletes split into ages 6-9 and 11-13 will swim, bike, and run. Adults will compete on Sunday by completing a quarter-mile swim, 10-mile bike ride, and 5K run. During that biking leg, local traffic toward Captiva will be re-routed to make it easier for large vehicles and trailers to head back down San-Cap Road until the bridge reopens.

This year’s triathlon is unique because the first wave of athletes are competing in a new “elite” division where they had to post qualify at a USAT (USA Triathlon) sanctioned event. For more info, go to

Sanibel Marina Scoop

GrammaDots02-01-12I read in one of the local papers this week that the fuel dock next to Gramma Dot’s store at the Sanibel Marina will be torn out and replaced by the time seasonal residents return this fall. Did you know that the marina has 77 slips, many sized for large vessels?

The marina is especially handy to Marine Pointe condo boat owners. I loved having it nearby when I had my boat and lived there.

It also is just up the canal from the large lot we have listed on Limpet Dr. Overlooking intersecting canals, a home built on this parcel will have expansive water views. If you know of anyone looking to build a convenient home all on one level on high ground in a well-established neighborhood with easy deepwater access (no bridges) and a patio dock (great spot for a yacht tender), this lot is it! It is one of the last undeveloped parcels in Sanibel’s Shell Harbor which has a large private community beach access with parking on East Gulf Dr (between Tortuga Beach Club and The Sanibel Inn). The price was reduced this week too! Check it out below in our report of MLS activity this week.

Limpet Lot SA c
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity from Aug 30 to Sep 6

6 new listings: Sundial #D305 1/1 $439K, Sanibel Arms #D1 2/2 $450K, Sanibel Arms West #G5 2/2 $525K, Loggerhead Cay #412 2/2 $548.8K, Heron at The Sanctuary #2B 3/3.5 $625K, Sundial #L305 2/2 $975K.
2 price changes: Sundial #G407 1/1 now $339K, Sanddollar #A104 2/2 now $859K.
3 new sales: Sundial #C307 1/1 listed for $339K, Kings Crown #313 2/2 listed for $590K, Shorewood #3 3/3 listed for $1.625M.
6 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #582 2/2 $512.5K, Pointe Santo #D2 2/2 $555K, Tarpon Beach #206 2/2 $625K, White Pelican #112 2/2 $720K, Surfside 12 #C4 3/2 $730K, Gulfside Place #103 2/2 $900K.
7 new listings: 470 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $495K, 581 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $525K (short sale), 420 Lighthouse Way 3/2 $589K, 1854 Farm Trl 3/2 $599K, 2529 Harbour Ln 3/3 $725K, 1444 Causey Ct 4/4 $1.2M, 6014 White Heron Ln 3/3.5 $1.35M.
1 price change: 5307 Lady Finger Lake Rd 3/3 now $638K.
2 new sales: 490+460 Old Trail 3/2 listed for $375K (short sale), 1566 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed for $699K.
5 closed sales: 2560 Coconut Dr 3/3 $428K, 1281 Par View Dr 3/2 $610K, 734 Pyrula Ave 3/2.5 $850K, 960 Victoria Way 3/3 $950K, 4067 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $4.1M.
No new listings.
1 price change: 837 Limpet Dr now $749K (our listing).
No new or closed sales.
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: Bayside Villas #4204 1/2 listed for $259K.
No closed sales.
Nothing to report.
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.

Until next Friday, happy weekend!

Good weather is expected on the islands with more 90-degree days & 72-degree nights.