It’s another beautiful Friday afternoon on Sanibel and Captiva. This week islanders have settled into a typical summer pattern. Traffic is light, the restaurants are being patronized by mostly “locals”, and the late afternoon white popcorn clouds are making their way across the causeway bringing quick, but often heavy, late-day showers. Lee County Schools ended their academic year at noon Wednesday so family vacations will begin soon.
Below is a photo that I shot today on my way back to the office after lunch. It is one of the last blooming royal poinciana trees, located near the entrance to Lake Murex. May is generally the month for those trees to bloom “flamboyant”ly (as the tree is called in the Caribbean). Most of the trees here have already leafed out, but this one is still in its glory!
If you didn’t receive a copy of my recent newsletter, “The Sanibel Scoop, with Captiva Chatter”, here is a link: SanibelScoop_05-12-14_Booklet.
At our bi-weekly Caravan Meeting yesterday at the Association of Realtors®, attendance was low and only a handful of new listings were announced. Following a few news items below is a report of all of the activity posted over the last seven days in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.
35th Annual Road Rally Registration
If you will be here for the next holiday, it is always fun to participate in the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club’s longest-running 4th of July event. With the proceeds going to local scholarships, this year marks the 35th year of the July 4th Road Rally. The rally begins in the Timbers Restaurant/Sanibel Grill parking lot at noon (after the parade) and ends at the Grill with an after-glow party. The $35 entry fee covers a car, the driver, navigator, and unlimited crew members plus one commemorative Road Rally T-shirt. Additional T-shirts are available for $15. It is not a race, but rather, teams puzzle out clues while following a prescribed driving course around the island. Prizes are awarded for finishing in the correct time, at the correct mileage, for the most correct answers to the quiz about things seen along the route, and for the best decorated vehicle. The number of entries is limited with forms available at Bailey’s General Store, Sanibel Cafe, Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank, “Island Sun” newspaper, and at the starting line. Staggered starting times are pre-assigned by the Rally Master. (As one who has participated in the Rally, rest assured that you do not need to know island geography to win.)
Permeable Paver Ordinance Passed from Planning to City Council
At the Sanibel Planning Commission Meeting on Tuesday, a draft ordinance which would amend the City Land Development Code allowing, under certain conditions, the use of permeable pavers within driveways and parking areas of single-family homes, and duplex/triplex residences was discussed. A recent study shows that the use of materials such as sand, shell and gravel can become more compacted and less pervious over a period of years. The draft ordinance about the use of permeable pavers has some provisions. City Council is expected to conduct a first reading of it on June 3.
Sea Turtles & Snowy Plovers & Tarpon
‘Tis the season for all three!
Most loggerhead sea turtles come ashore at night to lay their eggs in the sand, but twice last week on Sanibel two Sea Turtle volunteers reported seeing different females heading back into the gulf at sunrise (one east-end and the other at Bowman’s Beach). Nesting runs until October, so if you are a beach-walker, please be on the lookout for these wonderful creatures. Do not to disturb them or their nests. More than 60 nests already have been marked on Sanibel/Captiva. Track the nests at www.sccf.org.
The Conservation Foundation (SCCF) also reports that as of last week, 12 snowy plover nests have been spotted and marked. Three have already hatched chicks. These birds are so tiny that sometimes visitors miss them. SCCF has a Snowy Plover program coming up next Tues, Jun 3, at 1:30 p.m. It’s free to SCCF members and children. $5 for non-members. Definitely worth attending if you want to learn more about these fascinating little guys.
This week, local fishermen have been posting lots of Facebook photos of their catches, plus shots of plenty of tarpon rolling and jumping. With tarpon size varying from about 40 pounds to more than 150 pounds, the fish stories seem to be more plentiful this year than last May.
Lee Memorial Health System
A frequent question posed to real estate professionals in Southwest Florida, is “how is the medical care here?” Short of saying that there are lots of healthy old retirees in the Sunshine State and that HealthPark is just a few minutes off the causeway, here is some good info from the Spring 2014 Lee Memorial Health System Foundation booklet, “The Gift” (Helping Hands, Caring Hearts):
“Your generous donations make it possible for Lee Memorial Health System to:
- Operate the only state-approved Level II Trauma Center between Tampa & Miami
- Have more than 1 million patient contacts each year
- Rank among the Top 50 hospitals in the nation
- Maintain the only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) between Tampa & Miami at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.”
See foundation info at www.LeeMemorial.org/foundation.
Experts Say Home-Price Appreciation to Slow Down Through 2016
In an article posted by RISMedia and summarized in “Daily Real Estate News” on-line last week, “home values are expected to appreciate by 4.4% on average through the end of the year, but that rate will slow to 3.8% in 2015 and 3.4% in 2016, say 106 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists surveyed by Pulsenomics LLC.
“After a sharp double-digit percentage increase in home values last year, the rollback in appreciation would put them more on par with historical norms. Prior to the housing bubble years of 1987 to 1999, home values averaged 3.6% growth per year.
“The majority of economists surveyed say they expect median home values to exceed their pre-recession peaks by the first quarter of 2018. They cited the following as the most common concerns for declining housing affordability: income growth (28%); abnormally high rates of home-price and rent appreciation (27%), and an abnormally low supply of homes for sale or rent (21%).
““Time will tell whether Washington’s unfolding plan to expand mortgage credit will have a durable, positive impact on home values, housing confidence, and market expectations,” says Terry Loebs, founder of Pulsenomics.”
Negative Equity Key to Housing Roller Coaster?
“One reason for the sluggish housing recovery: homeowners can’t sell their homes because they don’t have enough equity to do so yet, The Wall Street Journal reports.Nearly 10 million U.S. households – about 18% of homeowners with a mortgage – are still underwater, meaning their home is worth less than their mortgage. Home prices are rising, and the number of underwater homeowners is declining, but some still feel stuck.
“”Most move-up homeowners typically use their home equity to cover broker fees, closing costs, and a down-payment for their next home,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “Without those funds, many homeowners can’t sell.”
“Some housing analysts say that understanding negative equity is key to understanding a lot of the distortions occurring in the current housing market.
“The picture has been gradually improving, however. While the number of underwater homeowners remains high, some reports show more homeowners regaining equity. About 4 million homes returned to positive equity in 2013, boosting the total number of non-underwater U.S. homes to about 42.7 million, according to a CoreLogic report.
“”The plight of the underwater borrower has improved dramatically since negative equity peaked in December 2009 when more than 12 million mortgaged homeowners were underwater,” says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Over the past four years, more than 5.5 million homeowners have regained equity, reducing their risk of foreclosure and unlocking pent-up supply in the housing market.”
Source: “Negative Home Equity Impedes Housing Recovery,” The Wall Street Journal (May 24, 2014) and “CoreLogic: 4 Million Homeowners Back Above Water in 2013,” HousingWire (March 6, 2014)
© Copyright 2014 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity May 23-30
4 new listings: Colonnades #44 1/1 $207K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #201 2/2 $499K, Sandy Bend #5 2/2 $659K, Compass Point #112 2/2 $1.135M.
2 price changes: Island Beach Club #P2A 2/2 now $499.9K, Loggerhead Cay #373 2/2 now $539K.
No new sales.
3 closed sales: Tennisplace #B24 2/1 $282K, Cottage Colony West #119 1/1 $550K (our listing & buyer), Tarpon Beach #109 2/2 $750K.
4 new listings: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 $389K, 701 Durion Ct 3/2 $549K, 620 Hideaway Ct 2/2.5 $575K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 $712.5K.
8 price changes: 1835 Ardsley Way 2/1 now $329K, 732 Durion Ct 3/2 now $727.9K, 475 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 now $775K, 5753 Pine Tree Dr 3/4 now $825K, 1329 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $849K, 1528 Angel Dr 3/2 now $864K, 201 Violet Dr 3/2 now $869.5K, 428 Bella Vista Way 4/4 now $1.795M.
3 new sales: 925 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 listed for $698K, 1516 Angel Dr 3/2 listed for $890K, 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/3.5 listed for $995K.
3 closed sales: 1555 Bunting Ln 2/2 $420K, 340 E Gulf Dr 2/2 $479K, 1001 Kings Crown Dr 3/2.5 $822K.
No new listings, price changes, or new sales.
1 closed sale: 6081 Henderson Rd $195K.
1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5130 1/2 $275K.
5 price changes: Gulf Beach Villas #2031 2/2 now $699K, Sunset Beach Villas #2332 2/2 now $699K, Sunset Beach Villas #2337 2/2 now $715K, Ventura Captiva #5B 3/3.5 now $965K, Lands End Village #1667 2/2 now $1.025M.
2 new sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2316 2/2 listed for $525K, #6 Beach Homes 3/3 listed for $1.895M.
No closed sales.
No new listings.
1 price change: 16785 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 now $1.749M.
1 new sale: 11411 Old Lodge Ln 4/2 listed for $929K.
1 closed sale: 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 $7M.
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.
Here’s to a great weekend and a smooth transition into hurricane season which begins on Sunday!