SanibelSusan’s Friday blog out is going out a little early today as teammate Elise and I are heading to Naples this afternoon to participate in the Florida Realtors® District 5 “Believe” Tour Celebration. That is an event organized by our state leadership team who are touring the state, visiting every District, and speaking about the homelessness problem in Florida and how Realtors® can make a difference. Elise and I will be rolling up our sleeves with other Realtors® from our district and teaming up with Meals of Hope and the entire Florida leadership team to package meals and fill cases of food for distribution to food pantries in District 5 communities. (District 5 includes Marco Island, Naples, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers and the Beach, Cape Coral, and Sanibel/Captiva Islands.)
Below are a couple of news items from the week, followed by the activity posted over the past week in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. But first a couple of photos that I snapped midweek at the Fulgur Street beach access, plus a sweet bloom also noticed on my travels this week.
Gov. Scott Signs Florida Flood Insurance Bill
“A Florida bill to ease the burden of skyrocketing flood insurance costs became law on Friday when signed by Gov. Rick Scott. The Florida Legislature approved the bill, SB 542, earlier this year.
“Despite recent reforms at the federal level to slow flood insurance rate increases resulting from Biggert-Waters, legislation passed by Congress in 2012 to reform the National Florida Insurance Program (NFIP), Florida Realtors and other business groups sought an alternative to the NFIP at the state level.
“The bill by Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) encourages private insurers to enter the Florida market by giving them rate-setting flexibility and reduced regulatory burdens.
“Early on, the House and Senate disagreed on how much flexibility to give insurance companies on the amount of coverage required. In the end, SB 542 specifies four types of flood insurance policies:
- one that mirrors coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
- one called “preferred” that requires replacement costs for contents, not the structure
- one labeled “customized,” which will be defined by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
- one that would wrap around NFIP coverage, i.e., “supplemental” coverage
“Florida Realtors continues to talk with Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation, NFIP and Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) to clarify the coverage requirements on structures/contents and better understand the new law’s impact.”
Homebuyer Flood Insurance Relief
Here is a little more information on the subject of flood insurance. It is an important topic here on the islands. This is more good news, posted Monday on the National Association of Realtors® e-Newsletter:
“On May 30, 2014, FEMA announced the Flood Premiums and Rate Tables for 2015. Each October FEMA issues the following year’s rate tables. Releasing the rate tables at this time provides insurance companies sufficient lead time to update their rate quote software. These rates will take effect this October 2014, and will be used to calculate refunds, to be issued later this Fall. According to FEMA, from their memo: “In every case, the attached rates are the same or lower than the October 1, 2013 premium rates.” In other words, no one will see a rate increase next year and some could see a further rate reduction below this year’s level. This is on top of rate reductions FEMA implemented last month, when it rolled back all rates so no older (pre-FIRM) property owner could pay more than 2013 subsidized rate for the rest of the fiscal year.”
11 Stunning Florida Towns You Need To Visit
BuzzFeed.com posted this article on-line the end of May. Just in time for those making their summer plans, press like this is another reason the island continues to be such a popular vacation destination. Of the eleven stunning Florida towns that the article says you need to visit, Sanibel Island tops the list:
“Florida’s a big state, and possibly the best one to road trip through!
“1. For secluded and untouched beauty, visit Sanibel Island. You won’t find many buildings that are taller than a palm tree on Sanibel Island, and that’s because the city has taken careful measures to preserve the natural beauty of the area. The town is markedly devoid of fast food restaurants, which were banned and even stoplights. So get ready to step into a world that feels totally removed from the norm,,,,”
The other ten towns rounding out the list are: Tarpon Springs, Santa Rosa Beach, Delray Beach, Destin, Mount Dora, St Augustine, Fort Myers, Clearwater Beach, Apalachicola, and Amelia Island.
America’s Happiest Seaside Towns 2014
Not to forget Captiva Island, “Coastal Living” just posted their annual list of 2014’s top ten spots to live in bliss by the sea!” You may remember that Sanibel Island made this list last year, so they were not eligible for 2014.
According to “Coastal Living” on-line, they began with reader nominations, plus all of the past places they’ve lauded as Dream Towns. From there, they looked at the rank on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, percentage of sunny days, healthiness of beaches, commute times, crime ratings, walkability, standard of living and financial well-being of the locals, geographic diversity, and their editors’ assessment of each town’s “coastal vibe”. They announced their top ten contenders in their March 2014 issue, and let America vote for its favorites. Here are the results:
1. Chincoteague, VA
2. Captiva Island, FL
3. Saugatauk, MI
4. St. Augustine, FL
5. Provincetown, MA
6. St. Simons Island, GA
7. Watch Hill, RI
8. Haleiwa, HI
9. Scarborough, ME
10. Bolinas, CA
Here is what the article had to say about Captiva Island:
“Local folklore holds that pirate José Gaspar hid his captives on this pristine island. A gorgeous prison, indeed: The slender barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico west of Fort Myers has pale, powdery sands graced with more than 250 types of seashells. A single main road runs Captiva’s five-mile length, making much of its raw beauty best appreciated by sea kayak. (Buck Key Paddling Trail, a best-kept paddlers’ secret, winds past green herons and gators.) There are plenty of finds on foot, too; shoppers here love the intimacy of Captiva Village along Andy Rosse Lane, which houses not only galleries and boutiques, but also a public library, community center, and the historic beachfront Chapel By The Sea. It’s a 10-minute stroll from the Village to sweeping Alison Hagerup Beach Park (aka Captiva Beach), a great sunset post for spotting the horizon’s famous green flash.
“Although Captiva’s sunny, mild climate means warm days year-round for its 400 residents, a particularly special time is May to October, when thousands of tiny loggerhead turtles emerge from their nests and make their way slowly to the water’s edge. They might be the only islanders who ever feel like leaving….”
Free Sea Monster Programs
If you are one of the lucky ones on Sanibel this summer and have children with you, here are some fun things to do at the J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge. As reported this week in the on-line newsletter of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society.
“As part of our summer Sea Monsters traveling exhibit from Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, we have scheduled related FREE films and interactive programs through Mote. The exhibit and programs are made possible by grants from the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and a private family foundation.
The programs below begin at 2 p.m. on the designated dates:
- Tuesday, July 8. 50-minute interactive Ocean Careers program.
- Friday, July 11. 50-minute interactive Manatees program
- Monday, July 14. 60-minute NOVA: Why Sharks Attack film
- Monday, July 28. 60-minute Inside Nature’s Giants: Giant Squid film
- Friday, August 15. 50-minute Sharks interactive program.”
Housing Bubble Fears Brew Overseas
“The International Monetary Fund says that several global housing markets are overheating, even in the U.S. – which is still digging itself out of a housing bubble that popped in 2008. Most of the warnings, however, have been issued for overseas.
“Economists are warning countries like China, Sweden, the United Kingdom (particularly London), and Canada that after years of rising housing prices, their housing markets may be overheating. In Sweden, housing prices have tripled over the past 10 years. In Canada, prices have been rising for years and some economists have speculated a housing crash is inevitable later this year.
“But China has many economists particularly worried that its property market is overheating, ignited by the widespread availability of cheap credit. Pan Shiyi, CEO of Soho China, even compared the market to the sinking of the Titanic: “After hitting the iceberg, the risks will not be in the real estate sector,” Shiyi notes. “The bigger risk will be the financial sector.”
“IMF policy makers are paying closer attention to the global housing market. Over the past year, 33 out of 52 countries in the IMF’s Global House Price Index have posted rises in home prices, even when the economies in the countries have been slowing down.
“In the U.S., home prices have risen by about 5% on a yearly basis ending 2013. However, the economy has grown by about half that amount. Markets growing by the largest amounts on an annualized basis – more than 9% – were the Philippines, Hong Kong, and China, IMF notes. Economists say that home prices, rents, and incomes should move in tandem with the economy. When they get out of alignment, a housing bubble can form.”
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity June 13-20
1 new listing: Pointe Santo #E22 2/2 $749K.
3 price changes: Blind Pass #D204 3/2 now $399K, Blind Pass #E206 2/2.5 now $449.5K, Sanddollar #C101 2/2 now $810K.
1 new sale: Sundial #D408 1/1 listed for $359K.
4 closed sales: Sundial #J407 2/2 $495K, Tarpon Beach #305 2/2 $685K, Snug Harbor #121 3/2 $955K, Tamarind #A101 2/2 $1.325M.
No new listings.
8 price changes: 828 Rabbit Rd 2/1 now $419K, 421 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $499K, 4563 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 now $629K, 590 Lake Murex Cir 2/1.5 now $668.5K, 4648 Buck Key Rd 3/2 now $679K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $699K, 1800 Woodring Rd 2/2 now $1.695M, 1266 Isabel Dr 3/3 now $1.895M.
6 new sales: 702 Donax St 2/2 listed for $449K; 620 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 listed for $575K; 1049 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed for $599,555; 2569 Coconut Dr 2/2 listed for $639K; 5313 Punta Caloosa Ct 4/3 listed for $848K; 5321 Punta Caloosa Ct 3/3 listed for $1.094M.
6 closed sales: 2050 Sunrise Cir 3/2 $525K, 1838 Long Point Ln 3/2 $639K, 1019 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $715K, 2667 Coconut Dr 3/3 $750K, 512 Periwinkle Way 3/3 $875K, 235 Daniel Dr 3/2 $1.145M.
1 new listing: 1336 Eagle Run Dr $262.5K.
3 price changes: 9277 Belding Dr now $198.9K, 3792 Coquina Dr now $329K, 2562 Coconut Dr now $349K.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 1042 Blue Heron Dr $420K.
1 new listing: Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 $649K.
No price changes or new sales.
1 closed sale: Ventura Captiva #4B 3/3 $750K.
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 11547 Wightman Ln 2/2 listed for $1.375M.
No 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.
Best wishes to all for wonderful weather wherever you are this weekend too.