Almost-October Real Estate Happenings on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It has again been quiet on the islands this week – few phone calls, only a handful of showings, no real estate caravan, and no new listings or closings for us. What are we doing you might ask? Yesterday, my pals and I had to make three stops before we found a restaurant available for lunch! We sure are looking forward to October!

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The islands had several cloudy/rainy days early on in the week, but nothing like the flooding reported on the other side of the state. Here we have had blue skies and sunshine for at least two days in a row now with the weekend weather expected to be much of the same. They have been not so lucky in inland Lee and Collier counties where afternoon and evening showers continue to prevail.

Island Beach ClubLots of deep-clean and maintenance/repair action continues at plenty of island properties, gearing up for “season”. Work around the floor-to-ceiling windows in a few Island Beach Club units is expected to be completed in early October. That has made for interesting showings at our new listing there.

sundial-logoAt Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, the second phase of their renovation is well underway with completion expected sometime in early November of a new state-of-the-art Fitness Center, Pizza Kitchen, on-site market and deli, and new soft tennis courts, as well as changes to the pool bar and main pool deck area.

Below are a couple of other news items followed by the action posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Some New Openings

The “Island Sun” reported this week that City permit approval was given for a new business going in at The Bailey Center. In the location formerly occupied by “Nick’s Yogurt” and next door to “Billy’s Bikes” new rental spot, will be “Beach Piez” featuring pizza for take-out and delivery.

Another eatery soon to open in the former location of “Island Barbeque” on Palm Ridge Road, next door to “Subway”, is “The Pecking Order” which will feature comfort and soul food.

lobster rollSanibel Farmers MktOpening next Sunday, Oct 5 (a whole month earlier than in previous years) is “Sanibel Island Farmers Market“. On the grounds of City Hall from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Sunday through April, it is my favorite stop on the way to the office!

farmers mkt lobsterThis is beyond fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses, meats, baked goods, and more.

We are talking Maine lobster and lobster rolls!

The Scoop on Sanibel Homes as of 9/26/14

In doing some file clean-up this week, I found the below tables with data from mid-summer 2013. Always a fan of statistics, I updated them with today’s info. Divided by the same geographic areas as our Multiple Listing Service, this illustrates low Sanibel home inventory.

Bay-Front
Status Number Median Price $ DOM
For Sale as of 9/26 7 1,995,000* 648
Under Contract as of 9/26 1 1,795,000* 955
2014 Sales to 9/26 5 1,695,000 183
2013 Sales 7 2,190,000 679
2012 Sales 8 2,144,500 335

 

Bayou-Front
Status Number Median Price $ DOM
For Sale as of 9/26 6 1,470,000* 1,193
Under Contract as of 9/26 0 N/A N/A
2014 Sales to 9/26 10 860,000 425
2013 Sales 6 990,500 267
2012 Sales 5 1,649,000 472

 

Canal-Front
Status Number Median Price $ DOM
For Sale as of 9/26 19 1,273,500* 373
Under Contract as of 9/26 8 990,000* 365
2014 Sales to 9/26 30 912,000 272
2013 Sales 28 864,000 312
2012 Sales 37 749,000 275

 

Gulf-Front
Status Number Median Price $ DOM
For Sale as of 9/26 6 4,042,500* 311
Under Contract as of 9/26 1 3,900,000* 234
2014 Sales to 9/26 4 3,095,000 342
2013 Sales 16 3,245,000 335
2012 Sales 11 2,350,000 309

 

Inland
Status Number Median Price $ DOM
For Sale as of 9/26 28 599,000* 198
Under Contract as of 9/26 4 527,250* 208
2014 Sales to 9/26 41 499,000 281
2013 Sales 52 512,497 252
2012 Sales 32 493,000 168

 

Near-Beach
Status Number Median Price $ DOM
For Sale as of 9/26 65 829,000* 267
Under Contract as of 9/26 8 744,000* 621
2014 Sales to 9/26 72 676,950 201
2013 Sales 79 685,000 269
2012 Sales 86 567,000 330

DOM = days on market

* Asking price

Citizens Put an Early End to Storm Tax

Florida Realtors logoYesterday, Florida Realtors® posted an article sourced to “The Palm Beach Post” and distributed by MCT Information Services:

Citizens nixes storm tax, may expand clearinghouse

Citizens_logo“A 1% assessment or “storm tax” to pay off 2005 losses is ending two years early at state-run insurer Citizens, under a plan reported by The Palm Beach Post last week and approved by its board Wednesday. That will save customers of Citizens and other property insurers 1% on their bills starting July 1, 2015. The assessment, with a total cost of $1.38 billion, originally was scheduled to run until July 2017 but was collected from a broader base of customers than initially planned, making its early retirement an option.

“Meanwhile, executives turned to goals for 2015. Among them: put commercial properties including condos and apartment buildings into a clearinghouse designed to steer policies to private insurers. The clearinghouse, a computer system used by agents, began processing homeowner policies this year.

Citizens President Barry Gilway said he intends to work with state legislators to expand the system. The clearinghouse is intended to block new customers if a private insurer is offering coverage priced up to 15% more and kick out renewing customers if a private carrier is offering policies priced the same or less.

Twelve private insurers are in the clearinghouse for new customers and eight for renewing customers, counting two companies coming on board Wednesday.

“Another goal Gilway cited: Eliminate all risk of assessments from a 1-in-100 year storm, which Citizens has already reduced from more than $11 billion several years ago to about $2.3 billion now. Assessment risk has been falling in large part because Citizens has shrunk from 1.5 million customers three years ago, swelled by a pullback of large national insurers, to about 933,000 now. Transfer offers from private insurers, mostly small Florida-based companies, and clearinghouse activity are expected to reduce that to about 825,000 customers by year’s end and 750,000 by the end of 2015, Gilway projected.

“Smaller size alone reduces risk exposure, but one debate is whether to expand the purchase of private reinsurance, or back-up coverage, from firms in Bermuda and other places abroad. That is controversial in part because of foreign trips company officials say are necessary to buy reinsurance. The oversight of such travel has been criticized in an inspector general’s report and was the subject of Florida Cabinet scrutiny last month in the wake of reporting by The Post.

“But it’s also a question of whether big sums of money should go offshore or stay in the state-run company’s $7.6 billion surplus at home, where it can grow and remain available to pay claims year after year.

“Citizens, backed by its own surplus and a state hurricane fund, bought no private insurance at all as recently as four years ago, but has spent more than $1 billion on it since, including $311 million in 2014. The coverage it buys would reduce possible future assessments if historically rare storms hit. But there’s a slim chance it is needed in any given year and if not used in short-term contracts, it represents a transfer of $1 billion from its ratepayers to private hands.”

Jumbo Mortgages Are Cheaper, Easier to Get

CNN MoneyFrom “Realtor®Mag” on Monday and sourced to Sunday’s “CNNMoney” article titled “For Rich People, Mortgages are Getting Cheaper and Easier”:

“Wealthy home buyers are paying lower average rates on high-dollar loans (known as jumbo mortgages) and in some cases, they don’t even have to worry about a large down payment or mortgage insurance,

“For the last several months, interest rates on jumbo loans—mortgages that are $417,000 or more (or $625,000 or more in high-priced markets—have been lower than what average borrowers pay. For example, the average rate on jumbo loans last week was 4.24% compared to 4.36% for a 30-year, fixed-rate conventional mortgage, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

“In some cases, lenders also have reduced their down payment requirements as well, requiring as little as 10%, which is about half the normal rate. Some lenders are waiving the private mortgage insurance requirement, too.

“Many banks have lowered their credit standards for jumbo loan originations. For example, many jumbo borrowers used to need at least a 700 credit score to qualify, but now lenders are considering applicants with credit scores of 650, says John Walsh, owner of lender Total Mortgage Services.

“Banks are on the hunt for jumbo customers in order to win them over as clients for other banking services too such as retirement planning, says Malcolm Hollensteiner, head of retail lending for TD Bank. Jumbo borrowers tend to have better track records in repaying their loans and have lower default rates, so more banks are willing to take the gamble on them.”

Household’s Net Worth Hits Record High

Here is an interesting tidbit from “Daily Real Estate News” last Friday. It says:

2000px-US-FederalReserveBoard-Seal.svg“Recent gains in the stock market and higher home prices helped Americans’ net worth soar to a record high in the second quarter, according to a new report by the Federal Reserve. Net worth was up 1.7% during the quarter, reaching a record high of $81.5 trillion.

“American’s gains in wealth have helped to lift consumer confidence and allowed them to ramp up their borrowing, which could soon prove a boon for the economic growth too. During the second quarter, household debt rose to its fastest pace since 2007, increasing at an annual rate of 3.6%, compared to 2.2% in the first quarter.

wall street journal“Most of the nation’s largest wealth gains have gone to the affluent, who tend to own stocks, The Wall Street Journal reports. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index rose about 5% in the second quarter, while Americans also benefited from more modest gains in the real estate market. Home prices ticked up for the 12th consecutive quarter, rising 0.8% in the second quarter, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s home price index.”

Source: “U.S. Household Net Worth Rises to Record $81.5 Trillion,” Reuters (Sept. 18, 2014) and “U.S. Household Wealth Hits Fresh Record,” The Wall Street Journal (Sept. 18, 2014)

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity September 19-26

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Colonnades #51 1/1 $184K, Sanibel Moorings #611 2/2 $449K, Sanibel Moorings #1512 2/2 $478.5K, Sanibel Inn #3425 2/2 $664.9K.

3 price changes: Spanish Cay #A6 1/1 now $259.5K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 now $505K, Sandalfoot #4D2 2/2 now $619K.

2 new sales: Sundial #D207 1/1 listed for $239K, Poinciana #2C 3/2 listed for $1.1M.

2 closed sales: Sundial #D407 1/1 $227.5K, Sundial #H102 2/2 $425K.

HOMES

No new listings.

4 price changes: 4606 Brainard Bayou Rd 2/1 now $399K, 3168 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $559K, 1800 Woodring Rd 2/2 now $1.595M, 2981 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.625M.

1 new sale: 1266 Isabel Dr 3/3 listed for $1.795M.

1 closed sale: 1206 Bay Dr 4/4.5 $2.45M.

LOTS

No new listings.

3 price changes: Lot 27, Leisure Acres now $179.9K, 2933 Wulfert Rd now $399K, 5830 SanCap Rd now $399,555.

1 new sale: 861 Birdie View Pt listed for $339K.
No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Sunset Beach Villas #2337 2/2 now $679.9K.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2332 2/2 $667.5K, Captiva Shores #7B 3/2 $1.2M.

HOMES
Nothing to report.

LOTS

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.

Until next Friday, here’s another picture of my favorite birds…

IMG_0737copye

Girls love those pink Roseate Spoonbills!

SanibelSusan

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