Fall is definitely in the air – or as fall-ish as it becomes on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. A cool front arrived Wednesday night which brought a drop in humidity and lower evening temperatures. Whenever the humidity is under 70%, it is a wonderful thing in Southwest Florida.
Island traffic is slowly increasing as snowbirds return. Local TV news last night reported that the total number of visitors to Southwest Florida has increased considerably over the last year. In August alone, nearly 8,000 more vehicles crossed through the Sanibel toll booth.
Below are a few news items, followed by the week’s activity in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.
2014 Annual Meeting – Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®
Yours truly, the 2014 Nominating Committee Chair, is happy to report that two new directors have been elected to our nine-member board. Congratulations to Dustyn Corace and Deb Smith.
“Ding” Darling Days – at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge from Sunday, Oct 19, through Saturday, Oct 25. www.DingDarlingDays.com
(Judging at 6:30 p.m.) Proceeds benefit Gulf Coast Humane Society. This is great fun to watch even if you don’t have a pet!
Record-Setting Year for Sea Turtles
SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) recently reported that 411 Sanibel nests (110 on the east end and 301 on the west end), shattered the island’s previous high marks of 358 sea turtle nests established in 2000. In addition, the previous record of nests on the east end was 69 in 2012. Captiva had 124 nests this year.
Sanibel Land Development Code Subcommittee Report
As reported by the “Island Sun” today, “following Tuesday’s planning commission session, the Land Development Code Review Subcommittee (LDCRS) heard the annual report on amendments made to the City’s codes made during the past two years”….According to City Planning Director, Jim Jordan, “amendments made during the two-year span included:
- Inter- and intra-connectivity standards for providing access between properties and to the shared use path.
- The phasing of preliminary plats approvals for major subdivisions.
- Legislation to regulate floating dock platforms preempted from permitting by the Sate of Florida.
- Legislation requiring the installation of reflective tape wrapping on telecommunication towers greater than 75 feet above ground.
- To allow pervious brick pavers installed within the driveways and parking areas of single-family, duplex and triplex to be treated as 100% pervious.
- To allow for an increase in the room size of one-bedroom resort housing unit to develop up to 600 sq. ft. of habitable floor area.
- Update the list of permitted uses within the commercial district and providing a process to consider new uses that are similar in nature and intensity to those uses that are listed in the code.
- A new provision allowing minor nonstructural alterations and modifications to the rooflines of lawfully existing structures devoted to a nonconforming use.
- Requirements, procedures and standards for maintaining and securing distressed buildings and structures.”
The City of Sanibel announced on Wednesday that Mayor Kevin Ruane as been appointed by Florida Governor Rick Schott to serve on the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. The Task Force is composed of 14 members including federal, tribal, state, and location representatives, developing policies, strategies, plans, programs, projects, and activities that address the restoration, preservation, and protection of the South Florida Ecosystem. The success of the Everglades restoration will have a tremendous economic impact on the coast communities of South Florida, including Sanibel. Congratulations, Kevin!
Today’s “Island Sun” reports that Chris Heidrick, Association of Realtors® affiliate and “principal of Heidrick & Co. Insurance on Sanibel has been appointed as Chairman of the National Flood Insurance Task Force for the Independent Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA). In this new position, he also will serve on the Flood Insurance Producers National Committee which is dedicated to improving the National Flood Insurance Program through consultation, cooperation, and regular communication with the Federal Insurance Administration/FEMA.” Congratulations, Chris!
In Feb, both Kevin and Chris joined a Lee County Commissioner and several local mayors in DC to present suggestions for reasonable flood insurance reform. Most of the ideas were included in The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, signed by the President in late March. The Act successfully removed the most harmful provisions of Biggert-Waters, which threatened the local economy. I got rebates from both my home and office flood insurance premiums just this week.
“In the coming year, Chris’s primary focus will be on a smooth re-authorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 2017.”
3 Industry Trends to Watch This Fall
“The housing market is expected to heat up this fall, despite buyers showing greater signs of being conservative in their home purchases. Bankrate.com recently highlighted some of the following trends to watch this fall in the nation’s real estate market:
“1. An overall pick up in housing activity. Low inventories of homes for sale in many markets have been blamed for cooling the summer months more than expected. However, more inventories are hitting U.S. markets, which could unleash some pent-up demand among buyers. At the end of August, housing inventory was at 2.31 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.5-month supply of homes, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. That’s 4.5% higher than a year ago.
When buyers have greater options in their home shopping, they may be more likely to finally jump off the sidelines, says Jonathan Corr, president and chief operating officer for Ellie Mae. “The housing market is going to be a function of the economy,” Corr says. “I think we are going to see steady growth in the coming months.”
“2. Buyers are more cautious. In what most housing experts describe as a “seller’s market,” buyers are showing signs of getting more conservative with their spending, Pava Leyrer, director of training for Northern Mortgage Services in Grandville, Mich., told Bankrate.com. “They are sticking to their budgets,” she says. The past housing crisis has prompted buyers – particularly the younger generation — to be more cautious, as they’ve learned that home prices don’t always appreciate. The younger generation views a house as a place to live and not the great investment that their parents once considered, says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. Forty percent of the millennial generation believes buying a home is a safe investment with great potential, compared to about 50% of boomers, according to a survey by Fannie Mae National Housing Survey.
“3. Mortgage rates will climb – really. Housing experts warned that mortgage rates would rise this year, but those forecasts have largely been wrong to this point. However, the Mortgage Bankers Association expects the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to start its climb to 4.5% by the fourth quarter, and continue to gradually climb and reach 5% by mid-2015. That’s prompted some lenders and real estate professionals to urge their buyers to lock in a mortgage rate now, while they are still at yearly lows.”
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity October 10-17.
1 new listing: Compass Point #111 2/2 $1.169M.
4 price changes: Sundial #H411 1/1 now $272.5K, Seashells #33 2/2 now $319K (short sale), Seashells #36 2/2 now $325K, Sundial #I103 1/1 now $337.5K.
1 new sale: Colonnades #1 1/1 listed for $195K.
6 new listings: 2621 SanibelCaptiva Rd 3/2 $299K, 1452 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $379K, 735 Donax St 3/2 $479K, 1287 Par View Dr 3/2 $910K, 1224 Par View Dr 3/3 $1.149M, 784 Birdie View Pt 4/4 $1.625M.
6 price changes: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $369K, 4636 Buck Key Rd 2/2 now $449K, 317 East Gulf Dr 2/2 half-duplex now $449K, 315 East Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex now $449K, 297 Ferry Landing Dr 3/3 now $1.295M, 2514 Blind Pass Ct 4/3/2 now $1.425M.
No new sales.
4 closed sales: 2098 Wild Lime Dr 2/2 $280K, 989 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 $550K, 981 Main St 4/2.5 $562K, 1266 Isabel Dr 3/3 $1.7M.
1 new listing: 1182 Sand Castle Rd $199.9K.
2 price changes: 1336 Eagle Run Dr now $245K, 1311 Par View Dr now $285K.
1 new sale: 3338 West Gulf Dr listed for $410K.
No closed sales.
1 new listing: Sunset Beach Villas 2/2 $$575K.
1 price change: Lands End Village #1610 3/3 now $1.885M.
1 new sale: Bayside Villas #4212 1/2 listed for $275K.
No closed sales.
1 new listing: 16249 Captiva Dr 3/2.5 $2.375M.
No price changes, 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.