The December Fun Continues on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

SanCapAssnLogoWith the holidays fast approaching and folks scurrying to prepare, this week there likewise was a sudden flurry of real estate activity on Sanibel.

Several sales were announced at our Association of Realtors® weekly Caravan Meeting yesterday, while later in the day SanibelSusan got the listing paperwork signed on a home in The Sanctuary which will be posted as a new listing next week. At about the same time, two offers were received on two properties that we have listed. Those too are “in the works”! Season may be here early. We sure hope so!

The action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service follow a couple of news items below. You will notice that we have a new listing on Martha’s Lane too. Below are a few photos:

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Realtors® Support Friends Who Care Toy Drive

Kiwanis santaFriends Who Care, Inc. has been assisting island residents since 1983, providing for children and adults in crisis situations, and working anonymously through information from local churches and schools. Again this year, the islands Association of Realtors® joined the effort by donating, collecting, and buying toys/gift cards which were presented to this non-profit at our meeting yesterday. The items will be sorted, wrapped, and ultimately delivered on December 23 to those in need by The Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club Santa Run. Big thank you to teammate Elise’s kiddos, Payton and Ryan, who did the toy shopping for SanibelSusan’s donations this year!

Real Estate’s Most Loyal Age Group

bloomberg businessweekMy experience shows that this is the trend on Sanibel and Captiva too. This is what “Bloomberg Businessweek” had to say on Monday about real estate’s most loyal age group:

“Americans age 65 and over are holding onto home ownership instead of downsizing into rentals or moving to senior centers, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. Indeed, the largest jump in buyers this year was among people between the ages of 65 and 74. This age segment increased to 13% of all buyers from 10% a year earlier, according to National Association of REALTORS® data.

“”They want to remain as home owners now because it represents stability, so they don’t have to deal with generating fluctuating payments for rent,” says Chris Mayer, a real estate professor at Columbia University Business School in New York. Even during the housing crisis, the home ownership rate for Americans 65 and over stayed around 80% while it dropped for every other age group, according to Census Bureau data. Since then, Americans under 35 have seen the largest decline in home ownership, falling to 36% from 48%, Census data shows.

“In 1982, the home ownership rate for every age group was higher than it was in 2013 — except for those 65 and over. “This group has been a ballast for the market,” says Chris Herbert, acting managing director at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. “If not for them, we would have seen a much lower home ownership rate overall, more homes on the market, and more weakness.”

“Seniors usually have less mortgage debt than younger home owners, greater wealth than they had four years ago, and longer lifespans than previous generations, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. For those aged 65 to 74, their median net worth rose 5% to $232,100, which is the largest gain for any age group from 2010 to 2013, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. “They have a quadruple bonus: They benefited from real estate, the best in equity and bond returns, plus higher GDP per capita growth well before the crisis during the 1980s and 1990s,” says Amlan Roy, head of global demographics and pension research for Credit Suisse Group AG’s investment bank in London. “It’s unlikely to repeat.”

“While older Americans are staying in real estate, they are carrying more mortgage debt than previous generations, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In 2010, about 40% of those over 65 were still making house payments compared to more than 70% of those 50 to 64, according to a report earlier this year by the Joint Center for Housing Studies.”

Older Americans are indeed a pillar of the housing market!

Six Features in Demand Among Luxury Buyers

In Refin’s blog this week, an article says:

REDFIN logo“Luxury sales have been soaring in recent months, outpacing the rest of the housing market. Deals on existing homes priced above $1 million climbed more than 16% in October compared to a year ago, according to National Association of REALTORS® housing data. The increase was bigger than that of any other price segment.

“So what home features are these luxury buyers on the hunt for in their million-dollar–plus homes? The real estate brokerage Redfin recently uncovered some trends in home features and interior designs by looking at what’s in demand among their luxury clients as well as what’s trending on luxury listings. Here are some of the luxury home design trends they noticed driving 2014:

  1. Luxury showers: Forget the Jacuzzi tub. The luxury buyer wants a luxurious shower. “Since most people take more showers than baths, they want to have a stand-alone shower with multiple shower heads,” notes Charlie Baker, a Redfin real estate professional in San Diego.
  2. Fire pits by pools: Fire pits and gas fireplaces beside a pool are gaining in popularity, says Roseann Cossman, a Redfin real estate professional in Phoenix. “One quick way to warm up after a dip in the pool is to curl up next to a fire, and now that fire is just steps away,” Crossman says.
  3. Tasting rooms: Wine cellars are no longer a dark place in a basement or a closet. Home owners are placing more in living areas to host tastings with friends.
  4. White kitchen cabinets: High-end kitchens with cabinets in white, gray, or black with matching or contrasting countertops are gaining in popularity among the luxury market, notes Anna Schwoerer, a Redfin real estate professional in Virginia. Meanwhile, natural-colored wood cabinets are on their way out, she says.
  5. Quartz countertops: Luxury properties are showing more quartz or sandstone in countertops and making granite countertops look more outdated, says Jordan Clarke, a Redfin real estate professional in San Diego. “Quartz comes with a few benefits over granite; it is not as porous and therefore requires less maintenance, it is less prone to staining, and it is better able to withstand abuses during its lifetime,” Clarke says.
  6. Grand powder rooms: The powder room is getting a big makeover. These half-baths are getting more attention and fancier with elaborate mirrors, sinks, and lighting fixtures.”

Island Events & Festivities Continue 

Sanibelcityseal logoA news release from the City today included info on a couple of special events this weekend.

Here is the scoop on those events and some others occurring this weekend on Sanibel and Captiva.

Today (12/12)

6-9 p.m.            Grand opening of the South Seas Holiday Stroll

Tomorrow (12/13)

10 a.m.-3 p.m.   Art on the Veranda at Bailey’s Center

4:30 p.m.          Junkanoo Parade on Captiva in the village

5:30-7:30 p.m.   Captiva Lighted boat parade, view from McCarthy’s, Jensens’, Green Flash, ‘Tween Waters

6-9 p.m.            South Seas Holiday Stroll

8 p.m.               Boat parade after-party at Captiva’s Keylime Bistro

Sunday (12/14)

8.a.m.-1 p.m.     Sanibel Island Farmers Market on City Hall Grounds

6-7 p.m.            Captiva Community Carol Sing at Chapel by the Sea

BIG ARTS Community Chorus Holiday Concert

BIG-ARTS-Community-chorus-holiday-concert-2009It was great to see teammates, colleagues, client, and friends in the audience at our BIG ARTS Community Chorus Holiday Concert on Tuesday night.

If you like the “12 Days of Christmas” song, below is the final verse of the rendition that we sang during the concert. Words were written by chorus-mate, Mike Bugler. It’s fun!

‘Twas the twelfth day of Christmas,

On Sanibel, by the sea

I saw Twelve Dolphins Dancing

Eleven Lighthouse Lookers

Ten Pelicans Plunging

Nine No-See-Ump Swatters

Eight Tourists Tanning

Seven Shellers Shelling

Six Billy’s Bikers

Five Man-a-tees

Four Wading Birds

Three Fishing Men

Two Turtle Tracks

And a Gator in the Sanc-tu-ary!

White_Christmas_(musical)Chorus-mate, Dick Brown, Dad to author Dan Brown, also composed his own verbiage for the familiar Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”.

With a few of the verses changed for some soloists dressed in different attire, it drew a few laughs from the audience too.

Soloist (a Sanibel gal):

The sun is shining, the sea is blue,

The orange & palm trees sway.

There’s never been such a day

In Sanibel U.S.A.

But it’s December the twenty-fourth,

And I’m longing to be up north.


I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

Just like the ones I used to know,

Where the treetops glisten

And children listen

To hear, sleigh bells in the snow.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

With ev’ry Christmas card I write.

May your days be merry and bright,

And may all your Christmases be white.

Soloist (in heavy winter clothing):

I’ve had it with this white Christmas,

I’ve had enough of all this snow.

I’m so tired of my wool coat,

My runny nose & sore throat,

And spreading flu ‘neath mistletoe.



We really love our grandchildren

Although two weeks with them’s a lot.

Oh, to be on Captiva, on a yacht,

Where all our Christmases are hot!

Soloist (island couple in beach attire):

There’s nothing like a green Christmas,

Not like the ones we used to know.

Instead of ice-chipping,

We’ll go skinny-dipping,

And dream of never shov’ling snow!


We’re dreaming of a green Christmas,

With sunny skies & a warm beach scene.

May your days be merry and serene

And may all your Christmases be green!

I’m dreaming of a warm New Year

With all my friends on Sanibel

Where I’ll walk the beach

And maybe reach

To find a rare junonia shell.

I’m dreaming of a warm New Year

With all my friends so dear & swell,

Where my soul is happy, & I’m well,

With all my friends on Sanibel.


Stinton: News Corp Deal Is a ‘Global Play’ logosThis article posted on-line yesterday on “Daily Real Estate News” elaborates on the recent acquisition of Realtor®.com by News Corp:

“National Association of Realtors® “NAR CEO Dale Stinton talked about the global opportunities that could come out of News Corp’s acquisition of Move Inc. in a wide-ranging interview he gave on Real Estate Coaching Radio earlier this week.

“”What’s missing [when people talk about the News Corp acquisition] is that this is going to be a global play,” Stinton told radio host Tim Harris. “This is the first time you’ve seen the largest trade association in the world, combined with the No. 3 portal in the space, matched up with a platinum-level media company that knows how to deliver messaging and branding to the public. That triumvirate is a very strong, unique basis for approaching the consumer.”

“One thing people often forget, Stinton said, is that NAR has global reach, too—relationships with more than 80 cooperating real estate associations around the world. While Stinton said it was too difficult to predict exactly what changes News Corp would make, creating a much better consumer experience and getting® back into the No. 1 position are top priorities.

“Stinton called the News Corp acquisition one of the milestone events during his 31-year career with the association. Others included the creation of® during the formative years of the Internet, the decision to marshal REALTOR® Party resources to advocate on the state and local level, and NAR’s eight-year, ultimately successful, campaign to prevent banks from owning real estate companies. “Imagine what the [financial] crisis would have looked like if banks had been in real estate,” he said.

Among other topics Stinton touched on were the association’s efforts to set REALTORS® apart from non-member licensees in consumers’ minds and increasing the availability of safe, affordable mortgage credit.”

Loan Defaults Plunge to Pre-Recession Levels

real estate daily newsThis is good news, also posted on “Daily Real Estate News”, on Wednesday:

“More home owners are keeping up with their mortgage payments. The nationwide mortgage loan delinquency rate — the number of borrowers 60 or more days past due on their mortgage — is projected to drop to 3.12% by the end of this year. By 2015, TransUnion researchers predict, the delinquency rate will reach 2.51%, the lowest level since reaching 2.61% in the third quarter of 2007, prior to the Great Recession.

“Mortgage delinquencies peaked in the first quarter of 2010 at 6.93%. Since then, the delinquency rate has steadily been dropping.

““We expect the national mortgage loan delinquency rate to continue its decline throughout 2015, marking four consecutive years of quarterly decreases,” says Steve Chaouki, head of financial services for TransUnion. “We anticipate interest rates to remain relatively low next year and unemployment rates to continue their decline, both of which should help fuel home sales and improve consumers’ ability to pay.

“Foreclosures are also expected to continue to funnel through the legal system in 2015, which will reduce delinquencies that have been lingering for some time,” he continues. “All of these factors will contribute to a further decline in mortgage delinquencies.”

“Nevertheless, TransUnion researchers project that while delinquencies will likely fall to precession levels, they likely will remain above the historic norm of 1.5 to 2%.  Delinquencies had started to rise prior to the recession.

“TransUnion predicts that 33 states will have delinquency rates lower than 2.5% by the end of next year.

“The largest mortgage delinquency rate drops likely will occur in Nevada (dropping from 4.65% to 2.97%); Georgia (falling from 3.31% to 1.92%); Maryland (falling from 4.17% to 2.83%); and Illinois (down from 3.37% to 2.17%), according to TransUnion’s report.

“On the other hand, delinquency increases are projected to occur in only three states: Idaho (rising from 2.16% to 2.44%); Massachusetts (inching up from 3.18% to 3.265) and North Dakota (up from 0.97% to 1.02%).”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 5-12



3 new listings: Seashells #27 2/2 $323K, Sanibel Arms West #B5 2/2 $499K, Loggerhead Cay #202 2/2 $559.9K.

2 price changes: Colonnades #44 now $189.5K, Lighthouse Point #219 2/2 now $449.8K.

4 new sales: Spanish Cay #A6 1/1 listed for $259.7K, Sanibel Surfside #133 2/2 listed for $849K, Pointe Santo #A2 2/2 listed for $849K, Wedgewood #204 1/1 listed for $2,225,555.

4 closed sales: Colonnades #1 1/1 $185K, Sundial #C307 1/1 $305K, Sundial #I203 1/1 $359K, Sandalfoot #5A3 2/2 $820K.


8 new listings: 744 Martha’s Ln 2/2 $479K (our listing), 963 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $599.9K, 1024 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 duplex $649K, 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $700K, 5406 Osprey Ct 3/2 $779K, 4037 Coquina Dr 3/3 $848K, 1429 Sanderling Cir 3/3.5 $1.575M, 2984 Wulfert Rd 4/3 $2.2M.

4 price changes: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $349K, 1452 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex now $359K, 3001 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 now $449K (short sale), 6111 SanibelCaptiva Rd 5/4/3 now $18.95M.

6 new sales: 2407 Shop Rd 2/1 listed for $339K; 4599 Brainard Bayou 3/2/2 listed for $529K; 1674 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed for $549K, 490 Christine Rd 2/2 listed for $569,555; 1800 Woodring Rd 2/2 listed for $1.349M, 2302 Wulfert Rd 4/5 listed for $1.449M.

3 closed sales: 705 Oliva St 3/2 $747.5K, 1339 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $950K, 784 Birdie View Pt 4/4 $1.615M.


1 new listing: Pine Ave $200K.

4 price changes: 9239 Dimmick Dr now $149K, 1299 Par View Dr now $229K, 1336 Eagle Run Dr now $245K, 6486 Pine Ave now $379.9K (foreclosure).

3 new sales: 864 Birdie View Pt listed for $349.5K, 860 Birdie View Pt listed for $389K, 1540 San Carlos Bay Dr listed for $1.195M.

No closed sales.



Nothing to report.

1 new listing: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $2.795M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

1 new listing: 11545 Wightman Ln $1.345M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

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, happy weekend wishes to all,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan