All’s well again this week on sunny Sanibel Island.
It has continued to be unseasonably warm and there were a few showers on Tuesday while SanibelSusan was out showing property. Rumor has it that a cooler/dryer front arrives this weekend for a couple of days, when temperatures will drop all the way down to the low 80’s during the day, but back into the mid-80’s next week.
SanibelSusan Realty Happenings
Several of our listings had good showings this week. I showed several condos at both Sanibel Moorings as well Mariner Pointe and wrote a sight-unseen offer that was accepted on a canal-front pool home.
Yesterday, there was a Realtor Caravan meeting followed by tour of new listings. Only four new listings were held open which is fewer than usual for this time of the year. The SanibelSusan Team held open our new listing at Coquina Beach #3G.
Below are a few news items followed by the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.
Upcoming Island Events
Check out the “Upcoming Island Events” tab on www.SanibelSusan.com for a complete list. Here are some scheduled this month:
Tomorrow – Nov 14 – 2nd Annual Sanibel-Captiva Lions Club Eye Ball – at The Community House from 5 to 9 p.m. with all proceeds going directly to charity. This year, they will go to SE Guide Dogs.
Tomorrow – Nov 14 – Wines In The Wild – SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s) annual wine tasting fundraiser with silent and live auctions. Held at the SSCF Nature Center from 6 to 8 p.m., call SCCF for reservations (472-2329). Tickets $75 in advance or $85 at the door.
Mon – Nov 16 – “A Home of Our Own” – F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva, Inc. open house to introduce their new building and provide info on what F.I.S.H. does for the community, 2430 Periwinkle Way from 1 to 3:30 p.m.
Tues – Nov 17 – SanCap Solar Connect Solar Community Meeting – Residents of Sanibel and Captiva Islands will be able to realize savings on solar energy conversion through the collective buying power of SanCap Solar Connect, an initiative designed by “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS). Based on a number of successful initiatives in other states, it is the first-ever community-driven solarize program in Florida. The next informational Solar Community meeting will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 5:30 p.m. in the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center auditorium. Refreshments will be available. No reservations are necessary to attend the meeting. Another meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 3, at the same time and place. Representatives from Urban Solar, SanCap Solar Connect’s installation partner, and DDWS will be on hand at the meeting to explain how the program works and answer questions. Residents and businesses will be able to schedule free, no-commitment analyses with Urban Solar to receive a bid for installation costs and information on the advantages of a solar energy system. Go online at www.SanCapSolarConnect.org to sign up for a free evaluation or to receive informational emails.
Wed – Nov 18 – CASI Breakfast – Condominium Associations of Sanibel, Inc. upcoming breakfast meeting at The Sanctuary Clubhouse at 8 a.m. will include a presentation of the results of a study commissioned by the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau about how improvements to accommodations increase revenues. Cost is $15 for condo board members and staff, $25 for all others. Call 239-334-2138 for reservations. (Sanibel property managers have said that their owners who have renovated have seen rental revenues increase $35K to $50K a year.)
Sat & Sun – Nov 21 & 22 – Concerts to Raise Awareness for Water Quality – Musicians J. Robert Houghtaling, Brent Moyer, and Austin Church will perform on Sat at Jensen’s Twin Palm Marina from 4 to 6 p.m. Then on Sun from 1 to 3 p.m. on the porch of SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Nature Center. Along with music, SCCF scientists and policy staff will be on hand to answer questions about their studies and current issues in the water in the Caloosahatchee River and the estuaries cradled by Sanibel and Captiva.
Sat – Nov 28 – Free ‘Ding’ Darling Kids Fishing Derby casts off on causeway Nov. 28. Kids who are able to hold their own fishing pole are invited to participate in the free 4th annual “Ding” Darling Kids Fishing Derby to be held at the Sanibel Causeway Islands Park (Island A) on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015. J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) cosponsor the event. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. on the causeway, and ages 15 and younger start fishing at 9 a.m. and finish at 11 a.m. Awards ceremony is at 11:30. Judges will record catches during the fishing session. Once the results are tallied, they will award winners in two age groups: 10 to 15, and 9 and younger. Based upon total inches of fish caught, the refuge will award first, second, and third place prizes, plus awards for the largest and smallest fish hooked in both age categories. Participants should bring fishing poles, but the refuge will provide a limited number of loaner poles for those who do not have their own equipment. Bait will be provided. Throughout the day, volunteers and staff will teach fishing skills and safe, ethical fishing practices. The event is made possible also by support from the Trophy Case, Sanibel Island Fishing Club, and Lee County Parks & Recreation.
News Corp Upbeat on Real Estate
“In its latest earning call, media giant News Corp, also the owner of realtor.com®, singled out its stake in housing market investments as the bright spot in its earnings. News Corp’s income from continuing operations reached $143 million in the first quarter compared to $109 million in the prior year
““News Corp is on track in its transition to a more digital and global future, having successfully integrated several recent acquisitions and built a powerful platform for future growth,” said Robert Thomson, News Corp chief executive, on a recent earnings call. “We are focused on driving sustainable expansion of revenue and profit, and leveraging the potency of our brands, while diligently controlling costs to maximize long-term returns for all investors.”
“News Corp’s largest revenue generating segment, news and information services, provided the largest drag on revenue in the first quarter. But its profits were buoyed by a strengthening housing market.
“News Corp, owner of such titles as The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, acquired Move Inc. and realtor.com® in November 2014, firming up its stake in the real estate arena. News Corp also has a majority ownership of the REA Group Ltd., a leading Australian residential property website.
“Thomson said during the call “we are particularly pleased with the momentum at realtor.com®, which is significantly ahead of schedule on key metrics.”
““We are now, by some reckoning, the world’s largest digital property listings company, and we see a particularly bright future in the sector, especially in the U.S. where we believe the national real estate market is still returning to health,” he said.
“In News Corp’s Digital Real Estate Services sector, revenues in the quarter rose $79 million or by 71% compared to the prior year. The jump in revenues was primarily due to the inclusion of the results of Move.
During the first quarter, Move’s revenues climbed 33% to $85 million from $64 million the year prior. Average monthly unique use of realtor.com®’s web and mobile sites for the quarter surged 43% year-over-year to about 46 million. That growth was mostly attributed to a 64% increase in its mobile users.”
The Housing Recovery’s Missing Link
“The declining number of first-time home buyers in the market is the major missing piece in the housing recovery, says Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®.
“Despite an uptick in home sales over the past year, the share of first-time home buyers in the housing market dropped for the third consecutive year, and remains at its lowest point in nearly three decades, according to the NAR 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report.
“The increase in home sales over the past year has instead been driven by more repeat buyers with dual incomes, NAR’s report showed.
“The share of first-time buyers fell to 32% in this year’s survey; last year first-time home buyers represented 33% of the market share. The share of first-time home buyers this year is at its lowest point since 1987, when first-time home buyers represented 30% of the market.
“Historically, first-time home buyers typically represent nearly 40% of primary purchases.
““There are several reasons why there should be more first-time buyers reaching the market, including persistently low mortgage rates, healthy job prospects for those college-educated, and the fact that renting is becoming more unaffordable in many areas,” Yun says. “Unfortunately, there are just as many high hurdles slowing first-time buyers down. Increasing rents and home prices are impeding their ability to save for a down payment, there’s scarce inventory for new and existing-homes in their price range, and it’s still too difficult for some to get a mortgage.”
“Twenty-five percent of would-be first-time home buyers said that saving for a down payment was the most difficult task in home ownership, and 58% reported student loans in particular were delaying their ability to save.
““With a median amount of student loan debt for all buyers at $25,000, it’s likely some younger households with even higher levels of debt can’t save for an adequate down payment or have decided to delay buying until their debt is at more comfortable levels,” Yun says.
Repeat buyers were mostly using the proceeds from the sale of their primary residence as their top source for a down payment on their next home purchase – 53% this year compared to 47% last year.
““With first-time buyers stuck on the sidelines, the majority of sales activity in most parts of the country is coming from pent-up sellers taking advantage of rising home values in their neighborhoods and using their equity to trade up or move down,” says Yun.
“Married couples represented an increasing share of buyers: 67% of buyers were married couples (up from 65% last year). Married, repeat buyers have the highest income among all buyers too at $108,600.
“Meanwhile, single females have been a growing share of buyers the past few years but are showing signs of retreating. The share of single, female buyers fell from 16% to 15% in the latest survey.
““Similar to some of the obstacles facing first-time buyers, tight credit conditions and having less purchasing power than households with dual incomes likely led to the share of single-female buyers declining to its lowest since 2001 (also 15 percent),” Yun says.”
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity November 6-13
3 new listings: Seashells #28 2/2 $365K, Coquina Beach #1D 2/2 $599K, Lighthouse Point #312 3/2 $739K.
3 price changes: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-1 2/2.5 now $699K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #2-2 3/3 now $775K, Clam Shell #C 2/2 now $999K.
2 new sales: Lighthouse Point #312 3/2 listed at $739K, Compass Point #111 2/2 listed at $1.159M.
No closed sales.
5 new listings: 1125 Captains Walk St 3/3 $830K, 699 Anchor Dr 3/3 $985K, 812 Angel Wing Dr 3/3.5 $2.447M, 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 $2.475M, 1272 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 $3.575M.
3 price changes: 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 now $440K, 1380 Jamaica Dr 3/2 now $580K, 689 East Rocks Dr 3/3 now $778.5K.
3 new sales: 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $539K, 842 Limpet Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.495M (our sale), 2963 Wulfert Rd 4/6.5 listed at $2.795M.
1 closed sale: 1188 Harbor Cottage Ct 3/3 $840K.
2 new listings: 9211 Dimmick Dr $174K, 2379 Wulfert Rd $325K.
1 price change: 5290 Punta Caloosa Ct now $299K.
2 new sales: Sabal Sands Rd, lot 8 listed at $219.9K; 2462 Wulfert Rd listed at $219.9K.
1 closed sale: 1243 Par View Dr $318K.
1 new listing: Beach Homes #25 3/2 $2.395M.
3 price changes: Beach Villas #2416 1/1 now $519K, Beach Villas #2422 1/1 now $529K, Lands End Village #1665 2/2 now $1.05M.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5310 3/3 $570K.
No new listings.
2 price changes: 17130 Captiva Dr 4/4 now $3.998M, 16910 Captiva Dr 4/4 now $4.719M.
2 new sales: 11546/48 Wightman Ln 3/2.5 now $3.8M, 16660 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 now $16.5M.
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. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)
Until next Friday, here’s to more sunny days… Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan