There were not a lot of happy folks in Southwest Florida this morning as heavy rain and high winds passed through the area for the second Friday in a row, bringing less than ideal weather for the weekend. The storms are connected to the larger weather system that is expected to blanket the Northeast with snow and blizzard conditions. Thankfully, we just have to dodge a little water here.
Flights out of RSW heading to many northern cities were delayed and canceled, while downed power lines on Estero Blvd in Fort Myers Beach stopped traffic in both directions for several hours. In addition to the heavy rain today, the area is expected to experience strong offshore winds and higher tides through tomorrow with the region cooler over the weekend as temperatures will drop into the 60’s. Maybe the shelling will again be great after the storms pass.
SanibelSusan Realty Scoop
Our successful semi-annual mailing to 7000+ island property owners and prospective buyers is in process. If you too would like a copy of our handy booklet summarizing all of the real estate sold on the islands so for the last few years, including what is for sale now, contact us at Susan@SanibelSusan.com or call 239-472-HOME(4663) or 888-603-0603.
Since last Friday, our new listing at Sandpiper Beach went under contract in record time, several other listings had showings, and we continue to get good walk-in traffic.
Few if any accommodations are available on island, though we continue to get multiple inquiries every week. I heard today that the rental organizations were swamped with phone calls because renters leaving tomorrow have had flights canceled, while some incoming tenants expect to be stranded at home and don’t know when they will arrive. Days like this make us happy that we don’t manage any rentals. Though we want to help and will offer recommendations whenever we can. It is listing and selling real estate that is our forte.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors
Yesterday was the Association’s West-End Caravan with just a handful of Captiva properties open for viewing. A few new listings and sales were announced, though not as many as post holidays.
The activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.
Sanibel’s Well-Timed Traffic Attack Getting a Buzz
A report in the “Santiva-Chronicle” earlier in the week had a nice summation of recent island traffic news:
“The City of Sanibel chose Monday to launch its traffic publicity campaign. It’s part of the traffic battle plan. Like a good battle plan it was timed and it attacked on several fronts.
“On Monday morning, Martin Luther King Day in the middle of January, the City simultaneously released a new video and flyer that warn the daytrippers of the folly of taking an in-season afternoon drive across the causeway to Sanibel and Captiva. Mayor Kevin Ruane does the video and he signed the flyer. All of it is now available front and center at mysanibel.com. A few hours later on Monday the mayor distributed an opinion piece to the area press that says the same thing.
“The timing couldn’t be better. Southwest Florida is heading into the peak of the tourist season. Sanibel decided, correctly, that now is the time to put the word out to the potential daytrippers, and just importantly to the places where the daytrippers stay. Don’t try to come to Sanibel on a whim. Plan it. Stay here, “for a few days, or a few weeks,” as Ruane says in the video.
“Only time will tell how much impact the new campaign will have. It’s getting some immediate buzz. The mayor’s piece and the Santiva Chronicle’s story about the traffic initiative both created traffic on the website, with the help of Facebook and Twitter. The Chronicle is widely seen both on and off the island, which is what the city wants.
“News-press.com has a good story today based on Monday’s releases from the city. Likewise, WINK News has an excellent report. It interviews Ruane and has plenty of footage to show that the island speaks the truth when it comes to traffic.
“If you must drive, if you cannot stay for days or weeks, then “come early, stay late.” When here, park it, ride a bike and walk. All of this can help. And it applies to residents also. Islanders have become reluctantly hardened to traffic. The city is asking them to pick their spots when they travel around their own island.
“Let’s not kid ourselves. This isn’t going to eliminate traffic. The City Council, its many partners in the traffic initiative and all Islanders wish it would, but it won’t. But it can help. With 13,000 vehicles coming across the causeway daily during season, maybe a few thousand of them can be coached.”
16 Real Estate Trends for 2016
Here is some news as posted on-line last night by the Fort Myers News-Press.com:
“From office space to man caves, CCIM’s (Certified Commercial Investment Members) 2016 Commercial Real Estate Outlook Conference delivered the state of the state.
“For the 16th year running, CCIM Institute hosted a blue ribbon panel of demographic, market and real estate investment experts Thursday to preview what’s ahead for commercial real estate in 2016.
“From the opening salvo – “Florida is positioned for 60 months of wonderful real estate opportunities” – here are 16 takeaways from their wide-ranging analysis of local and Florida-wide markets.
- How will downtown Fort Myers overcome crime-averse investors? High quality, economic development.
- Collier and Lee counties could become a combined metropolitan statistical area in 2016 because of their employment and infrastructure ties.
- Infill projects are big in almost every Florida market.
- In the Great Recession, housing supply outstripped demand times two in Lee County. Going forward, all markets are balanced, except in high seasonal population centers.
- Punta Gorda is drawing people to Charlotte County. “The city is new. You don’t find that often.”
- Boomers moving here aren’t as wealthy as we would hope. “Thirty-six percent will be living on Social Security alone. We need to build smaller and less expensive.”
- Snowbirds are coming to Southwest Florida earlier and staying longer. “We may be transitioning from a seasonal market.”
- People are paying a premium for well-located commercial properties. In Naples, a small strip opposite Mercado leased for $242/square foot. In Miami-Dade County, people pay almost $5,000/square foot to be on Lincoln Road.
- Retailers will need more distribution facilities as they switch to an Amazon model.
- Commercial rents, especially for small flex spaces of 10,000 to 20,000 square foot, have become challenging. It will drive up rates and spur new construction.
- Man caves — a space to store one’s cars and hang out — are a growing flex space trend. The caves are driving up flex space costs for traditional users.
- The sale-to-asking price for Lee County commercial properties in all categories is close to 90%, compared with 74 to 77% in 2010.
- Population growth will continue to support the growth of real estate in 2016. The market will remain stable in 2016, with more institutional and foreign investment.
- Lending standards will tighten again in 2016, causing some market pull-back, but nothing like what we saw in the last cycle.
- Banks have “plenty of money to lend. We are competitive and we are hungry for deals.”
- A rising interest rate is always a roadblock. The rising rate environment will price some people out who might be looking for the next bigger space or a step up in location.”
Market Unrest Pushes Down Mortgage Rates
We knew this was coming – good news for those buyers needing financing – as posted this afternoon on “Daily Real Estate News”:
“For the third consecutive week, mortgage rates edged down, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage continuing its run below 4%, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.
“”The Freddie Mac mortgage rate survey had difficulty keeping up with market events this week,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The 30-year mortgage rate dropped 11 basis points to 3.81%, the lowest rate in three months. This drop reflected weak inflation and nonstop financial market turbulence that is driving investors to the safe haven of Treasuries. However, the survey was largely complete prior to Wednesday’s Treasury rally that drove the yield on the 10-year Treasury below 2%, down 29 basis points since the end of 2015.”
“Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Jan. 21:
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.81%, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 3.92% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.63%.
- 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.1%, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 3.19% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.93%.
- 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.91%, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.01% average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.83%.
Source: Freddie Mac”
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 15-22, 2016
4 new listings: Seashells of Sanibel #38 2/2 $395K, Loggerhead Cay #574 2/2 $569K, Island Beach Club #210B 2/2 $599K, St.Croix #4 2/2.5 $985K.
3 price changes: Lighthouse Point #217 2/2 now $555K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-1 2/2.5 now $665K, Sanibel Seaview #C3 4/4 now $1.749M.
6 new sales: Casa Blanca #6 1/1 listed at $250K, Sand Pointe #213 2/2 listed at $635K, Sandpiper Beach #101 2/2 listed at $799K (our listing), Kimball Lodge #306 2/2 listed at $989K, Snug Harbor #121 3/2 listed at 4998K, Sunset South #5A 2/2 listed at $1.195M.
5 closed sales: Blind Pass #E206 2/2.5 $400K, Sanibel Moorings #1422 2/2 $400K, Sanibel Arms West #M8 2/2 $500K, Island Beach Club #P2E 2/2 $1.039M, Nutmeg Village #113 2/2 $1.025M.
5 new listings: 1970 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 $699K, 480 Peachtree Rd 3/3 $799K, 5753 Pine Tree Dr 3/4 $998K, 2939 Wulfert Rd 5/6 $1.895M, 3421 West Gulf Dr 5/4.5 $6.975M.
4 price changes: 1258 Par View Dr 3/2 now $775K, 1321 Par View Dr 3/2.5 now $924K, 532 Sea Oats Dr 3/4 now $1.275M, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 now $3.599M.
2 new sales: 450 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $549K, 513 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $825K.
No sold listings.
2 new listings: 667 Birdie View Pt $349K, 5723 Baltusrol Ct $394K.
1 price change: 3723 West Gulf Dr $2.775M.
No new or closed sales.
1 new listing: Beach Villas #2632 2/2 $710K.
No new price changes.
1 new sale: Ventura Captiva #1B 3/3 listed at $1.195M.
No closed sales.
1 new listing: 11535 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 $2.339M.
1 price change: 16464 Captiva Dr 8/8.5 now $6.795M.
No 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. 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.)
Here’s hoping next Friday is sunny!
Whoops, you’ve gotta love Florida weather.
The sun just came out…at 4:35 p.m. on 1/22/2016!
Let’s hope it continues!
Happy weekend, everyone! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan