It’s SanibelSusan reporting a few more days of island winter weather. A cold-front arrived here with a little rain on Wed evening. Since then, we’ve had bright blue skies, but temperatures only into the high 60’s yesterday, today, and tomorrow. That is great weather for showing property.
The week’s real estate activity as posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below.
No rain is the forecast for the next five days and, according to AccuWeather, with the weekend setting up as an excellent one. Today’s high will be around 68 degrees, with 65 on Saturday and 73 on Sunday.
Low tide set up perfectly for shell seeks this morning when it came in at 8: 34 a.m. Tomorrow (Sat), it will be at about 9 a.m., with high tide about 2:30 p.m.
Tonight, evening sunset on Captiva comes at 6:28 p.m., only about a minute later tomorrow night.
Upcoming Island Events
Mar 3 to 5 – 79th Annual Sanibel Shell Festival – at The Community House from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thurs and Fri, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sat.
Mar 16 – Sanibel Historical Village’s Let’s Get Historical USO Canteen Dinner & Dance – at 6 p.m. on the grounds of the historical village.
Apr 9 – Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s 5th Annual Beer in the Bushes – from 6 to 10 p.m. on the grounds of SCCF’s Nature Center.
Sales Make Gains, Prices ‘Rising Too Fast’
From yesterday’s “Realtor®Mag” on line:
“Existing-home sales kicked off 2016 on solid footing, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest housing report, released Tuesday. Existing-home sales in January moved to their highest annual rate in six months, while constrained inventory levels also pushed home prices to their fastest increase since last April, according to the report.
“All regions in the U.S. saw increases in January sales, except for the West region.
“Total existing-home sales, which encompass completed transactions for single-family homes, condos, town homes, and co-ops, inched up slightly by 0.4% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million.
“Sales are 11% higher than a year ago, which is the largest year-over-year increase since July 2013.
““The housing market has shown promising resilience in recent months, but home prices are still rising too fast because of ongoing supply constraints,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Despite the global economic slowdown, the housing sector continues to recover and will likely help the U.S. economy avoid a recession.”….
“Here’s a closer look at how existing-home sales performed across the country in January.
“Northeast: Existing-home sales rose 2.7% to an annual rate of 760,000, and are 20.6% higher than a year ago. Median price: $247,500 — 0.9% above January 2015.
“Midwest: Existing-home sales increased 4% to an annual rate of 1.30 million in January, and are 18.2% above a year ago. Median price: $164,300, up 8.7% from a year ago.
“South: Existing-home sales were at an annual rate of 2.24 million in January — unchanged from December — and are 5.7% higher than a year ago. Median price: $184,800, up 8.5% from a year ago.
“West: Existing-home sales dropped 4.1% to an annual rate of 1.17 million in January, but remain 8.3% higher than a year ago. Median price: $309,400, 7.4% above January 2015.”
Southwest Florida Housing Market Has Slowed – and That’s Good
Narrowing the field down to just Southwest Florida, here’s an article posted on line at FloridaRealtors®. It came from ”The Naples Daily News”:
“The housing market is showing signs of slowing and local experts say that’s OK. Home resales are slowing – and so are land sales for new homes and developments.
“We’re in the middle of a downshift in the marketplace. And it’s a good thing,” said Denny Grimes, president of Denny Grimes & Co. in Fort Myers. Grimes was one of three expert speakers at Market Watch 2016, sponsored by the News-Press and held at the Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers on Tuesday night. All agreed the housing market is changing in a big way, sharing their thoughts on the future of real estate with a sold-out crowd in the hundreds.
“Generally speaking, home resales started falling from Sarasota to Naples in the last two to three months of 2015, Grimes said. “It’s kind of across the board,” he said. “We saw sales down in Lee County 30% in January.”
So what gives? While the roads are full, as they usually are in season, and buyers are out looking for houses, he said, the consumer confidence tank is “low on fuel.”
“Part of the low confidence, he said, is “our fault,” with home prices rising too quickly. “We have seen tremendous price increases in the last two or three years and we are pricing ourselves out of a lot of the market. You can ask for more, but buyers won’t pay it,” Grimes said.
“There are a few exceptions. The luxury market in Naples is still going strong, with the volume of resales rising 18% in the more than $5 million price category and 11% in the $1 million to $5 million segment in 2015, over 2014.
“”I think the luxury market and ultra-luxury market is being driven by people saying, ‘If not now, when?'” he said.
It’s clear the “Louis Vuitton” market of Port Royal in Naples, he said, is different, with 37 existing homes selling there last year, generating more than $300 million in sales, for an average price of about $8 million. Homes don’t really go “on sale” there, he said. “You want to be in Port Royal? You pay the price and you come,” Grimes said. “That is an anomaly. I can’t find that type of behavior anywhere else. It may be the only place on the Gulf Coast of Florida like that, which speaks highly for that area.”
“Except for the ultra-luxury market, he predicts home price growth will slow down this year, and could even retreat a little bit. “We have to slow down. We are going too fast for our own good,” Grimes said.
“Randy Thibaut, president of Land Solutions Inc. in Fort Myers, agrees a slowdown is needed, coming from a different angle. Last year, new home permits soared in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties. Builders pulled about 13,000 permits in the three counties, for a 44% increase over 2014. Lee saw the biggest increase and that was driven mostly by a boom in apartment construction.
“Apartments are in higher demand because of the rising home prices. First-time buyers are still looking for homes priced at $200,000 to $250,000, which can be found in very few places in Southwest Florida, Thibaut said.
“In Collier County, the median home price – the price at which half the homes sell for more, and half for less – rose to $430,000 in December. For that reason, it makes sense that Maple Ridge at Ave Maria, where there are still homes available for less than $300,000, was the top selling subdivision last year in all three counties, he said. “The reason why is price and value,” Thibaut said. “So it’s one of the last places people can get a value.”
Some of the buyers in Maple Ridge are coming from the east coast of Florida, and commuting back and forth to their same jobs over there because they can get more home for their money in Ave Maria and they often have a shorter drive than they would on Interstate 95. Thibaut described the trend as mind boggling. “Wow,” he said. “That is crazy.”
“Land prices for residential development now exceed where they were in 2005 at the “peak of the peak,” which is giving builders reason to pause, Thibaut said. “We are seeing builders, developers and equity firms starting to tap the brakes on land transactions because the prices in some cases, in a lot of cases, have gotten to the point where they can’t meet buyers’ price demand requirements and are pushing the limit to still make margins,” he said.
“The pause is good for many reasons, Thibaut said. “We have a great shortage of labor and we are having a tough time meeting the demand for the sales and products that are being built and permitted,” he said.
Some builders have already noticed a slowing demand for new homes, with several starting to offer incentives to entice buyers to purchase the inventory. One of the areas where that is happening is in the Immokalee Road corridor in North Naples, which has seen a surge in new construction over the past few years.
“High-rise condominium construction is back, with five projects planned or under construction from Naples to Estero, and it will be something to watch this year, along with continued apartment construction, which one speaker described as “white hot,” especially in Lee County. “Apartments are really pulling the market,” said Stan Stouder, a commercial real estate broker with CRE Consultants in Fort Myers.
“He showed a picture of a tugboat pulling a big cargo ship to bring home his point. In Southwest Florida, he said, 2,557 apartment units will be built this year, twice the number as last year, Stouder said. Apartments aren’t just attracting students, but millennials with too much student debt and not enough money for a down payment, would-be buyers with bad credit, and even boomers who can no longer afford the hefty home prices.
“”Boomers are coming in great waves,” Stouder said. “But they are less affluent. So their pension plans might have been wiped out, their 401ks might have gone down. Their houses may be selling now, but selling for less than they hoped they could get. They still want to come to Florida. Maybe they can’t afford a second home, but they can afford to rent an apartment.””
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity February 19-26, 2016
3 new listings: Beach Road Villa #105 2/2 $434K, Mariner Pointe #522 2/2 $519K, Kings Crown #208 2/2 $825K.
6 price changes: Sanibel Arms West #J4 2/2 now $429K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-1 2/2.5 now $645K, Sanibel Inn #3522 2/2 now $699K, Lighthouse Point #325 2/2 now $830K, Compass Point #151 3/2 now $1.195M, Golden Beach #2 3/2.5 now $1.499M.
4 new sales: Mariner Pointe #1073 2/2 listed at $454.5K, Shell Island Beach Club #5A 2/2 listed at $864.9K, Tanglewood #3 3/3 listed at $1.595M, High Tide #A301 2/2 listed at $1.895M.
2 closed sales: Sundial West #H103 2/2 $415K, Tigua Cay #489 3/3.5 $2M.
10 new listings: 1635 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $489K; 3301 Twin Lakes Ln 2/2 $599K; 4648 Buck Key Rd 3/2 $679K; 1133 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $699K; 5299 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/3 $799K; 1724 Bunting Ln 3/4 $1.089M; 746 Windlass Way 4/3 $1.149M; 6011 Clam Bayou Ln 3/3 $1.395M; 4353 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2.5 $1,478,999; 584 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3.5 $1.995M.
8 price changes: 2407 Shop Rd 3/1 now $354K, 575 Piedmont Rd 3/2 now $490K, 5267 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $794K, 3335 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $799K, 1321 Par View Dr 3/2.5 now $899K, 1121 Skiff Pl 3/3 now $1.095M, 1238 Isabel Dr 5/3/2 now $3.965M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 3/4 now $3.995M.
9 new sales: 1490 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $515K, 441 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 listed at $599K, 1113 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $639.9K, 1460 Court Pl 6/5.5 listed at $649K, 1970 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 listed at $699K, 577 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $769K, 595 Birdsong Pl 4/2 listed at $849K, 1328 Seaspray Ln 4/4 listed at $849K, 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 listed at $2.395M.
1 closed sale: 693 Emeril Ct 3/3 $660K.
2 new listings: 2310 Wulfert Rd $339K; 5830 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $399,555.
No price changes, new, or closed sales.
1 new listing: Sunset Beach Villas #2318 2/2 $595K.
1 price change: Bayside Villas #4302 3/3 now $605K.
2 new sales: Beach Homes #29 4/4 listed at $2.5M, Beach Homes #27 5/3 listed at $2.599M.
No closed sales.
No new listings.
2 price changes: 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $3.495M, 13550 Palmflower Ln 4/3.5 now $4.495M.
4 new sales: 11515 Murmound Ln 3/3 listed at $1.494M, 11525 Chapin Ln 4/4 listed at $1.495M, 11535 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 listed at $2.339M, 16251 Captiva Dr 7/4.5 listed at $2.495M.
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.)
Enjoy your weekend, folks, wherever you are!
The last February 2016 island weekend is going to be terrific!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan