All is well again this week at SanibelSusan Realty. Another seven days of beautiful sunny warm weather have kept most visitors busy with outdoor activities. The following photos, I snapped with my cell phone this morning at Beach Access #6 on Sanibel’s West Gulf Drive.
Below are a few news items, followed by the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.
Realtors June Membership Meeting
Yesterday was the June monthly breakfast membership meeting at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®, a good opportunity for me to announce our new listing at Casa Ybel Resort. The condo was photographed professionally this week so it now is officially on the market.
The following slide show includes the unit and several resort amenities. Click the “Cottage Colony West #136” tab above for more details and a streaming video. This beach-front condo grossed over $92K last year in the easy on-site rental program.
The educational part of yesterday’s Realtor® meeting was a presentation by Sanibel City Manager, Judie Zimomra, and Lt. Bill Dalton of the Sanibel Police Department. Covering “hurricane season preparedness”, they offered some good and timely advice. Here are some of my take-aways:
Lt. Dalton described a study which determined the five areas of the nation that are the hardest to leave during a mandatory evacuation. Here are the worst five – a good example of when it’s not good to be in 1st position – but our area is, so this is a good reminder to leave early when a storm is heading this way.
- Southwest Florida – because of few east/west roadways & limited north/south evacuation routes.
- Tampa Bay area – high population & also few ways of egress
- Maryland/Northern Virginia/DC area – population
- New York/New Jersey – population
- Southeast Florida – population.
Another interesting tidbit is that there is a Lee County ordinance that says all county bridges must be closed when wind speed reaches 40 mph. That info brought a question from the floor which was “How do we get over the Caloosahatchee River bridges after leaving the islands.” Answer: “Leave early – before they are closed.” Yikes! That may be a good reason to leave when evacuation is recommended, but before it is mandatory.
Hurricane Charley in 2004 brought high wind to Southwest Florida. (Lt. Dalton reported that the City wind gauge broke when it recorded 143 mph, so the exact top wind speed is unknown.) Charley was a relatively small fast- moving storm. When compared to other larger and slower-moving past storms, if Charley had stayed longer, the storm surge here could have been as much as 17-23 feet, and damage could have covered a much broader area. Good reason to check your insurance coverage now! Hurricane season has begun!
If you are interested in receiving emergency Sanibel notifications, go to the City’s website at www.MySanibel.com and click on the link in the right hand column called “Code Red”. Code Red, Rapid Emergency Notification System, is an emergency telephone network which will text, call, or email you with information whenever the City turns the system on to report an emergency situation. Examples could include: evacuation notices, bio-terrorism alerts, boil water notices, and missing child reports.
If you are here in the summer or fall, now also is a good time to get your island reentry passes. These have not been needed since after Hurricane Charley, but you will need an up-to-date pass to get back on the island following an evacuation. There are separate passes for residential and commercial and these hang from your rear view mirror (or remain safely in your glove box until needed – hopefully never). Info about these passes also on www.MySanibel.com and at the Sanibel Police Department.
1st Annual National Shell Day a Success
The 1st Annual National Shell Day, a marketing effort in partnership with the Lee County Visitors and Convention Bureau and promoters of tourism at the Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, was the talk of the islands on Monday.
“Good Morning American” weather gal, Ginger Zee, reported live over a 2-hour span from the beach at Sundial Resort where she not only reported the country’s weather, but also introduced their national audience to the “Sanibel stoop”, to Lola (a disabled American kestrel who lives at CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, and to mollusks from the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum.
Garnering the most attention was the Shell Love Bug, which is a used Volkswagen Beetle convertible which was transformed into a sailor’s valentine on wheels thanks to Pam Rambo of ILoveShelling.com and a group of volunteers. (The photos below are from Pam’s web site.)
The Shell Love Bug is traveling around the county this week to promotional events. Here are some fun facts about its creation:
- $7,000 cost of the 2005 Beetle
- 20,000+ shells glued onto car
- 65+ varieties of local shells
- 60+ volunteers who transformed the car
- 60+ tubes of “Marine Goop” adhesive for attaching the shells!
Americans Are Feeling Wealthier, More Upbeat
“Realtor®Mag” on line on Monday has the following article sourced to “Daily Real Estate News” and “Fannie Mae”:
“Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index zoomed to an all-time high in May as consumers get more upbeat about their paychecks and home selling. In May, the index reached a reading of 85.3, which follows an 18-month low reached in March.
“Three of six components the index measures registered increases last month, led by a 7 percentage point increase in the number of consumers reporting significantly higher income than a year ago. Also, the number of consumers who expect home prices to increase over the next 12 months rose 5 percentage points. Consumers were also upbeat that mortgage rates would decrease over the next year as well.
“That said, the index indicator on whether it’s a “good time to buy” dropped 1 percentage point to an all-time survey low in May.
““Continued home price appreciation has been squeezing housing affordability, driving a two-year downward trend in the share of consumers who think it’s a good time to buy a home,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The current low mortgage rate environment has helped ease this pressure, and fewer than half of consumers expect rates to go up in the next year. While the May increase in income growth perceptions could provide further support to prospective home buyers as the spring/summer home-buying season gains momentum, the effect may be muted by May’s discouraging jobs report.”
“Here’s a closer look at additional findings from Fannie Mae’s latest index reading:
- 29% of Americans say now is a good time to buy a home, a drop of 1 percentage point from March and an all-time survey low for the second consecutive month.
- 52% of consumers believe now is a good time to sell a home – an all-time survey high.
- 42% of Americans believe that home prices will go up.
- 72% of Americans say they are not concerned with losing their job, a drop of 2 percentage points from March.
- 18% of Americans say their household income is significantly higher than it was a year ago, up 7 percentage points from March and at an all-time survey high.”
Buyers Gaining Upper Hand in Luxury Market
Posted last week in “Daily Real Estate News, sourced to “The Wall Street Journal”, June 15, 2016:
“The number of luxury homes for sale is growing, and that is unlocking some deals for potential buyers, The Wall Street Journal reports. Indeed, inventory of homes priced between $500,000 to $750,000 increased nearly 16% in March compared to a year ago, according to data from NAR. What’s more, inventory for real estate priced more than $1 million increased 12.6% year-over-year.
“As more expensive homes linger on the market, buyers are finding more bargaining power.
“For sellers, this may be a tough realization that the power is shifting. Shannon Baird, a broker with Living Room Realty in Portland, Ore., says that a major challenge is changing the mindset of home sellers who are hearing news of quick sales and bidding wars. But that’s not the case in the upper price bracket in many markets.
“Stock market volatility has made some wealthy buyers more cautious to jump into a big home purchase at the moment. Also, fewer foreign buyers are on the market as the dollar strengthens, says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “The stock market has come back up, but we don’t know yet if that means the upper-end home buying market will begin to return,” Yun says.”
Do You Vote in Lee County?
It “yes”, “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society’s June 23, 2016 newsletter asks that you “Keep Conserving Lee” and posted the following notice:
“Vote YES for Conservation 20/20. Support the continued use of tax dollars to conserve important wildlife habitat and outdoor recreational opportunities in Lee County by voting YES for Conservation 20/20 in the November 8, 2016, election. Thanks to 20/20, we were able to fulfill our goal to purchase and protect property at Woodring Point in 2013. We hope to work with the county again in the future on such preservation partnerships.”
Here for July 4th?
A few more July 4th events have been announced. Click on the “Upcoming Island Events” tab above for more details.
Here are some photos of where the fireworks could be viewed, including the end of Bailey Road (1st group of photos) and the end of Dixie Beach Boulevard (2nd group)– or anywhere on the bay side of the island.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 17-24, 2016
2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #462 2/2 $539K, Cottage Colony West #136 1/1 $649K (our listing).
3 price changes: Seashells #38 2/2 now $372K, Mariner Pointe #943 2/2.5 now $619K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-3 2/2.5 now $650K.
1 new sale: Compass Point #151 3/3 listed at $1.195M.
2 closed sales: Bayview Village #2A 3/3 $675K, Island Beach Club #330C 2/2 $760K.
2 new listings: 3792 Coquina Dr 3/3 $1.049M, 6111 SanibelCaptiva Rd 5/4/3 $27M.
2 price changes: 1429 Jamaica Dr 3/3 now $769K, 243 Southwinds Dr 4/2.5 now $1.075M.
3 new sales: 676 Emeril Ct 3/2 listed at $729.9K, 2311 Starfish Ln 4/3 listed at $1.249M, 1520 Angel Dr 4/3/2 listed at $1.279M.
1 closed sale: 1658 Sabal Palm Dr $852.5K.
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 2988+2993 Wulfert Rd listed at $899K.
1 closed sale: 1310 Par View Dr $331.25K.
1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3238 2/2 $435K.
No price changes, new, or closed sales.
HOMES & LOTS
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.)