SanibelSusan’s report today is mostly from the FloridaRealtors Mid-Winter Business Meetings in Orlando. It has been a whirlwind few days ending with the Inaugural Banquet of the 2017 leadership team last night.
It is always an honor to be on the audition panel for new Florida real estate instructors. That was my Wednesday workday from beginning to end – or at least until the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® was presented four RPAC (Realtor Political Action Committee) awards that evening. A recent water study funded with RPAC dollars was presented that very same day to state legislators in Tallahassee, as it continues to help our cause in working for more than 20 years to improve area water quality.
Yesterday, the morning Leadership Think Tank and later breakout sessions on Legislative Issues and Resort & 2nd Home Specialists zeroed in on several issues near-and-dear to us. The state legislature only had a small number of bills before them last week, but hundreds if not thousands more were expected by today. Of importance to us are those related to rental restrictions, water quality, insurance, and taxes. You can be sure FloridaRealtors® work every day to protect the rights of property owners.
During my few days away, business has been booming on Sanibel so I headed back to the island immediately after the Professional Development Committee meeting this morning. Thank goodness for technology and my teammates Dave and Elise who have been going above-and-beyond. Dave accompanied three showings this afternoon while Elise finished this update and summarized the week’s activity. We are happy to report two closings and lots of showings this week. The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Services follows just one news item below.
Real Estate Trends: Florida ‘Outperformed’ the U.S.
The following is a report from FloridaRealtors® online. It summarizes one of the meetings yesterday in Orlando.
“In 2016, Florida’s economy outperformed the nation in part because of better job creation, according to several economists who spoke to a standing-room-only crowd of about 500 Realtors® at the 2017 Florida Real Estate Trends event Thursday during Florida Realtors Mid-Winter Business Meetings.
“National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun noted that the pace of U.S. home sales in 2016 at 5.5 million was “the best in a decade.” Since it’s nowhere near the 7.2 million sales peak in 2006, however, it leaves room for continued growth in 2017. And while interest rates are trending higher, it hasn’t had a dampening effect on home sales.
““A 4.2% mortgage rate is still a great rate,” Yun said. “As long as we’re around the 4 to even 5% mortgage rate, home sales are likely to stay on pace. As mortgage rates rise, job creation – which Florida excels at – could be a great neutralizer and good for home sales. In fact, Florida is outperforming the country because of better job creation.”
“Other speakers who shared their views on 2017 included Dr. Elliot Eisenberg, a nationally known economist and former senior economist with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB); Michael Johnston, Florida regional sales manager, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; Dr. Julie Harrington, director of Florida State University’s Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis; and Dr. Brad O’Connor, chief economist for Florida Realtors.
““The good news, here in Florida, you’re in the right place,” Eisenberg said. “The South is the right division to be in – the economic recovery here has been much more robust. Florida is doing fine economically, unemployment is OK, and foreclosures are diminishing.”
“He agreed with Yun that while mortgage rates will continue to rise this year – albeit slowly – the markets will be fine as long as jobs are being created.
““Housing is improving, but in fits and starts,” Eisenberg said. “There’s not enough inventory of homes for sale, and builders aren’t building, especially at the entry-level. Bigger houses are being built, but it’s not profitable for builders to construct more affordable homes.”
“Eisenberg cited worker shortages, burdensome land-use regulations and costs – land, labor and regulation – as some of the constraints homebuilders face when it comes to building entry-level homes.
““We have to try a myriad of solutions, but getting the land costs down and easing land-use regulations will be the single most important factor in solving this issue,” he said.
“According to Eisenberg, forces at work in Florida and across the U.S. that are dampening real estate sales include:
- Low inventory – December 2016 data, which is just a few days old, shows that the existing single-family home inventory nationwide is 3.6 months; in Florida, it’s 3.9-month months. A 6-month supply is generally considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers.
- New model of renting – Six million single-family units have been taken off the market because institutional investors snapped up many homes during the Great Recession and created a new method of renting.
- Mortgage rate lock – many people don’t want to sell because they’ll lose the really low mortgage rate they’re currently paying.
“When it comes to financing, lenders are in a technology race to provide a digital, user-friendly experience. Their goal is to make the mortgage process easier for the customer, said Michael Johnston, Florida regional sales manager for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.
““Today, 42% of homebuyers are millennials,” he said, “and with 92 million more millennials coming up, it will be an even bigger part of the housing market over the next five years. A recent survey found that 93% of those aged 18-34 intend to buy a house sometime in their future. Millennials are always online, so creating a digital mortgage experience for them is critical.”
“Johnston shared research showing that millennials value the expertise of Realtor professionals during the home buying process. “While they will go online to do home shopping, they do want to consult a trusted advisor along the way,” he said.
“The condominium market is an important part of the overall real estate market, and often offers an affordable option for buyers, according to Johnston. “In Florida, the condo market is healthy and robust,” he said.
““Condos make up 28% of all home sales in Florida; nationally, it’s 12%.”
“Dr. Julie Harrington, director of Florida State University’s Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis (CEFA), previewed elements of an economic impact study on Florida’s SHIP and SAIL funds by county that Florida Realtors commissioned CEFA to conduct. SHIP stands for State Housing Initiatives Partnership program, while SAIL stands for the State Apartment Incentive Loan program.
“As data is collected and analyzed, researchers will construct an economic forecasting model for Florida’s future affordable housing needs, and the data will also be used to compile statewide economic impact numbers for the SHIP and SAIL programs, Harrington said.
“Looking ahead to the coming months, Florida Realtors Chief Economist Brad O’Connor announced to Realtors that the state association plans to soon release housing data metrics for Florida specific to cities and zip codes. Applause greeted his announcement. O’Connor anticipates having the new statistics starting on Feb. 9, which coincides with the release of the fourth quarter 2016 and 2016 year’s end data from Florida Realtors. The statistics will be available to members at www.floridarealtors.org/research (password-protected).
“Looking at all of 2016, the statewide existing homes market remained stable but was also relatively “flat,” according to O’Connor, though part of the reason for that year-to-year analysis was that “2015 was a pretty darn good year, sales-wise.”
“He also pointed out that a shortage of housing inventory in markets across the state, particularly for properties values at $200,000 or less, is impacting closed sales and putting pressure on median prices. Another factor: Sales of distressed properties continue to fall.
““In 2015, 10% of Florida’s housing inventory was distressed at the end of each month,” O’Connor said. “This past year, it’s been 5%, and it’s going to keep going down in 2017.””
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity January 20-27, 2017
9 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #H1 2/2 $535K; Sanibel Arms West #J3 2/2 $535K; Loggerhead Cay #443 2/2 $549K; Loggerhead Cay #252 2/2 $589K; Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 $799,999; Sundial West #K203 2/2 $879K; Sundial East #Q404 2/2 $899K; By-The-Sea #C302 2/2 $1.695M; Somerset #E202 3/2.5 $1.699M.
5 price changes: Coquina Beach #3C 2/2 $449K, Loggerhead Cay #253 2/2 now $549K, Loggerhead Cay #152 2/2 now $899K, Atrium #201 3/3 now $1.495M, Tamarind #A102 2/2 now $1.595M.
5 new sales: Coquina Beach #4C 2/2 listed at $449.9K, Seawind #A108 2/2.5 listed at $519K, Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 listed at $619K, Sundial East #O401 2/2 listed at $729K, Sundial East #O407 2/2 listed at $1.199M.
5 closed sales: Sanibel Arms West #J6 2/2 $485K, Seawind #A103 2/2.5 $538K, Sunset South #11C 2/2 $592K (our listing), Pointe Santo #E37 3/2 $1.375M, Golden Beach #2 3/2.5 $1.3925M.
6 new listings: 1631 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $499K, 1651 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $499.5K, 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 $554K, 1252 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $659K, 1862 Farm Trl 3/2 $675K, 2857 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1.75M.
9 price changes: 980 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex now $489K, 3008 Singing Winds Dr 2/2 now $499K, 1746 Windward Way 3/2 now $535K, 1040 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $619K, 2195 Par View Dr 3/2 now $750K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 now $799.9K, 4775 Rue Helene 4/3 now $845K, 5240 Caloosa End Ln 3/3 now $979.9K, 5657 SanibelCaptiva Rd 3/2 now $1.195M.
3 new sales: 5105 SanibelCaptiva Rd 4/3 listed at $649K, 815 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed at $1.199M, 598 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3.5 listed at $1.595M.
7 closed sales: 1411 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $430K, 1983 Roseate 2/2 $505K, 533 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $530K (our listing), 3019 Poinciana Cir 5/3.5 $890K, 521 Lighthouse Way 3/2 $938K, 1052 Whisperwood Way 3/3 $1.325M, 1717 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 $2M.
2 new listings: 4565 Bowen Bayou Rd $239,555; 1415 Sanderling Cir $398K.
2 price changes: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $189,555; 1311 Par View Dr now $279K.
1 new sale: 2501 Wulfert Rd listed at $199.9K.
No closed sales.
No new listings.
1 price change: Beach Villas #2614 2/2 now $614K.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: Beach Cottages #1406 3/2 $995K.
5 new listings: 11490 Dickey Ln 3/2 $1.049M, 11539 Wightman Ln 2/2 $1.575M, 13500 Palmflower Ln 4/4 $1.795M, 16455 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 $2.495M, 11559 Laika Ln 2/2/2 $6.995M.
1 price change: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 now $2.549M.
1 new sale: 11537 Laika Ln 4/3 listed at $1.549M.
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.)
Wondering what it’s been like on Sanibel? Here’s a recent sunset photo…beautiful as always! Enjoy your weekend!
Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan
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