It’s SanibelSusan with another weekly report of real estate happenings. You are probably sick of me blogging about Sanibel’s summer-like weather and the traffic, so just a quick update, that it’s more of the same. A mini-cool front arrived today, bringing temperatures that will be only mid-70’s for the next few days.
Meanwhile, the 81st Sanibel Shell Festival across the street from SanibelSusan Realty at The Community House appears to be a huge success. It wraps up tomorrow afternoon.
An interesting mix of articles is below, followed by the activity posting in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week.
- 2018 national trends include big shifts in housing
- good news from Sanibel police department
- Sanibel Planning Commission ordinance action relating to pools and flood insurance
- annual Market Watch with real estate outlook.
2018’s Top Trends
From the March 2018 “Florida Realtor®” magazine:
“Big Shifts in Housing… Realtor.com® predicts four developments this year.
- Inventory Will Increase. Starting in August 2017, the U.S. housing market started to see a higher-than-normal month-over-month increase in the number of homes on the market. Based on this trend, Realtor.com® projects that U.S. year-over-year inventory growth will tick up into positive territory by fall 2018, for the first time since 2015.
- Price Appreciation Will Slow. Home prices are forecasted to slow to 3.2% growth year-over-year nationally, from an estimated increase of 5.5% in 2017. Most of the slowing will be felt in the higher-priced segment as more available inventory in this price range and a smaller pool of buyers forces sellers to price competitively. Entry-level homes will continue to see price gains due to the larger number of buyers that can afford them and more limited homes available in this price range.
- Millennials Will Gain Market Share. Although millennials will continue to face challenges with rising interest rates and home prices, they are on track to gain mortgage market share in all price points, due to the sheer size of the generation. Millennials could reach 43% of home buyers with a mortgage by the end of 2018, up from an estimated 40% in 2017.
- Southern Markets Will Lead Sales Growth. Southern cities should beat the national average in home sales growth in 2018, with Lakeland – Winter Haven leading Florida. Sales are expected to grow by 6% or more in these markets, compared with 2.5% nationally. The majority of this growth can be attributed to healthy building levels combating the housing shortage.”
Report from Sanibel’s Finest
An article in this week’s “Santiva Chronicle”, shows a big drop in island crime. Some of the statistics in the associated article include:
“Crime on Sanibel was down in 2017, including a huge drop in burglaries, according to statistics released Monday, Feb. 26, by Police Chief William Dalton. The police department tracked 72 federal reportable crimes in 2017, the only time in the past 11 years that that number has been below 100…
“Sanibel continues to be murder-free and no armed robberies have occurred since 2013. No vehicle thefts were reported in 2017, the only time in the past decade that has happened….
“Sanibel residents accounted for just 15% of the department’s arrests in 2017 with nearly half – 46% – coming from elsewhere in Lee County….
“Although crime numbers were down in 2017, the phone was still ringing at police headquarters. The department took in 26,140 calls. That’s an average of 72 per day or one every 20 minutes.”
Planning Commission Acts on Ordinances Re: Pools & Flood Insurance
As reported this week in the “Santiva-Chronicle:
“An ordinance amending the height of a swimming pool and decks in relation to the adjoining structure was unanimously approved by the Sanibel Planning Commission at MacKenzie Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 27.
“It is a move the commission said is grounded in common sense and will help streamline approval of pools and decks. Because of the current wording, the commission was forced to hold hearings about them when their approval was a matter of common sense. It was also costly to applicants.
“Wording of the ordinance to go to the City Council for approval is: “Any swimming pool elevated higher than three feet, six inches above the ground cannot be higher than the lowest floor of the associated structure. For the purpose of this height limit, a mid-level entry or other area devoted only to building access shall not be considered the lowest floor, even if constructed above the base flood elevation.”
“The current elevation is seven feet, but that is not based on the lowest floor. The change will allow the Planning Department to grant approval without it coming to the Planning Commission, Benjamin Pople, city planner, said in his presentation of the ordinance….
“Also Tuesday, the commission unanimously approved an ordinance to go to City Council that would bring the city in line with the Florida Department of Emergency Management pertaining to flood insurance.
“The ordinance about flood insurance is mandatory to preserve the city’s status and rating as a continuing participant in the National Flood Insurance Program’s continuing rating system which benefits Sanibel residents with a 25% discount on flood insurance premiums.
“Commission members cautioned residents that flood insurance rates still apply and that 25% savings aren’t always realized if insurance companies raise rates….”
Annual Market Watch – Lee & Collier Counties
Each year, the Fort Myers “New-Press” hosts an event, where local real estate experts share their outlook on the real estate market. Here are excerpts from their on-line article posted this week.
“A recession may be on the way, but first-time home-buyer millennials and retiring Baby Boomers looking for a deal may be coming to the rescue in Southwest Florida’s residential market.
“That was among the big takeaways Tuesday at The News-Press Market Watch Real Estate 2018 at Germain Arena, where more than 1,000 people were on hand to gauge the market pulse from industry experts.
“Presenters included Randy Thibaut, land sales and development expert and owner and founder of Land Solutions Inc.; Denny Grimes, residential real estate expert and president of Denny Grimes & Co.; and Stan Stouder, CCIM, commercial real estate expert and founding partner with CRE Consultants.
“As Thibaut entered the stage, a screen showed a roller coaster on its way up a track. “We’ve been climbing this roller coaster that’s behind me for almost nine years since the downturn,” he said. “Are we going to go up and over and are we going to lose our lunch, or are we just going to have a little hiccup? One thing is for sure: we’re going to have change.”
“Total single-family and multifamily permits increased 28% in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties year-over-year, with Lee leading the way.
“Why? “Apartments and assisted living were again on fire,” he said. “That changed the dynamics of the market.” On the home front, more buyers are looking for “value” properties, those under $300,000, and builders who cater to that demand are benefiting. “The millennials are coming and they are buying homes because they’re having families,” he said. “There’s a different type of baby boomer – they’re coming here with less money in their pockets. They’re coming. The difference is they’re not looking for $500,000 homes.”
“On the other end of the market, there’s strong demand for luxury high-rise condos in Naples and Bonita Springs, in developments such as Aqua and Seaglass at Bonita Bay. “The product came out and they gobbled it up,” Thibaut said.
“Downtown Fort Myers is a bit of a different story, where developments such as ONE, The Place on First and Prima Luce are in the works. “These projects are still trying to get started, and I think some of them will,” Thibaut said. “It hasn’t been for the lack of trying.” Market watchers should also keep a close eye on the Corkscrew Road corridor, where there are a lot of development plans.
“But ultimately, how are things? “We’re not going down into the abyss,” he said. “Are we going to have a little hiccup? I think so.”
“Prior to the event, Thibaut was asked about impact fees, which are a hot topic in Lee County. “The impact fees that are scheduled to be looked at in March will be the deciding factor over whether we’ll be able to serve our workforce and Middle America employees,” he said. “If they raise the impact fees a lot, they will hurt the biggest percentage of the buying sector. Now is not the right time for a full increase.” Thibaut said people looking to buy a home under $300,000 are the sector that “can’t afford the increase or they won’t be able to own and live the American Dream.”
“Grimes was next on stage, touching on seemingly controversial topics — fake news, the wall and DACA — in a nonconfrontational way because his points weren’t really about those topics at all.
“National headlines about the hot real estate market are giving some buyers and sellers a false perspective on the local market, which isn’t so hot. “There’s a party going on and we’re not part of it,” he said. “But that’s OK. We’ll win in the end.” The number of home sales was down 3% in Lee and up 3% in Collier year-to-year. Grimes used the words “steady” and “stable” in describing the market, with an exception here and there.
““Cape Coral was the star performer in Lee County,” he said. “Collier South is the star performer there.”
In the Cape, dry lot prices have been rising, commanding $20,000 and up, while Lehigh lot prices start at $5,000. “Cape Coral is in for another growth spurt,” Grimes said.
“Home prices, however, have hit a wall. The median sales price for an existing home was $238,500 in December, compared to $250,000 a year earlier. That median price is close to $450,000 in Collier County and $217,500 in Charlotte.
“On DACA — homes where you can dock a boat — Grimes said the cost to live on the waterfront in Cape Coral averages $479,000, not far below the cost in Fort Myers. “It’s the best waterfront value and it’s gaining on Fort Myers,” he said.
“Stouder started out by saying self-storage is going gangbusters. Eight self-storage businesses went up between 2010-14, with 12 built between 2015 and now, with another 12 under construction. “There’s a correlation between those and the robust number of apartment units being built,” he said.
“Senior housing, too, has also continued to surge. Ten senior housing projects were completed between 2000 and 2014. In the past three years, 21 senior housing projects have come to market.
A few notable projects for market-watchers to keep an eye on: Meridian Place industrial property near Southwest Florida International Airport, where a 201,000-square-feet of space is expected to be built.
“That’s a big industrial project and that’s because the vacancy rate is so low,” he said.
“Stouder also talked about the likelihood of a recession. “The stock market is having heartburn, but not a heart attack,” he said. Stouder pointed to the fact that it’s been “about eight and a half years since the last recession was declared over in June 2009,” so a recession is inevitable due to market cycles, it’s just a matter of when.
“Stouder also offered a “what’s that?” segment. In the “what’s that?” segment, market-watchers should look for the Grand Central project to come out of the ground across from Page Field Commons. That project will have the area’s first Krispy Kreme location.
“For people who might be wondering what to do with their money, whether after a property sale or because they simply want to make a smart investment, “it’s time to sell.” “How many of you wished in 2009 that you’d have sold in 2006,” he said. “If you get greedy, you will get burnt.””
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 23-March 2, 2018
6 new listings: Mariner Pointe #241 2/2.5 $629K; St.Croix #4 2/2.5 $995K; Yacht Haven #2 3/2 $1.099M; Pointe Santo #C3 3/2 $1,184,415; By-The-Sea #C102 2/2 $1.349M; Tamarind #B302 2/2 $1.824M.
4 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #941 2/2 now $529.9K, Pointe Santo #D32 2/2 now $779K, Island Beach Club #220E 2/2 now $949K, Island Beach Club #340D 2/2 now $1.324M.
4 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #212 1/1 listed at $425K, Beach Road Villa #104 2/2 listed at $455K, Loggerhead Cay #264 2/2 listed at $598.3K (our listing), Blue Gulf #101 3/2 listed at $1.42M.
10 closed sales: Tennisplace #D21 1/1 $235K, Lake Palms #6 2/2.5 $339K, Seashells #40 2/2 $320K, Sundial West #F308 1/1 $415K, Lighthouse Point #217 3/2 $455K, Mariner Pointe #733 2/2 $475K, Loggerhead Cay #402 2/2 $560K, Sanibel Inn #3535 2/2 $745K, Nutmeg Village #201 2/2 $965K, By-The-Sea #C302 3/2 $1.675M.
3 new listings: 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 $574K, 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $735K, 4171 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $3.248M.
24 price changes: 813 Rabbit Rd 2/2 half-duplex now $399K, 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 half-duplex now $470K, 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $499K, 3043 Poinciana Cir 3/2 now $525K, 998 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $629K, 1020 White Ibis Dr 3/3 now $649K, 1342 Junonia St 3/3 now $669K, 1450 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $749.9K, 5430 Osprey Ct 3/3 now $764K, 5690 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3 now $979K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 now $1.135M, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $1.165M, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 now $1.175M, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.179M, 529 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.22M, 519 Kinzie Island Ct 3/2.5 now $1.275M, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $1.179M, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.65M, 794 Conch Ct 3/2.5 now $1.679M, 267 Ferry Landing Dr 3/2 now $1.749M, 2029 Periwinkle Way 4/3 now $1.799M, 2167 Starfish Ln 4/4.5 now $1.875M, 5606 Baltusrol Ct 4/6 now $2.195M, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 now $2.425M
11 new sales: 970 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $599K, 1008 Demere Ln 2/2 listed at $615K, 678 East Rocks 3/2 listed at $829K, 4791 Rue Helene 3/2 listed at $849K, 3239 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed at $899K, 1114 Captains Walk St 3/3 listed at $899K, 1275 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $949K, 4960 Joewood Dr 3/3 listed at $1.049M, 6412 Pine Ave 4/2.5 listed at $1.245M, 4265 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 listed at $4.895M, 1310 Seaspray Ln 4/4 listed at $5.795M.
8 closed sales: 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 $530K; 1341 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $820K; 765 Conch Ct 5/4 $810K; 701 Anchor Dr 3/3.5 $1,186,810; 3822 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.2M; 899 Almas Ct 3/2 $1.2M; 960 Victoria Way 3/3 $1.4595M; 547 Kinzie Island Ct 4/4.5 $1.7M.
1 new listing: 9232 Dimmick Dr $199,555.
3 price changes: 2307 Wulfert Rd now $219.9K, 2133 Starfish Ln now $399K, 1770 Dixie Beach Blvd now $689,999.
1 new sale:1312 Eagle Run Dr listed at $319K.
No closed sales.
1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5102 1/2 $375K.
1 price change: Captiva Shores #8B 3/2.4 now $1.599M.
1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 listed at $385K.
2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3210 1/1 $297K, Beach Villas #2621 2/2 $645K.
1 new listings: 11540 Laika Ln 3/3 $1.625M.
3 price changes: 11490 Dickey Ln 3/2 now $995K, 11535 Chapin Ln 4/3 now $1.359M, 11509 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1,999.999.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 15154 Wiles Dr 4/3 $1.475M.
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 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 the 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 hoping you have good weather too! If not, come to the islands, the bougainvillea and hibiscus are blooming everywhere. It really is a paradise here!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan (& please call me to help you with island real estate)