Summertime Real Estate Report from Sanibel & Captiva Islands

It’s SanibelSusan reporting the third week of “summer quiet” in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands real estate business. I have heard some interesting behind-the-scenes comments about how things have changed here this year. There definitely is a change in occupancy with accommodations mostly at capacity and the island busy, just busy having fun and not viewing or buying or listing real estate.

This week the “Periwinkle Way late-day traffic jam” reappeared. That usually is only during the winter months from about 3 to 7 p.m. when the islands are full and day workers are leaving. It is when traffic gets backed up at the 4-way stop. Typical late afternoon summer showers may have contributed to this extra summer traffic with more visitors on the road once the sun disappears.

The July 4th festivities last weekend were well attended, with a big turn-out at SanibelSusan Realty for the parade. Here are a few photos, some taken by my cell phone, but the good ones are credited to our pal, Scott Shew, who always is great about sharing his pictures. Thank you, Scott.

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As the week progressed, Scott shared a few more photos. These two at Ding Darling he said were taken when the no see-ums were out in full force so the bird in the second one might be dunking to avoid them.

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Below are a few news items followed by the action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days, there wasn’t much!

Heat Wave Sweeps Through Housing Market

realtor.comFrom Realtor®Mag’s “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS”:

“The housing market is getting hotter this summer, according to a preliminary analysis of June data from realtor.com®. The median list price nationwide in June rose 7% year-over-year, reaching $233,000. The median days on the market is 66 days, also down 7% year-over-year. Also, inventories are growing faster – 4% higher in June over May, but still down over last year. (That’s the case nationally, but not on Sanibel and Captiva where inventory is very low.)

“”Our early read of real estate trends in June suggests good news ahead for the U.S. residential real estate market, especially in the hottest markets with healthy growth in supply,” says Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com® Chief Economist. Traffic and searches on realtor.com® continued to set new highs in June. Unique users for June are now on pace for at least a 40% growth year-over-year and visits and searches at realtor.com® are expected to surge more than 50% and 30%, respectively, Smoke says.”

Economists Pinpoint Inventory Shortage Causes

wall street journalAs follow-up to the last article, this one based on The Wall Street Journal, June 26, has some answers:

“Inventories of homes for-sale remain low due to home owners staying put and homebuilders still keeping supplies tight, economists said during a panel discussion at the National Association of Real Estate Editors’ annual conference.

“Homes listed for resale in May were at a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace. Most economists consider a supply of six to seven months to be balanced and healthy for the market.

NAR gray-logo“Economists at the National Association of Real Estate Editors’ annual conference pointed to several factors that are preventing sellers from putting their homes up for sale. Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®, blamed the bulk of the inventory shortage on the lack of new construction. “We will still have an inventory shortage if builders won’t build,” Yun said. “It is just simple math.”

“Other economists during the panel also said the persistent lack of equity four years into the housing recovery for a large number of home owners continues to prevent many would-be sellers. About 5 million homes in the U.S. — or 10% — are underwater, valued at less than the mortgage.

“Also, some home owners may be reluctant to sell partly because they refinanced in recent years at interest rates of less than 4% and they don’t want to give up those low rates, says Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s Chief Economist.

“The economists also noted a significant increase in single-family homes being offered for rent that have dented the overall supply of homes for-sale too. Nothaft estimates that since the downturn investors have purchased 3 million single-family homes and converted them into rentals.

“Other economists at the session also noted that stringent mortgage standards, prohibitive land costs, and limited lending to small builders was also prompting a lower supply of homes for sale.”

Study: Biggest Opportunities in Boomer Market

We aren’t giving up on those baby boomers just yet. They definitely are the largest market segment on the islands. Here’s what “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS” said about them last Wednesday:

House canary logo“Though the real estate industry has made it a mission to bring Millennials into home ownership in recent years, a new study by research firm HouseCanary suggests we not ignore an inconvenient truth: Baby boomers have the buying power.

“The study raises questions about how wise it is to focus on Millennial buyers, given their economic limitations. If interest rates — which are expected to keep ticking up this year — were to increase to 6%, more than one in three Millennials would no longer be able to afford a home at their current prices, HouseCanary found. Millennials are carrying high debt with limited savings, and their career growth has been slow.

But baby boomers have fueled the housing market for decades as the biggest drivers of growth in the entry-level market in the 1970s and ’80s, as well as the move-up market in the ’90s and 2000s. Boomers aren’t slowing down: They’re expected to continue to drive household growth over the next 20 years “due to significant wealth and high home ownership rates,” according to HouseCanary. Over the past year alone, baby boomers accounted for 244% of household growth annually.

“”The vast imbalances in wealth and home ownership among baby boomers and Millennials are resulting in wide disparities in the demand for home buying versus renting,” says HouseCanary President JP Ackerman. “Our analysis indicates that rising interest rates and home prices will exacerbate the situation, as the Millennials’ ability to purchase homes will be severely jeopardized as monthly payments get further out of reach.”

“HouseCanary CEO Jeremy Sicklick says his company’s research indicates greater opportunity for developers to target the aging population with for-sale inventory while targeting the younger generation for-rent inventory.”

New Fire Station on Captiva

new-Captiva fire stationThe grand opening of the new fire station on Captiva is scheduled for Sat, July 18, from 10 a.m. until noon. The public is invited. It also is the 60th anniversary of the creation of the Captiva Island Fire District. During that time, it has transformed from a volunteer bucket brigade to a squad of highly-trained professionals with equipment for not just fighting fires but also for advanced life support. Congratulations!  www.CaptivaFire.com

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity July 3-10

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Tennisplace #D31 1/1 $239K, Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 $650K, Nutmeg Village #309 2/2 $799K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Colonnades #15 1/1 listed for $225K.

3 closed sales: Sunset South #2D 2/2 $500K, Breakers West #C2 2/2 $522.5K, Nutmeg Village #214 2/2 $920K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 976 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $495K, 3402 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $2.2M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed for $539K.

1 closed sale: 1325 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $695K.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 2460 Library Way listed for $324.9K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 $299.9K, Ventura Captiva #1B 2/2 $1.35M.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5310 3/3 now $585K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 new sales: 16785 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 listed for $1.395M, 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 half-duplex 3/3 listed for $2.0449M.

1 closed sale: 16512 Captiva Dr 7/5.5 $6.525M.

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.

Good weekend wishes to all. Little rain is expected here over the next few days, so no traffic jams expected! Here’s hoping the sunsets are as beautiful as this one. (Thanks, Melissa!)

Melissa Sunset 07-09-15

Cheers! Susan Andrews (aka SanibelSusan)

Read Why SanibelSusan’s Friday Sanibel/Captiva Islands Real Estate Blog is Late

SanibelBeachAnother Friday has arrived and SanibelSusan is not going to dwell on the additional heavy traffic on Periwinkle Way from the Shell Fair which ends tomorrow. To put a positive spin on it, for those properties that we don’t already open for showings, my team and I are offering delivery service to Realtors® needing keys or fliers.

This week, island weather likely again contributed to the many visitors enjoying the 70- and 80-degree temperatures, sunny days, blue skies, and also the gorgeous moon-glow skies at night. A favorite photos from island photographer, Jim Anderson, JMA Photography is above. The beach looked just like this week, including this afternoon.

Although not many sales were announced at the Sanibel/Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday, many were posted in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Several price reductions were reported too, common for the end of February with just a few weeks left of “high season”.

At SanibelSusan Realty, we are showing property, holding open houses, writing offers, and negotiating contracts like crazy! We love it and hopefully will have some new sales to add the Multiple Listing Activity next week. That is why SanibelSusan’s blog is a few hours late.

Meanwhile, the island listing/sales activity over the past seven days follows a couple of news items below.

Sanibel Dark Skies Ordinance Passes Unanimously

Sanibelcityseal logoAs reported today in the “Island Sun”: This week, Sanibel City Council approved the revised Dark Skies Ordinance, ending 13 months of revisions, adjustments and “fine tuning” by the planning commission, city staff, and public input. The ordinance was established to protect the natural beauty of the island’s night skies as well as its habitat for a variety of animals, particularly sea turtles during nesting season. Beach-front properties and new construction already are required to be compliant. Non-beachfront properties have until January 1, 2018. Read the ordinance, its requirements and view a video about it at www.MySanibel.com.

Why Canada’s Snowbirds Are Under U.S. Scrutiny

TRC LOGORSPS LogoIsland sellers often ask their Realtors® if they do much business with out-of-country buyers. Thankfully SanibelSusan’s TRC (Transnational Referral Certified) and RSPS (Resort & 2nd-Home Property Specialist) designations often result in referral business that comes from over the border or across the pond.

For those readers wondering about the implications of Canadian residents spending their winters in Florida, here is an article that was posted in the February RSPS Newsletter and published earlier in “Reuters” on February 10.

“Canadians who normally head south of their border for warmer weather are keeping closer track of their time in the United States because if they stay too long, they could lose their Canadian health benefits and might owe U.S. income tax.

“Just last year, the two countries implemented an agreement to scan passports and share the information, meaning that, unlike in past years, America’s tax authorities now know exactly how long snowbirds are spending in warmer climes like Florida, California and Arizona.

“And that has many worried Canadians monitoring their stay on American soil. People like 74-year-old former TV producer Richard Simpson, who stays in Fort Myers, Florida, from the end of October through April, then heads back to Toronto. “People have this fear in the back of their heads about playing it too loose, and spending too much time down here,” he said. “Whenever there’s a ‘Canada Night’ gathering, it’s the No.1 topic of conversation.”

“The magic number is 182 days in a single year. More than that, and Canadians risk being considered a U.S. resident for tax purposes. If Canadians overstay their welcome, they risk creating a U.S. claim on their worldwide income, getting barred from the country for five years and losing prized health care, according to Dale Walters, the Phoenix-based chief executive officer of KeatsConnelly, a financial planning firm that specializes in cross-border issues.

“Even less than 182 days, though, and they still might meet what the U.S. Internal Revenue Service calls its “substantial presence” test. It is a complicated formula, but if snowbirds spend more than roughly 120 days per year in the United States over a three-year period, the IRS starts getting interested in them.

“”The technology has finally gotten to the point where they can track border crossings easily,” said Walters. “Snowbirds are very aware of this. Some of them have become pretty paranoid about it.”

“But the lure of a warmer climate can be very powerful indeed. Canadians purchased U.S. properties worth $13.8 billion in the 12 months leading up to March 2014, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. That makes for 15% of all international sales. Canadians’ favorite spots, perhaps not surprisingly: Florida, Arizona and California, making for almost three-quarters of all their purchases.

“More than 500,000 Canadians own real estate in Florida alone, according to BMO Financial Group Swhose Annual Snowbird Outlook – issued last October – predicts continued gains for snowbird homeowners.

“The pace of those home purchases will likely slow, thanks to a falling Canadian dollar that has seen the loonie sink to around 80 U.S. cents. For those who have already purchased in the United States, the combination of rising real-estate prices and a U.S. dollar-denominated asset has proved to be a clever hedge indeed. “For Canadians who bought a couple of years ago, they have already gained 20% on the rising U.S. dollar alone,” says Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. “At the same time, home prices in many areas also rose double digits. So it was an excellent time to buy.”

“Compared to record-high Canadian real estate in hot markets like Toronto and Vancouver, housing in the American sunbelt is still attractively priced, the BMO report notes.

“So how can snowbirds avoid running afoul of the authorities, and not jeopardize their Canadian status or attract the scrutiny of the IRS? Many have been tweaking their calendars already, says KeatsConnelly’s Walters. While typical snowbirds used to return to Canada in April, he says, many have now shifted earlier to March.

Some, like Simpson, throw some cruising into the mix to pad their schedules. Since a March or April return to Canada can still be on the chilly side, Simpson sometimes leaves Florida to keep under the 182-day limit, but then takes an international cruise until things warm up.

“Also, know the letter of the law. Even if snowbirds meet the IRS’ “substantial presence” test, for instance, they can still fill out the agency’s Form 8840. It asserts closer connections to Canada, and should stave off any potential problems.

“Finally, when crossing the border, Walters advises that snowbirds come equipped with a “border kit” that proves Canadian residency in multiple ways – things like utility bills and property-tax statements. As for Richard Simpson, he does not regret leaving his homeland behind, at least for the coldest parts of the year. “Whenever I see the Canadian weather on TV, I think, ‘Thank God I’m here in Florida, and thank God I’m wearing shorts.'””

McMansions Remain a Hot Buy

realtor logoRealtor®Mag posted this article late last week on its “Daily Real Estate News”:

“Existing-home sales mostly fell flat in January, but a closer look at the data shows one segment of the market is seeing a lot of activity. McMansions – those traditionally large homes in the $750,000 to $1 million range – saw a sales growth rate of 13% in January, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. That is the fastest growth rate of any other home price range.

“NAR’s latest housing reports:Home Sales Off to a Bumpy Start in 2015 and Tight Supplies Put Home Prices on the Move. “It’s a reflection of the U.S. economy where the upper end has done much better in this recovery in terms of income,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, told MarketWatch.

“As the stock market hits new highs, the luxury buyer is continuing to be a strong player in the housing market this year. Last year, the million-dollar plus segment had the strongest growth. “Now, it’s the next level that is beginning to pick up,” Yun says.

“As for more traditional buyers, they may be locked in to their current home. Home owners who snagged low interest rates may be reluctant to trade up or move on unless job or family changes press them to, Yun notes. That’s how he explains why the strengthening job market as well as rent growth is not currently leading to a stronger housing market than expected. “People may be delaying two years, four years before returning to normal moving patterns,” Yun says.”

Nearly 80% of Housing Markets Are Stabilizing

FreddieMacLogo_3Here is some more good news, also from the last Thursday “Daily Real Estate News”:

“Thirty-eight of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, are now showing an improving three-month trend in housing activity, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Multi-Indicator Market Index. What’s more, 40 of the 50 major metros Freddie Mac tracks are also showing a three-month improving trend.

“Yet, Freddie Mac’s national MiMi value stands at 74.9, which still indicates a weak housing market overall. The all-time MiMi high was 121.7, recorded in April 2006; its lowest point was 57.2 in October 2010, when the housing market was at its weakest point. Since its low in 2010, the housing market has rebounded 31%.

Freddie Mac’s MiMi index monitors the stability of the nation’s housing market by assessing each single-family housing market relative to its long-term stable range. It takes into account such data as home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios, on-time mortgage payments, and the employment market.

Overall, “housing markets are getting back on track,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “The national MiMi improved for the fourth consecutive month. Nearly 80% of the state and metro housing markets MiMi tracks are improving or in their stable range of activity. … Low mortgage rates and moderating house price growth are helping to keep payment-to-income ratios favorable for the typical family in most of the country. In fact, Los Angeles is the only metro market with an elevated MiMi payment-to-income indicator whereas most other markets remain quite affordable. And of course, labor markets are generally improving.””

Sanibel Island Survival Camps for Teens

Sanibel Sea schoolAnother article in the “Island Sun” today caught my eye. Makes me wish to be a teenager again.

This summer Sanibel Sea School is offering three weeks of survival camp for teens (13- to 18-year olds) yearning to embark on an adventure. Can they endure a night on the island with only a fishing net, a coconut, and a paddleboard? Sound like fun?

Each week the group will venture into the lesser-known places on Sanibel for a week of exploration. Attendees will learn the basics of paddle-boarding, and then learn survival skills that will be as useful in a city as on a desert island. Tire changing races, fire starting contests, and shelter-building competitions are all part of the plan, along with basic first aid and figuring out how to find food and water in the wilderness. One night, they will paddle out to camp on Picnic Island and put their new skills to the test, where conditions will be primitive, bugs will be many, and memories should be everlasting. Each week will be different so teens can attend just one or sign up for the series. The sessions are June 22-28, June 29-July 3, July 13-17. Register on-line at www.SanibelSeaSchool.org/summer-camp-2015.

Sanibel-Captiva Art League Clothesline Sale

clothesline saleProperty owners often ask us when the “clothesline show” will be this year.

That event is an excellent time to purchase island art from San-Cap Art League Members. I just heard that this year, the sale will be Sunday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sanibel Community House (across the street from SanibelSquare and SanibelSusan Realty).

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Feb 27-Mar 6 

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Colonnades #41 1/1 $194.5K, Breakers West #C2 2/2 $535K, Sundial #H303 2/2 $589K, Seascape #301 3/3 $1.315M.

3 price changes: Sundial #H211 1/1 now $269K, Coquina Beach #4B 2/2 now $449K, Sundial #O201 2/2 now $725K.

7 new sales: Tennisplace #B23 2/1.5 listed for $310K, Sundial #I301 1/1 listed for $389K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 listed for $490K, Loggerhead Cay #574 2/2 listed for $549.9K, Sundial #Q205 3/2 listed for $825K, Atrium #204 2/2 listed for $1.295M, Lantana #102 4/3.5 listed for $1.495M.

6 closed sales: Sundial #C306 1/1 $310K, Lighthouse Point #113 2/2 $450K, Loggerhead Cay #191 2/2 $630K, Pointe Santo #B4 2/2 $580K, Sand Pointe #228 2/2 $720K, Kings Crown #307 3/2 $880K.

HOMES

8 new listings: 5131 SanibelCaptiva Rd 2/2 $535K, 1702 Sand Pebble Way 3/2.5 $535K, 667 Anchor Dr 4/3.5 $1.1M, 1501 Sand Castle Rd 5/3.5 $1.15M, 1220 Morningside Place 5/5 multi-family $1.198M, 2617 Coconut Dr 3/2.5 $1.35M, 5235 Indian Ct 4/3.5 $1.598M, 3675 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $4.4M.

9 price changes: 1347 Jamaica Dr 2/2 now $550K, 1228 Anhinga Ln 3/2 now $598.5K, 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $629.9K, 741 Nerita St 3/2 now $649K, 3131 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $689K, 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now $699K, 395 Old Trail Rd 5/4 now $815K, 6101 Castaways Ln 4/2 now $850K, 1331 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $945K.

10 new sales: 2621 SanibelCaptiva Rd 3/2 listed for $279K, 702 Donax St 2/2 listed for $399K, 918/920 Main St 5/5 multi-family listed for $449K, 1063 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 listed for $510K, 475 Sea Walk Ct 3/2 listed for $524.9K, 5406 Osprey Ct 3/2 listed for $729K, 2596 Roosevelt Pl 3/2 listed for $739K, 819 Lindgren Blvd 4/3.5 listed for $1.149M, 2720 Coconut Dr 3/3.5 listed for $1.5M, 6170 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3 listed for $1.595M.

10 closed sales: 938 Palm St 3/2 $390K, 1717 Windward Way 3/2 $635K, 6001 Clam Bayou Ln 3/2 $745K, 6433 Pine Ave 4/3 $875K, 1671 Hibiscus Dr 4/3 $875K, 566 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $890K, 630 Periwinkle Way 4/3 $970K, 2400 Los Colony Rd 3/3 $1.4M, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 $2.9M, 4265 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $4.1M.

LOTS

No new listings.

5 price changes: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $214,555; 5126 Sea Bell Rd now $245K; 5116 Sea Bell Rd now $250K.

1 new sale: 4636 Rue Royale listed for $429K.

1 closed sale: 2379 Wulfert Rd $300K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Gulf Beach Villas #2004 2/2 now $629K.

1 new sale: Beach Villa II #2418 2/2 listed for $650K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1131 Longifolia Ct 4/4 $3.69M.

4 price changes: 14981 Binder Dr 3/3 now $1.099M,16251 Captiva Dr 4/5.5 now $3.595M, 15891 Captiva Dr 5/4 now $3.649M, 16151 Captiva Dr 4/3 now $9.9M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 16950 Captiva Dr listed for $2.995M.

No closed sales.

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.

SANSLogo

Thinking of island real estate? Contact a member of The SanibelSusan Team, we are working close to 24/7 this time of the year (not really, but at least 12/7!

‘Til next Friday, SanibelSusan

Another Summer Sale by The SanibelSusan Team

SANSLogoIt’s great to be back on the island after a busy few days of meetings in Orlando. The SanibelSusan Team also was busy while I was away last week with Dave showing homes last weekend which resulted in a nice sale that was finalized today. Way to go, Dave!

Elise and Lisa fielded inquiries and listing showing appointments. Surprisingly for it being the first week of school here, there was a fair amount of action. Island traffic is expected to change significantly tomorrow though, when only a handful of check-ins are expected.

Here are a couple of news items followed by the action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Songwriters Bringing Tunes to Captiva

MusicThe 1st Annual Island Hopper Songwriter Fest will bring nationally-acclaimed singer-songwriters to Captiva and Fort Myers Beach this fall. The festival will take place over two weekends with dozens of free shows. The Captiva weekend will be Sept 26 to 28, it then will shift to Ft Myers Beach for Oct 3 to 6. The complete schedule will be released soon, but Captiva venues already confirmed include South Seas Island Resort, ‘Tween Waters Inn (Crows’ Nest, Old Captiva House and the Canoe & Kayak Club), Captiva Island Inn, Keylime Bistro, Cantina Captiva, RC Otter’s, The Mucky Duck, and Doc Ford’s Captiva.

Contest Deadline Approaching

Ding Darling Society logoSept 15 is the deadline for the 27th Annual “Ding” Darling Days Amateur Nature Photography Contest. Sponsored by the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society – Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) it is held in conjunction with “Ding” Darling Days, which runs from Oct 19 to 25. More info on www.ding-darlingdays.com.

The SanibelSusan Team always enjoys receiving photos taken on the island by clients and friends. So get out your best photos, folks, and give the contest a try. Here is a photo that an island friend emailed us a couple of weeks ago. We call it “up close and personal with a red-shouldered hawk” (hope our bird identification is correct).

red shouldered hawk

SanCap Motor Club, Inc.SCMC-LOGOS-4CFinal

There is a newly-formed club on Sanibel. Members of the community are invited to meet with other car enthusiasts on Monday, Sep 1 for a “Cruise In” in the front parking lot of Periwinkle Place Shopping Center. If you have a passion for automobiles – antique to muscle, class to hot rods – join the SanCap Motor Club. This is their inaugural event!

Spring Was Healthiest Market in 3 Years

realtor logoYesterday’s “Daily Real Estate News” posted the following positive news, sourced to realtor.com®:

“July housing data shows that price appreciation and inventory increases during the peak home-buying season helped the market to post the largest spring gains in three years, realtor.com® reports in its National Housing Trend Report. “In July 2012 and 2013, we saw external economic factors overwhelm the healthy gains established in the housing market during the spring home-buying season,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com®. “This year, we’re ending the traditional season with high buyer and seller confidence demonstrated by price appreciation, increases in inventory, and quick home sales.”

“In July, housing inventories rose 2.3% year-over-year, as the median list price posted a 7.5% increase year-over-year, realtor.com® reports. The median list price was $214,900 nationwide in July. “Despite higher prices and more homes on the market, buyers are snatching up properties faster than last year,” realtor.com® reports. The median age of inventory in July was 82 days, three days less than 2013.

“This is the first time since the beginning of the recovery that we expect to see positive momentum throughout the second half of the year,” Smoke says. “While seasonal patterns are emerging in July month-to-month comparisons, all other metrics point to fundamental market health and a build-up of momentum.””

What About Sanibel & Captiva?

San Cap LogoLooking at the sales on Sanibel and Captiva Islands January through July, there was not such a huge jump in the number of sales, but good steady progress.

Here is how those statistics stack up – unit sales year-to-year.

Closed

Sales         Sanibel                                           Captiva                                          GRAND

1/1 to 7/31 Condos  Homes  Lots   TOTAL     Condos  Homes  Lots    TOTAL   TOTAL

2014           111         145       20     276           13           19          0         32          308

2013           109          142      14     265          23            14          1         38          303

2012           113          122      22     257          25            20          1         46          303

2011           106          113      12     231          19            15          0         34          265

Wondering how these sales compare to current inventory? We need listings – especially homes!

# for sale

8/22/14      126          149       88     364          43            34          4         81          445

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 15-22

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Tennisplace #A26 2/1.5 $349,555; Sanibel Siesta #502 2/2 $595K.

2 price changes: Spanish Cay #A7 1/1 now $249.9K (our listing), Pointe Santo #B4 2/2 now $669K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Sanibel Arms #C1 2/2 $485K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 2615 Tamarind Rd 2/2 $425K, 4606 Brainard Bayou Rd 2/1 $434K, 3990 Coquina Dr 3/2 $599.9K, 169 Southwinds Dr 2/2 $798K, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2 $2.175M.

1 price change: 1266 Isabel Dr now $1.795M.

5 new sales: 6451 Pine Ave 3/2 listed for $489K, 1364 Jamaica Dr 2/2 listed for $489K, 701 Durion Ct 3/2 listed for $549K, 667 Nerita St 3/2 listed for $739K, 4500 Waters Edge Ln 2/2 listed for $799K (our sale).

3 closed sales: 5841 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $425K, 475 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 $715K, 4444 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 $925K.

LOTS

2 new listings: 5749 SanCap Rd $399K, 6486 Pine Ave $459.9K.

1 price change: 861 Birdie View Pt now $339K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Captiva Shores #7B 3/2 $1.249M.

1 price change: Beach Villas #2628 2/2 now $639K.

1 new sale: Captiva Shores #7B 3/2 listed for $1.249M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

Nothing to report.

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.

Enjoy your weekend! It’s gonna be another sunny warm one on the islands! SanibelSusan

sanibel-island-beach-white-sand

Summertime on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Visit SW FloridaSouthwest Florida made the national news this week with some of the highest rain recorded in Naples (some 7″ on Monday, when the previous record was 2″). Sanibel and Captiva Islands had a lot then too, but the sandy soil here managed to absorb it quickly. Personally, I had a little fall-out from the storms, when lightning hit the prized Bismark palm in my front yard. Just the price we pay for summers in Florida!

The beaches remain busy with summer vacationers, but the local children are getting ready to go back to school, in less than two weeks, on August 18. Yesterday, I heard that the number of vacation rental check-ins tomorrow is dropping off. Then that business really comes to an almost screeching-halt the following Saturday. That is the norm here late August and September and the reason why many restaurants and businesses close up then for annual maintenance work and vacations. Now through the end of September often is the slowest time of the year on the islands, but still a great time to come.

another-perfect-sunset

A few SanibelSusan listings were shown this week and though we had an Association of Realtors® biweekly caravan meeting yesterday, I was the only one to announce a new sale (Spanish Cay #A4) and only one new listing was on Caravan for viewing. These are more indications of how S-L-O-W, it can be here late summer. The action posted in the Multiple Listing Service follow a couple of news items below. The first is a list of a couple of closings that were announced this week:

Short-Term Closings

Bag Day Noah's arkNoah’s Ark Thrift Shop (located behind St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church at 2304 Periwinkle Way) annual Bag Day is August 15 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bags will be sold for $4 each, and can be filled with anything that fits inside. Larger items will be 80% off. Noah’s Ark will not be accepting donations again until after September 1.

Sanibel Historical VillageThe Sanibel Historical Village closed its doors on another season on July 30 and will reopen in November. There will be a lot of changes when the museum reopens. Shore Haven, the 1924 Sears Roebuck house is in the final stages of preparation to serve as a welcome center for guests and a staging area for docents. People are welcome to walk the grounds of the village during the off-season with signage for the buildings giving visitors a picture of life in old-time Sanibel. When the village reopens November 5, hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with docent-led tours at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. More info at www.sanibelmuseum.org.

Donax Beach AccessDonax Street Beach Access closed yesterday and will remain close through August 20 for maintenance work.

Similar work was finished this week at the Nerita Street Beach Access which reopened yesterday.

Henderson Boat Ramp is closed for dredging as part of the City’s maintenance of canals in the Pine Tree Drive canal system. The ramp will remain closed until the dredging is complete which is expected to take four months.

Cyclists Focus on Sanibel

bicycle_clip_artSanibel City Manager, Judie Zimomra, posted the following on Facebook earlier this week. What nice recognition of the island’s terrific bike path system and its history: “…thanks to Sanibel resident Tom Sharbaugh this concise history of our Shared Use Paths system is currently posted on the Bike Walk Lee Blog…….& a tip of the hat to the three Sanibel Moms who were the birthmothers of our path system that now provides recreation, transportation, exercise & fun to thousands of our residents & visitors daily…”

“Thursday, July 24, 2014. This week’s BWL column, written by Tom Sharbaugh, shares the history of the Sanibel Island path system. Anyone looking for proof that interested citizens can advance the cause of bike/ped safety in their community need look no further than nearby Sanibel Island for a good example.

News Press logoBikeWalkLee’s News-Press “Go Coastal” Column: 7/24/14 By Tom Sharbaugh

“When the Sanibel Causeway opened in May 1963, it brought a period of intense development to what was previously a sleepy barrier island.

“For cyclists and pedestrians, it also brought a nightmare as they were forced to share narrow island streets with non-stop traffic, including heavy construction vehicles. Without benefit of bike lanes or sidewalks, every trip by bike or by foot became a life-threatening experience.

“Eventually, residents had had enough, and a few concerned citizens decided to do something about it. In December 1972, four island women — Grace Whitehead, Mariel Goss, Sherry Vartdal and Starr Thomas — organized the Sanibel Bike Path Committee to work toward creation of a system of “hike and bike” trails for the community. As mothers of young children, these women had a special interest in improving safety for bicycles and pedestrians.

The group adopted a slogan: “Preserve, Protect and Pedal.”

“Preserving the environment and wildlife was (and still is) a hot button with Sanibel residents. Protecting children with safer streets was a key goal of the effort, and pedaling was promoted as a healthy alternative to motor vehicles for getting around the island. (It is interesting that these same themes are alive on the island today.)

“After unsuccessfully seeking help from Lee County and state entities, organizers determined that if their effort was going to succeed, they would have to drive it through local efforts, raising money for the project and calling attention to the importance of their cause.

“What followed is a classic example of “bootstrap activism,” as the founding women geared up local fundraising efforts. They placed donation jars at local businesses, which raised their first $1,180.

“They created a local phone directory for Sanibel and Captiva, selling the first edition for $2 with all proceeds going toward building the new bike path. They sold T-shirts and sand dollar necklaces, and they organized fundraising dinners.

“In addition to raising money, the organizers looked for ways to increase awareness about why this was an important community need. In February 1974, the women organized a protest during which 15 bicyclists rode the length of Periwinkle Way in the middle of the traffic lane during rush hour.

“After determining that bikes had the same rights as motor vehicles to be on the road, they decided to use this as a demonstration to county commissioners and law enforcers that a safer alternative was needed for bikes and pedestrians.

“Later, the group invited all the Lee County Commissioners to a pot luck luncheon, after which they drove them around the streets of Sanibel to see first-hand the unsafe road conditions.

“Eventually, these efforts made a difference. Influenced by the Sanibel group’s activities, Lee County developed a plan for a county-wide network of paths and a funding strategy for county and state funding to pay construction costs. Also that year, Florida’s Department of Transportation (FDOT) set aside $2 million in federal funds for bike path construction.

“And when the City of Sanibel was incorporated in late 1974, the path system was a prominent issue; candidates for the first City Council election were asked to state their positions regarding the path system. In 1976, the first 2½ miles of Sanibel’s path were built along Periwinkle Way, funded by $10,000 in seed money from the Sanibel Bike Path Committee, matched by a similar amount from FDOT.

“Since those early days, Sanibel’s path system (now known as a “Shared Use Path”) has been expanded many times and now covers over 25 miles of off-road pathways. Responsibility for overseeing path construction & maintenance now rests with the City of Sanibel, funded by city tax revenues. But stewardship of the path continues to be a responsibility shared between the city and the citizens of Sanibel.

“In recent years, the job of advocating for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and safety has been taken on by the Sanibel Bicycle Club. Founded in 1994, the club has worked closely with the city and its Department of Public Works to identify path expansion opportunities, maintenance needs and safety issues, and to provide volunteer help for path-related projects.

“In a throwback the path’s early history, in 2005 the Sanibel Bicycle Club established the “Sanibel Trails In Motion” fund, a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to raising money through donations to pay for path enhancements. To date, Sanibel Trails In Motion has collected more than $57,000. The Trails In Motion Fund helped to pay for preparation of Sanibel’s 2009 Shared Use Path Master Plan, in partnership with the city.

“In the past 10 years, Sanibel’s path system has been extended to new parts of the island, widened in heavily traveled areas, and separated from the roadway with a grassy median. Recent focus has been updating crosswalks and adding safe interconnectivity of the path with major destination locations.

Anyone looking for proof that interested citizens can advance the cause of bike/ped safety in their community need look no further than nearby Sanibel Island for a good example.”

— Tom Sharbaugh is a member of the Sanibel Bicycle Club and the BikeWalkLee steering committee. BikeWalkLee is a community coalition raising public awareness and advocating for complete streets in Lee County—streets that are designed, built, operated and maintained for safe and convenient travel for all users: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Information, statistics and background online at www.BikeWalkLee.org. Click the blue link for a copy of the Sanibel Path system map.

Florida Has Most Visitors Ever

floridaThis is a repeat of a special report on news-press.com by Karl Etters on Wednesday, August 5, 2014:

“More travelers visited Florida in the first quarter of this year than during any other three-month period in the state’s history. Data from Visit Florida showed that from January through March, 26.7 million visitors entered the state, a half-million more than the previous record set last year. The uptick in tourism, and the impact on the state’s economy, was lauded in Tallahassee on Monday by Visit Florida and the non-profit TaxWatch.

“The numbers represent an increase of 38,000 tourism related jobs and 37,000 outside of the industry related to strong 2013. The study also shows that travel related jobs in the state during the first three months are up 3.5% compared to the same time in 2013.

“The Legislature approved a budget with $74 million in funding for marketing and promotion by Visit Florida, a huge increase from the $10.5 million the year before. “If the state increases its tourism spending, private businesses do as well and private investment is great for the state of Florida,” said TaxWatch chief economist Jerry Parrish.

“Visit Florida, public-private agency, is required to have a one-to-one match in private funding. Over the past seven years it averaged $2.08 in private money for every public dollar. Parrish said aside from being a boon in communities statewide, more visitors put money into the state coffers for paying off state debt, lessens the tax burden on state residents, makes tax-free holidays possible and contributes to infrastructure funding.

“The increase in visitors is part of a three-year trend of more travelers, international and domestic. “There’s no question the state of Florida and the tourism industry in the state of Florida has a tremendous amount of momentum,” said Visit Florida President and CEO Will Seccombe. Data show that in the first six months of 2014, hotel room rentals increased 10%.

“In 2013, 94.3 million visitors came to the state. That number has been rising from 80.8 million in 2009, a record low. Robust tourism visitation for June in Collier County resulted in continued high occupancy at hotels and short term rentals at close to 70% and a 14.2% increase in tourism direct spending over June of 2013. Year-to-date direct spending by visitors is nearing $759 million, 11.4% ahead of the pace for 2013. “Tourism and hospitality industry direct and indirect employment in Collier County increased by 4.0% in 2013 and reached a peak of 38,800 during the 2014 winter season. Our summer visitation and occupancy continues to be close to capacity, which means that more of those employed will be able to keep their jobs without being subjected to seasonal layoffs,” said Jack Wert, Collier tourism executive director. “Our community has enjoyed 41 straight months of job growth in the tourism and hospitality sector.”

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics data totals the average annual employment and total annual wages for each of the state’s 67 counties. In 2013, the leisure and hospitality category of private-sector jobs pushed more than 24,000 jobs in Collier County with a total annual salary over $627 million. Lee County jobs totaled more than 34,000 with annual wages topping $734 million countywide. “We’ve always known that tourism creates jobs and there is an absolute return on our investment,” said Tamara Pigott, executive director for Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau. “We’re very supportive in helping Florida get to that 100 million (visitors) number. We want to grow our visitation, and we do believe in that partnership. All ships lift in a rising tide, and we are supportive of their funding. We all have a symbiotic relationship — their promotion efforts and ours.””

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 1-8

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #322 2/2 $519K, Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 $725K.

3 price changes: Sundial #D207 1/1 now $258.990; Seascape #105 3/3 now $1.795M, Seascape #204 3/3.5 now $1.895M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Coquina Beach #5G 2/2 $372.5K, Sundial #J307 2/2 $501K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1063 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $545K, 1195 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $1.195M, 2010 Sunrise Cir 5/3 $1.379M.

1 price change: 1377 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $469K.

5 new sales: 421 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed for $499K, 1225 Junonia St 3/2 listed for $649K; 1504 Angel Dr 4/3 listed for $745K; 1048 Kings Crown Dr 4/4 listed for $1,224,995; 766 Sand Dollar Dr 4/5.5 listed for $1.495M.

5 closed sales: 2079 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 $480K, 236 Hurricane Ln 3/3 $530K, 1049 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $590K, 2569 Coconut Dr 2/2 $622K, 5313 Punta Caloosa Ct 4/3 $820K.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva
CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4212 1/2 $275K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2313 1/1 listed for $539K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16910 Captiva Dr 4/4 $4.835M

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: 11411 Old Lodge Ln 4/2 $900K, 11547 Wightman Ln 2/2 $1.275M.

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.

Happy Weekend to all! SanibelSusan

Here is a photo taken on Wednesday from the beach access next to Sanibel Siesta!

IMG_2773[1]

Summer Brings Popcorn Clouds to Sanibel & Captiva Islands

It’s SusanSusan reporting that we have had another quiet week on the islands. The weather has settled into a nice summer pattern of sunny days with an occasional passing shower which is keeping the islands lush and tropical.

The photos below were taken earlier this afternoon as I was on my rounds getting ready for some showings tomorrow. On the photo of the causeway are the storm clouds just off island, then turning the other direction I took the blue sky photo showing San Carlos Bay toward Pine Island Sound. The lake view in The Dunes shows the cloud progression in just a few minutes.

Our summer island joke is that the storms can’t afford the $6 toll, when in reality it probably has something to do with the surrounding water temperature. Some afternoons we get a shower and some we don’t.

Below are a couple of news items followed by the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week.

July Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Monthly Membership Meeting

SanCapAssnLogoThere was a good turn-out yesterday at our monthly Association of Realtors® membership meeting which was sponsored by our friends at Barrier Island Title Services, Inc. Janet McBee (owner), Nanci Berlin (manager), Angie Martin (who handles most of my closings), & Jackie Martin were all in attendance. Nanci thanked members for their continued support and reminded us that this is their 25th year in business on the islands. Congratulations!

Sanibel Surveys logoThe educational segment of the meeting included a presentation by Andy Johnson, owner of Sanibel Surveys. Here is some of the information he shared regarding the three control lines on the islands. Andy particularly mentioned that these lines sometimes get incorrectly lumped together and called CCCL’s (Coastal Construction Control Lines) when in fact there are actually three different lines and only one is the true Coastal Construction Control Line today. Below is some info learned from Andy’s presentation as well as some websites:

The Differences in Coastal Control/Setback/Erosion Control Lines

State of FL SealCoastal Construction Control Line (CCCL) – is the line established by the State of Florida that defines that portion of the beach-dune system subject to severe fluctuations based on a 100-year storm surge, storm waves, or other predictable weather conditions. It is part of Florida’s coastal management program and it is regulated through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. It provides protection for Florida’s beaches and dunes while assuring reasonable use of private property. Property may not be modified or constructed seaward of this line without approval from the State. (See more info on http://www.dep.state.fl.us/beaches/programs/ccclprog.htm.)

Here on the islands, many of us refer to this line as the 1991 line. As part of the sales contract prepared when an offer is written to purchase a property that is forward of the CCCL line, a Coast Construction Control Line rider is required. Note, in the case of a condo purchase, it may be that some of the common elements are in front of this 1991 line, but not the actual unit itself. Since a condo owner usually will own a share of the common elements, like a beach-side swimming pool, a prospective buyer should be made aware of the line if it intersects the property anywhere.

Lee County Setback Line – also sometimes known as the Lee County Coastal Construction Control Line. Lee County first adopted coastal control construction codes in the mid-1970’s. Here, the current CCCL established in 1991 and mentioned above, replaced an earlier 1974 CCCL. Construction seaward of the 1991 CCCL requires a coastal construction permit from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Building Code establishes a base flood elevation for buildings located seaward of the 1991 CCCL.

On Sanibel, the state 1974 CCCL was used to establish the Gulf Beach Ecological Zone which is designated for passive recreation and conservation uses only. For that reason, and to add to the confusion, the 1974 CCCL is often referred to as the Coastal Construction Setback Line on Sanibel.

On Lee County websites, a county-wide 1978 CCL is posted on the county aerial maps since that is the map that applied to properties built before the 1991 line was established.

Erosion Control Line – To further complicate things, there is a third line, known as the Erosion Control Line. Captiva residents and businesses have been managing their beaches for decades, improving them as needed with beach renourishment events. CEPD has developed a comprehensive plan to protect the island’s shoreline including support from Federal, State, County and local agencies. The first CEPT renourishment project was in 1961, followed by projects in 1981, 1988, 1996 (this project also included sand on northern Sanibel), 2005 (also including some of Sanibel), and 2013. The land seaward of this line does not convey with a sale.

Want to Find Details on a Specific Property? Realtors®, appraisers, surveyors, insurance agents, and others often use two county on-line resources. Each can be queried by either owner’s name, address, or the property identifier called the STRAP number.

  • http://www.LeePa.org which is the Lee Property Appraiser’s site. It shows property values, deed recordings, legal descriptions, aerial photos, tax code details, and more.
  • http://leegis.leegov.com/leespins/ which is Lee County’s Spatial Information System. It provides some of the same information, but also includes overlays with these control lines shown, where applicable.

Sanibelcityseal logoSanibel Build-Back Ordinance  – In early 2006, Sanibel City Council adopted an ordinance that is important to Sanibel property owners because it clarified and revised the City’s build-back regulations which can relate to properties and improvements seaward of control lines.

These clarifications and revisions to the City’s build-back regulations address when/how nonconforming structures and structures devoted to nonconforming uses, which are substantially damaged by a natural disaster, can be built back.

There are buildings and land uses, within the City, that were lawful when established, but which have become nonconforming under the terms of the Sanibel Plan or the Land Development Code (like a ground-level property seaward of a control line). “It is the intent of the Land Development Code to permit these nonconformities to continue until they are eventually removed, but except as to most nonconforming uses, not to require them to be removed as the result of a disaster, and to allow them to be built back (their reconstruction) after a disaster, subject to reasonable restrictions.”

The City clarified and revised its build-back regulations to ensure that property owners do not suffer the loss of a dwelling unit or a reduction in unit size as the result of a natural disaster. It is also the intent of build-back regulations that nonconforming uses can be reestablished if the building they occupy is built back after a natural disaster. (For more info, the Sanibel Buildback Guide is available on the City’s website at www.MySanibel.com.)

3 Challenges Still Facing the Housing Market

“Daily Real Estate News” on-line on Wednesday said:

realtor logo“Existing-home sales gained momentum in June, reaching an annual pace of 5 million sales for the first time since October 2013, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest housing report. Rising inventories also are pushing the overall supply of homes for sale toward a more balanced market, with unsold inventories 6.5% higher than a year ago, NAR notes.

““Inventories are at their highest level in over a year and price gains have slowed to much more welcoming levels in many parts of the country,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “This bodes well for rising home sales in the upcoming months as consumers are provided with more choices.”

Growing Optimism?

“Still, the market is facing several headwinds that continue to subdue a more robust recovery. NAR noted three in its most recent housing report:

  1. Sluggish new-home construction: While overall housing inventories showed improvement in June, inventory problems continue to weigh on the market and could become more problematic if new-home construction doesn’t increase in more markets, NAR notes. “New-home construction needs to rise by at least 50% for a complete return to a balanced market because supply shortages — particularly in the West — are still putting upward pressure on prices,” Yun notes.
  2. Stagnant wage growth: Yun also noted that stagnant wage growth is holding back what should be a stronger pace of sales. “Hiring has been a bright spot in the economy this year, adding an average of 230,000 jobs each month,” Yun notes. “However, the lack of wage increases is leaving a large pool of potential home buyers on the sidelines who otherwise would be taking advantage of low interest rates. Income growth below price appreciation will hurt affordability.”
  3. Dwindling first-time home buyers: The percentage of first-time buyers continues to be low by historical standards. First-time home buyers made up 28% of the market in June, down from a typical 40% of the market historically.

“NAR President Steve Brown says that some prospective buyers who have above average credit scores but low down payments are being deterred from home ownership by the high cost of FHA mortgage insurance. “Access to affordable credit continues to hamper young, prospective first-time buyers,” says Brown. “NAR recommends that the FHA reduce high annual mortgage insurance premiums for all qualified homebuyers and eliminate the insurance requirement for the life of the loan. The FHA’s HAWK program is a good start, but it should offer further reductions for participating home buyers.”

“Here are some more housing indicators from NAR’s most recent report.

Home prices: Median existing-home prices for all housing types in June was $223,300, 4.3% higher than year-ago levels. This was the 28th consecutive month for year-over-year price gains.

Distressed homes: Foreclosures and short sales accounted for 11% of June sales, a 15% drop from year-ago levels. On average, foreclosures sold for a discount of 20% below market value, while short sales were discounted 11% in June.

Time on market: The median time on market for all homes was 44 days in June, up from 37 days on market in June 2013. Forty-two percent of homes sold in June were on the market for less than a month.

All-cash sales: All-cash sales made up 32% of transactions in June, up slightly from 31% in June 2013. Individual investors, who account for the majority of cash sales, purchased 16% of homes in June, down from 17% in June 2013.

“REGIONAL SNAPSHOT

Take a closer look at how existing-home sales fared in your area.

Northeast: Existing-home sales increased 3.2%, but remain 3% below year-ago levels. Median price: $269,800, an 0.1% decrease from June 2013.

Midwest: Existing-home sales surged 6.2%, but remain 2.4% below June 2013. Median price: $177,900, up 4.6% from a year ago.

South: Existing-home sales rose slightly by 0.5%, up 1% from June 2013. Median price: $192,600, up 3.4% from a year ago.

West: Existing-home sales increased 2.7%, but remain 7.3% below a year ago. Median price: $301,000, up 7.2% from a year ago.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity July 18-26

Sanibel
CONDOS

2 new listings: Duggers Tropical Cottages #4 1/1 $299K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 $819K.

3 price changes: Duggers Tropical Cottages #5 1/1 now $298K, Shell Island Beach Club #7A 2/2 now $619.9K, Nutmeg Village #209 2/2 now $730K.

2 new sales: Sundial #G407 1/1 listed for $339K, Sundial #J307 2/2 listed for $539.9K.

2 closed sales: Tennisplace #E31 2/1 $280K, Sandals #D 4/3 $1.8M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1674 Sabal Palm Dr 3/3 $865K.

2 price changes: 2098 Wild Lime Dr 2/2 now $359K, 419 Lighthouse Way 4/3 now $849.9K.

3 new sales: 581 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed for $495K (short sale), 676 Anchor Dr 3/3 listed for $949K, 566 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed for $995K.

3 closed sales: 553 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $579K, 1278 Sand Castle Rd 4/3 $721K, 1058 Fish Crow Rd 4/3 $860K.

LOTS

1 new listing: Lot 27, Leisure Acres $199.9K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2316 1/1 $475K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16585 Captiva Dr 5/4.2 $2,799,585.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 15361 Captiva Dr 5/4 $2.3M.

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.

Til next Friday,  Susan