Market Outlook – Here, There, Everywhere

Another Friday and SanibelSusan here with another island real estate report. First a photo of what it looks like here on a sunny Sanibel afternoon.

This week, the Saharan dust covering much of Florida has kept rain away from the islands. There have been a few showers, but nothing like usual peak storm season. Driving across the causeway, the hazy view over the water reminded me of growing up on the Maine seashore and how it looked before morning fog burned off. Now, that dust is moving away from Florida, so weather likely will return to a more typical September weather-pattern with daytime temps expected to be in the low- to mid-80’s with chance of afternoon thunderstorms. Now through the weekend, we also may see some wind from Hurricane Ida passing out in the Gulf, no real concern for SW Florida though.

Florida Realtors® Annual Convention

I sure hated to miss this event in-person again this year, but thankfully with new Covid-protocols still was able to participate electronically. Florida Realtors 2021 Convention and Trade Expo is being held August 24-28 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando.

Yesterday, in between classes, was the Annual Awards luncheon. It was great to hear that some friends were acknowledged and rewarded: Congratulations to 2021 Realtor® of the Year – Florida Realtors® 2020 President Barry Grooms from Bradenton, 2021 Humanitarian of the Year – Steven David from Broward, Palm Beaches, and St Lucie Realtors®, and to our 2021 District 5 VP – Ursula Weinkauff from Bonita Springs. They all excelled in a challenging year as they have for many years.

Today, our local Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Director of Education, Megan Rose, is sitting on the Florida Realtors® Audition Panel for the Professional Development Committee, evaluating candidates looking to teach state-approved classes. I sure enjoyed doing that for many years and know Megan will do a great job representing us. She will have a long tiring but fulfilling day. It is great process to ensure that Florida’s teachers are top-notch.

Tonight is the annual in-person Florida Realtors® 2021 PAC live auction. You-know-who has been bidding electronically all week on silent auction items. Tomorrow, the event wraps up with a Candidate Forum, Member Update, and the individual District meetings, followed by the Board of Directors Meeting.

At the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

There was no caravan meeting this week for the islands Association of Realtors®, but some real estate activity still was posted in the local Multiple Listing Service. The action follows a coupe of news items below.

At SanibelSusan Realty

Happily, The SanibelSusan Team has two closings before the end of the month, so Dave and I will be busy with those over the weekend and early next week. We both remarked this morning about how little traffic is on the island now. At quitting time last night, I went home the back way (west on Periwinkle to Tarpon Bay Rd north to Gulf Dr to the east end to Periwinkle) and didn’t pass a single car going in either direction until I got to just before the turn-off to my street. Even then, only saw one work truck heading off-island. Dave said it was little later when he left Lighthouse Beach, to head off island. He also didn’t see other vehicles. Where is everyone? September usually is the quietest month on the islands, appears that late-August is getting ready.

The Market Outlook – Nationally & More

Tuesday, I attended a Zoom presentation given at the National Association Leadership Summit in Chicago by NAR’s Chief Economist and Senior VP of Research, Lawrence Yun. As a long-time fan, it was interesting to hear his take on the pandemic, today’s housing shortage, and what he thinks the real estate future will bring.

He prefaced his speech saying that 99% of the country is experiencing a double-digit price change in their median priced home.

Then, he began with “when does this pandemic end?” He reiterated that though it has been over 100 years since the Spanish flu pandemic, through history pandemics have been a common phenomenon, a human experience. One that will not be done and over when this pandemic subsides. The Delta variant being a good example of that.

Looking at today’s statistics compared to recent history, one of his first slides showed that for the first time in decades, in the U.S., birth and death rates are equal. He referred to past forecasters who said that when the baby boomer generation starts dying out, U.S. population will decrease. That is looking to be true, though this data does not include those immigrating here and coming across borders illegally.

He then described how today’s housing shortage is a different kind from recent history when there were not enough actual homes for the housing demand. Today, rental prices are skyrocketing and expected to soar even higher. He gave examples where rental properties are getting multiple offers. Today, there is a historic shortage of rental vacancies, while the number of rental households is at an all-time high (mostly because those renters can’t compete with the offers from today’s buyers).

Existing homes sales (which traditionally are 90% of that market) are still above pre-pandemic levels, but not as frenzied as they were a few months ago. Newly-constructed-home sales (usually 10% of the market), now are just matching pre-pandemic levels.

Though interest rates still are historically low (less than 3%), mortgage applications from those looking to buy are below pre-pandemic levels. Why is this? It is because all-cash sales are elevated. Cash is king with cash sales ruling the market, essentially everywhere.

With most median home prices up over 20% in the last year, rental demand has gone up as most 1st-time buyers now are priced out of the market. Monthly mortgage payments are rising even at time when interest rates are at their lowest.

Though mortgage debt is at a record high, the record high property valuations should overwhelm any risk, so he says there is no worry of the market being over leveraged.

Comparing geographic areas, it was interesting to see where local market homeowner wealth gained over the last year. The highest equity gain was in the San Francisco Bay area where the average property increase was $160K. Unfortunately, this appreciation is not enjoyed across the population, as only 45% of San Francisco residents own. Like anywhere, homeownership rates vary across geographic areas, age groups, ethnicity, etc.

In comparing home occupant wealth, his slides showed how the average renter has a nest egg of only about $8K while the average property owner has $297K.

He made a point of mentioning of how the news media using old data does not help us understand the market – and how you cannot always believe what you hear. Particularly, considering the 2020 census numbers, that data does not reflect where people live and work today with so many fleeing cities to work in the suburbs or more preferred areas.

He had a slide showing the metro areas with the most net migration gains since the first of the year, and interestingly most of those are in vacation areas. For example, the places with the highest population increase year-to-date include Barnstable, MA (Cape Cod), Portland (ME), Myrtle Beach (SC), Asheville and Wilmington (NC), Huntsville (AL), Jacksonville (FL), and others. Another tidbit he mentioned was that Huntsville has the highest number of PhD’s in the nation. (Who knew?)

What will these vacation areas show for 2021? He said they all are experiencing a sizeable jump in sales, which is exactly what has happened here on Sanibel and Captiva.

What will the future bring? He said that housing demand should be compared to where people with jobs are doing their jobs.

As inflation increases the Fed will be forced sooner to make changes. When that happens, he expects that negative effects will occur from the Federal Reserve, who provides monetary policy, gradually increasing mortgage rates. He sees a tapering of purchases of mortgage-backed securities later this year, short-term rates rising next year, and an inevitable increase in G-fees to cover Congress’s infrastructure package. (A G-fee is the gurantee-fee to cover projected credit losses from borrower defaults over the life of loans, admin costs, and a return on capital.)

A positive effect will come from more first-time buyers qualifying for a mortgage as they have demonstrated financial capability from renting longer. (Big data also will help show their payment capability, with so many creating a financial trail through their use of Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc.)

Inflation already is popping out and is not going to go away. He predicts high inflation will continue. Already many of us are seeing price increases in used cars, gas, airfares, appliances, and the like.

The Government says rents are rising at 1.9% annually, but he provided info from national rental organizations showing that increases are more like 6, 7, and 8%, probably an indication that the Government also is under estimating inflation.

As the pandemic wanes, sales to foreign buyers and immigrants will pick up.

In the commercial arena, office space usage is shaky, particularly in downtown areas where many cities, like New York and Chicago, have high vacancies.

Industrial spaces, on the other hand, are booming. Retail spaces are coming back as buying improves, while apartment spaces also are coming back strong.

In his wrap-up, he likened the economy internationally to the winners of the Olympic gold medals, showing how through history those with the most medals were the most economically strong. We might have received the most medals in the Olympics this year, but China is a close second. Followed by Japan, before Great Britain. There is a message in that. Stay tuned.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 20-27, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Blind Pass #A102 2/2 $630K, Sanibel Arms West #E3 2/2 $965K, Gulfside Place #210 2/2 $1.495M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #211 1/1 listed at $525K, Breakers West #C3 2/2 listed at $749K, Gulf Beach #207 2/2 listed at $1.1M.

3 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #921 1/1 $435K, Sanibel Inn #3511 2/2 $695.1K, Kings Crown #102 2/2 $1.55M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 4771 Tradewinds Dr 3/3 $3.35M.

2 price changes: 1025 S. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed at $820K, 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $1.799M.

8 new sales: 837 Casa Ybel Rd 2/2 duplex listed at $599.9K, 5802 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3.5 listed at $899K, 4760 Rue Helene 3/2 listed at $1.325M, 4954 Joewood Dr 3/2 listed at $1.599M, 5379 Shearwater Dr 4/3 listed at $2.149M, 2475 Tropical Way Ct 3/3.5 listed at $2.295M, 856 Limpet Dr 4/2.5 listed at $2.358M, 4014 West Gulf Dr 4/4 listed at $3.849M.

1 closed sale: 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 $1.55M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 5642 Baltusrol Ct now $369K.

1 new sale: 1272 Par View Dr listed at $459K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3127 1/1 $385K, Captiva Hide-a-Way #1D 2/2 $1.032M.

HOMES & LOTS

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,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Dog Days of Summer on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

dog-days-of-summer-clip-art-627565It’s SanibelSusan reporting that the dog days of summer continue on Sanibel/Captiva Islands with a big shower this morning. More rain is expected over the weekend and into early next week.

dog days of summerThe humidity is off the charts, but hopefully not for long.

Luckily not many vacationers will be disappointed about the weather, as I understand that beginning tomorrow, it really will be “off-season” with occupancy way down – for the first time since last year at this time. Happens every year when it’s nearly back-to-school time.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

SANSLogoSeveral of our listings had showings this week and we had another nice closing today – both sides (list and sell). Two of our listings got price reductions too.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

SanCapAssnLogoOur local Association of Realtors® had a Caravan meeting yesterday (first one in several weeks). Just two new listings were on tour (one of Sanibel, one Captiva), and just a couple of sales were announced which are described in the 7-day report from the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listings Service which follows a couple of news items below.

New Pavilion Constructed at SCCF Bailey Homestead Preserve

sccfThis week, the “Island Sun” reported that one of the final remaining projects to be completed at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s Bailey Homestead Preserve was the addition of a large open-air pavilion behind the main house.

Here's a throw-back photo from 2012 of teammate cleaning the sign at the Native Plant Nursery

Here’s a throw-back photo from 2012 of teammate Lisa cleaning the sign at the Native Plant Nursery

It is nearly completed and “the foundation is looking at a November opening date for the Native Plant Nursery, which will relocate there from its current home along Sanibel-Captiva Road.

“The pavilion is planned as the site for SCCF’s Landscaping for Wildlife program, along with other activities hosted by the nursery….The Bailey Homestead had originally been a row farm, growing crops such as tomatoes, squash, eggplant and other vegetables, until the hurricane of 1926 ruined the island’s rich soil. Later, the site included citrus trees such as orange, grapefruit and lime. The property also includes what members of The Hammerheads call the “Honey House”. Built after the original structure, the small building is where workers would process the row crops and honey farmed onsite.

“Over the next few months, work to be completed at the Bailey Homestead Preserve includes adding final touches to the pavilion, grading of the properties’ pathways and parking areas, installing fencing and finishing the interior layout of the house itself….SCCF will announce the grand opening date for the Bailey Homestead Preserve in the future. For additional info, visit www.sccf.org.”

Lee County Day at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

bailey-mathews shell museum signAugust 20, Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lee County adults get half-off museum admission and Lee County kids get in free.

For one day only and sponsored by LCEC (Lee County Electric Co-op), this is a great opportunity to see the WaterVentures Mobile Science Lab.

Yun Joins “Forbes” as Regular Contributor

ForbesAs a long-time fan of NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, it was good news to read the following article about him in yesterday’s “Daily Real Estate News” on line:

“Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, has become a regular contributor to Forbes.com, sharing his latest thoughts on the housing market. He will be posting two to four articles every month related to housing and the economy at Forbes.com.

“Yun’s columns will offer insights into the wide range of research activity he oversees at NAR, including NAR’s existing-home sales statistics, NAR’s Affordability Index, and the Home Buyers and Sellers Profile Report. Yun regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends to NAR’s 1 million REALTOR® members as well as to media outlets across the country.

“In his first column at Forbes.com, Yun highlights the drop in the home ownership rate to a near 50-year low, and how that doesn’t necessarily mean the housing recovery is headed for trouble. “This does not mean that the housing market is in a funk,” Yun writes. “Rather it is quite the opposite, with home sales and home prices rising solidly in recent times. Existing-home sales were up eight% year-to-date to June from the same period a year ago, while new home sales were higher by 21%.”

“The home ownership rate has fallen because of the dwindling number of first-time home buyers and the tightening of mortgage underwriting standards in recent years, he says. The drop in first-time home buyers is the most alarming trend for the housing market, Yun writes.

“In 2014, the first-time home buyer share dropped to 33%, the lowest level in nearly three decades. What’s more, the tighter lending environment has prompted an estimated 1.2 million missing mortgages to would-be qualified borrowers based on historic norms, according to a report by the Urban Land Institute.

“Yun notes the drop in the home ownership rate has caused the country’s wealth distribution to become more unequal today — mostly because the drop in the home ownership rate is occurring at a time of rising home values. “Homeowners and property-owning investors are participating in the housing equity recovery but there are fewer in number,” Yun notes.”

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity August 7-14

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Sundial #R401 2/2 now $799K (our listing).

1 new sale: Sanddollar #A203 3/2 listed at $1.015M.

1 closed sale: Spanish Cay #F2 1/1 $225K (our listing & sale).

HOMES

3 new listings: 789 Pyrula Ave 4/2.5 $1.275M, 411 Lighthouse Way 4/3 $1.495M, 1552 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/5.5 $3.75M.

2 price changes: 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 now $679.9K, 5743 Baltusrol Ct 3/3.5.5 now $1.35M (our listing).

4 new sales: 1388 Tahiti Dr 3/2 listed at $639K, 546 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed at $789K, 169 Southwinds Dr 2/2 listed at $798K, 249 Daniel Dr 2/2.5 listed at $834.9K.

5 closed sales: 4636 Buck Key Rd 2/2 $375K, 1400 Albatross Rd 3/3 $510K, 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 $607.5K, 4620 Rue Bayou 3/3 $835K, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 $2.575M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1048 Fish Crow Rd now $399K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 3354 Barra Cir $295K.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Tennis Villas #A205 1/1 $259K, Captiva Shores #1A 3/2/2 $1.55M, Beach Homes #27 5/3 $2.599M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Homes #3 3/2 $1.86M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 $3,999,999.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

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.

Until next Friday, enjoy your weekend! Here the turtles are still nesting & the baby sea turtles are still hatching! Cheers! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Hooray, It’s Almost October

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One of my favorite months on Sanibel & Captiva Islands is October. That is when the weather is usually as good as it gets, with humidity down and temperatures dropping into the 60’s at night. Traffic is light. Shops and restaurants that were closed for vacations and refurbishment reopen. Snowbirds begin arriving with big smiles on their faces. Schedules are posted with upcoming fall and winter activities, holiday sensations begin. In the real estate business, it is also when we get our new listings for the upcoming “high season” and when we like to adjust any existing listings so that they are well positioned for “season” too. October is just that month when things start hoppin’ on the islands again.

This year is no exception. According to local weather reports, two cool fronts are on their way to SW Florida with our forecast for the weekend and beyond, “perfect”.

When Dave went out this afternoon to do his periodic listing checks, I asked him to snap a few photos which are posted in the slide-show above. They include the playground at Bowman’s Beach, an osprey nest on Tarpon Bay, and the new bike path which was just paved in front of our office. That path now connects most of the town center area including Sanibel’s Community House, Sanibel Square (home of Nanny’s Children’s Shoppe, SanibelSusan Realty, Island Therapy Center, Norm Ziegler’s Fly Shop, BIG ARTS on Periwinkle, Molnar Electric, Nave Plumbing, Sanibel Rental Service, Sanibel Design Center, and Sanibel Bean), Sanibel Library, City Hall, BIG ARTS & the playhouse, the Sanibel Museum & more. How cool is that?

One more tidbit, a new tab has been added above for those wanting to search for Sanibel & Captiva property. Hopefully, by next week, I’ll have figured out how to post more details on each my listings too. In the meantime, the above tab will bring you to the information that is shared cooperatively through our island Multiple Listing Service and the Internet Data Exchange. A full-page of info on each of my listings, including streaming videos and aerials, can be found today at www.SanibelSusan.com 

Ready to Invest in Homes Again

Those who read these blogs probably have figured out that I am a big fan of Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors®. Here is what he had to say in the October issue of “Realtor®” magazine. It is a good summary of the status of the economy.

“Americans socked away $250 billion in each of the ten years prior to 2008 – before the onset of the financial crisis. The savings rate was a low 2% to 3% of disposable income. Starting in 2008, consumers became more careful about spending and are now saving some $600 billion a year.

“The adjustments were certainly warranted. But the rise in savings has not affected all sectors of the economy equally. Spending on food, clothing, utilities, and health care has hit new highs. The growing population is fueling these areas, so where are the increased savings coming from?

“Vehicle sales have fallen to about 12 million units a year over the past three years, well below the 16 million to 17 million unit sales pace typical before the slowdown. Then there are home sales. New- and existing-home sales hit $1.2 million and $7.1 million, respectively, in 2005. The comparable figures are now $300,000 and $5 million.

“This process of saving more and reducing debt is known as deleveraging, and it’s not just households doing it. Businesses, banks, and state and local governments are doing it, too.

“Only the federal government has been moving in the opposite direction: spending more using borrowed money. But this trend is likely to reverse soon. The debt ceiling bill enacted in early August all but ensures federal borrowing will slow because it creates a mechanism for $1.5 trillion in spending cuts if Congress fails to act on the recommendations of a new super committee of lawmakers charged with identifying cuts.

“Meanwhile, we can expect deleveraging to slow among businesses and consumers. There isn’t a perfect straight-line path in economics. Deleveraging is big now, but tomorrow will be different. Despite major hurdles in the housing market, there are also signs sales and prices have reached the bottom.”

What’s New at “Ding” Darling Refuge

An e-mail received this week from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society, said that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service thought of “Ding” Darling Refuge when deciding where to debut one of three new traveling Climate Change interpretive exhibits. Newly arrived at the Refuge’s free Education Center, the exhibit will be at the Refuge through “Ding” Darling Days in Oct and at least until the end of Jan when it will help to kick off the Refuge’s winter lecture series. The background of the climate change exhibit displays a map of coastal refuges, including “Ding” Darling, that are at risk due to climate change, rising sea levels, loss of wetlands and other habitat, flooding and drought. For the complete 2012 Lecture Series Schedule.

Sanibel MLS Activity – September 23-30

Sanibel

CONDOS
4 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #M7 2/2 $399.9K (our listing), Blind Pass #B209 2/2 $479K, Kings Crown #216 2/2 $749K, Lantana #202 4/3.5 $1.899M.

3 price changes: Sundial #B402 1/1 now $395K, Lighthouse Point #318 3/2 now $449K, Clam Shell #C 2/2 now $749K.

1 new sale: Mariner Pointe #1062 2/2 listed for $299K.

2 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #D6 1/1 $180K, Loggerhead Cay #544 2/2 $525K (our listing).

HOMES
1 new listing: 955 S Yachtsman 3/2 $649.9K.
5 price changes: 1214 Par View 2/2 now $499K (our listing), 5657 SanCap 3/2 now $545K, 1284 Par View 2/2 now $549K, 935 Lindgren 3/2 now $624.9K, 5035 Joewood 4/4.5 now $3.75M.
3 new sales: 1672 Atlanta Plaza 2/1 listed for $350K, 617 East Rocks 3/2 listed for $545K, 618 N Yachtsman 3/2 listed for $772.5K(short sale).
2 closed sales:  965 Main 4/2 $216K, 4248 Old Banyan 3/2 $430K.

LOTS
No new listings.
3 price changes: 1299 Par View now $215K, 9056 Mockingbird now $299K, 3411 West Gulf now $3.74M.
No new sales.
No closed sales.

Captiva
CONDOS
2 new listings: Bayside Villas #4319 3/3 $559K, 4306 Bayside Villas 3/3 now $625K, Lands End #1628 3/3 $1.799M.
1 price change: Bayside Villas #4306 3/3 now $625K.

1 new sale: Lands End #1640 listed for $1.899M.

1 closed sale: Lands End #1639 2/2 $1.075M.

HOMES
No new listings.

1 price change: 16585 Captiva 5/4.5 now $2.2M.
No new or closed sales.

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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions. If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.

 

Until next week, best weekend wishes & Happy October.

Here’s to the beginning of a wonderful fall & winter “season” on the islands!