Winding Up Independence Day Week 2017


It’s another quiet week on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. At least pretty quiet in the real estate business.

2017 lighthouse decorated

Plenty of families were here over the holiday enjoying the festivities. The Independence Day Parade again was well attended. This year, there were several special music entries including the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation who headlined the parade, celebrating their 50th anniversary. Their upbeat band was terrific as was the more traditional patriotic-song playing BIG ARTS Community Band.

2017 parade start

The color guard with bagpipes kick off the parade.

 

2017 Parade kids

The colorful entry from Sanibel’s Summit Christian Pre-School.

2017 Rotary

 

The Bissell family whose Dad/Granddad Realtor® Don Bissell, founded the parade 27 years ago, had a fun entry too. With plenty of Bissell boys dressed as Olympic athletes & pushing mock bobsleds, they “struck a pose” whenever a spectator wanted a photo.

2017 Bissell Family

The Bissell Family’s “Happy Birthday, America” entry.

 

After the parade, the Sanibel-Captiva Optimists Club Road Rally was tougher than I remember from earlier years (winners not announced yet). Hopefully plenty was raised for local scholarships. The Sanibel Grill at The Timbers Restaurant certainly did their part after the rally in providing food and drink to the 20-some rally teams. I’m sure that Team #12, “Beamer Stars” didn’t win any awards, but we sure had fun. The fireworks went off without a hitch too.

With nice summer weather, followed by late day or evening rains, the beaches, waterways, and bike paths have been busy the rest of the week too. There will be lots of check-outs tomorrow.

The activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few new items below.

Blind Pass Beach Parking Lot Closed for Maintenance

Sanibelcityseal logoA City of Sanibel notice was posted today advising that the City will begin maintenance of the parking lot at Blind Pass Beach Park on Monday, July 10. Weather permitting repairs, it will be closed until Friday, July 14. Residents and visitors are encouraged to use other public City beach parks during this time.

State’s Economy To Top $1 Trillion Next Year

heraldtribune_logoAs posted today in Orlando on FloridaRealtosr® on-line and sourced to “Sarasota Herald-Tribune” (07/07/17):

“University of Central Florida (UCF) Economist Sean Snaith predicts that Florida’s gross state product will break the $1 trillion mark next year – and then climb to $1.074 trillion in 2019.

“That gross state product level would make the Florida economy the 16th largest in the world, as ranked by the World Bank.

“Snaith expects the gross state product to expand at an average annual rate of 2.9% through 2019 and outpace the projected average for the United States’ gross domestic product for the same period. Driving the economy will be job growth and home construction, Snaith said in his 2nd quarter Florida & Metro Forecast.

“”The fundamental underpinnings of the housing market in Florida continue to strengthen. Job growth in Florida is forecasted to continue outperforming the U.S. labor market and more baby boomers continue to reach the end of their working lives,” says Snaith, the director for the Institute for Economic Competitiveness at the UCF College of Business Administration. “This bodes well for continued population growth via the in-migration of workers and retirees.”

“Snaith notes that Florida faces a growing single-family-housing shortage because of the shrinking inventory of existing homes and a pace of housing starts that trails growth, which is rapidly pushing prices up in the single-family market.

“”While this looks like another housing bubble, it’s really just an old-fashioned shortage in the single-family market,” Snaith says. “It is expected to correct itself as new housing starts ramp up over the next few years.””

It’s Not Easy to Regulate Rentals

Florida Realtors logoToday, I read an interesting article from the “Miami Herald” that was reposted today on FloridaRealtors®.

Of course, the islands are a far cry from Miami, but the subject hit close to home when it described how the unincorporated Miami-Dade County commissioners spent hours of deliberation over a proposed ordinance that would create a laundry list of new regulations for short-term rental owners. The ordinance which had been fine-tuned over four months of meetings, would require rental platforms like Airbnb to sign up for a certificate of use, register for a business tax receipt, screen for sexual offenders, and enforce a number of “vacation rental standards” on their guests. The ordinance also imposes requirements on the platform hosting the listing, whether it be Airbnb, HomeAway, Craigslist or another site.

The commissioner who proposed the ordinance said, “The industry is here; I just want to see it sufficiently regulated for our client Miami-Dade County.” That industry is here in Southwest Florida too. Time and time again in the real estate business, we run into island owners and similar platforms violating the rental restrictions of a community or complex or not collecting taxes on short-term rentals, and guests who unknowingly are renting where they shouldn’t be.

In the case of this proposed ordinance on the other coast, the commissioners were unable to agree on several of the provisions and were worried that Airbnb and others may sue the city, so they deferred their vote until Sept. 7. At question were some of the specific requirements imposed on hosts, such as home inspection rules, the potential effect vacation rentals could have on affordable housing and the legality of creating requirements for the platforms themselves.

State law prohibits local governments from enacting new rules after 2011 that impact the frequency and duration of short-term rentals.

With the onset of the internet, the rental business changed significantly and it has been a continual work in progress then. Stay tuned for more on this subject. Sanibel and Captiva Islands are and will continue to be mostly a second home and investment market. Rental business affects that tremendously.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 30-July 7, 2017

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Sand Pointe #113 2/2 now $719K.

1 new sale: Spanish Cay #A6 2/2 listed at $389K.

1 closed sale: Seashells #6 2/2 $385K.

HOMES

No new listings.

3 price changes: 673 East Rocks Dr 3/2 now $739.9K, 932 Whelk Dr 3/3 now $1.299M, 984 Oyster Ct 3/3.5 now $1.65M.

3 new sales: 9409 Moonlight Dr 3/2.5 listed at $599K, 2489 Harbour Ln 3/2 listed at $699.9K, 6494 San-Cap Rd 3/2 listed at $1.795M.

2 closed sales: 1315 Par View Dr 3/2 $676K, 2507 Blind Pass Ct 3/3 $1.34M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 540 East Lake Rd listed at $169K, 1340 Eagle Run Dr listed at $270K.

1 closed sale: 434 Lake Murex Cir $250K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or closed sales.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #201 2/2 now $895K.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #4102 1/2 listed at $348.5K.

HOMES

No new listings, new sales, or closed sales.

1 price change: 16525 Captiva Dr 8/8 now $3.995M.

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.)

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Winding up a Holiday Week on Sanibel Island


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It was a great July 4th on Sanibel Island from the parade right through to the fireworks. Unfortunately, since then we have had rain almost every day, though today we have lucked out so far and the space shuttle was able to take off.

Sanibel School Earns “A” for 13th Straight Year

It was announced last week that for the 3rd straight year, the Lee County School District achieved an “A” grade for its district-wide achievement by earning 537 points. An “A” grade is awarded for 525 points. Also for the 13th consecutive year, The Sanibel School earned an “A” grade, garnering 692 points. The Sanibel kindergarten through 8th-grade facility reported 97% of its students met the high standard in reading, 95% in math, 93% in writing and 86% in science. According to Sanibel School Principal Barbara Von Harten, The Sanibel School also has received notification that they have been ranked the top K-8 educational facility in the entire state of Florida. Pine Island Elementary is the only other school in the local district to earn an “A” grade since the school grade reports began in the 1988-89 academic year. To see a complete listing of the school grades visit www.leeschools.net.

Shelling & Fishing

Locals and visitors alike have commented that the fishing and shelling over the past holiday weekend were both excellent. It is always fun to see the newspaper reports with photos of the “finds”. The good ones this week included: several rather large prized junonia shells, a couple of foot-sized whelks, snook up to 42″, and even a 150‑lb tarpon.

32nd Annual July 4th Road Rally

If you are thinking of making your plans now for the 4th of July holiday next year, consider the Road Rally after the parade. This was my first year and though the prizewinners haven’t been announced yet, it was a lot of fun. Sponsored as a fundraiser by our local Optimists Club, it begins at The Timbers Restaurant parking lot at noon, with staggered start times. It is not a race, but rather a game of timing, mileage, and wit. Once provided with detailed driving directions around the island, and instructions that include “no backing up”, entrants are given question and answer sheets with more than 100 questions to answer. It is much like a scavenger hunt but without picking up items (well maybe a few). Most of the questions can be answered by carefully following the driving directions and being “very” observant. One would think that a carload of island Realtors® would have a good advantage, but we found at The Timbers Afterglow Party that several of the visiting vacationers beat us on some of the questions. How the Optimists could come up with so many difficult questions after 31 years is a surprise too. Some of the entries have been participating since the beginning. Maybe we will do better next year.

Captiva Beach Re-Nourishment Project

I heard from one of my Captiva pals that plans are underway for another beach re-nourishment project on Captiva in 2013/2014. That is always a pricey undertaking, but also great news for Sanibel as we always manage to get the sand eventually. Sometimes, it is just best to be an east-west oriented island.

Not Enough Done on Housing

Florida REALTORS® reposted an article yesterday from the “Washington Post” where “President Obama made a rare admission of a policy misstep, acknowledging that his administration failed to provide enough support to struggling homeowners and recognize the scope of the nation’s housing crisis. Despite predictions by Obama’s advisers that the housing market would rebound by now, real estate prices are falling once again. And the administration’s efforts to push banks to modify the mortgages of families who missed their monthly payments have been widely criticized as lacking. Obama first raised the issue Wednesday when a questioner during a town hall event asked what mistakes the president had made in handling the economy. “The continuing decline in the housing market is something that hasn’t bottomed out as quickly as we expected,” Obama responded. Later, he added, that his administration’s efforts to help struggling homeowners were “not enough. And so we’re going back to the drawing board,” he said.

“The housing issue threatens to loom over Obama’s re-election campaign, with foreclosures piling up and real estate markets in turmoil in pivotal swing states such as Florida and Nevada, which voted for him in 2008. Obama has not often discussed the housing crisis with much of his time in Washington and on the campaign trail focused on job creation and deficit reduction. But the issue repeatedly came up Wednesday as Obama conducted his first ever town hall meeting via Twitter. One person asked in a tweet: “How will admin work to help underwater homeowners who aren’t behind in payments but are trapped in homes they can’t sell?” Later, another questioner – whose Twitter handle was @Shnaps – asked a follow-up question about whether the market could heal itself. Obama responded that “given the size of the housing market, no federal program is going to be able to solve the housing problem.” He later added: “Some folks just bought more home than they could afford and probably they’re going to be better off renting.”

“Much of the criticism of the administration’s housing policy has focused on the Treasury Department’s foreclosure prevention initiative called the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP. The program was funded by the financial bailout and carved out tens of billions of dollars to pay banks to modify the mortgages of distressed homeowners, or at least lower their monthly payments. The administration has said that HAMP helped more than a million families in this way. But critics say that the aid was not long lasting, and that the initiative’s design was too complicated for the industry to implement effectively.

“During Wednesday’s town hall, Obama said his administration would press banks to modify loans more quickly and, where possible, reduce the principal owed by homeowners. The questions submitted to the president were wide ranging, though Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who moderated the event, noted that 6 percent of the tweets focused on housing. Other hot topics included jobs, the economy and education.

“The president spent much of the time responding to questions verbally, leaving it to his staff and officials from Twitter to parse his words down to 140-character tweets, the maximum allowed on the micro-blogging Web site. Obama sent a live tweet only once, patting himself on the back for being the first president in history to do so.

“While the event was billed as a “discussion,” the format provided a platform for Obama to repeat his positions on the economy with little follow-up from the moderator and Twitter users. Obama got a laugh, though, when he took a question from House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), who is known as @speakerboehner on Twitter. Boehner asked, “Where are the jobs?” Obama joked: “This is a slightly skewed question.” He then acknowledged that job growth has been slow. But he also accused Republicans of standing in the way of infrastructure and public works programs that would have created work for Americans. “Eventually, I’m sure the speaker will see the light,” Obama quipped.”

Island Real Estate Scoop This Week

Attendance was down yesterday at our biweekly Realtor® Caravan Meeting and just a handful of new listings were on tour. Even with the holiday vacationers and rain hampering outside activities, not many properties were shown and little real estate action was reported. Here are the MLS changes since last Friday.

Sanibel & Captiva MLS Activity July 2-8

Sanibel
CONDOS
1 new listing:  Signal Inn #18 2/2 $949K.
1 price change:  Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3 3/3 now $719K.
1 new sale:  Sundial #R203 2/2 listed for $499K.
5 closed sales:  Sanibel Moorings #241 1/1 $260K, Sanibel Siesta #403 2/2 $340K, Sanibel Arms West #M4 2/2 $375K, Compass Point #243 2/2 $460K, Atrium #306 3/2 $1.1M.
 
HOMES
4 new listings:  491 Rabbit Rd 2/2 $339K; 1439 Albatross Rd 3/2 $439,555; 1470 Middle Gulf Dr 4/5.5 $2.395M; 4431 Waters Edge Ln 4/4 $2.85M.
2 price changes:  3145 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 now $499,994; 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 now $1.1M.
2 new sale:  1035 South Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 listed for $799K, 1360 Eagle Run Dr 5/3.5 listed for $1.039M (short sale).
1 closed sale:  9292 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $350K.
 
LOTS
1 new listing:  761 Donax St $189K.
1 price change:  2562 Coconut Dr now $399K.
No new sales.
1 closed sale:  5618 Baltusrol Ct $180K.
 
Captiva
CONDOS
1 new listing:  Tennis Villas #3219 1/1 $245K.
4 price changes:  Tennis Villas #3229 1/1 now $240K, Bayside Villas #3406 3/3 now $638K, Beach Villas #2618 2/2 now $685K, Beach Villas #2628 2/2 now $699K.
No new or closed sales.
 
HOMES
No new listings.
1 price changes:  15631 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 now $2.95M.
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.