Sanibel Real Estate Blog: Positive Trends Continue

January 5th, 2016

ORLANDO, Fla., – Jan. 4, 2016 – Positive trends continued for Florida’s housing market in November, with more closed sales, higher median prices, more new listings and fewer days on the market, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes rose last month with a total of 18,102, an increase of 1.9 percent over November 2014.

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Know Before You Owe TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID), which was implemented in early October, may have affected home sales in the last couple of months,” says 2015 Florida Realtors President Andrew Barbar, a broker with Keller Williams Realty Services in Boca Raton. “It appears some sales have been delayed and likely pushed into closing the following month. However, as the TRID implementation process moves forward, we believe its impact should be transitory.

“Also, we don’t expect that (December’s) decision by the Federal Reserve to slightly raise the federal funds rate will have a significant adverse impact on the housing market, as rates remain historically low. The increase was long anticipated, and it may even encourage homebuyers who had been waiting on the sidelines to enter the market now.”

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $200,000, up 13.6 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in November was $150,000, up 7.1 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

November marked 48 months in a row month that statewide median sales prices increased year-over-year for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in October 2015 was $221,200, up 6.3 percent from the previous year.

In Florida’s townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales last month totaled 7,638, up 5.7 percent compared to November 2014. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales in November: Short sales for townhouse-condo properties declined 35.8 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 34.3 percent. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

“We are ending the year on a high note, but the market is definitely tightening in Florida,” says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. “Both single-family sales and condo-townhouse sales increased in November, but inventories continue to fall.

“Although the recent Fed increase in interest rates will not affect the housing market in any significant way in the next few months, the rise, coupled with the absence of inventory, could cause the market to slow down a bit as we enter 2016.”

Inventory continues to be tight, with a 4.5-months’ supply in November for single-family homes and a 5.5-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors. Most analysts consider a 6-month supply of inventory as the benchmark for a balanced market between buyers and sellers.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.94 percent in November 2015, down from the 4.0 percent average recorded during the same month a year ago.

Maybe time to check out the Sanibel real estate market, if you want to check out listings go to, or for personal advice- call Chuck Andrews at 239-849-3396.


Sanibel Real Estate Blog: Rates on The Rise?

December 17th, 2015

The nation’s largest banks, in response to the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, have already started raising their prime lending rates. Citibank, B of A, US. Bancorp, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, PNC and others raised their prime lending rate to3.5% form 3.25%, effective in most cases Friday.

Get your home loan before you hear of another rate hike. If you are interested in checking out Sanibel real estate, give us a call at 239-849-3396 or check out some Sanibel real estate listings on our website.

Sanibel Real Estate Blog: Baby Boomers: What’s UP?

December 9th, 2015

Baby boomers blamed for clog in housing market

WASHINGTON – Dec. 8, 2015 – Some economists say the baby boomers aren’t selling their homes like previous generations did and not downsizing fast enough – and that leads to shortages of homes for sale and rising prices.

Baby boomers are “clogging up the whole chain of home sales,” says Sean Becketti, chief economist of Freddie Mac. “They appear to be staying in the family home longer than previous generations, and the imbalance between housing demand and supply continues to boost prices.”

Baby boomers are big players in real estate. In 2013, people age 55 and older controlled two-thirds of all home equity, according to the Federal Reserve’s most recent Survey of Consumer Finances.

In previous generations, once the kids moved out of the house, empty nesters tended to downsize and move to smaller homes or rent apartments. But so far, boomers haven’t made a move.

“Economists say boomers’ slower-than-expected rate of downsizing and selling is playing a contributing role in supply, demand and pricing imbalances in local markets – not creating those imbalances,” The Washington Post reports.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors®, told The Washington Post that the lingering effects of the housing crisis and the Great Recession may be the reason more baby boomers are postponing their moves. From 2008 to 2011, homeowners of all ages lost lots of equity, and many of them may still be rebuilding equity to allow them to sell without having to bring money to closing.

But Fannie Mae’s Patrick Simmons, an economics and strategic research group director, says that the real estate pipeline clog caused by baby boomers probably won’t last much longer.

“Boomers will not inhabit this vast inventory [32 million homes] forever,” he says. Their circumstances will inevitably change with age and they will move, and “their actions will reverberate through the housing market.”

Source: “By Not Downsizing, Baby Boomers Help Clog Up the Real Estate Pipeline,” The Washington Post (Dec. 2, 2015)

© Copyright 2015 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

C’mon Sanibel boomers! Let’s release some of that inventory. If you have an interest in selling your Sanibel Real estate, give us a call at 239-849-3396 or check out the current market on our website:

Sanibel Real Estate Blog: Seller’s Market Continues

November 30th, 2015

Lee County continued to be a seller’s market inOctober, but is slowing down slightly ahead of the upcoming holiday season.
According to the latest data released by Florida Realtors®, closed sales on Single Family Homes was up 1.6% year-over-year in October. There were 1,055 last month, compared to 1,038 in 2014. The Median Sale price jumped 14% from 2014 to 2015 from $184,175 to $210,000.
For Condos and Townhomes, Closed Sales were up 10% from 471 in October 2014 to 518 in 2015. The Median Sale price was up 6.4% to $173,450.
Both Active Listings and Months Supply of Inventory are down. Single Family listings dropped 10.3% year-over-year in October. Months Supply is down 21.6% 4 months, compared to 5.1 months in October 2014.
Both Single Family Homes and Condos/Townhouses continue to sell quicker than this time last year. Homes are spending a median 28 days on the market, which has dropped from 36 days in 2014. Condos and Townhouses spent a median 43 days on the market in October 2015 comparedto 53 in 2014, a drop of nearly 19%.

Maybe it is time to put that Sanibel real estate on the market! Check out our sales info on or give Chuck a call anytime at 239-849-3396 to discuss the Sanibel real estate market

Sanibel Real Estate Blog: Housing Crash Not Likely

November 20th, 2015

OK, keep in mind- we didn’t write this and the credit is below. Just thought it was blog worthy as we get this question a lot!

6 Reasons a Housing Crash is not likely:

NEW YORK – Nov. 20, 2015 – The 2006-2007 housing bubble happened almost a decade ago. Should Americans be worried that history could repeat itself? After all, home prices have risen above the bubble era in most areas of the country.

However, the bubble’s pain still stings, and many Americans worry that it could happen again. But housing experts say there are many reasons Americans shouldn’t be concerned about “Housing Crisis Part II” anytime soon, including:

1. Fixed-rate loans are more common. Many Americans have refinanced to a fixed-rate mortgage so when interest rates rise – largely predicted to start next month – there won’t be as much shock when short-term Adjustable Rate Mortgages readjust compared to the 2008-2009 era. In 2008-2009, many Americans saw their ARMs reset to a higher rate that they could no longer pay, which sent defaults skyrocketing.

2. Old distress is being flushed out through bank repossessions. Bank repossessions recently reached their highest level in more than two years. But the reason behind the climb is positive: Banks are flushing out long-term distressed properties rather than adding more.

3. Foreclosures have fallen dramatically. Despite the uptick in bank repossessions, the number of loans in foreclosures is 2.1 percent. That marks the lowest level since 2007, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

4. First-time buyer programs are bringing new clients into the market. In addition to new downpayment programs, the Federal Housing Administration moved this year to reduce its annual mortgage insurance premiums by up to $900 per year. That move alone has been predicted to help jump-start home sales by the most since 2006. What’s more, it could lure 140,000 new buyers to the market, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

5. The economy is strengthening. Over the past five years, the U.S. has added jobs at a steady rate, now replacing many of the jobs lost during the recession. Also, the quality of jobs is improving as the economy strengthens.

6. New-home construction remains dismal. The supply of existing for-sale homes is lower today than it was in 2000 – despite the population growing by more than 14 percent. Also, new single-family starts remain 60 percent below the peak in 2006 and are about 25 percent below the average for the past 15 years. An oversupply of the homes on the market isn’t likely any time soon.

Source: “10 Reasons Why Another Imminent Real Estate Crash Is Unlikely,” (Nov. 10, 2015)

IF you are ready to jump in and buy some Sanibel real estate, check out our website at for all the Sanibel real estate listings or give us a call anytime to discuss!

Sanibel Real Estate Blog: You love Realtors!

November 12th, 2015

The National Association of Realtors®‘ (NAR) 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers indicates that 89 percent of sellers used real estate agents this year – an increase from 88 percent in 2014.

Meanwhile, 87 percent of buyers used real estate agents, one-percentage point lower than last year.

NAR and real estate professionals attribute the increased demand for agents in the digital era to a variety of factors, including:

  • Supply shortfalls. A lack of inventory makes home buying competitive, which prompts buyers to turn to agents for the inside scoop on homes coming to market and, when they do, to quickly write offers.
  • Data overload. Consumers also need agents to weed through vast amounts of data, when the info available online is often old or inaccurate.
  • Complex steps. The buying-selling process is now more complex, with longer contracts. More and more consumers start to realize that agents are better equipped to handle them.
  • Earlier connections. Real estate websites and online ads have contributed to the increase in demand for property professionals by helping consumers connect with agents earlier in the process.

If you need help navigating the Sanibel real estate market, check out our website at for new listing info or give us a call and let us do the Sanibel real estate search!

Sanibel Real Estate: Cape Coral rocks!

November 6th, 2015

To determine America’s best cities to live in, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on the 550 U.S. cities with populations of 65,000 or more as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau. Based on a range of variables, including crime rates, employment growth, access to restaurants and attractions, educational attainment, and housing affordability, 24/7 Wall St. identified America’s 50 Best Cities to Live.

According to 24/7 Wall St.:

Cape Coral, a city on Florida’s Gulf coast, is one of the best places to livein the country. One of the biggest draws to the city of roughly 170,000 people — apart from the beach-lined coast — is the city’s economic expansion. Between 2012 and 2014, employment grew by more than 10%, the fifth-largest growth of any U.S. city. Cape Coral’s violent crime rate is also half that of the national average violent crime rate of 366 incidents per 100,000 people. Though the cost of living is about 3% higher that it is nationally, the city’s poverty rate of 12.5% is lower than the national rate of 15.5%.

Sanibel is just around the corner and one of the premier beach locations in the area. If your Cape Coral venture finds you nearby and thinking of Sanibel real estate check out our website at or give us a call at 239-849-3396 to discuss Sanibel real estate.

Sanibel Real Estate Blog: Sept. home prices up for LEE

October 27th, 2015

Home prices soared in Lee and Collier counties in September, according to the latest stats number from our local real estate board.

In Lee County, the median price of a single-family home sold with the assistance of a Realtor increased 20.9 % from $175,000 to $211,578 between July 2014 and July 2015. Collier County saw an 18% increase from $318,000 to $375,000 in the same time period.

And how are we making out on Sanibel real estate? Year to date closed sales are up over 15% from 2014. There are only 8 homes for sale under $500,000. If you want to jump into the Sanibel real estate market, check out our listings at or give us a call to discuss the market anytime!

Sanibel Real Estate Blog: “Ding” Darling Days are Here Again!

October 19th, 2015

Ding Darling Days are back 10/18-10/25 at the Wildlife Refuge. There is the big 139th birthday celebration of Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling on 10/21 with free birthday cake for all.  Come and find out what the wildlife refuge is all about with all kind of special events this week: learn how to paddle board, do a sunset kayak tour,  or take a sealife and nature cruise. Find out why the Islanders love the refuge! The website has a full list of activities at

If a trip to Sanibel brings thoughts of Sanibel real estate ownership, check out our website at or give Chuck a call at 239-849-3396 for more info about Sanibel real estate.

Sanibel Real Estate Blog: CABBAGE KEY

October 12th, 2015

Cabbage Key Inn made the list of “super-remote getaways” from across the globe on ( a website that hires investigators to stay incognito at hotels and evaluate them).

Cabbage Key is described on the website as a mid-range property offering 6 quaint rooms and 8 cottages on a beautiful, secluded island that is only reachable by boat. The 100-acre island is filled with nature trails and lush flora and fauna, as well as an on-site marina.

Cabbage Key is described by locals as a great place to stop for a rum punch and a burger while boating in the Gulf of Mexico.

If a trip to Cabbage Key has you thinking of Sanibel real estate, check out our website at or give Chuck Andrews a call at 239-849-3396 to discuss Sanibel real estate.