12/5: Sunset Arias on the beach. 5:00pm Tween Waters Inn.
12/6: Decorated Golf Cart Parade 3:30 – 5:30pm
12/6: Captiva Luminary. Stroll the streets of Captiva Village
12/12: Marching Mullet Band Parade. 5:15pm
12/13: Junkanoo Parade; Lighted Boat Parade 6pm
12/14: Community Caroling at Chapel By the Sea. 6pm
12/5: Sanibel Luminary 5:30-9:00pm
12/13: Rockin Christmas Concert at Big Arts, 7:30pm
12/17: Holiday Pops, Big Arts, 7:00pm
12/19-31: Holiday Spectacular, Shein Theater. Various times.
12/26-12/29: Holiday Miniature Golf, Sanibel Comminity House
Florida’s Housing Market: Rising sales, prices in October 2014
Florida’s housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices and a rising inventory in October, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 21,894 last month, up 17.8 percent over the October 2013 figure.
October marks the 35th month in a row that statewide median sales prices rose year-over-year for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties. The state’s housing market continues to benefit from more people moving to Florida, a steadily improving jobs outlook andgrowing economy.
“Everything appears to be moving in the right direction, against a background of moderate and sustainable price changes. We could be seeing an early onset of the ‘Winter of ’13’ effect, whereby snowbirds, fearing a recurrence of the bitter weather of last winter, are arriving early and looking to lock in homes before the main seasonal rush.
Inventory was at a 5.4-months’ supply in October for single-family homes and at a 5.9-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.04 percent in October 2014, down from the 4.19 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.
City of Sanibel elevated to “Silver” status Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists
Today, the League of American Bicyclists recognized the City of Sanibel with a “Silver” Bicycle Friendly Community (BFBSM) award. In 2010 Sanibel was awarded the “Bronze” designation. Only three other Florida communities Venice, the Villages and Gainesville hold this prestigious designation.
Upon announcing the designation Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane stated “Since December 1972 when four Island women – Grace Whitehead, Mariel Goss, Sherry Vartdal and Starr Thomas – organized the Sanibel Path Committee to start a system of “hike and bike” trails to protect their young children this community has systematically developed a citywide non-motorized transportation network. This accomplishment has only been possible due to our partners every step of the way the Sanibel Bicycle Club.” Mayor Ruane added “We build and maintain a premier path system for our residents’ health and safety however this national recognition from the League of American Bicyclists is a source of community pride and appreciated.”
The Sanibel Bicycle Club was founded in 1994 and in 2005 the Club established the “Sanibel Trails in Motion” funds a 501(c) 3 dedicated to supporting path enhancements. Shortly thereafter the Club constructed a Visitor Center on the Periwinkle Path. In 2009 the City adopted the Shared Use Path Master Plan which developed a program to annually expand and improve path safety. As a bikeable and walkable community Sanibel actively promotes and encourages biking to community events and the weekly Farmers’ Market.
Five Real Estate Predictions for 2015
Expect the home-purchase market to strengthen along with the economy in 2015, according to Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for November.
“The good news for 2015 is that the U.S. economy appears well-poised to sustain about a 3 percent growth rate in 2015 – only the second year in the past decade with growth at that pace or better,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Governmental fiscal drag has turned into fiscal stimulus; lower energy costs support consumer spending and business investment; further easing of credit conditions for business and real estate lending support commerce and development; and consumers are more upbeat and businesses are more confident, all of which portend faster economic growth in 2015.
“And with that, the economy will produce more and better-paying jobs, providing the financial wherewithal to support household formations and housing activity.”
Freddie Mac economists have made the following projections in housing for the new year:
Mortgage rates: Interest rates will likely be on the rise next year. In recent weeks, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has dipped below 4 percent. But by next year, Freddie projects mortgage rates to average 4.6 percent and inch up to 5 percent by the end of the year.
Home prices: By the time 2014 wraps up, home appreciation will likely have slowed to 4.5 percent this year from 9.3 percent last year. Appreciation is expected to drop further to an average 3 percent in 2015. “Continued house-price appreciation and rising mortgage rates will dampen affordability for home buyers,” according to Freddie economists. “Historically speaking, that’s moving from ‘very high’ levels of affordability to ‘high’ levels of affordability.”
Housing starts: Homebuilding is expected to ramp up in 2015, projected to rise by 20 percent from this year. That will likely help total home sales to climb by about 5 percent, reaching the best sales pace in eight years.
Single-family originations: Mortgage originations of single-family homes will likely slip by an additional 8 percent, which can be attributed to a steep drop in refinancing volume. Refinancings are expected to make up only 23 percent of originations in 2015; they had been making up more than half in recent years.
Multi-family mortgage originations: Mortgage originations for the multi-family sector have surged about 60 percent between 2011 and 2014. Increases are expected to continue in 2015, projected to rise about 14 percent.
Source: Freddie Mac
SCCF RECEIVES CONSERVATION ORGANIZATION OF THE YEAR AWARD
SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) was presented the Conservation Organization of the Year award by the Florida Wildlife Federation (FWF) at the 77th annual conservation awards banquet in June at the Naples Hilton. SCCF “was selected to receive this award because of its outstanding accomplishments on water quality, land use policy, sea turtle monitoring, and conservation education, among other important issues.”
SCCF Executive Director Erick Lindblad, on accepting the award, paid tribute to those who founded SCCF in 1967 and to all who have worked since then to forward its mission to preserve coastal habitats and aquatic resources on Sanibel Island and Captiva Island and in the surrounding watershed. Courtesy of the Island Sun.