Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate Market Update - September

The national and local press reminds us that the real estate sales activity remains slow and the inventory of available homes has been inching up. Historically, election years have been soft for real estate sales due to the uncertainty of tax ramifications. However, we are having a positive year with many closed sales on Sanibel & Captiva Islands.

This year on Sanibel, 124 single family homes have either closed or are ready to close on Sanibel. In 2007, the total number of home sales was only 142. The average sales price is $927,685, down 19% from the peak in 2006. With condominiums, the story is similar with 73 closed or pending sales this year compared to 87 for all of 2007. The average price is $756,023, down 13% from the peak in 2006. There is still a great demand on Sanibel, and properties are selling, but they are selling at the current market value.

On Captiva, 12 houses have closed or are pending with an average sales price of $3,052,500. We are on track to close as many properties as we did in 2007. Condominiums on Captiva have finally started moving again with 13 closed or pending sales at an average sales price of $992,625.

There are three main factors that are spurring the real estate activity on the islands: the decrease in assessed values leading to lower taxes, fewer hurricanes leading to lower insurance premiums and the increase in demand to the properties on the islands. There are currently 100 fewer homes on the market on Sanibel than there were in March of this year.

If your home hasn’t sold yet, then you are facing one of two pricing scenarios. The first is that you have very little showing activity. This means that your home is priced so far out of the market that it is not even coming up on the buyer’s radar screen. Your only course of action is a significant price reduction. The second scenario is that you have regular showings, but haven’t received an offer. The good news for you is that your asking price is closer to market value, but you will have to tweak it a little in order to motivate a buyer to act.

Homes are still selling!The basic and the most valuable tool is still the pricing of your property. While working with your Realtor, determine the best price for your property by looking at the comparable sales from 2008, not from three years ago. In some areas, the prices are similiar to the prices we saw in 2001 or 2002.

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Debbie Ringdahl REALTOR®
Lifetime Member President’s Club

13131 University Drive
Fort Myers, Florida 33907
Office: 239.489.1100 ext 108
Cell: 239.691.6029
Toll Free: 800.828.8313 ext 108
Fax: 239.437.7261

1560 Periwinkle Way
Sanibel, FL 33957
Office: 239.472.5187 ext. 269
Cell: 239.691.6029
Toll Free: 800.553.7338 ext. 269