At some time, we have all picked through the clearance rack and found nothing worth buying. Items with big discounts are often overpriced to begin with. This holds true for real estate as well. But some buyers continue to focus on the mark-down, not the intrinsic value of the property. I believe this is a mistake.
Those unfamiliar with Sanibel are sometimes surprised to see property values have not dropped as much as other Florida communities.
(see 2011 Sanibel Home Values).
(see Sanibel Sales Up 37%).
Why has Sanibel fared better?
The real estate boom and bust was fueled by speculative development. Communities saw massive amount of new housing coupled with rapid price increases. However, many of these homes were bought and sold by speculators looking to make a quick buck, not residents or even income investors. This became a game of hot potato where you didn’t want to be the one holding on when the music stopped.
The Sanibel Plan created by our City’s founders, protects our wilderness and strictly limits development, keeping our island an oasis of near pristine beauty. No significant speculative development can occur on Sanibel. I believe this insulated our island from the worst of the boom and bust.
Protected Nature = Protected Home Values
Nearby beach communities do not have protective charters and many have been heavily developed with high-rise condos and coast-to-coast development – coastal ecosystems replaced with concrete and asphalt. Additional development and re-development await these communities whenever the next building boom occurs.
Sanibel shows mostly conservation land whereas Marco is almost completely developed.
(see Satellite Images Reveal Sanibel’s Difference)
Some markets are still looking for buyers as prices continue to fall. Sanibel is seeing prices stabilize and transaction volumes increasing as savvy buyers look for value, not the biggest discount.
I believe that Sanibel’s unique charter protects not just nature, but also our real estate values today and will continue to create additional value into the future.