Wakelin Realty Team September 2017 Newsletter

Hello from Naples!

Rae and Fred had two great events in August. First, they got to cruise in Maine with a couple who is among their oldest and dearest friends. They have a boat that is perfect for cruising with two couples. They drove from Boston to Northeast harbor near Acadia National Park and began their cruise there. They traveled back down the Maine coast to their home port of Yarmouth, which is near Portland. They stopped at several beautiful harbors on the way, including Boothbay, Tenants and Seal Bay. They were on the boat for nine days and had a few days of fog (it wouldn’t be cruising in Maine without it) but enjoyed some beautiful sun-filled days also. It was a wonderful trip…except for Fred’s kidney stone which we won’t get into! Then they returned to the Boston area for Fred’s high school reunion. Since Rae attended the same high school, it was fun for all! The classmates had a big gathering at dinner on Saturday night and then a breakfast together on Sunday morning.

On another note, there is a new driver in the family. Congratulations to Nicola & Jeff’s daughter, Natalie who turned 15 in August and went straight to the DMV for her permit. She is doing great so far!


Here’s an interesting article from the Naples Daily News:

Naples talks on buying downtown lot for parking garage stall.

Negotiations on the controversial Naples proposal to acquire a downtown property — potentially for a new parking garage — have stalled while the seller is out of the country on vacation.

Since the Naples City Council agreed last week to lower its offer for the lot at Fourth Avenue South and Fourth Street South, Naples officials have yet to discuss the new terms with David Hoffmann, of Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate, which owns the property, City Manager Bill Moss said. “The only feedback I’ve got is that he’s out of the country,” Moss said. “His team is going to talk to him when he gets back.”

Hoffmann didn’t return messages left by the Naples Daily News.

The council on Aug. 16 lowered the city’s purchase offer to $4.6 million after turning down the initial $6 million contract that officials had negotiated with Hoffmann. The city has eyed the property for a 350-space parking garage, but that plan stalled after large public opposition to the proposal at the Aug. 15 council hearing.

Mayor Bill Barnett had said he was concerned Hoffmann would pull out of the deal after the council lowered its offer. But the city still has time to discuss the offer with Hoffmann before the council’s next regular meeting Sept. 6, Barnett said. “We’re not under the gun, so to speak,” he said.

Barnett committed to holding more public hearings before the council makes a final decision on whether the lot, if purchased by the city, would be used to construct a garage. “Regardless of whether the offer is accepted, denied or if anything is countered — the community at large is going to have time — and I can’t say it strongly enough — to be able to voice their opinions and vet it,” Barnett said.

Business leaders on Fifth Avenue South had urged the council to acquire the lot and build the garage to provide more parking for the area’s businesses and satisfy the city’s decades-old plan for a third garage in the commercial district. The city owns two other garages near Fifth Avenue — both on Eighth Street South, at Sixth and Fourth avenues.

Jim Smith, president of the Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District, said he is concerned Hoffmann won’t agree to the city’s new terms. “I’m not optimistic that he would accept the offered price,” Smith said. “It just may be a moot point at this time.”

Members of the Old Naples Association, the downtown homeowners group that organized much of the opposition to the garage proposal, are suggesting that plan be nixed.

John Lehmann, president of the Old Naples Association, said the group would support a private residential development at the property, including private parking for as many as 22 condos. “We look forward to working with the owners on the details of such a concept — especially regarding mitigating neighborhood impacts — so that we can lend our full support for this outcome,” Lehmann said.


Happening in Naples in September 2017:

September 2017
Walking Tour of Naples Historic District
Free Boardwalk Tours at Corkscrew
Tours of Palm Cottage
Sewing Classes for Kids
Tai Chi in the Garden
Find it Fridays at Everglades Wondergarden
Farmer’s Market Shoppes at Vanderbilt
2nd Annual Naples Memorial Stair Run
Girl scout Parent Interest Meeting
TED talks and Teens
Crystal Bowl Meditation
Fitness Camp
Tours of Palm Cottage
3rd St South Farmers Market
Sip and Shop Sundays
Walking Tour of Naples Historic District
Rosh Hashanah Drop in Crafts
Blackout Poetry
How to Meet a Dog
Giants of the Everglades Art Exhibit
Museum Day Live
Yoga in the Park
Tours of Palm Cottage
Where do Florida Panthers Live?
Art After Hours-
Creative Writing Club
Art Smarts
National Estuaries Day-Rookery Bay



Official July Climate Data at Naples Airport: 

August 16
YTD 16
  August 17
YTD 17
Normal YTD
Rainfall in inches
Record High August Rainfall
15.55   (2017)
Record Low August Rainfall
1.46   (1952)
High August Temperature
Low August Temperature
Record High August Temperature
98 (2007)
Record Low August Temperature
67 (1972)

Temperatures in August were a little cooler than normal for the month. The average max temperature in August is 91.0…we recorded 90.4. Reported rainfall at Naples Airport broke the record for the month of August. We had a tremendous amount of rain! The official airport total is now slightly above normal YTD. Some severe flooding in Lee and Collier counties was reported. Many neighborhood lakes are spilling over their banks.


Book Review: “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane” by Lisa See

Growing up picking tea leaves each season with her family and living without electricity or running water in a hut perched on bamboo stilts, Li-yan’s life is a long way from the modern world of the late 1980’s. Trained to follow in her mother’s path as a midwife, Li-yan struggles to accept her path and works hard in school hoping to be the first in her village to qualify for upper level education that would open up other possibilities. Fate, however, intervenes through two men destined to change her life, one through love, the other through the tea business, helping she and her village become part of the modern world.

Years later, across the globe, a young Chinese girl adopted by Americans wonders at her roots and the special tea cake that was wrapped in her blankets when she was left at the orphanage. Who was her mother and what is the significance of this tea cake?

Lisa See has written a wonderful book. “No coincidence, no story,” something Li-Yan’s mother tells her. The story is poignant and powerful. It takes you away to another place, another culture. It’s rich with history, tradition and the complex, complicated relationships family members and relatives.

There is a saying in China when drinking water, consider the source. The same is true with tea – not only is the tea important but the water source is equally important. Lisa See’s new book “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane” symbolizes everything about that saying. It seamlessly blends everything about Lisa See’s source, her Chinese ancestry, into a beautifully told story. Lisa builds the backstory of the characters, including the character of tea, and then throws in a great surprise at the end. I did not see that one coming!


Restaurant Recommendation: 21 Spices by Chef Asif 4270 Tamiami Trail E.

A fabulous Indian restaurant on the East Trail is waiting for you! 21 Spices by Chef Asif invites you to come on an epicurean adventure, an indulgence of flavors, style and artistry, all lovingly and carefully presented for your enjoyment.

Chef Asif R. Syed was born and raised near Hyderabad, India, known as the ancient City of Kings and Pearls and famous for its Muglai cuisine. Originally drawn to art and painting, Chef Asif trained and worked as a chef in India after completing his degree in hotel management and catering. His progressive style of fusion cooking was developed and honed after spending time travelling and working in Europe.

Explore the diverse flavors of classical Indian cuisine, featuring the freshest season ingredients with a modern presentation, innovative culinary techniques. The menu includes include a wide selection of outstanding biryanis, curries and vegetarian delights, refreshing salads delivered in artistic fashion, mouthwatering Tandoor-roasted lamb, prawns, fresh fish, chicken, and kabobs flamed in an open-style kitchen. Chef Asif’s delicious homemade chutneys accompany many of the courses. Elegant appetizers and an array of stuffed tandoori naan are offered as part of the Small Bites Menu in the Wine Bar. Saffron-ginger ice cream and unique desserts and after dinner drinks provide a sweet conclusion to your meal.

We have eaten here many times and have never been disappointed. It is one of our favorite restaurants in Naples.

Here are a few recent reviews on Trip Advisor:

“We have been looking forward to trying this restaurant for a while now, and finally had the opportunity tonight. Indian food is one of our favorites and try the restaurants everywhere when we are traveling. The decor here is beautiful, the service was excellent. The food was very good. We would go back to try some other dishes.”

“The atmosphere is amazing!!! Gorgeous! The staff was so friendly and helpful! The manager was incredibly nice and friendly! And last but not least, the food!!!! Oh my goodness! So so so good! Best restaurant!”

“I recently went for happy hour with my coworkers. The drink prices were good and the signature drinks were excellent. The food was very good. We had a variety of happy hour dishes including chicken Tikka skewers, spicy shrimp, garlic naan and naan with lamb. We will definitely go back.”


Naples Real Estate:

Here are the YTD August 2017 Naples/Bonita market statistics.

For the first eight months of 2017, there were 9,067 closed sales of existing homes in all of Naples and Bonita. This compares with 8,378 closed sales for last year. This represents about an 8% year to year increase for existing home sales.

Here’s an interesting chart comparing 2017 to last year:

Closed Sales
Under $300,000
$300,000 to $700,000
$700,001 to $1,000,000
$1,000,001 to $3,000,000
Over $3,000,000
January -August 2016
January – August 2017
% Change
+ 8%

All categories are up from last year. The first eight months of 2017 have been positive for existing home sales. Growth increased a bit in August, and sales of existing homes stayed strong for the first eight months of 2017.

As the following table shows, the level of available inventory varies dramatically by price point:

Naples Home Inventory As of Sept. 2, 2017
Under $300,000
$300,000 to $700,000
$700,001 to $1,000,000
$1,000,001 to $3,000,000
Over $3,000,000
Number Sold Last 12 months
Average Number Sold per Month
Total Available for Sale
Months of Supply as of Sept. 2, 2017

The inventory levels decreased about 4% from last month to 6,293 properties. This was the sixth monthly decrease in a row. For comparison, the high point of available existing home inventory was June of 2007 when there were 11,601 listed in the MLS system for Naples and Bonita! Also keep in mind, that a significant number of new homes are not included in this number. That’s because they are brand new homes being sold by developers and are not included in the MLS totals. This analysis is strictly related to homes on the secondary market.

This is still a buyer’s market for existing homes priced above $300,000. In the over $3 million market, for example, there are 316 properties available. During the last 12 months, 228 properties in this price range have sold…which means an average of about 19 per month. At that rate, the 316 homes available represent about 17 months of supply.

Sellers in the upper price categories are in a highly competitive environment and the median sales price has leveled off in Naples. Which means there are many good buys available in the secondary market.

Another market factor is the supply of new homes that are now being built or permitted. There are many new home developments that are being built or are in the planning stages right now. If you are looking to buy, we can help guide you through the maze of new home availability. If you are planning to sell, you need to know details of the new competition you are facing.


Kensington Real Estate: 

Kensington is the community where Rae and Fred live. As of September 2, 2017 there were 29 active listings in Kensington. This is one more than last month.

Type of Property
Lowest Price
Highest Price
Average Price per sq. ft.
Avg. Days on Mkt.
Estate Homes
Coach Homes

There have been 25 closed sales in the past 12-month period. At this average selling rate of 2.08 properties per month, the 29 homes listed represent about 14 months of inventory on average. The number of homes available is one more than last month and it still is a buyers’ market for those available.

There was 1 pending sale and no pending sales with contingencies on September 2nd.


Riverstone Real Estate: 

Riverstone is the community where Jeff and Nicola live. These statistics are taken from the MLS system we use in Naples. Riverstone has now been fully built out and turned over to the residents by the developer, GL Homes. Here’s a look at the MLS market in Riverstone as of September 2nd, 2017:

Number for Sale
Lowest Price
Highest Price
Avg. Asking Price Per Sq. Ft.
Avg. Days on Market

Here’s a breakdown of what’s currently on the market thru MLS:

$400,000 to $499,999
$500,000 to $599,999
$600,000 to $699,999
$700,000 to $799,999
$800,000 and Over
Number for Sale
Average Price per Sq. Ft.
Average Number of Days on Market

Available inventory is 2 less than last month. As of September 2nd there were 37 active listings, 2 pending sales, and 4 pending sales with contingencies. The MLS system lists 53 spec and resale homes sold in the last 12 months so there is currently an 8-month supply of inventory.


Listing Book:   

A great service for our clients…please check it out…Listingbook.com. Do you want to be able to search the Multiple Listing Service like a realtor? With “Listing Book” you will have access to the same database that we use in the real estate business. You can access it 24/7 from any computer. It will provide you with up-to-the-minute data on any properties you have interest in. Email us with Listing Book in the subject line and we will be happy to set you up.

Give us a call if we can help with any real estate questions you have at 239-398-0028 (Rae) or 239-451-9351 (Nicola).

Rae & Nicola