I'm back... from vacation, that is, and ready to write about the outstanding things that have and are going on at our Rotary Club right here on Sanibel.
First off, as usual our club speaker chairs have continued to recruit some very remarkable speakers during my little hiatus. Unfortunately, I haven't any notes on their programs except glowing verbal accounts particularly on a presentation done by our own Past President (2007-08), attorney Robert Monk.
As told, Robert put together an incredible presentation on "Diving off the Galapagos Islands." Club members were so impressed with his program they want Robert to speak again about his diving experiences during the season, when our Snowbird Rotarians and visiting Rotarians are around. If it's as good as I hear, maybe we can talk him into a presentation at the Community Center for the public.
Just to catch up with our thank you's, the Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva would like to thank August speakers Dave Kelly, a motivational speaker who spoke on "Aging to Perfection;" Norm Ziegler of Norm Ziegler's Fly, Bait & Tackle Shop who spoke on "Sanibel Fishing Techniques" and, of course, Robert Monk.
Before writing about this week's guest speaker, there's just a few things that you might want to take note of: fundraising is an important component for all service clubs and Rotary is no exception. We hope you all know our club's primary fundraiser will continue to be the Rotary Arts & Crafts Show on Valentine's weekend, Feb. 13-14, 2010. Along with this effort, throughout the year, Rotary does take the opportunity to dedicate smaller fundraising events to special Rotary Projects.
One of these special events will be a great rummage sale/tag sale held on Saturday, Nov. 28 in the front of Jerry's Market on Periwinkle Way. The monies from this sale will go directly to our club participating in purchasing wheelchairs for those in need in countries selected by our local Rotary's Wheelchair Project Committee. This is truly a worthwhile program and I will be telling you more about it in a future column.
Rotarian Bunny Ospa has taken on the responsibility of collecting items for this sale and, if you would like to help with a donation, call her at 472-1522.
Another upcoming club project, ties in with this week's National Literacy Day. Although National Literacy Day is in September, Rotary will support this effort the first week of October by disturbing student dictionaries to all third grade classes around Lee County. The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club will happily present dictionaries to the Sanibel and Fort Myers Beach students putting a focus on Rotary International's ongoing programs toward world literacy.
Well now for our guest speaker last week, Jeff Tumbarello, Director of Southwest Florida's REIA (Real Estate Investment Association). This association is dedicated to providing networking and educational training for individuals who are interested in real estate investing.
The REIA has been on the cutting edge of data gathering and analysis of the housing downtrend and foreclosures. REIA members are Landlords, Property Managers, Wholesalers, Rehabbers, Note Buyers, Hedge Fund Managers, Bulk Asset Purchasers, Foreclosure and Probate Investors. They are seeking information on what drives the real estate market in Southwest Florida.
Jeff and REIA's value is with their analysis of market information and research of important statistical information. As an example, Jeff spoke of a cyclical pattern that he has discovered by charting real estate buying trends since 1940 and the birth rates during this time. Births fluctuate with the wartime absences of men and the return from war of these men. There is statistical information that are indicators of future boom and bust buying trends in real estate. The baby booms after WWII, another baby boom after Korean War, and the Vietnam War indicate the numbers of retirees that are potential drivers in the Southwest Florida real estate market.
If you are 62 in 2009, you were born in 1945 in that post war period. Along with after-war baby booms comes the downside years, when few babies are born or baby busts. When there are dips in the birth rates, there are corrections in the real estate markets. The problems that we have today is with over building for a buyer's market that was in a downtrend according to birth records. Overbuilding collided with a collapsing economy. However, the future is looking better.
There is another baby boom generation due to turn 62 this year and the housing inventory is being absorbed with more affordable pricing. As Jeff said, "Southwest Florida is still a desirable location for retirement, the weather is definitely better than some place in Michigan during the winter."
Foreclosures are moving, inventory is lowering, and the economy is resetting. Lower cost housing moved first, higher end on market will sell next season, and middle is seeing an upswing. Commercial property is in bad shape. We still are not out of the woods yet but Southwest Florida will bounce back... as long as the economy comes back.
The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club meets at 7 a.m. every Friday at the Beachview Restaurant, located on Par View Drive in Sanibel. If you would like further information about Rotary, please call Shirley Jewell at 337-1099.