Real estate update: 11/29/04

Stuffed fuller than a Thanksgiving turkey is one way to describe the inventory of residential properties on St. John right now.  There are more listings on the Multiple Listing Service than I’ve seen in a year.  An economist could be expected to say the result could be some softening in pricing, especially in the $1 to $2 million range.  But that’s between you and your real estate sales person.  (The island’s full of good ones.)

In the past 10 days, two properties came off the MLS and four were added, leaving a total of 50 homes.  Both houses removed were below the island’s median home asking price of $1.399 million.  They included a 3-bedroom/2-bath residence in Mandahl and an unfinished $895,000 Chocolate Hole, 3-bedroom/3-bath house.  Added to listings were an $829,000 Carolina 4-bedroom/4-bath, a 2-bedroom/2-bath with no pool at Enighed for $1.2 million, a 4-bedroom/4-bath Fish Bay property with no pool, at $1.85 million, and a 4-bedroom/3.5 bath with heated pool in Carolina, listed at $3.15 million.

The MLS inventory of land offerings increased by three, for the second week in a row, to 149.  Condo listings were steady at 7, timeshares also even at 93, and business/commercial properties unchanged at 9.

O’Connor heads Authority

Former Sen. Robert F O’Connor Jr. has been selected chairman of the V.I. Port Authority,  the agency that owns, operates and manage all of the air and marine ports in the territory.  The owner of O’Connor Car Rental on St. John has been a member of the board for about 10 years.  He told the Virgin Islands Daily News, "My goal will be to keep the Port Authority in the black instead of the red.  The Authority meets monthly at offices near Cyril King Airport.

Girl Scouts are coming

Girlscouts_1Lonnie Willis of the Fish Trap restaurant is spearheading an effort to reactivate the Girl Scouts on St. John.  At a meeting scheduled for Monday night at the Cruz Bay dining spot,  Jacqueline Dennis, president of the Girl Scout Council of the Virgin Islands, Lonnie and island administrator Julien Harley were scheduled to explain how the group can involve girls 4 to 17.

AA – do it yourself and save

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American Airlines has introduced a new feature on its Web site which, business being business, could be copied by competitors.  Go to AA.com and shop for the best fare to St. Thomas, and if you’re flexible – you can see what’s the best price on fares a month out.  With a click, you can also search for cheaper fares at nearby airports. Online travel services Expedia and Orbitz also offer the flexible search within-a-month feature, too. Details on American’s new features.

Coral Bay postal problems aired

The retirement of Tony Callwood, the Post Office’s long-time delivery person, has had a dramatic impact on operations in the Coral Bay area.  Complaints about missing packages and delayed deliveries prompted Tiffany Gumbs, who’s running the St. John Post Office, to meet with almost a dozen residents on the east end this week.  She said, "Tony was doing a lot of  above and beyond," according to a report of the meeting by the St. John Source.  He knew people, where they lived, and would make every effort to find them.  His replacements are not so familiar with the area.   

Gumbs also also said that people who get their mail in boxes along the route will have to go into the main post office in Cruz Bay to get packages, if they are too large for the mailboxes.  She indicated there are no plans to reinstate the use of a van to deliver mail to Coral Bay because it did not generate sufficient revenues to cover the cost, the Source added.

Disclaimer: The publisher of this report is a co-owner of the Mail Center at the Marketplace, a local business providing mailbox and package pickup, and shipping services to residents and villa owners.

St. John plans for constitutional convention

Efforts to increase the ability of St. Johnians to manage their island will get a boost at public meeting December 6 when the Island Council Planning Committee meets at the Legislature Building.  The speaker will be Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone, the man behind the plan, approved by the senate, to convene a territory-wide Constitutional Convention in February 2006.  Carole DeSenne, director of the St. John Community Foundation, said the session it o educate the committee about the process and possibilities, according to a report by the St. John Source.  "We all need to work together," she said.