Results of food store war survey

PollresultsIt was not much of a contest. Starfish Market and the Pine Peace Grocery were the clear favorites of almost 350 voters in last week’s survey.  Frankly, this looks like a victory for Pine Peace, given Starfish’s greater visibility and its similarity to markets on the mainland. 

Pine Peace is more crowded and its inventory more limited, but for the day to day stuff like cereal, snacks, beverages and staples, it’s fine and certainly beats Starfish on prices.

A surprise to me is the poor showing by Dolphin Market – could be the location, parking can be tough – and will only get more difficult with the roundabout construction. The owners’ decision to open a location on the South Shore road, at the new shopping strip across from the Westin, is a very good move.

Flea market this weekend

The Animal Care Center is hoping home owners will do a little late summer cleaning this week and sell their old household "stuff" at the ACC’s first "No Fleas, Please, Flea Market".

The sale begins at 10 a.,m. on Saturday at the Winston Wells Ball Field at the Sprauve School. All children and dogs on leashes are welcome to join in the fun, according to an ACC member.   🙂

Local shops and businesses are contributing items to the sale.  Both the Westin and Caneel have also contributed items.  Donations of other goods are being accepted this week. The ACC is also making space available to individuals who want to set up their own shops.  Proceeds from the space rental and the sale of donated items will go to help fund the Animal Care Center’s activities on island.

Are you bound for St. John?

Most of our readers have been to St. John.  Many, more than once.

Is the island in your vacation plans between now and next summer?

Conde Nast Traveler readers like St. John

St. John has been voted by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine as one of the top islands in the Caribbean/Atlantic region.  While first place in the 20th annual Readers Choice Awards polling went to Bermuda. St. John placed second, ahead of  St. Barthelemy. In last year’s survey, Bermuda and St. John were also at the top of the list, while third place went to the British Virgin Islands.

Hopefully, Conde Nast will someday freshen its Web site’s info on St. John.  The island is lumped into a Virgin Islands section. Only one island restaurant is recommended, Skinny Legs.  The only nightlife in town, according to CN, is at Duffy’s Love Shack – which isn’t there anymore – but the space is for lease.

The full awards report is in the magazine’s November issue, on newstands Oct. 25th.

Home sales down, average price up

This is turning into a site about real estate, it would appear. Certainly it’s a popular subject.

The latest tidbits come from Islandia Real Estate’s Web site and its residential home sales update. Year-to-date, 25 homes have been sold on St. John, compared to 31 a year ago, a decline of 19%. Six home sales went to closing during June, July, and August.

For the year, the average sale price for a home is $2.09 million. Islandia said that number is "skewed upwards 40% due to the unusual number of high end market sales, four this year."  Homes sold in 2007 drew an average 7% less than listing price.

In the quartet of this year’s very expensive property sales was the island’s most costly home, ever, David Mugar’s property at Peter Bay. It brought $14 million. Interestingly, the house sold for 14% more than it was originally listed. 

This year, four homes sold for more than $3.5 million, three transactions between $2 million and $3,.5 million.  The "low end (under $2 mil) of the market (was) still moving well with 18 sold," Islandia reported. Only on St. John do you find homes priced at $21.75 million classified as cheap.

You can read Islandia’s third quarter real estate report here.