SanibelSusan’s Mid-Week Update About Sanibel & Captiva Island Real Estate at the 3/4-Year Mark


Now that most of the year is behind us and high season is just around the corner, it’s a good time to sit back and take a look at real estate market trends on Sanibel and her sister island, Captiva. Interestingly, they are not the same.

Sanibel Island Is Where Homes & Lots Are Moving

On Sanibel, home sales started to rebound last year, particularly when prices dropped, making entry-level homes more affordable to families looking to move here for our highly-rated & continually-awarded blue-ribbon school.  Lower-priced homes have continued to move well this year. Best sellers, as always, are those near the beach and with swimming pools. Today, the number of sales of gulf-front homes is already double the number sold in 2009, another good indicator that Sanibel homes are moving again.

Sanibel condo sales, on the other hand, just recently started to improve. Already 15 more have sold and closed than in all of last year.  Another 12 units are under contract awaiting closing. Condo inventory, however, remains high, so it will be some time before that market stabilizes again. There still are plenty of excellent offerings if you are looking for a well-priced Sanibel condo.

Sanibel lot sales are up significantly this year too. With 19 lots sold & closed during the first nine months of this year and another under contract, that number of sales already exceeds sales during each of the last four years, when 11, 13, 17, and 18 lots were sold, respectively, during 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006. With Sanibel’s Land Development Code restricting the number of residential properties on the island, the end is in sight if you want a lot for a single-family home. The island looks like there is plenty of undeveloped land and there is. The majority will remain undeveloped too. Sanibellians love their conservation land. Before there can be much more new construction, there will be tear-downs.

Here is a summary of the Sanibel sales statistics, followed by a more detailed view of the sold properties by geographical location:

 Sanibel Condos Homes Lots
 # MedianPrice $  Avg DOM  # MedianPrice $  Avg DOM  # MedianPrice $  Avg DOM
For sale 236 577,000 420 248 882,000 387 112 395,000 746
Sales pending 12 549,000 340 19 599,900 415 1 299,000 22
Sold to 10/20/10 102 530,000 392 105 580,000 314 19 245,000 436
Sold in 2009 87 575,000 338 144 586,250 278 11 275,000 414

 

Sanibel Sales to 10/20/10 Condos Homes Lots
# Median Price $ # Median Price $ # Median Price $
Gulf-Front 75 585,000 4 2,200,000 1 1,295,000
Bay-Front 5 475,000 3 1,108,125 0 N/A
Bayou 0 N/A 2 1,005,000 1 560,000
Canal 2 450,000 18 910,000 0 N/A
Near Beach 17 325,000 52 557,500 15 237,500
Inland 3 590,000 26 485,000 2 177,500
TOTAL 102 530,000 105 580,000 19 245,000
This representation is based on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the author nor the Association guarantees or is any way responsible for its accuracy.

Captiva Island Is Just Starting to Catch Up

On Captiva, the market is different, perhaps related to the higher home prices and the more vacation-related owners. Remember, though Sanibel and Captiva are sister islands, their size, governing bodies, and demographics are not the same. Captiva’s year-’round resident population is measured in only hundreds, with most properties there used as second homes or investment rentals.

You will notice from the statistics below that fewer Captiva condos, homes, and lots have sold in 2010 than last year. Condos could catch up by year-end, but it’s unlikely that home sales will. Most of the condo sales were within South Seas Resort, some at very low prices. On Captiva, the condo market has rebounded before homes.

 Captiva Condos Homes Lots
 # Median Price $  Avg DOM  # Median Price $  Avg DOM  # Median Price $  Avg DOM
For sale 66 677,500 529 76 2,530,000 526 13 1,900,000 716
Sales pending 2 547,000 780 3 1,999,000 353 0 N/A N/A
Sold to 10/20/10 18 625,000 270 6 2,143,750 463 2 2,850,000 284
Sold in 2009 22 645,000 361 16 1,822,500 321 3 2,500,000 630

 

Captiva Sales to 10/20/10 Condos Homes Lots
# Median Price $ # Median Price $ # Median Price $
Gulf-Front 7 780,000 1 2,500,000 2 2,850,000
Bay-Front 5 572,500 2 2,318,750 0 N/A
Canal 2 437,500 0 N/A 0 N/A
Near Beach 4 607,500 3 1,430,000 0 N/A
TOTAL 18 625,000 6 2,143.750 2 2,850,000
This representation is based on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the author nor the Association guarantees or is any way responsible for its accuracy.

 The Sister Island Situation

Like Sanibel, Captiva continues to offer excellent value for the consumer who has been waiting for prices to hit bottom. Consider them there. Colleagues and I expect that this winter will be a good one for sales on both islands. Smart consumers already have recognized that the next step for our market is to swing up. This fall, returning snowbirds have been looking and buying. It’s not just REALTOR®-speak when I say, “the best time to buy on the islands is now”. October/November is always when we have new inventory and this year sellers are listening to pricing recommendations. There are some terrific properties for sale now that my fortune cookie says will sell this winter.

Friday, I’ll be posting the week’s real estate action for both islands.

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