Temperatures Back Into the 70’s on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

 SanibelSusan Realty listings again had good showing activity this week which was a chilly one with the last three nights down into the 40’s. Daytime temperatures went back into the 70’s today and are expected remain there for at least the next week, so locals and tourists alike are happy. Visitor traffic, as well as real estate activity, should increase this weekend and continue to increase as we get into early February and high season. Here are a couple of news items, followed by the MLS activity this week.

Manatee Viewing Center

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I took a little side trip on Monday meeting a friend traveling from snowy Minnesota to Sanibel – our destination, the Manatee Viewing Center at the Tampa Electric’s Big Bend Power Station at Apollo Beach. It’s a fun spot for a day-trip or stop when you are on your way to the island, if you’ve never been. Located just a couple of hours north of here, the center is a state and federally designated 50-acre manatee sanctuary that has attracted more than 3 million visitors since it opened 25 years ago. From November through April 15, displays, interactive exhibits and more teach visitors of all ages about the life cycle of the manatee and its challenges. Center volunteers and staff, many of them TECO Energy retirees, answer questions and provide educational info. The center gets its name from the manatees that gather in the clean, warm water discharge canal between the Big Bend Power Station and the center when the temperature of Tampa Bay falls below 68 degrees F. In addition to manatee observation platforms, the center features a tidal walkway that takes visitors deep into a mangrove habitat. Hundreds of varieties of birds, fish and other animals thrive here amid native coastal vegetation. The center also features an environmental education building, a gift shop, café, and webcams during open season. Here’s a link to one of their webcams, if you’d like to see the manatees yourself. There were hundreds there on Monday. http://www.tampaelectric.com/manatee/funstuff/webcam/ 

Citizens Property Insurance

“The Orlando Sentinel” reported on Wednesday that newly elected FL Gov. Rick Scott wants to raise rates at Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to make them “actuarially sound,” but doing so would require homeowners covered by the state-run insurer of last resort to absorb a whopping 55 percent rate increase. Citizens is currently prohibited from raising rates by more than 10 percent a year, under restrictions lawmakers imposed in the aftermath of the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, when eight storms hit the state in two years. Citizens has ballooned into the largest insurance company in FL since those storms, as private insurers have dropped policies and fled the state. It has nearly 1.3 million policyholders, about 18 percent of the total residential exposure in the state. The vast majority of customers are in coastal areas; 42 percent are in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. If Citizens isn’t permitted to charge actuarially sound rates, it risks not having enough money to pay claims following a major storm or storms. And Citizens would have to make up that shortfall by taxing all of the state’s insurance policyholders – even those covered by private companies.

SCCF Forum on Caloosahatchee & Everglades Connection

Interesting program coming up at the Sanibel Community House on Tuesday, January 25 at 7 p.m. Called “Sugar and Salt: Our Beaches, Estuary and the Everglades Connection”, the event is sponsored by the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation with remarks and presentations from the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board, the Everglades Foundation, and SCCF.

Sanibel & Captiva MLS Activity January 7-14:

2 new listings: Nutmeg Village #310 2/2 $585K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 $679K.
7 price changes: Sanibel Arms #E6 1/1 now $299.9K, Island Beach Club #210F 2/2 now $439K, Compass Point #243 2/2 now $498K, Sundial #Q402 2/2 now $609K, Coquina Beach #2E 2/2 now $649K, Sayana #103 2/2 now $849K, Shell Island Beach Club #D5 2/2 now $900K.
4 new sales: Island Beach Club #330B 2/2 listed for $475K, Lighthouse Point #313 2/2 listed for $495K, Heron at The Sanctuary III #1A 3/2.5 listed for $510K, Snug Harbor #212 2/2 listed for $625K.
2 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #721 2/2 $270K, Sunset South #5B 2/2 $930K.
4 new listings: 5151 San-Cap Rd 3/2 $324.9K, 4237 Old Banyan Way 2/2.5.5 $499.9K, 1555 San Carlos Bay Dr 2/2.5 $1.195M, 1516 Angel Dr 2/2 $1.295M.
11 price changes: 754 Vinca Way 4/3 now $310K (short sale), 1672 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1 now $350K, 1647 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex now $387.5K, 1440 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex now $425K, 1294 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $479.9K, 474 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 now $555K (short sale), 1302 Par View Dr 3/3 now $619K, 1290 Par View Dr 4/2 now $739K, 2332 Troon Ct 4/5 now $1.495M (short sale), 784 Birdie View Pt 4/4 now $1.695M, 1765 Venus Dr 3/3 now $1.695M. 
7 new sales: 1012 East Gulf Dr 4/2 duplex listed for $335K (short sale), 271 Robinwood Cir 4/2.5 listed for $699K (short sale), 6101 Castaways Ln 4/2 listed for $825K (short sale), 600 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2.5 listed for $1.139M (short sale), 6005 Clam Bayou 3/3 listed for $899K (short sale); 9292 Belding Dr 3/2.5 listed for $399K, 1405 Causey Ct 3/2 listed for $659K.
3 closed sales:  9312 Kincaid Ct 3/2 $314K (short sale), 962 Donax St 3/2 $550K, 709 Heather Ln 5/3 $550K.
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 4308 West Gulf Dr listed for $549K.
No closed sales.
1 new listing:  Beach Villas #2516 1/1 $515K.
3 price changes: Tennis Villas #3230 2/2 now $418K, Sunset Beach Villas #2223 1/1 now $449.5K, Captiva Shores #6B 2/2 now $799.5K.
1 new sale: Gulf Beach Villas #2012 2/2 listed for $639K.
No closed sales.
No new listings.
3 price changes:  11521 Laika Ln 3/3 now $1.495M, 6 Sunset Captiva Ln 3/2 now $1.875M, 15867 Captiva Dr 7/7.5 now $6.995M.
No new or closed sales.
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors or its Multiple Listing Service.  Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.