We Just Can’t Get Enough of These Snowy Plover Chicks on Sanibel

Hidden in the seagrape leaves, by Roberta Schuldenfrei

It again has been quiet on Sanibel and Captiva Islands this week, but our listings had a few showings from holiday visitors. Title companies were busy with the last of the end-of-the-month/first-of-the-month high season closings. Local lenders report that they are staying busy too, with interest rates still terrific, and many folks refinancing.

We had no Realtor® Caravan meeting this week, now that we have transitioned to the off-season summer schedule. It will be interesting to see how many attend the meeting next Thursday and how many new listings are on caravan for viewing. Until then, here are a couple of real estate news items, followed by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands MLS activity this week.


Why Home Sales Will Rise This Year

Thank goodness every once in a while there is a housing article with a positive spin. Though news reports this morning about jobs, the stock market, and the economy in general were not positive, I am more drawn to the tune of the following article in the June issue of “Realtor” magazine by Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors®.

“The first quarter ended with decent home sales activity, with existing homes selling at an annualized pace of 5.1 million. The remainder of the year should be better still for the following reasons.

  • More jobs
  • Risking stock market wealth
  • Rising apartment rents
  • Continuing high affordability conditions
  • Home values at historically justifiable levels
  • Investors looking to hedge against inflation
  • Foreigners buying U.S. homes on the cheap

“Other potential contributing factors, although they’re not happening yet, are huge bank profits translating into more desire to lend and some reductions to market friction as lenders’ short sale approval processes improve and appraisals become less of an issue.

“So, if existing home sales either hold at the 5.1 million pace of the first quarter or improve on that, then the annual sales tally will easily exceed the 4.9 million home sales we saw last year.

“Still, the stars are not aligned. There will be obstacles. High gas prices are a daily reminder that something is not right with the economy; that will hold back consumer confidence. Washington policymakers are debating the ending of government guaranteed mortgages and requiring a minimum down payment of 10 to 20 percent on conventional mortgages, even though the FHA and VA mortgage programs have very low down payments and have yet to require a single dime of taxpayers’ money. And there will be attempts to chip away at the mortgage interest deduction by invoking class warfare – the “let’s go after the rich” approach.

“At least through 2011, improving market developments should outweigh the negative impact imposed by Washington policymakers.”


Tax Relief for Non-Homesteaders 

Since the 2009 state legislative session, Florida Realtors® have sought to lower the annual assessment cap on non-homesteaded properties from the current 10 percent. In this year’s session two constitutional amendments were proposed. If approved by voters in November 2012, one proposal would reduce the yearly assessment cap on non-homestead property from 10 percent to 5 percent. It also would give anyone who hasn’t had a homestead exemption in Florida for three years a property tax discount of 50 percent of the home’s assessed value, not to exceed the median home price in that county. This additional first-time homestead owner exemption phases out for the property owner over five years while their Save Our Homes is phasing in. The measure also allows the Florida Legislature to prohibit assessment increases when property values fall. Currently, the Legislature does not have the power to prevent local government from “recapturing” the tax revenues that Save Our Homes shields during a rising real estate market.

Sanibel & Captiva MLS Activity May 27 to June 3



No new listings.

3 price changes: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #6-3 3/3 now $729K, Gulfside Place #106 2/2 now $850K, Sayana #202 2/2 now $899K.

4 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #214 1/1 listed for $279K, Compass Point #243 2/2 listed for $498K, Signal Inn #13 4/3 listed for $889K, Pointe Santo #E41 2/2 listed for $949K.

9 closed sales: Sanibel Siesta #101 2/2 $349K, Sanibel Siesta #803 2/2 $355K, Sanibel Arms West #I4 2/2 $383.5K, Sanibel Arms West #B4 2/2 $385K, Mariner Pointe #961 2/2 $457.5K, Sanibel Siesta #603 2/2 $515K, Sunset South #4A 2/2 $665K, Villas of Sanibel #A202 3/3 $910K, Janthina #3A 3/2 $1.2M.


5 new listings: 3145 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 $549K, 707 Carduim St 4/3.5 $649K, 676 Anchor Dr 3/3 $819K, 228 Violet Dr 4/3/2 $1.495M, 1751 Jewel Box Dr 4/4 $1,499,999.

7 price changes: 1663 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $344K (short sale), 1046 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $379K, 474 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 now $480K (short sale), 280 Southwinds Dr 3/3.5 now $575K, 1528 Angel Dr 3/2 now $599K, 1234 Seagrape Ln 2/2 now $685K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $699K (short sale).

2 new sales: 6076 Castaways Ln 3/2 listed for $900K, 1570 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 listed for $950K (short sale).

6 closed sales: 1148 Shell Basket Ln 4/2 duplex $335K, 4237 Old Banyan Way 2/2 $430K, 810 Elinor Way 3/2 $445K, 1562 Sand Castle 4/3 $727K, 1172 Kittiwake 5/3 $925K, 1310 Seaspray Ln 4/4 $2.2M.


1 new listing: 5121 San-Cap Rd $339K.

3 price changes: 1847 Farm Trl now $249K (our listing), 1114 Seagrape Ln now $525K, 837 Limpet Dr now $930K (our listing).

No new or closed sales.



No new listings, price changes or new sales.

3 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3238 2/2 $377.5K, Tennis Villas #3230 2/2 $412K, Captiva Hide-A-Way #1C 2/2 $446.25K.


No new listings.

1 price change: 1 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2 now $1.895M.

1 new sale: 16585 Captiva Dr 5/4/2 listed for $2.2M (short sale).

4 closed sales: 11540 Gore Ln 3/3 $867.5K, 11515 Chapin Ln 3/2 $889K, 16171 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 $1.5M, 16213 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 $3.2M.


1 new listing:  13470 Palmflower Ln $995K.

No price changes, new or closed listings.

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.  If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.