What’s Cookin’ With Sanibel & Captiva Island Real Estate…

Here’s hoping everyone has had a good holiday so far. Thankfully, it has been a busier week, than last, for us at SanibelSusan Realty Associates. We always know that “high season” has arrived when we see traffic control officers at, not only the 4-way stop coming on the island, but also at the Jerry’s intersection and at the end of Tarpon Bay Road. Unfortunately, they make for a long commute for those traveling on-off island, but undoubtedly are good protection for those visiting bikers and drivers unfamiliar with the surroundings.

With a cooler weather (down into the 60’s) both yesterday and today, the restaurants and shops too are busier, though our Realtor® colleagues report very few visitors during their Christmas week open houses. We also held listings open two afternoons and likewise had few inquiries. Once again this year, this holiday week has been more a family time for island fun. 

High Season Indicators

Reports are that Sundial Beach and Golf Resort was booked at only 60% over the Christmas holiday, with other rental organizations indicating similar occupancy. Even fewer arrivals are expected for the New Year when the Christmas visitors check-out tomorrow. After that, we expect our standard lull until about mid-January, when the snow really begins to fall up north and things will pick up here again. Good solid bookings already are indicated for both February and March.

We also always know that “high season” is upon us when we get a flurry of calls to list property. As much as we prefer getting new listings in the fall, many prospective sellers wait until December and January to contact us, when “season” is essentially here. We had three such calls yesterday and once again had to advise the owners that to position their properties to sell in today’s market, they need to be priced at considerably less than their expectations. Those conversations are definitely not the fun part of our job.

Status of Offers

Sanibel Lighthouse

I worked negotiating a couple of offers over the Christmas holiday. No good news to report on those yet. Just to illustrate the frustrations in today’s market, one is a situation where a prospective buyer offered 25% less than the asking price on one of our best-priced listings. The other is where I wrote a clean offer on another company’s listing at only 8% less that the asking price. That property has been on the market for several years and the sellers refuse to respond. We are persistent, however, so I anticipate that “season” will be a good one for the “reasonable” buyers and sellers.

Year-End Sanibel Update on Inventory and Sales

These probably are not the final numbers as there are a few island closings occurring this afternoon, but the summary below shows that Sanibel inventory is back up as we go into “season”.

  • 265 condos are for sale, 9 are under contract, & 142 have sold/closed this year, which is more than the 120 sales in 2010. Average sale price is $591,672 which is 3% less than last year & 32% less than the heyday of 2006.
  • 231 homes are for sale, 28 are under contract, & 177 have sold/closed this year, which is more than the 124 sales in 2010. Average sale price is $819,080 which is 6% more than last year & 28% less than the heyday of 2006.
  • 112 lots are for sale, 2 are under contract, & 18 have sold/closed this year. Average sale price is $378,381, which is higher than last year, but 21 lots sold in 2010, so the number of lot sales is down & the average sale price is 56% less than the heyday.

Filing for Florida Homestead & Property Tax Exemptions

The official filing period for the 2012 homestead exemption and property tax exemptions opens Sunday and ends on March 1. Applications filed after March 1 are considered late. If you believe you qualify as a Florida resident and reside in your home as a permanent resident as of January 1, you should apply right away, according to the Lee County Property Appraiser. Visit the property appraiser website – leepa.org for contact information, exemption qualifications and filing information. The office is at 2480 Thompson St., Fort Myers, corner of Fowler Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 23-30

1 new listing: Sundial #A405 2/2 $799K.
6 price changes: Sundial #G107 1/1 now $249.9K, Tennisplace #C35 2/1.5 now $255K, Coquina Beach #5A 2/2 now $304K, Sundial #D205 1/1 now $389K, Sunset South $9A 2/2 now $519K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 now $575K.
1 new sale: Colonnades #C43 1/1 listed for $169K.
2 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #1312 2/2 $340K, Tarpon Beach #110 2/2 $590K.
6 new listings: 3822 Coquina Dr 3/2 $449K, 1394 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 half-duplex $499K, 525 Lake Murex Cir 3/2.5 $499K, 733 Durion Ct 3/2 $577K, 5864 Pine Tree Dr 3/3.5 $995K, 1842 Woodring Rd 3/3.5 $1.998M.
2 price changes: 1433 Jamaica Dr 5/4 duplex now $455K, 2540 Coconut Dr 4/3.5 now $780K.
6 new sales: 1585 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed for $419K, 1123 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $539.9K, 411 Lighthouse Way 4/3 listed for $1.395M, 6004 White Heron Ln 4/4/2 listed for $1.895M, 909 Snowberry Ln 3/3 listed for $2.15M, 1191 Bird Ln 4/3 listed for $2.195M (short sale).
1 closed sale: 1454 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $280K.
3 new listings: 564 Hideaway Ct $249,555; 707 Emeril Ct $345K; 5821 Pine Tree Dr $550K.
1 price change: 2562 Coconut Dr now $349K.
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. If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing. 

Until next Friday, Happy New Year & best wishes for a healthy 2012 from SanibelSusan