It’s Always “Green” on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

All is well here on the islands with high season just flying by. It has been especially busy this week with the Lee County Schools on spring break, which added more day-trippers to the beaches, roadways and bike paths, and filled most of the remaining vacation rentals.

In addition to our continual green foliage from our tropical year-’round weather, we have floral evidence of “spring” too. The photo below was taken as I was coming out of The Bistro at Beachview after lunch on Wednesday. Bet it’s in full yellow bloom by tomorrow!

I was out showing condos this morning. Though 24 units matched the criteria of these prospective buyers, I was only able to show them four units – a definite indication that occupancy is up. Just two of the 24 had short vacancies. Listing agents were able to gain access to the other two by sweet-talking cooperative tenants.

Selling becomes difficult when you can only view a small sampling, and the buyers are leaving the next day. One of our toughest Realtor® tasks is convincing buyers to look early-on during their vacation or on tenant turn-over days. When that does not work out, we also recommend that investment-property buyers come back to view during the off-season when accessibility is easier. We even have been known to suggest making an offer conditional on a viewing. Some buyers think we are crazy when we give that advice, but most buyers do want to “see” what they are purchasing.

Thursday Realtor® Caravan Meeting

We had a little Realtor® kibitzing going on at our weekly meeting yesterday. It all began when only one sale was announced. That is not a good sign for mid-March. The consensus between companies was that although both January and February had good sales activity, so far this month is dragging. Comments ranged from “it’s already spring up north” to “it’s an election year” to “though lots of property is being shown and viewed, buyers remain tentative; most are going home without purchasing.” We hope that this just means that more sales will occur in the off-season.

Typically, we start to see the island thinning out April 1st. The early departures often are those who want to get back to their up north home in time to finish their income taxes. By April 15, or just after Easter, the islands usually are back to off-season activity.

What’s Happening at SanibelSusan Realty

It was a two-closing week for us. We like those, but interesting that our closing at Seashells was the only Sanibel condo sale reported. Five home sales closed, one being our listing at Seagull Estates.

This week, I also listed a wonderful 2-bedroom plus den (or 3-bedroom) condo, right on the beach at Compass Point. It was completely remodeled and professionally decorated in 2009 and is grossing nearly $60K annually as a weekly rental. The slide show photos below are courtesy of Island Vacations of Sanibel & Captiva Inc. who handles the rentals.


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Though we did not get any of our listings sold this week, we did put a near-beach lot under contract that was not listed for sale. First time that has happened. As the result of an Open House at one of our home listings, Lisa met folks who then considered other homes, but decided that building a new one is a better option for them. Though we then tried hard to get them interested in one of our lot listings, they ultimately decided that they want a parcel that was not on the market. So I tracked down and contacted the owners, and we were able to negotiate a sale. For statistic purposes, we will post it in our Multiple Listing Service when it closes in a couple of weeks.

Statistics on Sanibel & Captiva Sales as of March 16

Here’s an update of the current island inventory – condos, homes, and lots, and their sales this year. Historical info from 2011 and 2010 is also provided for reference. The amount of inventory remaining substantiates the number of price reductions that continue to be posted week-after-week. The report of the detailed activity in our Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing System below shows 23 price reductions, compared to 11 new sales, over the past week.

                                     Number             Average Price $             Average Days on Market

Sanibel Condos:For Sale                        253                      636,827                                    399

Under Contract               31                      651,177                                    455

Sold & Closed in:

   2012 thru 3/16              26                      652,680                                    278

   2011                           142                      591,681                                    325

   2010                           120                      608,545                                    381


Sanibel Homes:

For Sale                         230                   1,305,598                                    368

Under Contract                39                      951,347                                    309

Sold & Closed in:

   2012 thru 3/16              45                      767,461                                    289

   2011                           179                      826,130                                    369

   2010                           124                      775,805                                    320


Sanibel Lots:

For Sale                        104                      543,024                                    816

Under Contract                 3                      299,933                                    415

Sold & Closed in:

   2012 thru 3/16               6                      762,167                                    208

   2011                            19                      363,729                                    491

   2010                            21                      336,905                                    484


Captiva Condos:

For Sale                            67                      774,308                                    389

Under Contract                  4                  1,072,250                                    738

Sold & Closed in:

   2012 thru 3/16                4                     640,375                                    543

   2011                             24                      737,754                                    494

   2010                             25                      696,159                                    312

Captiva Homes

For Sale                           57                   3,428,474                                    596

Under Contract                  7                  2,331,429                                    482

Sold & Closed in:

   2012 thru 3/16                8                  1,413,125                                    613

   2011                             22                   1,782,059                                    360

   2010                             10                   2,258,250                                    357


Captiva Lots:

For Sale                         10                    1,810,800                                  1,074

Under Contract                 0                       N/A                                         N/A

Sold & Closed in:

   2012 thru 3/16              1                      515,000                                      95

   2011                             1                      485,000                                    580

   2010                             2                   2,850,000                                   284


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. 

Fed Notes Better Economy, Takes No Policy Action

Here are some excerpts from an article posted mid-week by “The Associated Press”:

“The Federal Reserve sketched a more upbeat view of the economy Tuesday after a burst of hiring since its last meeting in January. It took no further steps to aid the recovery and repeated its plan to keep short-term interest rates near zero through 2014. After a one-day policy meeting, the Fed said unemployment should continue to decline gradually as the economy expands moderately. It also noted that consumer spending and business investment have picked up. And the Fed took a more hopeful view of Europe’s debt crisis. Though the crisis still threatens the global economy, the danger has eased, the Fed said.

“The policymakers cautioned that rising oil and gas prices will raise inflation temporarily. But they said longer-term inflation should remain stable – repeating a view expressed by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke earlier this month….Since the Fed’s last meeting in late January, a stream of positive economic reports has suggested the economy is faring better than the Fed had expected.

“Employers added 734,000 jobs from December through February, the best three months of hiring in two years. The unemployment rate has declined to 8.3 percent. Consumers are more confident and have stepped up spending. Auto sales are rising. And the stock market keeps climbing.

“Despite the brightening prospects, unemployment remains historically high — something Bernanke mentioned in testimony to Congress last month, when he said, “The job market remains far from normal.”
Bernanke also said consumer spending and confidence remain less than healthy, inflation-adjusted pay gains are low and credit is still tight for many. As long as they are, Bernanke suggested, unemployment might not fall much further.

“Bernanke’s comments and remarks from other Fed officials suggest that the Fed plans to maintain its efforts to keep rates low to fuel growth. Low rates are intended to encourage consumers and businesses to borrow and spend more. Lower yields also lead some investors to shift money out of bonds and into stocks.

“Most economists don’t think the Fed will retreat anytime this year from its late-2014 target for any rate increase. Some note that threats to the economy remain from Europe’s debt crisis and the run-up in gasoline prices. Eventually, the Fed will feel compelled to raise rates to curb inflation as the economy heats up. But some analysts think the Fed is reluctant to signal an eventual shift toward higher rates before it’s close to a change. Signaling a change too soon might cause investors to push interest rates up before the Fed is sure the economic recovery will last.”

Sanibel & Captiva MLS Activity March 9-16

5 new listings: Sundial #B207 1/1 $299K, Signal Inn #2 1/1 $379K, Pointe Santo #C4 1/1 $497.9K, Compass Point #141 3/2 $999K (our listing), Compass Point #143 3/2 $1.095M.
6 price changes: Coquina Beach #5A 2/2 now $304K, Seawind #104 2/2.5 now $479K, Blind Pass #C203 3/2.5 now $499K, Loggerhead Cay #232 2/2 now $559K, Tarpon Beach #308 2/2 now $625K, Gulfside Place #117 2/2 now $970K.
4 new sales: Sandalfoot #4A3 2/2 listed for $529K, Sand Pointe #211 2/2 listed for $599K, Pointe Santo #C35 3/2 listed for $879K, Atrium #105 2/2 listed for $990K.
1 closed sale: Seashells #20 2/2 $325K (our listing)
4 new listings: 1621 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $446K; 4791 Rue Helene 3/2 $599,995; 4570 Bowen Bayou Rd 2/2 $699K, 926 Whelk Dr 4/3 $1.295M.
11 price changes: 531 Piedmont Rd 2/2 now $319K; 1433 Jamaica Dr 5/4 duplex now $439K; 533 Rabbit Rd 3/2 now $499.5K; 1400 Albatross Rd 3/3 now $535K; 1245 Anhinga Ln 3/2 now $549K; 1339 Par View Dr 3/2 now $681K; 4041 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $899K; 2308 Troon Ct 4/4 now $1.5M; 5427 Osprey Ct 3/3.5 now $1.272M; 2284 Troon Ct 4/4.5 now $1,999,999; 4717 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 now $2.195M.
5 new sales: 215 Robinwood Cir 3/2 listed for $639K, 9020 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed for $725K, 3861 Coquina Dr 3/3 listed for $729K, 440 East Gulf Dr 3/2 listed for $879K, 654 Kinzie Island Ct 6/4/2 listed for $2.295M.
5 closed sales: 5745 Pine Tree Dr 2/1 $375K, 210 Daniel Dr 3/3 $549K (our listing), 1773 Bunting Ln 3/2 $520K, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr (Moonshadows) 3/3 half-duplex $635K, 881 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $640K.
2 new listings: 5170 Sea Bell Rd $179K, 201 Robinwood Cir $699K.
1 price change: 2494 Blind Pass Ct now $649K.
1 new sale: 2423 Blue Crab Ct listed for $329.9K.
1 closed sale: 761 Donax St $140K.
No new listings.
2 price changes: Gulf Beach Villas #2111 2/2 now $595K, Beach Homes #32 3/2.5 now $1.695M.
1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3219 1/1 listed for $219K.
No closed sales.
1 new listing: 59 Sandpiper Ct 3/2 $825K.
2 price changes:  16849 Captiva Dr 6/2/2 now $2.195M, 15631 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 now $2.85M.
No new or closed sales.
No new listings.
1 price change: 11516 Wightman Ln now $699K.
No new sales.
1 closed sale:  11515 Gore Ln $515K.

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.


Happy Saint Patrick’s Day tomorrow to all of our Irish friends, SanibelSusan