Wrapping Up July on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It’s been another quiet Friday so far on Sanibel Island, but at SanibelSusan Realty Associates we will be open all weekend looking for real estate buyers and sellers.

Great White Heron aka Great White Egret, photo from our photographer pal, Jim Anderson. Check out his book at discoversanibelandcaptiva.com

Our Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® is looking for a new Association Executive and SanibelSusan is a member of the Search Committee. If you know of any candidates, have them check out the job posting at http://www.realtor.org/ae/ae-jobs.

Update on Blind Pass Dredging Project

SCCF Photo of Blind Pass

After a couple of minor setbacks, a little bad weather from Tropical Storm Debby and broken pump equipment, the Blind Pass Dredging Project is fully underway and just three weeks behind schedule. As of July 11, at the CEPD (Captiva Erosion Prevention District) meeting, it was reported that 3,200 cubic yards of sand have been moved. Beach visitors are reminded to stay a safe distance from the equipment both on the shoreline and in the water. As tempting as it is, shellers must not cross the orange fencing. By the end of the project, 125,000 cubic yards of sand are expected to be pumped out of Blind Pass. Great news for Sanibel’s west end.

Tropical Update

On Wednesday, The Weather Channel released its July update to the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season outlook saying that the 2012 Forecast is for a “Near-Average Season”. We islanders keep a close watch on these updates as they have been accurate in recent years. Here’s hoping I don’t jinx things by mentioning their new report:

            “The updated forecast calls for a total of 13 named storms, 6 of which are expected to become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher…).  These forecast numbers are generally near to slightly below the long-term average from 1950-2011 …and below the averages for the current active era from 1995-2011…. Already this season we’ve seen 4 named storms, the first of which, Alberto, formed on May 19, a little less than two weeks before the official start of the season on June 1….The July update cites one potential limiting influence on the number of named storms in 2012.

            “Although we got off to a fast start in 2012, we feel that the heart of the season will be much less active than the last two, as an El Nino event continues to mature slowly and provide an unfavorable environment for tropical development,” said Dr. Todd Crawford, Chief Meteorologist for Weather Services International (WSI), a part of The Weather Channel Companies.

            “Stronger wind shear, a nemesis to tropical cyclone development, tends to appear in parts of the Atlantic Basin in a season in which El Nino has developed.  

            “”The slow emergence of El Nino impacts as summer transitions into fall typically means that the bulk of the activity occurs during August-September, with a fairly quiet back half of the season,” said Crawford.

Bike Path Expansion

(actually The City of Sanibel calls the bike paths, “shared use paths”)

Work began this week with the scheduling widening of the path that runs west of and parallel to Rabbit Road. The path from West Gulf Drive to the south end of the Surf Sound Court cul-de-sac and from the north end of Surf Sound Court to Sanibel-Captiva Road is closed to all traffic during the project which is scheduled to take 60 days to complete. That path runs along a wonderful area of the Sanibel River, so when the work is complete be sure and check it out. It comes out just behind Doc Ford’s Restaurant.

Clyde Butcher’s First On-Line Magazine

Many photography lovers, particularly in Florida, follow the amazing work of Clyde Butcher (www.ClydeButcher.com) best known for his powerful and large black and white landscape and nature photos, often taken in The Everglades. He has a gallery in Venice, but also one in Ochoppe, FL called Big Cypress Gallery. The latter also offers “swamp walks”. Ochoppe is south of the islands, down U.S. 41 past Naples & Marco and in the Big Cypress National Preserve area. It is worth the drive, or you can learn about Clyde Butcher on the internet. Here’s a link to his first on-line magazine that was just posted this week.

Economists Predict Foreign Tourist Lull

An article posted yesterday on Florida Realtors® on-line, from News Service of Florida, applies to areas with international customers, like Southwest Florida. In part, it says:

            “Economic woes in Europe will trickle across the Atlantic over the next few years as potential international guests stay home or see their native currency buy less once they arrive, a panel of state economists estimated this week.
            “Economists from the Florida Legislature and the governor’s office met to recalibrate earlier estimates on a host of indices from housing starts to unemployment. Overall, they made only minor changes to a forecast they last revised in December. They still say Florida is expected to avoid another recession but the rebound will be slow, according to Amy Baker, coordinator of the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research. “We are not expecting any dramatic changes in our previous forecast,” Baker said. “We are making some minor adjustments, but that’s about it.”
            “Existing home sales and median prices will continue to be soft, with another wave of foreclosures expected to temper the rising prices. Still, new home starts are up and point to a modest recovery in the construction sector, which has jettisoned nearly 25,000 jobs in the past 12 months.
            “The situation in Europe could complicate Florida’s recovery. Europe is embroiled in debate over the structure and make-up of the European Union, which is experiencing significant financial instability as it decides the fate of Greece and looks at other struggling countries that are a drag on the economy.
            “Florida’s tourism industry may suffer as a result. European travelers have helped buoy the state’s multibillion-dollar market in recent years as favorable exchange rates have led many visitors to Florida’s shores. Such exuberance may ebb as economic uncertainty and a rising U.S. dollar make traveling more expensive. Overseas tourism may drop by up to 2% over the next 12 months before picking up again in 2014. It will not return to robust year-to-year growth until 2015….
            “One bright exception is Canada. Taking advantage of lower gas prices, the flow of Canadians to Florida could increase nearly 6%by the end of 2013, the economists predict. The rebound would be welcome. Canadian tourism dropped 11.4% during the first three months of 2012 largely due to high gas prices.
            “The panel of economists also predicts that Florida job growth will remain sluggish as the state continues to claw its way back following a real estate and housing crash that began in 2007. Even the most optimistic projection has Florida’s unemployment rate above 6% until 2016. Unemployment will gradually decrease over the next few years they project, fueled in part by a reduction in housing inventory and slowly rising home prices.”

Florida Goes Back to School Early

I was astounded this week when Elise mentioned that she already has her back-to-school shopping done. “It’s still July”, I said. Coming from New England, I remember that we often had some of our best summer fun in August. Or maybe that was when the Atlantic Ocean was warm enough for comfortable swimming. Either way, we didn’t go back to school until after Labor Day. Not so, here in Lee County Schools where this year school begins a week earlier than last year. The teachers start August 1 and the school session officially begins for students on August 8.

Come to the Islands Before High Season

Another one of Jim’s photos. Just another island beach!

We year-’rounders are often asked, “When is the best time to come to the islands?” One of the good times from a traffic perspective is after schools begin, but before the snowbirds arrive. For those thinking of making a trip to Sanibel and Captiva late summer or fall, here is a schedule of some of the upcoming events.

AUGUST 2012

1st – Coyote & Bear Tales, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF)

3rd – “The City That Almost Wasn’t & The Sanibel Plan”, SCCF

8th – Gator & Crocodile Tales, SCCF

9th – Turtle Tracks, SCCF

10th – Hurricanes, SCCF

14th – Bobcat Tales, SCCF

17th – Tides, Currents, & The Florida Shelf, SCCF

22nd – Coyote & Bear Tales, SCCF

23rd – Turtle Tracks, SCCF

29th – Gator & Crocodile Tales, SCCF

SEPTEMBER 2012

1st – Lions Pancake Breakfast at The Community House, Sanibel Community Association (SCA)

OCTOBER 2012

3rd – Celebrity Island Waiters’ Fundraiser for The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, at Trader’s Cafe & Store

13th – 4th Annual 10K Race for FISH at The Community House

14th to 20th – “Ding” Darling Days

15th to Dec 1 – BIG ARTS Phillips & Founders Galleries Exhibits on Display

NOVEMBER 2012

1st to 4th – CROW & Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival on Causeway Island “A”

1st to Dec 1 – BIG ARTS Phillips & Founders Galleries Exhibits on Display

2nd – BIG ARTS ARTSalon Artists Reception & Awards Presentation

11th – CROW’s 31st Annual Taste of the Islands

13th to 10th – “Becky’s New Car”, BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theater

24th – All in the Musical Family with Beckie Menzie & Tom Michael, BIG ARTS

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 20 to 27

Sanibel
CONDOS
1 new listing: Sundial #Q201 2/2 $495K.
2 price changes: Seawind #A109 2/2 now $449K, Shorewood #1D 3/2 now $799K.
1 new sale: Heron at The Sanctuary II #3-B 2/2.5 listed for $599K.
2 closed sales:  Blind Pass #A204 2/2 $340K, Yacht Haven #2 3/2 $775K.

HOMES
No new listings.
4 price changes: 5296 Umbrella Pool Rd 4/4 now $578.5K, 1449 Tahiti Dr 3/3 now $595K, 445 East Gulf Dr 3/2 now $625K, 780 Birdie View Pt 5/4.5 now $1.799M.
3 new sales: 982 Whelk Dr 3/2 listed for $749K, 760 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 listed for $849K (short sale), 1232 Isabel Dr 3/3 listed for $1,999,999.
3 closed sales: 220 Southwinds Dr 2/2 $390K (our listing), 701 Nerita St 3/2 $495K, 5230 Caloosa End Ln 4/3 $845K.

LOTS
1 new listing: Tarpon Bay Rd $250K.
No price changes, new or closed sales.

Captiva
CONDOS
1 new listing: Bayside Villas #204 1/2 $269K.
No price changes or new sales.
1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3224 1/1 $225K.

HOMES
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 15158 Wiles Dr 5/4 listed for $1.995M (short sale).
1 closed sale: 16849 Captiva Dr 7/7 $1.85M.

LOTS
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 11535 Murmond Ln listed for $649K (short sale).
No closed sales.

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.

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