The Pre-Halloween Real Estate Scoop on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Yesterday, Florida had a noticeable cool down in both temperature and humidity. Fall has finally arrived!

Nick Adams Photography Lighthouse

Island photographer Nick Adams posted this photo (& others) on-line this week. Taken while the light in the Sanibel Lighthouse was being serviced. See more of his work at Pretty cool how the camera takes pix like this!

Our listing at 1311 Sand Castle Rd looking over lake & golf course to San Carlos Bay & the causeway. Photo by Jim Anderson.

Our listing at 1311 Sand Castle Rd looking over lake & golf course to San Carlos Bay & the causeway. Photo by Jim Anderson.

Here are a few real estate news items, followed by the action reported over the past seven days in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Real Estate & More

SanibelSusan showed a few homes mid-week (to an office walk-in) and I expect to show another home to them on the weekend. We also had a Sundial closing on Wednesday and understand that an offer on another condo listing is “in the works”. Teammate Dave held a condo open on Thursday morning, which unfortunately had no lookers. We haven’t had as many showings over the last few days, as we did with holiday visitors in town last week, but overall things are picking up with road traffic continuing to increase as more seasonal residents return.

Doc Fords SanibelI stopped into Doc Ford’s last night after work (5:30-ish) and they were already on a wait! Wow, that’s a real indicator of more folks here!

Contractors are really scurrying to finish up summer projects too. On Sanibel, the east-end bike path expansion work continues. While on Captiva, the beach renourishment project is well underway with work this week concentrated in the Andy Rosse Lane area. Target completion for this shoreline protection project remains Nov 26.

J.R. Evans Engineering Presentation to Realtors®

JR Evanslogo_smSo many Realtors® turned out Monday at the engineering presentation held in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® meeting room, that it was “standing room only”. J.R. Evans Engineering company owners and professional engineers, Josh Evans and Elizabeth Fountain, who also is a Certified Floodplain Manager, described to attendees the differences between a LOMC (Letter of Map Change), LOMR (Letter of Map Revision) and LOMA (Letter of Map Amendment). Evans Engineering specializes in revisions to FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps which establish flood insurance premiums. With a 100% approval rate, their work can result in substantially reducing flood insurance premiums and in come cases has eliminated the need for flood insurance completely. The latter is doubtful on the islands, but attendees were all ears in learning how the process works, and the engineering work and costs involved in getting flood zone changes approved. A preliminary assessment to determine if a property is a viable candidate is FREE. Many Realtors® including SanibelSusan signed up. More info on this company is available at

Upcoming Island Fun

Ding Darling DaysSat, Oct 26 – Last of the 2013 “Ding” Darling Days Events: Conservation Art Day, at the Refuge 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with FREE bags made from recycled T-shirts and art kits to the first 200 kids, FREE admission to Wildlife Drive, FREE snacks and drinks, FREE wildlife cartoon portraits for first 50 guests (by Dave Horton), FREE Federal and State duck stamp winner presentations, FREE wildlife sketching workshop, FREE guided nature walk on Indigo Trail, and FREE nature photography tram tour (with Theresa Baldwin). Also today and Saturday, as part of “Ding” Darling Days, Tarpon Bay Explorers is offering 25% discounts on tram, paddling, boat tours, and equipment rentals.

Bailey's merchant assocSun, Oct 27 – 28th BaileyFest at the shopping center, noon to 4 p.m. Free and open to the public, this is lots of hometown fun and features the crowning of the BaileyFest King and Queen (winners of 5th grade essay contest), games, food/refreshments, and plenty of entertainment by the BIG ARTS Community Chorus, Irish dancers, cloggers, the Sanibel School Band, and other local musicians/entertainers.

Community House logoThurs, Oct 31 – 10th Family Fall Carnival at the Sanibel Community House, 5 to 7 p.m., with candy, games, prizes, crafts, food/dining area, and Billy’s Hay Ride. Everyone is encouraged to wear costumes (kids, adults, volunteers). Admission is one bag of Halloween candy per family.

Farmer MarketSunday, Nov 3 – Sanibel Farmers Market reopens for its 6th season at Sanibel City Hall from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market is open every Sunday from Nov through Apr 27.

Housing Moves Toward “Healthy Equilibrium”

Realtor logoREALTOR®Mag’s “Daily Real Estate News” posted the following article that I would like to correlate to Sanibel and Captiva statistics too. Here is the article from Oct 17 with info about Sanibel and Captiva added in (italics & parentheses):

“The housing market is finding its center again, showing signs of greater balance, according to’s latest National Housing Trend Report. The analysis finds year-over-year trends revealing strong gains in median list prices and declines in days on the market. “Our September data on inventory counts, median list prices, and median time on market has shown another month of steady leveling, but the recovery certainly remains uneven in some pockets,” says Errol Samuelson, president of “Some of the more industrial-based markets clearly continue to struggle, yet others are showing significant price gains over this time last year. While we are pleased to see a continued trend toward a healthy market balance, imminent economic factors could pose a significant threat to these improvements.”

“The report highlights some of the following progress on four main indicators for the housing market:

“List prices: The median list price for homes in September dropped slightly but remained 6.4% higher than a year ago. More than 20% of the 146 markets that the report covers posted year-over-year gains in listing prices of 12% or more.” (Likewise, Sanibel homes gain this year is 12%, while Captiva’s is a whopping 72%.)

“Home sales: Sales of single-family homes, condos, and townhomes fell 1.68% in September, after six consecutive months of gradual rises.” (The island market is so seasonal that month-to-month comparisons make no sense. However, the number of new September 2013 sales exceed those in September 2012 by 13%.)

“Inventory levels: Inventories were 2.04% less in September than year ago levels—“signaling a greater balance between supply and demand,”’s report notes.” (On Sanibel and Captiva, the same numbers of lots (or vacant land) are for sale today as a year ago. However with homes and condos, inventory is WAY down. There are 42% fewer Sanibel condos for sale now than last year, 37% fewer Sanibel homes, 55% fewer Captiva condos, and 42% fewer Captiva homes.)

“Days on market: The median age of inventory increased from 92 days to 93 days in September. However, it has fallen by 10.58% in the past year, which indicates that homes are selling more quickly, according to the report.” (With the seasonality of island sales, days-on-market here are significantly longer. Last year it took 407 days to sell a Sanibel condo, now it’s down to 339 days. Sanibel home sales last year took 289 days, today that number is a tad higher at 292 days. The big change was noticed on Captiva, where the number of sales is smaller, so the swing can be greater. Captiva condos took 381 days to sell last year, but more time now, 438 days in 2013. Captiva homes that sold last year were on the market 609 days, while finally that number dropped to under a year this year, 320 days.)

“The report reveals the following metros with the shortest median days on the market in September:

Oakland, CA: 28 days

San Francisco: 45

Denver: 45

San Jose, CA: 45

Stockton-Lodi, CA: 45

Detroit: 48

Phoenix-Mesa, AZ: 50

Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA: 52

Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV: 52

Sacramento, CA: 52.”

Hit Pause Button on Law to Protect Florida’s Economy

Dean asherThe following article by Florida Realtors® 2013 President and guest columnist Dean Asher appeared today in the “Orlando Sentinel”:

“The Biggert-Waters Act passed by Congress last year resulted in unintended consequences so severe when they took effect on Oct. 1 that one of the bill sponsors asked her Congressional colleagues to delay implementation. Florida REALTORS® supports this effort from U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat.

“Hitting the pause button on legislation that is negatively impacting hundreds of thousands of property owners nationwide — and disrupting the housing recovery — is necessary for several reasons:

  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which administers the National Flood Insurance Program, must complete an affordability study required by the act. FEMA allowed the Biggert-Waters law to take effect without even starting the study and making the required report to Congress.
  • Biggert-Waters requires that FEMA issue the most accurate maps on which to base premiums. To date, FEMA has only remapped the East Coast. Yet property owners along thousands of miles of U.S. coastline are receiving notices of substantial premium increases.
  • FEMA waited nearly nine months after Biggert-Waters was passed in July 2012 before eliminating rate subsidies for properties purchased after that date. Then the agency retroactively applied it — adding another layer of complexity to an already complicated law, and in effect, changing the rules in the middle of the game for many who bought their home over the past year.

“The Biggert-Waters Act was an attempt to shore up the flood insurance program by moving it toward risk-based pricing. Nationwide, we all have a vested interest in stabilizing NFIP and keeping it solvent so the program can continue to help vulnerable homeowners during a catastrophe. Realtors and those who work closely with homeowners understand that, for this program to continue long-term, all property owners would eventually have to pay rates that adequately cover the flood risk on their properties, as long as the risk was accurately identified and fairly assessed on property owners.

“But the subsidy phase-outs for existing policyholders were supposedly designed to be gradual and spread out over four to five years, if not longer, to minimize the impacts on homeowners. Yet that’s not what some Florida homeowners are experiencing — many are facing immediate, severe repercussions from the act’s unintended consequences.

“Some long-term owners of modest properties in flood zones are worried the sharply higher premiums — up to 3,000 percent in some cases — will force them into foreclosure. Some current homeowners fear being “locked into” their property, unable to sell it in the future, because no one will be able to afford to buy it after learning what their new flood insurance premium would be.

“While Congress considers delaying the Biggert-Waters Act, FEMA can take action to ease the effects on homeowners and offer rate relief by:

  • Allowing for larger deductibles;
  • Allowing property owners to opt out of contents coverage.

“Florida lawmakers and officials also can act to help citizens by:

  • Urging the Division of Emergency Management to clarify the re-mapping process for each community in Florida and put the preliminary maps online;
  • Urging the state insurance commissioner to research any legal or regulatory issues that may keep private insurers from developing solutions.
  • Urging the Florida Cabinet to explore the feasibility of Florida opting out of NFIP.

“The growing real estate market is driving Florida’s economic recovery. To keep the momentum going, something must be done to redress the unintended consequences of Biggert-Waters. If not, Florida’s homeowners, residents and economy will suffer.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity from October 18-25



3 new listings: Island Beach Club #P2A 2/2 $499K, Sundial #J407 2/2 $539K, Sayana #103 2/2 $759K.

1 price change: Mariner Pointe #1083 2/2 now $386K.

2 new sales: Mariner Pointe #733 2/2 listed for $395K, Tamarind #B301 2/2 listed for $1.779M.

2 closed sales: Sundial #I101 1/1 $327K (our listing), Sunset South #3B 2/2 $545K.


8 new listings: 966 Fitzhugh St 2/1 $339K, 1826 Ardlsey Way 4/3 $498.5K, 1009 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 $539K, 1294 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $549K, 1325 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $719K, 430 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 $795K, 800 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 $1.149M, 1066 Bailey Rd 3/3 $1.55M.

5 price changes: 735 Donax St now $469K, 1213 Par View Dr 3/2.5 now $798K, 228 Violet Dr 3/2/2 now $995K, 2367 Wulfert Rd 4/3.5 now $1.188M, 2380 Troon Ct 4/5 now $2.38M.

1 new sale: 5403 Shearwater Dr 4/3 listed for $1.145M.

2 closed sales:  1778 Windward Way 4/2 $420K, 2695 Wulfert Rd 4/4/2 $1.1M.


3 new listings: Lot 7 West Gulf Dr $1.4M,  4405 West Gulf Dr $3.5M, 4407 West Gulf Dr $3.5M.

2 price changes: 2502 Wulfert Rd now $239.9K, 6081 Henderson Rd now $274K.

No new sale: 1637 Sabal Sands Rd listed for $295K.

No closed sales.



1 new listing: Beach Villas #2634 3/3 $840K.

No price changes or new sales.

3 closed sales: Beach Villas #2611 2/2 $595K, Sunset Beach Villas #2238 3/3 $755K, Captiva Bay Villas #A 3/3.5 $1.82M.


No new sales.

1 price change: 16645 Captiva Dr 9/2 now $3.495M.

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.

Best wishes for a terrific pre-Halloween weekend!


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