It’s a little overcast this afternoon on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, but as Floridians know, if we wait a minute in the summer, the sun will be out. If that is late day, it usually results in a beautiful sunset.
Below are a few news items, followed by the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week.
Progress on Sanibel’s Civic Core
During Tuesday’s City Council Meeting, the most recent Sanibel Civic Core conceptual plan, which has been in the works for over a year, was presented. The architect has been meeting with city officials and stakeholders associated with the project – i.e. BIG ARTS, Sanibel Community Association, Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, and The Center 4 Life.
The plan would consolidate the island’s most frequented facilities on a 25-acre site adjacent to City Hall. The latest version of the project layout includes a hub of five buildings – a performance hall, theater, gallery, Lifelong Learning facility, and Center 4 Life – surrounding a central courtyard with stage. It would be elevated between a large community green to the west and parking to the east, surrounded by a shared-use path and including both stairs, access ramps and public seating and gathering spaces.
According to an article in today’s “Island Sun”, “the community green would be located to the north of a smaller green space (where the Herb Strauss Theater is currently located) and would include two pavilions and public restrooms, which would allow two events to be held simultaneously.”
69 Acres of Mangroves Protected on Captiva
Good news reported this week in the “Island Sun” about the end of long-time wrangling with developers of South Seas Plantation and those opposing the destruction of mangrove wetlands in a basin area of Captiva. This case went all the way to the “U.S. Department of Justice who defended the case on behalf of the United States in May 2014…Following months of negotiations, a final settlement has been reached and publicly filed with the court…The U.S. Government, in order to avoid further litigation expense, agreed to compensate PDL (Plantation Development LTD) in the amount of $2.4 million (plus interest and legal costs) in exchange for PDL’s agreement to transfer 69 acres, comprising the potential Harbour Pointe development site, to the United States….The property has now been transferred.
It will be managed as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, JN Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Kudos to the Captiva Civic Association, SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation), and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida for not giving up!
Here’s Where Buyers Are Paying All-Cash
“While the number of all-cash transactions is dropping nationwide, a few pockets across the country are still seeing a large share of buyers paying all-cash for their home purchase.
“Nationwide, the number of all-cash sales making up transactions has plummeted since peaking in January 2011 when cash transactions made up 46.5% of total home sales nationally. Now, that percentage has dropped to 33.7% of total home sales, according to CoreLogic’s cash sales report.
“The year-over-year share of cash sales has fallen each month since January 2013. Despite the drops, cash sales still remain elevated by historical standards. Prior to the housing crisis, cash sales made up about 25% of home sales, according to CoreLogic. If cash sales continue to fall at the most recent pace, the share should hit 25% by mid-2017.
“The largest number of cash sales are through real estate-owned sales, with nearly 57% of cash sales being from REOs. Resales followed with the highest cash share at 33%, followed by short sales at 30% and newly constructed homes at 15%.
- Florida: 51.4% of transactions were from cash sales
- Alabama: 48.5%
- West Virginia: 48.3%
- New York: 45.4%
- Kentucky: 41.4%.
“By metro level, the following cities had the largest number of cash sales:
- West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, Fla.: 59.1%
- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.: 58.5%
- Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.: 58.1% (SanibelSusan note: it’s much higher on Sanibel/Captiva)
- Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, Mich.: 58%.
- Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, Fla.: 56.9%.
“Meanwhile, Syracuse, N.Y., had the lowest share of cash sales at 11%, according to CoreLogic.”
Sanibel Draft Budget Presented for FY 2015-16
The initial draft FY 2015-16 budget was presented to City Council this week. Council unanimously approved a proposed operating millage rate of 1.939 mills, identical to last year’s approved and adopted rolled-back rate. The first budget public hearing will be on Saturday, September 19 at 9 a.m. when they will discuss and adopt the tentative millage rate and budget. The second and final budget hearing will be on Tuesday, September 22 at 5:01 p.m.
The August-September 2015 “SCCF Member Update” received this week included statistics on sea turtle nesting, including the byline “So Far, An Amazing Season”. Here are a few more details as penned by Kelly Sloan, SCCF Sea Turtle Coordinator:
“Historically, the East End of Sanibel (Lighthouse Beach to Tarpon Bay Road) has been the lowest density nesting beach survey by SCCF’s Sea Turtle Program. An average of 38 nests per year have been laid on the East End between 1996 and 2013.
“2014 was a record year for the East End, with 110 nests laid on the five-mile stretch of beach. This year, in mid-June, the East End had already documented 70 nests. Loggerheads (Caretta caretta) typically nest from May-August, so we anticipate many more to come!
“Mid-season nest counts also suggest that the West End and Captiva are on track for an above-average nesting season.
“We are also excited to report that green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) have returned to nest on our beaches in 2015. You may remember that a record 23 green nests were laid on Sanibel and Captiva in 2013. Sea turtles nest at intervals of about every two years, so another pulse of green nests in 2015 coincides with their biennial nesting pattern.
“But it gets even better – early in the 2015 nesting season, a leatherback (Dermochelys corriacea) nest was laid on Sanibel! Leatherbacks do not commonly nest on the west coast of Florida. The largest nesting population for Atlantic loggerheads is French Guiana, and there are also nesting colonies in the Caribbean and the east coast of Florida. The only other leatherback nest documented on Sanibel was laid in 2009.
“Leatherbacks are the largest species of sea turtle, weighting up to 2,000 pounds. They can dive deeper than any other sea turtle (up to 3,900 feet) and they migrate extreme distances. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to protect a nest laid by this remarkable species!
“Throughout the nesting season, volunteers and staff have been screening nests to protect the eggs from predation by coyotes. As we enter the hatching season, the City of Sanibel and SCCF will partner to promote the “lights out” message in an effort to reduce hatchling disorientation. A grant award from the Sea Turtle Conservancy, funded by the specialty sea turtle license plate (SanibelSusan has one of those), has provided support for educational materials to remind beachgoers and beachfront property owners…Stay tuned for the final nesting and hatching statistics. You can find the current nesting stats at seaturtle.org, accessible from the sea turtle pages at www.scc.org .”
Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity July 17-24
2 new listings: Sanibel Arms #B7 1/1 $334,999; Sundial #J402 1/1 $465K.
3 price changes: Captains Walk #F7 2/1.5 now $310K, Sanibel Moorings #1512 2/2 now $475K, White Caps #5 1/1 now $535K.
3 new sales: Captains Walk #C7 1/1 listed at $229.9K, Nutmeg Village #209 2/2 listed at $720K, Pointe Santo #B46 2/2 listed for $825K.
No closed sales.
2 new listings: 1410 Causey Ct 3/2 $729K, 734 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3.5 $1.195M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 listed at $2.898M.
6 closed sales: 778 Cardium St 3/3 $435K, 1599 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $475K, 1586 Century Ct $610K, 489 Lake Murex Cir 4/2 $860K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 $950K, 1204 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 $3.65M.
Nothing to report.
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: Lands End Village #1660 3/3 listed at $1.535M.
1 closed sale: Marina Villas #706 2/2 $588K.
No new listings.
1 price change: 953 South Seas Plantation Rd 5/5.5 now $6.299M.
No new sales.
3 closed sales: 11537 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 $2.15M, 1131 Longifolia Ct 4/4 $3.075M, 1121 Schefflera Ct 4/4.5 $3.94M.
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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan