May Flowers & Sanibel/Captiva Islands Friday Scoop

It’s another Friday SusanSusan report, but this time there is no saying that traffic is dying down, as this week, it appears that there is very little island traffic at all.


Just because a girl likes pink. This beauty on the grounds of Sanibel Moorings condominiums just off East Gulf Dr.

It is a great time to come and have mid-season fun. Known as the “shoulder time”, this often is when visitors and vacationers like to take advantage of lower cost rentals, no restaurant waits, and to enjoy the bright-blue clear gulf waters – before the rainy season stirs things up.

Ding darling tarpon pixIt’s a great time for fishing too, with the 8th Annual “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament today. (The tournament is “catch, care, and release”. We are awaiting word on the winners.)

A few snowbirds are still here, including some who stayed for the tournament, but many have headed north. Some say that they may have left too soon as snowflakes were reported this week from Colorado to Maine.

Here, it has been almost summer-like with a few short showers, temperatures up into the 80’s most afternoons, and stunning sunsets. Another summer sign is that the first sea turtle nest of the season was discovered this week. The Royal Poinciana trees are busting out in their brilliant orange blooms too. All welcome May sights! A few photos below taken on my way home from the office last night.


Near the entrance to Lake Murex across the street from West Wind Inn

In front of St Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church on Periwinkle Way

In front of Captains Walk condominiums on Periwinkle Way

Real Estate Scoop

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday was the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® first biweekly caravan meeting of 2019. The meeting was lightly attended with board members at a District “Meet the Candidates” event in Naples.

RPAC Lobsters 2019Next week is the Association’s annual (the 24th) End-of-Season Golf Tournament and Auction with proceeds going to water quality and RPAC (Realtor® Political Action Committee). SanibelSusan Realty again donated a “Lobster Bake Feast for Six”. Always a hit and usually selling for hundreds more than the actual cost, if you are away from Maine and enjoy lobsters, try out In business for more than 100 years, this company overnights entire dinners including the pot and sell seafood items individually. I’ve ordered lobsters from them for more than 20 years and have always been satisfied.

The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service (MLS) follows a couple of news items below.

First a summary of island inventory today. After what are usually the best months for real estate sales (or high season), from a sellers’ perspective the statistics are not good. Below is a breakdown by property type, comparing this year-to-day (until May 3) to the same time period last year. More detailed MLS statistics are in the second table. Not only are the number of sales down significantly, but prices also are down.

With nearly 500 island properties for sale, just 92 under contract and 132 closed this year, it looks like 2019 is going to be a far cry from 2018. Giving a more critical look at the data below, unless sales increase soon, much of the property on the market now will not sell until fall or next year. With sales off this year, unless something changes drastically, I expect the market will continue to be in the buyers’ favor until the public hears that the water is fine (picture below taken this week) and island real estate continues to be a good investment in addition to being the best place for vacations, particularly in the winter.

Closed Island Sales from January 1 to May 3, 2019 Compared to Same Period Last Year
Sanibel Captiva
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
# Price $ # Price $ # Price $ # Price $ # Price $ # Price $
-23% -15% -31% -25% -50% +68% -31% +27% -88% +14% N/A N/A


Sanibel Captiva Total


Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
# Price $ # Price $ # Price $ # Price $ # Price $ # Price $ #
Available for Sale 122 784,089 213 1,321,708 70 630,525 48 1,070,931 40 3,112,850 3 1,929,667 496
Under Contract 22 796,350 54 1,001,577 5 573,111 5 1,352,000 8 3,443,312 0 N/A 90
Sold 2019 To 5/3 48 652,621 71 997,411 3 360,000 9 1,155,389 1 2,800,000 0 N/A 131
Sold 2018 to 5/3 62 769,504 103 1,334,194 6 213,667 13 911,509 8 2,462,500 0 N/A 191
Total Sold 2018 155 720,617 218 1,112,748 21 602,095 27 797,532 25 2,127,352 0 N/A 446
Total Sold 2017 140 728,793 186 1,004,237 32 327,229 34 671,551 22 2,457,023 2 2,312,500 416

Upcoming Multiple Listing Changes & More

list hub.jpgLast fall as a member of the task force to select our new Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service provider, I was excited to see that this year when we make the change, our listings will get more exposure and our site will become more user-friendly not just for listing offices and our members, but also for buyers and sellers. The transition to the new provider will not occur until later in the summer, but in the interim, there are changes to our existing system that expands our internet marketing now. This week, I opened an account with ListHub which offers listing distribution to more than 80 national publisher sites and dozens of regional and affiliate sites by way of integration with our MLS. That means, there is no additional data entry required and our listings will be more accurate and up-to-date across the internet.

11 Home Features That Help You Sell Faster

Florida Realtors logoAn infographic from Florida Realtor® May 2019 magazine has some good advice. Titled “11 Home Features That Help You Sell Faster”, it lists features and the percentage of buyers who desire each one. Sourced to the National Association of Home Builders, it begins: “Thinking of upgrading your home before you sell? Here are the features buyers want most.

  • Laundry room – 92%
  • Energy Star® appliances & windows – 90%
  • Exterior lighting – 90%
  • Ceiling fans – 86%
  • Patio – 86%
  • Full bath on main level – 83%
  • Hardwood floors on main level – 82%
  • Garage storage – 81%
  • More insulation than required by code – 81%
  • Eat-in kitchen – 80%
  • Walk-in pantry – 80%.”

Update on Shell Museum Construction

bailey-mathews shell museum signOur update last week advised that the expansion project at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum has begun. This week’s update is that with the ongoing construction, the museum is closed from now until July 5. If you are here during that window and want a shell fix. Here are some suggestions.

  • Visit their new pop-up Museum store at the Outlet Malls just off island at 2350 Summerlin Road. Stock includes a gift collection of home décor, jewelry, children’s toys and books, and more.
  • Daily Island Inn Beach Walks at 3111 West Gulf Dr. During an hour-long walk with a scientist, learn about shells, mollusks, and other marine life that have washed ashore. Departs daily from Island Inn Lobby at 9 a.m. Advance registration is required as space is limited. Reservations on-line at or call 239-395-2233. (No beach walks on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.)

Best High Schools

Best rankings HS 2019Recognizing that many Florida families move to the islands so that their children may attend one of the best elementary schools in the state, the Sanibel School, it was with interest that I saw a recent internet post about high school rankings. It said that my high school in Maine was ranked within the top 25 in the state. That seemed like a big accomplishment for such a small school, so I went to the article.

Put out annually by U.S. News & World Report, their 2019 ranking of public high schools was posted this week. They evaluate 23,000 public high schools in 50 states plus the District of Columbia. This year, more than 17,000 schools were ranked. The article says that U.S. News & World Report is the gold standard for education rankings and is widely considered the global authority. The aim of the rankings is to give families more information about the schools in their district.

The factors considered in compiling the list include college readiness; reading and math proficiency; reading and math performance; underserved student performance; college curriculum breadth; and graduation rates. College readiness measures participation and performance on advanced placement and international baccalaureate exams. The data also considers school enrollment, student diversity, participation in free and reduced-price meal programs, graduation rates and the results of state assessment tests. U.S. News worked with the global research firm RTI International to rank the schools.

Since there is no high school on Sanibel, it was with interest that I looked up where my high school and the top ones in Fort Myers ranked. It was also interesting to see that the top ten high schools are all in different states. Good news that quality education is available across the country. Here are the top ten, followed by my high school in Kittery, Maine and those that rated highest in Fort Myers.

  1. Academic Magnet High School, South Carolina
  2. Maine School of Science and Mathematics
  3. BASIS Scottsdale, Arizona
  4. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Virginia
  5. Central Magnet School, Tennessee
  6. Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology, Georgia
  7. Haas Hall Academy, Arkansas
  8. International Academy of Macomb, Michigan
  9. Payton College Preparatory High School, Illinois
  10. Signature School, Indiana

My high school, Robert W. Traip Academy, Kittery, ME with 255 students ranked 22nd in Maine & 3,613th nationally.

  • Fort Myers High School, FL with 1,948 students ranked 67th in Florida & 1,218th nationally.
  • Riverdale High School, Fort Myers, FL with 2,167 students ranked 311th in FL, 7,357th nationally.
  • Cypress Lake High School, Fort Myers, FL with 1,631 students ranked 378th in FL, 9,434th nationally.

In the state-by-state performance, based on the number of high schools in the top 25% of national rankings, Massachusetts was the leader. This year, nearly half — 48.8% — of the commonwealth’s high schools were ranked in the top 25% of high schools. Maryland was second with 43.7%, followed by California, with 40%, and Connecticut, with 39.8% in the top 25 percent of schools ranked nationally. The full list is available exclusively at

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 26 – May 3, 2019sancap GO MLS logo



2 new listings: Blind Pass #C204 2/2.5 $489K, Seawind #A107 2/2.5 $589K.

4 price changes: Lighthouse Point 3111 2/2 now $639K, Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 now $750K, Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 now $980K, Pine Cove #C 2/2 now $1.049M.

5 new sales: Mariner Pointe #122 1/1 listed at $379.9K (our buyer), Blind Pass #D205 2/2 listed at $460K, Sundial #C410 1/1 listed at $475.9K, Loggerhead Cay #582 2/2 listed at $689K, White Sands #25 2/2 listed at $900K.

MP Fishing Pier c

Owners love their private fishing pier at Mariner Pointe.

3 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #D2 1/1 $383K, Sanibel Siesta #601 2/2 $665K, Heron at The Sanctuary #3B 3/2.5 $737.5K.


1 new listing: 1269 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $1.099M.

8 price changes: 984 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 now $529.5K, 1585 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $599K, 3017 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 now $649K, 5303 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 now $684.5K, 743 Windlass Way 3/2 now $699K, 6103 Starling Way 2/2 now $699.9K, 823 Birdie View Pt 4/3 now $849K, 872 Limpet Dr 3/3 now $1.595M.

8 new sales: 745 Martha’s Ln 3/2 listed at $495K, 4619 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 listed at $610K, 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 listed at $629K, 1175 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $759K, 1311 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $899K, 3850 Coquina Dr 3/3 listed at $995K, 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.149M, 5609 Baltusrol Ct 5/5.5 listed at $1.295M.

9 closed sales: 2074 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 $505K, 529 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $700K, 1656 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4 $865K, 6123 Starling Way 3/2.5 $885K, 3832 Coquina Dr 4/4 $950K, 2552 Harbour Ln 3/2 $1.1M, 734 Pyrula Ave 3/2.5 $1.1355M, 1450 Royal Poinciana Cir 3/2.5 $1.1365M, 297 Ferry Landing Dr 3/3 $1.1375M.


1 new listing: 5116 Sea Bell Rd $295K.

2 price changes: 1219 Par View Dr now $319K, 0 Island Inn Rd now $775K.

No new or closed sales.



No new listings

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 now $379,999.

2 new sales: Beach Villas #2418 2/2 listed at $655K, Marina Villas #901 2/2 listed at $785K.

1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2636 2/2 $745K.


1 new listing: 11514 Wightman Ln 5/4 $1.895M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 56 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.5 listed at $874.5K.

No closed sales.


Nothing to report.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® 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.

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