Memorial Day Weekend 2019 on Sunny Sanibel


It’s SanibelSusan reporting another warm sunny week on the islands with more perfect beach weather expected right through the holiday weekend.

Lots of real estate activity for The SanibelSusan Team this week with action items accomplished both with listings and properties closing. When I came into the office last weekend, as I was driving down Periwinkle Way, passing the 4-way stop at Causeway Road, I remember thinking, how could there be so little traffic when just a few weeks ago, it was all stop. What a difference a month makes!

Rarely are the island roadways this quiet. The office phone rang only once last weekend, so funny that things got busier as the week progressed.

Those here now, continue to remark about how clear and bright the water is – often that striking vivid teal color, like the Caribbean. The gang at Jensen’s Marina out on Captiva also have reported excellent tarpon fishing this week.

More sunny days, with daytime temperatures in the mid to high 80’s, are forecast for the next week plus – a great time to be enjoying life in SW Florida. Or coming to buy real estate!

There was no Association of Realtors Caravan meeting yesterday and not much sales action was reported in the islands Multiple Listing Service. The weekly report with that info follows a couple of news items below. There were no sales on Captiva and no condo or lot sales on Sanibel. Five Sanibel homes went under contract, though.

Here’s wishing all a happy safe Memorial Day weekend. When I lived in Maine, this weekend was considered the first of “summer”.

It’s always summer here! Or close to it. Exactly why I love it! The below photo illustrates how clear the water is here this week.

Here is a progress photo of the new building construction at BIG ARTS. Taken this morning. The new stage area is already poured! It’s going up fast!

2019 Lee County Market Report

A media release this week by the Royal Palm Coast Realtor® Association includes statistics from the Florida Gulf Coast MLS. Here are some excerpts:

“May 21, 2019 – Lee County’s housing market saw a decrease for the month of April in year-over-years sales of single family (-6.8%), but a nice increase over March with 1,362 closed sales, according to the latest statistics just released by Florida Realtors®… Broken down by cities, single family in Fort Myers was the only city that showed an increase (in number of sales) at 5.3%, year over year. All of the remaining cities saw a decrease over last year with Fort Myers Beach showing the largest decrease at -52.4% compared to last year.”

Their breakdown by City shows the following changes for number of sales and median sales prices, comparing sales in 2018 to 2019.

City Change in Number of Sales Change in Median Price $
Bonita Springs -12.8% -6.2%
Cape Coral -9% 3.3%
Estero -18.8% -0.5%
Fort Myers 5.3% -3.9%
Fort Myers Beach -52.4% 32.2%
Leigh Acres -13.8% 7.4%
North Fort Myers -5.9% 5.1%
Pine Island -13.3% 17.7%
Sanibel & Captiva -15.4% -28.2%

Season’s End: Status Update on Water Quality Initiatives

Below is an excellent write-up on recent initiates to improve local waters. Published this week in the “Island Reporter”, the authors are husband and wife team, Sarah Ashton and Jim Metzler. Sarah is a pal and fellow Realtor®. She and Jim are the co-chairs for the Advocacy Committee for the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society – Friends of the Refuge.

“As the tourist and Florida legislative seasons end, there are reasons for optimism relative to some of the recent initiatives to improve the quality of the water that surrounds the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Unfortunately, that optimism needs to be guarded, because so much more needs to be done. This column will highlight some of what has been accomplished in the last few months and some of the key initiatives that still need attention.

Everglades restoration

One major bright spot is the budget that the Florida Legislature recently passed includes $682 million for water quality, Everglades restoration and other environmental projects. The overall appropriation for Everglades-related projects is $322 million. This money will go toward both Everglades restoration and the early planning, design, and construction of the EAA reservoir. The cost of Everglades restoration, however, is supposed to be split 50-50 between the state of Florida and the federal government. In late January, all 27 Florida members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting $200 million in funding to support restoration of the Everglades. In February, Florida’s governor and both U.S. senators sent a letter to the president in which they requested his sustained commitment of $200 million a year in construction funding to support restoration of the Everglades. In May, the South Florida Water Management District sent the president a similar letter. The president’s budget, which until earlier this week had only called for $70 million for Everglades restoration, now calls for $200 million. The budget also includes $40 million to speed up and complete the final phase of the project to raise the Tamiami Trail. When complete, this project will restore the flow of more than 900 million gallons per day of water flowing south into Everglades National Park.

Blue-green algae

The budget includes $10 million for a blue-green algae task force. As specified by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the goal of the task force is to identify opportunities to fund priority projects with state, local and federal funding. The creation of the blue-green algae task force is an important step forward. However, a large open question is what proactive policies the state of Florida will enact to estimate or at least reduce future algae blooms.

Septic systems

The budget includes $25 million for septic-to-sewer conversions. The importance of that budget item was highlighted by the recently published results of the first phase of a study of the sources of water pollution in the Caloosahatchee and its watershed. The study sampled surface and groundwater in North Fort Myers and found significant pollution as well as widespread septic dysfunction. Florida House Bill 85 addresses the problem of septic dysfunction by requiring homeowners with septic tanks to have the tanks pumped out and inspected every five years. That bill was indefinitely postponed.

Lake Okeechobee

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers typically keeps the level of the water in Lake Okeechobee between 12.5 and 15.5 feet. To improve the health of the lake, the Corps is exercising a one-time exception to that practice and is in the process of lowering the level to roughly 10.5 feet. That process, which many groups strongly object, should reduce the likelihood that the corps will have to make massive releases out of Lake Okeechobee this summer.

Stay vigilant

In total, a lot of progress has been made since last year’s ecological disaster. However, restoring the quality of the water that surrounds the refuge will be a long, demanding process and we are only in the early stages.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 17-24, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #572 2/2 $719K, Seascape #304 3/3.5 $1.289M.

5 price changes: Seashells #42 2/2 now $379.9K, Sanibel Arms #C7 1/1 now $419K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 now $770K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 now $799K, Atrium #103 2/2 now $1.35M.

No new sales.

4 closed sales: Blind Pass 3D205 2/2 $450K, Villas Sanibel #2G 2/2 $660K, Sanibel Surfside #224 2/2 $725K, Sundial #E205 2/2 $1.22M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 980 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $549.9K; 1886 Farm Trl 3/3 $629K; 9459 Begonia Ct 3/4 $639,555; 1800 Ardsley way 3/2 $695,555; 4779 Rue Helene 3/3.5 $699K; 556 Chert Ct 4/3 $799K (our listing) (photos below).

9 price changes: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 half-duplex now $399K, 6447 Pine Ave 3/2.5 now $595K, 1009 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 now $649.9K, 9052 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $650K, 1175 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $738K, 1410 Albatross Rd 3/3 now $799K, 4155 Dingman Dr 4/5 now $900K, 1667 Venus Dr 3/2 now $1.15M, 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 now $4.989M.

5 new sales: 984 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 listed at $529.5K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 listed at $549.9K, 458 Casa Ybel Rd 3/2.5 listed at $679K, 9224 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $859.9K, 728 Windlass Way 3/2listed at $897K.

14 closed sales: 945 S Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $540K, 9446 Arum Ct 4/2 $544K, 922 Pepper Tree Pl 2/2 $570K, 221 Robinwood Cir 3/2 $640K, 697 Birdie View Pt 3/2 $700K, 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $700K, 4791 Rue Helene 3/2 $840K, 543 Hideaway Ct 3/2 $900K, 920 Snowberry Ln 3/3.5 $900K, 480 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 $975K, 1309 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $990K, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 $1M, 5609 Baltusrol Ct 5/5.5 $1.31M, 2190 Starfish Ln 3/3 $1,409,666.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Homes #17 4/3 now $3.292M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Cottages #1409 3/2 $1.16M.

HOMES

No new listings.

3 price changes: 11547 Laika Ln 4/4 now $2.22M, 14980 Binder Dr 4/4 now $2.695M, 17030 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 now $7.85M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 16548 Captiva Dr 4/4 $4M, 1129 Longifolia Ct 4/5 $6.3M.

LOTS

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.

Until next Friday, don’t forget the holiday!

Also don’t forget Sunday is the last Sanibel Farmers’ Market until October. 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at City Hall.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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