Happy Friday, everyone! Following another sunny week on Sanibel Island, rain is expected to begin here soon. The tropical storm passing in the northern Gulf of Mexico is forecast to produce scattered showers over SW Florida into tomorrow afternoon. We need the rain.
Dry late fall weather usually gets bougainvillea trees and bushes blooming. Below are some that I noticed on my ride home last night. They are at the Pointe Santo entrance.
Mine at home are starting to pop out too. This photo from Nov 2018.
The news that I don’t like reporting is that locals and visitors are in a tizzy about red tide. The City’s panoramic aerials posted Tuesday afternoon (link here), show such a huge difference in how the water looks now compared to last year at this time, that was it heartbreaking to read that the Marine Lab had done local testing and found presence of the red tide organism in some areas. Below is the message posted Tuesday night on social media by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation:
“Research scientists from SCCF’s Marine Lab took water samples on a short cruise today on the lower Caloosahatchee River, San Carlos Bay and into the Gulf of Mexico. They found Karenia brevis, the organism that blooms into red tide, present at all sites sampled. The maximum concentration they found was 880,000 cells/liter two miles offshore of Tarpon Bay Rd Beach on Sanibel. Levels higher than 100,000 can result in fish kills and respiratory irritation in humans. Next week, they will do a more expansive cruise into the Gulf from North Captiva Island to Sanibel. Stay tuned for ongoing updates.”
That posting sparked some questions, so they further clarified saying: “Our Marine Lab’s testing is part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) RAPID grant to study harmful algal blooms (HABs). The NSF grant is intended to investigate how the intensity of red tide blooms is “related to nutrients in freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee, a large inland lake in south-central Florida that is managed for flood prevention.” The research will contribute to the lack of “strong scientific evidence to support the connection between the red tide and Lake Okeechobee water releases.” The objective of the project is to provide water quality data prior to and throughout major freshwater releases. These data will provide insight into cause-and-effect relationships between freshwater releases, and algal blooms.”
With SCCF reporting the highest number of organisms around the island off the beach at the end of Tarpon Bay Road, it is not surprising that this same area produced complaints, both yesterday and today, from beachgoers experiencing respiratory irritations. Some marine life also has washed ashore. Teammate Dave reported a noticeable smell on his drive over the causeway last night.
As a reminder, there had been no releases from Lake O all summer until just over a week ago when small releases were sent this direction to dilute the salinity in the estuary. This was to help the health of seagrasses in areas that had not received rain in recent weeks.
Prior to these reports, recent red tide incidents were mostly further south in the Naples/Marco Island area. Not a good omen for things to get better soon is the forecast for winds from the south all weekend.
Annual Meeting Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®
Yesterday was the annual meeting of the islands’ Association of Realtors®. Congratulations to newly elected board members, Realtors® Greg Demaras, Mike McMurray, and Janka Varmusa. With over 250 Realtor® members and nearly 150 Affiliate members, the Sanibel & Captiva Association is vibrant healthy and ready for “season”.
Caravan meetings will continue Thursday mornings biweekly until the end of the month, when we celebrate Halloween (costume contest) and revert to the “season” weekly schedule rotating from East End to West End. All winter you can expect to see Open Houses on Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. until noon. City rules allow only two open houses a month, up to 4-hours each, while Association MLS rules allow only one Caravan Open House every six months. You can be sure that we follow the rules and also try to schedule these events when they produce the most results.
Between now and the end of the year, the Association will continue to collect non-perishable food for the F.I.S.H. food pantry. Since Hurricane Irma and the water quality issues last year, local food needs have increased with supplies depleting quickly. Members and friends are encouraged to bring donations to either the Association of Realtors® Office at 2353 Periwinkle Way, Suite 201 (over Finnimore’s Cycle) or at F.I.S.H. at 2430-B Periwinkle Way (behind Bleu Rendez-Vous Bistro). The F.I.S.H. Food Pantry is open from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.
After work on November 14, the Association will hold its annual “Fall Into Christmas” fundraiser for local charity “Friends Who Care”.
At SanibelSusan Realty Associates
The Association’s new Multiple Listing Service (MLS) provider offers a variety of new reports and advertising opportunities. Yesterday, Elise mailed our team’s monthly summary progress report letters which included the Islands’ 3rd Quarter Market Report. Lingering evidence of the market downturn from the water problems last year remains.
Below is an update of Sanibel’s inventory today. As the island gets busier, likewise, more listings come on the market every day. Both number of sales and average sale prices are off, even when compared to last year. That could change last quarter which is when we see the most sales to those wanting to winter in paradise or benefit from owning in 2020. For arriving buyers, there is plenty of good well-priced inventory for them.
|Status||#||Price $||DOM||#||Price $||DOM||#||Price $||DOM|
|Sold 2019 thru 10/18||101||667,163||151||172||972,271||173||12||392,333||816|
31st Annual “Ding” Darling Day – Free Family Fun Day – Sunday, Oct 20, all day beginning at 8 a.m. More info at www.DingDarlingDays.com
8th Annual “Let’s Pink Out” – Thursday, Oct 24, Breast Cancer Awareness Celebration & Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Sanibel Fire & Rescue District Station #1 on Palm Ridge Road. Saturdays, all month, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Pink Out” volunteers are bagging groceries at Bailey’s for tips. Donations collected go to F.I.S.H. to help those in the community with cancer-related needs.
Rising Financial Wealth Boosts Demand for Vacation Homes
As the instructor for the local class on the Resort & 2nd Home Market, I carefully follow the statistics published by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and their newsletter from the RSPS (Resort & 2nd-Home Property Specialist) group. Here are some excerpts from an article they published on Oct 10, 2019:
“Increased financial wealth and low mortgage rates boosted the demand for and price of vacation homes, according to the National Association of Realtors® 2019 U.S. Vacation Home Counties Report, https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/us-vacation-home-counties.
“Between 2013 to 2018, the median sales price in vacation home counties increased at a slightly higher pace of 36% compared to the pace of increase of all existing and new homes sold,1 at 31%. Median price increases occurred across both expensive and inexpensive areas. The counties with the highest price increases during this five-year span were in three states: Pennsylvania, which includes Pike and Monroe counties; Wisconsin, which contains Price and Washburn counties; and Massachusetts, which includes Nantucket.
“Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says the present figures are telling, especially when compared to data from 10 years prior. “As of 2018, household net worth reached an all-time high of $100.3 trillion – that’s nearly double from a decade ago when wealth declined during the recession. Some of this tremendous growth in wealth, although concentrated, increased demand for vacation homes.”
“Although most homebuyers purchase their residence with an intent to use the property as a primary home, that is not the case for all buyers. In fact, a portion of homeowners purchase a second home expecting to use it as a general family vacation spot, as a tenant rental, a means to gain equity, or – upon retirement – a future primary residence….”
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 11 – 18, 2019
7 new listings: Blind Pass #F204 2/2.5 $455K; Sanibel Arms West #I7 2/2 $579K; Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 $609,906; Sanibel Surfside #132 2/2 $925K; Sundial #K402 2/2 $1.1899M; Compass Point #181 2/3 $1.195M, Pointe Santo #E24 3/2 $1.425M.
4 price changes: Compass Point #221 2/2 now $695K, Loggerhead Cay #553 2/2 now $699K, Yacht Haven #4 3/2 now $869K, Gulfside Place #222 2/2 now $1.395M (our listing, photos below).
1 new sale: Wedgewood #305 3/3.5 listed at $1.495M.
No closed sales.
4 new listings: 1356 Jamaica Dr 2/1.5 $587K, 6033 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 $799K, 1567 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $897K, 261 Ferry Landing 2/2 half-duplex $1.095M.
7 price changes: 1585 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $575K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $669K, 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $715K, 707 Cardium St 3/2 now $729K, 1667 Venus Dr 3/2 now $1.1M, 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 now $1.149M, 2964 Wulfert Rd 5/5.5 now $3.699M.
3 new sales: 335 Cowry Ct 4/3.5 listed at $799.9K, 9094 Mockingbird Dr 4/3.5 listed at $895K, 836 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2/2 listed at $1.295M.
5 closed sales: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex $398.5K, 1441 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $639K, 2719 Wulfert Rd 4/4/2 $1.2M, 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 $2.51M, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 $2.7225M.
No new listings.
1 price change: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd now $220K.
No new or closed sales.
1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 $415K.
1 price change: Beach Homes #2 3/2 now $1.899M.
No new or closed sales.
1 new listing: 11515 Gore Ln 5/4.5 $2.45M.
No price changes or new sales.
1 closed sale: 14981 Binder Dr 3/3 $957K.
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, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan