If This Weather Is Winter, It’s The Best!


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Today Southwest Florida had a big change in temperature due to a front that passed through the state last night bringing brief heavy rain and high winds. Tornado warnings were issued for much of the state during the night. It reached the islands in the wee hours of the morning and looked this morning that the only evidence other than a few puddles is some palm frond debris.

Yesterday, it was bright and sunny with some local temperatures recorded in the mid-80’s. Today, it is partly cloudy with temperatures not expected to get out of the 60’s. The cool weather is expected to be short lived though, with the forecast saying that beginning tomorrow days will be back to the mostly sunny 70-something typical-February weather. No more rain is expected until Valentine’s Day.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

OfficeBikePathIt was a busy week – proof that it’s February! Hooray! Our weekly report of what was posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows some news items below.

It was a full house at the local Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting yesterday where I was pleased to announce another listing sold. Though sales have picked up, a lot of inventory remains, way more supply than demand. As each year gets going, it is interesting to compare January activity from year-to-year, so FYI below are the Sanibel statistics from recent years, plus the heyday year of 2006 too. They show how our market was rebounding nicely from the recession until the red tide woes in the summer of 2018. The market still is recovering from that, but the good news is the number of sales is up for all property types – condos, homes, and lots.

Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price $ # Avg Price $ # Avg Price $
Available today 135 828,146 203 1,424,785 72 676,529
Under contract 24 785,083 33 1,180,466 3 1,056,333
Sold: Jan 2020 11 650,060 15 848,775 2 1,434,333
         Jan 2019 6 626,875 9 1,057,220 0 N/A
         Jan 2018 9 955,788 22 1,460,568 1 263,000
         Jan 2017 12 777,958 20 902,200 4 295,579
         Jan 2016 15 522,550 10 826,500 3 376,000
         Jan 2006 18 817,363 9 919,588 1 600,000

Note: “Avg Price $” is asking price for “Available today” & “Under contract”, otherwise the sale price.

Rate Drop: 30-Year Mortgages Hit Lowest Point in Three Years

associated-press-logoThe Associated Press article was posted yesterday on Florida Realtors®. Great news for those looking to buy with financing. “Long-term mortgage rates fell for the third straight week, with the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropping to 3.45% from last week’s 3.51%.

“WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week for the third straight week, as the benchmark 30-year loan marked its lowest point in three years.

“Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.45% from 3.51% last week. The key rate stood at 4.41% a year ago.

“The average rate on a 15-year mortgage eased to 2.97% from 3% last week.

“The historically low rates have been a boom for potential home buyers. A positive outlook has come from signs of strength in the U.S. economy recently and expectations that the global economy could start to expand more quickly after being held back by trade conflicts.

“Federal Reserve policymakers continued to hold interest rates low at their latest meeting last week. But the Fed chair warned that the viral outbreak in China poses a new threat to the strengthening global economy.

“Freddie Mac surveys lenders nationwide between Monday and Wednesday each week to compile its mortgage rate figures. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates.

“The average fee on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was unchanged from last week at 0.7 point. The average fee for the 15-year mortgage also remained at 0.7 point.

“The average rate for a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 3.32% from 3.24% last week. The fee slipped to 0.2 point from 0.3 point.”

Top Four Things Florida Realtors® Are Watching for This Year

Florida Realtors logoFlorida Realtors’ public policy team is in Tallahassee fighting for affordable housing, property-owner rights and more. This week many representatives from local Realtor® Associations throughout the state also were in Tallahassee meeting with state representatives at an annual event known as GARD (Great American Realtor® Days).

DeSantis 2020 Great American Realtor Days lunch

Gov DeSantis speaking at the 2020 GARD Luncheon in Tallahassee

As posted on Florida Realtors®: “Florida’s 2020 legislative session brings new opportunities to promote the Realtor® profession and defend the rights of property owners throughout the state. Each session is scheduled to last 60 days, during which time many different bills will be discussed, debated and voted on that could affect the Realtor® profession.

“Before each session, Florida Realtors® identifies legislative priorities that it will take an active role in supporting. This year, the organization will be focusing on four legislative priorities designed to protect the rights of homeowners, promote business and community growth, safeguard Florida’s natural resources, and provide Floridians with more affordable housing options.

““2019 was an incredibly successful session for Florida Realtors®, giving us great momentum as we head into 2020,” says Danielle Scoggins, vice president of public policy for Florida Realtors®. “We are particularly excited to see that Governor DeSantis is once again fully in support of two of our priorities – protecting the environment and fully funding the housing trust funds. We are very hopeful that his support, combined with last year’s momentum, will make 2020 a fantastic legislative year for our members.”

“Here is a quick overview of Florida Realtors®’ top four 2020 legislative priorities:

“1. Water quality and environmental funding – Water is the lifeblood of all Florida residents and visitors to our state. It forms the foundation of our communities and must be protected. Florida Realtors® will continue to advocate for Florida’s natural resources and a pristine environment. We will also encourage all stakeholders, including the state of Florida, to do their part to help solve environmental problems such as red tide.

“2. Affordable housing – The state and local government housing trust funds were created in the early 1990s to help Floridians in good times and bad. They are supported entirely by a portion of the doc-stamp taxes charged on every real estate transaction. For thousands of families, these funds are the only way to realize the American dream of home ownership. They also provide housing rehabilitation and rental assistance to Florida’s homeless, veterans, seniors, and persons with disabilities. Down payment and closing cost assistance are vital to helping low-income families achieve the dream of home ownership. These programs are funded through the local government housing trust fund. Florida Realtors® will continue to advocate for these trust funds to be used for housing purposes.

“3. Business rent tax – Effective January 1, 2020, Florida’s sales tax rate charged on business rent became 5.5%. This rate has been reduced three years in a row. Continuing to lower the business rent tax will provide Florida businesses with the capital to expand, hire more employees, improve benefits, and raise salaries. Florida Realtors®is grateful for the support of the Florida Legislature for reducing the state sales tax rate on commercial space to 5.5%. These three consecutive years of rate cuts have saved Florida businesses $156 million.

Florida Realtors® will continue to advocate for further reductions to this tax, focusing on commercial real estate and the businesses that rent these spaces.

“4. Private-property rights – The Internet has made it easier for homeowners to rent their property. This has expanded housing options for individuals who live in, or travel to, Florida. In response, many local governments have enacted new ordinances designed to discourage property owners from exercising their right to rent their property. State and local Realtor® associations are focused on monitoring local regulatory activity and taking action to protect private property rights.  Being able to rent your home is a fundamental right of property owners. Local government regulations, such as local licensing requirements and guest restrictions, can infringe upon this fundamental right in significant ways. Florida Realtors®will continue to advocate for solutions that protect the rights of private property owners.”

Island Scoop & Upcoming Events

rotary logoRotary Arts & Crafts Festival Next Weekend – This will be the 37th year for this annual event which is expected to bring 7,000 visitors. It is at The Community House both Saturday and Sunday, February 15 and 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Sanibel Fish House Gets Outdoor Seating – They now have outdoor seating on their new patio. Check out the red umbrellas next time you go by, or better yet, stop in and dine outside for lunch or dinner.

Museum LogoTwilight Talks On-Line – If you missed the Sanibel Historical Museum’s Twilight Talk last year about the history of Periwinkle Park. The museum has added that video to their website. To view it, go to www.sanibelmuseum.org, click on “News”, then click on “Twilight Talks”. It’s the one marked April 2019. Future Twilight Talks will be posted on-line too.

Homestead Deadline Approaching for New Lee County Homeowners

LeePALogoThe homestead application filing deadline in Lee County, Florida is March 1. The exemption is a constitutional benefit of up to a $50,000 exemption deducted from the assessed value of a property. Those who may file for the exemption are individuals whose names appear on the deed, who reside in the property as of January 1, and who are bona fide Florida residents as of January 1. To be eligible for the exemption in the 2020 tax year, an owner must file an Application for Homestead and related documents to the County Property appraiser no later than March 1, 2020. Only new applicants or those who had a change of residence need apply. For individuals who have previously been approved for homestead exemption, notices of automatic renewals go out each January from the Lee County Property Appraiser. In Lee County, owners may apply for the exemption by mail, in person, or on-line. www.leepa.org has more info.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 31 – February 7, 2020

Sanibel realtors logoSanibel


No new listings.

6 price changes: Sandpebble #4E 2/2 now $479K, Sanibel Arms #2F 1/1 now $499K, Sanibel Arms West #B2 2/2 now $539.9K, Sanibel Arms West #H5 2/2 now $549K, Villa Sanibel #3A 2/2 now $669K, Sand Pointe #227 2/2 now $729K.

5 new sales: Coquina Beach #5A 2/2 listed at $468K, Mariner Pointe #642 2/2 listed at $570K, Sanibel Moorings #311 2/2 2/2 listed at $599K, Sanibel Siesta #601 2/2 listed at $725K, Pointe Santo #C2 2/2 listed at $765K.

6 closed sales: Blind Pass #E207 2/2.5 $377.5K, Sundial #F408 1/1 $485K, Mariner Pointe #321 3/2 $526.67K, Loggerhead Cay #581 2/2 $675K, Sanibel Moorings #1111 2/2 $890K, Golden Beach #3 3/2.5 $1.4M.


9 new listings:  1073 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $795K, 9128 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $780K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 4/3 $799K, 1271 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $925K, 917 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $940K, 3358 St. Kilda Rd 3/3 $1.099M, 675 Gopher Walk Way 3/2.5 $1.195M, 1717 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 $2.395M, 4955 Joewood Dr 6/4.5 $3.395M.

13 price changes: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 now $475K; 730 Cardium St 2/2 now $559K; 1845 Ardsley Way 3/3 now $575,555; 746 Cardium St 4/2 duplex now $649K; 1076 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $675,555; 5297 Punta Caloosa Ct 3/2 now $689K; 5834 Pine Tree Dr 2/2 now $779,555; 543 Boulder Dr 3/2 now $809,999; 1271 Par View Dr 3/3 now $939K; 1560 Royal Poinciana Dr 3/2 now $995K; 261 Ferry Landing Dr 2/2 now $1.049M; 912 Kings Crown Dr 3/3.5 now $1.35M; 872 Limpet Dr 3/3 now $1.395M.

5 new sales: 965 Beach Rd 3/2 half-duplex listed at $499K, 430 Old Trail Rd 3/2.5 listed at $547K, 9448 Begonia Ct 3/2.5 listed at $549K (our listing), 430 Glory Cir 4/5.5 listed at $1.14M, 9019 Mockingbird Dr 4/4 listed at $1.325M.

7 closed sales: 325 East Gulf Dr 1/1 $480K, 569 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $499.5K, 9052 Mockingbird Ln $555K, 749 Cardium St 3/2 $598K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 $610K, 2569 Coconut Dr 3/2 $905K, 1540 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/4.5 $3.95M.


No new listings or price changes.

3 new sales: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd listed at $220K, 1331 Par View Dr listed at $349K, 4995 Joewood Dr listed at $2.6M.

No closed sales.



1 new listing: Beach Cottages #1423 2/2 $1.21M.

1 price change: Seabreeze #1253 3/3 now 1.595M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #904 2/2 $759K.


1 new listing: 17201 Captiva Dr 5/4 $5.5M.

2 price changes: 16531 Captiva Dr 8/8 now $2.495M, 11549 Wightman Ln 3/4 now $3.395M.

No new or closed sales.


No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: auctioned: 16151 & 16155 Captiva Dr listed at $5.9M.

No closed sales.

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, here a graphic with some positive info:

Who We ARe 2020 Market

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan