Island Real Estate Selling During the Pandemic

SanibelSusan reporting that it has been another quiet week on Sanibel. Some of the local private schools reopened (Canterbury School this week, Bishop Verot next week). On-island, late vacationers are here enjoying the beaches while dodging seasonal showers and business has settled into the dog days of summer.

August/September often is when island lovers start thinking about the upcoming winter and planning their upcoming escapes from cold weather. We are working with buyers from afar as they await Florida’s full reopening.

Redfish Pass at the tip of Captiva earlier this week.

The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follows a few items, including the status of the local real estate market and latest COVID-19 info.

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate Scoop

Buyers are asking what the repercussions have been from the pandemic on real estate sales. That question is heard almost as often as “what happened following Hurricane Irma in 2017” and the later water woes.

Below is a comparison of island real estate closings during COVID for the six months of 2020, from Valentines’ Day through August 14, and the same time frame before Irma in 2017 and the years with red tide 2018/2019.

Island Sales from February 14 to August 14

 

Year

CONDOS HOMES LOTS ALL RESIDENTIAL
# Price $ DOM # Price $ DOM # Price $ DOM # Price $ DOM

SANIBEL

2020 78 725,852 157 135 964,248 165 6 471,166 364 217 865,647 167
2019 80 668,828 146 143 910,134 168 10 419,900 725 233 806,242 184
2018 104 728,529 183 142 1,161,457 155 13 815,538 288 259 970,255 173
2017 82 742,847 193 120 1,036,917 166 21 334,738 600 223 862,659 217

CAPTIVA

2020 14 944,000 107 9 3,561,555 171 2 1,925,000 462 25 1,964,800 158
2019 13 1,023,230 401 11 3,216,686 258 0 N/A N/A 24 2,028,564 335
2018 12 769,354 115 12 2,225,942 197 0 N/A N/A 24 1,487,648 156
2017 20 681,512 265 15 2,611,466 410 2 2,312,500 1,005 37 1,552,087 364

(Info from Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service, disclosure at bottom applies.)

What I glean from these statistics is that regardless of what happens in the world, with the weather, the water, the economy, or the year. Sanibel and Captiva have been and continue to be desirable. Even during the recession, island real estate continued to sell and sell well. Prices fluctuate with inventory and seller motivation. Island inventory is low, but from the pandemic, demand is increasing.

Florida’s Single-Family For-Sale Inventory Hit Record Low in 2Q

The following article by Kerry Smith was posted yesterday online at FloridaRealtors®: “ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida homeowners: There’s never been higher demand for your home. Economists generally consider a six-month supply of for-sale homes (inventory) to be balanced between buyers and sellers. An inventory greater than six months is a buyer’s market; an inventory less than six months is a seller’s market. In the second quarter of 2020, Florida’s inventory of homes was 2.8 months.

““Apart from the condo-townhouse category, we are at record lows right now,” says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor.

“Florida Realtors records sales of condominiums and townhouses separately, and at 5.7-months’ supply in the 2Q, the condo-townhouse market remains in seller territory, but it’s closer to a balanced market.

The coronavirus-related shutdown impacted Florida’s single-family inventory, but more homes now appear to be coming into the market.

“Still, demand from buyers, thanks in part to record-low mortgage rates, has not subsided. Selling prices have continued to trend upward as buyers find too-few available homes for sale. In the second quarter, the median price for a Florida single-family home was $277,500 – 4.7% higher year-to-year.

““All indications are that Florida will continue to see home sales surge through the end of the summer, with our biggest near-term issue being a severe lack of single-family inventory,” O’Connor said in the report. “With mid-year inventory levels down over 27% compared to last year, the scarcity of homes on the market will continue to propel prices upward. Price growth has remained so strong throughout the pandemic that at the mid-point of the year, Florida has already seen close to $50 billion worth of closed single-family home sales – less than 2% off last year’s pace.”

“The inventory problem isn’t just in Florida. Fannie Mae’s latest U.S. market report found similar conditions nationwide, with a few buyers pulling back as home prices continue to rise.

““Supply constraints appear to be applying upward pressure to consumers’ home price expectations, which in turn has contributed to both a sharp reversal in optimism about whether it is a good time to buy a home and further improvement in home-selling sentiment,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. © 2020 Florida Realtors®”

To bring this closer to home, the sold info below is extracted from my table above and compares those island sales over the last six months (during the pandemic) to today’s inventory:

 

Status

CONDOS HOMES LOTS
# Price $ DOM # Price $ DOM # Price $ DOM

SANIBEL

Sold 2/14-8/14/20 78 725,852 157 135 964,248 165 6 471,166 364
Under contract 22 713,968 151 48 973,223 150 7 349,193 386
Available today 115 826,994 224 111 1,654,230 189 58 824,531 461

CAPTIVA

Sold 2/14-8/14/20 14 944,000 107 9 3,561,555 171 2 1,925,000 462
Under contract 10 759,145 144 4 1,876,000 264 0 N/A N/A
Available today 34 1,162,582 231 41 2,873,024 249 3 3,563,000 555

(Info from Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service, disclosure at bottom applies.)

Applying the economist definition about six months of inventory, it remains a buyer’s market for condos and vacant lots on both islands, as well as Captiva homes. But it now is a seller’s market for Sanibel homes.

This could change as recovery from the pandemic continues and winter approaches. Coming up are the months when the most island listings usually come on the market. I wonder if it will be different this year. Being safe may be as important to some as the islands being eco-friendly, natural, and laid-back. That could mean sellers will hold tight and it also could mean there will be more buyers. An interesting period is ahead. 2020 may continue to be a year for the record books in more ways than one.

Tidbits from NAR Economist Dr. Lawrence Yun

Yesterday was the first monthly membership meeting of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® since the pandemic began.

Granted it was by Zoom, but it featured one of my favorite economists, Dr. Lawrence Yun.

Here are a few of my notes from his presentation.

  • 2nd quarter was softer from the government-imposed economic lockdown.
  • Migration into Florida continues with about two-thirds of those here wanting a comfortable life with no income tax.
  • A surge in spending is coming (pent-up).
  • Today mortgage applications are 20% higher than a year ago.
  • Real estate is always a good hedge against inflation.
  • Today’s massive federal deficit will result in inflation.
  • The long-term real estate outlook in Sanibel/Captiva is bright with more companies offering flexibility on working from home and more retirees looking to come to the sunshine state.
  • The Federal Reserve likely will be accommodating for the next two years. Expect 3% rates to remain for the next 18 months, then slowly rising in 2022.
  • Encourage buyers to lock into the low rates before inflation appears.

Openings/Closings/Rescheduling

On Tuesday, Mayor Ruane extended Sanibel’s declared State of Emergency in response to COVID-19, until August 18, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute the maximum time for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days, so it must be updated weekly while there are emergency conditions.)

Since March 26, a total of 40 COVID 19 cases have been reported on Sanibel by Florida Department of Health (DOH), five on Captiva.

2021 Shell Show Cancelled – As a member of the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club, I received the following email notice on Wednesday: “On August 10, 2020, the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club Board of Directors held a Zoom meeting to discuss the merits of having the 2021 Sanibel Shell Show vs. the health risks.  As the number of positive Corona Virus cases continue to escalate in Florida and throughout the country, and because of the inability to predict the status of the virus in the early months of 2021, the Board erred on the side of caution and voted to cancel the show. Our major concern with having a Shell Show like we have had in the past is the safety, health, and welfare of everyone involved. However, there will be a Shell Festival and the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club will support the Sanibel Community Assn. and work with them to make it a success. We are investigating the possibility of having an educationally oriented virtual Shell Show event that would begin on the opening day of the festival. The bottom line is that we hope to have a Shell Show, but it will be different from the competitive show that we have had in the past. The October issue of The Junonia will have updated information about the Board’s plans.”

Sanibel Library – Temporarily closed for sanitization, but open for digital borrowing. Phone and email support available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The library’s eShelf and all online services remain available 24/7. All user fees waived during the closure. For more info, call 239-472-2483 or visit http://www.SanLib.org.

SanCap Cares – Posted this week on SanCap Cares Facebook page: “Given the current state of the pandemic, and after much discussion among the SanCap Cares committee members, we have made the decision to cancel the rescheduled 20th Anniversary Celebration that was slated for November 22, 2020…. The 2021 annual event is still on for March 28, 2021 at the Sanctuary Golf Club. Lee Health and Golisano Children’s Hospital needs us now more than ever! See you in 2021”

Sanibel Recreation Center & Playgrounds – Community Park (across from our office) and Bowman’s Beach playgrounds are open. At the Rec Center, registration for the After-School Youth Program is open. A new on-line reservation system also has been set up for members using the lap pool, tennis courts, and weight room. To comply with social distancing protocols, use of the Rec Center is by appointment only with reservations. Go to www.MySanibel for more info.

Travel Restrictions Removed by Governor – On August 6, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Executive Order 20-192, which addresses short-term vacation rentals and rescinds the travel restrictions for the tri-state area: New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. People from those areas had been advised to self-quarantine for two weeks. The executive order also rescinds the previous employee screening requirements for restaurant employees. This means employees who have previously tested positive do not need to receive two negative tests before they can come back to work. Employers are required only to implement screening protocols pursuant to CDC guidance. The executive order also removes the requirement that employees who have traveled through an airport in the last 14 days be prohibited from working in a restaurant.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 7-14, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Ibis at The Sanctuary #102 2/2 $479K; Seawind #108 2/2.5 $529K; Lighthouse Point #121 3/2 $609,906; Blind Pass #G105 4/3 $969K.

3 price changes: Gulf Beach #106 2/2 now $849K, Somerset #A101 3/2.5 now $1.7M, Plantation Village #322 3/3 now $2.55M.

2 new sales: Spanish Cay #A3 1/1 listed at $293K, Sandpebble #4E 2/2 listed at $475K.

4 closed sales: Sundial #B406 2/2 $732.5K, Sundial #T301 2/2 $805K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-3 3/3 $900K, Loggerhead Cay #514 2/2 $965K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 1797 Serenity Ln 2/2 $445K, 600 Boulder Dr 3/2 $599K, 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $620K, 1001 East Gulf Dr 2/2 $649K, 545 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 $1.075M.

2 price changes: 718 Durion Ct 3/2 now $599K, 4345 Gulf Pines Dr 4/4 now $855K.

5 new sales: 4606 Brainard Bayou Rd 2/2 listed at $469.9K, 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 listed at $620K, 1350 Middle Gulf Dr #1F (Moonshadows) 3/3 half-duplex listed at $729K, 1724 Bunting Ln 3/3.5 listed at $949.5K, 1121 Skiff Ln 3/3 listed at $999K.

3 closed sales: 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 $980K, 3706 West Gulf Dr 4/3 $1.2M, 4775 Rue Helene 4/3 $1.499M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1048 Fish Crow Rd now $350K.

1 new sale: 978 Main St listed at $169.9K.

No closed sale.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

5 new sales: Tennis Villas #3120 1/1 listed at $308K, Bayside Villas #4112 1/2 listed at $375K, Bayside Villas #5114 1/2 listed at $380K, Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 listed at $399K, Beach Villas #2418 2/2 listed at $759K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings

1 price change: 1124 Longifolia Ct 4/5 now $2.649M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or 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, stay safe, enjoy your weekend & this recent sunset photo shared by our photographers, Jim and Jimmy Anderson with JMA Photography. Their photo was taken recently from one of their drones overlooking the same area of South Seas Plantation as my photo above (Lands End Village overlooking Redfish Pass). Summer sunsets are the best!

Susan Andrews aka Sanibel Susan

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.