It has been another busy week for The SanibelSusan Team. Two more of our listings went under contract. We are very thankful to have ten closings in our “under contract” hopper simultaneously. In many ways, 2020 is a year for the record books. Two closings for us today too with the gals at Knight Barry Title Solutions who are super busy! The second being finalized now. Woohoo!
Also, this week our office carpet got its annual cleaning. Shout-out to Tru-Clean, Carpet & Tile Care, who always does a terrific job. This year, it seemed like summer and the rainy season went on forever – then like magic, it became winter. With the 2nd cold front here this week and another set to arrive next week, it has been a nice reprieve to have daytime highs in the 60’s – feels like Christmas is coming. We locals are bundled in our wool shirts, sweaters, and jackets, while tourists wearing tank tops and shorts are riding with tops down. It is always funny to see that.
The SanibelSusan Team island-wide holiday bulk mailing went to the post office today. With interest rates low and demand to buy high, there should be more sales in the upcoming weeks. Meanwhile, we are looking for new listings to replenish our supply and still have a few wonderful listings available. Photos below taken today from our listing at White Sands #23.
Elise also has our tree decorated and the office looking festive. Pandemic or not, we celebrate the season!
Earlier this afternoon, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® leadership team and 2021 Professional Standards Committee are attending a Florida Realtors® Zoom meeting that covers recent changes by the National Association of Realtors® to the Realtors® Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. I will be Zooming in as this update supplements the required Pro Standards training coming up in early January. Always new things to learn to stay current.
Sanibel – COVID-19
From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases from March 26 through December 6 is 100. There were 63 cases in reported in the first seven months, but 37 in just the last six weeks. PLEASE stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.
It was a smart addition this week to see the electronic sign in front of the Chamber of Commerce coming onto the island which reads “Welcome to Sanibel”, followed by “Wear Your Mask”. City Council acted on that notice at their meeting last week. At that same meeting, the City also agreed to advise of new cases as they are reported, rather than just weekly which is when the state provides their analytics.
Last night, a post on the City’s website announced that City Council has called a special meeting to discuss potential adoption or modification of COVID-19 related restrictions. It is scheduled for Monday, December 14 at 10 a.m. You can tune in to hear the audio live at www.MySanibel.com.
Pandemic Didn’t Change Work Model So Much as Accelerate It
Posted December 7 by Jennifer Quinn, economist, and Director of Economic Development for Florida Realtors®:
“Is the work-from-home trend here to stay, along with its real estate impact on new housing and location demands? A nine-month study suggests that the change was already underway before the pandemic started. It’s simply happening faster now.
“ORLANDO, Fla. – Preliminary analysis of a nearly nine-month remote-work experiment points to the reality that the pandemic was not a change agent, but rather an accelerant. Meaning – companies were likely going to embrace more remote work and telecommuting options for their employees in the coming decade, particularly in areas where traffic is just unbearable (we are looking at you New York and Silicon Valley).
“However, adapting to the pandemic accelerated these plans, pushed forward technology adoption and created a new way of connecting and doing business. The future of work appears to have arrived earlier than previously expected. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top 10 remote work occupation categories according to the percent of people who teleworked because of the pandemic are:
- Computer & Mathematical Occupations
- Business & Financial Operations
- Life, Physical, & Social Science Occupations
- Legal Occupations
- Architecture & Engineering Occupations
- Community & Social Service Occupations
- Educational Instruction & Library Occupations
- Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports & Media Occupations
- Management Occupations
- Office & Administrative Support Occupations.
“People who work in these occupations are seen as “suddenly mobile” – they are no longer tied to the gateway cities they lived in prior to the pandemic and are able to re-think their proximity to the office (and what the “office” even is). Faced with staggering home prices and wages that don’t seem to keep up, many are asking themselves, “Can we do this somewhere else?”
“So, if people no longer have to live near their offices, will they still choose to live where they have been? According to a survey by Upwork’s Remote Workers on the Move released in October 2020, 14 million to 23 million Americans are planning to relocate to a new U.S. city or region. The survey reveals that not all moves are minor, such as moving from an inner ring suburb to an exurb of the same city. Some of these moves are to different states entirely, depending on what percentage of their work will be conducted remotely.
“That is a lot of people whose view from their home office can go from one where snow blankets the backyard to one with a palm tree and some sand. Looking at the concentration of these top 10 industries, Florida tracks similarly to the U.S., meaning there are plenty of people here already living the dream. Focusing on in-migration from Northeastern and Western states is hardly new, as Florida has topped the lists for relocation for a while now. However, tapping into the new and potentially large suddenly mobile market could yield positive results for you and your business.
“But does this trend have legs? The Upwork survey indicates that companies find several advantages to increasing their remote workforce, chief among them lower operating costs, increased employee availability and job satisfaction. Additionally, companies throughout the world can readily tap into Florida’s increasingly diverse workforce with increased ease.
“Many believe that once the pandemic fades and people can go back to the office as they did in 2019, not all will – at least not full-time. Several large tech firms have announced long-term remote work plans for employees and others are considering the same. And it’s not just tech – 57% of small and medium-size businesses plan to offer remote work plans for the long term as well.
“Florida offers many upsides to the suddenly mobile that benefit both their employers and themselves. Home prices in Florida remain affordable compared to the more expensive housing markets that people are coming from – Boston, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and New York City. Combined with the lack of state income tax, the calculus to make the move to Florida pencils out….”
Mortgage Unchanged From Last Week’s Record Low
By Kerry Smith at FloridaRealtors®: “Last week, the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage hit its 14th record low this year, and it held onto that 2.71% rate. The 15-year loan was also unchanged at 2.26%.
“MCLEAN, Va. – The average 30-year mortgage rate held onto the 2.71% average rate it hit last week – the 14th record low set this year. “Mortgage rates remain at record lows, resisting their typical correlation to Treasury yields, which have recently been moving higher,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. The Treasury plays a role in mortgage rates since they are part of the funding mechanism.
““Mortgage spreads – the difference between mortgage rates and the 10-year Treasury rate – are declining from their elevated levels earlier this year,” Khater adds. “Although today’s mortgage spread is about 1.8% and still has some room to move down if the 10-year Treasury continues to rise, it’s encouraging to see that the spread is almost back to normal levels.”
“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 2.71% with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Dec. 10, 2020, unchanged from last week. A year ago, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.7%. The 15-year FRM averaged 2.26% with an average 0.6 point, also unchanged from last week. One year earlier, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.19%. Only the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) declined in this week’s survey. It averaged 2.79% with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.86%. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.36%.”
Even with the low interest rates, we are lucky on the islands that most of our sales are “cash”. One of our closings this week was scheduled to close November 30 but delayed because the lender is so busy – or taking on more business than they can support. These buyers got frustrated and instead paid cash. Local lenders are attuned to the idiosyncrasies of mortgages on a barrier island and usually have rates as competitive as anywhere. The SanibelSusan Team has preached for years – that it always pays to use a hometown bank.
7 Top-Rated Resorts on Sanibel Island, FL
Written by Lura Seavey, this article was posted November 17 on http://www.PlanetWare.com:
“Sanibel Island acts as a barrier between the Gulf of Mexico and the larger Pine Island, connected to Fort Myers on the mainland by the Sanibel Causeway. The central and eastern part of the island is most active with tourists and is full of resorts, restaurants, and shops that can be easily reached by foot or via the trolley that stops at all the major hotels. The south-facing beaches are the island’s widest and most crowded, known for an extraordinary abundance of seashells.
“As you head west, the beaches narrow, but the resorts spread out, resulting in more privacy. At its northern tip, Sanibel Island connects via a bridge over the Blind Pass to its tiny sibling, Captiva Island. Here, you will find resorts that have shores facing both the gulf, as well as the more protected Pine Island Sound, perfect for vacationers who will be arriving by water.
“Marinas are also available on the north side of Sanibel Island, opposite the resort-lined beaches. All the island’s resorts have amazing sunsets over the gulf and offer plenty of recreational activities for both families and adults.
“Choose your tropical getaway with our list of the top resorts on Sanibel Island.
“1. Sanibel Moorings Resort – Located on the eastern end of the island near Sanibel Lighthouse, the Sanibel Moorings Resort is a quiet getaway boasting a private beach with complimentary lounge chairs and umbrellas for guests’ use. Nature-lovers will appreciate the guided beach walks and shelling lectures conducted weekly by a marine biologist, as well as tours of the property’s six-acre tropical botanical garden, which includes a butterfly garden. Resort amenities include two heated pools plus a kids’ area with a separate pool, two tennis courts, a fitness center and business center, self-serve laundry, library, and resort-wide Wi-Fi. The resort also has rentals available for canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards, as well as bicycles, so you can easily explore the island. Pet-friendly units are available, and all lodgings include a full kitchen, his and hers sinks in the master bath, and a private screened porch. There are also dockside units available for those arriving by boat. Accommodation: Sanibel Moorings Resort
“2. Sundial Beach Resort & Spa – Condominium-style lodgings at the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa range from studios to three-bedroom suites equipped with full kitchens and on-site self-serve laundry facilities. Accommodations include a full breakfast, housekeeping, and complimentary use of equipment such as paddleboards and kayaks. In addition, the resort hosts recreational activities for all ages. Sports facilities include a fitness center, tennis courts, beach volleyball, and pickleball, as well as tabletop games like ping-pong and foosball. The resort is also home to an 18-hole golf course with club rental, and an on-site day spa that offers a full range of services. Live entertainment and refreshments are available at the resort’s swimming pools, and there are plentiful poolside cabanas and deck chairs to accommodate everyone. There are five restaurants on the property that offer everything from American fare to sushi, plus a convenience store with groceries and a gift shop. Check out the Sea Breeze Cafe, which is considered some of the best waterfront dining in southwest Florida. You can grab a table outside with gorgeous views, especially at sunset. There is also a pizza restaurant that is popular with families for its slices of pizza, hot dogs, and ice-cream scoops. Accommodation: Sundial Beach Resort & Spa
“3. West Wind Inn – The West Wind Inn offers a choice of standard guestrooms or kitchenette rooms, all of which come with a screened-in balcony or deck with views of either the Gulf of Mexico or the resort’s lovely tropical gardens. The property includes a peaceful butterfly garden and goldfish pond, a heated pool with a large deck and poolside entertainment and refreshments, and a private beach. For guests’ convenience, management provides a shell-cleaning area, as well as multiple faucets throughout, where guests can rinse the sand from their feet and shoes to keep the grit out of their rooms. Beach chairs and umbrellas are available for rent, and local activities like sightseeing cruises can be booked directly by the concierge. Other resort amenities include tennis, shuffleboard, self-serve laundry, free parking, and Wi-Fi. Those with mobility issues should request a ground floor room as there is no elevator. Accommodation: West Wind Inn
“4. Casa Ybel Resort – The all-suite Casa Ybel Resort sits on 23 acres along Sanibel Island’s Knapps Point, facing south over the gulf. Every suite is oceanfront and includes a full kitchen and outdoor gas grill; a separate living room with a pullout couch; and a screened balcony or lanai, so you can enjoy the ocean views bug-free in the evening. The resort offers many ways to make guests feel welcome and get the most out of their beach vacation, including group classes like yoga on the beach at sunrise and sunset and family activities, like s’mores and a bonfire or an outdoor movie in the evening. Both experienced and new tennis players will enjoy the six courts and optional lessons and clinics, and those who want to have fun in the water can take advantage of Jet Ski, paddleboard, and ocean kayak rentals. In addition to a large, heated pool with the convenient Coconuts Grill, there is a well-shaded kiddie pool with plenty of room for parents to relax. The resort also offers on-site dining at Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant. Sanibel’s most historic dining establishment, it has hosted everyone from Henry Ford to Thomas Edison over the centuries. The fine-dining restaurant serves Floridian and European fare for brunch, lunch, and dinner and has special holiday menus as well. Other resort amenities include a range of spa services, including massages. These can be enjoyed in your room, at the pool, or on the beach. Accommodation: Casa Ybel Resort
“5. Island Inn – The eco-conscious Island Inn provides guests with all the amenities of a full-service resort without the extra fees, offering lodgings ranging from standard rooms with kitchenettes to fully equipped beach cottages that can accommodate up to 12 people. Set on 10 acres, the property sits in the central part of Sanibel Island and includes a private beach, where you can enjoy educational naturalist-guided tours. There is a convenient cleaning station for shell-collectors, as well as fishermen – you can cook your catch on one of the gas grills or opt to have the inn’s restaurant expertly prepare your fresh-caught meal. On-site recreational facilities include volleyball and tennis courts, shuffleboard, and horseshoes, while rentals are available for bicycles, as well as kayaks and paddleboards. For a break from the sun or to socialize on a cool evening, the library and family lounge offers a fireplace, television, computers, books, and games. Accommodation: Island Inn
“6. South Seas Island Resort – Occupying the entire northern section of Captiva Island, the South Seas Island Resort provides guests with everything they need to enjoy this island paradise. The property is so large that a trolley runs from one end to the other, and resort activities are nearly endless. In addition to a full-service marina, the resort’s Offshore Sailing School provides lessons and rentals, and several fishing and eco-tours depart from here as well. Guided nature walks throughout the 330-acre wildlife preserve offer a chance to learn more about the ocean life, birds, and ecosystem, while guests are free to roam the 2.5 miles of pristine beach. Kids’ and teen education programs are also offered, as well as many family activities, including crafts, games, and even crab racing. Camp Skullywags is open for half or full days to kids aged three to 11, perfect for giving them a change of pace and giving parents some alone time or a chance to relax at the full-service resort spa. There are an astounding 20 pools to choose from, including the main pool area, which features dining and live entertainment.
Other recreation includes a playground, tennis, volleyball, and an arcade room, as well as fishing and a wide array of water sports. The resort also boasts a private, nine-hole, par-27 golf course with a pro shop, and multiple dining options, including full-service restaurants; a gourmet market; an ice-cream shop; and, of course, a Starbucks. The resort has a wide range of lodging options to fit every need, including hotel-style rooms, condos of various sizes, and even beach home rentals with as many as six bedrooms. Accommodation: South Seas Island Resort
“7. ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa – Located in the narrow central part of Captiva Island, ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa has the ambience of “old Florida” hospitality. The 13-acre property faces the water on both sides, with a private beach to the west and a marina on Pine Island Sound to the west. The marina is available for guests’ private craft and also offers rentals, as well as guided eco-adventures. In addition to the beach, water bugs can enjoy the Olympic-size pool, the smaller Serenity Pool, a hot tub, and a kiddie pool for little ones. Other resort recreation includes tennis, pickleball, and kayaking, as well as crab races, karaoke, and live entertainment nightly. The resort spa offers a full range of services to help guests relax, and although there is no golf course on the property, guests are given a discount at a nearby golf club. There are a few different dining options on-site, including the award-winning Old Captiva House restaurant. It is a national historic landmark and is famous for its homemade breads, fresh Florida cooking, and locally sourced produce all served in a nautical setting. It is open for breakfast and dinner. Also on-site is the Crow’s Nest Grille. It features views of the Gulf of Mexico and island classics served in casual, family-friendly environs. Accommodation: ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa”
Sanibel & Captiva Water Conservation Rules
Highlighted in the Winter 2020 issue of IWA Pipeline, Island Water reminded property owners that Sanibel’s permitted schedule for irrigation is:
- Even numbered addresses – Tuesdays & Fridays
- Odd numbered addresses – Mondays & Thursdays.
For Captiva, Lee County’s permitted schedule for irrigation is:
- Even numbered addresses – Thursdays and Sundays
- Odd numbered addresses – Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 4 – 11, 2020
2 new listings: Sandalfoot #3C3 2/2 $710K, Sandpiper West #1 3/3 $2.15M.
2 price changes: Sundial #F106 1/1 now $465K, Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 now $579,990.
6 new sales: Sundial #F205 1/1 listed at $419K, Sandalfoot #4B2 1/1 listed at $489K, Signal Inn #10 1/1 listed at $529K, Lighthouse Point #117 3/2 listed at $549K (our listing), Sanibel Moorings #441 2/2 listed at $585K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 listed at $599K.
4 closed sales: Spanish Cay #F3 1/1 $310K (our buyer), Seashells #43 2/2 $427K, Loggerhead Cay #222 2/2 $570K, Sunset South #9D 2/2 $585K.
3 new listings: 1415 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $459K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 $1.05M, 5391 Shearwater Dr 3/3.5 $1.795M.
3 price changes: 223 Southwinds Dr 3/2 now $719K, 1323 Seaspray Ln 4/4.5 now $1.875M, 418 Bella Vista Way 4/4 now $1.8959M.
6 new sales: 718 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $599K, 9426 Sage Ct 3/3 listed at $995K, 3827 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $1.075M, 201 Violet Dr 3/2 listed at $1.1M, 735 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 listed at $1.249M, 815 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed at $1.395M.
6 closed sales: 2480 Library Way 3/2.5 $600K, 1125 Captains Walk St 3/3 $736K, 1467 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $790K, 1720 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/3 $925K, 2957 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.475M. 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 $2.3M.
1 new listing: 3941 West Gulf Dr $3.695M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 4566 Buck Key Rd listed at $149K (our listing).
1 closed sale: 5251 Indian Ct $600K.
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: Beach Homes #2 3/2 listed at $1.899M.
1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1659 2/2 $950K.
1 new listing: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 $2.45M.
1 price change: 11522 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4.5 now $2.495M.
1 new sale: 11540 Laika Ln listed at $1.29M.
1 closed sale: 16801 Captiva Dr 5/5 $2.049M.
No new listings, price changes, new sales, or closed sale.
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.
Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.
Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan