This week has been a tad chilly, though mostly sunny, on Sanibel & Captiva. Great “open the sunroof” weather. There have been some terrific sunsets this week too, sunset last night was especially spectacular.
A weather warm-up is expected by Sunday with daytime temperatures forecast to be back in the 70’s next week.
After a short post-holiday lull, island traffic and business pick-up mid-January and boost again February 1, with February and March usually the months when the most sales occur here. After a couple of news items below is the activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®
Early Thursday morning was our Annual Installation and Awards event. No group meeting, no shared breakfast at The Sanctuary, but a fun Zoom event with a couple of videos presented that highlight 2020. It’s always fun to transfer the gavel to the incoming President in person, though not always fun to be oldest past-President (1999). The gavel-passing video used photos taken during our years as President. Passing of the Gavel Video
Congratulations to Kelly Huguenin for being selected for the “Community Service” award and Dave Arter for “Affiliate Business Partner”. They both rallied our members through 2020, even without in-person meetings. Wendy Kirschner was “Rookie of the Year” and 23 Realtors® earned Honor Society membership (my 28th year). 2020 Awards Video
On Wednesday and Thursday, I attended more Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings via Zoom. At the Faculty and Curriculum Subcommittees (under the Professional Development Committee), it was reported that 58,182 Realtors® attended state-sponsored classes this year. That is almost double the number of attendees in 2019. It is excellent news to hear that over a quarter of Florida’s members made good use of COVID downtime. The GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute) series had 1,744 of those students which is a 110% jump over 2019.
Thursday, at The Resort & 2nd Home Specialist Think Tank, it was interesting to hear that though up and down, Florida’s vacation rental market survived the pandemic and has rebounded. That market is huge with over 15 million rentals a year.
A presentation by Denis Hanks, Executive Director of the Florida VRMA (Vacation Rental Managers Assoc) in an overview of 2020, said that vacation rentals had many challenges, as we all did, because of the pandemic.
When travel was suspended, hotels and timeshares open, but vacation rentals closed or limited to 30 days, vacation rental managers struggled to comply with 67 different regulations which were often vague and varied county-to-county.
Once those vacation rentals reopened, a huge increase in “drive” visitors (versus those flying) turned Florida’s panhandle into the hot market of 2020. Throughout the state, beach markets also have done well, though their business more up and down, and bookings sporadic. With lessons learned and the industry forced to become resilient, rental managers have had to adjust quickly to new cleaning protocols and adopt new guidelines including wait periods between stays, contactless check-ins, protection of staff and guests, COVID waivers, screening, cancellation policies, deposits/refunds, taxation, and chargebacks. The state VRMA also will soon be rolling out a program to train new employees and retrain those workers coming back into the industry.
Sanibel – COVID-19
On Tuesday, Sanibel Mayor Mick Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until January 26, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.) The City face covering mandate remains in effect through the period.
From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through January 20 is 188 cases. This is just the number cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go. PLEASE stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings. Essentially no relief yet for the thousands of county residents over 65 looking to get vaccinated.
LCEC – 13 Years
For 13 years Lee County Electric Co-op has not had a rate increase. Best electric service provider, that SanibelSusan has experienced. I am always amazed, particularly during the summer rainy season, when electric outages happen, and they respond quickly.
When a property sells, The SanibelSusan Team recommends that sellers DO NOT CANCEL their electric service, but rather TRANSFER it. That way, there is no lapse in service and the buyer is not charged a connection fee. When your property is under contract and getting ready to close, please call LCEC, tell them the date of the scheduled closing, and ask them to transfer service then. They will not take a buyer’s contact info for billing until a seller calls first. With a transfer of service, LCEC takes a meter reading to document when your service responsibility completes and the buyers begins.
Sanibel Library Ranks High
According to the January 20 “Island Reporter”, the state library rankings are out, and the Sanibel Public Library ranks at or near the top in many areas, including materials borrowed, program attendance, and percentage of population with a library card. The 2020 ratings are based on FY 2018 Florida Library Statistics, which measures 82 libraries/library systems in the state. Sanibel was ranked number one per capita (per 1,000) for: circulation (number of books or items borrowed); availability of print, audio, video and other material to check out; local and state operating revenue; and square footage availability.
The library has been at or near the top ranking for about 15 years. It has also won national Star Library Awards (top 200 public libraries of 9,000 measured nationally) for five of the last 10 years. The library has been No. 1 on Trip Advisor for “Things to Do on Sanibel” many times and has won a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence every year since 2014, nearing Hall of Fame status on the site.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 15-22, 2021
5 new listings: Spanish Cay #F2 1/1 $325K; Sundial #F307 1/1 $479K; Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 $649,950; Sandpiper Beach #303 2/2 $825K; Kings Crown #104 2/2 $999K (our listing).
4 price changes: Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 now $725K, Pelicans Roost #203 2/2 now $895K, Pelicans Roost #102 2/2 now $930K, Sandals #A 3/3.5 now $1.825M.
9 new sales: Sundial #F108 1/1 listed at $435K, Blind Pass #E207 2/2.5 listed at $489K, Mariner Pointe #1091 3/2 listed at $559K, Sandpebble #2D 2/2 listed at $568.5K, Kings Crown #110 2/2 listed at $795K, Pointe Santo #D35 2/2 listed at $795K, Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 listed at $899K, Sanddollar #B104 2/2 listed at $998K, By-The-Sea #B301 2/2 listed at $1.595M.
3 closed sales: Seawind #A108 2/2.5 $502.5K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 $580K, Oceans Reach #4D1 2/2 $840K.
5 new listings: 1155 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $919K, 567 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $979K, 2313 Wulfert Rd 4/3 $1.099M, 3019 Poinciana Cir 5/3.5 $1.195M, 1133 Buttonwood Ln 3/2.5 $1.395M.
3 price changes: 418 Bella Vista Way 4/4 now $1.75M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 4/4 now $4.525M, 1349 Bay Dr 4/4 now $7.395M.
7 new sales: 1835 Ardsley Way 2/2 listed at $457K, 4661 Rue Bayou 2/2 listed at $679K, 1012/1014 4/2 duplex listed at $699K, 9277 Belding Dr 3/3 listed at $850K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.05M, 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 listed at $1.295M, 3009 Turtle Gait Ln 4/4.5 listed at $2.595M.
8 closed sales: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 $430K, 555 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $585K, 6141 Henderson Rd 3/2 $645K, 966 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 $965K, 3827 Coquina Dr 3/2 $1.055M, 2268 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $2.1M, 2411 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 $2.35M, 4067 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $5.55M.
1 new listing: 6141 Starling Way $875K.
1 price change: 2515 Wulfert Rd now $239.5K.
3 new sales: 2372 Wulfert Rd listed at $147.5K, 5398 Osprey Ct listed at $299K, 1825 Long Point Ln listed at $389K.
1 closed sale: 4566 Buck Key Rd $148K (our listing).
No new listings.
1 price change: Lands End #1615 2/2 now $1.45M.
No new or closed sales.
No new listings or price changes.
3 new sales: 16727 Captiva Dr 5/4 listed at $1,999,999; 15146 Wiles Dr 2/2 listed at $2.389M; 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 listed at $2.395M.
1 closed sale: 53 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.5 $886.7K.
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.
Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.
Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan