Summer News – Economic, Water, Turtles, Realtors

Sanibel summer continues with more warm sun-filled days, sprinkled with periodic tropical showers, and usually culminating with a fabulous sunset.

You may be tired of hearing about the HOT island real estate market, but if you are not, below is an update of Sanibel and Captiva inventory today, compared to sales year-to-date and sales in 2020. With info from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service, note the “for sale” and “under contract” prices are “asking prices”. As the prices continue to go up, the Days on Market (DOM) are getting shorter.

SANIBEL # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 14 894,200 198 30 2,404,996 123 14 590,485 298
Under contract 24 812,499 36 37 1,478,348 73 11 731,444 348
Closed 2021 to 7/30 197 869,523 139 249 1,295,217 99 56 718,205 473
Closed in 2020 192 733,876 174 290 954,718 161 23 606,233 393


CAPTIVA # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 7 1,727,571 158 13 5,563,230 251 0 N/A N/A
Under contract 6 1,818,833 65 1 2,695,000 302 0 N/A N/A
Closed 2021 to 7/30 40 1,068,160 180 35 2,807,868 270 2 2,950,000 731
Closed in 2020 47 821,713 134 27 2,923,148 315 4 2,537,500 448

The SanibelSusan Team continues to look for new listings since as soon as we get a new one, it sells! Island sellers are smiling all the way to the bank, but if you are thinking of selling, be sure you know where you intend to go next. With low inventory and the islands more popular than ever, long-term rentals are as difficult to find as the perfect property.

If you are a buyer looking for something special, be sure to have us on the lookout for you. We previewed several properties this week as they were being professionally photographed, to be posted soon in MLS. In today’s market, in-demand properties like those, could go under contract before they get posted, so be sure you are working with a well-connected island Realtor® who knows about what is “coming soon”.

After a couple of news items below is the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Instant Reaction: GDP, July 29, 2021

Posted on-line yesterday at NAR.Realtor, below is an economist look at today and what the future will bring. Authored by By: Scholastica (Gay) Cororaton:

“The strong surge in consumer spending for travel and recreation in the wake of a big vaccination rollout and the relaxation of masking and social distancing guidelines pushed gross domestic product (GDP) to expand at an annualized rate of 6.4% in the second quarter. Real GDP ($ 19.35 trillion) is now running at 2% above the pre-pandemic level in the first quarter of 2020 ($18.9 trillion).

“Personal consumer spending rose 11.8% as consumers revved up their bottled-up demand for spending on food services and accommodation (67.7%), recreation services (42.8%), and transportation services (37.6%). Spending for gasoline/fuel/energy goods also rose (34.3%) due to increased personal travel and as people started returning to work, mostly by car rather than by transit, according to the Apple® Mobility Trends Index. Travel by car is up nearly 20% from the pre-pandemic level (January 2020), while travel by transit is down by nearly half.

“The personal consumption expenditures price index — the measure the Federal Reserve Bank uses to gauge inflation — rose 6.4% in the second quarter. This spike in PCE inflation reflects the temporary and short-term surge in spending for recreational/travel spending, which the Federal Reserve has repeatedly noted in its policy statements.

“Not surprisingly, construction spending declined for non-residential (-7%) and residential (-9.8%) structures (buildings). The decline in non-residential investment is not a surprise given the high vacancy rate for office space, at 18% in 2021 Q2). Retail brick and mortar stores are still attracting more foot traffic and weaning shoppers away from online shopping, where consumers have spent about $200 billion more since the pandemic.

“The decline in residential investment spending was also expected as housing starts slid in the second quarter of 2021 (average of 1.568 million) from the first quarter of 2021 (1.599 million), in part due to rising softwood lumber prices (typically used for framing, doors, windows) that saw price growth accelerating to 125% year-over-year by June 2021 from 83% year-over-year in March 2021.

“What’s the outlook in the coming quarters? The pace of GDP growth will likely moderate in the coming quarter because the current strong personal spending is a temporary surge. More importantly, the acceleration in coronavirus cases from the Delta variant and the incidences of breakthrough cases (where a person has been fully vaccinated but tests positive) is casting a severe and perhaps long shadow on the path of economic recovery. The CDC has already advised masking indoors, and if cases accelerate, more guidelines could be forthcoming, negatively affecting travel, recreation, and mobility to places of leisure and work. GDP growth is likely to moderate to about 3.5% by the fourth quarter of 2021 and to further moderate to about 3% in 2022.

“The simple average of the PCE inflation since 2020 Q1 is now at 2.5%, which is above the 2% average inflation rate target announced by the Federal Open Market Committee. The rising Delta variant cases will have a negative impact on consumer spending so PCE inflation will also likely slow in the coming quarters. The Fed will likely still keep the fed funds rate target to 0 to 25 basis points when it meets in September.

“Mortgage rates are expected to hover at below 3.5% by the end of 2021 and to rise to about 3.6% in 2022. The mild uptick in mortgage rates should not cause a crash in housing demand and housing prices. Some slowdown in housing demand is good for rebalancing of housing demand and supply to cool off the torrid pace of price acceleration that is hurting affordability. NAR forecasts the median existing-home price to rise at a modest pace of below 5% in 2022 from about 14% in 2021.”

Army Corps of Engineers New Lake Okeechobee Management Plan

Perhaps you have seen recent news and social media posts about dark polluted water in Tampa Bay/St Petersburg and the resulting massive fish kills. In SW FL, those images remind us of 2018 when during the rainy season, algae spilled out of Lake Okeechobee, down the Caloosahatchee River, ultimately dumping into in the Gulf of Mexico resulting in red tide events and similar marine-life kills.

Interestingly, these recent Tampa events coincided with the Army Corps of Engineers mid-July public meeting which resulted in their adoption of a revised Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual, or “LOSOM”. The current management plan, revised over a decade ago, governs the Army Corps’ management of Lake Okeechobee water levels and their water releases. The Corps, as the executive arm in charge of the releases, drains and stores water to assist with flood control, system ecology, and agricultural irrigation around the Lake.

To Floridians south of the Lake, regulation of freshwater releases down the St. Lucie River, Caloosahatchee River and through the Everglades into Florida Bay is the most important aspect of the Army Corps plan.

The adoption and modification of the LOSOM plan are governed by the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. Considering the Congressional mandate of the Everglades Restoration Plan, along with public input from numerous stakeholders across South Florida, the Army Corps considered several revised management plans. At this recent meeting, they ultimately decided on the plan known as Alternative CC.

This proposed LOSOM revision significantly reduces water releases down the St. Lucie River (on Florida’s east coast) and increases freshwater releases to the south through the Everglades, and even lowers the allowable flow levels into the Caloosahatchee during the dry season. This revision outperformed the other models during simulated testing, meaning the plan does begin to address the water quality issues stemming from the Lake.

The downside is that Alternative CC in its proposed form requires that the Caloosahatchee River bear the brunt of Lake O discharges during the rainier summer months. That is when the levels of phosphate and nitrogen are especially high in the Lake, which can cause algae blooms that exacerbate the effects of naturally occurring red tide.

In its current form, Alternative CC does not necessarily provide a solution to potential Caloosahatchee River algae blooms. However, the Army Corps now is in what is called the optimization stage of the implementation process. Between now and early August, the Corps will continue to receive public comment and consider additional stakeholder input before finalizing the plan in September.

Based on those comments and continued evaluation of management models of the Lake, the plan may be modified further to provide for an even more balanced approach, which spreads the releases more evenly to the St. Lucie and Everglades.

Island lovers, please submit public comment by sending an email to or go to this next link provided by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. It just takes a few seconds and needs to be done before Tues August 3:  Tell the U.S. Army Corps LOSOM Must be Balanced for All Stakeholders! (

Sea Turtle Hatching Season Really Picking Up

SCCF photo

Here’s the latest update from SCCF on the 2021 sea turtle nesting season on Sanibel and Captiva. This is from their Wednesday email:

“Hatching season is steadily picking up as 169 nests on Sanibel and Captiva have hatched and 12,463 hatchlings have emerged. There are 626 nests still incubating on Sanibel and Captiva, and SCCF staff and volunteers are hopeful that thousands of hatchlings have yet to emerge on island beaches.

“Of these incubating nests, 47 are being monitored with data loggers to determine how sand quality affects the incubation environment and hatch success. These research nests have temperature and moisture probes, and water-level loggers that collect data every 15 minutes throughout incubation. Sand size and color are also being quantified for each nest. Once these research nests hatch, staff will examine any unviable eggs to identify when embryonic development ceased and determine which variables may have contributed. We hope to learn what environmental factors are potentially impeding hatch success, and how these factors vary across the islands.

“As the end of July nears, fewer nests are being laid in the region. Staff continues to monitor Sanibel Island throughout the night, seven nights a week, to intercept nesting females, document tags, and collect morphometric information. In the past two weeks, the sea turtle team has encountered 54 turtles—17 that had not been documented before were given new flipper and tracking tags. In the last week, the team observed 14 nests being laid by adult loggerhead (Caretta caretta) and green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas). The last week in July marks the final week of nighttime monitoring, so stay tuned for a 2021 nesting report.

“Visit to learn how you can help protect sea turtles and other coastal wildlife.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 23-30, 2021



3 new listings: Sanibel Moorings #921 1/1 $449K, Island Beach Club #330B 2/2 $989K, Gulfside

Place #117 2/2 $1.849M.

No price changes.

6 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #921 1/1 listed at $449K, Mariner Pointe #712 2/2.5 listed at $659K, Tarpon Beach #305 2/2 listed at $1.1M, Sanibel Moorings #512 2/2 listed at $1.195M (our listing), Island Beach Club #330E 2/2 listed at $1.295M, Kings Crown #102 2/2 listed at $1.495M.

View from Sanibel Moorings #512

4 closed sales: Captains Walk #B2 1/1 $280K, Coquina Beach #3D 2/2 $610K, Sanibel Arms West #I7 2/2 $651K, Loggerhead Cay #523 2/2 $930K.


4 new listings: 1444 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $489K, 5308 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/3 $779K, 1886 Farm Trl 3/3 $890K, 5802 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3.5 $899K.

1 price change: 856 Limpet Dr 4/2.5 now $2.358M.

7 new sales: 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $799K, 9431 Moonlight Dr 3/2 listed at $899K, 915 Palm St 3/2 listed at $995K, 3010 West Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $1.245M, 9464 Calla Ct 3/2.5 listed at $1.45M, 1761 Venus Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.899M, 545 Lighthouse Way 3/3.5 listed at $3.395M.

6 closed sales: 1605 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $625K, 1826 Farm Trl 3/2 $849K, 915 Fitzhugh St 4/2.5 $875K, 5100 Sea Bell Rd 4/2.5 $900K, 718 Gopher Walk Way 4/3 $1.6M, 852 Birdie View Pt 4/3 $1.625M.


No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 255 Hurricane Ln listed at $399K.

1 closed sale: 809 Pyrula Ave $420K.



No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3127 1/1 listed at $419K, Beach Homes #33 4/3 listed at $3.2M.

1 closed sale: Beach Homes #20 3/3 $3.46M.


Nothing to report.


No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 16970 Captiva Dr $3.9M.

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