Though the islands continue to need rain (heard on the local news that SW FL is about 5” behind normal accumulation), traffic now is nearly perfect with very few waits anywhere. Midweek, I did a quick drive-around to some of the island resorts and beach accesses. Plenty of parking everywhere and several hotels/condos had few cars.
Back when I used to vacation on Sanibel, we always said the best months are May and October – schools still in session, weather not too hot or too cold, and traffic light, with not as many visitors here then. It surprised me to see such a drastic change in occupancy post-Easter as last year after “season” during the pandemic, occupancy stayed quite high. I guess folks are traveling again – and not just to Sanibel and Captiva.
New Island Businesses
Sometimes social media is ahead of the curve on scoop. two new Sanibel businesses were mentioned on Facebook this week:
- Island Seafood Market Sanibel recently opened at 2330 Palm Ridge Rd. Hours are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed Sundays). They advertise that they are family owned and operated, specializing in local seafood. They own their boats and catch their fish!
- JRods Surf, Fish & Style is officially opening May 1 at 630 Tarpon Bay Rd. They already are selling merchandise through their website ShopJRods.com
1st Sea Turtle Nesting of 2022 Season
Following up on last week’s post by SCCF that the 2022 sea turtle nesting season has begun (April through October), the first loggerhead turtle nest was spotted and staked Wednesday morning (April 27), the same day that the first nest was discovered last year. Don’t forget to keep the beaches clean and unlit after dark. More tips at http://www.SanCapLifesavers.org
Historical Museum & Village Switches to Summer Hours
Sanibel’s museum and village at 950 Dunlop Rd changes to off-season summer hours on May 3. Those are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The museum also will close on August 1 and reopen October 18, going back then to their regular in-season hours which are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guided tours are at 10:30 a.m., depending on docent availability. For more info, visit http://sanibelmuseum.org
Summer Fees for Wildlife Drive
At the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, admission fees for Wildlife Drive remain the same after season ends. The $10 vehicle fee, however, is good for three days starting May 1 and running through September. Show receipt at entrance booth when returning. Daily fees for bikers and walkers remain $1 each visit for visitors age 16+.
Real Estate Scoop
April Association of Realtors® Breakfast Meeting – Yesterday was the monthly breakfast meeting of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®. Speaker was J.P. Fraites, Florida Realtors® Public Policy Rep. He provided highlights from the 2022 Florida legislative session which ended last month and produced the largest state budget ever (well over $100 billion). He highlighted several items including great strides in affordable housing (particularly for first responders, teachers, and medical workers) and, of particular interest to islanders, a record $1.6 billion for various water quality initiatives.
He also mentioned how Gov DeSantis has called a special session for May 23-27, bringing lawmakers back to the Capitol that week to address problems in the property-insurance system. Though there were changes to Florida insurance law in 2021 including limiting fees of attorneys who represent homeowners in lawsuits against insurers and a reduction to two years to file claims, the House and Senate were unable to agree on another bill.
Other unfinished issues included proposals to change building codes, like putting additional inspection requirements on condominium buildings. Like insurance, that likely will come up again in 2023.
Association of Realtors® Summer Schedule – During the summer, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® weekly Caravan Meetings change to bi-weekly. That usually doesn’t occur until June, but with so few new listings this year, that schedule will begin now. The next caravans will be May 12 and 26, with the monthly Membership breakfast meeting also on May 26.
Only one new listing was announced at the meeting, an off-island listing. According to the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service (MLS), today the islands together have just 20 condo, 20 homes, and 11 residential lots for sale – just 51 properties. That is compared to 185 closed and 75 pending sales year-to-date.
After a couple of news items below is the action posted in the local MLS since last Friday.
What Are Novice Sellers’ Top 3 Mistakes?
This article from the May 2022 issue of “Florida Realtor®” magazine:
“With soaring home prices and high demand, homeowners find it a great time to sell. But some sellers – particularly first-timers – may be so caught up in the “hot housing market” headlines that it clouds their expectations.
“Real estate professionals shared with realtor.com some of the mistakes of rookie home sellers in the current market:
- “Unrealistic price expectations: It’s a seller’s market, but that doesn’t mean a sky-is-the-limit pricing strategy will work. “First-time sellers often erroneously believe that the list price means the desired purchase price,” says Lindsay Reishman, founding partner at the Reishman Group in Washington, D.C. “In fact, the list price simply indicates an approximate appropriate price, and its purpose is to drive interest to the property.”
- “Accepting the highest offer: Some buyers make giant bids to beat out the competition, but those offers can fall apart. Real estate pros say some sellers become so focused on the highest number that they overlook a bid’s reliability. Home offers can fall apart for a number of reasons, including financing, appraisals or inspections. “In this market, it’s not uncommon for a buyer to submit an offer for a home sight unseen,” says Deborah Ann Spence, a broker at Fierce Real Estate Corp, in Bala Cynwyd, PA. “Then, if the buyer doesn’t like what he eventually does see, the offer can be withdrawn, and the property is likely to lose traction.”
- “Trying to FSBO: “For sale by owner” may tempt homeowners who believe a seller’s market offers them an opportunity to DIY their home sale. However, the FISBO route could limit the home’s exposure to larger pools of buyers since FSBOs can’t be listed on the multiple listing service. And even if the home bets buyers’ attention, a real estate agent is critical to navigate the process, help with paperwork and sort through multiple offers.”
Calmer Market Ahead
This week, the spring 2022 issue of “Realtor” magazine also arrived. Here’s the article by Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors® Chief Economist:
“The past two years have been quite exceptional for real estate. Home sales boomed. Home prices rose at the fastest rate in modern times. However, such a strong housing market created growing pains. Inventory shrank to its lowest count ever. Even through the recent winter months, the inventory that has made it onto the market has typically attracted multiple bidders – and increasingly, investors offering cash. Twenty-two percent of recent transactions were investor purchases, up from 15% a year ago, and 27% of transactions were cash-only deals, up from 19% a year ago. That’s putting a strain on first-time buyers. Moreover, mortgage rates are notably higher as the Federal Reserve moves from a quantitative easing monetary policy, quickly buying up mortgages, to what is in essence a quantitative squeezing that does the opposite. With all this in mind, what’s ahead?
“Let’s begin with the jobs picture. Although the unemployment rate is back to normal at 4%, the economy is still short by nearly 3 million jobs compared to before the pandemic. But that hasn’t held back housing sales. Existing-home sales reached 6.12 million in 2021, the best since 2006. The median home price reached an all-time high of $347,100 a one-year gain of 16.9%.
“A few states actually have more jobs now than before the COVID-19 days. They are Utah, Idaho, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, and Montana in order of performance. Those are also the states experiencing extra strong real estate activity, both in residential and commercial markets. Jobs are important.
“What now, given the diminishing pandemic – fingers crossed – and rising mortgage rates? Office workers will need to get back to the office. Maybe the new work model will be some form of hybrid, with a few days each week spent in the office. This still means locational choices do not have to be inherently dependent on big-city-downtowns. It’s fine to live farther from the city, given less time spent on the commute. Higher mortgage rates, though, will lock out some would-be buyers. In very high-cost areas, the increase means about $500 more in monthly mortgage payments for the typical borrower. Consequently, home sales will come down 2% to 4% in 2022. If inflation remains stubbornly high and the Fed is forced to be even more aggressive, then home sales could fall by as much as 10%.
“Prices will keep rising, though, since getting to a balanced market will take time. The turnaround may occur by the middle of the year. Expect calmer home price gains of 3% to 6% per year in 2022 and 2023.”
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity
April 22-29, 2022
1 new listing: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #6 3/3 $1.398M.
1 price change: White Pelican #124 2/2 now $1.699M.
2 new sales: Breakers West #A4 2/2 listed at $849K, Nutmeg Village #211 2/2 listed at $1.15M.
4 closed sales: Sundial #I307 1/1 $595K, Mariner Pointe #733 2/2 $65K, Sand Pointe #131 2/2 $1.325M, Pine Cove #201 3/2 $1.899M.
5 new listings: 750 Oliva St 3/2 $1.495M, 2474 Wulfert Rd 3/3/2 $2.195M, 2658 Coconut Dr 3/2 $2.495M, 1690 Sabal Palm Dr 5/3 $3.177M, 1520 Angel Dr 4/3.5 $3.995M.
No price changes.
7 new sales: 778 Cardium St 3/3 listed at $849K, 600 Boulder Dr 3/2 listed at $935K, 9076 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $985K, 1202 Sand Castle Rd 4/2.5 listed at $1.25M, 3910 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $1.299M, 746 Windlass Way 4/3 listed at $2.275M, 2658 Coconut Dr 3/2 listed at $2.495M.
1 closed sale: 1600 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $1.4M.
1 new listing: 2462 Wulfert Rd $348K.
1 price change: 1321 Seaspray Ln now $995K.
No new or closed sales.
1 new listing: Gulf Beach Villas #2003 1/1 $925K.
No price changes.
1 new sale: Gulf Beach Villas #2027 3/2 listed at $1.595M.
No closed sales.
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 15261 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 listed at $11.25M.
1 closed sale: 15867 Captiva Dr 7/6 $11M.
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.
Once the rainy season begins, the clear aqua-looking water disappears, but it’s still looking pretty now. Happy Friday!
Until next week, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan