As we look forward to a holiday weekend, islanders continue to “knock on wood” that this has been the quietest hurricane season in decades. Island weather has been nice again this week too, though the lightning storm surrounding midnight Tuesday night/Wednesday morning was another humdinger. More daytime temperatures in the high 80’s/low 90’s expected for the foreseeable future, again with a good chance of rain sometime during each 24-hour period.
At SanibelSusan Realty
Teammate Dave got another big postcard mailing out Wednesday. It featured our three east-end listings. Our ad from today’s “Island Sun” below also highlights them.
The next few months usually are busy with island real estate, mostly sellers thinking of taking advantage of the market and buyers wanting a property to benefit from themselves this winter – whether it be for personal use or income.
Below is an update of island residential inventory today (data from the Sanibel/Captiva MLS September 2, 2022):
|#||Avg $||DOM||#||Avg $||DOM||#||Avg $||DOM|
|Sold to-date 2022||113||1,137,190||43||148||1,672,436||57||23||686,641||244|
|#||Avg $||DOM||#||Avg $||DOM||#||Avg $||DOM|
|Sold to-date 2022||28||1,458,963||52||21||5,690,500||130||0||N/A||N/A|
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®
At the Caravan Meeting yesterday at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors©, many donations of goods plus a $500 check were presented to Jennifer Benton, CEO of ACT (Abuse, Counseling, & Treatment Inc.), the private non-profit in Fort Myers that serves victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Always looking for volunteers and contributions, you also can support ACT through their thrift store (Second ACT which is on U.S. 41 at 12519 South Cleveland Ave), their gallery and boutique (at 2265 First St in the Fort Myers River District), and their annual benefit Gala/Art Auction (this year on October 29). More info at www.ACTAbuse.com
After the meeting, three newly-listed homes open for viewing – an indication that inventory is increasing albeit slowly and that new listings are no longer selling immediately – though one of those properties hit the MLS for the first time the day before and the listing agent reported that it already had nine showings. (It is a very large near-beach like-new well-furnished pool home.)
Beach Bucket Success
Posted in SCCF’s August 31 update, “Coastal Watch is happy to announce that the buckets at the beach bucket stations are being used! Several volunteers have been monitoring and reporting the usage of the buckets over the past two months at the three bucket stations – Lighthouse Beach, Tarpon Bay Rd Access, and Bowman’s Beach. We are thrilled to see the community and visitors taking advantage of this program and helping Coastal Watch keep our beautiful beaches clean! More volunteers are needed to help monitor the stations. If interested, please email CoastalWatch@sccf.org.”
September Closures & Happenings
Restaurants – Traditionally, September is the slowest month of the year on the islands. Social media has been overloaded with questions about what restaurants are closed – and when. Many with maintenance projects and improvements planned are dealing with construction and material delays. So best advice is to call the restaurant before you go to be sure they are open. Below is the list from the Chamber of Commerce website showing 2022 off-season restaurant closures:
- 400 Rabbits – 9/19-25
- Blue Giraffe 2 – 9/4-19
- CIP’s – (Today on Facebook, their page says September hours: Lunch CLOSED; also CLOSED all day Tuesdays, CLOSED Labor Day Monday, otherwise Happy Hour 4-6 p.m. & open for dinner at 4 p.m.)
- Paper Fig Kitchen – 9/18-20
- Gramma Dot’s – 8/29-9/30
- Island Pizza – 9/6-19
- Lighthouse Café – 9/5-9
- Over Easy Café – 9/12-22
- Sweet Melissa’s – 9/4-19
- The Fig – 9/11-13
- Trader’s – 9/18-10/2
- Traditions – 9/4-27
- Tutti Pazzi – 9/6-13.
CROW Visitor Center – Closed September 5 to 9 for Labor Day and fall cleaning. Call to schedule Wildlife Walk Guided Hospital Tours for the week of September 12.
Island Hopper Songwriter Fest – Beginning September 16 and running for ten days, this Southwest Florida festival features performances by singers-songwriters from Nashville and beyond. The first weekend is on Captiva (Sep 16-18), then downtown Fort Myers during the week (Sep 19-22), followed by weekend on Fort Myers Beach (Sep 23-25). Get the full line-up of performers at www.island-hopperfest.visitfortmyers.com.
International Coastal Clean-Up Day – is Saturday September 17. Several island organizations including the local Association of Realtors©, CROW, and SCCF’s Coastal Watch are participating. For more info or to sign up through SCCF, visit www.Bit.ly/sccf-cleanup-2022 For off-island locations, go to www.KLCB.org/events/coastal-cleanup
SCCF Watch Party – This fundraising event supporting the Foundation’s community-based marine conservation and volunteer program, Coastal Watch, is September 30 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Sanibel Sea School (455 Periwinkle Way). It includes live music from Uproot Hootenanny, shrimp boil, other good eats, craft beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages, casting competition, 50/50, and more fun ways to give. Tickets available at www.CoastalWatchParty.eventbrite.com.
Plan Ahead for “Taste of The Islands”
CROW’S oldest running fundraiser is evolving again. This year it will be a Sanibel-Captiva restaurant week, scheduled for November 12-19. Restaurants still will feature a “Taste” for judging and panels of judges will do tasting on each Saturday. More details to come in October.
More Insurance News
Posted yesterday, September 1, 2022, on FloridaRealtors© and sourced to The News Service of Florida:
“State-Owned Citizens Insurance May Raise $700K Cap
“TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With homeowners struggling to find coverage, insurance regulators are looking at the possibility of lifting a $700,000 cap on policies sold by the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Citizens is barred by law from providing what is known as a “replacement cost” coverage of more than $700,000 for homes, except in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, where the limit is $1 million.
“But as Florida’s property-insurance market has crumbled and home values have soared, many homeowners have been dropped by private insurers and cannot qualify for Citizens coverage because of the $700,000 cap.
During a Citizens committee meeting Wednesday, Susanne Murphy, a deputy commissioner at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FOIR), said that regulators are analyzing whether they could increase the $700,000 cap in at least some counties.
“State law would allow such a move if regulators determine that “there is not a reasonable degree of competition” in those counties. That finding in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties opened the door for an increase to a $1 million coverage limit. “Whether there’s enough data to support that finding is what we’re trying to determine,” Murphy told members of the Citizens Market Accountability Advisory Committee. “The last time we did this (with Miami-Dade and Monroe), it was pretty clear … and I think that the data that we’ve looked at thus far is not as clear as it was years ago.”
“Committee member Lee Gorodetsky, a South Florida insurance agent, said “clients can’t even squeeze into Citizens insurance, even though they want to or need to.” That has resulted, for example, in homeowners having to turn to what is known as surplus-lines coverage, which is largely unregulated and can include more conditions on policies.
“Murphy, a member of the Citizens committee, said it will probably take another month before regulators decide on whether to lift the cap. The discussion about the cap is more fallout from the troubled private insurance market, as carriers have shed policies and sought large rate increases to try to curb financial losses. Since February, five insurers have been deemed insolvent and placed into receivership.
“Citizens, which was created as an insurer of last resort, has been flooded with policies during the past two years. As of Friday, it had about 1.02 million policies. By comparison, it had 499,056 policies on Aug. 31, 2020, and 687,079 policies on Aug. 31, 2021, according to data posted on its website.
“The coverage cap also is tangled in longstanding efforts by state leaders to have homes insured in the private market, rather than by Citizens. Those efforts, in part, stem from concerns about financial risks if the state is hit by a major hurricane or multiple hurricanes.
“Citizens policies had a $2 million coverage cap until 2013 when lawmakers passed a measure to gradually reduce it, with the $700,000 limit in place since 2017. Murphy said increasing the $1 million cap in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties – and potentially other counties – would require the Legislature to change state law. Home values vary in different parts of the state, and most do not exceed $700,000. But the cap issue has drawn particular attention in high-value areas such as Broward and Palm Beach counties.
“As an example, the metropolitan statistical area that includes Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach had a median sales price for existing single-family homes of $595,000 in July, according to the industry group Florida Realtors. In the area that includes Naples, Immokalee and Marco Island, the median sales price was $748,270.”
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Aug 26-Sep 2, 2022
No new listings or sales.
2 price changes: Shell Island Beach Club #6C 2/2 now $1.325M, Sanibel Surfside #125 2/2 now $1.345M.
2 closed sales: Seawind #A105 2/2.5 $885K, Pointe Santo #D44 2/2 $1.3M.
1 new listing: 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 $2.239M.
1 price change: 1543 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/4 now $2.895M.
5 new sales: 1747 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $849K (stats), 1835 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $899K, 921 Strangler Fig Ln 3/2.5 listed at $999K, 1565 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $1.15M (stats), 641 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 listed at $1.279M.
3 closed sales: 1421 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 $769K, 1012/14 E Gulf Dr 4/2 $960K, 5802 San-Cap Rd 3/3.5 $1.125M.
2 new listings: 4636 Rue Royale $825K, 1729 Jewel Box Dr $1.35M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 1994 Wild Lime listed at $350K.
1 closed sale: 1321 Seaspray Ln $950K.
Nothing to report.
1 new sale: 11517 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4.5 listed at $4.995M.
No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.
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.
Here’s hoping you enjoy your Labor Day weekend!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan