A Delightful 72 Degrees F on Sunny Sanibel 01-06-2023

It’s another Friday. Hard to believe that Hurricane Ian was here over three months ago. Now that the holidays are over, more owners are arriving for the first time. Very sad for many to see in person the level of devastation. Others say it’s not as bad as expected.

Teammate Dave and I continue to meet with them to discuss plans for restoration &/or selling. We have new listings in the works, while we also continue to work with buyers looking to take advantage of the unique situation the post-storm market presents.

On a personal note, I finally got a new main breaker box at my home this week. Fingers crossed that power is restored soon so that my new pool subpanel and pump are installed next. Dave keeps telling me that reconstruction will move more quickly once the electric is on. Meanwhile, he continues to work there plus assist with others needing help. While this weekend I will move for the 6th time since evacuation. Believe it when I say I now have more patience than pre-storm. It’s the only way!

The below photo was sent to me by blog follower Terry Dempsey from NH. His e-mail said, “We were saddened by what happened during the hurricane and pray for Sanibel to bounce back soon. We have wanted to visit but know with nothing open, we don’t want to get in the way… On New Year’s Eve, we enjoyed the sunset from Bunche Beach, being able to at least enjoy Sanibel Lighthouse from a distance. I wanted to send you these photos to share however you like. I thought it was fitting on the last night of such a tumultuous year, the sun set over the Lighthouse which still stands tall.” (Thank you for sharing, Terry.)

Sanibel Update

Causeway Travel – The causeway opened this week with the islands assessable to anyone, except during curfew which remains 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Travel on/off island during those hours requires resident driver’s license or evidence of the need to be there.

Social media has been loaded with comments from visitors not knowing if they should come and help, either physically or financially to dine/shop, or to stay away and give the islands time to recover. As much as businesses need support, I believe that City leadership provides the best advice. Their Post-Ian Progress Update scheduled for Tuesday night again was canceled. One is scheduled next week, Tuesday Jan 10 at 5 p.m. Meanwhile, no public parking areas and only a handful of restaurants are opened.

Mail – Also the City announced yesterday that the Sanibel Post Office will not be operational until late summer, with pick-up to be continued indefinitely at Jetport Loop which certainly is a long trek for those back living on Sanibel. The Captiva Post Office is open, so an alternative for those folks is to open a post office box there and have their mail forwarded.

Recovery – Debris removal continues, but at a slower pace now. There still are mountains that need to go. Also noticeable is that more condo complexes are getting their grounds cleaned and buildings remediated.

Restaurant News – Saw a notice this week that The Pecking Order Fried Chicken & Pies will reopen this spring in a new location (former home of Rosie’s at 2330 Palm Ridge Rd).

BIG ARTS Community Chorus Resumes – Also received an email this afternoon that our Community Chorus will begin rehearsing next week. This is a non-auditioned choral class open to all singers of all ages and abilities. They will practice Thursday afternoons through Mar 30 with performances at the BIG ARTS Open House on March 15 and on April 4 at the Spring Sing with the Sanibel School. Let me know if you want to join us.

Want to Help With Cleanup?

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge – Refuge Cleanup with a Ranger takes place every Wednesday at 9 a.m. Meet at the Visitor & Education Center parking lot for a safety brief before traveling to the cleanup site of the week.

Participation is limited; preregister on EventbriteVideo

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Conservation Foundation – SCCF is holding more beach cleanups this month in conjunction with the The City of Sanibel, Florida! Two-hour shifts will be held between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Jan. 10, 11, 17, and 18. Learn more and volunteer here: https://www.signupgenius.com/…/10c0d4dabae2ea7fac43…

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

I checked in with our landlord at Sanibel Square today and he still does not have a timetable for reconstruction and occupancy.

We continue to make our daily treks to the island and didn’t notice a big increase in traffic, until yesterday when the City announced that the Florida DOT contractor constructing the new bridges needed to limit traffic to one-lane from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. I tried going about mid-morning thinking workers already had crossed, but waited in backup that stretched past the outlet malls, up McGregor. Dave was smarter and took his boat. Hopefully these delays will only be occasional, as there is lots of work to be done with material and contractor traffic expected to increase as more reconstruction begins.

Some island rental managers advise that many condo complexes won’t be ready for occupancy until late 2024. It won’t be surprising to see some buildings taken down and others rebuilt to current code. Some owners have asked, what happens to our investment if our building is destroyed? Good question.

We eventually expect to see a wave of condo owners looking to sell, like what is happening now with homeowners, particularly those that are in damaged non-conforming properties.

Below is an update of island inventory today from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. Then after a couple of news items is the action posted in the MLS since last Friday.

# Avg Price DOM # Avg Price DOM # Avg Price DOM
For sale 22 1,084,495 79 79 1,445,973 52 8 654,625 110
Under contract 13 1,290,061 49 32 1,115,196 15 4 1,459,500 72
Sold 2023 to 1/6 1 585,000 33 0 N/A N/A 0 N/A N/A
Sold 2022 123 1,136,199 44 184 1,597,868 52 26 779,528 223
Sold 2021 287 875,127 113 355 1,341,881 89 69 698,862 442


# Avg Price DOM # Avg Price DOM # Avg Price DOM
For sale 7 1,237,571 162 7 7,369,150 165 1 15,500,000 285
Under contract 1 700,000 7 6 3,533,000 26 0 N/A N/A
Sold 2023 to 1/6 0 N/A N/A 0 N/A N/A 0 N/A N/A
Sold 2022 28 1,458,983 52 22 5,636,386 133 0 N/A N/A
Sold 2021 64 1,150,373 145 44 2,988,520 261 2 2,950,000 731

Five Trends That Will Shape Luxury Real Estate in 2023

Getting out of the hurricane mode for a minute to share this article by Melissa Dittman Tracey from the Jan 3, 2023 issue of REALTOR® Magazine:

“The luxury housing market, like most other real estate sectors, is adjusting to a slowdown. Affordability and home size are every bit as much on wealthy buyers’ minds as other consumers. “The reality is we are coming out of one of the best real estate markets in history,” Gary Gold, a luxury property specialist with Coldwell Banker Realty in Beverly Hills, Calif., notes in the latest Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Trends Report. “But that level of demand and price appreciation wasn’t sustainable.” Nearly 90% of respondents to the Coldwell Banker survey say they believe the real estate market will be better than or the same as 2022 for property investment. The following emerging trends were noted in the report.

“Smaller Homes Offer Greater Appeal – The pandemic-era trend of supersizing a home may be shrinking in popularity. Affluent buyers are embracing smaller properties for their 2nd- or investment-home purchases. Smaller luxury single-family homes between 2,500 and 3,5000 square feet sold nearly 19% faster than larger ones, according to the report. “Now that the pandemic has loosened its grip on lifestyle decisions, the big house may not be as much of a necessity as it was during 2020 and 2021,” the report notes. “Some affluent buyers may not need or want to work from home anymore. Schools are open again, and kids don’t need extra spaces for at-home learning and play. Others may be looking to return to city life, where smaller footprints prevail.” Further, higher home prices may prompt more downsizing, too. Many luxury buyers also tend to purchase in cash, so smaller homes may be appealing for their lower upfront costs.

“Buyer’s Remorse Grows – In the previous homebuying frenzy of the last two years, many buyers had to make hasty purchase decisions to beat the fierce competition. They now may regret their choice: About a quarter of survey respondents who purchased a home in the last two years say they are not satisfied with their property, citing lifestyle changes, property size, remote location, lack of neighborhood amenities or a return to full-time office work. This may prompt more luxury buyers to move. After all, more than two-thirds of survey respondents say current market advantages, like less competition and slowing growth in home prices, may change their minds about buying in the near future. However, some discontented affluent buyers may decide to keep their home and fold it into their real estate portfolio. 

“Global Buyers Return – International real estate transactions are back on the rise as foreign buyers eye U.S. housing—and Americans target destinations overseas. About 92% of U.S.-based respondents say they’re considering purchasing a property abroad. A strong U.S. dollar, the rising cost of living and surging home prices are among the top reasons driving interest in real estate overseas. Americans are showing the most desire for properties in Central America, Canada, Mexico, and parts of Asia. (Note: As of Jan. 1, a new Canadian law essentially bans foreign buyers from buying residential properties as investments for two years, with exceptions.) Also, the top international buyers in the U.S. (by dollar volume) are from China ($6.1 billion), Canada ($5.5 billion), India ($3.6 billion) and Mexico ($2.9 billion). Top U.S. destinations for foreign buyers in the U.S. are Florida, California, and Texas….

“Faith in Investments – Over a third of survey respondents believe real estate is the safest long-term investment, ranking higher than stocks and bonds, cryptocurrency, and pensions. They believe real estate as an investment can diversify a portfolio, offer long-term investment, provide financial gains from rental income and serve as an inheritance for their children, according to the survey. “Increasing numbers of the affluent appear to be gravitating toward real estate to create financial, emotional and psychological stability,” the Coldwell Banker report notes. They’re also showing greater optimism about returning to traditional luxury epicenters that have held long-term value (e.g. New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston). Further, the report shows, they’re targeting areas that are less likely to be affected by climate change. In the search for greater stability within their portfolios, luxury home buyers are showing demand for second and third homes in multiple locations, eyeing the diversity as a hedge against inflation.

“More Cash Deals – Higher interest rates over the last few months have promoted buyers to seek alternative financing methods. The wealthy are leveraging more cash in real estate transactions. “I think buyers don’t mind taking some money out of the stock market right now and putting it into something more tangible like luxury real estate,” Roger Pettingell of Coldwell Banker Realty in Sarasota and Longboat Key, Fla., writes in the report. Cash transactions are expected to continue increasing. All-cash sales comprised 26% of transactions in November 2022, up from 24% a year earlier, according to NAR data. Besides cash, wealthy buyers are using margin or stock portfolio loans and private bank loans, the report notes.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Dec 30 ‑ Jan 6



4 new listings: Sunset South #4C 2/2 $849K, Kings Crown #208 2/2 $889K, Loggerhead Cay #133 2/2 $999K, By-the-Sea #A102 3/2 $1.325M.

No price changes.

5 new sales: Lighthouse Point #119 2/2 listed at $589K, Sealoft Village #105 2/2 listed at $939K, Gulfside Place #121 2/2 $1.425M, Atrium #104 2/2 listed at $1.75M, Royale Tern #303 3/3.5 listed at $2.495M.

1 closed sale: Sundial #D403 1/1 $585K.


11 new listings: 1314 Tahiti Dr 3/2 $779K, 719 Durion Ct 3/2 $789K, 4208 West Gulf Dr 2/2 $849K, 460 & 490 Old Trail 3/2.5 $875K, 214 Palm Lake Dr 3/2.5 $889K, 720 Durion Ct 4/3 $949K, 728 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2.5 $1.295M, 4775 Rue Helene 4/3 $1.295M, 241 Violet Dr 3/2.5 $1.295M, 2450 Wulfert Rd 3/3 $1.65M, 3191 Twin Lakes Ln 4/2.5 $1.793M.

3 back on market: 1925 Roseate Ln 2/2 $599K, 1585 Bunting Ln 3/2 $699K, 1206 Par View Dr 3/2 $995K.

8 price changes: 1044 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $699K, 9126 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $700K, 9094 Mockingbird Dr 4/3.5 now $895K, 1022 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 now $939.9K, 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 now $999K, 979 Whelk Dr 3/3 now $1.499M, 2543 Coconut Dr 3/2 now $1.695M, 2969 Wulfert Rd 6/6.5.5 now $3.595M,

5 new sales: 3384 St Kilda Rd 3/2 listed at $699K, 996 Greenwood Ct N (1/2 duplex) 3/3 listed at $779K, 9094 Mockingbird Dr 4/3.5 listed at $895K, 2402 Wulfert Rd 4/3.5 listed at $1.1M, 1034 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 listed at $1.349M.

1 closed sale: 749 Cardium St 3/2 $1.1M.


1 new listing: 0 Gulf Pines Dr $749K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.



1 new listing (under contract below).

No price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2617 1/1 listed at $700K.

No closed sales.


No new listings, price changes or closed sales.

1 new sale: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 listed at $4.799M.


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.

Until next Friday, fingers crossed that recover speeds up!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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