Island Vegetation Knows It’s Spring

This week, during my travels I noticed one of my favorite gumbo limbo trees pushing out new growth. (It’s the gnarly one next to the bike path at Captain’s Walk.)

The rainy season has yet to begin in SW Florida, so it again is a sunny Friday, and I really can confirm that it is sunny on Sanibel as I moved home on Monday.

To say it is wonderful is an understatement. Sure, there is a punch list and there are a garage and trailer full of home and office items that Dave saved thinking some could be salvaged. It is amazing how many hard-surfaced things can be reused. I am becoming expert at hurricane-muck and rust removal.

I got a chuckle when Dave carried in a miscellaneous box of office things that included the slide rule from my desk. When I remarked “Wow, you saved this?” He said, “What is that?”

Seriously, I could not be where I am without him. He emptied both my home and our office, oversaw contractor progress, plus moved me umpteen times between apartments and home. Now we will both be able to better concentrate on real estate.

NAR: Existing-Home Sales Down 3.4% in April

The below article by Kerry Smith was posted yesterday on Florida Realtors. I find these articles worth the read since so often island buyers think the market here is like their market at home – wherever that may be. That usually is not true.

Even those that closely follow island real estate agree that Hurricane Ian may have caused a blip in our hot 2022 market, but more appreciation is right around the corner. I loved it when a client told me this week that he thinks home values will be up 10% in another 12 months.

Another said that the high interest rates must be affecting our sales. I bet the first prediction is correct, but I had to tell the second commenter that for decades most island buyers have paid cash. That is even more important when inventory is low and demand is high. Sellers are looking for “as is” cash contracts with strong deposits, no or few contingencies, and quick closings. Meanwhile, below is what is being reported nationally about recent sales:

“The U.S. inventory of for-sale homes grew a bit: 7.2% month-to-month. But it’s still only a 2.9-months’ supply – below the amount economists consider “balanced.”

“WASHINGTON – Existing-home sales decreased in April, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). All four major U.S. regions included in the report registered month-over-month and year-over-year sales declines.

“Total existing-home sales – completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops – slid 3.4% month-to-month for a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.28 million in April. Year-over-year, sales slumped 23.2%.

““Home sales are bouncing back and forth but remain above recent cyclical lows,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “The combination of job gains, limited inventory and fluctuating mortgage rates over the last several months have created an environment of push-pull housing demand.”

“Total housing inventory at the end of April was 1.04 million units, up 7.2% from March and 1.0% year-to-year. Unsold inventory sits at a 2.9-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 2.6 months in March and 2.2 months in April 2022.

“The median existing-home price for all housing types in April was $388,800, a 1.7% decline from April 2022 ($395,500). Prices rose in the Northeast and Midwest but fell in the South and West.

““Roughly half of the country is experiencing price gains,” Yun says. “Even in markets with lower prices, primarily the expensive West region, multiple-offer situations have returned in the spring buying season following the calmer winter market. Distressed and forced property sales are virtually nonexistent.”

“Properties typically remained on the market 22 days in April, down from 29 days in March but up from 17 days in April 2022. Three out of four (73%) homes sold in April were on the market for less than a month.

“April market characteristics

  • First-time buyers were almost one-third (29%) of the market in April, up from 28% in both March 2023 and April 2022.
  • All-cash sales accounted for 28% of transactions in April, up from 27% in March and 26% the previous year.
  • Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 17% of homes in April, a percentage unchanged either month-to-month or year-to-year.
  • Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – were 1% of sales in April, also unchanged month-to-month or year-to-year.

“According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.35% as of May 11 – down from 6.39% the previous week but up from 5.30% one year ago.

“Single-family and condo/co-op sales: Single-family home sales waned to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.85 million in April, down 3.5% from 3.99 million in March and 22.4% year-to-year.

“The median existing single-family home price was $393,300 in April, down 2.1% from April 2022.

Existing condominium and co-op sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 430,000 units in April, down 2.3% from March and 29.5% year-to-year.

“The median existing condo price was $348,000 in April, an annual increase of 0.7%.

“Regional breakdown: Existing-home sales in the Northeast receded 1.9% from March to an annual rate of 510,000 in April, down 23.9% year-to-year. The median price in the Northeast was $422,700, up 2.8% from the previous year.

“In the Midwest, existing-home sales declined 1.9% month-to-month to an annual rate of 1.02 million, and down 21.5% year-to-year. The median price in the Midwest was $287,300, up 1.8% from April 2022.

“Existing-home sales in the South decreased 3.4% from March to an annual rate of 1.98 million in April, a 20.2% decline from one year ago. The median price in the South was $357,900, down 0.6% year-to-year.

“In the West, existing-home sales slipped 6.1% from the previous month to an annual rate of 770,000 in April, down 31.3% year-to-year. The median price in the West was $578,200, down 8.0% year-to-year.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

Yesterday, I attended the monthly meeting of the local Association of Realtors© Professional Development Committee. Next week is our monthly general membership meeting where the speaker is Dr Brad O’Connor, Florida Realtors Chief Economist. I will have his local economic predictions to report after that presentation.

The Professional Development Committee is responsible for arranging the Association educational events, continuing education classes, and these meetings speakers. It was great to hear that Mayor Richard Johnson will be the presenter at our June meeting. Good plans for the rest of the year are in the works, including offering the 12 modules needed to earn our local designation (Sanibel and Captiva Islands Specialist). Most years, these classes are in the summer, but this year, they probably will be in late September/October which is when our Association Office spaces hope to be restored and ready for occupancy. (They twisted my arm to again teach the Resort & 2nd Home Module.)

In the meantime, the Association is very thankful that Midland Trust (on San Carlos Blvd, Fort Myers) and BIG ARTS (on Sanibel) are letting us to use their spaces for our offices/meetings/caravans.

Below with data from the island MLS (Multiple Listing Service) are updated summary tables of the residential sales statistics, plus the MLS action posted since last Friday.

Though 2023 is hardly typical, it is typical for sales to slack off this month, usually because many prospective buyers are otherwise busy with spring events at home, school activities and graduations. It also continues to be a problem for buyers wanting to come and stay on the island for just a few days to property search. A buyer I met with this week was a good 45 minutes away in a Ft Myers hotel. Fingers crossed we see more potential buyers here over the long Memorial Day weekend.

Commercial and condo recovery is slow, but I heard that accommodations managers are saying that by the end of the year they expect that 30% of their former inventory will be ready to rent. As I drove along the Gulf Drives yesterday and saw only a few complexes with workers, that seems a lofty goal, but I sure hope they are right. Tourism is so important to recovery. I noticed workers at Gulfside Place, Sanddollar, Sandpiper Beach, Sanibel Siesta, and Spanish Cay – plus a new sign at Sanibel Moorings went up today.

Sales Scoop

On the commercial side, several new real estate listings were posted this week:

  • 1149 Periwinkle Way, Suite #3, commercial condo $700K
  • 2000 Periwinkle Way, cottage real estate office, $949K
  • 1149 Periwinkle Way, Suite #2, commercial condo $1.349M
  • 1046/1048/1090 Periwinkle Way, site of Dairy Queen & 2 adjoining properties, $2M
  • 2400 Palm Ridge Rd, commercial/residential mix, formerly ReMax Center, $2.6M.

Also 1504 Periwinkle, former site of T-Shirt Hut, closed for $515K.



# Avg Price DOM # Avg Price DOM # Avg Price DOM
For sale 66 1,169,100 92 123 1,622,171 82 29 1,242,228 79
Under contract 13 993,223 61 40 1,422,401 71 4 603,500 13
Sold 2023 to 5/19 53 934,415 46 135 1,200,380 50 11 974.454 81
Sold 2022 123 1,136,199 44 185 1,602,745 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 12 1,627,500 67 8 6,037,500 111 1 15,500,000 419
Under contract 5 953,800 85 2 4,772,500 146 0 N/A N/A
Sold 2023 to 5/19 3 984,000 140 8 2,960,500 60 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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 12-19



1 new listing: Wedgewood #204 3/3.5 $2.998M.0

2 price changes: Sundial #D309 1/1 now $435K, Sundial #D312 1/1 now $447K.

2 new sales: Tennisplace #C32 2/1 listed at $529K, Loggerhead Cay #592 2/2 listed at $825K.

5 closed sales: Tennisplace #A22 2/1 $437.5K, Atrium #202 2/2 $1.05M, Sanctuary Golf Village 1 #5-5 2/2.5 $1.298M, Seascape #305 3/3 $1.995M, Gulfside Place #213 3/3 $2.3M.


11 new listings: 1683 Atlanta Plaza Dr 3/2 $519K, 586 Boulder Dr 3/2 $699K, 9421 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $769K, 1251 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $875K, 209 Daniel Dr 3/2 $1,199,900; 1245 Anhinga Ln 3/2 $1.299M, 1306 Par View Dr 3/3.5 $1.55M, 1720 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/3 $1.799M, 6129 Starling Way 3/2.5 $1.878M, 500 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3 $2.775M, 1511 Angel Dr 4/3 $2.999M.

8 price changes: 1242 Par View Dr 3/2 now $795K, 438 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 now $849K, 1171 Seagrape Ln duplex 3/3 now $999K, 1018 Demere Ln 4/3 now $1.099M, 251 Christofer Ct 3/2.5 now $1.199M, 1003 Fish Crow Rd 4/4 now $1.4M, 2540 Coconut Dr 4/3.5 now $1.495M, 5750 San-Cap Rd 3/2 now $1.75M.

1 back on market: 913 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 $1.595M.

6 new sales: 442 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $650K, 5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 listed at $999,999; 1163 Kittiwake Cir 3/3 listed at $1.15M. 1724 Bunting Ln 3/2.5 listed at $1.295M, 3251 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed at $1.315M, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 listed at $2.295M.

6 closed sales: 411 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 $740K, 1230 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $771K, 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 $950K, 1027 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 $1.32M, 657 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.57M, 640 Kinzie Island Ct 5/6.5 $2.975M.


1 new listing: 4646 Rue Bayou $995K.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: 6017 Clam Bayou $997,775; 6019 Clam Bayou $1,002,225.



1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5302 3/3 $995K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3113 1/1 listed at $519K.

No closed sales.


1 new listing: 15557 Captiva Dr 5/4 $4.995M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 1 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 listed at $3.55M.

1 closed sale: 11530 Chapin Ln 3/2 $2.335M.


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.

Enjoy your weekend,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan