As the Memorial Day weekend arrives, it is another sunny summer-like day on Sanibel with more of the same weather expected through the holiday (mid-80’s days, low 70’s nights). Islanders continue to anxiously await precipitation as inland communities and the East Coast have already seen the start of rainy season. This is the time of year when we often can see big white popcorn clouds across the bay on the mainland, but joke that they can’t afford the bridge toll to come to Sanibel.
Today, following lunch with a colleague at Rosalita’s (corner of Rabbit Rd and San-Cap), she said, “we’d better hurry, I think it’s going to rain.” There were a few drops on our vehicles, but from there, I took a leisurely drive along the Gulf Drives heading home looking for restoration progress at condos along the way. Other than a couple of brief sprinkles on the west end, there were no showers and nary a drop at my home on the east end.
Concerning activity at condo complexes, it was much the same as last week with workers noticed (mostly roofers) at only a few complexes including Sanddollar, Spanish Cay, Sundial East, Sunset South, Compass Point, Shorewood, Loggerhead Cay, Sanibel Arms West, and Sanibel Arms. For it being just 1 p.m. on a workday, I had hoped to see more action. It is becoming obvious that it will be many months before some of these communities are operational again. With it being the Friday of a holiday weekend, I also expected to see more vehicles on the roadways. Other than three debris removal vehicles, I saw only a handful of trucks/cars.
On a personal note, my second week back living on the island was even better than the first. As I continue to witness how slowly recovery continues for others, I am sooo thankful to be back home.
The Green Flash
Our server today at Rosailta’s looked familiar. When I asked, she said that she worked at The Green Flash for 25 years. That reminded me that I saw a post on social media this week about that Captiva restaurant. It says “Hello Flash Friends, It’s been a while for an update and we apologize we have been a little busy rabbit. We have heard the rumors and they are 100% false. We will be reopening. The roof has finally been repaired so we can start work on interior items. The date for the reopening will in mid/late September, we have picked a very special weekend to reopen for everyone. Stay tuned for more details and updates on progress of bringing the beloved Green Flash Restaurant back to life. Thank you to everyone that has reached out with love and support.”
The Community House
The Sanibel Community Association also posted a facility update this week. They divided their rebuilding into three phases and currently are working on completing Phase 1 which opens their doors again for meetings, classes, and small gatherings. Contractors also have begun Phase 2. (Phase 1: lobby, offices, bathrooms, and Islander Room; Phase 2: Great Hall, Community Room, kitchen; Phase 3: Founders Historical Room).
They have already announced that the Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva will be holding their weekly meetings at The Community House again beginning Friday, June 16. Jerry’s is partnering with them in providing breakfast for the meetings.
Also, beginning Monday, June 19, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the original Sanibel Island “Shellcrafters” will be there weekly. These Monday shell crafting classes are free. Participants just pay for supplies (usually between $5-10.) Items will also be for sale, with sales benefiting the operation of The Community House.
South Seas Island Resort
While the resort remains closed, it was announced that the Yacht Harbour Marina is open to dock and fuel up. It also offers ice, water, and snacks. Make reservations at 855-777-3625.
Tarpon Bay Explorers
The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Refuge recreation concession will be offering a 25% discount to any Lee County resident for kayak, stand-up paddleboard, and Hobie fishing kayak rentals June 1 through August 31. “We want people to experience the Refuge and all its beauty,” said Managing Partner Wendy Schnapp. “The bay is a new version of beauty. Though the mangroves are not as lush, the trail is peaceful, clear, and fully accessible. We still see great wildlife daily. Manatees are regularly in our harbor. We hope locals take advantage of the discount and support us, the Refuge, and the island in general.”
Current Tarpon Bay Explorer hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday (last rentals at 3 p.m.).
Risk Rating 2.0 Takes Effect: What to Know
If you have questions about the National Flood Insurance Program’s new pricing methodology, below is a recent update posted on-line from the National Association of Realtor’s Insurance Committee chair, Cyndee Haydon, who is from Tampa.
“Q: What Is Risk Rating 2.0? A: When developing flood insurance prices, the NFIP now rates each home individually—rather than by zone—using modern technologies, multiple flood risk variables and property-specific characteristics, including elevation, distance to water and cost to rebuild. A third of flood insurance policyholders are paying a full-risk rate while others are paying a subsidized rate that is gradually increasing to full risk over time. The new methodology does not affect flood mapping or the federal mandate to purchase flood insurance.
“What’s Happening Now? All NFIP policies have transitioned to Risk Rating 2.0 as of May 1, and there have been no reports of delays or disruptions to home sales. In fact, Risk Rating 2.0 can help real estate pros build trust with clients because it helps buyers understand the true actuarial rate over time before they purchase. The rollout of Risk Rating 2.0 has been surprisingly smooth, considering it’s the first major update to NFIP pricing in 50 years.
“Why Were These Changes Needed? After the passage of the Biggert-Waters Act in 2012, REALTORS® uncovered many problems with the previous flood insurance rating methodology, which had not been updated in a half-century. Risk Rating 2.0 was established as a result and provided much needed updates based on actuarial risk, science and common sense.
“Here’s one example: Under the old methodology, an NAR member was quoted an annual rate of $87,000 for flood insurance on a $300,000 home. NAR asked FEMA and independent actuaries how the rate could be so high for the property, a modest home that never flooded, and no one could explain it. Under Risk Rating 2.0, FEMA now uses science to cap the maximum possible NFIP rate at $12,125 per year, which only a few high-value, high-risk property owners would pay. For that same $300,000 home, flood insurance now costs only $1,247 under the new rating system.
“Because pricing in the old methodology was based on national flood zones, older and low-value properties subsidized new, high-value properties. NAR’s Insurance Committee collaborated with FEMA and funded an independent actuarial study to help propose a solution. As a result, Risk Rating 2.0 ensures that each property owner pays for only their own individual risk and no one else’s.
“Risk Rating 2.0 also provides consumers with full disclosure on flood insurance rates. After the Biggert-Waters Act, I helped clients whose rates jumped over $10,000—and they were required to pay it in one lump sum after buying a home. Believe me, you don’t ever want to have to take calls like this from former clients. I didn’t sleep until Congress rolled back and put the rates on a glidepath with the Flood Affordability Act of 2014, which, unfortunately, was only a temporary measure. Risk Rating 2.0 provides a permanent solution, giving new NFIP policyholders the science-based, actuarially sound, full-risk flood insurance rates upfront before they purchase.
“Why Do Some Say NFIP Rates Have Doubled or Tripled? Rates have not doubled or tripled anywhere in the United States. Some media reports are taking out of context a FEMA projection of what the average full risk rate might look like given today’s conditions. However, those are not actual rates paid by two-thirds of policyholders, and by law, rates cannot increase more than 18% per year. Also, flood risk is dynamic: Many factors can impact the current projection, including future changes in climate, inflation and the policyholder population. What FEMA data shows is: 1) most policyholders are not paying a full-risk rate and 2) it will take at least five to 10 years before they do if all things stay the same.
Now that Risk Rating 2.0 is in place, NAR’s Insurance Committee is turning its attention to other priorities, including:
- NFIP reauthorization.Congress has passed two dozen short-term extensions while continuing to debate meaningful, bipartisan reforms for accurate mapping, affordability through risk mitigation and private flood insurance options. REALTORS® are urging Congress to pass a long-term reform and reauthorization measure that brings stability to real estate markets.
- Climate financial risk.Risk Rating 2.0 is only one example of a federal agency complying with an executive order to underwrite climate risk. Other federal agencies are currently evaluating their exposure to climate risk, which could have significant implications for federal mortgage loan programs, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
- Hazard Insurance.Most insurance policies cover typical disasters except floods and earthquakes. Rising costs are the number one insurance-related issue in many states, including Florida and Louisiana, and NAR’s Insurance Committee is working to develop a handbook to educate consumers.”
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors
Yesterday, at the monthly meeting of the local Association of Realtors©, Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr Brad O’Connor provided a Residential Market Update for Lee County. Though not specific to just the islands, he said that the county has seen many of the same trends as the state overall.
For example, what is bolstering home buyer demand? Florida still is a hot place to be right now but in-migration probably is slowing somewhat. Florida is an ideal location for “untethered” remote workers. In Florida, housing overall is more affordable and spacious relative to Northeast and West Coast and job growth is solid.
Looking at population, Florida has experienced an increase of over 400K+ residents in a single year, with Florida 2nd only to Texas in growth. That’s over 1,100 new residents per day.
Out-of-state driver’s license exchange statistics continue to show that most new Lee County residents come from New York, followed by Illinois and Ohio, then New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and California.
The median price of closed existing home sales was up 55% in April 2023 compared to 2020, down just a little from the same month last year.
Below with data from the island MLS (Multiple Listing Service) are updated summary tables of the residential sales statistics specific to the islands and the action posted since last Friday in the MLS. There was little sales action this week, with just two Sanibel homes under contract and one Captiva condo. As mentioned before, that slowdown is usual for this time of the year before summer vacations begin.
|#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM|
|Sold 2023 to 5/26||56||956,142||46||140||1,194,345||51||11||974.454||81|
|#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM|
|Sold 2023 to 5/26||4||1,100,500||121||8||2,960,500||60||0||N/A||N/A|
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 19-26
1 new listing: Heron at The Sanctuary 1 #2A 2/2.5 $1.14M.
1 price change: Lighthouse Point #232 3/2 now $929K.
No new sales.
2 closed sales: Blind Pass #B208 2/2 $590K, Snug Harbor #121 3/2 $1.65M.
4 new listings: 1643 Bunting Ln 2/2 $799K, 1241 Par View Dr 3/2 $799.5K, 754 & 756 Donax St duplex 4/2 $1.249M, 1067 Sand Castle Rd 4/2 $1.395M.
7 price changes: 1399 Albatross Rd 3/2 now $714K, 228 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 $995K, 425 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $1.19M, 235 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $1.355M, 1202 Sand Castle Rd 4/2.5 $1.629M, 896 Limpet Dr 3/3 now $2.15M, 963 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 now $2.299M.
2 back on market: 4752 Rue Helene 2/2 $699K, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 $2.295M.
2 new sales: 1105 Skiff Pl 3/2 listed at $895K, 5294 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 listed at $1.379M.
5 closed sales: 465 Lake Murex Cir 2/2.5 $645K, 1526 Bunting Ln 5/3 $690K, 1300 Par View Dr 3/2 $1.075M, 926 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $1.35M, 1224 Buttonwood Ln 3/2.5 $1.425M.
3 new listings: 1653 Bunting Ln $499K, 711 Cardium St $649.9K, 2651 Coconut Dr 1.395M.
No price changes, new, or closed sales.
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5302 3/3 $995K.
1 closed sale: Beach Cottages #1411 3/2 $1.45M.
2 new listings: 17170 Captiva Dr 2/2 $3.25M, 11535 Murmond Ln 3/3.5 $3.495M.
No price changes, new 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.
Enjoy your weekend,
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan