Another Friday is here along with the arrival of summer and the longest day of the year. Often daily showers continue off-island while they have been only occasionally on the islands.
I have stopped at Lighthouse Beach several times since it reopened last Friday. It is nice to be able to go there again after the nearly 9-month closure. With many beachfront trees lost in the storm, it sure is easy now to see what is happening on the beach and in the gulf. Many are enjoying it.
Teammate Dave and I both worked with buyers this week, while he also checked our listings today. Challenges continue with few places for visitors to stay if they want to come and view property. Homes continue to sell well, while slow condominium recovery hampers those sales, but progress continues. Every day there is more.
This morning, I had roofers, electricians, and drywall installers at my home as punch list items got accomplished. Fingers crossed that I get some new landscaping next. I’m on a mission to find another bougainvillea tree like this.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors
Yesterday, at the June Membership Meeting of the Association of Realtors, Mayor Richard Johnson provided attendees with a summary of the progress the City has made since Hurricane Ian, followed by a discussion of the upcoming budget.
One interesting tidbit is that in past years the City of Sanibel has asked the state for financial assistance usually to the tune of less than $1M, occasionally a little more. This year, Sanibel’s request for state funding was more than the entire City $83M+budget. The good news is that the full amount requested was included in the appropriations in the state budget that Governor DeSantis signed last week.
Though the Lee County Tax Appraiser has indicated a reduction in island property values which will affect those tax revenue dollars, Sanibel is in good financial shape with budget planning meetings underway. Credit given to City Council and City staff led by City Manager Dana Souza and Deputy Manager (& Chief Financial Officer) Steve Chaipel.
A caravan tour of five just-listed Sanibel homes followed the meeting. The next caravan is in two weeks.
Governor Signs 2023-2024 State Budget
Last Friday, Florida Realtors Vice President of Public Policy, Andy Gonzalez, posted a nice recap about Florida’s budget:
“Governor DeSantis signed the state budget for Fiscal Year 2023–24 yesterday. He is calling it the Framework for Freedom Budget and it includes a variety of priorities advocated for this session by Florida Realtors. The Framework for Freedom Budget totals $116.5 billion. Florida maintains healthy reserves at the end of the fiscal year, totaling more than $15.3 billion. Florida has maintained record levels of reserves while continuing to make historic investments in education, public safety, infrastructure, and the environment. To maintain Florida’s sound fiscal standing in the face of continued economic headwinds, Governor DeSantis vetoed $510.9 million.
“Water Quality – The budget includes more than $694 million for Everglades restoration projects, including:
- $356.5 million for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).
- $64 million for the EAA Reservoir to continue the momentum of this critical project to reduce harmful discharges and help send more clean water south of the Everglades.
- $50 million is included for specific project components designed to achieve the greatest reductions in harmful discharges to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries as identified in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan Lake Okeechobee Watershed Restoration Project Draft Integrated Project Implementation Report and Environmental Impact Statement dated August 2020.
- $96.1 million is included for the Northern Everglades and Estuaries Protection Program.
“The budget also includes $796 million for targeted water quality improvements to achieve significant, meaningful, and measurable nutrient reductions in key waterbodies across the state and to implement the initial recommendations of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force.
“On top of the investment in targeted water quality improvements, the budget includes $50 million to restore Florida’s world-renowned springs; $85 million for the continued stabilization, water treatment, and closure at Piney Point; and a $59 million investment to improve water quality and combat the effects and impacts of harmful algal blooms, including blue-green algae and red tide.
“Additionally, the budget funds $1 billion to protect our prized properties and waterways, including $850 million for lands within the Florida Wildlife Corridor and $100 million for the Florida Forever Program to support land conservation and recreation.
“Economic Development – The Framework for Freedom Budget invests $4 billion for a bold new initiative to address the challenge of congestion on Florida’s highways and roads that is the inevitable result of our state’s historic growth. The Moving Florida Forward Initiative will accelerate the development and completion of transportation projects to provide additional highway and road capacity to meet the needs of Florida’s ever-growing economy and population.
“The budget includes $14.8 billion for the Florida Department of Transportation to retain current employees and supports the creation of more than 254,000 jobs. Of this total, $13.9 billion is provided for the State Transportation Work Program, an ongoing five-year plan for the implementation and completion of transportation infrastructure projects, including the construction and maintenance of Florida’s roads, bridges, rails, seaports, and other public transportation systems that grow the state’s economy and improve the quality of life for our citizens.
“Additionally, budget includes $75 million to support the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, which helps fund projects that support public infrastructure and expand workforce education opportunities.
To further support Florida’s rural communities, the budget includes $25 million for the Rural Infrastructure Fund to help rural communities expand necessary infrastructure. Additionally, the budget includes $100 million to help small and rural communities expand access to broadband Internet.
For budget highlights, click here.
To read the veto list, click here.
To read the veto messages, click here.”
Lee County Board of County Commissioners Meeting
Here is SCCF’s recent post: “Dear Friends of Captiva and Sanibel Islands:
“This morning, Tuesday, June 20, three senior staff from Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation delivered testimony to the Lee County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) regarding the proposed controversial amendments to Lee County’s Land Development Code that would benefit South Seas Island Resort (SSIR) on Captiva Island. These requested amendments would significantly increase building height and allow only SSIR to request increased density through a zoning change. These amendments have been proposed without stakeholder input from the Captiva or Sanibel communities.
“Following public comment on a motion for a 90-day continuance, the BOCC voted to hold a public hearing on the matter at the Sept. 5 board meeting. The continuance also applies to tomorrow’s public hearing, which will be held on Sept. 6. Chairman Brian Hamman also requested that the county attorney separate out components of the proposed changes to the Land Development Code that would achieve resilience across Lee County from those that would only benefit SSIR.
“SCCF COMMENTS: CEO James Evans thanked the commissioners for taking more time to assess the proposed changes and noted, “We would really like to see a full staff analysis of the impacts of the Land Development Code changes on the communities affected that would include a traffic study, evacuation plans as it relates to hurricanes and impacts to the infrastructure.”
“SCCF Coastal Resilience Manager Carrie Schuman, Ph.D., added that “there is so much at stake for these two very vulnerable barrier islands if we don’t do this right. We need to take the time to have proper stakeholder input, and to really pursue the correct resilience process that makes sense for both our islands.”
“Finally, SCCF Environmental Policy Director Matt DePaolis explained that having time to look at this issue is highly important because the stakeholders that reside in these communities are the “people who understand how important our environment is to our way of life — that our natural environment protects us from these storms and drives our tourism-based economy, bringing people…to enjoy our beaches, our fisheries, and our waters.””
Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) reported this week that least terns have nested on the Sanibel Causeway Islands for the first time since 1993! These state-threatened seabirds were likely attracted to the open, sandy areas created by Hurricane Ian reconstruction. Once SCCF noticed the terns, they worked with Lee County, the Florida Department of Transportation, and MyFWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife) to protect the area around the colony as essential bridge repairs continue.
While the birds haven’t been spotted recently, the fact they made an appearance shows they still come to this region and seek suitable nesting habitat.
Least terns nest in groups, which allows them to collaborate to find food and deter predators. Their historical attempts to nest on the Causeway often failed due to traffic and summer storms that washed away nests. In addition to their return to the Causeway, nesting least terns have been spotted on the west end of Sanibel and Captiva for the first time in over a decade.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Real Estate
Below with data from the island MLS (Multiple Listing Service) are updated summary tables of the residential sales statistics. After that is the activity posted in the MLS since last Friday.
As we get closer to wrapping up the first half of the year, it is astounding how many communities have had more homes sell in 2023 than in all of 2022 – which also experienced a hot market – at least until September 28. The following subdivisions already have had more homes sell than last year: Chateau Sur Mer, Dunes, Gulf Pines, Gulf Shores, Gumbo Limbo, Kinzie Island, Lake Murex, Palm Lake, Sanibel Estates, Sanibel Isles, Sanibel Lake Estates, Sanibel River Estates, Sanibel Shores, Sea Oats, Seagull Estates, Shell Harbor, and Tradewinds.
On the commercial side, the buildings known as ReMax Center of the Islands, formerly Palm Ridge Plaza at 2400 Palm Ridge Rd, listed for $2.6M, went under contract this week.
|#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM|
|Sold 2023 to 6/23||63||931,793||52||164||1,227,706||58||14||939,035||82|
|#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM|
|Sold 2023 to 6/23||7||1,001,714||91||9||2,798,222||55||0||N/A||N/A|
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 16-23
2 new listings: Sanibel Siiesta #501 2/2 $829K, Loggerhead Cay #174 2/2 $929K.
No price changes.
2 new sales: Sundial #I105 1/1 listed at $374.9K, Sundial #I104 1/1 listed at $519K.
1 closed sale: Seashells #16 2/2 $423K.
4 new listings: 220 Palm Lake Dr 3/3 $1.239M, 6460 Pine Ave 3/2 $1.25M, 1550 Sand Castle Rd 3/3.5 $1.499M, 3744 West Gulf Dr 4/4 $2.189M.
1 back on market: 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $3.595M.
8 price changes: 1448 Albatross Rd 3/2 now $849K, 1160 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 now $949K, 566 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $1.395M, 1517 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 now $1.895M, 963 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 now $1.995M, 1318 Seaspray Ln 5/3.5 now $2.995M, 2969 Wulfert Rd 6/6.5.5 now $3.499M, 1175 Bird Ln 4/3.5 now $4.25M.
10 new sales: 1859 Farm Tr 3/3 listed at $599.9K, 1811 Ibis Ln 2/2 listed at $630K, 1284 Par View Dr 2/2 listed at $699K, 586 Boulder Dr 3/2 listed at $699K, 3924 West Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $949K, 209 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed at $1,199,900; 1003 Fish Crow Rd 4/4 listed at $1.4M, 913 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 listed at $1.595M, 915 Pecten Ct 4/5 listed at $2.389M, 3635 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 listed at $4.95M.
5 closed sales: 1937 Roseate Ln 2/2 $415K, 1046 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $800K, 1332 Sand Castle Rd 32 $850K, 940 Beach Rd 4/4.5.5 $2.8M, 3635 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $4.95M.
No new listings.
1 price change: 1331 Par View Dr now $549K.
1 back on market: 5116 Sea Bell Rd $335K.
No new sales.
2 closed sales: 9268 Belding Dr $427.5K, 1872 Middle Gulf Dr $750K.
1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3129 1/1 $479.9K
1 price change: Tennis Villas #3119 1/1 now $478K
No new sales.
2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3138 2/2 $725K, Beach Villas #2417 1/1 $735K.
No new listings.
1 price change: 16321 Captiva Dr 5/4 now $3.95M.
1 new sale: 11511 Laika Ln 3/2 listed at $2.095M.
No 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