Record Number of Sea Turtle Nests

Last week, we reported that the number of Sanibel home sale closings for 2023 already exceed the total number reported in all of 2022.

Record Number of Sea Turtle Nests

Loggerhead sea turtle

This week, the big record is with sea turtle nests. As of July 26, SCCF (Sanibel & Captiva Conservation Foundation) Turtle Patrol reports that 1,171 sea turtle nests have been laid on the islands this year, compared to 760 in 2022. Already, 8,482 hatchlings have emerged and made their way to the Gulf. Most of these nests are loggerhead turtles, but the islands usually also have a few green turtle nests, with higher green nest counts every other year. This year, 23 green sea turtle nests have been recorded so far.

Green sea turtle

Each species possesses unique characteristics. Here are some of the differences between loggerhead and green sea turtles (gleaned from “SCCF News” posted July 26):

Tracks – These differences can be distinct. Loggerheads crawl with an alternating gait, using their right and left front and rear flippers separately, which leaves asymmetrical marks in the sand. Alternatively, green turtles crawl using their left and right flippers simultaneously, producing a track with symmetrical flipper marks. Green turtles tails also typically cause a drag mark through the center of the crawl markings, while loggerhead tails usually don’t. Green turtles also tend to be larger than loggerheads, so their tracks are wider. A green turtle crawl markings may be 3 to 4.5’ wide, while a loggerhead crawl is usually less, around 2.5 to 4’ wide.

Nests – Compared to loggerheads, a green turtle nest is much larger and they disturb a larger area of sand during the nesting process and spend a long time covering and camouflaging the nest, throwing large amounts of sand and digging a secondary body pit after laying. Loggerhead nests, by comparison, are smaller.

Head Sizes – Loggerheads are aptly named with their large bulky heads equipped with powerful jaws. Green turtles have much smaller heads, especially in proportion to their body size. Green turtles are named because their fat tissue has a green tint due to their mostly herbivorous diet.

Nest Timing – In Florida, loggerhead nesting season starts in April and usually winds down by the end of August, while green turtle nesting season typically runs from June through September.

Please remember to turn off beachfront lights after 9 p.m., fill in holes, level sandcastles, pick up trash and furniture, and respect posted nesting areas. SCCF Sea Turtle Hotline is 978-728-3663.

City 50th Anniversary Plans, No Luminary This Year

Many have asked if the islands will be having their annual Luminary events this year which usually occur on the first Friday in December on Sanibel, and the first Saturday on Captiva. The short answer is “no”, but In partnership with the City and other island organizations, the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce has taken the lead in planning a 13-month celebration of Sanibel’s 50th anniversary. That anniversary is November 5, 2024.

With hurricane recovery efforts still underway, many businesses often open for Luminary events may not be ready this year.

So, with Sanibel’s 1974 incorporation falling in November, plans are in the works for a special 13-month celebration that will kick-off on that anniversary and continue until what would normally be Luminary 2025. To that end, the traditional Luminary for 2023 has been postponed.

The Chamber plan is that all island events between November 5, 2024, and December 6, 2025, will be co-branded with the 50th anniversary celebration. By then, more restoration and recovery will be complete, more businesses back open and more property owners will have returned. Stay tuned. I bet it will be special!

30-Year Mortgage Rates Head Back Up, Hit 6.81%

After hearing about the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates moving closer to 7%. I quizzed David Wright, Senior Vice President of Residential Mortgage Lending at the Sanibel & Captiva Community Bank. He was at our Association of Realtors membership meeting yesterday. With most island sales contracts being cash, it was a surprise to hear him say that this year is likely going to set records for them. He said they are doing plenty of mortgages, including for damaged property needing construction loans.

So even though the average long-term U.S. mortgage rate ticked back up this week, you can bet if I have a client needing a loan, I will continue to suggest calling David or another of our Association Affiliate Members. I have done business with the SanCap Bank since they opened 20+years ago and they have always exceeded expectations. (It’s also great to have them back open on Sanibel, including the drive-thru.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Real Estate

The July membership meeting of the islands Association of Realtors was held yesterday morning at the Midland Trust building in Fort Myers, where our Association offices have made their temporary home while their island office building is under restoration.

Speaker Theresa Knower who heads Midland’s 1031 division, provided a refresher overview of the 1031 tax-deferred exchange process. Following that was info on self-directed IRA’s.

The Caravan that followed the meeting included three Sanibel homes and one on Captiva within South Seas Resort. This gave teammate Dave and I a great opportunity to see the progress at the resort. It really is amazing how little damage some northern areas received from the hurricane.

At Lands End looking over Red Fish Pass to North Captiva Island

At Lands End (Captiva’s north end) some repairs and roof work were underway, but the landscaping was beautiful in many areas. As we crossed the long stretch of the resort that has mangroves on either side of the road, I remember thinking that the damage to those looked worse after Charley.

Golf course at South Seas Resort under construction.

The golf course at South Seas is under construction and many resort properties are undergoing restoration, but the damage, particularly at the condos and timeshares appears to be much less than on Sanibel.

Crossing the bridge at Blind Pass coming back onto Sanibel, we noticed the sandbar making its way across the channel which is nearly closed. It was a bit overcast, so the beach was not overly busy.

From Captiva side of the bridge overlooking Blind Pass to Sanibel

Below with data from the islands MLS (Multiple Listing Service) are updated summary tables of the residential sales statistics, followed by the island MLS action this week.

On the commercial side, the real estate at 2359 Periwinkle Way (formerly home of CJ’s Swimwear) was listed for $1.29M.



# Avg Price DOM # Avg Price DOM # Avg Price DOM
For sale 60 1,118,980 126 89 1,587,345 98 27 972,755 136
Under contract 6 1,306,500 116 26 1,434,265 106 7 956,857 34
Sold 2023 to 7/28 68 919,824 53 190 1,228,062 61 16 922,593 79
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 17 1,650,647 93 12 7,206,583 95 0 N/A N/A
Under contract 2 438,500 27 2 2,795,000 72 0 N/A N/A
Sold 2023 to 7/28 9 941,333 117 12 2,865,250 71 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 July 21-28



1 new listing: Sandals #B 3/3 $900K.

3 price changes: Lighthouse Point #232 3/2 now $889K, Gulfside Place #204 2/2 now $1.35M, Gulfside Place #208 2/2 now $1,370,555.

No new or closed sales.


1 new listings: 313 Palm Lake Dr 3/3 $799K.

3 price changes: 1377 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $724,999; 1835 Farm Tr 3/2 now $799K, 2255 Troon Ct 4/5.5.5 $3.395M.

2 back on market: 1578 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $995K, 1297 Par View Dr 3/2 $1,249,900.

3 new sales: 530 Piedmont Rd 3/2 listed at $549K, 951 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $629K, 6401 Pine Ave 4/3.5 listed at $4.195M.

2 closed sales: 3205 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $1.1M, 913 Kings Crown Dr 4//3 $1.3M.


No new listings.

1 price change: 2505 Island Inn Rd now $345K.

No new or closed sales.



Nothing to report.


1 new listing: 11517 Wightman Ln 4/3 $3.45M.

No price reductions, 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