About SanibelSusan

Real Estate Broker, Realtor Owner at SanibelSusan Realty Associates NAR Hall of Fame, C2EX (Commitment to Excellence) Endorsed Former President Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors Florida Honor Society member since 1998, Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors Honor Society member since 1993 Designations: Eco-Broker Certified, e-PRO, TRC (Transnational Referral Certified), SCIS (Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist), RSPS (Resort & 2nd-Home Property Specialist)

Sanibel & Captiva Sunshine, Real Estate, Property Values, Climate Control, & More…

The wonderful sunny Sanibel/Captiva weather continues, and it was another good week for SanibelSusan with in/out repair surgery yesterday on my torn meniscus. Amazing how the fix-up was quick and easy at Orthopedic Specialists of SW FL Center for Specialized Surgery, followed by PT this morning at Island Therapy (right next door to SanibelSusan Realty). Highly recommend both facilities as I am already back at work and on to real estate news.

At Sanibel Susan Realty

Tues, pre-surgery, I taught the Resort & 2nd-Home Module of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist Designation at the islands’ Association of Realtors®. With attendees both in person & via Zoom, it was fun to again have a live audience. (Last year, with COVID, it was only offered via Zoom.) Thanks to all who participated & Association staff, CEO Bill Robinson & Education Director Megan Rose, who made it easy. It was great to have a mix of newbies, long-time Realtors, all island-lovers with different life stories, yet eager to keep learning. Their input makes teaching fun!

Our office condo listing (White Sands #23) closed yesterday. Thanks to Realtor Kate Helman who sold this and recently another of our condo listings. Her excellent follow-up is appreciated. Great efforts also from David Wright & his crew at Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank, Cameron Anholt at Royal Shell Vacation Rentals, Patience Rodriguez at Select Vacation Properties, Michelle Landl at Knight Barry Title, Carol McCarley at Noak & Company CPA, and teammates Dave, Elise, and Lisa. Like with a knee, a real estate transaction can take a village. Teamwork makes the dream work!

After a couple of other news items below is the action this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

High Flood-Risk Homes Sell for More Than Low-Risk

Posted Wed on FloridaRealtors, by Kerry Smith: “SEATTLE – A study of flood-risk and home values suggests that concerns over climate change haven’t affected the value of property that’s located in a high-risk flood zone. It appears to be true even though consumers have greater access to flooding information via online listing advertising websites.

“In the first quarter of 2021, the median sale price of homes with high flood risk was $402,010, compared with $353,783 for homes with low flood risk, according to a new report from Redfin. That means high-risk homes sold for a record 13.6% premium – up from a premium of 10.1% in the first quarter of 2020 and up from a premium of 7.2% in the first quarter of 2019.

“Since 2013, homes with a high flood risk have sold, on average, for about 7% more than homes with low flood risk, likely because many of them are luxury waterfront properties. That premium surged during the coronavirus pandemic when many wealthy homebuyers started eyeing oceanfront or lakefront houses outside of major cities.

“”Americans are buying the beach houses they always dreamed of because they have the flexibility to work from wherever they want,” says Redfin Senior Economist Sheharyar Bokhari. “While flood risk is intensifying in many parts of the country, it doesn’t seem to be a deal breaker for a lot of homebuyers. This may be because buyers aren’t aware they’re purchasing a home in a flood plain or just don’t view it as an immediate danger. Places with high flood risk are also often home to large concentrations of retirees, many of whom don’t see climate change as a threat they need to worry about in their lifetime. Florida is one example.”

“Redfin and other real estate websites have started sharing property-level flood risk data online to help house hunters determine if the homes they’re interested in are located in flood plains and whether they should purchase flood insurance.

“Places prone to flooding are also seeing stronger growth in home sales. Sales of high-flood-risk homes rose 18.6% year over year in the first quarter – about double the 9.6% gain in sales of low-flood-risk homes.

“In Jacksonville, homebuyers often inquire about flood risk, but it virtually never causes them to back out, says local Redfin real estate agent Heather Kruayai. Jacksonville has two waterways running through it, and about 43,000 properties have a high flood risk, according to First Street Foundation’s Flood Factor. “If you buy a home on the water in Florida, flooding is just something that comes with the territory. Most buyers understand that,” Kruayai says. “A lot of out-of-state buyers have been moving here during the pandemic and purchasing waterfront properties, but there are also locals looking for space to spread out because the city has become so congested.” Kruayai says that flood risk isn’t even a strong negotiating factor if buyers hope to snag a lower price. “Even if you wanted to … you’d have a tough time because we’re in such a hot seller’s market.”

“Low-risk flood-zone homes do have one price advantage, however. Prices have gone up for all homes regardless of flood risk, but homes in low-risk zones are more likely to finalize a price higher than the owner’s asking price.

In the first quarter of 2021, 47.2% of low-flood-risk homes sold for more than their list price, compared with 37.4% of high-flood-risk homes. That 9.8-percentage-point gap is the largest on records dating back to 2013.

Overall, properties with low flood risk typically cost less than properties with high risk because they’re less likely to be on the beach or have any kind of waterfront view, Bokhari explained. Because low-risk properties are more affordable, they also face more competition, which means buyers are more likely to bid up the prices.”

Estimated Island Taxable Property Values Up 

Early preliminary property tax values for Sanibel and Captiva have increased over 2020 according to an article posted in the Jun 9, 2021 “Islander”. It says, “The Lee County Property Appraiser’s Office released its estimated tax roll values on Jun 3, which indicate a 2,57% increase for the city of Sanibel and a 6.3% increase for Captiva as part of unincorporated Lee County. The official numbers will come out by July 1, then will be sent to Tallahassee for approval…” (Betcha those numbers next month are higher.)

Working Group Seeks To Make Sanibel a Model in Climate Policy

Also, in this week’s “Islander”: “On May 21, Lee County Chapter of the Climate Reality Project co-founder Bob Moore and Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Environmental Policy Director James Evans hosted the first meeting of the Renewable Energy Working Group, according to SCCF.

“The meeting brought together a collection of civic leaders, businesspeople, climate activists, and educators to discuss opportunities to address climate change through renewable energy policies. “The aim of this group is to make Sanibel a model for climate policy, similar to the way the Sanibel Plan has been a model for sustainable community development,” Evans said…. “By combining efforts across Charlotte, Lee, and Collier counties, we will be able to capitalize on the expertise of … members and educate a wider range….”, Evans said.” Stay tuned.

Olivia McMurray Goes to Olympic Trials

Shout-out to island Realtor Mike McMurray and family, especially daughter Olivia who travels to Nebraska next week for the U.S. swimming trials for the Olympics. Olivia is a 2021 graduate of Fort Myers High School and eight-time Florida state high school champion. She will compete in six swim events with hopes of securing a spot if not in the next Olympics in Tokyo, perhaps the one after in Paris. Whatever the outcome, Olivia already is a success and her friends in SW FL are rooting for her and her proud family. 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 4-11, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Mariner Pointe #323 2/2.5 $549K, Coquina Beach #2B 2/2 $595K, Sanibel Inn #3511 2/2 $695K, Pointe Santo #A26 2/2 $1.35M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Gulfside Place #124 2/2 listed at $1.385M.

8 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #1/1 $335K, Sundial #C409 1/1 $485K, Sandpebble #1D 2/2 $540K, Sanibel Arms West #I2 2/2 $599K, Sundial #C303 2/2 $690K, Pointe Santo #E3 2/2 $787K, Sanddollar #B101 2/2 $1.05M, White Sands #23 2/2 $1.05M (our listing).

HOMES

5 new listings: 1826 Farm Trl 3/2 $849K, 633 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 $1.299M, 917 Pepper Tree Pl 4/3 $1.349M, 737 Periwinkle Way 3/3 $2.3M, 856 Limpet Dr 4/2.5 $2.45M.

2 price changes: 4506 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $819K, 1146 Golden Olive Ct 5/4 now $3.099M.

7 new sales: 1737 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $635K, 1376 Jamaica Dr 2/2 listed at $699K, 4505 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/3 listed at $729K, 1371 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed at $839K, 1025 S. Yachtsman Dr 3/1.5 listed at $850K, 1426 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $1.15M, 1218 Ferry Rd 3/2 listed at $1.23M

7 closed sales: 3031 Poinciana Cir 3/3 $690K, 9456 Beverly Ln 3/2 $735K, 1186 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $835K, 1117 Captains Walk St 2/2 $857K, 1743 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 $1.35M, 9445 Beverly Ln 4/3 $1.43M, 950 Victoria Way 4/4 $2.06M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 5648 Baltusrol Ct now $338.9K.

No new sales.

4 closed sales: 971 Main St $200K, 9056 Mockingbird Dr $349K, 6505 Pine Ave $675K, 6519 Pine Ave $725K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2214 2/2 $752.5K.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 11540 Laika Ln 2/2.5 now $1.525M, 11559 Laika Ln now $7.5M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 41 Oster Ct 2/2.5 $1.03M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: with contingencies: 16970 Captiva Dr listed at $4.25M.

No closed sales.

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.

Roseate spoonbills

Until next Friday, I hope your life is rosy too!

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Island June = Raindrops & More Bunnies

SanibelSusan reporting that the good news this week is that the rainy season has begun in SW Florida. Not that we like to see a lot of run-off which in years past has affected local water quality, but the island bunnies which I love – like it when tropical vegetation is green and lush, not yellow and crunchy. It was great to see several of these little critters out enjoying my lawn Thurs morning after our first “big” rain Wed night.

The island real estate world has been quiet even through the holiday weekend. The action over the last seven days posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service is after a couple of news items below. Not much is happening. Total available Sanibel inventory is 57 properties (condos, homes, lots) while Captiva has 19 available.

Here at SanibelSusan Realty, teammate Dave returns to the office Mon, while I now have a plan of action for my sore knee with a quick surgical procedure scheduled next week to repair a torn meniscus. How handy is it that Island Therapy is right next door to my office? I am all set to be up and running again soon, while teammate Elise has been the glue that has kept us together this week, with teammate Lisa on Sat.

CROW Wildlife Walks & Daily Presentations Return

This week CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) announced that Wildlife Walk guided hospital tours and daily presentations are back. The guided hospital tours provide an opportunity for visitors to get an in-depth look into the inner workings of CROW’s hospital and the treatment process of over 5,000 wildlife patients each year. The 1-1/2-hour program has two parts: the daily presentation in the AWC Visitor Education Center followed by a guided tour through treatment areas of the hospital. Up-close encounters with Animal Ambassadors are included along the way. These tours resumed Jun 1 and will be offered Mon through Fri at 12:30 p.m. At all times, masks must be worn. Each tour is limited to eight people and advance registration is required. Program cost is $25 per person and includes General Admission to the AWC Visitor Education Center and the daily presentation. The program is open to all, but not recommended for children under the age of 13. Tours are subject to modification or cancellation based on animals being treated.

Free Summer Tours at The Refuge

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel will offer free summer tours from Jun 20 through Aug 7. There is no set schedule, so monitor the refuge’s Eventbrite page at https://www.eventbrite.com/o/jn-ding-darling-nwr-32246304043 to see what staff and volunteers are offering each week and to sign up for tours such as Birding the Refuge, car caravan tour, Mindfulness Walk at Bailey Tract, Bike Tour and Beach Walk.

Faces of Change

It was great to see a friendly face on the cover of the May-June Issue of Realtor® Magazine. It was none other than a Florida Realtors® Audition Panel colleague, Adam Gurske from Matchmaker Realty of Alachua County which is in Gainesville. He is one of the young real estate practitioners selected for the 2021 Class of 30 Under 30 for their resilience and adaptability during rapidly changing conditions that have forced a quick rethinking of business practices. “Adaptability is one trait that Adam’s ten years in the business have helped him hone. His Mom has been the area’s association executive for 30 years, so Adam has grown up in the business. At 29, he is active in his local association, a longtime board member of a local nonprofit that is dedicated to helping homeless families, all while being a multi-million $ producer with 28 transaction sides last year. If you ever need real estate assistance in Gainesville, I encourage you to contact Adam, and mention SanibelSusan. He is a solid hardworking smart young man.

14-Day Rental Rule

Good advice in the recent RSPS (Resort & 2nd-Home Specialist) Newsletter: “With the interest in vacation rentals rising across the U.S., owners of second homes may be tempted to make that property available for rent. There are certain tax implications (and possible deductions) that are determined by the use of the second property as well as the length of time the property is rented out. Anyone interested should consult with a tax professional before proceeding.” (Click here for a link to IRS Topic 415 Renting Residential and Vacation Property.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist Designation

Speaking of RSPS (Resort & 2nd-Home Specialist), this week I updated that module for the islands specialist designation classes that are offered annually by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®. Earning the designation requires completion of 12 modules including this one. It was 2012 when I prepared that class for the first time. Time flies. Was not as much fun last year to teach it via Zoom. The class interaction, where we share experiences and advice, is the fun part. Wish me luck on Tuesday as I teach for the 9th year.

SCCF Update – Periwinkle Wetlands Restoration Project Begins Next Week

Here is the latest, right from the Conservation Foundation’s Wed update email:

“Next week, SCCF will begin the preliminary steps of a multi-phase restoration project on the newly acquired Periwinkle Wetlands Preserve.  “We are grateful that we were able to acquire these key 12-plus acres and we ask the public to please understand that we must clear the land of exotics before we can restore it,” said SCCF CEO Ryan Orgera. “Since it’s right on Perwinkle Way and highly visible, we want to explain the process so a return to a diverse, natural habitat is well understood.”

“Land Clearing Phase – Over the next several months, contractors will be conducting the land clearing phase, which will include the removal and eradication of dense stands of large, invasive exotic trees. The work will be overseen by SCCF Habitat Management staff and vegetation debris will be mulched on-site.

“In addition to the tree removal, SCCF staff will be conducting selective herbicide treatments to manage invasive exotic vines, groundcovers, and grasses. Habitat Management also will begin to revegetate many areas throughout the property and construct hiking trails.

“SCCF wants island residents and passersby to understand what is happening at the site as it begins to unfold.

““As the initial land clearing portion progresses, the conversion from densely vegetated to nearly barren land can often seem destructive and a shock to the senses. However, as the planting stage begins to take root, the landscape rapidly transitions back to a diverse, natural habitat,” explained Wildlife & Habitat Management Director Chris Lechowicz. Removing exotic plants — which lack any native predators or pests to keep them in check — is key to successful restoration.

““Invasive species can become dominant, rapidly displacing native plant communities and resulting in the loss of key habitats for migratory and resident bird populations as well as other animal species found throughout Sanibel Island,” Lechowicz said. Restoring land to its historic natural state reinforces SCCF’s rich history of conservation and its core mission “to protect and care for Southwest Florida’s coastal ecosystems.”

“Lechowicz said the timing of the restoration was planned around nature itself, and a firm completion date has not been established. “Restoration projects often take place over an extended period and many factors contribute to the time it takes to complete a project,” he said. “As summer approaches, thunderstorms, seasonal flooding, and hurricanes can delay portions of the restoration.”

“Restoration/Improvement Phase – Following the initial preserve restoration, improvements will be added to the approximately two acres fronting Periwinkle Way between Purdy and Martha’s Lanes. These improvements will be open to the public, while the majority of the preserve acreage will be dedicated for exclusive use as wildlife habitat. “The intentional reimagining of this space will connect visitors to nature and celebrate our shared and historic role in protecting and nurturing Southwest Florida’s coastal ecosystems,” said Orgera.

“After the exotics are removed, the community space will be replanted with thriving native landscaping. Inviting and inspiring, it will feature a 1,100-foot loop walking/biking trail connected to the shared-use path. The trail will take bikers and walkers through a welcome plaza with a water bottle-filling station and interpretive panels.

“A lush demonstration marsh with wetlands features will include water-quality education panels. There will be interpretative gardens with seasonal blooms and a sculpture garden to encourage thoughtful reflection on the importance of land, water, and wildlife. Throughout the restoration process, SCCF Habitat Management staff will routinely conduct inspections for the reintroduction of invasive, exotic species to ensure it is a diverse, healthy ecosystem.

““The Periwinkle Wetlands Preserve restoration project is essentially revitalizing characteristics of Sanibel’s historic ecosystems,” Orgera said, “while inviting in the public to learn more about Sanibel’s environment and to contemplate its beauty.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 28 – June 4, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Breakers West #A5 2/2 $895K, Villa Sanibel #2E 2/2 $959K, Sanddollar #C101 2/2 $1.21M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Coquina Beach #3D 2/2 listed at $599K.

5 closed sales: Pointe Santo #C4 1/1 $570K, White Sands #13 2/2 $938K, Gulfside Place #218 2/2 $1.35M, Pointe Santo #E24 3/2 $1.4225M, Shorewood #2D 3/2 $1.595M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1737 Serenity Ln 3/2 $635K, 1376 Jamaica Dr 2/2 $699K.

1 price change: 3010 West Gulf Dr now $1.245M.

4 new sales: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 listed at $550K, 1550 Center St 3/2 listed at $799K, 1362 Tahiti Dr 4/3 listed at $1.295M, 539 N. Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.295M.

7 closed sales: 868 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $725K, 2098 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 $780K, 4377 Gulf Pines Dr 3/3 $860K, 509 Lake Murex Cir 3/2.5 $1.2M, 5773 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 $1.325M, 9441 Peaceful Dr 3/3.5 $1.395M, 2311 Starfish Ln 4/4 $1.945M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 5642 Baltusrol Ct now $339.9K.

1 new sale: 6141 Starling Way listed at $897K.

4 closed sales: 3013 Poinciana Cir $255K, 1044 Fish Crow Rd $350K, 9042 Mockingbird Dr $385K, 0 West Gulf Dr $3.7M.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 14991 Binder Dr 4/4 $6.295M.

1 price change: 14865 Mango Ct 2/2 now $1.295M.

1 new sale: 15261 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 listed at $11.499M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

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, wishing you only bright skies & easy summer rains,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Beautiful Weather for Memorial Day Weekend 2021

SanibelSusan here reporting that all is well on the islands for the holiday weekend. Traffic on Periwinkle and the causeway was already picking up yesterday afternoon and has been steady most of today. More summerlike weather is expected for the immediate future, so plenty of weekend warriors may be arriving.

If you follow local news, this week there has been a lot of hype about red tide and blue-green algae. With the rainy season approaching those often are summertime concerns in SW Florida. But, if the water surrounding Sanibel today is any indication, there is none. I took the below photos this earlier this afternoon showing bayside surrounding waters – they are clear and a beautiful bright blue reminiscent of the Caribbean. Should be perfect for boaters and beachgoers here for the holiday holiday! We hope you enjoy your weekend too and remember those who served.

At SanibelSusan Realty

Here in the office teammate Elise has kept things running smoothly while teammate Dave is on vacay and I have struggled with a bad knee. Who knew that just getting up from a chair causes injury?  Anyway, I now have mastered using a walker, luckily can still drive, and should get an orthopedic plan of action next week. Teammate Lisa is in the office tomorrow.

Thank goodness we work like a well-oiled machine and much of it is over the internet. I put our last lot listing under contract Sunday, we had two nice closings this week, and both Elise and I have spoken with and visited owners thinking of selling.

Meanwhile, island inventory continues to diminish. Today on Sanibel, there are just 13 condos, 25 homes, and 15 lots for sale. Even fewer listings on Captiva, where seven condos, 11 homes, and just one lot are available.

You will see the week’s report of the action in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service after a couple of news items below. There was not a lot of new listing activity this week.

Most remaining snowbirds are heading north this weekend, while the post-season crowd will be here for the holiday. Fingers crossed they are “nice” and appreciate the islands’ low-key laid-back eco-friendly ambience.

Use of ‘Escalation Clause’ Skyrockets in Hot Seller’s Market

With Florida real estate market hot, the below article posted this week by Joel Maxson, Florida Realtors® Associate General Counsel is especially appropriate. One of the offers that one of our listings recently received had an escalation clause and it was not the successful offer. Sometimes other terms are more important to a seller than the price.

“As escalation clauses become more popular during this hot seller’s market, buyers should consider the pros and cons of using them – as well as the broader legal context of their offer.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – During this white-hot seller’s market, many conversations on Florida Realtors® Legal Hotline involve multiple offer scenarios. Buyers are desperately seeking ways to try and make their offer stand out. One method that has rocketed in popularity is using an escalation clause.

“There are many variations of these clauses, but the one thing they have in common is that a buyer is willing to increase the purchase price above the amount in the initial offer. A simple version of an escalation clause may read something like this: “Buyer agrees to pay $____________ more than the next highest offer, not to exceed a final purchase price of $___________.”

“This is the core concept, at least. Most clauses will also include some combination of the following components, although this is by no means an exhaustive list. The clause can get increasingly more complex the more a buyer adds to the clause.

  • “The amount of money to add to the next highest offer (the escalation amount)
  • The maximum purchase price
  • Seller’s obligation to show the buyer a copy of the next highest offer used to calculate the final purchase price
  • Whether the financing amount will increase, or whether the buyer will pay cash to cover the escalation amount
  • How to handle a situation involving two or more competing escalation clauses
  • Whether the buyer or seller will be obligated to sign or initial further documents if the escalation clause is triggered
  • Whether the escalation is based on the purchase price or net proceeds to the seller (to account for costs and credits in a competing offer)

“The positive side of escalation clauses is that they may make a buyer’s offer stand out. It also invites a seller to take an easy path to finalize negotiation.

“Most of the confusion we hear about these clauses on Florida Realtors Legal Hotline centers around the fact that the buyer’s offer is just that – an offer. A seller who receives an offer can accept, reject, counter, or even ignore an offer.

“For example, can the seller send a brief message that instructs the buyer to submit a new, “highest and best” offer, with a fixed purchase price by a deadline? Yes – the seller is welcome to reject the buyer’s offer.

“What if the seller removes the escalation clause and counters the buyer’s offer right at buyer’s maximum price cap with no information about any other offers? Can the seller do that? Yes – the seller is welcome to counter buyer’s offer.

“Can the seller go with a different buyer’s offer (even a lower-priced one) and never inform the buyer with the escalation clause? Yes – the seller is welcome to ignore the buyer’s offer.

“As you can see, the crux of most buyer frustrations centers on the concept that the seller isn’t bound to follow the rules in the escalation clause unless the seller accepts the offer.

“Please note that there are additional angles to this issue – this brief article is simply designed to give an overview of the escalation clause itself. For example, although this article mentions a seller’s right to ignore an offer, a listing Realtor must comply with this Standard of Practice from NAR’s Code of Ethics: REALTORS®, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property. Where disclosure is authorized, REALTORS® shall also disclose, if asked, whether offers were obtained by the listing licensee, another licensee in the listing firm, or by a cooperating broker.”

Memorial Day Weekend Happenings

“Ding” Darling’s Summer Fun Virtual Auction is now through Monday, May 31, at https://DingFunAuction.givesmart.com . All proceeds benefit conservation efforts at the National Wildlife Refuge.

Sanibel’s last Farmer Market until fall wraps up Sunday, May 30, on the grounds of City Hall, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market begins again on the first Sunday in October.

Also Sunday, May 30, American Legion is hosting a Backyard BBQ from noon until 8 p.m., 4249 San-Cap Rd at Mile Marker 3. Featuring burgers, brats & sides, with live music & fun.

Beachgoers, please be on the lookout for turtle and snowy plover nests. As of May 19, four active snowy plover nests have been recorded. If you see a nest that has not yet been roped off, contact shorebirds@sccf.org. Also as of May 19, SCCF already has counted and marked off 60 turtle nests on Sanibel, 25 on Captiva. That’s a lot for this early in the season. Please do not disturb any nests and if you are on the beach at night, only red/amber lights are allowed.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 21-28, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

6 new sales: Captains Walk #B2 1/1 listed at $299,999, Mariner Pointe #943 2/2.5 listed at $749K, Sunset South #11D 2/2 listed at $749K, Pointe Santo #D24 2/2 listed at $795K, Pelicans Roost #102 2/2 listed at $930K, Sanddollar #A102 3/2 listed at $1.395M.

13 closed sales: Sundial #I105 1/1 $405K, Mariner Pointe #731 2/2 $515K, Sandalfoot #3B3 1/1 $520K (our listing), Lighthouse Point #121 3/2 $591K, Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 $630K, Loggerhead Cay #572 2/2 $670K, Sanibel Arms West #C4 2/2 $910K, Sunset South #4D 2/2 $997.5K, Tarpon Beach #109 2/2 $1.055M, Pointe Santo #C43 3/2 $1.075M (our listing), Compass Point #151 3/3 $1.495M, Atrium #102 3/2 $1.498M, Cyprina Beach #3 3/3 $1.749M.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 939 Beach Rd 3/2.5 now $1.55M.

6 new sales: 2011 Mitzi 2/1 listed at $650K, 1605 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $699K, 429 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $749.5K, 770 Donax St 2/2 listed at $850K, 4516 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2.5 listed at $979.9K, 5765 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 listed at $1.648M.

8 closed sales: 1657 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $767K, 3570 Bunny Ln 3/3 $869K, 1983 My Tern Ct 3/2.5 $1.02M, 557 N. Yachtsman Dr 4/3 $1.124M, 5403 Shearwater Dr 4/3 $1.599M, 2355 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $1.649M, 1680 Hibiscus Dr 3/3.5 $1.8M, 1044 Whisperwood Way 4/4.5 $1.94M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: with contingencies: 1894 Farm Trl listed at $199K (our listing & our sale), 461 Sawgrass Pl listed at $699K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Captiva Hide-a-Way #D 2/2 $1.075M.

1 price change: Lands End Village #1649 2/2 now $1.395M.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2514 2/2 listed at $820K.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3217 1/1 $355K, Ventura Captiva #4A 3/3 $1.1M.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 $2.4M, 14980 Binder Dr 4/4 $2.475M.

LOTS

No new listings.

price change:

No new or closed sales.

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Best wishes for a safe Memorial Day Weekend,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

Wrapping up a Sunny Quiet Sanibel Friday

It has been another week of great weather, but rain is needed! Below is some news followed by the weekly action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

At SanibelSusan Realty

Here in the office, we are down to just one listing available and three under contract, with two closings next week. Inventory is sooo low. Realtors everywhere are looking for new listings. That includes us!

What Will Exurb Buyers Do if Called Back to the Office?

Posted May 12, 2021 on FloridaRealtors®: By Kerry Smith – “Pandemic-era buyers moved farther out and to new cities, assuming they’d never have to return to the office. Now, if forced to choose, 25% would pick home over their job.

“SANTA CLARA, Calif. – COVID-19 drove working professionals out of the office and sparked a surge in home buying in the less-expensive outskirts of cities and even in small towns across the U.S. But so far, only 48% of these workers have been told they can continue working remotely. An unknown number may soon be expected to commute to work if a return becomes mandatory, creating a conflict that pits their new house against their job.

“According to a realtor.com study, almost 60% of new homeowners who purchased within the last 12 months work from home – and 62% prefer to be. However, less than half have been told that they can continue to do so. About 25% of those surveyed have no definitive answer on whether they can remain fully remote indefinitely; another 25% already have plans to return.

““Throughout the last year we have seen homebuyers across the country, empowered by the newfound ability to work remotely, moving farther and farther from crowded urban downtowns in search of more space, a higher quality of life and a lower cost of living,” says George Ratiu, Sr. economist for Realtor.com. “Our survey data shows that people are really enjoying their new communities and larger homes, and aren’t willing to give them up anytime soon.”

“If companies start demanding that these workers return to the office, Ratiu says we “could see an influx of new homeowners in the job market. For companies willing to stay more flexible with either hybrid or entirely remote opportunities, there’s a large cohort of young professionals with growing families who … welcome the benefits of a technologically-enhanced employment landscape.”

“Job versus home – When asked what they will do if their employer decides they must return to the jobsite, 48% would try to arrange a flexible schedule that allows for some in-office work and some remote work – but almost 25% said they’d find a new job. Only 30% said they’d willingly return to the office if asked, and only 8% would sell their pandemic-era home to be closer to work.

“Going the distance – Despite the fact that 31% are less willing to commute farther for work, close to 40% would have to travel 30 minutes or more each way to the office if asked to return to the workplace, and 18% of new homeowners would have to commute more than 60-minutes each way – an unappealing prospect for many.

““As offices begin to reopen, those who are currently looking for a new home may have to start factoring commute time into their search. One way to find homes within your desired commute time is to use the Realtor.com commute time filter.,” says Lexie Holbert, home and living expert at Realtor.com.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 14-21, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Mariner Pointe #943 2/2.5 $749K.

No price changes.

5 new sales: Blind Pass #E104 2/2 listed at $549.9K, Sanibel Arms West #I2 2/2 listed at $599K, Heron at The Sanctuary #3A 2/2.5 listed at $839K, Sanddollar #C103 3/2 listed at $1.375M, Gulfside Place #320 2/2 listed at $1.389M.

6 closed sales: Sundial #H107 1/1 $450K; Blind Pass #D203 2/2 $459K; Kimball Lodge #302 1/1 $552,750; Sanibel Arms West #J5 2/2 $600K; Blind Pass #G104 3/2 $687.5K, Sundial #Q401 2/2 $908K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 4506 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $839K, 4516 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2.5 $979.9K, 5765 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 $1.648M, 1360 Eagle Run Dr 5/3.5 $2.695M.

3 price changes: 2011 Mitzi Ln 2/1 now $650K, 4619 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $848K, 1237 Isabel Dr 6/6.5 now $2.995M.

11 new sales: 5161 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 listed at $574K, 1649 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 half-duplex listed at $599.9K, 4505 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/3 listed at $729K, 555 Piedmont Rd 3/2 listed at $765K, 9408 Moonlight Dr 3/2 listed at $768.5K, 2548 Wulfert Rd 3/4 listed at $943K, 221 Robinwood Cir 3/2 listed at $999K, 5431 Shearwater Dr 3/3 listed at $1.148M, 1187 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $1.399M, 4701 Rue Belle Mer 4/5 listed at $3.395M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 4/4 listed at $4.245M.

13 closed sales: 1942 Roseate Ln 2/2 $500K; 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 $619,830; 2441 Shop Rd 4/3.5 $920K; 5424 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 $999K; 2563 Coconut Dr 2/2 $1.049M; 694 Heather Ln 3/3.5 $1.2534M; 1391 Jamaica Dr 4/3 $1.299M; 2303 Troon Ct 3/4 $1.3M; 5423 Shearwater Dr 3/3 $1.315M; 994 Whelk Dr 3/2 $1.325M; 4664 Rue Belle Mer 5/5 $1.62M; 775 Conch Ct 4/3 $1.75M; 4601 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 $2.9M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 2829 Wulfert Rd $349K, 3938 West Gulf Dr $899K.

1 price change: 255 Hurricane Ln now $399K.

2 new sales: 809 Pyrula Ave listed at $424.9K, 0 Rue Bayou listed at $649,555.

2 closed sales: 5687 Baltusrol Ct $385K, 539 Sea Oats Dr $385K.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Lands End Village #1649 2/2 $1.349M, Lands End Village #1663 2/2 $1.395M.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas # 3233 2/2 $520K, Gulf Beach Villas #2127 2/2 $885K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 11551 Paige Ct 5/5/2 listed at $6.495M.

2 closed sales: 42 Oster Ct 2/2.5 $1M, 11541 Laika Ln 4/4 $2.15M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 16970 Captiva Dr now $4.25M.

No new or closed sales.

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!
Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Fluffy Osprey Chicks & A Real Estate Market on Fire

Another Friday is here with more summer-like weather in Southwest Florida this week. Traffic is considerably less but many visitors here now, the regulars at this time of year, have said that it is busier than they remember it. Even so, comparing it to my neighborhood and chats with vacation rental managers, many snowbirds have departed, but the vacationer rental business is up considerably compared to a usual spring.

Weather, Osprey, & Gas

The islands still need rain. Though it was overcast for a bit yesterday and earlier today, only a few showers have been reported in SW Florida, mostly inland. We know not to wish for too much spring rain or water releases from Lake Okeechobee pick up.

If you have followed the photos that our pal, Scott, has shared with us the past two weeks, I hope you enjoy these which he sent last night. Look how the baby chicks are growing. They are fluffy as their feathers fill in. Baby osprey usually fly about 60 days from hatching, spending two months with their parents, in and near their nest. (Scott, thanks again!)

From the many national media reports about potential gas shortages from the temporary closure of the Colonial pipeline, it was unusual here Wed night to see a huge line to gas-up at the Chevron Station on Periwinkle. As I headed home shortly after 5 p.m., it was tough to maneuver around the line-up. Patrons should have listened to the entire news report which said the only Florida areas possibly affected by that pipeline closure are in Tallahassee and the panhandle. There actually is a surplus of gas in SW Florida. Those hyped-up buyers emptied the island of gas temporarily. Things are back to normal now.

At SanibelSusan Realty

Here in the office, SanibelSusan has been struggling this week with computer withdrawal. The hard drive on my office laptop crashed last week and was determined corrupt. I know Realtors® spend a lot of time tied to their computers, but to say I missed mine, is an understatement. Operating by iPad and iPhone just is not the same. Luckily, most of our shared office work is either internet-driven or on our network, so the team has not missed a beat and I tried to keep my grumbling to a minimum.

Thankfully, Wally Mulka, owner of Barrier IT Solutions, lives on-island and quickly came to my rescue. His wife is a Realtor® pal so he knows our pain and has plenty of patience. Early this week Wally was able to recover my data, buy and install a new hard drive, and today he reinstalled it and the software to get me back in business. I am a happy camper with that friendly laptop back on my desk.

It likewise was tortuous fun to receive three offers on our next-to-last listing over the Mothers’ Day weekend – the offers were presented through three busy Realtor® mothers who had opportunities to view and show that property on Saturday during a short 2-hour window between renters.

With inventory tight and demand high, the successful offer was significantly over asking price. It had no contingencies, included a huge escrow deposit, with closing in two weeks. The buyer and seller are happy, but it was not fun relaying sad news on Mothers’ Day to the Mom Realtors® representing the unsuccessful buyers. The team and I are very thankful for the sale but were reminded again that this business is more fun when everyone comes out a winner. Gratefully, those Realtor® Moms were professional and understanding. We hope to do another deal with them soon.

Our weekly reports of the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is after a couple of news report below. First, an update of inventory based on MLS data today.

 

 

SANIBEL CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
# $ Price # $ Price # $ Price # $/Price # $ Price # $ Price
Available for Sale 22 794,354 34 2,218,658 16 564,452 4 2,181,000 13 6,017,538 1 3,995,000
Under Contract 52 850,299 75 1,498,296 20 1,002,295 9 1,225,100 9 2,153,777 0 N/A
Closed 1/1-5/14/21 128 854,281 159 1,293,272 39 614,461 28 1,058,892 25 2,998,016 1 2,000,000
Closed in 2020 192 733,876 290 954,718 23 606,233 47 821,713 27 2.923,148 4 2,537,500
Closed in 2019 127 694,392 211 1,112,748 15 372,200 29 1.037,077 17 2,737,503 1 1,375,000

Note: Prices in italics are asking prices (properties available & under contract)

It is true, there are only 90 properties for sale on both islands (Sanibel & Captiva, condos, homes, lots), with 545 already sold this year. The market is CRAZY! The buyers who have said, “I’m going to wait awhile for things to cool off” are likely going to miss out. Read more about that in the article below.

The Real Estate Market Isn’t in a Bubble – It Just Isn’t

Posted last Friday on FloridaRealtors®: “Rising home prices and recession memories have convinced some buyers that a bubble will pop and prices will drop. But it’s just too much demand and too little supply.

“NEW YORK – The U.S. housing market is on a hot streak with double-digit annual gains in home prices, bidding wars and surging buyer demand. That type of soaring housing market is prompting more “bubble” fears in some corners, but economists say the housing market isn’t getting overinflated. A bubble won’t pop, thousands of homes won’t slide into foreclosure, and buyers who wait likely won’t be better off.

““We have strong conviction that we are not experiencing a bubble in U.S. housing,” Vishwanath Tirupattur, a Morgan Stanley strategist, wrote in a note to clients this week.

“Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors®, agrees. He told Axios last month: “This is not a bubble. It is simply lack of supply.”

“The rapid rise in prices may be concerning to home shoppers, however. The median selling price for a home is up $35,000 compared to a year ago, which is the fastest-paced increase since 2006, Tirupattur says.

“But this isn’t 2006. Housing inventories are low, credit remains tight, and lenders aren’t issuing risky loans like they did back then. Product risk – such as from mortgages with introductory periods, teaser rates or balloon payments – comprised about 40% of the mortgage market between 2004 to 2006. Those factors are now at only 2% of the mortgage market, according to Morgan Stanley.

“Also, the housing market has a record low number of homes available for sale, in part likely caused by the pandemic. At the end of March, there were 1.07 million homes available for sale, according to NAR data. For comparison, during the housing bubble, in July 2007, there were more than four times that – 4 million homes available for sale.

“Still, while home prices won’t keep climbing at the current pace, they aren’t expected to fall either, economists say.

““We are not at all suggesting that home price appreciation will maintain its current torrid pace,” Tirupattur writes. “Home prices will continue to rise, but more gradually.””

Source: “Why Morgan Stanley Is Convinced the Housing Market Isn’t in a Bubble,” Yahoo! Finance (May 5, 2021) and “The Dispiriting Housing Boom,” Axios (April 11, 2021)

Island Scoop

July 4th Parade – It was announced this week that out of an abundance of caution, the July 4th Parade 2021 again is cancelled this year.

Sanibel City Manager Retiring – Longtime Sanibel City Manager, Judie Zimomra announced this week – just after her 20th anniversary with the City – that she is retiring on Sep 24. Successfully leading Sanibel through through some unusual times – Hurricanes Charley and Irma, economic crises,  Sanibel Bear visits, red tide and blue-green algae events, and the COVID-19 pandemic, Judie is most deserving of a wonderful retirement, but she sure is going to be a tough act to follow. She multi-tasks better than the best.

Sea Turtle Nesting Season – Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) turtle patrol have already documented six sea turtle nests on the islands, marking the official start of the sea turtle nesting season. They remind us to turn out lights at night, remove beach furniture, fill in holes, pick up litter, and only use flashlights with red filters when on the beach after dark. To sign up for the Adopt-a-Beach and Adopt-a-Nest programs to help with sea turtle research and monitoring, email SCCF’s Coastal Wildlife Director, Kelly Sloan at ksloan@sccf.org. For more tips on how you can help, visit www.SanCapLifeSavers.org.

Wildlife Drive Summer Fees – “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society announced that admission fees for Wildlife Drive remain the same after “season” ends. However, the $10 vehicle fee is good for three days of admission from May 1 through Sep 30. Visitors are reminded to show their receipt at the entrance fee booth when returning. Daily fees for cyclists and pedestrians are $1 each visit for those aged 16 and older.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 7-14, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Mariner Pointe #712 2/2.5 $669K, Sanddollar #C103 3/2 $1.375M.

No price changes.

7 new sales: Spanish Cay #D6 2/2 listed at $549K; Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 listed at $579,990; Sanibel Arms West #I8 2/2 listed at $624K; Island Beach Club #330A 2/2 listed at $739K; Loggerhead Cay #101 2/2 listed at $998,899; Pointe Santo #C43 3/2 listed at $1.05M (our listing), Atrium #102 3/2 listed at $1.498M.

11 closed sales: Sundial #F206 1/1 $465K, Mariner Pointe #733 2/2 $531K, Sanibel Arms West #H4 2/2 $549K, Island Beach Club #210A 2/2 $729K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 $790K, Sanibel Surfside #234 2/2 $800K, Sanibel Arms West #E4 2/2 $885K, Oceans Reach #1C1 2/2 $899K, Pointe Santo #C23 3/2 $920K, Sanddollar #A101 2/2 $1.13M, Pointe Santo #E26 2/2 $1.2M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 5161 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $574K, 1649 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 half-duplex $599.9K, 1605 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $699K, 429 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $749.5K, 1187 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $1.399M, 4014 West Gulf Dr 4/4 $3.849M.

1 price change: 2011 Mitzi Ln 2/1 now $675K.

9 new sales: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 listed at $550K, 9214 Kincaid Ct 2/2 listed at $695K, 1585 Serenity Ln 3/3 listed at $749K, 450 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $878K, 750 Nerita St 3/2 listed at $899K, 1296 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $949K, 486 Surf Sound Ct 3/3.5 listed at $1.2M, 999 East Gulf Dr #103 4/3 listed at $1.995M, 950 Victoria Way 4/4 listed at $2.25M.

13 closed sales: 2405 Los Colony Rd 3/2 $380K, 2015 Wild Lime Dr 3/3 $560K, 2620 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $735K, 1560 Royal Poinciana Dr 3/2 $825K, 445 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $839K, 613 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 $985K, 751 Windlass way 5/5 $1.5M, 2464 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 $1.175M, 742 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 $1.525M, 6412 Pine Ave 3/2.5 $1.579M, 4809 Tradewinds Dr 3/3.5 $1.835M, 813 Angel Wing Dr 3/3.5 $2.639M, 4601 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 $2.9M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 461 Sawgrass Pl $699K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 2095 Wild Lime Dr listed at $269K, 2299 Starfish Ln listed at $549K, 1028 Bayview Dr listed at $2.195M.

3 closed sales: 1318 Par View Dr $375K, 1226 Isabel Dr $1.2M, 5301-25 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $1.2M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #708 2/2 $750K.

HOMES & LOTS

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Happy Mothers Day Sanibel Style – Mama Osprey Feeding Her Chicks

Happy Friday, it is Susan reporting another beautiful Friday on sunny Sanibel with more perfect weather expected over the Mothers’ Day weekend. The SanibelSusan Team hopes your weekend also is a sunny one. Here is a sweet photo compilation from our pal Scott of the osprey nest at his island home. If you saw the three chicks in the photos he shared last week, look how big they are getting as their mama feeds them. Thanks for sharing, Scott!

At SanibelSusan Realty

Here at the office, the team and I are working through action items with a couple of listings under contract and coordinating showings at our remaining condo listing which already has two lined up for tomorrow during the brief 2-hour turn-over window.

This week, I also received several calls from owners thinking of selling, but unfortunately, if they do not have somewhere to go, finding alternative housing on-island now is as tough as finding rentals for next winter. Here is a colorful photo taken this morning during a spin through Sanibel’s Seagull Estates – we usually call this tree a Royal Poinciana but the pix illustrates why it is called a Flamboyant tree in the Caribbean. We always know it is May when these trees burst into bloom!

Wednesday, I showed a special property. With just 12 homes for sale on Captiva, it was fun to show the spectacular “Pink House” which is the first property after the Santiva bridge going onto Captiva. I had not been inside since before it sold in 2014. Today, it is even more stunning. With sunrise views out the back overlooking Blind Pass Bay to Roosevelt Channel and sunset views over the gulf out the front, plus the beach land across the street. The charming interior spans four levels (with elevator) and features jaw-dropping views from every floor, nearly every room. Beyond the interior living spaces are a waterside open deck, screened porch, new dock with lift and boat, spacious garage and storage spaces, whole-house generator, plus expansive outdoor entertainment area and pool. Big thanks to Royal Shell listing agent, Realtor® Trevor Nette, for making it easy to show. With six bedrooms, four and a half baths, it certainly is big enough.

Yesterday, working with another client, I showed a Sanibel home that had only been on the market for a few hours. It already had an offer over asking price and two other lookers. It certainly is challenging when there are not enough listings for the demand. No one wants to get into a bidding war, but until things change – will they ever? – if buyers see something they like, they should grab it as who knows when, or if, another opportunity will come along.

Yesterday I also attended a Zoom class. First time offered by Florida Realtors® and by popular instructor and Realtor® friend, Patti Ketcham from Tallahassee, this class covered Florida’s two trust funds that are part of Florida’s Affordable Housing Act.

Passed in 1992, at the urging of Florida’s builders and Realtors®, this Act raised the state’s documentary tax stamp on deeds by ten cents per $100 of the property value. The funds were directed to two trust funds – one for local governments and one for the state – SHIP and SAIL.

  • SHIP (State Housing Initiative Partnership) primarily funds the production and preservation of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households.
  • SAIL (State Apartment Incentive Loan) program provides funding for the construction and rehabilitation of multifamily rental housing.

Particularly with today’s real estate boom in Florida and lack of affordable housing, Patti urged the 200+ class attendees to get involved and her class explained how to do it. (To further toot, Patti’s horn, she also is an appointed Florida Real Estate Commissioner, presiding as their chair in 2020. She has been Florida Realtors® Educator of the Year and is the recipient of such fun feedback comments as “she’s such as great instructor I would sit in her class for 8 hours discussing dandruff, yard weeds, fungus, fingernails, factory smog, or spelling.”) She definitely is inspiring!

The action reported since last week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Florida Realtors® Fight for Environment

Posted Wed, May 5 on FloridaRealtors® on-line: “In July, Realtors across Fla. will clean the state’s beaches, rivers and waterways – a hands-on approach that complements legislative efforts to protect the environment.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – If there is one thing Realtors® in Florida understand well, it is the timeless allure of a beautiful home on the shores of a sandy beach or the banks of crystal-clear natural springs. It’s that allure that makes Florida so attractive to out-of-state buyers who dream of spending weekends sunning on some of the best beaches in the world, paddle-boarding a nearby river or hiking along a pristine freshwater spring hoping to spy a manatee or two.

“While Florida Realtors®’ members understand that although Florida must continue to develop its communities and the industries that support them, it also understands that it cannot be growth at any cost. In its more than 100-year history, Florida Realtors has been a leading voice to protect our state’s waterways. In the past decade alone, Florida Realtors PAC-supported lawmakers have allocated billions of dollars toward environmental projects that renourish beaches, clean springs, preserve the Everglades and fight the negative impacts of red tide.

““Florida Realtors has made it a top priority to advocate for preserving and protecting Florida’s water resources. Florida’s a destination to live, work and play because of our beautiful waterways and beachlines,” says Florida Realtors 2021 President Cheryl Lambert. “We’ve conducted studies tying home values to water quality, urged lawmakers to prioritize funding, and launched Florida waters’ largest statewide clean-up event in 2020.”

“It’s not just political lip service. Realtors know that, sometimes, the best way to make something happen is to get your hands dirty and do it yourself. This July, for the second year in a row, Realtors will fan out across their communities, descending upon lakes, rivers, springs and beaches around the state with a singular goal: to clean and protect precious and vital waterways.

“The event, Florida Realtors Clean Up Florida Waters, is organized by local Realtor associations, Florida Realtors district vice presidents, local Realtor organizations’ Young Professional Networks as well as individual brokerages and Realtor members.”

Sanibel’s COVID-19 State of Emergency Ends

Following action this week by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to suspend all local COVID-19 emergency mandates, Sanibel’s State of Emergency was not extended and expired at midnight Tues, May 4. With that expiration, the Sanibel’s Covid-related restrictions including the City-wide face-covering mandate also expired. City businesses retain the authority to regulate mask requirements within their establishments. Additionally, Sanibel City Council took the following actions related to Covid-19:

  • The temporary outdoor dining approved during the Statement of Emergency will be allowed to continue while City Council considers legislation to permanently allow outdoor dining (which was temporarily permitted during the pandemic).
  • City buildings, including Sanibel City Hall offices will be open to the public, at this time face coverings will continue to be required inside all City buildings, including the Recreation Center.
  • Covid-related restrictions on Special Events implemented by Sanibel City Council are lifted.
  • Sanibel City Hall Council Chambers public seating is increased to 50% capacity.
  • The Sanibel Farmers Market will determine their own face covering policies.

The number of Sanibel Covid-19 cases reported from March 26, 2020 through May 4, 2021 is 256. Captiva’s cases total 12.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 30-May 7, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Captains Walk #B2 1/1 $299,999; Spanish Cay #D6 2/2 $569K; Pointe Santo #B25 2/2 $829K; Pointe Santo #C3 3/2 $1.099M.

1 price change: Pointe Santo #C43 3/2 now $1.05M (our listing).

View from Pointe Santo #C43

8 new sales: Kimball Lodge #264 1/1.5 listed at $570K, Loggerhead Cay #261 2/2 listed at $714.5K, Pointe Santo #A1 2/2 listed at $889K, Loggerhead Cay #523 2/2 listed at $945K, Sanibel Surfside #115 2/2 listed at $1.05M, Sunset South #4D 2/2 listed at $1.05M, Cyprina Beach #3 3/3 listed at $1.6M, Pointe Santo #A47 3/2 listed at $1.995M.

8 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #242 1/1 $405K, Blind Pass #E101 2/2 $480K, Loggerhead Cay #373 2/2 $660K, Pointe Santo #E2 2/2 $920K, Sanibel Arms West #D6 2/2 $940K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-5 $950K, Tarpon Beach #206 2/2 $995K, Compass Point #102 2/2 $1.275M.

HOMES

12 new listings: 9214 Kincaid Ct 2/2 $695K, 1585 Serenity Ln 3/3 $749K, 223 Southwinds Dr 3/2 $815K, 1371 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $839K, 4598 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $849K, 770 Donax St 2/2 $850K, 750 Nerita St 3/2 $899K, 915 Palm St 3/2 $995K, 221 Robinwood Cir 3/2 $999K, 1362 Tahiti Dr 4/3 $1.295M, 939 Beach Rd 3/2.5 $1.65M, 4949 Joewood Dr 5/5 $4.395M.

2 price changes: 486 Surf Sound Ct 3/3.5 now $1.2M, 930 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 now $1.695M.

10 new sales: 966 Fitzhugh St 2/1 listed at $589K, 604 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 listed at $949.9K, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 listed at $999K, 2755 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 listed at $1.098M, 820 Angel Wing Dr 3/2 listed at $1.45M, 3385 Twin Lakes Ln 5/5 listed at $1.695M, 6418 Pine Ave 3/3 listed at $1.789M, 1460 Middle Gulf Dr 4/4.5 listed at $1.799M, 2857 Wulfert Rd 4/5 listed at $1.895M, 1020 Bayview Dr 5/5.5 listed at $4.595M.

13 closed sales: 1339 Tahiti Dr 3/2 $485K, 1606 Bunting Ln 3/2 $649K, 2985 Island Inn Rd 2/2 $649K, 2010 Wild Lime Dr 4/4 $759K, 567 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $1.05M, 1341 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.058M, 1890 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $1.135M, 446 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 $1.178M, 542 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $1.225M, 1133 Buttonwood Ln 3/2.5 $1.31M, 1275 Par View Dr 3/2 $1.38M, 1266 Isabel Dr 3/3 $2.775M, 4955 Joewood Dr 6/4.5 $3.05M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

6 new sales: 2310 Wulfert Rd listed at $299K, 5642 Baltusrol Ct listed at $327.5K, 5648 Baltusrol Ct listed at $328.5K, 255 Hurricane Ln listed at $368K, 6505 Pine Ave listed at $759K, 6519 Pine Ave listed at $779K.

2 closed sales: 1292 Par View Dr $345K, 3941 West Gulf Dr $3.5M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Lands End Village #1629 2/2 listed at $1.3745M, Lands End Village #1635 2/2 $1.429M.

3 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4124 1/2 $410K, Captiva Shores #1B 3/2.5 $1.67M, Beach Homes #18 4/3 $3.05M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16280 Captiva Dr 6/6 $8.9M.

2 price changes: 15138 Wiles Dr 6/5.5 now $6.495M, 11559 Laika Ln 3/3 now $6.9M.

1 new sale: 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 listed at $2.995M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 16685 Captiva Dr $2M.

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Happy Mothers’ Day weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

A Trio of Baby Osprey Accompanies Today’s Island Update

Here it is another Friday with an update saying island weather again is beautiful. Sanibel and Captiva had plenty of sunshine over the last few days, with temperatures usually in the low 80’s, then cooling down a bit in the evenings. A quick shower last night might be indicating the rainy season is beginning. More of the same is expected next week.

A client that purchased his bayside home with us a few years ago also is a blog follower and knows we love island wildlife. His property has a huge osprey nest on the dock. He shared these recent pix so I could share them with you. Thank you, Scott.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® April Membership Meeting

Yesterday was the monthly membership meeting of the local Association of Realtors®. Speaker was Michael Nachef, Director of Government Relations for Lee Health. It was a Zoom meeting, apropos since Michael was calling from Tallahassee where Florida’s legislative session is wrapping up this week. His update on the pandemic offered some interesting info. Here are some takeaways:

COVID-19 Update

This Wed, Apr 28, 2021, there were a total of 188 COVID patients in Lee Health hospitals. Compare this to the highest number in July 2020, when there were 360 patients. The low was in Oct 2020, when there were only 44 patients.

Wondering why? During pandemic tracking, the median patient age has shifted downward. Leading into the high, the median patient age was 64/65. Today, the median age is 39, proving that vaccinating the primary (older) group is working and showing that younger residents re-engaging in social activities are not protected and urgently need vaccinations.

He said that it will take 70/80% of the population to be vaccinated for herd immunity. Once vaccinated, an individual has only a 10% chance of getting the virus and if they do get it a 95% chance that they will be asymptomatic or show no evidence of the disease.

Today just 54% of the population has had one dose, so everyone is encouraged to get vaccinated. Locally, more vaccines now are available than those wanting appointments.

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate News

It was not a surprise that there were few real estate announcements during the Caravan portion of the meeting. No announced new listings, just one price reduction, and just one property open for viewing.

Usually after Easter, business slows on the islands. The activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service (MLS) follows a couple of news items below. First, the latest summary numbers from MLS. Hard to believe that on Sanibel there are only 83 properties for sale on the entire island – that includes just 27 homes. With 431 Sanibel sales already this year, it has been a buying frenzy!

 

Sanibel

Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
For sale 4/30 33 859,672 27 2,612,185 23 616,879
Under contract 56 809,171 78 1,477,048 17 1,239,576
Sold/closed 2021 thru 4/30 109 860,780 136 1,304,958 35 529,828
Sold/closed in all of 2020 192 733,876 290 954,718 23 606,233
Sold/closed in all of 2019 127 694,392 211 949,790 15 372,200

At SanibelSusan Realty

This week, the team and I are thankful that another listing is under contract and another closing finalized. Our remaining listings continue to get inquiries and good action. As inventory continues to dwindle, we hear the same news from friends in other vacation destinations.

Gov. DeSantis Again Extends Florida’s COVID-19 State of Emergency

On Tuesday, Florida’s Gov. DeSantis extended the state emergency order for another 60 days. Since March 2020, the Governor has been extending the original emergency order in 60-day increments. This order allows Florida to activate its emergency operations center, work with and ask for federal government assistance, and allowed deployment of the Florida National Guard to help.

It also has allowed additional precautions by state and local agencies to keep workers safe from exposure and has allowed licensed healthcare workers certified in other states to practice in Florida, providing more hands for testing, vaccination, and other care.

This week, Sanibel’s State of Emergency also was extended for another week (or until May 4) by Mayor Holly Smith. The number of cases reported here from March 26, 2020 through April 28 is 250. Captiva’s cases total 12.

U.S. – 2nd Most-Affordable Housing Market in the World

Who knew? This interesting tidbit in the May 2021 “FloridaRealtor®” magazine: “The United States is the second-most-affordable housing market in the world, according to comparethemarket.com. Researchers looked at average property price per square foot and average disposable income to calculate the cost per square foot as a percentage of annual income. No. 1? Turkey, followed by the United States, Russia, South Africa, and Mexico.”

Sanibel’s 2021 Prescribed Burn Areas

2021 City Map of Prescribed Burn Areas

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge posted the below info on-line this week: “During the 2021 spring/summer season, the Sanibel Prescribed Fire Task Force is planning prescribed burns on the following conservation sites:

SCCF/City of Sanibel – Erick A. Lindblad Preserve

USFWS, JN “Ding” Darling NWR – Legion Curve, Botanical Site, & Bailey Tract

“We would like to invite the public to a virtual information meeting on Wed, May 5, 2021 starting at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the burn plans and address any questions or concerns. Access to this meeting is through this Zoom link:

https://sccf-org.zoom.us/j/89160685854….

“When forecasted conditions are favorable, the Sanibel Prescribed Fire Task Force will issue further notification that a prescribed burn is imminent and identify the specific location of the burn. All prescribed fires must be authorized by the Florida Forest Service on the morning of the scheduled burn. A change in the forecast conditions may result in cancellation of the planned burn. A prescribed fire will NOT be conducted if the prescription conditions cannot be met prior to ignition.

SCCF photo

“A burn plan, or “prescription,” has been established for the priority areas within these conservation lands. The prescription details the required conditions that must exist in order for a prescribed burn to take place. These include environmental conditions such as soil moisture, fuel conditions, and recent rainfall, as well as forecasted and actual weather conditions including temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and wind direction. Following a predefined prescription allows fire management officers to establish the desired fire behavior (intensity, flame length, direction of fire spread and smoke). The prescription also identifies the number of qualified fire personnel needed to conduct the burn as well as the types and number of equipment required to safely complete the burn.

“Why are prescribed fires needed? Fire is a natural part of Florida’s ecosystem, historically set by lightning. Because of this history of periodic fires, many of Florida’s natural communities are adapted to burning. Fire removes old vegetation, promotes new growth of native vegetation, and suppresses the growth of non-native invasive plants. In the absence of fire, many plant communities are displaced by dense, woody vegetation which can reduce plant diversity and eliminate foraging opportunities for the island’s wildlife. Species such as the gopher tortoise, eastern indigo snake, and Sanibel rice rat all depend on a fire-maintained ecosystem. In addition to the natural benefits of fire, carefully planning and conducting prescribed burns can reduce the likelihood of catastrophic wildfires by reducing the amount of vegetation – or “fuel”—that would be available in the event of a wildfire.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 23-30, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #C6 2/2 $955K, Gulfside Place #124 2/2 $1.385M, Cyprina Beach #3 3/3 $1.6M, Pointe Santo #A47 3/2 $1.995M.

1 price change: Pointe Santo #A1 2/2 now $889K.

10 new sales: Sanibel Arms #H6 1/1 listed at $360K; Mariner Pointe #731 2/2 listed at $525K; Kimball Lodge #244 1/1.5 listed at $550K; Sanibel Arms #A1 2/2 listed at $555K, Sundial #C303 2/2 listed at $695K; Oceans Reach #2D1 2/2 listed at $890K; Sanibel Arms West #C4 2/2 listed at $910,990; White Sands #23 2/2 listed at $1.099M (our listing); Island Beach Club #230D 2/2 listed at $1.335M, Compass Point #151 3/3 listed at $1.495M.

10 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #541 2/2 $515K (our listing), Sanibel Arms West #A1 2/2 $525K, Sanibel Arms West #I4 2/2 $559K, Sanibel Arms West #J3 2/2 $560K, Sanibel Moorings #842 2/2 $610K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 $700K, Sandpiper Beach #105 2/2 $797.5K, Pelicans Roost #203 2/2 $875K, Pointe Santo #E22 2/2 $875K, Royale Tern #204 3/3.5 $1.2475M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1643 Bunting Ln 2/2 $599K, 999 East Gulf Dr #103 4/3 $1.995M, 1237 Isabel Dr 6/6.5 $3.195M.

3 price changes: 5100 Sea Bell Rd 4/2.5 now $949K, 820 Angel Wing Dr 3/2 now $1.45M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 4/4 now $4.245M.

12 new sales: 1643 Bunting Ln 2/2 listed at $599K, 1644 Bunting Ln 3/3 listed at $658K, 868 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $725K, 4505 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/3 listed at $729K, 9456 Beverly Ln 3/2 listed at $789K, 2480 Library Way 3/2.5 listed at $829K, 4377 Gulf Pines Dr 3/3 listed at 875K, 915 Fitzhugh St 4/2.5 listed at $945K, 5773 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 listed at $1.225M, 812 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 listed at $1.549M, 1761 Venus Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.899M, 768 Limpet Dr 3/3 listed at $2.3M.

3 closed sales: 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 half-duplex $565K, 4202 Old Banyan Way 3/2 $848K, 2843 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1.295M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 0 Rue Bayou now $649,555.

4 new sales: 255 Hurricane Ln listed at $368K, 5687 Baltusrol Ct listed at $399K, 1318 Par View Dr listed at $399K, 00 West Gulf Dr listed at $3.895M.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Cottages #1423 2/2 listed at $1.195M.

4 closed sales:  Tennis Villas #3212 1/1 $305K, Gulf Beach Villas #2024 3/3 $1.035M, Captiva Shores #7B 3/2.5 $1.324M, Lands End Village #1662 3/3 $1.99M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 42 Oster Ct 2/2.5 listed at $1.095M, 41 Oster Ct 2/2.5 listed at $1.125M.

4 closed sales: 18 Urchin Ct 2/2 $1.0625M, 15146 Wiles Dr 2/2 $2M, 11544 Wightman Ln 4/4.5 $2.1M, 11541 Paige Ct 3/4/2 $3.625M.

LOTS

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

The Island Real Estate Market Remains Hot… Sunny too!

It is time to report another sunny Friday on Sanibel. Weather was not like this all week. Some much-needed rain was received Mon through Wed, followed yesterday by the highest recorded temperatures in the nation. The high today is expected to be 83 degrees F, followed by another week of the same sunny weather with maybe a passing thunderstorm Sunday morning. We sure are lucky to be here!

Sanibel’s State of Emergency

On Tuesday, Sanibel’s State of Emergency due to COVID-19 again was extended another week (until April 27). Masks remain required in all businesses and outside where social distancing is not possible. Just one more case reported on Sanibel this week with a total of 249 cases from Mar 26, 2020 through Apr 21, 2021. Still just 11 on Captiva during the same timeframe.

Sanibel & Captiva Farmers Markets

With Florida’s vegetable growing season winding down, visitors and locals who enjoy the local farmers markets have one more month to visit them on the islands. Sanibel Farmers Market at City Hall is OPEN Sundays, 8-1 through May 30. Captiva Island Farmers Market at South Seas Island Resort is OPEN Tuesdays, 9-1 through May 25.

The other Local Roots markets at the Sanibel Outlets and on Boca Grande have already finished their season, while the Wednesday markets at Lakes Park and Thursday markets at Coconut Point will finish up next week (Apr 28 and 29).

The Saturday morning Bonita Springs markets continue through May, while the River District markets in downtown Fort Myers are Thursday mornings year-‘round (except Thanksgiving).

Who knew when Betsy and Jean organized their first market nearly 15 years ago in the parking lot at Tahitian Gardens, that their business would expand into some of the largest fresh markets in Lee County. Congratulations, ladies! More details on http://buylocallee.com.

At SanibelSusan Realty

Here in the office, teammates Dave, Elise, and I got our monthly progress report letter in the mail. Those again illustrate how inventory is dwindling. Our three remaining listings all had inquiries and showings this week, with more showings scheduled tomorrow during guest turns-overs.

I was out showing homes most of Monday. With only 32 for sale on the entire island, it is difficult for buyers to find exactly what matches their desires. This week, Sanibel condo inventory also is down. There are just 36 units for sale. Owners looking to make a change, whether they are buying to upsize or downsize, will benefit from selling high but may struggle with limited buying options (which also will be high).

From the inventory action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday, which follows a couple of news items below, you will notice only two new listings (Sanibel & Captiva) during the 7-day period. With 30 new sales and 13 closings during that same window, inventory is further reduced.

There would have been one more closing, but we had a snafu with one that was to occur this week. The buyer was using her hometown bank for a mortgage. (When the property went under contract, I asked the buyer’s agent who would be doing the financing and warned her there always are problems with non-local banks. She assured me there would be no trouble with this one. Ha!)

The bank (where the buyer had done business for decades) provided written loan commitment weeks ago, but when it came time for them to issue loan documents to the title company, they denied the loan. I have never heard of this happening, but thankfully our seller is co-operative, is giving the embarrassed buyer more time, and the Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank has come to the rescue. David Wright and San-Cap Bank routinely lend all over the island and will get this one closed albeit with a bit of a delay.

Water Quality Update

As we continue to enjoy the bright blue waters viewed when crossing the causeway, it is important to remember what can happen after the rainy season. An article written by SCCF’s Environmental Policy Director, James Evans, and posted in this week’s “Island Reporter” has some news about that:

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in the process of developing a new Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule that will provide new guidance on how the Army Corps will manage water in Lake O for the different parts of South Florida’s complex water management system. The new schedule is called the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual, or LOSOM.

“LOSOM will consider additional infrastructure that will soon be operational, including rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike, Kissimmee River Restoration and Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERTP) projects, such as the C-43 Reservoir located within the Caloosahatchee watershed and the C-44 Reservoir location in the St. Lucie watershed. LOSOM is supposed to balance the various project purposes of the Central and South Florida Project (C&SF); flood control; navigation; water supply for agricultural irrigation, municipalities, industry and Everglades National Park; regional groundwater and salinity control; enhancement of fish and wildlife; and recreation.

“Extensive drainage work that has occurred in the Caloosahatchee watershed over the past century resulted in a system that drains very quickly with little to no treatment, resulting in water of poor quality being delivered to the estuary and the coast. Because of these hydrological changes, the Caloosahatchee currently receives the lion’s share of the harmful discharges from the lake during the rainy season and is often cut off from beneficial flows during the dry season. This has resulted in wide-ranging damage to the estuary and its ecosystems, including impacts to freshwater tape grass, oysters and sea grasses that depend on a balance of fresh and saltwater.

“CERP is the roadmap to restoring the ecosystem damage caused by the C&SF Project. The goal of CERP is to restore the quality, quantity, timing and distribution of freshwater flow to the Everglades and Florida Bay and the northern estuaries of the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie. The plan relies on massive infrastructure projects to store, treat and convey freshwater to the Everglades and reduce damaging discharges to the northern estuaries.

“While we wait for Everglades restoration to be completed, we have the opportunity to better balance the needs of our natural systems through development of the new lake regulation schedule. LOSOM is not designed to solve all our water management issues – although some stakeholders are using LOSOM to push for near-perfect water management conditions without the infrastructure to support such a request.

“The Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District will need to make challenging decisions about how best to balance the needs of the system. It is unacceptable to continue to operate the system to benefit private landowners at the expense of our public resources.

“During the LOSOM process, we need our West Coast stakeholders to be engaged and support plans that reduce the damaging high-flow discharges to the Caloosahatchee, while providing beneficial flows during the dry season. We also need to support plans that protect other natural systems that we depend on by maintaining water levels in Lake O that maintain a healthy ecosystem and deliver dry season flows to the Everglades. This can only be achieved by all stakeholders recognizing the need for truly balancing the needs of the entire system.

“To learn more about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s process for development LOSOM, visit the Lake Okeechobee System Operation Manual at https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/LOSM.”

More info at www.SCCF.org, too.

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Marine Lab Data to Help

From SCCF’s Wednesday update: “The SCCF Marine Laboratory recently uploaded its extensive water quality data from Gulf waters off our islands into the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (FDEP) Watershed Information Network database system. This is a major step forward so that the state can officially evaluate the Gulf of Mexico’s quality for management planning.

“Southwest Florida residents are likely to assure that the state already understands what’s happening in the Gulf due to repeated red tide and algae bloom events that impact humans and wildlife. However, not even one “waterbody unit” in the Gulf has ever been evaluated by FDEP due to a lack of enough water quality data.

SCCF photo – Marine Lab getting water samples.

“SCCF put forth a tremendous effort for this very purpose. The SCCF Water Quality Database was created in 2009 and it includes 88,000 samplings and analysis records from nearly 9,700 separate sampling events. Using the R/V Norma Campbell, The Marine Laboratory regularly collets water quality data in the Gulf of Mexico thanks to funding from the Vince Family through Goldman Sachs Cares.

“”That’s a lot of records,” said SCCF Research Associate Mark Thompson. “The FDEP requires each record go through a series of more than 100-quality assurance checks before it can be accepted. The data must be in the correct form and order, with the correct elements that fall within acceptable ranges. You can imagine how time-intensive this feat was to upload 88,000 records.”

“This massive undertaking will eventually be rewarded through improved state and federal management. The Impaired Water Rule requires the state to identify impaired waterbodies based upon existing water quality data – so now it has the data that show how and where the water is impaired and the sources of those problems.

“The FDEP’s Watershed Information Network (WIN) database evaluates and maps the state’s waters, each portioned into what the state calls a “waterbody ID unit” as indicated on this chart. A certain amount of data is needed before the unit is evaluated, and the information is used by researchers and reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“”SCCF has collected enough data to satisfy FDEP requirements for evaluating Gulf of Mexico waterbody segments near Sanibel and Captiva,” said Thompson. “This data is ready to be assessed by FDEP so it can get started on improving water quality in the Gulf.”

Thompson added, “This sounds dry and boring to most folks – even to the person who did it. But there was a warm and fuzzy feeling which transpired just after the deed was done.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 16-23, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Sundial #C303 2/2 now $695K, Sanibel Arms West #C4 2/2 now $910,990.

13 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #242 1/1 listed at $409K, Sundial #I105 1/1 listed at $415K, Sundial #C409 1/1 listed at $469K, Sandpebble #1D 2/2 listed at $569.5K, Pointe Santo #C4 1/1 listed at $585K, Sanibel Arms West #E4 2/2 listed at $889K, Oceans Reach #1C1 2/2 listed at $899K, Pelicans Roost #102 2/2 listed at $930K, White Sands #13 2/2 listed at $949K, Sanddollar #B101 2/2 listed at $1.125M, Pointe Santo #E26 2/2 listed at $1.269M, Sanddollar #C202 3/2 listed at $1.3M, Pointe Santo #E24 3/2 listed at $1.495M.

5 closed sales: Tennisplace #C26 1/1 $350K, Mariner Pointe #241 2/2.5 $665K, Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 3/3.5 $850K, Sanddollar #C201 2/2 $1.18M, Tigua Cay #489 3/3.5 $2.325M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 9456 Beverly Ln 3/2 $789K.

7 price changes: 1644 Bunting Ln 3/3 now $658K, 2011 Mitzi Ln 2/1 now $685K, 4619 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $862K, 5773 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $1.225M, 820 Angel Wing Dr 3/2 now $1.495M, 1761 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.899M, 486 Surf Sound Ct 3/3.5 now $1.295M

13 new sales: 2098 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 listed at $795K, 1560 Poinciana Cir 3/2 listed at $880K, 5186 Sea Bell Rd 3/3 listed at $998K, 2563 Coconut Rd 2/2 listed at $1.049M, 1350 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $1.199M, 5423 Shearwater Dr 3/3 listed at $1.245M, 812 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 listed at $1.249M, 9445 Beverly Ln 4/3 listed at $1.375M, 940 Whelk Dr 3/2 listed at $1.47M, 837 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3.5 $1.895M, 813 Angel Wing Dr 3/3.5 listed at $2.689M, 4601 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 listed at $3.395M, 4701 Rue Belle Mer 4/5 listed at $3.395M.

5 closed sales: 958 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $705K, 1421 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $905K, 1200 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 $905K, 249 Violet Dr 4/3 1.04M, 3744 West Gulf Dr 4/4 $1.95M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2299 Starfish Ln $549K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 3013 Poinciana Cir listed at $259.9K, 0 West Gulf Dr listed at $3.895M.

1 closed sale: 6008 White Heron Ln $810K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Seabreeze #1251 3/3 now $2.05M.

1 new sale: Ventura Captiva #4A 3/3 listed at $1.1M.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #4322 3/3 $729K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 15155 Wiles Dr 3/2 listed at $1.975M.

1 closed sale: 15000 Binder Dr 3/2 $1.271M.

LOTS

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel White Stuff = Sand & Seashells

It is another sunny Sanibel Friday. More warm weather abounds in SW Florida and the drive across the causeway is back to the brilliant azure blue that we see each spring before the rainy season begins.

There was a noticeable decrease in traffic this week on Periwinkle Way, but the City continues to post their daily noontime warning as soon as more than 5,500 cars cross the causeway. I still drive home from the office the back way, with little to no waits this week between 5 and 6 p.m.

Regarding Sanibel’s State of Emergency due to COVID-19, on Tuesday, Mayor Holly Smith again extended the mask requirement and the emergency proclamation until next Tuesday, April 20. Masks are required in all businesses and outside where social distancing is not possible. It seems to be working with a total of 248 Sanibel cases reported from March 26, 2020 through April 14, 2021, a total of 11 on Captiva.

This May Be the Best Month Ever to Sell a Home

Posted on-line yesterday, Apr 15, 2021 on FloridaRealtors®, by Kerry Smith: “Study: April is the best month to sell a home – more buyer interest, less competition, higher list prices and faster sales – and given market conditions right now that strongly favor sellers, there may never be a better time for homeowners to post a for-sale sign in their yard.”

“In today’s market, it seems as if it’s always a good time to sell a home because they’re selling fast, often sight unseen. However, this month, depending on the city, may be the best time of the best times to sell a home, according to realtor.com’s 2021 Best Time to List analysis. From April 18-24, debuting home sellers should see more buyer interest, less competition from other sellers, a faster sale and a higher listing price, the study suggests.

“To determine the optimum time to list, the study considered competition from other sellers, median listing prices, time it takes to sell, likelihood of price reductions and interest from buyers measured by views per property on realtor.com’s website. Because of COVID’s disruption in 2020, the analysis included 2018-2019 listing data.

“Unlike 2020 when COVID upended the spring home-buying season and pushed buyer interest to later in the year, this year’s housing market is following more typical seasonal trends,” says realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “With half as many homes available for sale this year than last, sellers are well positioned for a quick sale at top dollar. However, for most sellers, listing sooner rather than later could really pay off with less competition from other sellers and potentially a higher sale price. They’ll also avoid some big unknowns lurking later in the year, namely another possible surge in COVID cases, rising interest rates and the potential for more sellers to enter the market.”

“However, while that April sweet spot for listing a home may be true for most Florida metro areas, it’s not so consistent in South Florida. According to realtor.com’s analysis, the best day of the year for a seller to list a home in a major Florida metro is:

  • Jacksonville: April 4
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach: July 4
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford: April 25
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.: April 25

What makes the week of April 18 stand out?

Higher price: Homes listed next week typically sell 2% higher than the average week and 10.4% higher than at the start of the year. If 2021 follows the typical seasonal trend, a median priced home listed next week could sell for $7,500 above the average week and $36,000 more than it would have in early January.

Strong buyer demand: Homes typically get 11% more views on realtor.com than the average week throughout the year.

Less competition: Homeowners who listed during the week of April 18 in 2018 and 2019 saw 5% fewer sellers on the market compared to the average week throughout the year.

Faster sale: Historically, homes listed during this week sold 14.1% faster than the average week. In 2021 terms, this would translate to selling in just 59 days – eight days faster than homes listed in other weeks, on average.

A downside to waiting?

While waiting a few months to list a home may be fine, some potential housing market shifts could lessen homeowners’ current advantage. Rising mortgage rates, which realtor.com forecasts will reach 3.4% by the end of the year, could dampen buyer demand later in the home-buying season.

“In addition, improved vaccination rates could also bring more competition if an uptick in homeowners decides that it’s now safe to make a move.

““It’s a seller’s market right now, but you still need to ensure your home makes a great first impression, especially if you want to get the best price for your place,” says Rachel Stults, deputy editor for realtor.com. “The key is zeroing in on what buyers want. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, buyers are looking for more space – or flexible space they can transform into what they need.”” © 2021 Florida Realtors®

Why You Need SanibelSusan Realty Associates

With the “hot” real estate market in many parts of the country, including the islands, we have heard of prospective sellers saying, “You should reduce your commission since you won’t need to do as much work to get my property sold” or “You should charge less if you sell it yourself.”

Let’s consider these suggestions. First, if a seller wants to get sale terms that meet certain expectations, they need to make those requirements known. Perhaps they are only looking to sell if they get a certain price or maybe they can’t close until after a specific date or want to spend another winter here, or maybe they want to sell all their furnishings too.

Should they want the person that will negotiate terms on their behalf, be someone that is willing to give away their own fee? Or should they want someone working for them that will negotiate for them, like they do for themselves. Someone who is tough, but fair, honest, and forthright.

Especially in a hot market, sellers here need the exposure that only a local established on-island Realtor can provide. Everyone deserves solid ethical representation.

I built The SanibelSusan Team because I believe that no one is an expert in everything. In high school, I was voted “best all-‘round”. For years, I thought that meant I could do lots of things but was not a pro at any of them. Then I went to work for the government and then private industry. I found that whether in engineering or management or real estate, the strongest businesses are created with the smartest most-flexible people – not just one person.

On my team, my forte is the analysis, the details, the contracts, probably the result of all those years spent in marine engineering and in writing/administering/negotiating service contracts. I love the nitty gritty in getting a deal done.

Teammate Realtor® David Anderson, is our boots on the ground guy. He oversees the physical aspects of our office and the properties we list and sell. He is our internet sleuth and computer guru. He pulls files at City Hall, determines property values, researches their permit status and their opportunity for development or improvement. He accompanies our inspections, oversees repairs, and does our heavy lifting.

Teammate Elise Carnes, like Dave, has been part of the team for almost 21 years. As our licensed assistant and notary, Elise oversees our listing action items including preparing fliers, inventories, MLS postings, and bulk mailings. She schedules showings, follows up on feedback, and coordinates our weekly and monthly progress reports.

Realtor® teammate Lisa Murty is our Saturday gal. She coordinates weekend showings and updates our island inventory lists. She joined the team in 2007. With a background in the hospitality industry, she always is looking for ways to make selling our listings easy.

Does every SanibelSusan teammate know the ins and outs of the Florida sales contracts and are they all qualified to sell a property? Of course, they are, but more importantly we work together, capitalizing on our strengths, but flexible enough to do it all.

Whether The SanibelSusan Team is working for buyers, sellers, or both, we are fair, honest, and forthright. Our goal is to provide the best service. Our reputation is “we tell the truth” and sometimes that may be hard, but we want to make working with us the ”best” real estate experience.

Sanibel & Captiva Inventory

Table below with data from Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service 4/16/2021. Prices in italics are asking prices.

Average sale prices are provided for closed sales year-to-date, and in all of the years 2020, 2019, and 2006 (which was the prior peak year).

It is hard to believe that there are only 36 homes currently for sale on Sanibel, compared to 193 sold this year. The condo market is catching up, with just 47 Sanibel condos for sale, 144 sold this year. More Sanibel lots have sold already than in each of the last 15 years. Forty-six have sold, just 28 are for sale.

 

SANIBEL

CONDOS HOMES LOTS
# Avg Price $ # Avg Price $ # Avg Price $
Available 47 841,778 36 2,325,580 28 819,111
Under contract 51 816,900 66 1,415,536 12 1,056,325
Sold to-date 2021 93 864,419 127 1,324,262 34 521,588
Sold 2020 192 733,876 290 954,718 23 606,233
Sold 2019 127 694,392 211 949,790 15 372,200
Sold 2006 143 866,972 156 1,143,682 18 523,917

 

 

CAPTIVA

CONDOS HOMES LOTS
# Avg Price $ # Avg Price $ # Avg Price $
Available 8 1,740,312 16 4,819,874 1 3,995,000
Under contract 14 1,270,671 10 2,328,100 1 2,450,000
Sold to-date 2021 19 967,684 20 3,244,595 0 N/A
Sold 2020 47 821,713 27 2,923,148 4 2,537,500
Sold 2019 29 1,037,077 17 2,737,503 1 1,375,000
Sold 2006 27 797.532 25 2,127,352 0 N/A

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 9 to 16, 2021

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #I8 2/2 $624K, Sanibel Surfside #115 2/2 $1.05M.

2 price changes: Sanibel Moorings #242 1/1 now $409K, Sanibel Arms West #C4 2/2 now $911K.

3 new sales: Spanish Cay #F2 1/1 listed at $325K, Blind Pass #D203 2/2 listed at $459K, Loggerhead Cay #572 2/2 listed at $719K.

12 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #1512 2/2 $529K; Sanibel Arms West #B5 2/2 $540K; Pointe Santo #B26 2/2 $675K; Sand Pointe #217 2/2 $752.5K; Sand Pointe #113 2/2 $775K; Sand Pointe #216 2/2 $800K (our buyer); Sanibel Arms West #F1 2/2 $924,150; White Pelican #111 2/2 $1.245M; Pine Cove #202 3/2 $1.3M; By The Sea #B301 2/2 $1.595M; Cyprina Beach #2 3/3 $1.65M; Somerset #D102 3/2.5 $1.8M.

Sand Pointe pool

HOMES

3 new listings: 5423 Shearwater Dr 3/3 $1.245M, 820 Angel Wing Dr 3/2 $1.595M, 4601 Rue Belle Mer 2/2 $3.395M.

2 price changes: 3010 West Gulf Dr 3/2 now $1.299M, 940 Whelk Dr 3/2 now $1.47M.

10 new sales: 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $649K, 958 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $714K, 4505 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/3 listed at $729K, 1117 Captains Walk St 2/2 listed at $857K, 1275 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $1.399M, 2303 Troon Ct 3/4 listed at $1.4959M, 1200 Kittiwake Cir 4/3.5 listed at $1.5M, 742 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 listed at $1.55M, 775 Conch Ct 4/3 listed at $1.895M, 1680 Hibiscus Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.975M.

18 closed sales: 1835 Ardsley Way 2/2 $444K; 976 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex $515K; 4397 Gulf Pines Dr 3/3 $655K; 5303 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 $685K; 1965 Roseate Ln 3/2 $740K; 1052 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 $760K; 3781 Coquina Dr 3/2 $794,999; 1045 Blue Heron Dr 2/2.5 $889K; 685 Sea Oats Dr 3/2/2 $1.05M; 957 Cabbage Ct 3/3 listed at $1,062,150; 5076 Joewood Dr 3/2 $1.329M; 490 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 $1.41M; 1480 Middle Gulf Dr 4/4/2 $1.56M; 2479 Harbour Ln 4/3 $1.695M; 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 $1.755M; 1283 Isabel Dr 3/2 $1.84M, 550 Lighthouse Way 4/4.5 $2.775M; 4961 Joewood Dr 4/4 $4.995M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 6000 White Heron Ln listed at $850K.

3 closed sales: 667 Birdie View Pt $315K, 3308 Saint Kilda Rd $430K, 3324 Saint Kilda Rd $430K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

3 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5118 1/2 $392.5K, Lands End Village #1637 2/2 $1.41M, Lands End Village #1634 3/3 $2.32M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15867 Captiva Dr 7/6 $12.7M.

2 price changes: 15300 Captiva Dr 9/7 now $6.7M, 15261 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 now $11.499M.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: 11504 Wightman Ln 4/3.5 $1.475M, 16727 Captiva Dr 5/4 $1.925M, 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 $2.79M.

LOTS

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.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Another Bright Sunny Friday on Sanibel & Captiva

As the SanibelSusan Team and I maneuvered through another week of wonderful sunny island weather (low humidity, yet day-time temperatures in the 80’s), we occasionally had to remind ourselves to be patient. Easter always is the busiest week until Christmas, so it was not unusual for complaints about heavy roadway traffic, busy bike paths, and full lots at the public beaches. We try to take the temporary inconveniences in stride – hoping that some buyers are in the visitor mix – particularly ones that want to purchase our listings.

Beach in front of our listing at White Sands

Each day as soon as causeway traffic exceeded 5,500 vehicles (usually before noon), The City website, www.MySanibel.com, posted warnings of heavy off-going afternoon/evening traffic. Lee County commissioners (who regulate the bridge tolls) met this week and discussed keeping the toll booth unmanned, while raising the fee from $6 to $8 to cover the additional costs associated with that change. No decision was made, but it could be an omen of things to come.

Weather Changing

Southwest Florida needs rain with many lawns and vegetation turning yellow and crunchy. Less than an inch of rain was accumulated last month, so water is needed. The rainy season usually does not start until May, but forecasters are saying that we may get brief scattered showers both Sunday afternoon and Monday.

Last week, I posted a couple of pix of the first two gardenia blooms on the bush by my front door. I guess, those plants don’t need a lot of water, as this week, the bush has exploded. Wish you could smell it – it’s heavenly!

When the rainy season begins, usually hurricane season is not far behind (Jun 1 through Nov 30). After the historic tropical storms of 2020, meteorologists predict 2021 could be another busy hurricane season, with between 16 to 20 named storms expected for the Atlantic area.

SanibelSusan Realty

This week at SanibelSusan Realty, we had another nice closing, a couple of walk-ins and several listing and showing inquiries. Unfortunately, once again, most Realtors® wanting to show our condo listings that are booked solid, have buyers departing before, or arriving after, the short Saturday window between when guests leave and new ones arrive.

Teammate Dave was out showing and has been sleuthing for properties that meet buyers’ requirements. We have done that a lot lately. We continue to search for new listings, particularly in communities where we have buyers “waiting”.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Now it has been more than a year since our Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® has met in person for Caravan and Membership meetings. We hope that changes soon. The next Open Caravan Zoom meeting is Apr 15.

Wondering about inventory today? It remains super low. Below is an update from the islands Multiple Listing Service as of Apr 9.

CONDOS:

On Sanibel, 46 for sale, average asking price $821,267.

On Captiva, eight for sale, average asking price $1,740,312.

HOMES:

On Sanibel, 39 for sale, average asking price $2,208,638.

On Captiva, 15 for sale, average asking price $4,280,599.

What about sales, year-to-date?

CONDOS:

On Sanibel, 148 sold/under contract, average asking price $866,941.

On Captiva, 33 sold/under contract, average asking price $1,112,239.

HOMES:

On Sanibel, 185 sold/under contract, average asking price $1,416,986.

On Captiva, 30 sold/under contract, average asking price $3,120,616.

Below are a couple of news items followed by the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Island Multiple Listing Service.

Update on COVID-19

The mask mandate remains in effect for Sanibel businesses, with the City State of Emergency extended by the Mayor until Apr 13.

FISH (Friends in Service Here of San-Cap) was notified this week that they would get another 300 vaccine doses which were administered today (by appointment) at The Community House.

Today’s Housing Market? ‘Not the Time for Amateurs’

Posted on-line Wednesday at FloridaRealtors®:

“It may be possible to buy a home without the help of a Realtor – but it’s hard to see how given today’s multiple bid competitions for a limited number of homes.

“NEW YORK – Real estate agents agree: Even though the spring housing market is hot, many are desperate to find listings – and this is not the market for amateurs. Nationally, there are about half as many listings not under contract right now than there were a year ago, according to realtor.com The typical home also is now selling a week faster than last year.

“By the numbers, there are now about twice as many working real estate agents as there are listings. Spring is the traditional time of year when the most listings come on the market, but this past March saw 20% fewer homes listed than last March.

“Potential sellers have several concerns, the largest being that they’re afraid they won’t be able to find or afford another home. Not only are home prices incredibly hot – up over 11% year over year, according to the S&P Case-Shiller home price index – but rents are also rising fast.

““The uptick in mortgage rates is likely fueling more bidding wars in the short term because house hunters are rushing to buy homes before rates rise even further,” says Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather.

“Supply has been tightest on the low end of the market, but the higher end is now slimming as well. Moreover, real estate agents are relying on their networks to find homes for clients no longer constrained by location thanks to remote work. Source: CNBC (04/05/21) Olick, Diana © Copyright 2021 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688”

Island Spring Things

SCCF Sea Turtle Program – Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) Sea Turtle volunteers are trained and ready to begin surveying the islands during turtle nesting season, from Apr 15 through Oct. Nearly 100 volunteers take part in this program, conducting the surveys designed by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, with a defined number of positions. Today, the wait list is more than the number of active volunteers with only a few positions opening each season.

Snowy Plovers – Tues, SCCF posted the following: “We are excited to report that we just roped off our first snowy plover nest of the season! Our shorebird biologist and volunteers found a one-egg nest on the East End of Sanibel this morning and roped it off immediately. The volunteers named the snowy plover … “Pale Male.” He’s shading the egg while his mate was off feeding to get energy to lay the next egg. We also have another area posted on the East End where our snowy plovers usually nest. There are two pairs that will likely nest there. Click here to learn how to protect these precious shorebirds! sancaplifesavers.org

Lake Okeechobee Releases Reduced

Last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District reported that it would reduce Lake Okeechobee release to coastal estuaries beginning April 3 to slow the lake recession rate. Releases to the Caloosahatchee River are reduced to 1,200 cubic feet per second as measured at the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam and to 300 cfs as measured at the St. Lucie Lock and Dam. The releases are being continued as part of a planned deviation which was approved in Sept to reduce the risk of lake releases when harmful algal blooms are more likely present (in the summer). Since it began in Feb, the deviation has released about 80,500 acre feet of additional water from the lake.

One of the requirements for using the Harmful Algal Bloom deviation is for the Army Corps to maintain a recession rate of no more than 0.5 feet per month to avoid harm to nesting birds. As of Apr 2, the lake stage was at 14.44’. The lake had fallen 0.87’ in the past 30 days, but still was 2.61’ higher than it was one year ago and 2.58’ higher than two years ago. The releases regularly will be reevaluated as conditions change. Recent satellite images show conditions on Lake O remain poor for development of large harmful algal blooms. Additionally, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection tracks water samples. Operators continue daily monitoring.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 2-9, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Blind Pass #D203 2/2 $459K, Blind Pass #E104 2/2 $549.9K, Sanibel Arms West #I2 2/2 $599K, Atrium #102 3/2 $1.498M.

No price changes.

9 new sales: Sundial #F106 1/1 listed at $465K, Kimball Lodge #264 1/1.5 listed at $570K, Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 listed at $629K, Island Beach Club #210A 2/2 listed at $729K, Sanibel Arms West #D6 2/2 listed at $955K, Pointe Santo #C23 3/2 listed at $995K, Tarpon Beach #109 2/2 listed at $1.1M, Compass Point #102 2/2 listed at $1.375M, Shorewood #2D 3/2 listed at $1.595M.

7 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #C5 2/2 $435K, Blind Pass #E207 2/2.5 $466K, Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 $575K, Sandalfoot #2C2 2/2 $640K, Loggerhead Cay #274 2/2 $658.5K, Mariner Pointe #112 2/2 $675 (our listing), Sandals #A 3/3.5 $1.825M.

Dockage at Mariner Pointe

HOMES

6 new listings: 4505 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/3 $729K, 2098 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 $795K, 4619 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $894K, 5186 Sea Bell Rd 3/3 $998K, 1275 Par View Dr 3/2 $1.399M, 1146 Golden Olive Ct 5/4 $3.299M.

6 price changes: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $550K, 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $649K, 3010 West Gulf Dr 3/2 now $1.345M, 930 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 now $1.55M, 742 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 now $1.55M, 4014 West Gulf Dr 4/3 now $3.849M.

10 new sales: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 listed at $550K, 1644 Bunting Ln 3/3 listed at $643K, 5859 Pine Tree Dr 2/2 listed at $749.9K, 1186 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $825K, 812 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 listed at $1.249M, 1743 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.395M, 1044 Whisperwood Way 4/4.5 listed at $1.995M, 1245 Isabel Dr 3/4.5 listed at $2.149M, 880 Limpet Dr 4/3.5 listed at $2.5M, 1314 Seaspray Ln 5/5.5 listed at $6.995M.

11 closed sales: 1613 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 half-duplex $575K, 3085 Poinciana Cir 2/2 $599K, 9211 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $699K, 1985 Sanibel Bayou Rd 3/2 $790K, 1050 White Ibis Dr 4/3.5 $935K, 2313 Wulfert Rd 4/3 $1M, 6101 Starling Way 3/3.5 $1.05M, 1147 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 $1.165M, 4500 Waters Edge Ln 2/2 $1.175M, 1323 Seaspray Ln 4/4.5 $1.65M, 2964 Wulfert Rd 5/5.5 $2.65M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 6141 Starling Way now $897K.

2 new sales: 971 Main St listed at $205K, 9042 Mockingbird Dr listed at $395K.

3 closed sales: 1820 Ardsley Way $170K, 1303 Par View Dr $300K, 3354 Barra Cir $350K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Ventura Captiva #4A 3/3 listed at $1.1M, Lands End Village #1662 3/3 listed at $1.99M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 41 Oster Ct 2/2.5 $1.125M.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

LOTS

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, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.