Another Wonderful Friday on Sunny Sanibel

This week as much of the world has suffered with high temperatures, weather on Sanibel and Captiva has been normal for summer rainy season – maybe even with fewer showers that usual for late July. Sunny daytime temperatures are mid to high 80’s F, while sometimes the high humidity makes it feel warmer. Occasional showers pass quickly, but it makes sense to always keep an umbrella handy.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Yesterday morning was the July Membership Meeting of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®. County Commissioner (former Sanibel Mayor) Kevin Ruane was the guest speaker. Following the meeting, the Caravan of new listings had six properties open for viewing, including our new listing at Captains Walk. Six properties “open” is the highest number in months, years. Probably another sign that the market is shifting.

The activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service and our ad from today’s “Island Sun” are after a couple of news items below.

First a few highlights from Commissioner Ruane’s talk. His transition from serving for more than a decade on Sanibel City Council, including as Mayor, to Lee County District 1 Commissioner (covering Sanibel, Captiva, Pine Island, St James City, Boca Grande, and southwest Cape Coral) sure is a plus for us.

Thank you, Kevin, for all you continue to do! Here are some items mentioned:

  • Restructuring of Sherriff’s department, office, and 911 system upgrade. Lee County now ranks the safest in 67 counties. To improve safety, added 24 new sheriffs and more prosecutors.
  • Emergency response improved with addition of 32 more ambulances.
  • 34,000+acres preserved through Conservation 20/20 program, exceeding original goal.
  • With 100% increase in Florida visitors since the pandemic, the Port Authority (SW Florida international Airport (RSW)) is undergoing a $331 million expansion. Last two years, it has ranked as fastest growing airport in the county.
  • With last tropical storm causing loss of ~5” on both sides of the causeway islands, the $10 million erosion plan underway is of utmost importance to islands who rely on the causeway as their way on/off to mainland. Though some plans still being finalized, intent is to reduce number of parked cars to 450. Parking cost expected to remain free, but still being discussed in workshops. Sheriff and ranger presence has increased tremendously to keep the public in check. Causeway A expected to remain with open areas for windsurfing, kayaking, etc.

Island Inventory

Sanibel and Captiva inventory continues to stabilize with summer activity this year significantly less than last. Economic worries seem to be the biggest factor. Below is an update of inventory today (July 22, 2022) with data from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

 

 

Status

SANIBEL
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 28 1,294,214 63 40 2,262,375 38 9 1,220,177 312
Under contract 13 1,106,284 34 18 1,583,277 27 1 145,000 6
Sold to-date 2022 98 1,132,004 42 124 1,679,275 61 22 676,943 231
Sold 2021 287 875,127 113 355 1,341,881 89 69 698,862 442

 

 

 

Status

CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 8 1,725,312 88 8 6,210,345 106  1 15,500,000 118
Under contract 1 535,000 62 2 5,622,500 45  0 N/A N/A
Sold to-date 2022 27 1,468,575 51 19 5,723,973 134  0 N/A N/A
Sold 2021  64 1,150,373 145  44 2,988,520 261  2 2,950,000 731

 

Sanibel City Happenings

Tuesday afternoon/evening, I listened to Sanibel’s City Council Meeting where a lengthy (12-page) agenda (beginning at 9 a.m. and not wrapping up until 5:58 p.m.) covered such topics as proposed 2023 budget millage rates, changes to FEMA flood maps that become effective in November (available for viewing at City Planning Dept), non-motorized vehicles on beach, smoking on beach, digging holes on beach, operation of low-speed vehicles on roadways, boat ramp parking, and more. Sanibel City government officials and staff certainly are a thoughtful careful bunch. Kudos to all involved in this successful meeting, especially Mayor Holly Smith.

Midweek, it was announced that vegetation trimming has begun and will continue through August 3 on Periwinkle Way (including the shared use path) from the Lighthouse to Tarpon Bay Rd. The road occasionally may be limited to one lane with minor delays expected.

Last night, the City announced that their new website is “up & running”. Check it out at www.MySanibel.com.

NAR Study: International Buyers Are Back

By Kerry Smith, posted Monday July 18, 2022, on FloridaRealtors®:

“WASHINGTON – Foreign buyers purchased $59 billion worth of U.S. existing homes over a one-year period (April 2021 through March 2022) – an 8.5% increase from the previous 12-month period and the end of a pandemic-led three-year skid.

“The 98,600 existing homes sold – the lowest since NAR tracking began in 2009 – were down 7.9% year-to-year. Overall, however, Florida led the nation in welcoming foreign investment as one in four international buyers (24%) selected property in the Sunshine State.

“Top international buyer destinations

  • Florida (24%)
  • California (11%)
  • Texas (8%)
  • Arizona (7%)
  • New York (4%)
  • North Carolina (4%)

“Florida ranking among residents of foreign countries

  • Canada: Florida was the No. 1 choice for 45% of Canadians
  • China: Florida No. 4 for 7%
  • Brazil: Florida No. 1 for 55%
  • Mexico: Florida No. 2 for 12%
  • Colombia: Florida No. 1 for 60%

“Region of origin for Florida’s top foreign buyers

  • Latin America/Caribbean: 39%
  • North America: 25%
  • Europe: 12%
  • Asia/Oceania: 4%
  • Africa: 0%
  • Region not identified 20%

““For the second year in a row, restrictions and general caution tied to international travel during the pandemic slowed home buying by wealthier foreign buyers,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Even so, domestic home buying demand was exceptional and, therefore, boosted home sales nationally.”

“NAR’s 2022 Profile of International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate surveyed members about transactions with international clients who purchased and sold U.S. residential property from April 2021 through March 2022.

“Foreign buyers who resided in the U.S. as recent immigrants or holding visas that allowed them to live in the U.S. purchased $34.1 billion worth of U.S. existing homes, a 5.2% increase from the prior year and 58% of the total dollar volume of purchases.

“Foreign buyers who lived abroad purchased $24.9 billion worth of existing homes, up 13.2% from the 12 months prior and for 42% of the dollar volume. International buyers accounted for 2.6% of the $2.3 trillion in existing-home sales during the time.

“Typical foreign buyer home

“The average ($598,200) and median ($366,100) existing-home sales prices among international buyers were the highest ever recorded by NAR – and 17.7% and 4.1% higher, respectively, than the previous year. The increase in foreign buyer prices partly reflects the increase in U.S. home prices, as the monthly average existing-home sales price rose to $374,300, up 10% from the prior period.

“At just over $1 million, Chinese buyers had the highest average purchase price, and nearly a third – 31% – purchased property in California. “Affordability challenges along with the inability to find the right property were the top reasons given for prospective international buyers who showed interest but ultimately did not purchase a home in the United States,” says Yun.

“China and Canada remained first and second in U.S. residential sales dollar volume at $6.1 billion and $5.5 billion, respectively, continuing a trend going back to 2013. India ($3.6 billion), Mexico ($2.9 billion), and Brazil ($1.6 billion) rounded out the top five.

“For the 14th straight year, Florida remained the top destination for foreign buyers.

“All-cash sales accounted for 44% of international buyer transactions, nearly twice the rate (24%) of all existing-home buyers. Non-resident foreign buyers (60%) were twice as likely to make an all-cash purchase compared to resident foreign buyers (30%). Nearly 7 out of 10 Canadian buyers (69%) made all-cash purchases, the highest share among foreign buyers. Asian Indian buyers were the least likely to pay all-cash, at just 9%. Almost 6 out of 10 Chinese buyers (58%) and a quarter of Mexican (27%) and Brazilian buyers (26%) made all-cash purchases.

““Due to rising interest rates, overall home sales will decline in the U.S. this year. Foreign buyers, however, are likely to step up purchases, as those making all-cash offers will be immune from changes in interest rates,” Yun says. “In addition, international flights have increased in recent months with the lifting of pandemic-related travel restrictions.”

“Type of homes purchased

“44% of foreign buyers purchased their property for use as a vacation home, rental property or both.

64% purchased detached single-family homes and townhouses.46% bought a home in the suburbs while 29% bought a home in an urban area, numbers which have held steady over the last five years. 5% bought property in a resort area, down from 17% in 2012

“NAR “collaborates with groups across the country to help our members unlock and better understand the opportunities in U.S. real estate for foreign buyers, maximizing the global business potential in our local markets,” says Katie Johnson, NAR’s general counsel and chief member experience officer. The network has grown to include more than 100 real estate associations across 76 countries.”

Redfin Reports Prices Begin to Fall from Record Highs

Posted on-line Monday July 18, 2022, on “Realty Times” and sourced to RedFin:

“Inflation and high mortgage rates are taking a bite out of homebuyer budgets, leading to fewer sales and supply gains The median sale price for U.S. homes came down 0.7% from its record-breaking June peak during the four weeks ending July 10, according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com),….

“Sellers’ asking prices also came down 3% from their May peak as the share of homes with price drops hit another new high. Home supply posted its first year-over-year increase since August 2019 as pending sales continued to slide. These changes in the housing market can be attributed to buyers reaching their limit on costs—not just of homes and mortgages, but also food, transportation, and energy.

““Inflation and high mortgage rates are taking a bite out of homebuyer budgets,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “Few people can afford homes costing 50% more than just two years ago in some areas, so homes are beginning to pile up on the market. As a result, prices are starting to come down from their all-time highs. We expect this environment of reduced competition and declining home prices to continue for at least the next several months.”

“Leading indicators of homebuying activity:

  • For the week ending July 14, 30-year mortgage rates rose to 5.51%. This was down from a 2022 high of 5.81% but up from 3.11% at the start of the year.
  • Fewer people searched for “homes for sale” on Google—searches during the week ending July 9 were down 5% from a year earlier.
  • The seasonally-adjusted Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index—a measure of requests for home tours and other home-buying services from Redfin agents—was down 18% year over year during the week ending July 10.
  • Touring activity as of July 10 was up 1% from the start of the year, compared to a 23% increase at the same time last year, according to home tour technology company ShowingTime.
  • Mortgage purchase applications were down 18% from a year earlier during the week ending July 8, while the seasonally-adjusted index was down 4% week over week.

“Key housing market takeaways for 400+ U.S. metro areas: Unless otherwise noted, the data in this report covers the four-week period ending July 10. Redfin’s weekly housing market data goes back through 2015.

Data based on homes listed and/or sold during the period:

  • The median home sale price was up 12% year over year to $393,449. This was down 0.7% from the peak during the four-week period ending June 19. A year ago the median price rose 0.9% during the same period. The year-over-year growth rate was down from the March peak of 16%.
  • The median asking price of newly listed homes increased 14% year over year to $397,475, but was down 2.8% from the all-time high set during the four-week period ending May 22. Last year during the same period median prices were down just 0.9%.
  • The monthly mortgage payment on the median asking price home hit $2,387 at the current 5.51% mortgage rate, up 44% from $1,663 a year earlier, when mortgage rates were 2.88%. That’s down slightly from the peak of $2,487 reached during the four weeks ending June 12.
  • Pending home sales were down 14% year over year, the largest decline since May 2020.
  • New listings of homes for sale were down 1.7% from a year earlier.
  • Active listings (the number of homes listed for sale at any point during the period) rose 1.3% year over year—the largest increase since August 2019.
  • 43% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within the first two weeks on the market, down from 47% a year earlier.
  • 29% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within one week of hitting the market, down from 33% a year earlier.
  • Homes that sold were on the market for a median of 18 days, flat from a year earlier and up slightly from the record low of 15 days set in May and early June.
  • 51% of homes sold above list price, down from 54% a year earlier.
  • On average, 7.1% of homes for sale each week had a price drop, a record high as far back as the data goes, through the beginning of 2015.
  • The average sale-to-list price ratio, which measures how close homes are selling to their asking prices, declined to 101.6%. In other words, the average home sold for 1.6% above its asking price. This was down from 102.2% a year earlier.

“To view the full report, including charts and methodology, please visit:
https://www.redfin.com/news/housing-market-update-prices-fall-inventory-climbs/

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 15‑22, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Colonnades #8 1/1 $489K, Lake Palms #3 2/2.5 $699K.

2 price changes: Loggerhead Cay #271 2/2 now $900K, Sanddollar #A302 3/2 now $1.85M.

1 new sale: Gulf Beach #107 2/2 listed at $999K.

4 closed sales: Seashells #9 2/2 $650K, Sundial #D405 1/1, $851,350, Seawind #110 2/2.5 $900K, Pointe Santo #C26 2/2 $950K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 9027 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 $1.895M, 1543 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/4 $2.995M.

4 price changes: 446 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 now $844K, 1289 Par View Dr 3/2 now $999K, 542 Boulder Dr 2/2 now $1.15M, 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 now $1.199M.

6 new sales: 1421 Sandpiper Cir (1/2 duplex) 3/2.5 listed at $769K, 760 Cardium St 3/2 listed at $1.172M, 3947 Coquina Dr 2/2 listed at $1.249M, 1260 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $1.699M, 1313 Seaspray Ln 3/3 listed at $1.795M, 839 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed at $1.995M.

1 closed sale: 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 $917K.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1226 Isabel Dr $1.85M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or closed sales.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3113 1/1 listed at $535K.

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.

Until next Friday,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

More Summertime News on Sunny Sanibel

I hope you had a safe happy July 4th holiday. Sanibel festivities were terrific with the morning weather perfect – bright sunny, with slight breeze, when the parade passed by the office.

I was joined by regulars who like our shady location – which also is just before the judges’ reviewing area. I took plenty of photos which are posted on Facebook (if you are a social media follower).

If you also follow island restaurants, you may be interested in hearing that The Sandbar (Steak & Seafood) recently changed hands. New owner also is the new owner of The Green Flash on Captiva. I had dinner at The Sandbar this week and it was wonderful, busy as always with locals and visitors, so before you go, be sure and make a reservation.

A little more restaurant scoop is that I heard today that Café Italia (currently in the Publix shopping center across the street from the outlet malls) is moving to Sanibel in September. They will be in the location of former restaurants (Bamboo, Il Tesoro, & Twilight Café) at 751 Tarpon Bay Rd, Unit #2, behind the Art Gallery.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Real Estate News

I was busy meeting a contractor early yesterday so missed the Realtor® bi-weekly Caravan Meeting. Just one property was on tour for viewing after the meeting. The activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows some news below.

Now that the year is half over, and inventory is changing slightly, I thought it would be interesting to compare island sales status today to year-to-date sales during the same time last year and 2020. Usually, the most contracts occur and sales close during that “high season”. Though changes in interest rates do not have a huge bearing on island sales, the shift toward a more balanced market has begun (or so it looks to SanibelSusan). There was little new sales activity, this past week. Data below is from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands MLS today.

 

 

Status

SANIBEL
Condos Homes Lots Total
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # $ change over previous year
For sale 24 1,328,787 64 38 1,956,447 32 10 1,523,160 281 72
Under contract 17 1,055,752 33 16 1,513,625 20 1 145,000 6 34
Sold 1/1-7/8/2022 93 1,147,421 39 125 1,699,504 60 21 621,083 241 239 +31%
Sold 1/1-7/8/2021 187 862,247 144 237 1,299,038 100 53 706,783 462 477 +20%
Sold 1/1-7/8/2020 80 726,294 155 116 993,923 157 4 849,666 423 200

 

 

 

Status

CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots Total
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # % $ change over previous year
For sale 9 1,593,055 71 9 6,075,307 90 1 15,500,000 104 19
Under contract 0 N/A N/A 2 5,622,500 45 0 N/A N/A 2
Sold 1/1-7/8/2022 27 1,468,575 51 19 5,723,973 134 0 N/A N/A 46 +73%
Sold 1/1-7/8/2021 39 1,006,830 184 34 2,846,629 278 1 2,000,000 129 74 -4%
Sold 1/1-7/8/2020 15 882,666 104 13 3,188,230 332 2 1,925,000 462 30

Is It OK to Self-Insure Our House?

Posted on-line at FloridaRealtors® in late June, this Question/Answer was reposted from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, by Gary M. Singer:

‘As property insurance grows more expensive, homeowners study other options. If an owner has paid off the mortgage, is self-insurance an option?

“FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Question: We own our home outright, without a mortgage. Because of the insurance crisis, what is the feasibility of self-insuring our house rather than renewing our policy at an ever-higher cost? –Thomas

“Answer: Under certain circumstances, it is feasible to go without homeowner’s casualty insurance. Even still, it is rarely, if ever, a good idea or a sound financial policy.

“Banks and other mortgage lenders are good at making money and protecting their investments.

“I often look at what mortgage lenders require of their customers to gauge the risk of a proposed action. For example, when asked whether a homeowner needs title insurance when purchasing a home, I respond that although they are not required by law to have this valuable coverage, every lender I have dealt with requires title insurance when lending money.

“If a bank thinks it is necessary to protect their investment in your asset, you should afford yourself the same protection. Lenders also require their borrowers to have a casualty insurance policy for many of the same reasons.

“Most people think of insurance as covering the small events – a fender bender, prescription drugs or a leaking water heater. While this is important, minor claims rarely exceed the cost of the policy, especially when considering the deductible.

“When insurance shines is when the rare severe event happens. Not having health insurance and developing a serious health condition bankrupts many people. A dented fender is easy enough to live with, but replacing a totaled car can cost decades of car insurance premiums.

“Similarly, if your house suffers a significant casualty – for example, a lost roof and flooding from severe weather, a fire, or even a guest hurting themselves on your lawn – the costs to the homeowner can be more than a lifetime of insurance premiums.

“While no one enjoys paying their insurance bills, especially when they seem to increase every year, it still makes sense to grit your teeth and write a check.”

Upcoming BIG ARTS Community Chorus Concerts

If you are a follower of the BIG ARTS Community Chorus, you may be interested in marking your calendar for their upcoming concert events. As a chorus alto since the beginning in 1992, the pandemic caused SanibelSusan to miss a couple of seasons. Here’s hoping that things are back to more normal this fall. If you are interested in singing with us, please let me know and I will get you on our message alerts.

The chorus Holiday Concert will be Wednesday December 7 at 7 p.m. in BIG ARTS Christensen Auditorium.

The spring concert also at 7 p.m. in BIG ARTS Christensen Auditorium is scheduled for Wednesday March 29, 2023.

Also in spring 2023, a new special concert is scheduled. This one, at the same BIG ARTS location, will be Tuesday April 4 at 6:30 p.m. and a combined effort with the singers of the Sanibel School Seahorse Chorale, under the direction of Joey Giangreco..

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 1‑8, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sundial #C310 1/1 $875K, Wedgewood #104 3/3.5 $3.695M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Seashells #9 2/2 listed at $650K, Sandalfoot #2A2 2/2 listed at $850K, Sundial #N301 3/2 listed at $1.328M.

1 closed sale: Colonnades #10 1/1 $455K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 531 Birdsong Pl 3/2 $799K, 1289 Par View Dr 3/2 $1.1M, 1018 S Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $1.295M, 917 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $1.692M, 9020 Mockingbird 3/2 $1.795M, 5855 San-Cap Rd 3/2 $2.275M.

3 price changes: 446 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 now $899K, 1382 Tahiti Dr 3/2 now $995K, 437 Lake Murex Cir 5/3 now $1.95M.

1 new sale: 1031 Bird Watch Way 3/2 listed at $950K.

3 closed sales: 1236 Sandcastle Rd 2/2 $932,111, 1710 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 $2.195M, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/5.5 $3.495M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Tennis Villas #3113 1/1 now $535K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1114 Schefflera 4/3.5 $3.6M.

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

July 4th Holiday Weekend 2022 on Sunny Sanibel

Best wishes for a safe happy July 4th holiday weekend wherever you are. Here on Sanibel, locals and visitors are looking forward to several special events on Monday.

As usual, SanibelSusan will be in the office which is a great vantage point for parade watching. See schedule below:

Sanibel July 4th Fun

  • 7 to 9:15 a.m. – Pancake breakfast at Sanibel Community Church, SanibelChurch.com
  • 9 a.m. to noon – Periwinkle Way closed from Donax St to Tarpon Bay Rd.
  • 9:30 a.m. – 30th Annual Independence Day Parade down Periwinkle Way (Tarpon Bay Rd to Casa Ybel Rd).

  • 11 a.m. to noon – Ice cream at St Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – July 4th Celebration at Jerry’s Foods parking lot.
  • Noon – 42nd Annual Road Rally begins at The Timbers parking lot.
  • 3 to 6 p.m. – Marty Stokes Band performing at American Legion Post #123
  • 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. – Dunes Golf & Tennis Club July 4th Celebration (reservations needed, 239-472-3355)
  • Dusk – Fireworks launched from end of Bailey Rd over bay. Bailey Rd will be closed all day.

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate News

In the world of island real estate, it was another quiet week. Just four sales – total for both islands since last Friday. The SanibelSusan Team is thankful that one of those sales was our buyer.

There was no Realtor® Caravan this week, but the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. Sanibel inventory is inching up slowly.

Our ad from today’s “Island Sun” is below.

Homebuyer Demographics Are Changing

The July 2022 issue of “Florida Realtor®” magazine arrived this week. Under “finances”, it mentions that “Gen Z and Millennials will play a big role in the housing market this year. Some 26% are likely to purchase a new home this year, compared to 12% of Gen X and 8% of Baby Boomers, and 23% would purchase a home without seeing it in person first (compared to 16% of Gen X and 5% of Baby Boomers.”

If you need a reminder of the ages of those generations, today Baby Boomers are 56 to 77; Gen X-ers are 40 to 55; Millennials are 24 to 39; while Gen Z-ers are 10 to 23. Does this mean that more than a quarter of those 39 and younger are expected to buy this year, many without ever visiting the property? Wow!

CROW Clinic Summer Schedule

The CROW (Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife) Connection (www.CROWClinic.org) just posted their new summer schedule. They will have two daily presentations at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. (except Saturdays) and one Wildlife Walk Guided Hospital Tour each day after the 11 a.m. presentation.

CROW Visitor Education Center will be closed Monday, July 4 as staff will be participating in the Sanibel’s “Red, Wild, & Blue” Parade.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 24‑July 1, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Seashells #9 2/2 $650K, Sandalfoot #2A2 2/2 $850K, Sandollar #A302 3/2 $1.9M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Captains Walk #A5 2/1 listed at $549K (our sale), Sundial H406 2/2 listed at $1.329M.

3 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #G8 2/2 $1.295M, Tarpon Beach #105 2/2 $1.3M, White Pelican #124 2/2 $1.699M.

HOMES
6 new listings: 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 $1.249M, 749 Cardium St 3/2 $1.279M, 4677 Rue Bayou 3/3 $1.495M, 1224 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 $1.625M, 1260 Par View Dr 3/3 $1.799M, 896 Angel Wing Dr 3/2.5 $1.995M.

3 price changes: 760 Cardium 3/2 now $1.172M, 4052 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $1.199M, 1318 Seaspray Ln 5/3.5 now $4.295M.

2 new sales: 1012/14 E Gulf Dr 4/2 listed at $995K, 947 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 listed at $1.456M.

2 closed sales: 600 Boulder Dr 3/2 $970K, 4612 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 $1.495M.

LOTS

1 closed sale: 451 Sawgrass Pl $949K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5110 1/2 $673.5K, Gulf Beach Villas #2001 2/2 $1.15M.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 1106 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 now $3.75M.

No new 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.

Enjoy your holiday!

Happy birthday, America!

Susan Andrews,aka SanibelSusan

Summer Starts on Sunny Sanibel

It’s Susan, reporting another sunny Sanibel Friday. We enjoyed a few low humidity days here this week, with little rain, but that is expected to change beginning later today.

Real estate wise, it was quiet on the island again this week, though we are happy to have another new listing and look forward to perhaps more action with holiday visitors soon arriving for the 4th.

Below are info from our Association of Realtors® meeting yesterday, scoop on Sanibel/Captiva residential real estate inventory today, info about upcoming holiday events, and the activity this week posted in the islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Yesterday was the June Membership Breakfast Meeting at the islands Association of Realtors®. Largest in-person turnout that one of these meetings has had since pre-Covid. Speaker was Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors®, Dr. Lawrence Yun. Here are a few tidbits from his presentation:

  • National Association of Realtors® membership has increased from 1.4 million to 1.55 million with Florida having more Realtors® than any other state.
  • Yun is often asked if the housing bubble will pop. His answer is a definite “no”. Today unlike before the recession, people must qualify to get loans and there is no subprime lending.
  • Latest data shows that prices in the Cape Coral – Ft Myers area (including Sanibel & Captiva) are up 35% from a year ago.
  • With the economy out of control, he concurred that the Feds are not doing their job. He also said that mortgage rates and the Fed Funds Rate are not a one-to-one relationship, they do not mirror each other.
  • With prices of so many things up, gas, air travel, food, etc., it noted that one thing not up is mass transit use with crime being the biggest reason people are not using metro systems.
  • He likened real estate price increases to West Texas crude oil prices. Explained how the U.S. is not drilling more so an oil price reduction is not likely, while Putin continues to make huge profits selling to China, India, & smugglers.
  • Looking at payroll and jobs, nationally jobs are almost back to where they were pre-pandemic. Here in Florida, there are 3.3% more jobs than there were in March 2020. States with the strongest increase in percentage of new jobs are Utah and Idaho.
  • Here in the local area, there were 150K jobs in 2000, that number has doubled to more than 300,000.
  • Considering those now working remotely, before Covid about 9% of full-time workers worked from home. That number now is closer to 21%. Of course, “working from home” benefits Florida. Who wouldn’t want to work where the weather is nice and there is no income tax?
  • Regarding the future, he expects that 4th quarter sales will be down 15% from last year. Cash sales will continue to be king, while lower inventory than 2000, yet sound underwriting standards likely will result in prices remaining where they are or increasing.

Island Sales Stats

To put the Sanibel & Captiva Island sales in perspective. Below are the statistics from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listings Service as of today (June 24, 2022).

 

 

Status

SANIBEL
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 22 1,236,495 54 26 1,928,307 31 10 1,523,160 267
Under contract 17 1,109,256 41 20 1,648,000 15 2 547,000 56
Sold to-date 2022 89 1,146,181 39 120 1,696,216 62 20 604,687 244
Sold 2021 287 875,127 113 355 1,341,881 89 69 698,862 442
Sold 2020 193 733,136 174 289 950,426 161 23 606,233 393

 

 

 

Status

CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 9 1,594,111 57 9 6,091,973 76  1 15,500,000 90
Under contract 2 911,750 18 3 4,948,333 42  0 N/A N/A
Sold to-date 2022 25 1,513,121 54 18 5,847,527 140  0 N/A N/A
Sold 2021  64 1,150,373 145  44 2,988,520 261  2 2,950,000 731
Sold 2020  47 821,713 134   27 2,923,148 315  4 2,537,500 448

Scoop on July 4th Happenings

30th Annual Sanibel Parade – 30th year for this event which began as the idea of island Realtor® Don Bissell. As always, the parade will form on Island Inn Rd which usually is closed to through vehicular traffic. Periwinkle Way will be closed along the parade route from 9 a.m. until noon (Tarpon Bay Rd to Casa Ybel Rd). Parade begins at 9:30. Get your spot early!

Post Parade Fun at Jerry’s – immediately following the parade, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., a celebration at Jerry’s Foods parking lot includes bounce house, water games, snow cones, face painting, & local Boy Scouts fundraiser (handing out hot dogs & water).

42nd Annual Road Rally – Beginning a noon in The Timbers restaurant parking lot, this scavenger hunt is benefitting Community Housing & Resources. The after-party and awards presentations will be at The Sanibel Grill.

Fireworks – begin at 9 p.m. from the beach at the end of Bailey Rd. Best viewing on the causeway. Bailey Rd will be closed to traffic all day.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 17‑24, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Seawind #105 2/2.5 $899K, Sundial #D305 1/1 $950K, Sundial #N301 2/2 $1.328M, Sundial #H406 2/2 $1.329M.

No price changes.

4 new sales: Sanibel Arms West #B8 2/2 listed at $875K, Sandalfoot #1A3 2/2 listed at $1.175M, Pointe Santo #C26 2/2 listed at $1.095M, Gulfside Place #210 2/2 listed at $1.499M.

3 closed sales: Seawind #106 2/2.5 $925K, Sanddollar #B301 2/2 $1.699M, Gulfside Place #101 3/3 $2.495M.

HOMES

No new listings.

4 price changes: 446 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 now $920K, 1835 Farm Trl 3/2 now $949K, 1313 Seaspray Ln 3/3 now $1.795M, 931 S Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 now $1.895M (our listing).

Dock with lift at 931 South Yachtsman Dr

1 new sale: 458 Casa Ybel Rd 3/2.5 $1.25M.

3 closed sales: 496 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $950K, 1985 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 $1.28M, 5075 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 $4.1M.

LOTS

Looking from 1084 South Yachtsman Dr to marina, bay, causeway

1 new listing: 1084 S Yachtsman Dr $699K (our listing).

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Marina Villas #902 2/2 $1.375M.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: Beach Villas #2635 3/3 $1.5M, Gulf Beach Villas #2027 3/2 $1.55M.

HOMES

Nothing to report.

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, enjoy summer! (Our ad from today’s “Island Sun” below.)

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

It’s a Happy Friday Both on The Islands & At Sea

It’s Susan reporting from the Celebrity Equinox en route back from a few days in the Caribbean, docking back in Florida tomorrow. Technology has me working wherever I am.

Teammate Dave has been handling things in the office and says it has been very quiet on the islands – not totally unexpected for early June. Lisa will be in the office tomorrow morning & I bet I’m back there by early afternoon,

Dave’s info on the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva MLS is after a couple of news items below. Also below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”. This terrific home is getting showings!

Instant Reaction from NAR’s Chief Economist

Posted Wed, June 15 by National Association of Realtors Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun:

“Today’s announcement by the Federal Reserve set a big increase in interest rates and means several more rounds of rate hikes are on the way in upcoming months. So far, the short-term fed funds rate that the Fed directly controls has risen by 175 basis points. But the 30-year fixed rate mortgage has risen even more – by nearly 300 basis points. On the same $300,000 mortgage, the monthly payment has risen from $1265 in December to $1800 today. That’s painful and, consequently, will shrink the buyer pool.

“Home sales have recently been trending down toward 2019 figures. Sales could fall even further with some inventory sitting on the market for more than a month like in pre-pandemic days. Pricing a listed home properly will, therefore, be the key to attracting buyers. In the meantime, rental demand will strengthen along with rents. Only when consumer price inflation tops out and starts to fall will mortgage rates stabilize or even decline a bit. That is why providing additional oil supplies will be critical in containing consumer prices and interest rates.”

This coming Thurs, he also will speak at the islands Association of Realtors monthly membership meeting. Those comments will be shared next week.

Blind Pass Beach Park Closed

The City of Sanibel announced Tues that Blind Pass Beach Park would close the next day, June 15, out of concern for public safety. Since May, the shoreline at the park gradually has eroded and a steep escarpment developed at the end of the beach access paths making public access to the water unsafe.

The escarpment can reach up to 6 feet at times and extends from the Blind Pass Bridge south to near Castaways Cottages. The City said conditions will be monitored and the park will reopen when the public can safely access the beach again.

Sea Turtle Nesting Season Reaching Peak

SCCF’s sea turtle team has documented 411 nests as of June 15. That total is on pace with nest count last year at this time. The impacts of recent rains and wind that became Tropical Storm Alex were minimal, with only five nests lost in that surge.

Mid to late June is peak nesting season on the islands so busy weeks are expected. With nesting turtles coming ashore at night, the public is reminded to turn off lights, fill in beach holes, remove furniture, and to please call the SCCF Sea Turtle Hotline to report any stranded turtles or hatchlings, nests that have been tampered, eggs that are exposed, or nests being washed away. Call 978-SAVE-ONE. Visit sancaplifesavers.org to learn about helping.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 10-17, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Pointe Santo #A25 2/2 $1.4M.

2 price changes: Blind Pass #D201 2/2 now $699K, Sanibel Arms West #F2 1/1 now $769K.

2 new sales: Sundial #D405 1/1 listed at $850K, Nutmeg Village #104 2/2 listed at $874.9K.

5 closed sales: Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 $824K, Nutmeg Village #211 2/2 $1.125M, Sundial #G401 2/2 $1.274M, Sanctuary Golf Villages #5-6 3/3 $1.398M, Pelicans Roost #302 $1.4M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 1046 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $995K, 1012/1014 E Gulf Dr 4/2 $995K, 3947 Coquina Dr 2/2 $1.249M, 760 Cardium St 3/2 $1.25M, 5690 SanCap Rd 3/3 $1.875M.

4 price changes: 646 Rabbit Rd 3/2 now $799K, 9476 Balsa Ct 3/2 now $1.135M, 2474 Wulfert Rd 3/2.5.5 now $1.995M, 1740 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2.5 now $2.495M.

5 new sales: 1236 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at 929K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 listed at $950K, 9409 Moonlight Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.282M, 671 Durion Ct 3/2 $1.395M, 585 Chert Ct 3/3 listed at $1.549M.

6 closed sales: 1202 Sand Castle Rd 4/2.5 $1.265M, 9405 Beverly Ln 3/2 $1.335M, 1178 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/3 $1.395M, 4204 Old Banyan Way 3/2.5 $1.525M, 204 Daniel Dr 3/2 $1.575M, 479 Las Tiendas 4/3 $1.575M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1836 Ardsley Way $305K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas 1/2 $605K, Lands End Village #1628 3/4 $3.9M.

HOMES

Nothing to report.

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.

Best wishes to all for a Happy Fathers Day weekend.

Susan Andrews, aka Sanibel Susan

It’s Graduation Weekend for Lee County High School Seniors!

Another Friday has arrived, again without much rain this week until a front from the Caribbean quickly passed through last night, waking many in the wee hours of this morning. Good thing I did a quick drive by one evening on the way home to see my favorite Apple Blossom Cassia tree (at Sanibel Moorings). Betcha the raindrops damaged its splendor.

Forecasters say this weekend will bring more evidence that the rainy season has begun. We hate to see the sparkling clear waters surrounding the islands get stirred up, but that typically is what happens during summer storm season.

Today, SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) issued its weekly water quality report, which shows good conditions now, probably contributing to great fishing with 54 catches last Saturday at the “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament.

SCCF photo of Lighthouse beach

There was no Association of Realtors® meeting yesterday, while here in the office, almost all our listings are sold. One more is scheduled to close early next week. After a couple of news items below is all the action posted in the island Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

First, this weekend is graduation for Lee County high school seniors.

Best wishes to teammate Elise’s son Ryan who gets his diploma on Saturday… and is heading next to Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). Congratulations, Ryan (and family!.

Sanibel City Council Scoop

City Council held its regular meeting on May 3. A couple of their key decisions were:

  • Traditional fourth of July fireworks display was approved. This will be the first since 2019.
  • Road resurfacing project to be completed this summer on Sanibel-Captiva Rd between Tarpon Bay and Rabbit Rd.
  • Share-use path system-wide repairs approved, to be complete by Nov.

Sellers Feel Shame if They Don’t Get Bids

Posted last Friday (May 13, 2022) on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to Realtor.com (May 12): “Some sellers hear about today’s bidding wars and pre-emptively overprice their home, only to feel shame – “What’s wrong with my house?” – if no bids come in.

“CHICAGO – Homes are selling within days or even hours – except for the homes that aren’t. When that happens, those homes’ owners say they often feel embarrassed and angry and wonder what could be wrong with their house.

“In the current seller’s market means, many homes end up in bidding wars. Fierce competition is the talk of the town and the topic of many media stories since 87% of March home sales were listings on the market for less than a month. Half of properties typically stayed on the market for only 17 days, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

“But home sellers with different experiences say their egos were bruised. Jessica Clark in Lincoln, Neb., says she and her husband were trying to sell their home in late 2020, which initially looked promising for a quick sale. They had constant buyer tours – but they received no offers. “We felt defeated and so worried,” she says. Their house lingered on the market for more than a month, while other homes were selling within days. Finally, they received an offer below the asking price, even though they heard everything else was selling for way above asking price. “It wasn’t the best,” she told realtor.com. “But we felt forced to accept.”

“Sellers whose homes linger on the market may need to have a heart-to-heart talk with their real estate agent about the next steps to renew interest. Could their house be priced too high? More sellers are having to drop their asking prices. Also, discuss what is turning off buyers. Are repairs needed? A real estate agent could suggest home staging, decluttering, or even minor renovation to help boost interest.

““A hot market leads people to believe that, because the house down the street had a bidding war and fast sale, they will follow suit,” says Laurie Leinwand, a licensed professional counselor of Three Steps Forward. “When reality falls short, there’s disappointment. Your objective is to sell. Let go of the timeframe. It will happen when it’s supposed to. If it takes a little longer, that’s OK.””

What Locals Are Saying

Here on Sanibel and Captiva, there have been similar discussions – same subject as above. A couple of Realtors® at our Caravan Meeting last week said, “with so little for sale here, if listings aren’t selling, they either are overpriced or in need of help.” That pretty much agrees with the above article.

Below is a quick summary of how long it has been taking island properties to sell (days-on-market). Note DOM (days-on-market) are the number of days from when a listing appears in the MLS until it either goes under contract or closed. Amounts shown are averages. Also, a “pending” contract has no contingencies, is just awaiting (or pending) closing.

Hard to believe there are just nine Sanibel homes for sale today! That’s a new record low and compares to 112 homes already sold/under contract year-to-date.

Status Sanibel Captiva
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
# DOM # DOM # DOM # DOM # DOM # DOM
For sale 17 79 9 56 8 297 7 34 8 60 1 55
Under contingent contract 11 18 13 15 4 116 6 43 2 99 0 N/A
Under pending contract 8 20 25 24 0 N/A 2 12 3 141 0 N/A
Sold 2022 thru 5/20 73 42 94 70 18 245 15 44 13 142 0 N/A
Sold 2021 287 113 355 89 69 442 64 145 44 261 2 731
Sold 2020 193 174 289 161 23 393 47 134 27 315 4 448

Islands Night Tickets

Islands Night at Hammond Stadium has been happening since 1993. This year, 30 years after introducing this local celebration, Bailey’s General Store has turned over management and promotion of the event to the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce. 2022 Islands Night will be Wed, June 1, when the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels meet the Tampa Tarpons for an evening of baseball, including a pre-game parade, and islander camaraderie. Gates open at 6 p.m., the parade starts at 6:15, and game time is 7 p.m. Free tickets are available at the Chamber visitor center, Huxters Market & Deli, and any retailers at Bailey’s Shopping Center. Sponsorships also are available, find more details under the Calendar of Events at www.Sanibel-Captiva.org.

Shoreline Stabilization Project Begins on Woodring

This week, installation of a living shoreline began on Woodring Rd. This project is scheduled to complete in 90 days, weather permitting. For years, the area has been prone to erosion during storms and high winds. The living shoreline will help reduce erosion while providing habitat benefits for fish and wildlife. These shorelines incorporate the use of structural and organic materials such as wetland plants, oysters and sand, with limited use of rock and concrete. The project funding is by a grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Resilience Implementation Program.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 13 – 20, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Seawind #A106 2/2.5 $899K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-5 2/2.5 $1.299M.

1 price change: Sanibel Surfside #116 2/2 now $1.495M.

5 new sales: Pelicans Roost #302 2/2 listed at $1.389M, Sanddollar #B301 2/2 listed at $1.699M, White Pelican #124 2/2 listed at $1.699M, Atrium #301 3/3 listed at $1.949M, Somerset #A301 3/2.5 listed at $3.25M.

2 closed sales: Captains Walk #D5 2/1 $569K, Sanibel Arms West #H7 2/2 $890K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1270 Par View Dr 3/2 $1.699M.

No price changes.

6 new sales: 1752 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $899K, 2010 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 listed at $1.1M, 1985 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 listed at $1.299M, 4202 Old Banyan Way 3/2.5 listed at $1.511M, 4640 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 listed at $2.495M, 1558 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3.5 listed at $4.35M

4 closed sales: 1072 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $939K, 1560 Royal Poinciana Dr 3/2 $1.475M, 1311 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $1.475M, 824 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.75M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3113 1/1 $569K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11505 Gore Ln 5/5 $3.89M.

1 price change: 11529 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 now $4,298,765.

1 new sale: 16221 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 listed at $7.25M.

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, enjoy!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s a Happy Friday 13th at SanibelSusan Realty

Another Friday is here following a week on Sanibel & Captiva Islands with little rain, but plenty of sunshine, breezes, and low humidity. Many locals and visitors have commented about how, compared to last year, May occupancy is down. Those traveling our roadways/shared-use-paths and visiting restaurants/shops appreciate the reprieve. Betcha things pick up again once schools are out and summer vacations begin.

Real Estate Scoop

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® – Yesterday was the first 2022 bi-weekly Caravan Meeting at the local Association of Realtors®. Attendance was light. No new listings were announced, no price reductions, and just one property was open for Caravan viewing (Blind Pass #D201 for $709K). See the details of the action since last Friday in the island MLS after a couple of news items below.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist Designation – Tuesday, there was an Association Professional Development Committee meeting. As we finalize the 2022 education events and speakers, it was great to hear that several members already have signed up for this year’s SCIS (Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist) classes. Offered each summer (this year, from June 8 to 24), this designation provides training specific to Realtors® working the island market. Well over half of the association membership has completed the classwork (12 modules), earning the designation. Recertification, which requires reattending several new classes, is required every three years. For the 10th year, SanibelSusan will be teaching the Resort & 2nd Home Market module. I am updating the curriculum now and today received my photo props.

2022 NAR Hall of Fame – Last week at the National Association of Realtors Legislative Meetings just outside DC, RPAC major investors were recognized. Those Realtors® have contributed more than $25K to the Realtors® Political Action Committee which since 1969 has helped elect candidates protecting property rights and promoting the industry. New Hall of Fame inductees for their contributions through 2021 were recognized at this event and their names added by plaque on the rooftop of the National Association of Realtors Washington DC building. The 2022 poster below shows Florida’s current Hall of Fame members. When I was initially inducted in 2017 for contributions through 2016, there were only 42 Florida Hall of Famers. Today there are 142. (If you look at the poster, designees are shown by year and alphabetically. My photo (4th row, 4th from left) is so old, I was still a brunette.) To remain on the Hall of Fame, major investors must continue to contribute at least $1K/year to RPAC. I’ve touted before how much RPAC funds, through the years, have helped real estate issues here, from build-back to beach re-nourishment to insurance issues, and more. I’m proud to continue as a Hall of Famer.

At SanibelSusan Realty – We are happy to report that our phones started ringing again and we had a couple of walk-ins this week. Several of the inquiries were from owners thinking of selling, asking for advice on what we think will happen with the market in the weeks/months to come. As often as we share economist projections and try to be smart with recommendations, we honestly don’t know. Today even though the islands have thinned out and snowbirds are heading north, supply still is much lower than demand. Whether buying or selling, if the question is: should we wait? From a business perspective, the answer is no. With world events, the economy, and pandemic changes, who knows what will happen tomorrow, certainly not this Realtor®. Sometimes, it just makes sense to eliminate the emotion and look at real estate for what it really is, often the highest valued item in your portfolio. We look forward to helping more buyers and sellers. We also had a closing today which was both our listing and our sale. Those are special. Thanks to Superior Title for their weeks/months of extra follow-up, needed to get it done.

Hirdie Girdie Gallery Closing for Summer

Tomorrow, Saturday, May 14, is the last day that the Hirdie Girdie Gallery at 2490 Library Way is open for “season” (from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.). It then closes for the summer and will reopen on October 4. To contact any artists during this down-time, send them a message through the “Contact” tab at www.HirdieGirdieGallery.com.

2022 Florida Sales Tax Exemptions & Holidays

May 14 – Aug 14, 2022– Children’s Books – Tax exemption on children’s books including board books (ages 0-2), picture books (ages 2-7), beginning reader books (4-8), chapter books (ages 5-10), middle-grade books (ages 8-12).

May 28 – Jun 10, 2022 – Disaster Preparedness – The following items are exempt from the state sales tax & county discretionary sales surtaxes: portable self-powered light source ($40 or less); portable self-powered radio, two-way radio, or weather-band radio ($50 or less); a tarpaulin or other flexible waterproof sheeting ($100 or less) and supplies necessary for evacuation of household pets including portable kennels or pet carriers ($100 or less); bags of dry pet food weighing 15 or fewer pounds ($30 or less) or pouches of wet pet food ($2 or less per container).

Jul 1 – 7, 2022 – Freedom Week – Event admissions, boat and water activity supplies, camping, fishing, and general outdoor supplies, residential pool supplies, as well as sports equipment if purchased during this week are exempt from the state sales tax and county discretionary sales surtaxes.

Jul 25 – Aug 7, 2022 – Back-to-School – Sales tax exemption on all qualified school supplies, shoes, and uniforms.

Sep 3 – 9, 2022– Tool Time – The following items are exempt from the state sales tax and county discretionary sales surtaxes: hand tools ($50 or less); power tools ($300 or less); power tool batteries ($150 or less); work gloves ($25 or less); safety glasses ($50 or less); protective coveralls ($50 or less); work boots ($175 or less); tool belts ($100 or less); duffle/tote bags ($50 or less); tool boxes ($75 or less); tool boxes for vehicles ($300 or less) industry text books and code books ($125 or less); electrical voltage and testing equipment ($100 or less); LED flashlights ($50 or les); shop lights ($100 or less).

Jul 1, 2022 – Jun 30, 2023 – Energy Star – A one-year sales tax exemption on all certified Energy Star appliances and products.

Jul 1, 2022 – Jun 30, 2023 – Baby & Toddler Clothing; Diapers – A one-year sales tax exemption for the retail sale of children’s diapers, as well as baby & toddler clothing & shoes, primarily intended for children ages 5 or younger. Does not include watches, watchbands, jewelry, umbrellas, or handkerchiefs.

Jul 1, 2022 – Jun 30, 2024 – Impact-Resistant Doors & Windows – A two-year state sales tax exemption on the retail sales of impact-resistant windows, doors, & garage doors.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity

May 6-13, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Blind Pass #D201 2/2 $709.7K, Pointe Santo #E21 2/2/2 $1.325M, Pelicans Roost #302 2/2 $1.389M, Sanddollar #B301 2/2 $1.699M, Gulfside Place #101 3/3 $2.695M.

2 price changes: Pointe Santo #C26 2/2 now $1.095M, Pointe Santo #D41 2/2 now $1.399M.

1 new sale: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3 2/2.5 listed at $1.198M.

1 closed sale: Sanibel Moorings #1042 2/2 $821K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 2010 Wild Lime 4/4 $1.1M, 1985 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 $1.299M, 4640 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 $2.495M.

1 price change: 9076 Mockingbird Ln 3/2 now $949K.

3 new sales: 6471 Pine Ave 2/2 listed at $949K, 9405 Beverly Ln 3/2 listed at $1.395M, 5075 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 listed at $4.49M.

6 closed sales: 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/3 $968.5K, 1105 Skiff Pl 3/2 $1.095M, 661 Anchor Dr 3/2 $1.355M, 247 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 $1.447M, 1243 Sand Castle Rd 4/4 $1.6945M, 836 Angel Wing Dr 3/2 $1.875M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

4 closed sales: 2438 Wulfert Rd $339K, 845 Pyrula Ave $550K, 490 Sea Oats Dr $660K, 860 Lindgren Blvd $925K (our listing & sale).

860 Lindgren Blvd

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3117 1/1 $585K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 1106 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 now $3.9M.

No new 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

Sanibel/Captiva Springtime Wonderfulness Is Now

Though the islands continue to need rain (heard on the local news that SW FL is about 5” behind normal accumulation), traffic now is nearly perfect with very few waits anywhere. Midweek, I did a quick drive-around to some of the island resorts and beach accesses. Plenty of parking everywhere and several hotels/condos had few cars.

Back when I used to vacation on Sanibel, we always said the best months are May and October – schools still in session, weather not too hot or too cold, and traffic light, with not as many visitors here then. It surprised me to see such a drastic change in occupancy post-Easter as last year after “season” during the pandemic, occupancy stayed quite high. I guess folks are traveling again – and not just to Sanibel and Captiva.

New Island Businesses

Sometimes social media is ahead of the curve on scoop. two new Sanibel businesses were mentioned on Facebook this week:

  • Island Seafood Market Sanibel recently opened at 2330 Palm Ridge Rd. Hours are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed Sundays). They advertise that they are family owned and operated, specializing in local seafood. They own their boats and catch their fish!
  • JRods Surf, Fish & Style is officially opening May 1 at 630 Tarpon Bay Rd. They already are selling merchandise through their website ShopJRods.com

1st Sea Turtle Nesting of 2022 Season

Following up on last week’s post by SCCF that the 2022 sea turtle nesting season has begun (April through October), the first loggerhead turtle nest was spotted and staked Wednesday morning (April 27), the same day that the first nest was discovered last year. Don’t forget to keep the beaches clean and unlit after dark. More tips at http://www.SanCapLifesavers.org

Historical Museum & Village Switches to Summer Hours

Sanibel’s museum and village at 950 Dunlop Rd changes to off-season summer hours on May 3. Those are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The museum also will close on August 1 and reopen October 18, going back then to their regular in-season hours which are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guided tours are at 10:30 a.m., depending on docent availability. For more info, visit http://sanibelmuseum.org

Summer Fees for Wildlife Drive

At the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, admission fees for Wildlife Drive remain the same after season ends. The $10 vehicle fee, however, is good for three days starting May 1 and running through September. Show receipt at entrance booth when returning. Daily fees for bikers and walkers remain $1 each visit for visitors age 16+.

Real Estate Scoop

April Association of Realtors® Breakfast Meeting – Yesterday was the monthly breakfast meeting of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®. Speaker was J.P. Fraites, Florida Realtors® Public Policy Rep. He provided highlights from the 2022 Florida legislative session which ended last month and produced the largest state budget ever (well over $100 billion). He highlighted several items including great strides in affordable housing (particularly for first responders, teachers, and medical workers) and, of particular interest to islanders, a record $1.6 billion for various water quality initiatives.

He also mentioned how Gov DeSantis has called a special session for May 23-27, bringing lawmakers back to the Capitol that week to address problems in the property-insurance system. Though there were changes to Florida insurance law in 2021 including limiting fees of attorneys who represent homeowners in lawsuits against insurers and a reduction to two years to file claims, the House and Senate were unable to agree on another bill.

Other unfinished issues included proposals to change building codes, like putting additional inspection requirements on condominium buildings. Like insurance, that likely will come up again in 2023.

Association of Realtors® Summer Schedule – During the summer, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® weekly Caravan Meetings change to bi-weekly. That usually doesn’t occur until June, but with so few new listings this year, that schedule will begin now. The next caravans will be May 12 and 26, with the monthly Membership breakfast meeting also on May 26.

Only one new listing was announced at the meeting, an off-island listing. According to the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service (MLS), today the islands together have just 20 condo, 20 homes, and 11 residential lots for sale – just 51 properties. That is compared to 185 closed and 75 pending sales year-to-date.

After a couple of news items below is the action posted in the local MLS since last Friday.

What Are Novice Sellers’ Top 3 Mistakes?

This article from the May 2022 issue of “Florida Realtor®” magazine:

“With soaring home prices and high demand, homeowners find it a great time to sell. But some sellers – particularly first-timers – may be so caught up in the “hot housing market” headlines that it clouds their expectations.

“Real estate professionals shared with realtor.com some of the mistakes of rookie home sellers in the current market:

  • Unrealistic price expectations: It’s a seller’s market, but that doesn’t mean a sky-is-the-limit pricing strategy will work. “First-time sellers often erroneously believe that the list price means the desired purchase price,” says Lindsay Reishman, founding partner at the Reishman Group in Washington, D.C. “In fact, the list price simply indicates an approximate appropriate price, and its purpose is to drive interest to the property.”
  • Accepting the highest offer: Some buyers make giant bids to beat out the competition, but those offers can fall apart. Real estate pros say some sellers become so focused on the highest number that they overlook a bid’s reliability. Home offers can fall apart for a number of reasons, including financing, appraisals or inspections. “In this market, it’s not uncommon for a buyer to submit an offer for a home sight unseen,” says Deborah Ann Spence, a broker at Fierce Real Estate Corp, in Bala Cynwyd, PA. “Then, if the buyer doesn’t like what he eventually does see, the offer can be withdrawn, and the property is likely to lose traction.”
  • Trying to FSBO: “For sale by owner” may tempt homeowners who believe a seller’s market offers them an opportunity to DIY their home sale. However, the FISBO route could limit the home’s exposure to larger pools of buyers since FSBOs can’t be listed on the multiple listing service. And even if the home bets buyers’ attention, a real estate agent is critical to navigate the process, help with paperwork and sort through multiple offers.”

Calmer Market Ahead

This week, the spring 2022 issue of “Realtor” magazine also arrived. Here’s the article by Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors® Chief Economist:

“The past two years have been quite exceptional for real estate. Home sales boomed. Home prices rose at the fastest rate in modern times. However, such a strong housing market created growing pains. Inventory shrank to its lowest count ever. Even through the recent winter months, the inventory that has made it onto the market has typically attracted multiple bidders – and increasingly, investors offering cash. Twenty-two percent of recent transactions were investor purchases, up from 15% a year ago, and 27% of transactions were cash-only deals, up from 19% a year ago. That’s putting a strain on first-time buyers. Moreover, mortgage rates are notably higher as the Federal Reserve moves from a quantitative easing monetary policy, quickly buying up mortgages, to what is in essence a quantitative squeezing that does the opposite. With all this in mind, what’s ahead?

“Let’s begin with the jobs picture. Although the unemployment rate is back to normal at 4%, the economy is still short by nearly 3 million jobs compared to before the pandemic. But that hasn’t held back housing sales. Existing-home sales reached 6.12 million in 2021, the best since 2006. The median home price reached an all-time high of $347,100 a one-year gain of 16.9%.

“A few states actually have more jobs now than before the COVID-19 days. They are Utah, Idaho, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, and Montana in order of performance. Those are also the states experiencing extra strong real estate activity, both in residential and commercial markets. Jobs are important.

“What now, given the diminishing pandemic – fingers crossed – and rising mortgage rates? Office workers will need to get back to the office. Maybe the new work model will be some form of hybrid, with a few days each week spent in the office. This still means locational choices do not have to be inherently dependent on big-city-downtowns. It’s fine to live farther from the city, given less time spent on the commute. Higher mortgage rates, though, will lock out some would-be buyers. In very high-cost areas, the increase means about $500 more in monthly mortgage payments for the typical borrower. Consequently, home sales will come down 2% to 4% in 2022. If inflation remains stubbornly high and the Fed is forced to be even more aggressive, then home sales could fall by as much as 10%.

“Prices will keep rising, though, since getting to a balanced market will take time. The turnaround may occur by the middle of the year. Expect calmer home price gains of 3% to 6% per year in 2022 and 2023.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity

April 22-29, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #6 3/3 $1.398M.

1 price change: White Pelican #124 2/2 now $1.699M.

2 new sales: Breakers West #A4 2/2 listed at $849K, Nutmeg Village #211 2/2 listed at $1.15M.

4 closed sales: Sundial #I307 1/1 $595K, Mariner Pointe #733 2/2 $65K, Sand Pointe #131 2/2 $1.325M, Pine Cove #201 3/2 $1.899M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 750 Oliva St 3/2 $1.495M, 2474 Wulfert Rd 3/3/2 $2.195M, 2658 Coconut Dr 3/2 $2.495M, 1690 Sabal Palm Dr 5/3 $3.177M, 1520 Angel Dr 4/3.5 $3.995M.

No price changes.

7 new sales: 778 Cardium St 3/3 listed at $849K, 600 Boulder Dr 3/2 listed at $935K, 9076 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $985K, 1202 Sand Castle Rd 4/2.5 listed at $1.25M, 3910 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $1.299M, 746 Windlass Way 4/3 listed at $2.275M, 2658 Coconut Dr 3/2 listed at $2.495M.

1 closed sale: 1600 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $1.4M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2462 Wulfert Rd $348K.

1 price change: 1321 Seaspray Ln now $995K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Gulf Beach Villas #2003 1/1 $925K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Gulf Beach Villas #2027 3/2 listed at $1.595M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 15261 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 listed at $11.25M.

1 closed sale: 15867 Captiva Dr 7/6 $11M.

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.

Once the rainy season begins, the clear aqua-looking water disappears, but it’s still looking pretty now. Happy Friday!

Until next week, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

Easter Blessings & Springtime 2022

As high season winds down on the islands, it’s great to have another week when the islands are busy with families visiting for the Easter holidays. Some were here this week, some arrive tomorrow, plus local schools are off today and Monday.

Here in the office, it still is quiet. We are thankful for another closing this week, an inspection contingency ending soon on another listing, plus a couple of other listings without contingencies just awaiting closings.

Below are a couple of news items, followed by more details on the island real estate action since last Friday.

We continue to market for new listings. As of today, according to the Sanibel & Capti a Islands Multiple Listing Service, Sanibel has just 41 properties for sale (16 condos, 15 homes, and 10 lots), while Captiva has 14 (6 condos, 7 homes, 1 lot). Many prospective buyers are watching the market carefully, several have us on the lookout for a property that matches their needs. Next is an interesting article geared toward those waiting.

Waiting on the Housing Market to Crash? Don’t, Experts Say

Here’s How Today’s Market Is Different From the Great Recession Housing Bubble

Posted on April 6, 2022 by Jon Reed with NextAdvisor in partnership with TIME:

“Home prices are higher than they’ve ever been, and they show no signs of stopping. The median U.S. home listing price was $405,000 in March 2022, the first time it’s broken the $400,000 price threshold, according to date from Realtor.com. That is an increase of 26.5% over two years.

“Homebuyers might see similarities between what’s happening today and the 2006 housing market where home prices became increasingly unaffordable until the bubble burst, helping trigger the worldwide financial crisis we came to call the Great Recession.

“Stressed-out buyers might be thinking these high prices are a bubble just waiting to pop again. In fact, 77% of homebuyers believe there’s a bubble where they live, according to a recent Redfin survey.

“Today’s market differs significantly from what happened 15 years ago, when high home prices were instead driven by loose lending practices and rampant investor speculation in the market.

“Waiting for the market to crash might not yield the result buyers hope for, experts say. “There’s not really any room there to be a bubble right now. It’s not like people have borrowed too much and it’s not like homes are overvalued,” says Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin.

“There are a lot of reasons why it seems like we are in a bubble, but at its heart, the issue is simple; supply and demand are driving up prices. “It’s just that there aren’t enough homes for everybody that wants one,” says Fairweather.

Here’s what is different about today’s market, what’s behind the record-high prices, and what buyers can do to navigate the process.

“Things Have Changed Since 2006 – The current market and that of the mid-2000’s share some similarities. Namely, housing prices were up and often unaffordable for buyers. The causes are different, experts say.

“The previous bubble came after a period in which lenders were more lax about writing loans and more people were in the housing market as an investment rather than to buy a home to live in. “Mortgage underwriting was considerably more loose back in 2006,” says Robert Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders. “It was easier to get a mortgage to speculate in the housing market. That is not the case today.”

“Different home loans, such as adjustable-rate mortgages with big “balloon payments” due at the end of the term, meant people got into homes thinking they could afford the payments, finding out later that their payments grew dramatically to unaffordable levels, Fairweather says. “There was a lot of financial engineering, there was a lot of predatory lending, there was a lot of bad borrowing on people not having a lot of equity, not having as much of a cushion, that led to the housing bubble,” she said.

“Those types of loans are far less common today, and there is more oversight of home lending in the wake of the crisis of the late 2000’s, experts say. Today most borrowers get 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, which don’t come with the risk of payments suddenly rising dramatically as rates increase, Fairweather said. “If you own a home, you’re still paying what you paid when you got your fixed-rate mortgage.”

“There Aren’t Enough Homes – There are two major ways homes enter the market: Somebody builds a new one or somebody sells an old one. Both of those pipelines are out of whack. “Today it’s really just about lack of supply,” Dietz says.

“Builders Are Struggling to Catch Up – The limited supply of new homes is due to factors both old and new, Dietz says. For the last decade, builders haven’t put up houses at the rate they needed in order to handle today’s demand, which he says has probably created a deficit of a least a million homes. At the same time, costs have gone up since the pandemic. Deitz blames the constraints in the market to what he calls the “five L’s”:

  • Labor: Builders are having a hard time finding skilled workers, particularly in hot markets such as Texas.
  • Lots: There’s about a year’s supply of lots available, when the market needs two to three years.
  • Lending: Homebuilders, especially the smaller companies, face a tighter market for borrowing the money needed to build.
  • Lumber & building materials: Lumber prices were about $350 per thousand board feet in January 2020. That’s about $1,300 now, Dietz says. On top of lumber, there are shortages and delays in things like garage doors and microwaves.
  • Laws & regulations: Issues like zoning can limit how many homes can be built in a certain amount of space.

“The tight housing market means new construction is even more important for buyers trying to get a home. While new homes typically account for less than one in 10 sales, that figure is now about one in three, Deitz says. Supply chain issues also mean new homes take longer to build – from a typical time of about six and aa half months to now about eight months.

“When you add all those together, it’s just gotten a lot harder to build homes,” he says.

“Fewer People Are Selling – Existing homes make up most of the market, but the supply of those is down also. Some of that has to do with the affordability issues affecting buyers. A survey by Discover Home Loans found 79% of homeowners would rather renovate their homes than move.

“High home prices might seem to encourage people to sell their homes and cash in, but most of those people would have to buy another home and pay those high costs. “If they try to buy again, they’ll be facing a really tough market as a buyer,” Fairweather says. “The only people who are really in a good position to sell and buy again are people who are downsizing or moving to a more affordable area.”

“There Are More Buyers – The supply constraints mean there aren’t as many homes for people to compete for, but those open houses are also busier than ever. That’s because more people are deciding homeownership is right for them at the moment.

“There’s a lot of demand for homes right now,” Fairweather says. “A lot of people are looking.” Part of that is that millennials are entering their prime homebuying years, experts say. Many members of this big generation are in their 30’s, often married with children. “We are seeing a big push from millennials to buy a home,” Fairweather says. “That’s been years in the marking.”

“The pandemic has also made remote and hybrid work a possibility for many. That means you don’t have to live close to an office and you might need more space than you can find in an apartment. Remote work means owning a home is a possibility for more people, Fairweather says, adding to demand.

When Will the Housing Market Calm Down? It will likely take a while before the inventory of available homes matches up with demand. Experts surveyed by Zillow predicted it’ll be two years before monthly inventory returns to pre-pandemic norms. They estimated it could be 2024 or 2025 before the portion of first-time buyers again reaches the 45% seen in 2019.

“Rising mortgage rates – they’ve gone from near 3.3% at the start of the year to near 5% in just three months – will likely take some buyers out of the market and slow the rise in home prices. “It should weaken demand, but there’s so much demand it’s hard to say how much it will really impact things like sales and home prices,” Fairweather says.

“Higher mortgage rates might not directly lead to lower prices – supply and demand will still be the big factors – but it could make life a little easier for buyers, Dietz says. “The bidding wars are going to cool off.”

“The factors driving up prices aren’t likely to subside anytime soon, Dietz says. “I don’t think buyers should be betting on any really significant price declines. If anything, as interest rates move higher, the cost of buy a home is going to go up.”

What Can Homebuyers Do In this Market – As Redfin’s survey found, many buyers think the market is in a bubble right now, and they might be tempted to wait for it to burst, some economic cataclysm that suddenly makes a house affordable. Experts caution against hoping for that.

“I think you want to be strategic and you want to be patient,” Dietz says. “Patient is different from waiting for a crash. Buyers will have to look harder and widen their search, he says. There are ways to get creative: if you work is hybrid and you only have to go to an office two or three times a week, reconsider your commute and think about it on a weekly basis rather than as a daily burden. That means you could look farther away from work where housing is sometimes cheaper.

“You can also consider other options, Dietz says. One is to look at new construction if you haven’t already. Keep in mind there is a longer lag time than usual, but it could be easier than competing for scarce existing homes with the mob of other potential buyers (and investors and flippers with cash offers). There are also options other than the single-family home, such as townhouses.

“Any slowdown caused by higher mortgage rates will make the market a little easier for buyers who are patient, Fairweather says. “By the end of summer there should be more homes on the market as not as many buyers will be taking them off the market,” she says.

“The market could be in for a shift this year as it copes with higher mortgage rates, Fairweather says. You may want to slow down and consider your options. “I don’t think it’s wise to try to rush the market now because right now the market is adjusting,” she says.

Should Fourth of July Fireworks Return to Sanibel?

The below article from the latest Santiva Chronicle asks for opinions on this:

“Fireworks on the Fourth of July have been a part of the day’s festivities since nearly as far back as the country’s beginning. But the pandemic canceled that tradition and the return of fireworks this year on Sanibel is up in the air.

“In a hearty discussion among City Council members last week, many of them indicated it might be time to discontinue the 30-minute fireworks show on the Fourth. Fireworks are prohibited on the island, for good reason, with this one traditional exception.

“They are detonated at the end of Bailey Road, near San Carlos Bay. Concern was raised over the heavy metals and chemicals found in fireworks polluting the water. Plus, the loud booms scare wildlife. But our environmental experts have said they support the detonation location and see it as a trade-off for 30 minutes of human enjoyment as we celebrate the freedom of our country.

“Is it time to bring back the fireworks on Sanibel? Now is the time to voice your opinion. Council members will be discussing the fate of the island’s fireworks show in their May 3 meeting. Contact Sanibel City Council….”

Heavy Traffic Advisory

Sanibel Police Chief Bill Dalton issued a “Heavy Traffic Advisory” for this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, April 16 & 17, 2022. Heavy traffic is anticipated along Periwinkle Way to Tarpon Bay Rd due to several island events taking place.

Saturday – 6 to 10 p.m. – SCCF’s 9th Annual Beer in the Bushes Event, 1300 Periwinkle Way.

Sunday – 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Sanibel Farmer’s Market at City Hall, 800 Dunlop Rd.

Sunday – 9 a.m. & 11 a.m. – Easter Services at The Sanibel Community Church, 1740 Periwinkle Way. (There also is a 6:30 a.m. sunrise service on Causeway Island A.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 8-15, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #H7 2/2 $889K, Nutmeg Village #211 2/2 $1.15M, Somerset #A301 3/2.5 $3.465M.

3 price changes: Pointe Santo #B44 2/2 now $1.4M, Gulfside Place #117 2/2 now $1.695M, White Pelican #124 2/2 now $1.789M.

1 new sale: Colonnades #10 1/1 listed at $449K.

4 closed sales: Blind Pass #D204 3/2 $815K (our listing), Cyprina Beach #8 2/2.5 $1.43M, Compass Point #192 3/2 $1.81M, Junonia #301 4/2 $2.45M.

Blind Pass condos

HOMES

3 new listings: 778 Cardium St 3/3 $849K, 1667 Sabal Sands Rd 3/3 $1.05M, 5075 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 $4.49M.

2 price changes: 1311 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $1.445M, 660 Anchor Dr 6/4 now $2.895M.

No new sales.

4 closed sales: 320 Palm Lake Dr 2/2 $900K, 3015 Singing Wind Dr 2/2 $975K, 3822 Coquina Dr 4/3.5 $1.6M, 2451 Blind Pass Ct 4/4.5 $2.901M.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 5642 Baltusrol Ct now $399.9K, 5648 Baltusrol Ct now $399.9K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 544 Lake Murex Cir $650K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3128 1/1 $549K, Beach Villas #2633 2/2 $1.399M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1114 Schefflera Ct 4/3.5 $3.6M, 11529 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 $4.495M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 17201 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 listed at $5.65M, 15009 Binder Dr 4/5.5 listed at $7.5M.

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.

Happy Easter,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Superb Sanibel Springtime

SanibelSusan reporting that another week has flown by with a few rumblings about the additional visitors here because of Lee County Schools on break.

For the most part those folks enjoyed wonderful breezy sunny weather. A cool front that arrived yesterday briefly turned sunshine to clouds, but more spectacular weather is expected over the weekend.

It’s a gorgeous Friday afternoon with highs forecast to only be in the low to mid 70’s until Monday when temperatures again reach into the 80’s. Springtime in Florida is superb.

Real Estate Scoop

At SanibelSusan Realty, another listing is under contract and a few more action items accomplished for upcoming closings.

At the local Association of Realtors® monthly breakfast meeting yesterday, there were no new listings or price reductions announced and no properties open for Caravan viewing. This is the fourth week in a row without any listings to see.

The article below is a good summation of the market in Southwest Florida. If you are thinking of selling, it is to your benefit to list now, before the annual snowbirds start heading home. If you are a buyer, don’t think that waiting for the market to normalize will happen anytime soon.

See below the news for the action reported in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

The Pulse of Southwest Florida Real Estate

I received an email this week from local attorneys Henderson Franklin who sponsored the 2022 Market Trends event which took place on March 16 with speakers Randy and Justin Thibault from Land Solutions, Inc. and Denny Grimes from Keller Williams Realty. Here are some tidbits from that article with a recap of 2022 Market Trends by Alessandro Secino:

“The presentation discussed the current conditions of the real estate market in Southwest Florida and provided a future forecast about what the market may look like in the coming year. The presentation also focused on the primary areas of the real estate sector: residential development, resale properties, and the commercial market.

“Overall, the end of 2021 was a continuation of the rapid growth that comprised 2020 and 2021, as waves of new residents and businesses enter the market. All sectors of the market are currently seeing growth, but nowhere is this more evident than with residential development and resale, as low inventory coupled with high demand has prompted dramatic price increases across the three counties of Lee, Collier and Charlotte. The ultimate question, however, will be whether this will continue or will the market begin to decline as prices continue to creep up higher.

Residential Development – In 2021, Southwest Florida saw a 47% increase in new single-family residential permits issued amongst the three counties, with Lee County seeing the highest increase of 59%. Total residential permits increased 39% percent to approximately 25,000 permits. These percentage increases, while dramatic, still pale in comparison to the number of permits issued in 2005, which numbered around 44,000 permits prior to the crash in 2008. Similarly, multi-family residential permits increased by 19% over the last year.

“These numbers illustrate that low resale inventory is driving up the prices, leading buyers to seek new construction and rental properties. Presently, the current inventory of resale properties cannot match the demand of new homebuyers entering the market, leading to homes rising in value by as much as 77% in some areas over the last year.

“As a result, new buyers who cannot find already built homes or are priced out of the market are now turning to rental properties until inventory becomes available or prices soften. The same is true for sellers who took advantage of increased home values are renting until prices come back down.

“With resale inventory so low, it begs the question of where is all this new development going? Most of the new development is taking place inland from the coastal communities. The two leading developments in terms of total permits issued are Ave Maria and Babcock Ranch, which account for a combined 1400 new permits in 2021.

“In many respects, the theme for 2021 was rising prices. This is especially true for the real estate market in Southwest Florida. These dramatic price increases led to shifting behaviors from buyers and sellers, but until either supply increases or demand lessens, prices are going to continue to rise.

Resale Market – The resale market in Southwest Florida is what presenter Danny Grimes calls “the greatest market of all time,” and for a good reason. 2021 saw a record number of homes sales in Lee County with over 19,000 homes sold, an increase of 16% over the previous year.

“In addition, home prices have similarly increased; from January 2020-January 2022 in Charlotte County, median sales prices increased by 50% from $240,000 to $360,000. The areas within Southwest Florida are also areas with the best location such as Captiva, Boca Grande, and in the Park Shore Drive/ 5th Avenue area in Naples.

“While the market in Southwest Florida is seeing unprecedented numbers of sales, there are not enough properties to meet the demand of buyers. Currently, inventory levels are down between 20 and 30% amongst the three counties, which is not necessarily a bad thing, as high inventory and high prices are conditions that may lead to a bubble and subsequent crash. If there is a true downside to the current market, it is that there are no properties in Southwest Florida under $100,000. Even vacant properties in Lehigh Acres, an area considered most affordable within the region, have seen a 90% increase in vacant land values.

“Almost every person involved in the real estate industry in Southwest Florida is trying to determine when will this market will begin to decline again? There is no predictable answer to this question, however we will begin to see the signs of this when properties are going up for sale and not being purchased or sitting on the market for longer periods of time.

Commercial Property – Commercial sales volume over the last year has nearly doubled, with an over 87% increase, which surprisingly enough is mostly attributable to retail sales. In 2020, investors were fleeing retail assets with COVID shifting commerce electronically, however 2021 saw current retail properties shifting from retail spaces selling goods, to a more service-based retail user such as car washes, gas stations, and convenience stores. With these new users, we are seeing existing retail spaces being revitalized by new companies such as Sprouts who are acquiring properties within existing shopping centers.

“Despite the increase in retail, industrial properties are also in high demand despite only accounting for 19% of the 87% increase in sales volume. Rental rates for industrial properties are up almost 10% in the last year along with increases in construction of industrial spaces.

“Finally, office spaces (much like retail) saw investors moving away from those assets due to the work-from-home shift COVID brought on. However, office space properties accounted for 26% of the overall growth in sales volume over the last year. Presenter Justin Thibault likened this increase in office space sales going from a pandemic to an endemic stage, where workers are heading back to the office in more hybrid models. In a sense we are learning to live with more hybrid work models, and office space properties are increasing as a result.

Overall, the commercial market — which was perhaps on the shakiest footing as a result of COVID — has begun to rebound and grow. As we see larger companies like Amazon move into the area, the demands for commercial properties should also increase. Charlotte County may very well be the beneficiary of this new investment as there is room to build industrial properties within proximity to the airport in Punta Gorda.

Take-Away – The Market Trends report focused largely on current market conditions, which is not surprising considering the increases in growth throughout all sectors of the Southwest Florida real estate market. With that said, it is difficult to ascertain what the future may hold, as it appears the current growth is not showing signs of slowing down. As we enter a post-COVID economy and already experiencing rising inflation and global turmoil, it will be interesting to see if we begin to see a slowdown in the real estate market here in Southwest Florida.”

Will Ukraine War Impact Florida Real Estate?

Posted March 15 on FloridaRealtors and sourced to 2022 Media Group, by Derek Gilliam.

“On the one hand, Fla. is the No. 1 state for Russian RE investing – 29% of all U.S. purchases. On the other, Russian buyers make up only 0.8% of all foreign purchases.

“NAPLES, Fla. – Over the past six years, Russian buyers of U.S. real estate have preferred the sunny coasts of Florida over property in any other state in the nation. Wealthy Russians have reportedly bought so many luxury condo properties in the north Miami city of Sunny Isles Beach that some have termed it “Little Moscow.” “They love to be here, and they like to spend their money and enjoy their life,” Lana Bell, a South Florida real estate agent told NewsNation.com.

“But it’s not just the wealthy Russian elites seeking Florida sunshine. Across the state from Warm Mineral Springs in North Port all the way up to small town of Steinhatchee near the Panhandle, Russians and Eastern Europeans have established communities, according to population data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

“Over the past six years, 29% of Russian real estate transactions in the United States occurred in Florida, the most in the nation, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). But even as countries across the world impose sanctions on Russia for invading and waging a brutal war against its neighbor Ukraine, the impact to U.S. home or property prices is not expected to be meaningful, even without any Russian purchases of Florida real estate.

““Russia has little direct impact on the U.S. real estate market as it accounted for less than 1% (0.8%) of all foreign buyers who purchased U.S. residential property from April 2015 through March 2021, according to data from NAR’s survey of foreign buyer transactions of its members,” covering about 5,000 respondents, the report said. Any effect from the loss of Russian purchases would tend to be at the high end, as the NAR’s report notes that Russian buyers buy more luxury properties than the average Florida buyer.

“Still, with the transition of the pandemic to a different phase, the loss of Russian buyers could be offset by the resumption of purchases by people from other countries, as well as within the U.S. Craig Cerreta, the managing broker for Premier Sotheby’s International Realty’s Sarasota office, said the pandemic caused a near shutdown of foreign buyers, but that the segment has been bouncing back in recent months.

“During the COVID pandemic, real estate prices have drastically increased in Florida as migration brought new residents to the state, with people retiring early or enjoying the ability to work remotely.

Tight supply – Historically, Cerreta said, Canadians, followed by residents of the United Kingdom, have accounted for the majority of international real estate transactions in the Sarasota market. “There is no question that they (Russian purchasers) are small” locally, he said. “But they are typically high-end buyers.”

“The NAR data says that the average Russian real estate transaction was about $650,000. The average for all international buyers was about $480,000. But, with the demand seen for Florida properties, combined with historically low number of properties for sale, any loss of Russian purchases are being more than made up from demand from other buyers, Cerreta said. Cerreta recently sold a home he owned in the Sarasota area. During the open house, more than 170 people viewed the residence and 21 people made an offer. Three of the offers came from people in California, something that surprised the longtime real estate agent, as Californians have historically not been a large market for the west coast of Florida.

“Any loss of demand from Russian buyers for luxury properties or other property types won’t be felt in the Sarasota market, he said. In February, 72% of all real estate sales in the Sarasota market closed at or above the list price compared to 43% at or above list price in February 2021, Cerreta said. “There’s not enough inventory to meet demand,” he said of the Sarasota market.

“Sergei Sokolov, a Realtor with Sarasota’s Michael Saunders & Co., was born in Ukraine but moved to the United States when he was 5 years old. The now-47-year-old real estate professional, fluent in Russian and Ukrainian, said Russian speakers often want a Realtor who speaks their language. The first house he sold in Sarasota in 2004 was to a Russian speaker, and he does about three or four transactions a year. Sokolov specializes in entry level homes typically in the $350,000 to $400,000 price range, with the majority of his Russian-speaking buyers already living in the U.S. or Canada and unlikely to be impacted by the Russian-Ukrainian war. “I don’t expect there to be much of an impact on my business,” he said. “There’s just a lot more demand than there is supply.”

Varied buyers – The next closest U.S. state for Russian buyers was Georgia with 16% of all Russian purchases of U.S. real estate, roughly 13 percentage points behind Florida. New York (13%), California (8%) and Illinois (5%) rounded out the top five states for total transactions from Russian buyers. The NAR report said that even in Florida, purchases of real estate made by Russians accounted for just 0.2% of the Sunshine State’s real estate transactions from July 2020 to June 2021. Those numbers may be skewed as the pandemic caused many governments to restrict travel to other countries.

“A 2020 profile on international residential transactions in Florida conducted by the NAR with Florida Realtors, the largest trade organization in the state, concluded that foreign buyers accounted for $15.6 billion in real estate transactions from August 2019 to July 2020 – about 11% of the state’s sales. The total transaction volume for Florida real estate in that time period was $137 billion dollars.

“However, in that report that largely accounted for sales just prior to the pandemic, Russia did not rank among the top 15 counties for any Florida metro besides Miami. The Miami metro market, the largest in Florida, had just 2% of home sales go to Russian buyers.

“The largest group of foreign buyers by transaction volume came from Latin America and the Caribbean with about 37% of the total value of homes purchased by international citizens. Canadian buyers had the most transactions at 21% followed by Brazil (7%), Argentina (6%), Venezuela (5%), Columbia (5%) and the United Kingdom (5%).

“The metro area of Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach had the lion’s share of foreign buyers with 47.3% of all purchases. The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro accounted for 11%; Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford had 9.7%, North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton had 6.9% and Cape Coral-Fort Myers came in at 4.7%.

Larger economic issues – While Russians account for a tiny fraction of all real estate purchases in Florida, the real impact of the conflict may be felt at the gas pump as international buyers cut ties with Russian energy. President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian oil earlier this week.

“Chris Jones, president of Florida Economic Advisors and a University of South Florida faculty member at USF in the economics department, agreed with the real estate experts that the reduction in demand from Russian buyers for U.S. real estate won’t shift home prices in Florida. However, the impact of rising gas prices could be dangerous for the U.S. economy, he said. He anticipates that gas prices will increase at least another 50 cents before the end of May, with peak price per gallon of gasoline surpassing $5 per gallon this year. As people pay more at the pump, they have less money to spend on goods and services that drive the economy, which he believes will lead to a decrease in the nation’s economic output. He said he fears that the American economy could be headed toward “stagflation” because of the rising gas prices. Stagflation happens when an economy has rising inflation at the same time as slowing economic output. “We’re already halfway there,” he said, pointing to rising inflation.

“Rising gas prices will also have an impact by raising prices on nearly all goods and services which could then cause fewer people to be able to afford to purchase residential property. Less demand, caused largely by rising gas prices, would then impact Florida’s real estate market.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 18-25, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Pine Cove #201 3/2 $1.899M.

2 price changes: Island Beach Club #210C 2/2 now $1.395M, Junonia #301 4/2 now $2.4M.

2 new sales: Shell Island Beach Club #5C 2/2 listed at $1.279M, Lighthouse Point #227 3/2 listed at $1.395M (our listing).

 

7 closed sales: Sundial #I402 1/1 $650K, Sandalfoot #5B1 1/1 $759K, Loggerhead Cay #242 2/2 $765K, Lighthouse Point #112 3/2 $830K, Sanibel Inn #1E 2/2 $850K, Loggerhead Cay #584 2/2 $875K, Sand Pointe #218 2/2 $1.1M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 4577 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 $749K, 1600 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $1.2M, 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $1.35M, 9405 Beverly Ln 3/2 $1.485M, 1311 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $1.495M, 6176 Henderson Rd 4/3 $2.995M.

No price changes.

5 new sales: 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/3 listed at $968.5K, 661 Anchor Dr 3/2 listed at $1.295M, 1243 Sand Castle Rd 4/4 listed at $1.745M, 1543 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/4 listed at $2.499M, 2451 Blind Pass Ct 4/4.5 listed at $2.895M.

4 closed sales: 1230 Anhinga Ln 4/2 duplex $699K, 5289 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $945K, 402 Tiree Cir 3/2 $1.15M, 645 Oliva St 3/3 $1.301M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: 2829 Wulfert Rd $320K, 1340 Eagle Run Dr $515K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Marina Villas #709 2/2 now $1.145M.

3 new sales: Tennis Villas #3128 1/1 listed at $549K, Beach Villas #2635 3/3 listed at $1.6M, Lands End Village #1628 3/4 listed at $3.5M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 16280 Captiva Dr 6/6 listed at $8.9M, 15867 Captiva Dr 7/6 listed at $11.7M.

3 closed sales: 30 Urchin Ct 3/2 $1.253M, 57 Sandpiper Ct 2/2 $1.325M, 16611 Captiva Dr 6/6 $7.1M.

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.

Though Sanibel’s spring weather is superb, the islands need rain. Fingers crossed that we get some soon!

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan