As the SanibelSusan Team and I maneuvered through another week of wonderful sunny island weather (low humidity, yet day-time temperatures in the 80’s), we occasionally had to remind ourselves to be patient. Easter always is the busiest week until Christmas, so it was not unusual for complaints about heavy roadway traffic, busy bike paths, and full lots at the public beaches. We try to take the temporary inconveniences in stride – hoping that some buyers are in the visitor mix – particularly ones that want to purchase our listings.
Each day as soon as causeway traffic exceeded 5,500 vehicles (usually before noon), The City website, www.MySanibel.com, posted warnings of heavy off-going afternoon/evening traffic. Lee County commissioners (who regulate the bridge tolls) met this week and discussed keeping the toll booth unmanned, while raising the fee from $6 to $8 to cover the additional costs associated with that change. No decision was made, but it could be an omen of things to come.
Southwest Florida needs rain with many lawns and vegetation turning yellow and crunchy. Less than an inch of rain was accumulated last month, so water is needed. The rainy season usually does not start until May, but forecasters are saying that we may get brief scattered showers both Sunday afternoon and Monday.
Last week, I posted a couple of pix of the first two gardenia blooms on the bush by my front door. I guess, those plants don’t need a lot of water, as this week, the bush has exploded. Wish you could smell it – it’s heavenly!
When the rainy season begins, usually hurricane season is not far behind (Jun 1 through Nov 30). After the historic tropical storms of 2020, meteorologists predict 2021 could be another busy hurricane season, with between 16 to 20 named storms expected for the Atlantic area.
This week at SanibelSusan Realty, we had another nice closing, a couple of walk-ins and several listing and showing inquiries. Unfortunately, once again, most Realtors® wanting to show our condo listings that are booked solid, have buyers departing before, or arriving after, the short Saturday window between when guests leave and new ones arrive.
Teammate Dave was out showing and has been sleuthing for properties that meet buyers’ requirements. We have done that a lot lately. We continue to search for new listings, particularly in communities where we have buyers “waiting”.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®
Now it has been more than a year since our Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® has met in person for Caravan and Membership meetings. We hope that changes soon. The next Open Caravan Zoom meeting is Apr 15.
Wondering about inventory today? It remains super low. Below is an update from the islands Multiple Listing Service as of Apr 9.
On Sanibel, 46 for sale, average asking price $821,267.
On Captiva, eight for sale, average asking price $1,740,312.
On Sanibel, 39 for sale, average asking price $2,208,638.
On Captiva, 15 for sale, average asking price $4,280,599.
What about sales, year-to-date?
On Sanibel, 148 sold/under contract, average asking price $866,941.
On Captiva, 33 sold/under contract, average asking price $1,112,239.
On Sanibel, 185 sold/under contract, average asking price $1,416,986.
On Captiva, 30 sold/under contract, average asking price $3,120,616.
Below are a couple of news items followed by the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Island Multiple Listing Service.
Update on COVID-19
The mask mandate remains in effect for Sanibel businesses, with the City State of Emergency extended by the Mayor until Apr 13.
FISH (Friends in Service Here of San-Cap) was notified this week that they would get another 300 vaccine doses which were administered today (by appointment) at The Community House.
Today’s Housing Market? ‘Not the Time for Amateurs’
Posted on-line Wednesday at FloridaRealtors®:
“It may be possible to buy a home without the help of a Realtor – but it’s hard to see how given today’s multiple bid competitions for a limited number of homes.
“NEW YORK – Real estate agents agree: Even though the spring housing market is hot, many are desperate to find listings – and this is not the market for amateurs. Nationally, there are about half as many listings not under contract right now than there were a year ago, according to realtor.com The typical home also is now selling a week faster than last year.
“By the numbers, there are now about twice as many working real estate agents as there are listings. Spring is the traditional time of year when the most listings come on the market, but this past March saw 20% fewer homes listed than last March.
“Potential sellers have several concerns, the largest being that they’re afraid they won’t be able to find or afford another home. Not only are home prices incredibly hot – up over 11% year over year, according to the S&P Case-Shiller home price index – but rents are also rising fast.
““The uptick in mortgage rates is likely fueling more bidding wars in the short term because house hunters are rushing to buy homes before rates rise even further,” says Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather.
“Supply has been tightest on the low end of the market, but the higher end is now slimming as well. Moreover, real estate agents are relying on their networks to find homes for clients no longer constrained by location thanks to remote work. Source: CNBC (04/05/21) Olick, Diana © Copyright 2021 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688”
Island Spring Things
SCCF Sea Turtle Program – Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) Sea Turtle volunteers are trained and ready to begin surveying the islands during turtle nesting season, from Apr 15 through Oct. Nearly 100 volunteers take part in this program, conducting the surveys designed by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, with a defined number of positions. Today, the wait list is more than the number of active volunteers with only a few positions opening each season.
Snowy Plovers – Tues, SCCF posted the following: “We are excited to report that we just roped off our first snowy plover nest of the season! Our shorebird biologist and volunteers found a one-egg nest on the East End of Sanibel this morning and roped it off immediately. The volunteers named the snowy plover … “Pale Male.” He’s shading the egg while his mate was off feeding to get energy to lay the next egg. We also have another area posted on the East End where our snowy plovers usually nest. There are two pairs that will likely nest there. Click here to learn how to protect these precious shorebirds! sancaplifesavers.org”
Lake Okeechobee Releases Reduced
Last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District reported that it would reduce Lake Okeechobee release to coastal estuaries beginning April 3 to slow the lake recession rate. Releases to the Caloosahatchee River are reduced to 1,200 cubic feet per second as measured at the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam and to 300 cfs as measured at the St. Lucie Lock and Dam. The releases are being continued as part of a planned deviation which was approved in Sept to reduce the risk of lake releases when harmful algal blooms are more likely present (in the summer). Since it began in Feb, the deviation has released about 80,500 acre feet of additional water from the lake.
One of the requirements for using the Harmful Algal Bloom deviation is for the Army Corps to maintain a recession rate of no more than 0.5 feet per month to avoid harm to nesting birds. As of Apr 2, the lake stage was at 14.44’. The lake had fallen 0.87’ in the past 30 days, but still was 2.61’ higher than it was one year ago and 2.58’ higher than two years ago. The releases regularly will be reevaluated as conditions change. Recent satellite images show conditions on Lake O remain poor for development of large harmful algal blooms. Additionally, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection tracks water samples. Operators continue daily monitoring.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 2-9, 2021
4 new listings: Blind Pass #D203 2/2 $459K, Blind Pass #E104 2/2 $549.9K, Sanibel Arms West #I2 2/2 $599K, Atrium #102 3/2 $1.498M.
No price changes.
9 new sales: Sundial #F106 1/1 listed at $465K, Kimball Lodge #264 1/1.5 listed at $570K, Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 listed at $629K, Island Beach Club #210A 2/2 listed at $729K, Sanibel Arms West #D6 2/2 listed at $955K, Pointe Santo #C23 3/2 listed at $995K, Tarpon Beach #109 2/2 listed at $1.1M, Compass Point #102 2/2 listed at $1.375M, Shorewood #2D 3/2 listed at $1.595M.
7 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #C5 2/2 $435K, Blind Pass #E207 2/2.5 $466K, Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 $575K, Sandalfoot #2C2 2/2 $640K, Loggerhead Cay #274 2/2 $658.5K, Mariner Pointe #112 2/2 $675 (our listing), Sandals #A 3/3.5 $1.825M.
6 new listings: 4505 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/3 $729K, 2098 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 $795K, 4619 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $894K, 5186 Sea Bell Rd 3/3 $998K, 1275 Par View Dr 3/2 $1.399M, 1146 Golden Olive Ct 5/4 $3.299M.
6 price changes: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 now $550K, 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $649K, 3010 West Gulf Dr 3/2 now $1.345M, 930 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 now $1.55M, 742 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 now $1.55M, 4014 West Gulf Dr 4/3 now $3.849M.
10 new sales: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 listed at $550K, 1644 Bunting Ln 3/3 listed at $643K, 5859 Pine Tree Dr 2/2 listed at $749.9K, 1186 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $825K, 812 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 listed at $1.249M, 1743 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.395M, 1044 Whisperwood Way 4/4.5 listed at $1.995M, 1245 Isabel Dr 3/4.5 listed at $2.149M, 880 Limpet Dr 4/3.5 listed at $2.5M, 1314 Seaspray Ln 5/5.5 listed at $6.995M.
11 closed sales: 1613 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 half-duplex $575K, 3085 Poinciana Cir 2/2 $599K, 9211 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $699K, 1985 Sanibel Bayou Rd 3/2 $790K, 1050 White Ibis Dr 4/3.5 $935K, 2313 Wulfert Rd 4/3 $1M, 6101 Starling Way 3/3.5 $1.05M, 1147 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 $1.165M, 4500 Waters Edge Ln 2/2 $1.175M, 1323 Seaspray Ln 4/4.5 $1.65M, 2964 Wulfert Rd 5/5.5 $2.65M.
No new listings.
1 price change: 6141 Starling Way now $897K.
2 new sales: 971 Main St listed at $205K, 9042 Mockingbird Dr listed at $395K.
3 closed sales: 1820 Ardsley Way $170K, 1303 Par View Dr $300K, 3354 Barra Cir $350K.
No new listings or price changes.
2 new sales: Ventura Captiva #4A 3/3 listed at $1.1M, Lands End Village #1662 3/3 listed at $1.99M.
No closed sales.
1 new listing: 41 Oster Ct 2/2.5 $1.125M.
No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan
Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.