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

June on Sanibel & Captiva – More Inventory & Other News

It’s Susan, reporting another sunny Sanibel Friday. Lee County schools are out, family vacations are beginning, and plenty of spring/summertime fun events are being announced.

Luckily, the heavy rains last weekend, didn’t cause much long-term flooding and it resulted in some terrific shelling for those enthusiasts. Now that the ground is saturated, islanders will be keeping a close eye on future rainy events. Meanwhile, the Anchor Dr bunnies are loving the juicy vegetation at my house. There were two munching in my yard this morning as I headed out to work. I love those little guys!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Some good news at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday. As incoming Association Prez, Realtor® Greg Demaras mentioned in his opening remarks, there has been 100% increase in Sanibel home listings compared to ten days ago when there were only 11 homes for sale. (Actually, today the number of Sanibel homes available according to the islands MLS is up to 26. More inventory is becoming available.)

The other percentage mentioned was that the number of properties open for Caravan viewing was up 400% from the last meeting two weeks ago, when there was only one available to see. These may be subtle market changes, yet still worth watching.

One of the properties open for Caravan viewing was our new listing on South Yachtsman Dr. The action posted in the island Multiple Listing Service (MLS) since last Friday follows a couple of news items below.

2022 SCIS Designation Classes

Also. yesterday morning, I taught the 2022 Resort & Second-Home Market module for the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist (SCIS) designation.

My 10th year teaching that class and it’s always fun. The 12 attendees this year included nine taking the classes or the first time and three Realtors® working on their renewal.

They all tolerated my insistence that the class photo be taken with them wearing funny resort-wear props.

Wishing them much success in their resort & 2nd home market business.

 

Governor DeSantis Vetoes SB 2508

Posted Wed, Jun 8, 2022 by Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF):

“Today, in a move that is a significant win for Florida’s environment—Governor DeSantis exercised his executive power to veto Senate Bill 2508. This bill would have undermined the extensive work by SCCF and our partners to base the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) on sound science and an equitable distribution of water. It would have had a chilling effect on water management decisions related to discharges from Lake Okeechobee, perpetuating the harmful “hold and dump” practices that currently allow for high-volume discharges to our coastal communities during the wet season. In addition, the bill would have accelerated the destruction of wetlands by allowing private reviewers to process expedited dredge and fill permits for utilities, resulting in further deterioration of water quality. Furthermore, it would have negatively impacted the Florida Forever land acquisition program by allowing the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to compete with the Department of Environmental Protection for state funding.

“We thank Governor DeSantis for demonstrating great political courage in vetoing this harmful bill. Our coastal communities in Southwest Florida have been devastated by declining water quality and harmful algal blooms for far too long. The red tide bloom in 2018 resulted in more the 425 tons of dead sea life being removed from the beaches of Sanibel, and more than $47 million in economic losses.  Scientists with SCCF and the University of Florida’s Center for Coastal Solutions recently published data linking pollution from stormwater runoff and harmful algal blooms. We now know that preventing harmful nutrients from reaching the coast is one way to reduce the extent and severity of red tide events in the future.  This is not only critical for the ecology of our coastal waters, but it is also essential for protecting the quality of life of our residents, and Florida’s economy.

“SCCF remains engaged in the LOSOM process with the Army Corps, South Florida Water Management District, and our environmental partners to eliminate the harmful discharges that contribute to harmful algal blooms.  With extensive modeling we have demonstrated that an equitable distribution of water can meet the needs of all stakeholders without any being sacrificed.  By vetoing 2508, Governor DeSantis has confirmed that he is listening to stakeholders, and will not let politics take priority over sound science.

“We sincerely thank all of you who spoke out against this harmful bill.”

Housing Market Is Strong – But Time to Sell?

Posted Mon, Jun 6, 2022 on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to Daily Commercial, by Don Magruder. He is the CEO of Ro-Mac Lumber & Supply Inc., and he is also the host of the “Around the House” Show which can be seen at AroundtheHouse.TV. More good news here about Florida.

“Housing remained resilient – Fla. more than many states – but signs suggest a slowdown in price increases. Still, investors moving away from stocks may be a wild card.

“NEW YORK – The Florida and national housing market remain very strong by every metric, but the overall health of the United States’ economy, inflation worries, interest rate hikes, and the downward spiral of many investment markets are starting to create some buts in the housing forecast long-term.

“The overall economy will affect housing especially regarding increased interest rates, but through the first quarter of 2022, housing has been very resilient.

“In March, per the United States Census Bureau, United States housing starts hit an annual seasonal rate of 1,873,000 which was 0.4% higher than February, and 6.7% above the previous year.

“Within those numbers, single-family homes cooled by almost 5%, but multi-family housing bolstered the sector to an increase. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, multi-family housing projects have been delayed, but with the current rental demand, most expect multi-family housing to grow.

“The dirty secret about these numbers is that starts would have been higher if not for supply chain woes. Housing starts and production are being suppressed because of serious supply chain issues throughout the country.

“The Monthly New Residential Sales report from the Census Bureau tells a different story, which may suggest interest rates and the economy may be slowing new home sales. Sales were 763,000 units which is 12.6% below the previous year, but the median price rose to $436,700 with a 6.4-month supply at current sales volume.

“The buyers remain in the market, but many are being priced out by higher interest rates and soaring prices for homes. This may be an inflection point in which home sellers will have to start reducing the prices to attract buyers since the low interest rate environment is going away.

“Some point to the fact that a late winter weather surge could have hampered sales in March and getting buyers back in the market may soon become a priority for sellers. In short, housing prices coupled with higher interest rates are too much for many buyers.

“Florida’s housing numbers are somewhat robust as compared to the national housing markets. Florida Realtors® reports that first quarter sales of housing were down 2.6% compared to the previous year, but housing inventories across the state were down to 1 month or a 10.2% drop as compared to the previous year.

This indicates sales were subdued because there were simply not enough houses in the market for sale. Additionally, the median sales price jumped 21.3% from the previous year to $385,000 while new listings for the quarter were flat from the year before.

“Here is another key fact; homes on the market were down to 53 days as compared to 64 days a year ago. The Florida housing market remains red hot, and builders simply cannot build enough units timely with all the supply chain disruptions.

“Two other big facts about Florida’s housing market that cannot be ignored are the percentage of cash sales for new homes and the rate of foreclosures. For the first quarter, cash buyers made up 33.5% of all the homes sold while foreclosures across the state were down 34.8% to a measly 362 units, which is nothing for a state of 23 million people. It seems money is moving out of Wall Street and other investments to real estate, and that most homes are in good shape financially.

“With all these first quarter numbers and economic data, where does the housing market go the rest of 2022? First, the Florida market will probably be one of the most robust markets in the country, but all markets, including Florida’s, will start seeing some capitulations in housing prices.

“Low interest rates have shielded sellers for some time, and with a forecasted rise in interest rates in June and July of half points on top of the May half point increase, something has got to give on pricing.

“What about Wall Street investors? Here is the big but: Do large amounts of money flow out of riskier investments on Wall Street and cryptocurrency find a safe haven in real estate? That is a possibility as builders and investors build rental housing for a population dealing with a lack of housing.

“Unlike some of the funny money investments on Wall Street, housing does provide one huge advantage as a tangible investment that delivers real value like a place to live and a nice tax advantage, plus there is a genuine need for more housing in America.

“It appears housing will cool some in other parts of the country, which should help ease supply chain disruptions. Additionally, pricing overall will moderate, probably knocking out the over-exuberance; but in Florida, unless the economic conditions deteriorate significantly, expect housing to remain strong.

If you are a home seller, the environment suggests you sell sooner rather than later.”

Sea Turtle Update

Posted Tues, Jun 7, 2022 by SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation). All sea turtle research and monitoring is conducted by trained individuals operating under Marine Turtle Permit #047:

“As of today, 296 loggerhead and 3 green turtle nests have been laid on Sanibel and Captiva Islands! Fortunately, the impacts of last weekend’s storm on our nests were minimal and we only lost 5 on both islands to storm surge.

“Sea turtles have a nesting strategy that accommodates for natural events such as storms. Each nesting female turtle deposits several nests throughout the duration of the nesting season – essentially hedging her bets to make sure that even if a storm hits at some point during the nesting season, there is a high probability that at least a few of the nests will incubate successfully.

“If you see a new nest on the beach that hasn’t been marked yet, please keep your distance. While well intentioned, marking it with beach objects or walking on the tracks makes it much more difficult for our staff and volunteers to interpret the field signs. To help our sea turtles, please remember to turn off all white lights visible from the beach (including flashlights), fill in holes at the end of the day, and remove furniture from the beach at night.”

Volunteers Needed for Beach Bucket Program!

Coastal Watch has partnered with the City of Sanibel and Bailey’s General Store to install Beach Bucket Stations at a few Sanibel beach access points. The project objective is to provide beachgoers with a vessel to collect trash as they enjoy the beach. The stations will be located at Lighthouse Beach, Tarpon Bay Beach, and Bowman’s Beach. They are looking for volunteers that frequently visit these areas or live close by, who are willing to check on the stations and make sure all buckets are accounted for and in good condition. If interested email coastalwatch@sccf.org.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Join Dave, Lisa, and I as we wish our long-time teammate, Elise, well in her new position beginning Monday at Florida Gulf Coast University. We have worked together so long; she is like family.

Our loss is FGCU’s gain. Plus, she sure will enjoy her commute going from hours to just minutes. Best wishes on your new adventures, Elise!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 3-10, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sandalfoot #1A3 2/2 $1.175M, Sundial #F403 2/2 $1.325M, Sanibel Surfside #122 2/2 $1.54M.

3 price changes: Sanibel Arms West #B8 2/2 now $875K, Gulf Beach #107 2/2 now $999K, Sanctuary Golf Villages #5-2 3/3 now $1.198M

4 new sales: Seawind #110 2/2.5 listed at $895K; Tarpon Beach #105 2/2 listed at $1,297,555; Pine Cove #101 3/2 listed at $1.65M, Gulfside Place #101 3/3 listed at $2.495M

1 closed sale: Sundial #B206 2/2 $1.3M.

HOMES

8 new listings: 1236 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $929K, 1031 Bird Watch Way 3/2 $950K, 1835 Farm Trl 3/2 $993K, 4052 Coquina Dr 3/2 $1.25M, 9409 Moonlight Dr 3/2.5 $1.282M, 671 Durion Ct 3/2 $1.395M, 585 Chert Ct 3/2 $1.549M, 437 Lake Murex Cir 5/3 $2.199M.

2 price changes: 446 Lake Murex 2/2 now $934K, 947 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 now $1.456M.

1 new sale: 4612 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 listed at $1.495M.

2 closed sales: 4577 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 $771K, 1196 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $875K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1994 Wild Lime Dr $350K.

1 price change: 3005 Turtle Gait Ln now $995K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 3938 West Gulf Dr $853,750.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: Marina Villas #790 2/2 $10925M, Lands End Village #1610 3/3 $3.6M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 $4.125M.

1 price change: 11517 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4.5 now $4.995M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 15261 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 $10.25M.

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

Before Most Storms is a Spectacular Sunset!

June 1 was the official first day of Florida hurricane season. Right on time, the Pacific storm that passed the Yucatan this week, now is into the gulf and forecast to dump heavy rain on SW FL beginning today and continuing into tomorrow. After that, island weather likely will return to typical “rainy season” with off-and-on tropical showers possible most afternoons and evenings.

From now through fall, the islands enjoy many bright sunny days and excellent shelling (particularly after a summer storm), but this time of the year it is especially smart to keep an eye on the weather. It also pays to stock up on hurricane supplies during tax-free time, which is now through Jun 10. Qualifying disaster preparedness supplies include such items as generators, tarps, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, flashlights, lanterns, batteries, weather radios, and for pets, portable kennels, beds, leashes, collars, and muzzles (some price limits apply).

In the world of island real estate, after a couple of news items below is the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday. On Jun 1, the May renters departed from our new canal-front listing in Sanibel Estates so Jim Anderson, JMA Photography, our long-time photographer was able to do his magic before the storm arrived.

931 South Yachtsman Dr in Sanibel Estates

There was no local Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting this week, but this morning I attended the Professional Development Committee meeting where we were busy finalizing 2022 classes and speaker schedules. I am also putting the finishing touches on the Resort & 2nd-Home Market class that I teach for the Association next week as one of the modules for the SCIS (Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist) designation.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands 2022 Real Estate Sales

Not totally unexpected is how quickly island sales have slowed. Even with a holiday weekend, the islands were quiet this week. Traffic was slim to none, with reported real estate sales about the same. It is another story about how busy it was on the causeway beaches, particularly on Sunday. There was no room for even a bird to light. Lots of people appeared to be enjoying the water and weather, but vehicles were parked within inches of each other, and jet skiers were zooming close to shore. Lee County certainly has their hands full monitoring those beaches.

Below is an update of Sanibel/Captiva inventory today, compared to sales year-to-date and last year. (Info from Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service as of Jun 3, 2022. For sale & under contract average prices are based on asking prices.)

 

 

Status

SANIBEL
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 20 1,288,307 75 19 2,175,836 37 8 1,792,200 311
Under contract 16 1,207,993 13 25 1,764,920 22 4 579,638 116
Sold to-date 2022 79 1,120,191 41 109 1,714,678 65 18 607,500 245
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 7 1,570,428 48 7 5,922,537 46  1 15,500,000 69
Under contract 9 1,771,944 37 4 6,523,750 42  0 N/A N/A
Sold to-date 2022 19 1,346,343 44 16 5,573,906 152  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

Florida Realtors® 2022 Budget Victories

This week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the $109.9 billion 2022-23 state budget into law which includes four Realtor® legislative priorities from the 2022 session.

First, it solidifies the $100 million allocated for the new Hometown Heroes Housing Program, meaning that July1, down payment and closing cost assistance will be available for eligible hometown heroes such as nurses, teachers, firefighters, law enforcement offices, and other critical front-line workers.

The budget signing also means that $262 million will be available at the start of the new fiscal year for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) and State Apartment Incentive Loan programs (SAIL). These existing affordable-housing programs have been a long-standing priority for Florida Realtors® as they provide home ownership and rental assistance to low-income Floridians.

On the environmental side, the budget signing locks in more than $1.6 billion for water quality and other related projects including:

  • $500+million for Everglades Restoration
  • $558+million for target water quality improvements
  • $75 million for springs restoration
  • $50 million for Florida beaches
  • $20 million for Biscayne Bay
  • $125 million for the Wastewater Grant Program
  • $500+million for the Resilient Florida Program.

The budget also includes $500K to help the Department of Business and Professional Regulations combat unlicensed real estate activity.

Florida Real Estate Market Shows Signs of Cooling

Below is a transcript of the Market Update video posted May 19 on Florida Realtors® by Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor:

“The red-hot resale market for housing in Florida finally showed some legitimate signs of cooling in April, based on the latest monthly housing statistics from Florida Realtors. Let’s start by looking at closed sales of existing single-family homes, which were down over 15% compared to April of last year. That’s a significantly larger decline than we saw in March, when closings were only down a little over 6% year-over-year. “What happened in April?” you ask? Well, it’s not so much what happened in April so much as what was happening in February and March. Remember, most home sales that close each month, particularly the majority that are purchased with mortgage financing, went under contract one or two months prior to closing. So, the closed sale statistics reported each month are always impacted by market conditions from one or two months prior, as well. And what was going on in February and March when so many of April’s closings were going under contract? The answer, of course, is a rapid rise in mortgage rates.

“At the beginning of every week, Freddie Mac surveys mortgage lenders across the U.S. and reports the average national rate for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage on Thursday. For most weeks in 2021, they reported an average rate between 2.8 and 3.2%. These consistently low rates were essentially rocket fuel for the housing market and led to one of the best years for home sales of all time. But mortgage rates started rising in earnest in 2022. At the beginning of February, Freddie reported an average rate of about 3.6%–a little higher than the 3.2% rate it reported at the beginning of January. But by the beginning of March, the average rate had reached 3.8%, and by April, it was up almost a full percentage point further, to 4.7%. It was this huge increase during March that really had a significant impact on closings in April.

“Our new pending sales statistic, which is simply a count of how many homes went under contract each month, is typically a good leading indicator of closed sales a month or two down the road. This statistic has been showing double-digit year-over-year percent declines since February, so it’s not just the theory that rising rates dampen housing demand that has led us to expect lower levels of closings this spring, it’s been present in the numbers, as well. New pending sales are not a perfect forecaster of future closed sales, signed contracts do not always guarantee a successful closed sale, but they are one of the better ones. And with mortgage rates now consistently above 5%, it’s not surprising that new pending sales of single-family homes were down almost 14% in April. So, we might expect closings to be weak on a year-over-year basis over the next month or two, as well.

“Weak” is a relative term here, obviously. As I said earlier, 2021 was characterized by near-record low mortgage rates that allowed for a huge surge in homebuying demand. So, it’s simply unreasonable for us to expect that the market will perform just as well this year now that we are in a higher interest rate environment. The mortgage rates on home sales that closed this April are much more akin to what rates were at in 2018. And compared to April 2018, the number of single-family closings in April of this year was up 11%. April closings were also 4% higher than they were in 2019, when rates were on the way down. So, it all depends on your perspective. Closed sales are performing at about the level they were leading up into the pandemic, despite higher mortgage rates, low supply, and much, much higher sale prices.

“The median sale price for closed existing single-family homes finally eclipsed the $400,000 mark in April. It came in at $410,000, which is almost 22% higher than it was one year ago. While that’s bad news for prospective buyers, once again we need to remind ourselves that many home sales that closed in April actually had their prices determined when they went under contract a month or two earlier, just as rates were really starting to take off. In the longer run, price growth should start to moderate in response to these higher rates, so this is an important statistic to keep your eye on over the next few months as an increasing share of sellers will inevitably have to start adjusting their expectations to a degree.

“If you’re in the real estate business, though, the good news is that the lower level of sales in April was mostly offset by this year’s higher sale prices, although not completely. The statewide dollar volume of closed existing single-family home sales in April was down 4.5% compared to a year ago. Year-to-date, however, single-family dollar volume is still up 6.4%.

“Although we’re seeing fewer sales relative to last year, the number of existing homes being listed for resale this year has remained relatively consistent in 2022 compared to recent years. There were more new listings of single-family homes this April than in April of either 2018, 2019, or 2020, and they were only down by less than 2% compared to April of 2021. Year-to-date, new listings are down only 0.5% compared to a year ago. This has allowed inventory levels to finally start creeping up a little bit. As of the end of April, the statewide inventory of existing single-family homes for sale was up close to 7% year-over-year. That’s a big deal since it represents the first year-over-year increase in Florida’s single-family inventory since June of 2019. Granted, we still have over 60% fewer single-family listings than we did at this time two years ago, but we’ll take any victory on inventory that we can get at this point. It’s still a long road back to a balanced market.

“Now that we’ve covered the resale market for single-family homes, let’s look at the stats for homes in the condo and townhouse category. If you regularly watch our videos here, you know that annual condo and townhouse sales were up significantly in 2021. Single-family sales were up by almost 13%, but that was nothing compared to condos and townhouses’ increase of over 34%. The big reason why that happened is that our single-family inventory was mostly depleted during the second half of 2020. So, when 2021 came around, relative to single-family homes, we had a fairly abundant amount of condo and townhouse inventory. With housing demand as hot as ever and home prices rapidly rising, condo and townhouse sales went through the roof.

“By the beginning of 2022, though, condo and townhouse inventory levels were largely depleted, as well. As of the end of April, we’re at 1.3 months supply of inventory for this property type category, not much more than the 1.1 months supply of single-family inventory. As a result, condo and townhouse sales are constrained this year in a way they were not one year ago, so the decline in sales has been more severe than on the single-family side. Closed sales in April were down almost 21%, while new pending sales were down almost 24%. The levels of closings and new contracts, however, remain above where they were at this time in 2019, the last normal year for our housing market ahead of the pandemic.

“The median sale price for condos and townhouses in April was $310,000, a year-over-year increase of 24%. This year’s higher price point led to a decline in dollar volume of only about 8% relative to a year ago when condo and townhouse sales were at their hottest.

“Many of the factors impacting Florida’s housing market right now are macroeconomic factors, in other words, phenomena that are broadly impacting the housing market nationally, not just here in Florida. Rising interest rates and high inflation are two prime examples. But on a state-specific basis, Florida currently has some great things going for it that continue to make our state an attractive destination for new residents, investors, and second-home buyers. Our lack of income tax, access to beautiful beaches, and warm, sunny weather have always been a great asset, but they’ve become even more attractive in today’s work-from-anywhere world.

“Moreover, Florida’s economy has seen one of the strongest recoveries of any state over the past two years. But just as all states are different, so are all the markets within our state….”

How Did Sanibel Home & Condo Sales Compare in April 2022?

Since it also is important to analyze local market statistics, not just understand what is happening at the state-level, below is the info collected by Florida Realtors® (SunStats) for April sales on Sanibel.

Single-family homes – comparing April 2022 with April 2021, the number of home sales was down 68.1% (from 47 sales to 15). Median sale price, however, was up 32.1%, from $1,050,000 to $1,387,500.

Condos – also comparing April 2022 to 2021, the number of condo sales was down 55% (from 40 to 18), while median sale price was up 103.9%, from $675,000 to $1,376,500.

In April 2022, 73.3% of the single-family home sales and 83.3% of the condo sales were cash.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 27 – June 3, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Tarpon Beach #105 2/2 $1,297,555.

1 price change: Gulfside Place #101 3/3 now $2.495M.

1 new sale: Sanibel Arms #G8 2/2 listed at $1.295M.

5 closed sales: Coquina Beach #5A 2/2 $779K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #5-3 2/2.5 $859K, Island Beach Club #P4E 2/2 $1.749M, Somerset #A301 3/2.5 $3M, Sedgemoor #101 3/3.5 $3.895M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 647 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $819K, 446 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 $949K, 947 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $1.5459M, 839 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.995M, 931 S. Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 $1.995M (our listing).

931 S Yachtsman Dr

3 price changes: 1012/1014 East Gulf Dr 4/2 duplex now $1.049M, 5802 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3.5 now $1.39M, 2729 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.998M.

No new sales.

10 closed sales: 778 Cardium St 3/3 $853K, 1667 Sabal Sands Rd 3/3 $1.05M, 3910 Coquina Dr 3/2 $1.299M, 750 Oliva St 3/2 $1.425M, 788 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $2.1M, 746 Windlass Way 4/3 $2.15M, 489 Sawgrass Pl 5/5 $2.183M, 1679 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 $2.495M, 474 Lagoon Dr 3/3.5 $2.5M, 6176 Henderson Rd 4/3 $2.8M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2235 4/3 listed at $1.979M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16151 Captiva Dr 7/7.5 $13.875M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 11524 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 listed at $3.995M.

1 closed sale: 16989 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 $5.823M.

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.

Stay dry this weekend & enjoy your week!

Til mext Friday… Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Coming Up on Memorial Day Weekend 2022 on Sunny Sanibel

Another quiet week is wrapping up on the islands and at SanibelSusan Realty. Summer-like weather has made for warm sunny days, some with record high temperatures, but with occasional evening showers cooling things down and contributing to springtime growth spurts. After an extended drought, things are greening up here and many flowering trees still are busting blossoms.

Turtles and tortoises are on the move depositing their eggs. Winter birds are migrating north, along with the people-birds aka snowbirds, while our year-‘round avian friends including snowy plovers, herons, and owls also are producing offspring.

Not to be missed, the baby bunnies are back, both at my home and office. It’s nice to say that traffic again is light, while wildlife continuing abundant.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Yesterday was the May monthly membership meeting at the Association of Realtors®. No longer offered via Zoom, it was great to see more in-person attendees including a couple of new affiliates. Due to an unexpected speaker cancellation, the two meeting sponsors, David Wright from Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank (SanCap Bank) and David Arter from Private Client Insurance Services (PCIS) provided quick updates on their businesses.

Mortgages – David Wright, SanCap Bank, said now is the first time in his lifelong lending career that portfolio loans at his bank have better terms than government-backed financing. Though SanCap Bank still offers loans from many outside sources, including Fannie & Freddie, their in-house offerings are at lower rates/points and can be quickly approved, right at his desk. (Just another excellent reason to bank local.)

Insurance – David Arter, PCIS, provided highlights from the Special Florida Legislative Session about property insurance that wrapped up late Wednesday. Though not signed into law just yet, the measures passed by lawmakers this week may not immediately reduce premiums, but they do get at the heart of the problem and will have a long-term positive effect on stabilizing insurance in Florida. It took lawmakers three days to debate, discuss, and ultimately pass some significant property insurance reforms that will go a long way in helping to alleviate Florida’s ongoing property insurance crisis. Some of the topics included:

  • Improving affordability for policyholders through a new $2 billion 2-year program
  • Improving accessibility and protecting policyholders from nonrenewal
  • Preventing fraud in claims
  • Holding insurers accountable
  • Creating more consumer choice on roof repairs
  • Transparency to improve the marketplace for consumers
  • Curbing unscrupulous roof claims
  • Home hardening grants to help Floridians make homes safer.

Caravan – During the Caravan segment of the meeting, there were no new sales or new island listings announced, also no price reductions. One property was open for Caravan viewing (Gulfside Place #101). Next Caravan is in two weeks, on June 9.

After a couple of news items below is the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. Here at SanibelSusan Realty, yesterday we received a new canal-front home listing. As we work on some advance marketing, we also await departure of May renters so that our photographer may film next week – for a “best first impression” when the listing is promoted worldwide.

Today, according to the Sanibel-Captiva MLS, on Sanibel, there are 14 homes, 21 condos, and 8 lots for sale. Captiva has 8 homes, 8 condos, and 1 lot. Inventory is creeping up, but just a little.

Lawmakers Pass Condo Reforms

The same special session for insurance reform discussed above was expanded to include condominium reform in response to the tragedy in Surfside, FL last June. Lawmakers acted quickly on this, unanimously passing a Building Safety bill in both chambers. It provides several measures designed to increase building safety and prevent the types of issues that lead to the Surfside collapse. Specifically, the bill:

  • Creates a statewide “milestone inspection” requirement for condos and cooperative buildings three stories or higher 30 years after initial occupancy, and 25 years after initial occupancy for buildings located within three miles of the coast.
  • Requires inspections every 10 years after a building initial “phase 1” inspection.
  • Requires an additional, more intensive inspection, or a “phase 2” inspection if a building initial inspection reveals substantial structural deterioration.
  • Beginning in 2024, condo associations are required to conduct a structural integrity reserve study at least every ten years and prevents needed reserves from being waived.

Florida’s Economic Resiliency

This week, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis issued a report which outlines how Florida’s economy outpaced the nation. Key findings of the report show even after the global pandemic, Florida’s economy continued to grow and outpace the U.S. economy; Florida’s finance and real estate industries suffered no economic dip; and Florida’s COVID-19 policies allowed Florida’s economy to make a quick rebound leading to exceptional growth.

A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis

The one thing every Homeowner needs to know about a recession is that a recession does not equal a housing crisis. Everywhere you look, experts are warning we could be heading toward a recession, and if true, an economic slowdown doesn’t mean homes will lose value.

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) defines a recession as “a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, normally visible in production, employment, and other indicators. A recession begins when the economy reaches a peak of economic activity and ends when the economy reaches its trough. Between trough and peak, the economy is in an expansion.”

To help show that home prices don’t fall every time there’s a recession, requires a look at the historical data. There have been six recessions in this country over the past four decades. As the CoreLogic graph shows, going all the way back to the 1980s, home prices appreciated four times and depreciated only two times.

That first occasion on the graph when home values depreciated was in the early 1990s when home prices dropped by less than 2%. It happened again during the housing crisis in 2008 when home values declined by almost 20%. Most people vividly remember the housing crisis in 2008 and think if we were to fall into a recession that we’d repeat what happened then. But this housing market isn’t a bubble that’s about to burst. The fundamentals are very different today than they were in 2008. So, we shouldn’t assume we’re heading down the same path.

Bottom Line – We’re not in a recession in this country, but if one is coming, it doesn’t mean homes will lose value. History shows a recession doesn’t equal a housing crisis.

Remodel Underway at SCCF Nature Center

Earlier this month, contractors started extensive renovations to transform the former Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) Nature Center into an energy-efficient collaborative space intended for more interaction among staff members and volunteers, and with visiting scientists.

The design by Sanibel architect (& Sanibel Chorus fellow alto) Amy Nowacki features more than 20 offices and workstations, an indoor lab space, bathrooms with shower for those commuting by bike or coming in from the field, outdoor decks, and solar panels. The remodel is being done by Benchmark General Contractors and is expected to be completed in November. It will also include a reception area with space for volunteers and a large board room with seating for 42 people for presentations.

Originally constructed in 1977, the aging structure was no longer meeting the needs of the organization, which currently employs a staff of 36 at five different locations across Sanibel. For more than 40 years, the building was a popular visitor attraction that once featured a touch tank, box turtle and indigo snake exhibits, a gift shop, and a butterfly house. It also offered regular educational programs on wildlife and island ecosystems.

Stay tuned for a community celebration with a ribbon-cutting for the freshly renovated facility in November. Click here to see a story map of all SCCF Trails and facilities.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 20 ‑ 27, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Spanish Cay #A4 2/2 $649.9K, Seawind #A110 2/2.5 $895K, Sanibel Arms #G8 2/2 $1.295M, Seascape #302 3/3.5 $2.495M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #323 2/2 listed at $850K, Seawind #A106 2/2.5 listed at $899K, Compass Point #201 2/2 $939K.

1 closed sale: Breakers West #A4 2/2 $825K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 542 Boulder Dr 2/2 $1.195M, 1313 Seaspray Ln 3/3 $1.895M, 2729 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $2.148M, 1740 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2.5 $2.625M, 4353 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2.5 $2.85M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 1545 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $799K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 listed at $950K, 1270 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $1.699M.

4 closed sales: 6471 Pine Ave 2/2 $935K, 733 Durion Ct 3/2 $1.6M, 746 Windlass Way 4/3 $2.15M, 1543 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/4 $2.25M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sunset Beach Villas #2235 4/3 $1.979M.

No price changes or new sales.

4 closed sales: Beach Villas #2418 2/2 $1.2M, Marina Villas #901 2/2 $1.2M, Beach Villas #2324 2/2 $1.295M, Beach Villas #2438 3/3 $1.55M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11524 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $3.995M.

No price changes or new sales.

3 closed sales: 17201 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 $5.5M, 16280 Captiva Dr 6/6 $8.6M, 15855 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 $8.795M.

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.

Wishing you a safe thoughtful Memorial Day weekend.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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

It’s Flamboyant May – Colorful for Mothers Day on the Islands

May continues to prove itself as one of the best months to be on Sanibel & Captiva Islands. Traffic is a breeze. Sunny days usually include a breeze. Occasional evening showers begin, also with a breeze. Funny how when the rainy season starts here, most showers stay inland. That’s when we locals joke that rain can’t afford the bridge toll.

Sanibel got a couple of inches of accumulation earlier in the week which has greened things up and contributed to local color. As typical for May, plenty of springtime flowering vegetation has popped. As I head home from the office each evening, it is fun to admire the Royal Poinciana trees (aka flamboyant) trees busting with orange blooms, occasional purple jacaranda, plus many colorful frangipanis (aka plumeria). My gardenia bushes have been exploding for a couple of weeks and yesterday I spotted a beautiful blooming magnolia on East Gulf Dr.

Real Estate Scoop

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® – It was with mixed emotions last Friday afternoon when I attended a surprise going-away get-together for our Association of Realtors® Director of Education who has now moved to Jacksonville to be closer to family. Best of luck, Megan Rose. Our loss is Jax’s gain. It was so easy to write her a letter of recommendation.

There is not much new real estate activity to report this week on the islands, though we had another nice closing Monday and I met with a prospective seller this morning. Prices continue to be mind-boggling. Inventory remains soooo low.

With another month in the books, below is a summary of island inventory as of today (May 6, 2022) (info from the islands MLS). Also, after a couple of news items are the details of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service (MLS) since last Friday.

 

 

Status

SANIBEL
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 14 1,452,428 87 14 2,370,857 40 9 1,670,733 271
Under contract 16 1,154,243 19 36 1,767,847 20 8 635,194 213
Sold to-date 2022 70 1,072,973 43 86 1,734,720 75 14 604,357 215
Sold 2021 287 875,127 113 355 1,341,881 89 69 698,862 442
Sold 2020 193 733,136 174 189 950,426 161 23 606,233 393

 

 

 

Status

CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 5 1,967,800 31 7 5,848,428 54  1 15,500,000 41
Under contract 8 1,746,062 35 5 7,639,000 121  0 N/A N/A
Sold to-date 2022 15 1,355,701 44 13 5.099,038 142  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

 

2022 National Association of Realtors® Legislative Meetings

This annual event sponsored by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) is held each May near Washington DC. This year, the meetings and trade expo were under one roof, at a new location, the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, MD. These meetings are where NAR members take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy, and the association with Capitol Hill visits, issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, and the industry trade show.

NAR is American’s largest trade association with over 1.5 million members advocating and protecting the property rights of buyers and sellers in the U.S. and around the world. NAR began 112 years go and today includes 1,200+local and state/territory associations serving Realtors® and their communities. More than 200,000 members hold subject-matter expertise designations and certifications.

Though I did not personally attend the meetings, I followed several via the internet and was especially touched when on Tuesday I read a Facebook post by Marcia Franks, island client/friend from the Nashville area, where she is a Tennessee Real Estate Commissioner and broker/owner of Franklin Realtors Inc. Marcia also is the most recent Past President (2021) of ARELLO which is the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials. Her post said:

“My National Association of REALTORS Global Business & Alliances Committee meeting was very emotional this morning. The VP and Committee member of the Ukrainian Real Estate Association spoke to us about their country and the need for help. It was so heartbreaking. They drove 4 days from their cities to Poland, 8 hours in immigration, flew to Warsaw then to Chicago and finally Washington to speak to us. They go back in 2 days to their homes and family. The man’s military post in his town is in a trench and the woman and her children are living in a basement of a church because her home was bombed. Our committee is asking NAR to start a Global Relief Foundation. We in AMERICA are so blessed! ”

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun Predicts Uncertainty for the Housing Market

My favorite economist also spoke at the National Association of Realtors® event this week:

“NATIONAL HARBOR, MD (May 4, 2022) – Two years after enduring the devastating financial impacts of COVID-19, the U.S. economy has made an impressive comeback, in large part due to a booming housing market. However, as National Association of Realtors® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun explained today, there are significant questions regarding the sector’s direction over the coming months.

““Housing kept the economy afloat as home prices rose and buyer demand intensified,” said Yun to 9,000 Realtors® and industry experts in attendance at the 2022 Realtors® Legislative Meetings during the event’s Residential Economic Issues and Trends Forum. “However, this year has already thrown some curveballs, including record-low inventory and unyielding inflation.”

“While housing supply appears to be on the upswing as builders increasingly construct new homes, Yun says inflation will persist and in turn cause strain for would-be buyers. Additionally, other external economic factors will negatively impact the market, both indirectly and directly, he said. “The Russia-Ukraine war and escalating fuel prices have contributed to further housing unaffordability for buyers.”

“Yun explained that a more immediate impact for home seekers has been the rapid increase of mortgage rates, along with other anti-inflationary actions from the Federal Reserve. “Mortgages now compared to just a few months ago are costing more money for home buyers,” he said. “For a median-priced home, the price difference is $300 to $400 more per month, which is a hefty toll for a working family.”

“NAR calculates purchasing a home is now 55% more expensive than a year ago. These rising mortgage rates and prices hurt affordability, and although wages are improving, Yun says they are “wiped away” due to inflation.

“Wages have risen by 6% from one year ago and that’s good news,” he continued. “But inflation is at 8.5%.”

“He estimates inflation will remain elevated for the next several months and that the market will see further monetary policy tightening through a series of rate hikes. Citing a five-month decline in pending home sales, as well as a drop in newly constructed single-family sales, Yun predicts the higher mortgage rates will slow the housing market.”

Fundraiser to Benefit Sanibel School

The Sanibel School Fund’s 20th annual Blue Ribbon Classic Golf Tournament will be followed by a dinner party on May 14 at the Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way. The community is invited to take part in an evening of fun and philanthropy including a cocktail hour starting at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., deejay and dancing, and raffle and live auction at 8 p.m.

Proceeds from the golf tournament and after-party support The Sanibel School’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program. Tickets to the event are $100 per person. More info about the event, for tickets, and learn about bidding auction items without attending, go to https://sanibelschoolfund.betterworld.org/

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 29 – May 6, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Sundial #G401 2/2 listed at $1.274M, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #6 3/3 listed at $1.398M.

4 closed sales: Sandalfoot #5A2 2/2 $1.05M, Shell Island Beach Club #5C 2/2 $1.279M, Lighthouse Point #227 3/2 listed at $1.395M (our listing), Pine Cove #A 2/2 $1.549M.

View from Lighthouse Point #227

HOMES

3 new listings: 1752 Serenity Ln 3/2 $899K, 6471 Pine Ave 2/2 $949K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 $950K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 750 Oliva St 3/2 listed at $1.495M, 1710 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 listed at $2.195M, 1690 Sabal Palm Dr 5/3 listed at $3.177M.

7 closed sales: 430 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 $1.155M, 244 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $1.255M, 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $1.34M, 1194 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $1.3875M, 1305 Par View Dr 3/4 $1.7M, 4322 West Gulf Dr 4/3.5 $2.975M, 1349 Bay Dr 4/4 $5.825M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 3938 West Gulf Dr listed at $899K.

1 closed sale: 2356 Wulfert Rd $260K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Homes #3 3/2 $3.495M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Bayside Villas #4214 1/2 listed at $605K, Bayside Villas #5110 1/2 listed at $673.5K, Gulf Beach Villas #2001 2/2 listed at $1.15M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15160 Captiva Dr 6/6.5 $5.249M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 1114 Schefflera Ct 4/3.5 listed at $3.6M.

1 closed sale: 15009 Binder Dr 4/5.5 $7.5M.

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… best wishes to all the Moms… may your May be special.

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