Wrapping Up July on Sunny Sanibel Island


It has been another quiet week on sunny Sanibel. One with beautiful summer weather – typical for the days before a tropical event. Teammate Dave remarked this morning about how bright sunset was last night. Saharan dust is orange and red, so sunsets through the dust haze are often bright and brilliant.
Something else that is pretty spectacular this time of the year is the night-blooming cereus. These desert-type cactus bloom once a year in the summer when the temperature drops at night. Their large flowers are showy and a contrast to their typically unexciting appearance.
There is a large group of them on trees on the north side of Periwinkle Way. I have enjoyed them for many years, just catching the tail-end of their blooms as I head to the office in the morning.
The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing service is after a couple of news items below.

Watching the Weather

You can bet that many have been doing plenty of weather watching this week. The early afternoon forecast looks like Hurricane Isaias will skim past the east coast of Florida, so that is a relief. Southwest Florida looks to be totally out of the cone. But, we also know that it pays to stay tuned. Hurricanes have changed path before. On a more positive note, several east coast residents are coming here to enjoy the weekend. Their business will be welcome.

Island Openings/Closings

Sanibel Mayor Ruane has extended the declared state of emergency in response to COVID-19 until August 4. As of yesterday, the Florida Department of Health announced one new confirmed COVID-19 positive tests on Sanibel bringing the total cases since March 26 to 35. The City’s home page (www.MySanibel.com) has direct access to these daily reports.
Re-openings:
  • Sanibel Community House has announced August events (with masks and social distancing required): Thursdays at 1 p.m. open forum on “Leading Life Currently”; Kids Cooking Camp M-F August 3 to 7 from 10 a.m. until noon (private lessons also available); Camp to Go Shell Critter Kits & Camp to Go Art Kits available for purchase or to ship; Lee Health Blood Mobile Thurs August 20 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Community House Rib Night Social Fri August 21 beginning at 6 p.m. More info at www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net and 239-472-2155.
  • Sanibel Historical Village already has been closed for four months and usually is closed during the off-season August 1 through mid-October. They updated their membership this week and advise that current plans are to reopen with new safety precautions on October 20.
  • Beginning Mon, August 3, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will resume charging Wildlife Drive admission fees which have been waived since March 23 to avoid unsafe interaction during the pandemic. Now with safety protocols, the daily vehicular fees will return to $5 and entry fees for pedestrians and cyclists over age 15 again is $1. Although the Visitor & Education Center will remain closed until announced, its “America’s Best Restroom” will reopen to the public daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. also starting August 3. The Nature Store inside the visitor center is offering free curbside delivery for orders placed on www.ShopDingDarling.com during the physical store closure. Call 239-472-1100 Ext 241 or visit the website to lean more.
  • Tarpon Bay Explorers’ narrated tram tours of Wildlife Drive will resume on August 4 and will run every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 8:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. until further notice. Visitors also may purchase annual and federal passes from the Wildlife Drive fee booth Saturday through Thursday and at the Tarpon Bay Explorers’ gift store on Fridays. Call 239-472-1351 or 239-472-8900 for latest info.

Taken about noon today at Tarpon Bay Explorers

A couple of long-time island retail establishments are closing:
  • Owners of The Sporty Seahorse Shop at 362 Periwinkle Way are retiring, after 30 years on Sanibel’s east end. According to their ad in today’s “Island Sun”, starting August 1 all merchandise is 40% off.
  • C. Turtles Hip Boutique at 1985 Periwinkle in Tahitian Gardens closed yesterday after 24 years in business. We still miss Susie as our neighbor at her former location in Sanibel Square.

The Return of McMansions? They Answer Pandemic Buyers’ Needs

Posted yesterday on-line at FloridaRealtors® and sourced to Realty Biz News (07/27/2020) Wheatley, Mike
“NEW YORK – As the pandemic compels people to spend more time indoors, experts say home buyers are increasingly searching for larger spaces with so-called McMansions apparently back in fashion, says Sonia Hirt, dean of the University of Georgia College of Environment and Design. “The suburban home that was so stereotypical and boring suddenly proved itself to have benefits we’ve completely forgotten about,” Hirt says.
“A recent report by the National Association of Realtors® found that the median size of an existing home was 2,060 square feet prior to the coronavirus pandemic. For new homes, however, the median size was 2,291 feet, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Architects say they expect those medians to increase in the next year.
““It’s being driven by people looking for the right combination of functionality and price,” says Ken Perlman, managing principal at John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Families want more room to accommodate adult relatives who might have moved in due to the pandemic. College students and young adults also opted to move back home due to stay-at-home measures and the economic situation.
““We’re going to see another bump in multigenerational living,” says Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United. “By combining resources, they can afford a bigger house or a more comfortable lifestyle.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 24-31, 2020

Sanibel
CONDOS
2 new listings: Sundial #J107 2/2 $729K, Pointe Santo #A31 2/2 $949K.
2 price changesMariner Pointe #522 2/2 now $484.9K (our listing), Seawind II #2 2/2.5 now $799.9K, Sanddollar #B104 2/2 now $1.05M.
1 new sale: Shell Island Beach Club #7C listed at $799K.
4 closed sales: Sanibel Arms West #B2 2/2 $490K, Mariner Pointe #542 2/2 $565K, Sanibel Surfside #132 2/2 $840K, Island Beach Club #340E 2/2 $1.06M.

View from Mariner Pointe #522

HOMES
2 new listings: 981 Main St 4/2.5 $699.9K, 1035 S Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 $1.099M.
2 price changes: 1752 Jewel Box Dr 2/2 now $859K; 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 now $875K.
2 new sales: 9036 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $624,999; 1271 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $925K.
9 closed sales: 9465 Calla Ct 3/2 $475K; 1361 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $509,600; 954 Donax St 3/3 $510K; 433 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $550K; 5056 Joewood Dr 3/2 $800K; 1199 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $950K; 2385 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1M; 2477 Wulfert 3/4 $1.1M;  2154 Starfish Ln 3/3 $1.31M..
LOTS
No new listings.
1 price change: 2297 Wulfert Rd now $187K.
2 new sales: 2462 Wulfert Rd listed at $229K, 1912 Par View Dr listed at $284,999.
1 closed sale: 6419 Pine Ave $785K.
Captiva
CONDOS
2 new listings: Beach Villas #2418 2/2 $759K, Lands End Village #1659 2/2 $975K.
No price changes.
2 new sales: Bayside Villas #5304 3/3 listed at $667.5K, Captiva Shores #C6 2/2 listed at $1.019M.
No closed sales.
HOMES
No new listings, price changes, new, or closed sales.
LOTS
No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.
Here’s hoping your weekend weather also is storm free. Until next week…
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s A Tropical Kinda Friday!


SanibelSusan here reporting another happy Friday! (Those are especially nice on weeks with closings.) There have been bright blue skies here so-far today, after a soggy Thursday afternoon. Now that the rainy season has settled in and the first of the tropical storms have developed in the gulf, showers have become more frequent and sometimes heavy.

Sanibel Square lost electricity for a short time yesterday. (A notice from the City said that 2000 island customers were affected.) Lee County Electric Coop (LCEC) continues to respond quickly. Go to http://www.lcec.net to download their “Smart Hub” app to report outages and to access your account. LCEC’s outage management map is a good resource too.

A plus with these showers is the islands are back to their lush tropical summer look, vegetation is a brilliant green and growing like crazy. Here are a few photos of the things blooming in my yard today. The gardenia bush is flowering for the third time this year – that’s a first.

These recent rains also have resulted in a lot of skeeters! There are almost enough to help carry in the mail. Though Lee County Mosquito Control (LCMC) has been working hard to keep them in check, population now is expanding faster than the island marsh bunnies – and that is booming. (Seriously, LCMC does a great job keeping those pesky biters in check during “mosquito season”, May through October. Mosquito activity increases, particularly after heavy rains that produce large areas of standing water. With the islands, mangroves, wetlands, and salt marshes, Sanibel is a prime breeding ground, so contact LCMC if you have a large number in your island neighborhood.)

At SanibelSusan Realty

Once again, our listings got some action this week. No offers, but some inquiries and showings. The activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. Plenty of real estate sales are occurring here. If you are interested in an updated Sanibel/Captiva inventory list, contact The SanibelSusan Team. We are happy to mail or email you one anytime.

Much of the local news, probably like where you are, is about COVID-19 and when schools will begin. Lee County’s School Board met yesterday and have decided to delay the opening here from August 10 to August 31.

The “Real Estate” State of the State

Below is the June 2020 – Florida Housing Report from Dr. Brad O’Connor, Florida Realtors Chief Economist:

“The June 2020 statistics from Florida Realtors have just been released, and they erase any remaining doubts that Florida’s housing market is in the midst of a large-scale recovery. This isn’t to say that every segment of the market is performing well, but on the whole, things are looking better than they have in several months.

“Let’s start by looking at the statewide statistics for existing single-family home sales. For the first time since March, closed sales were up year-over-year, rising by 1.3%. Remember in April and May, closings were down about 21 and 36%, respectively. But thanks to this nice recovery in June, plus the unusually strong sales growth we had ahead of the pandemic in January and February, here at the mid-point of 2020, closings are only down a little over 7% for the year compared to the first half of 2019. At our current trajectory, in fact, it’s possible that we may end the year with more closed single-family home sales statewide than we had last year.

“Of course, if you’ve been following the numbers with us over the past couple of months, you likely saw all of this coming. After all, new pending sales of single-family homes were up 2.3% in May. And if we assume new pending sales trends will continue to provide reliable forecasts of closings in the months to come, then based on the latest numbers from June, we can expect a very good summer. Why? Because in June, statewide new pending sales of single-family homes were up over 23%, year-over-year.

“Several factors are playing into this renewed demand for housing, but by far, the most important factors are record-low mortgage interest rates and the release of all the pent-up demand from our derailed spring buying season. Of course, we can’t expect this supercharged level of sales growth to last forever, since at some point, we will burn through all of this pent-up demand. But interest rates are not expected to rise any time soon, and they still have some room to go lower, so we have every reason to be optimistic about sales over the coming months, barring additional negative shocks to the economy.

“Over in the condo and townhouse category, existing home sales continue to lag those from the single-family category, but they still show significant improvement. Closed sales in this category were down nearly 11% year-over-year in June, but keep in mind, they were down over 50% in May. Still, the best signal that condos and townhouses are making a comeback comes from probably the most surprising number we saw this month, which is the nearly 20% increase in new contracts compared to the same month last year.

“Over on the supply side of the market, inventory remains scarce and one of our most immediate areas of concern, particularly in the single-family home category. As of the end of June, there were over 27 percent fewer single-family homes listed for sale in Florida’s MLSs than at this time a year ago. Looking at it another way, in three months’ time, we have gone from nearly 84,000 statewide single-family listings at the end of March to under 66,000 listings here at the mid-point of 2020. Fortunately, the condo and townhouse category has fared better, with inventory being down only about 6% compared to a year ago.

“The one positive aspect of this reduction in the supply of available housing is that it counteracted the temporary drop in home sales activity we saw in the first couple months in the pandemic, thereby keeping home values relatively stable. But now that demand has come roaring back, we are starting to see rising prices again. The median sale price for closed single-family home sales in June was $282,000, a 4.4% increase from a year ago. Over in the condo and townhouse category, the median sale price was up 7.7%, to $210,000. As we continue on through 2020, our biggest concern remains the inventory shortage, which could eventually put a cap on the number of possible transactions. But home values should remain stable.

“Now, I’ve covered the state as a whole, but every local market has its own trends….”

The Market on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Looking more specifically at the island market, the below graphic provides the statistics through 2020’s 2nd quarter, provided by the islands Association of Realtors®.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

The local Association of Realtors® office remains closed for meetings including caravans, but members are looking forward to our first “virtual” membership meeting on August 13 where the guest speaker is Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist and Senior Vice president of Research at the National Association of Realtors®.

He will discuss today’s economic climate, current housing trends, the outlook on resort and 2nd home markets like ours, and his projections for the end of 2020 and beyond. (You may remember from my past blogs that I am a huge fan of his conservative outlooks. If anyone has a question that you would like me to pose to him, just let me know.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 17-24, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sunset South #2D 2/2 $675K, Villas of Sanibel #B202 3/2 $1.895M.

4 price changes: Casa Blanca #4 1/1 now $357K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 now $699K, Atrium #103 2/2 now $1.225M, Sunward #201 3/2 now $1.259M.

5 new sales: Colonnades #C3 1/1 listed at $245K, Pointe Santo #D21 2/2 listed at $549K, Kings Crown #306 2/2 listed at $838K, Somerset #C302 3/2 listed at $1.65M, High Tide #A301 3/2 listed at $1.989M.

3 closed sales: Captains Walk #C3 1/1 $250K, Island Beach Club #320B 2/2 $649K, Heron at The Sanctuary #3B 3/2.5 $775K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 315 East Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex $599K, 756 Windlass Way 4/3 $869K, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr #1A (Moonshadows) 3/3 half-duplex $889K, 1259 Par View Dr 3/4 $1.175M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 4/4 $4.65M.

3 price changes: 799 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex now $580K, 690 Durion Ct 3/2 now $695K, 1081 Captains Walk St 4/2.5 now $995K.

10 new sales: 560 Piedmont Rd 3/2 listed at $460K, 1890 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $549.4K, 9247 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $590K, 1567 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $595K, 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $677K, 5304 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/3 listed at $770K, 9024 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $819K, 2439 Harbour Ln 3/3 listed at $1.089M, 1329 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.375M, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 listed at $2.995M.

9 closed sales: 1593 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $583.5K, 1021 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $658K, 1807 Serenity Ln 3/2 $700K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 $725K, 5659 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 $750K, 901 S.Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $760K (our listing), 1430 Causey Ct 3/2 $865K, 5855 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $900K, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4.5 $1.4M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 6411 Pine Ave $290K, 6053 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $922K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #2522 1/1 $529K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3213 1/1 listed at $354.9K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 11515 Gore Ln 5/4.5 now $2.395M, 1124 Longifolia Ct 4/5 now $2.938M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

When It Rains on The Islands, Just Wait a Few Minutes


It has been another week of typical July weather on Sanibel and Captiva Islands – bright blue skies with big white puffy popcorn clouds often rolling in, bringing along a quick shower and resulting in some terrific sunsets. I took a quick detour on my way back to the office about 1 p.m. this afternoon trying to capture a photo of those clouds. My quick trip up Bailey Road was not fast enough, so I tried Dixie Beach Blvd. You can see from the photos below that it was already raining off island with waves forming on San Carlos Bay and Pine Island Sound. Now the rains have stopped, with both islands first getting a good dousing.

From the lot at the end of Dixie Beach looking toward Woodring Rd

Already raining across Pine Island Sound.

A few little white caps on San Carlos Bay

New real estate action was down a little this week following the departure of holiday visitors, but overall, closed sales are doing well. Below is a summary comparison of island sales (from January through today) over the last three years. Current inventory also is shown.

For those who can work from home or want to spend more time here, there is plenty of inventory and lenders are offering some of the best programs in decades. Prudent buyers also will note that prices again are creeping up.

Residential Property – Condos, Homes, & Lots
Sanibel Captiva Total Both Islands
Sold/Closed from 1/1 to 7/17 # Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
2020 214 879,346 32 2,024,593 246 1,028,321
2019 227 841,871 22 1,856,533 249 931,522
2018 272 1,011,547 29 1,430,385 301 1,051,900
For Sale Now 316 1,156,219 86 2,610,933 401 1,469,652

Looking more carefully at sales to-date this year, here are answers to some questions often posed to Realtors®. (My answers are based on the island Multiple Listing Service.)

What is the cost of a 2-bedroom condo on the gulf? On Sanibel, today there are 55 for sale, average asking price $815,576. On Captiva, seven are for sale, average asking price $1,285,214.

What if I need 3 bedrooms? Expect to pay a lot more. On Sanibel, 16 are for sale, average asking price $1,634,125. On Captiva, six are for sale, average asking price $2,456,500.

How much do properties sell off their asking price? Looking at those same property types and sales this year, 33 Sanibel 2-bedroom gulf condos sold in prices ranging from $508,000 to $1,200,000 (a huge spread). Average sale price compared to average list price = 94%. On Captiva, there were just four gulf-side 2-bedroom condo sales. Prices ranged from $674,500 to $1,480,000. There, average sale price compared to list price is 96%.

What is the cost of a single-family 3-bedroom home with pool near-the-beach? That is the most popular island property. On Sanibel, 14 are for sale, average asking price $855,278. Year-to-date, 13 have sold at prices ranging from $447,000 to $1,167,500. Average sale price $875,657 is 94% of the average asking price. On Captiva, four are available, average asking price $1,818,500. Year-to-date, just two have sold. Average sale price of $1,862,500 is 94% of average list price.

Below are a few news items followed by the activity this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. You will notice that there was just one new Sanibel condo sale, while there were eight home sales. Closings were similarly split this week with no Sanibel condo closings, but 11 Sanibel homes closed. Usually condo buyers are here now… hopefully they are coming soon!

City of Sanibel

On Tuesday, Sanibel City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting. One item discussed was the City budget and the expected 2020 millage rate.

As reported in today’s “Island Sun”:  “Despite COVID-19, island property values are projected to have risen this year, although by less than one percent, and the City is projected to have the lowest tax rate since 2007.”

There was no change in the Mayor’s State of Emergency Proclamation Due to COVID-19, other than extending it until July 21.

Great News from Turtle Patrol

Posted Wed on SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) FaceBook page:

“Captiva has broken its record for the most loggerhead sea turtle nests ever documented! With 231 nests, the island is well ahead of last year’s record of 193 loggerhead nests.

“On Sanibel, we are up to 585 loggerhead nests with a couple weeks of nesting still to go. The previous record on Sanibel was set in 2017 for loggerheads, with 649 nests.

“We are now tracking three loggerheads that nested on our beaches this summer. Last week, our team tagged a loggerhead named Periwinkle…. Pepper, Junonia, and Periwinkle received satellite transmitters this nesting season to learn more about the inter-nesting movements, migratory pathways, and foraging grounds of loggerheads nesting on our beaches. Click here to track these turtles! https://www.trackturtles.com/

Why We Love It Here

Here are a few reminders of why so many love Sanibel and Captiva:

Tops in Nation – Widely recognized & consistently ranged as one of the country’s top destinations for beach combing, shelling, kayaking, bird watching, and biking. Family Fun magazine has rated Sanibel a top overall family attraction.

Popular Winter Destination – The American Society of Travel Agents has ranked the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva in their top ten most popular winter destinations. The Weather Channel also has ranked the islands in its top five winter escapes, along with Key West, Kahului (in Maui), Honolulu, and Miami.

Sanibel Shell Festival – Beaches are ranked some of the best in the world for shelling. More varieties can be found here than anywhere else in North America. Shelling posture is so common, that it has a name – The Sanibel Stoop. It also is no wonder that the Sanibel Shell Festival will celebrate its 84th year in 2021. Among the rare shells collected here are the brown speckled junonia, sculpted lion’s paw, coveted golden olive, golden tulip, and Scotch bonnet. Live shelling is banned, but shell seekers are encouraged to pick up abandoned treasures that wash up on shore.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge – Occupying more than half of Sanibel, the national wildlife refuge was named for Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jay Norwood Darling, who also was the first environmentalist to hold a presidential cabinet post (Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration).

Boating – There are plenty of opportunities on the islands and surrounding waterways for water enthusiasts, from easy kayaking to serious tarpon fishing. Boat straight across the state from Fort Myers/Sanibel to Palm Beach via the Caloosahatchee River and Okeechobee Waterway, both part of the intra-coastal waterway.

Creativity Abounds Here – From authors to artists to musicians & more – Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the wife of America’s famous aviator, wrote her best-selling book, “A Gift from the Sea,” without identifying it as Captiva Island.

Gladiolus Capital – Some of Lee County’s original settlers were flower growers from the Benelux region of Europe. At one time their horticultural efforts made nearby Fort Myers the “Gladiolus Capital of the World.”

Update on The Wildlife Refuge

From the July 16, 2020, “’Ding’ on The Wing”, News from the ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Society:

Tarpon Bay Explorers has restructured its Sealife and Nature Cruises schedule. Currently, the tours depart every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday at 11, 1:30, and 6. Keep current on developments via our COVID-19 web page.  In the meantime, we urge you to #StayHome as much as possible, get out in nature when you can, and maintain social distance and mask guidelines when you must go out.”

At the Refuge store, their special edition Sanibel Shells masks are in stock and more Roseate Spoonbill masks are expected to arrive soon. Easy to order at ShopDingDarling.com.

Realtor.com’s Website Has ‘Record-Level’ Buyer Interest

Posted July 10 on FloridaRealtors® on line:

“The site created a Housing Market Recovery Index just a few weeks ago to gauge the market’s return to “normal,” and real estate is already close to pre-pandemic levels.

“Realtor.com says its monthly website traffic hit an all-time high of 86 million unique users in June 2020, breaking May’s record of 85 million unique users. It also broke its daily record on June 25 when 7 million unique users visited the site.

“Realtor.com created a new Housing Market Recovery Index in early June to gauge how fast the pandemic-slowed real estate market returned to “normal.” The index considers a score of 100 to represent the real estate market on Feb. 1, 2020 – before the pandemic hit – and any current metro score below 100 represents its relative weakness compared to the pre-pandemic market.

“In many metro areas, however, the index has returned to something close to normal; in some areas, it’s even improved.

“In the four Florida metro areas realtor.com includes in its Index, one has already passed the Feb. 1 baseline – Jacksonville with an index of 100.4 – and the other three are only slightly below for the week ending July 4.

Nationwide, the index number reached 97.8, which is the largest weekly increase since the index was introduced. The week’s 2.1-point increase week-to-week brings the index just 2.2 points below the pre-COVID baseline. However, supply remains the biggest factor that will slow a recovery, realtor.com analysts say. Total listings on realtor.com are down 31% year-to-year.

“All-time low mortgage rates and easing job losses have boosted buyer confidence back to pre-pandemic levels,” says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com. “With supply at record lows, the backlog of demand portends increased competition and a seller’s market in the weeks ahead. While buyers are back, growth in home sales this summer will be constrained by the slow return of sellers and the limited amount of homes hitting the market.

“Nationwide, listings spent three days less on the market year-to-year the week of July 4. Asking prices on realtor.com were up 6.2%, and the number of new listings were down 4%. Out of the 50 metros included in the Index, the Boston area ranked first with a score of 119.9; the Milwaukee metro area ranked last with a score of 85.8.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 10-17, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Spanish Cay #F4 2/2 listed at $399,999; Kimball Lodge #263 1/1.5 $525K; Loggerhead Cay #542 2/2 $699K; Sundial #T201 2/2 $830K; Surfside 12 #A4 3/2 $849K.

4 price changes: Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 now $419K, Sundial #C301 1/1 now $460K, Mariner Pointe #421 2/2 now $589K, Kings Crown #306 2/2 now $838K.

1 new sale: Sanibel Surfside #126 2/2 listed at $799K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1304 Par View Dr 3/3 $775K.

1 price change: 1720 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/3 now $995K.

8 new sales: 9426 Beverly Ln 3/2 listed at $575K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 listed at $589K; 6033 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 listed at $698.5K; 1515 Angel Dr 3/2 listed at $849,948; 1358 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 listed at $995K; 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 listed at $997K; 3706 West Gulf Dr 4/3 listed at $1.325M; 3615 West Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $2.995M.

11 closed sales: 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 $514K, 3947 Coquina Dr 2/2 $550K, 990/992 Greenwood Ct N 3/2.5 duplex $640K, 9418 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $655K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 $680K, 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 $700K, 1220 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $775K, 676 Emeril Ct 3/2 $830K, 847 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $850K, 1230 Bay Dr 3/2 $1.45M, 2460 Harbour Ln 3/3 $1.75M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 0 Island Inn Rd now $599,555.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 now $399K, Beach Homes #30 4/4.5 now $3.65M.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3114 1/1 listed at $329K, Beach Homes #21 3/3 listed at $3,000,050.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11520 Wightman Ln 3/2 $2.589M.

1 price change: 16500 Captiva Dr 6/6/2 now $6.389M.

1 new sale: 11547 Laika Ln 4/4 listed at $1.995M.

2 closed sales: 11520 Wightman Ln 3/2 $2.5M, 16221-16217 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 $3.6M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

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

Until next week, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Wear a Mask, Wash Your Hands, Stay Well… Please!


Another Friday – time for another update from SanibelSusan. As the holiday week wraps up on Sanibel, the island vibe seems to have settled into an odd combination. Islanders, particularly older ones, are sticking close to home. Visitors and vacationers, on the other hand, are “out and about”, though carefully selecting where they go and what they do. Mostly, simply enjoying the best of Sanibel – the beach and nature.

Photo at right taken this week by JMA photography showing the foot bridge over Clam Bayou to Bowman’s Beach.

Second photo is of a sunset this week, also at Bowman’s Beach. It’s the site of many of the best sunsets. Super shelling too!

 

Thankfully, island appeal continues to be up while we all adjust to new ways of life and business, while staying safe.

Below is a summary of the status of the City of Sanibel proclamation (as of July 7) followed by a couple of news items that may be helpful in this new world. After that, is our weekly update of the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

City of Sanibel Status as of July 7, 2020

State of Emergency Proclamation Due to COVID-19 extended through July 14, 2020 (which is when the next City Council meeting is scheduled). Listen to that audio or read the latest proclamation in full at www.MySanibel.com.

Face coverings – required while inside public places and outdoors in public places when social distancing is not possible. (exceptions listed in Proclamation 20-040). Minimum age for children to wear coverings is six.

Beach parking – is open, illegal parking fines are $200. Possession & consumption of alcohol from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at all City operated beaches, parks, picnic areas is prohibited.

Public lodging – occupancy caps removed, but reservations including vacation rentals, motels & timeshares with guests from areas identified by Governor as high risk (NY, NJ, CT) must be for periods longer than quarantine period established by Governor (14 days). International travelers prohibited.

Retail – may operate at full capacity with social distancing and sanitization.

Museums, movie theaters, auditoriums, playhouses, concert houses – may operate at 50% capacity with social distancing & sanitization.

Huge Spike in Internet Viewings in June

Every month, I get a report showing the number of viewings our listings receive through ListHub. ListHub is a real estate syndication service that synchronizes listings from hundreds of Multiple Listing Services with 150+publisher websites. How it works is, ListHub connects to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The broker in charge of company listings sets up their desired distribution for their listings. Then, LisHub pulls the listing info and synchronizes to each website selected. As new listings are added or existing listings are updated, ListHub automatically distributes the new info. Then, monthly, ListHub collects the traffic metrics from the publisher websites and compiles them into reports provided to the brokers.

Through ListHub, I syndicate SanibelSusan Realty’s listings to 68 of the sites available to our MLS. Some of those are HomeFinder.com, Homes.com, The Real Estate Book, Homes & Land, HomeSpotter, HomeWinks, Homes.net, HousesForSale, HousingNow, IdealEstate, International Property Network, Juwai, LuxuryRealEstate.com, Point2 Homes, Properties Online, PropertyPath, and PropertySimple.

Our listings get hits from this additional exposure, as they do through the Internet Data Exchange network that is offered by Florida Realtors®. In reviewing our last report, I noticed a marked increase in searches during the pandemic, in April and May when so many viewers were “at home”. More surprising is that in June our listings were viewed a whopping eight times more frequently than in May. Here’s hoping those lookers turn into buyers.

Protect Your Meetings from Unwanted Visitors

Good article in the July issue of Florida Realtor®: “As large numbers of people turn to video-teleconferencing (VTC) platforms to stay connected in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, reports of VTC hijacking (also called Zoom-bombing”) are emerging nationwide. The FBI has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language.

“As individuals continue the transition to online lessons and meetings, the FBI recommends exercising due diligence and caution in your cybersecurity efforts. The following steps can be taken to mitigate teleconference hijacking threats.

  • “Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private: require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control the admittance of guests.
  • “Do not share a link to a teleconference or classroom on an unrestricted publicly available social media post. Provide the link directly to specific people.
  • “Manage screensharing options. In Zoom, change screensharing to “Host Only”.
  • “Ensure users are using the updated version of remote access/meeting applications. In January 2020, Zoom updated their software. In their security update, the teleconference software provided added passwords by default for meetings and disabled the ability to randomly scan for meetings to join.
  • “Lastly, ensure that your organization’s telework policy or guide addresses requirements for physical and information security.

“If you were a victim of a teleconference hijacking or any cybercrime, report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov.”

9 Ways to Prepare for a Virtual Showing

Viewing real estate likely will continue to be a mix of in-person and virtual showings. Below are suggestions from Florida Realtors® for the best of virtual showings:

  1. Declutter. Clutter is a major distraction when buyers are viewing a home. You want them to focus on all the great features of the house not look at the stack of mail cluttering the kitchen counter.
  2. Depersonalize. Remove items like framed family photos and memorabilia. It’s hard for a buyer to picture living in the home if they see photos of you everywhere.
  3. Remove all signs of your pet. In the same way that you should depersonalize, tuck away your pet’s toys, bowl, and bed. Not everyone is a pet person.
  4. Turn on lights & open doors. To minimize the surfaces your Realtor® is touching, turn on all the lights and open all doors before your Realtor® walks through to livestream or film your home.
  5. Open blinds. Natural light is an essential when filming a home. Open the blinds and let as much light in as possible so the camera picks up all the beautiful details of each room.
  6. Plan the route around the house. If you’re showing the home without a Realtor® present, be sure to work with your agent to plan a clear route around the home that shows off each room and is clear of trip hazards.
  7. Think about your prospective buyer. If your Realtor® is doing the showing, be sure to tell them some personal stories or unique details about the home so they can relay it in the livestream or video.
  8. Tackle outdoor spaces. Prune any overgrown landscaping, cut back tree branches and mow the lawn.
  9. Clean up the front entrance. The walkway to your property and the front entrance are your home’s first impression. Power wash outside, touch up paint in the entryway and clear out any dirt and grime that has collected around the edges.”

Openings/Closings/Reopenings

It is getting hard to keep track of what is open, closed, and reopened, but here is scoop on a few that I noticed this week.

Cielo – As a precautionary measure for guests and staff, closed their dining room beginning Tuesday July 7. They now are open for take-out/curbside pick-up only, until such time as they feel they can safely reopen. Check their website for updates at https://cielo-sanibel.com/

The Sanibel Sprout – The sign went up this week at their new location in Islander Center at 2407 Periwinkle Way (former site of Sanibel Baked), but their Facebook page says they are remodeling, expecting to reopen in August.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 3-10, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Spanish Cay #A3 1/1 $293K, Sundial #D305 1/1 $539K.

4 price changes: Colonnades #C3 1/1 now $249K, Sanibel Arms #B7 1/1 now $356.5K, Mariner Pointe #1083 2/2 now #490K, Sanibel Siesta #302 2/2 now $676K.

4 new sales: Colonnades #C13 1/1 listed at $299K, Villa Sanibel #3A 2/2 listed at $669K, Sand Pointe #227 2/2 listed at $729K, Sand Pointe #116 2/2 listed at $899K.

3 closed sales: Sundial #H208 1/1 $470K, Blind Pass #B209 2/2 $470K, Seawind #A107 2/2.5 $500K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 9247 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $590K, 9106 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $749K, 5672 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $879K.

6 price changes: 5151 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $467K, 718 Durion Ct 3/2 now $619K, 9421 Moonlight Dr 3/2 now $775K, 1777 Serenity Ln 5/4.5 now $930K, 1358 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 now $995K, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 now $2.995M.

4 new sales: 1476 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $695K, 660 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $849K, 345 Cowry Ct 3/4.5 listed at $875K, 2477 Wulfert Rd 3/4 listed at $1.249M.

5 closed sales: 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex $460K, 970 Palm St 3/2 $535K, 1056 S. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $840K, 1606 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $875K, 792 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 $983,750.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 4767 Tradewinds Dr listed at $1.595M.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

4 new listings: Tennis Villas #3114 1/1 $329K, Bayside Villas #5114 1/2 $380K, Beach Villas #2418 2/2 $749K, Captiva Hide-A-Way #1C 2/2 $889K.

2 price changes: Tennis Villas #3213 1/1 now $354.9K, Bayside Villas #4220 1/2 now $415K.

No new sales.

1 close sale: Seabreeze #1253 3/3 $1.325M.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 6 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2 $2.55M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

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

Until next Friday, please heed the precautions, wear a mast, wash your hands, & stay well!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Gearing Up For Fathers’ Day Weekend 2020


Though today is not a bright and sunny Friday, it again is a welcomed weekend on Sanibel.

With off-&-on summer showers yesterday too, our long-time photographer, Jim Anderson, had a challenge filming our two new listings.

Though he prepares his streaming videos using aerials captured by drone (rather than from plane or helicopter, like years ago), for him to feature a property at its best, he sometimes must return to photograph the outside after weather clears.

As they say on the islands, from June through September, “if it starts to rain, just wait a few minutes, and it likely will change.” That is just way of life in a tropical paradise.

Sea Turtle Nest Update

Following up on my post last week about the island sea turtle nests lost from high tides and surf from Tropical Storm Cristobal, this week, SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) volunteers report the first hatchlings of the season and that the islands now have over 460 recorded turtle nests.

I also saw on social media a posting by Periwinkle Park where they are following the leatherback turtle, named Juniper. Already this season, she has made three nests on Sanibel and Captiva. It is amazing how far these turtles swim.

You can see Juniper’s recent route from south of Naples to north of Sarasota and all the stops in between on the map here, from www.trackturtles.com. It is fun to follow her.

At SanibelSusan Realty

In the office, we had a busy week including some positive inquiries/showings. In addition to the two new listings, we got a nice price reduction on another listing and managed follow-up events for listings that are under contract progressing toward closings, i.e. inspections, repairs, appraiser visits, insurance info, etc.

All-in-all, I think it is safe to say that island real estate business is busier than it typically is in June – making up for those weeks that were lost during the pandemic – and likely because of the pandemic and other recent events.

The report below, with the islands Multiple Listing activity since last Friday, shows that two Sanibel condos, 12 Sanibel homes, and a Captiva condo have gone under contract over the last seven days. That is a lot for mid-June.

Comparing that number of sales to the same time last year, just one island condo and one home sold then.

Covid-19 Precautions

If you have followed the news, you undoubtedly have noticed that the number of virus cases in Florida has increased dramatically over the last week. Today, the state total is close to 90,000, the Lee County total is 3,475, and the Sanibel total is up to 13. The percentage of Florida positive tests has increased to 10% in just two weeks, after many weeks holding steady at 3%.

Honestly, it is no surprise. I drove home at noon to grab a quick lunch and Periwinkle Place shopping center is as packed with cars as I have ever seen it. The bike paths likewise had many riders, big and small, with people coming and going in both directions. There was a crowd outside Whitney’s Bait & Tackle too, but I didn’t see a single mask driving either direction.

Though our office practices social distancing and we wear masks in public places, not everyone is doing that. (We have a basket of new masks for anyone coming in that needs one, thanks to my sewing sister.)

At Sanibel Square, next door at Island Therapy, patients and staff must wear masks, while across the parking lot at Sanibel Beauty Salon, their staff is wearing masks and they keep their entry door locked to be sure patrons are protected.

The island continues to get busier and busier, with more businesses reopening, more vacationers arriving. Of course, businesses need the business and we want vacationers to enjoy their visit. We just hope they are careful. These words from a social media post today are worth repeating:

“I wear my mask while in public for three reasons:

  1. Humility: I don’t know if I have COVID as it is clear that people can spread the disease before they have symptoms.
  2. Kindness: I don’t know if the person I am near has a kid battling cancer, or cares for their elderly Mom. While I might be fine, they might not.
  3. Community: I want my community to thrive, businesses to stay open, employees to stay healthy. Keeping a lid on COVID helps us all!”

Please, let’s flatten the curve!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 12-19, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial #F106 1/1 $440K, Lighthouse Point #117 3/2 $549K (our listing), Island Beach Club #340E 2/2 $1.149M, Junonia #103 3/2 $1.295M.

Patio at Lighthouse Point 117

5 price changes: Coquina Beach #2B 2/2 now $499K, Sunset South #A11 2/2 now $549K, Sandalfoot #2D2 2/2 now $659K (our listing), Sandpiper Beach #205 2/2 now $835K, Sandals #A 3/3.5 now $1.85M.

View at Sandalfoot #2D2

3 new sales: Blind Pass #E202 2/2 listed at $429K, Sundial #B406 2/2 listed at $799K, By-The-Sea #B301 2/2 listed at $1.595M.

2 closed sales: Blind Pass #B205 2/2.5 $415K, Villas Sanibel #2H 2/2 $684K.

HOMES

6 new listings: 9465 Calla Ct 3/2 $545K; 4044 Coquina Dr 2/2 $549K; 1593 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $589K; 1142 Shell Basket Ln 3/2 $644,444; 1015 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 $674K (our listing); 6457 Pine Ave 3/2 $697.5K.

1015 Fish Crow

7 price changes: 4606 Brainard Bayou Rd 2/2 now $469.9K, 9426 Beverly Ln 3/2 now $575K, 1567 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $635K, 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 now $740K, 5422 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 now $799K, 3706 West Gulf Dr 4/3 now $1.325M, 2964 Wulfert Rd 5/5.5 now $2.998M

12 new sales: 9214 Kincaid Ct 2/2 listed at $380K; 1476 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $695K; 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed at $699.9K; 1807 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $725K; 5834 Pine Tree Dr 2/2 listed at $739,555; 3323 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 listed at $784.9K; 676 Emeril Ct 3/2 listed at $850K; 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 listed at $899K; 847 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 listed at $899K; 1199 Par View Dr 3/2.5 listed at $999K; 4775 Rue Helene 4/3 listed at $1.499M; 1230 Bay Dr 3/2 listed at $1.619M.

3 closed sales: 1677 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 $380K, 550 Leather Fern Pl 3/2 $600K, 478 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 $760K.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5104 1/2 listed at $400K.

1 closed sale: Captiva Hide-A-Way #1B 2/2 $837.5K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 11559 Laika Ln 3/3 $7.7M, 16660 Captiva Dr 5/6.5 $18M.

2 price changes: 14865 Mango Ct 2/2 now $1.195M, 16801 Captiva Dr 5/5 now $2.25M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Below is our fun ad from this week’s “Island Sun”. Happy Fathers’ Day!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

A Sunny Sanibel Friday!


Following lots of showers last weekend when Tropical Storm Cristobal passed out in the gulf, this week Sanibel and Captiva Islands returned to a more typical summer rain pattern. That includes sunshine and blue skies most days, with the occasional late afternoon or evening thunderstorm. The lack of island precipitation, over an unusually dry winter, has changed dramatically.

More than half the year’s rain accumulation to-date in Lee County was received in May (5.42”). It will be interesting to see the June numbers, as probably more than that fell just this week. Lawns are green, tropical vegetation is growing like crazy, and the baby bunnies at my house are having a field day with all the juicy new sprouts.

SCCF’s Turtle Nest Update – Post-Cristobal

 

Posted Wednesday by Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF):

“Turtle Update: Our team has completed the beach assessment ~ we lost 29 loggerhead nests to the high tides and surf of Tropical Storm Cristobal last weekend.

“Many more nests were washed over, but that’s not necessarily a death sentence and can actually help keep eggs cooler.

“The rough seas didn’t deter Juniper, a rare leatherback sea turtle, though. She returned to our shores on Saturday and nested again on Captiva!

“The total count of nests that have been laid is now at 401 for Sanibel and Captiva….”

At SanibelSusan Realty

In the office, things are starting to get back to normal. Even with few island offices physically open, local agents are heeding CDC precautions, properties are being shown, and real estate is moving. We continue to hear that the pandemic and city unrest are making the islands more desirable. Periwinkle Way was busy this afternoon and though some vacation rental bookings have been canceled, others are getting new bookings. The rising number of virus cases in many states has caused some to postpone their trip to Florida.

The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week is after a couple of news items below. First a summary of island inventory today.

Condos Homes Lots
Status # Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
SANIBEL
For sale 122 815,840 147 1,607,858 65 794,611
Under contract 16 619,894 40 851,991 4 688,000
Sold 2020 thru 6/12 72 738,410 99 1,038,885 4 849,666
Sold 2019 thru 6/12 72 693,020 113 998,367 6 502,666
CAPTIVA
For sale 36 1,058,495 39 3,380,564 3 3,563,000
Under contract 5 969,400 6 2,681,333 0 N/A
Sold 2020 thru 6/12 11 916,181 10 3,532,200 2 1,925,000
Sold 2019 thru 6/12 12 1,307,375 7 2,623,928 0 N/A

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.

Instant Reaction to Federal Reserve Announcement  – June 10, 2020

Below is the National Association of Realtors® Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the Fed’s Announcement this week:

“The Federal Reserve’s view that a rate hike will not occur for three years is a signal to the market to expect an all-in accommodative monetary policy. It is also very likely that the Fed will be aggressively purchasing mortgage-backed securities behind the scenes. That means mortgage rates will be at or near 3% and near record-lows for an extended period of time. Consumer price inflation is not an issue, even with so much money printing. It’s the right policy at the right time. If inflation, for an unexpected reason, should pop up, then mortgage rates will rise independent of the Fed as lenders need to compensate for the loss of purchasing power of the dollar, which happened during the 1970’s.”

What’s Happening In Florida

As the first full week of Florida’s Phase 2 reopening wraps up, the big activity out of the Governor’s office this week was about education. Yesterday he released a list of recommendations that local schools should consider as they deliberate over their summer/fall planning. How and when schools reopen is purely a local decision though.

As of today, 55 Florida county vacation rental reopening plans have been approved, meaning owners and property managers in 82% of Florida counties can reopen their vacation rentals. Some of the new additions to the approved list include Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach.

There were no new executive orders this week.

National Association of Realtors® Asks White House for More COVID-19 Relief

NAR sent a letter to the White House this week, urging further relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter included a number of provisions to help REALTORS® and real estate remain a strong force in our economy. The proposals included:

  • Reforms to the PPP program (some of which were subsequently addressed in the “PPP Flexibility Act,” which passed this week and is expected to be signed by the President).
  • A reduction in the minimum loan amount for financial relief under the Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program to allow more small businesses and non-profits to access yet another avenue of financial assistance that may better fit their business needs.
  • Support for liability protections for businesses that reopen following federal and state guidelines.
  • Housing relief for renters including emergency rental assistance, as well as relief for rental housing providers.
  • Expansion of forbearance and unemployment assistance.
  • Reforms to the opportunity zones program to encourage investment.
  • Elimination of the marriage penalty in the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction.
  • Support for remote notarization legislation.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 5-12, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Mariner Pointe #1083 2/2 $495K, Sanibel Arms West #K6 2/2 $579K, Loggerhead Cay #274 2/2 $699K, Sanddollar #C101 2/2 $999K, Royale Tern #204 3/3.5 $2.35M.

4 price changes: Colonnades #3 1/1 now $263K, Colonnades #13 1/1 now $299K, Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 now $428K, Compass Point #222 2/2 now $619K.

5 new sales: Sundial #H208 1/1 listed at $485K, Mariner Pointe #542 2/2 listed at $590K, Island Beach Club #320B 2/2 listed at $685K, Villa Sanibel #2H 2/2 listed at $717,007; Tantara #203 3/2 listed at $1.095M.

1 closed sale: Loggerhead Cay #461 2/2 $508K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 9214 Kincaid Ct 2/2 $380K, 9455 Beverly Ln 2/2 $534.9K.

10 price changes: 1667 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 now $425K; 1890 Farm Trl 3/2 now $549.4K; 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $677K; 9024 Mockingbird Ln 3/2 now $819K; 2417 Wulfert Rd 3/3 now $944.5K; 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $949K; 2439 Harbour Ln 3/3 now $1.089K; 6101 Starling Way 3/3.5 now $1,148,990; 1175 Bird Ln 4/3/2 now $3.25M; 1349 Bay Dr 4/4 now $7.895M.

10 new sales: 968 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $399K (our listing); 3001 Singing Wind Dr 2/2 listed at $472K, 1356 Jamaica Dr 2/1.5 listed at $549K; 990/992 Greenwood Ct N 3/2.5 duplex listed at $700K; 2100 Sunset Cir 3/2 listed at $729,555; 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $749K; 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 listed at $750K; 1606 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 listed at $899.9K; 1430 Causey Ct 3/2 listed at $949K; 2385 Wulfert Rd 4/5 listed at $999.9K.

1 closed sale: 836 Donax St 3/2 $510K.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 5847 Pine Tree Dr listed at $339K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4204 1/2 $389K.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5304 3/3 now $667.5K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibleSusan

Blind pass 2020-05-30

 

 

Rain, Rain, Go Away


Another Sanibel Friday, just not a sunny one this week. The islands have experienced off-&-on rain for days with more expected over the weekend and into next week.

Florida’s vegetation is growing like crazy with the exploding bunny population enjoying every juicy morsel. During one of my stops at home this week, I caught one chewing a palm frond knocked off in an earlier shower. That is a new one, who knew bunnies like palm fronds?

The island continues to reopen slowly. Plenty of vehicles have been at Periwinkle Place during the rainy days, while the bike paths have had riders, both rain and shine.

Here at the office, teammates and I are back to a more regular schedule. Our listings had a few showings, one went under contract, we had a listing presentation yesterday, and a home inspection. Inventory remains low with business picking up. Good news for sellers.

The local Association of Realtors® office remains closed to Realtors® for at least another two weeks. No word yet on when weekly Caravan, Committee, and Membership Meetings will resume in person. The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist Designation classes which typically are offered now, have been postponed until fall.

The activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week is after a couple of news items below.

Status of Sanibel’s Re-Opening

Below are the status of things following Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Public Lodging

  • Occupancy cap percentages removed from hotels/motels/timeshares
  • International travelers prohibited
  • Reservations for guests from areas identified by the Governor as high risk (currently NY, NJ, CT, LA) must be for periods longer than the quarantine period established by the Governor (currently 14 days).
  • Must adhere to state-approved county Safety Plan.

Beaches

  • City-owned & operated parking lots are open.
  • Prohibited possession & consumption of alcohol from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the beaches, parks, picnic areas.
  • Through Labor Day consumption or possession of alcohol at beaches, parks, picnic areas by 10 or more persons requires a City of Sanibel Special Event Permit.

Restaurants, Retail, Museums, Private Fitness Centers

  • May operate at 50% indoor capacity

Weddings – temporary restrictions lifted.

Barber Shops & Salons – May operate with safety protocols.

Sanibel Public Library

  • Phase 1 opening began Monday with social distancing & masks. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays & Thursdays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Fridays; & 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays in June, July, & August.

Sanibel Recreation Center – Phase 1 reopening & Youth Summer Camp will open June 15.

Governor DeSantis Announces Phase 2

At a press conference in Orlando on Wednesday, Governor DeSantis announced that today Florida will be entering phase 2 of its reopening and recovery. This move sees many of the establishments and venues that have remained closed since the pandemic struck now able to reopen at 50% of their indoor capacity. It includes the reopening of places like bars (seated service only), movie theaters, bowling alleys, auditoriums at 50% capacity with appropriate distancing and sanitation procedures in place. At this time, Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties are not part of phase 2 reopening.

Executive Order 2020-139, contains info on what is summarized above. For continued reference, Executive Order 2020-123 contains information regarding the full phase 1 of Florida’s reopening. Additionally, all of the governor’s executive orders can be found here.

Instant Reaction to Jobs Report – June 5, 2020

As a long-time fan of NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, it was good to read his “instant reaction” today to the May Jobs Report.

“Employment data quickly turned for the better with surprising net job creation in May. There are still people getting laid off and filing for unemployment insurance for the first time, but job creations are exceeding that by a good margin of 2.5 million in May. Total personal income actually grew during the lockdown from the massive stimulus package, including enhanced unemployment insurance, and savings rose tremendously. People saved around 8% of their income before the pandemic and they saved 33% of their income in the latest month. With many economies advancing in phases of reopening, more money will be spent and more job additions will follow. Some jobs were temporarily furloughed – such as in dental offices, hair salons, and home building – and there is a sizeable pent-up demand for these services. Construction jobs, which had fallen by nearly 1 million in April, came back in May with 464,000 additions. Given the strong return of housing demand, construction jobs will continue to be added – perhaps more aggressively than in the past.

“The housing sector is in a V-shaped recovery. The broader economy will not be, and the double-digit unemployment rate may persist until the end of the year. Still, the latest jobs data is showing much better recovery potential.”

First Reported Sanibel Case Since May 7

We were not happy to see the posting this afternoon by the City. It says:

“Today, June 5, 2020, the Florida Department of Health announced a new confirmed COVID-19 positive case on Sanibel. The last confirmed case on Sanibel was reported on May 7, 2020.

“The City’s home page has direct access to the Florida Department of Health’s updated COVID-19 daily report for today. The total number of cases reported on Sanibel since March 26, 2020 is 12.

“The Florida Department of Health conducts all case and contact tracking; the Florida Department does not provide the City any additional information than what appears on these reports. The Florida Department of Health provides no identifying information to the City such as name, age, gender, or address of the persons who test positive.

“Additionally, the City’s Home Page includes a direct link to the Florida Department of Health daily dashboard as well as the State-wide statistics release to the City sorted by zip code.”

Stay safe, islanders and visitors. Please keep wearing masks, washing hands, and abiding by social distancing.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 29-June 5, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Sandpebble #2D 2/2 $568.5K, Sandpebble #1D 2/2 $574.5K, Oceans Reach #2X1 1/1 $695K, Pointe Santo #B3 2/2 $699K, Sand Pointe #227 2/2 $739K, Pointe Santo #D47 2/2 $974K, By-The-Sea #B301 2/2 $1.595M.

4 price changes: Sandpebble #4E 2/2 now $475K, Pointe Santo #D21 2/2 now $549K, Pointe Santo #E21 2/2 now $899K, Pointe Santo #C3 3/2 now $1.125M.

3 new sales: Sanibel Shores #A2 2/2 listed at $459K, Sanibel Arms West #B2 2/2 listed at $534.9K, Blue Gulf #201 3/2 listed at $1.199M.

1 closed sale: Coquina Beach #5B 2/2 $434K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 5056 Joewood Dr 3/2 $824.5K, 2405 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 $2.5M.

9 price changes: 1027 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $449K, 4115 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/1 now $585K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $699.9K, 990/992 Greenwood Ct N 3/2.5 duplex now $700K, 1220 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 now $795K, 1437 Causey Ct 3/2.5 now $925K, 1430 Causey Ct 3/2 now $949K, 919 Pecten Ct 3/3/2 now $999K, 2385 Wulfert Rd 4/5 now $999.9K.

8 new sales: 970 Palm St 3/2 listed at $559K, 1973 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 listed at $574.9K, 987 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 listed at $695K, 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 listed at $789K, 901 S.Yachtsman Dr 2/2 listed at $799K (our listing), 5855 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 listed at $975K, 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 listed at $997K, 2460 Harbour Ln 3/3 listed at $1.999M.

3 closed sales: 857 Rabbit Rd 1/1 $429K, 2186 Egret Cir 3/2 $530K, 1564 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $1.075M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Lands End Village #1651 2/2 listed at $1.199M, Seabreeze #1253 3/3 listed at $1.495M.

1 closed sale: Captiva Shores #9 3/2 listed at $1.725M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 6418 Pine Ave 3/3 $1.849M.

2 price changes: 16531 Captiva Dr 8/8 now $2.85M, 15147 Captiva Dr 6/5.5 now $3.995M.

1 new sale: 11525 Wightman Ln 3/2 listed at $1.225M.

2 closed sales: 1074 South Seas Plantation Rd 3/3.5 $2.025M, 15843 Captiva Dr 3/3 $6.899M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

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

Until next Friday, stay dry, & enjoy your weekend,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Another Sunny Sanibel Friday With Beautiful Beaches


Wrapping up another week at SanibelSusan Realty – the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and gulf waters remain bright.  Below is a photo taken this afternoon while showing at condo at Pointe Santo.

Though rain was forecast for Memorial Day, it turned out to be a beautiful sunny day then too. Since then, the weather has settled into the typical summer routine – sunny partly-cloudy days in the mid-80’s, with chance of afternoon or evening showers. Evenings in the 70’s.

With things slowly reopening, a few holiday visitors have been here this week, while some of the lagging snowbirds have packed up to head north for the summer. The pay parking lots at Sanibel’s beaches (except the county beach at Bowman’s) remain closed until June 1.

The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week are after a couple of news items below.

Other Sanibel Re-openings & Other Corona-Related News

The Sanibel Library re-opens June 1, with COVID-19 Phase One precautions.

At Sanibel Sea School there will be no in-person camps in June, but four virtual “Island Skillz” week-long classes through ZOOM are offered for children (ages 6 through 13).

The Children’s Center of the Islands will be open with summer camps for little ones (ages 1 through 5) beginning June 8 through July 31.

The Sanibel Recreation Center has not reopened yet but will be discussed at the next City Council meeting on Tues.

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum reopened over the weekend with occupancy limited to 50%, masks mandatory, and other safety measures in place. Many of their programs are moving outside to allow for property social distancing. Those programs will be held Mon-Sat at 2 p.m. The museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sanibel’s July 4th Parade has been canceled

The Turtles Are Back

Good info this week in SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) e-news. One item mentioned is that Juniper, a rare leatherback sea turtle that nested here can now be tracked in real-time as she travels Florida’s gulf coast. Named by the SCCF sea turtle team she is an average-sized leatherback which is the largest sea turtle species. These turtles rarely nest on the islands, as they prefer southeast Florida beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. FLI (Florida Leatherbacks Inc.) was contacted by SCCF when Juniper was here earlier this month which resulted in them placing a tracking device on her on May 19. As of May 22, she was north of Sarasota.

The first green sea turtle nest of the year was laid on Memorial Day on the bayside of Sanibel’s east end. Since it was on a narrow stretch of beach that is threatened by daily tidal inundation, the nest was relocated to a more suitable habitat on the gulf side. That bay area is not part of the daily monitoring by Sea Turtle patrol, so SCCF is thankful for the alert call to their Sea Turtle Hotline (978-728-3663).

Aside from the green turtle nest and three leatherback nests, as of Wed (May 26) there are 234 loggerhead turtle nests on the islands, compared to 140 last year. To keep up with the nesting on a daily basis, click here. To report any issues with nests, nesting turtles, or hatchlings, please call the SCCF Sea Turtle Hotline.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 22-29, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Seashells #43 2/2 $429K; Compass Point #221 2/2 $639,999; Oceans Reach #2D1 2/2 $890K; Oceans Reach #1C1 2/2 $899K; Plantation Village #B222 3/3 $2.53M.

2 price changes: Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 now $589K, Pointe Santo #D24 2/2 now $699K.

2 new sales: Blind Pass #B209 2/2 listed at $479K, Sandalfoot #1C1 2/2 listed at $799K.

2 closed sales: Sundial #D403 1/1 $500K, Sand Pointe #111 2/2 $600K.

HOMES

No new listings.

5 price changes: 6141 Henderson Rd 3/2 now $668.5K, 1068 White Ibis Dr 3/3 now $719K, 1326 Tahiti Dr 2/2 now $775K, 5855 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 now $975K, 5773 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $1.139M.

4 new sales: 499 Peachtree Rd 2/2 listed at $474K, 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $559K, 9418 Moonlight Dr 3/2 listed at $689K, 792 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 listed at $1.027M.

1 closed sale: 1283 Isabel Dr 3/2 $868.5K.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 5749 Sanibel-Captiva Rd now $629K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Seabreeze #1253 3/3 now $1.495M.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2414 2/2 listed at $725K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 15155 Wiles Dr 2/2 $1.975M, 16611 Captiva Dr 6/6.5 $4.889M.

1 price change: 16500 Captiva Dr 6/6/2 now $6.689M.

1 new sale: 6 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2 listed at $2.695M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”. Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Is Opening Slowly… Just in Time for Memorial Day


This week brought the first of the islands’ good summer showers which already have greened things up and affected some of the bright orange blooms on the big Royal Poinciana trees that are so spectacular here in May.

Also spectacular is the color of the gulf and bay waters. Though that changes when the rainy season begins and things get stirred up, this week many islanders remarked that driving across the causeway looks like a Caribbean postcard. (This photo was gulf side yesterday.)

Today is another quiet Friday at SanibelSusan Realty, but the island could get busier soon. Check out the scoop below about the City Council Meeting yesterday. After that is info about the action this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel Emergency Proclamation Extended

As background on City openings, on Tuesday, Sanibel’s Mayor extended the City’s Emergency Proclamation another seven days – or until May 26. The following three changes were part of the updated Proclamation which may be read on http://www.MySanibel.com.

  • The temporary parking restrictions at Pond Apple Park (1380 Periwinkle Way) and at The Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center (1159 Causeway Rd) are lifted.
  • Earlier restrictions on beach/pool chairs/equipment were modified to allow chair/equipment in the same percentage as the occupancy allowed (for example, hotels/resorts/timeshares approved for 50% occupancy may provide for guest use the same amount of chairs/equipment).
  • Additionally, the 227 units in the on-site resort rental program at Sundial were added to the hotel/resort/timeshare list based on their recent receipt of a motel license from Florida Division of Business & Professional Regulation.

So, Sanibel’s pay-parking lots remain closed through the Memorial Day holiday (will reopen June 1, unless there is another change). At that time, vacation rentals remained limited to 30 days or longer, except those properties with licenses as hotels/resorts/timeshares which may rent up to 50% occupancy (with safety precautions and with guests from COVID hotspots not allowed).

I ventured into a couple of off-island Publix this week and was surprised to find few patrons wearing masks and adhering to the social distancing precautions. At Bailey’s, they continue to provide a mask if you do not have one.

Sanibel Opens Vacation Rentals, With Restrictions & Exceptions

Last Friday afternoon, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that beginning this past Monday, Florida was in full Phase One of reopening. Full Phase One includes a stipulation that vacation rentals can reopen on a county-by-county basis as long as the county submits a plan to Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and it is approved by the secretary of DBPR. As of today, in just a week’s time, 26 Florida countries have received state approval for vacation rentals.

The plan was unanimously approved by the Lee County Commission on Tuesday and later in the week Lee County’s Safety Plan received state approval. Those plan details say:

  • Vacation rentals should open and operate for in-state reservations only (i.e. only Florida residents).
  • Short-term rental properties should prohibit rentals to persons traveling internationally or from a state or locality with a substantial community spread of COVID-19.
  • Short-term rental properties should maintain 72 hours between guest check-ins to allow for effective cleaning and disinfecting of the rental unit.
  • Short-term rental properties shall thoroughly clean and disinfect the property between rentals following CDC guidelines. cdc.gov/…/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-fac…
  • Short-term rentals shall post signage in all units detailing cleaning and sanitation procedure.

The county plan was revised and approved by the state to restrict vacation rentals to residents of states that have less than 700 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents. That currently means residents of Connecticut, Delaware, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island are prohibited.

Those changes resulted in a Sanibel City Council Meeting yesterday afternoon which unanimously adopted the county plan.

During further Council discussion yesterday, regarding face masks, a motion to make them mandatory in public places (where social distancing cannot be done) was defeated 3-2, but a motion passed that recommends them, following the CDC requirements regarding face coverings. Those details were posted on www.MySanibel last night.

Things in Florida seem to be moving at a steady pace in the Full Phase One Reopening with places like gyms and fitness centers opening back up, and more people going into restaurants and stores. The latest breaking news was the Governor’s announcement that he will be lifting all restrictions on youth activities such as summer camps and youth sports. Hopefully, this will begin to provide some relief to both parents and kids as everyone settles into a new normal. The last day for Lee County Schools is right around the corner, June 3.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 15-22, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sanibel Siesta #302 2/2 $699K, Sandpiper Beach #202 2/2 $789K, Yacht Haven #4 3/2 $895K, Sayana #103 2/2 $948.5K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Casa Blanca #6 1/1 listed at $353K, Blind Pass #B205 2/2.5 listed at $469K, Sand Pointe #131 2/2 listed at $729K.

3 closed sales: Sandy Bend #7 2/2 $790K, Gulfside Place #221 2/2 $1.05M, Cyprina Beach #1 3/3 $1.36M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1170 Buttonwood Ln 4/2 $899K.

6 price changes: 1567 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $670K, 701 Nerita St 3/2 now $698K, 1031 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $699K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 now $719K, 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 now $789K, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 now $3.095M.

10 new sales: 1667 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 listed at $439K, 954 Donax St 3/3 listed at $525K, 1339 Tahiti Dr 3/2 duplex listed at $525K, 1826 Ardsley Way 4/3 listed at $625K, 1021 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $694.5K, 1828 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $695K, 1271 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $899K, 2154 Starfish Ln 3/3 listed at $1.399M, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4.5 listed at $1.75M, 5044 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 listed at $2.15M.

2 closed sales: 730 Cardium St 2/2 $491.5K, 5842 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 $925K.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

3 new sales: 6411 Pine Ave listed at $329K, 6419 Pine Ave listed at $889K, 6053 Sanibel-Captiva Rd listed at $1.195M.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Seabreeze #1253 3/3 now $1.545M.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2227 1/1 listed at $539K.

1 closed sale: Captiva Shores #8B 3/2.5 $1.125M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 13500 Palmflower Ln 4/4 listed at $2.695M.

1 closed sale: 11542 Wightman Ln 5/5 $3.08M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

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

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend.

Rain is expected here on Monday, but we need it & afternoon showers will soon be our norm.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Yes, You Can Buy Now… We Are Working & Ready to Help


It is another quiet Friday at SanibelSusan Realty. The islands continue to reopen slowly with the toll booths still unmanned and the causeway islands sometimes packed, particularly on the weekend. (A sure sign that the gulf waters are clear and sparkling, and they are!)
SanibelSusan Realty is one of the few real estate offices physically open, but not much is happening. Yesterday, we got a couple of showing requests for the upcoming weekend/week and there has been some action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing System. It is still an excellent time to buy!
The Association of Realtors® office remains closed, but many Realtors® have accepted the FISH Food Challenge and have donated groceries to their food pantry. Nearly 20 have donated just in the last week and the pantry continues to go through the food like crazy. Astounding but not surprising that there are so many hungry folks on the islands, with so many businesses closed, particularly those that cater to vacationers.
Below is an update on re-opening progress, after which is the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing System.

Latest City Proclamation Due to the Threat of COVID-19

Tuesday’s Sanibel City Council meeting, scheduled to discuss beach parking and short-term rentals/hotels, turned into a 6+hour event with plenty of public comment and differences of opinions on many items discussed. That meeting resulted in a new City proclamation dated Wednesday. There has been a lot of confusion about the changes, particularly as they apply to vacation rentals, so below, for clarification, are some excerpts from the actual Proclamation No. 20-028  (which may be read in its entirety on www.MySanibel.com).
“…on May 12,2020, the City Council met for a special set public meeting to discuss COVID-19, including consideration of temporary restrictions and prohibitions related to the declared State of Local Emergency; and … City Council voted in support of taking certain actions to reopen the local economy on a gradual basis and consistent with the Governor’s phased approach, including the following:
A. Allowing the current restrictions on accommodations rentals to expire, subject to emplacing a lessened restriction on vacation rentals which closely follows the Governor’s restriction… and allowing new rentals at hotels, motels, and timeshares under restricted occupancy and conditions intended to mitigate any community spread of COVID-19; and
B. Extending certain public beach parking restrictions for an additional duration; and
C. Strongly encouraging the wearing of face masks by employees of places of public accommodations and by all members of the public who cannot properly socially distance; and
D. Raising parking fines to $200, is a result of the significant volume of parking violations particularly in and around beach access points.”
As further clarification, the proclamation says:
SECTION 2. Temporary restrictions on accommodation rentals at hotels, motels, and timeshares. Effective 12:00 a.m. May 16, 2020, the “public lodging establishments” identified in Attachment A…, which include all 37 “hotels”, “motels”, and “timeshare projects” on Sanibel … are subject to the following temporary restrictions, which shall remain in temporary effect until modified or terminated by written Proclamation of the Mayor or by Resolution of City Council:
A. Occupancy is limited to 50% of the units within the public lodging establishment; and
B. No reservations or check-ins are permitted from anyone that resides in or is travelling from an area identified by the Governor of Florida to be a “hot spot” of substantial community spread of COVID-19, including Louisiana, the New York Tri-State rea (Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York), Miami-Dade County, Florida, and Broward County, Florida; and
C. All places of public accommodation are strongly encouraged to follow the guidelines set forth by the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce, which can be found under SANCAP SAFE RESOURCES at https://members.canibel-captiva.org/; and
D. Notwithstanding the aforementioned restrictions nothing in this section restricts or otherwise affects the ability of the owner of a rental unit from personally staying at his or her own property.
SECTION 3. Temporary restrictions on accommodations rentals at vacation rentals. Effective 12:00 a.m. May 16, 2020, the “public lodging establishments” on Sanibel which are “vacation rentals”,… but not including the hotels, motels, and timeshare projects…, are subject to a temporary rental restriction of a minimum duration of 30 days, which shall remain in temporary effect until modified or terminated by written Proclamation of the Mayor or by Resolution of City Council. For the purposes of this section, the rental restriction is application to anyone who is not an owner of the unit. Notwithstanding the aforementioned restriction, nothing in this section affects the ability of the owner of a rental unit from personally staying at his or her own property.
SECTION 4. Paid public beach parking restrictions. The paid public beach parking restrictions currently in place as extended by … which … are due to expire on May 15, 2020 are hereby extended to May 31, 2020 after which such restrictions will expire and public beach parking will reopen.
“SECTION 5. Wearing of face masks. Effective immediately, and until further notice, the wearing of face masks by all employees of retail shops, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation who interact with members of the public, as well as by all people in any public area where social distancing is not feasible or otherwise occurring is strongly encouraged.
SECTION 6. Parking fines. Effective 12:00 a.m. May 16, 2020 fines for all parking violations are temporarily raised to $200.00…..”
So, in a nutshell, short-term vacation rentals including those in residential communities, condo complexes or resorts, not included on the 37-property list (of hotels, motels, and timeshares) cannot rent for a period of less than 30 days. This is in accordance with the Governor’s phased reopening and more related to how properties are defined by Florida Statute/Florida Department of Revenue classification, than by any desire to penalize rentals which typically are nightly, weekly, or biweekly.
The Proclamation may change as more state and county guidance is provided and new COVID-19 data evolves. The changes/restrictions are emergency measures taken to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the community.
The number of Sanibel’s reported cases remains low at 11, but testing remains limited and the antibody test is not expected here until next week.

Gov. Ron DeSantis Readying Most of State to Enter Phase Two Reopening

An internet posting yesterday said that Jacksonville could host Friday’s official announcement by the Governor. When he addressed reporters in Doral yesterday, he said that a “good announcement” was coming Friday that would apply to most of the state. This announcement came just hours after Tampa Bay Times reporter Lawrence Mower tweeted a Florida Chamber email saying to expect a May 18 entrance into Phase Two. The Governor disclaimed any advance announcement in response to reporters’ questions, claiming to “march to the beat of [his] own drummer.”
In Phase Two, people from vulnerable populations would still be asked to self-isolate, groups of up to 50 would be permitted, albeit with social distancing still in play. Phase Two would also allow increased restaurant capacity, as well as the reopening of gyms, schools, and bars with social distancing and diminished occupancy. The Governor stressed these are modest changes.
Though South Florida may still be on a slower path, the Governor noted that Florida is a “diverse state,” and he won’t “sit here rolling back the entire state if there’s an outbreak in Hialeah.”

Is Real Estate America’s Rock During the Coronavirus Crisis?

This week was the National Association of Realtors® 2020 Legislative Meetings in Washington DC. This annual event usually brings Realtor® leaders from around the nation to the capitol. With COVID-19 interrupting those plans this year, committee meetings and conference sessions were held virtually.
This event also is when Realtors® who have achieved National Hall of Fame status are recognized. That also were done virtually. Congratulations to Florida’s 17 new Hall of Fame members. That boosts our state members in 2019 to 106. I am proud to be one of them. (I know my picture is old… I made the club for the first time in 2016.)
Below is an article written by Shannon McGahn. She is senior vice president of government affairs for the National Association of REALTORS®.
“It’s been a rough few months for the economy, and we could all use a little good news.
“For America’s 81 million homeowners, here is some: While retirement accounts and the stock market may have cratered, home values are hanging tough.
“The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports the median existing-home price for all housing types in March was up 8% from March 2019 as prices increased in every region.
“And with a proper recovery and the right policies, there is a great chance that home values will remain fairly stable even as home sales temporarily fall while Americans shelter-in-place.
“The pandemic also hasn’t stopped real estate transactions outright like in many other sectors. A recent survey of NAR members found that one-quarter of REALTORS® had at least one client go under contract during the second week of April without physically seeing the property. Deals are proceeding with the growing use of new technology like remote notarization.
“Even those pausing their real estate transactions still plan to buy and sell once again within a few months.
“What’s more, NAR research unveiled earlier this year found that, since 2013, the median family net worth for all homeowners has increased by nearly 15%.
“Data from the study strongly suggests that “sustainable and affordable homeownership” remains the best opportunity “most households will ever have to improve their long-term net worth and financial security.”
“Property ownership is turning into a financial rock for many Americans during this crisis, and Congress has gone to great strides to help protect that investment.
“For those who can no longer pay their mortgage, new forbearance rules allow them to put off payments for up to a year without impacting their credit.
“Helping people struggling with rent and mortgage payments is a good thing, but we also do not want to spur another crisis down the line for property managers and owners who do not have relief from their obligations. Policymakers should take a comprehensive look and beware of unintended consequences.
“For REALTORS® who have seen a dramatic drop in their business (right as the crucial spring buying season arrived), new benefits like forgivable small business loans and unemployment assistance not normally available to the self-employed or independent contractors are helping them weather the storm.
“The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) fund were created so quickly that banks had a hard time keeping up with demand. Money ran out for the PPP in two weeks, and another round of replenishment sped through the legislative process. PPP and EIDL grants got billions more in funding and will help keep millions more employed. Congress deserves credit for responding in a bipartisan and lightning-fast way even if the rollout of those programs was less than perfect.
“We’ve heard from many REALTORS® around the country who have secured PPP loans and saved scores of jobs. People like Anthony Lamacchia of Waltham, Mass., who reports he can now keep all 47 of his employees on the payroll.
“The strength of the housing sector will be critical to our national recovery. After all, the real estate industry makes up nearly one-fifth of the U.S. economy, and every two houses sold creates one American job.
“America has been experiencing a housing shortage for years as demand for homes has consistently outpaced supply in most major U.S. markets. NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun has stated his expectation that, once we get through the worst of this crisis, housing demand will reemerge quickly. Our economic recovery won’t be a slow-build like what followed the 2008 financial crisis.
“America’s financial and lending systems look vastly different today than they did before the Great Recession shook America’s economic core. Changes to strengthen lending standards and eliminate loose credit have pushed default and foreclosure rates toward record lows.
“It has never been more clear that property ownership is still one of the best and safest investments an American family can make.
“Economic downturns and public health crises—no matter how severe—will never change this fundamental fact.
“But what has become even more apparent is that during this crisis, home has become more important than ever.
If Congress continues to be a champion of the American people and protect homeownership, by all indicators, real estate can and will help get our economy going again.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 8-15, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS
3 new listings: Island Beach Club #320B 2/2 $685K, Pointe Santo #D24 2/2 $720K, Kings Crown #306 2/2 $868.5K.
5 price changes: Colonnades #3 1/1 now $265K, Sanibel Arms #D7 1/1 now $357.9K, Blind Pass #B209 2/2 now $479K, Sanibel Moorings #1512 2/2 now $539K, Tantara #203 3/2 now $1.095M.
1 new sale: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-3 3/3 listed at $914.5K.
3 closed sales: Sundial #D310 1/1 $372K, Sundial #B308 1/1 $505K, High Tide #A101 2/2 $1.075M.
HOMES
1 new listing: 2154 Starfish Ln 3/3 $1.495M.
3 price changes: 566 Boulder Dr 3/2 now $689.9K, 1021 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $694.5K, 215 Robinwood Cir 4/3 now $839K.
4 new sales: 1677 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 listed at $399.9K, 857 Rabbit Rd 1/1 listed at $489K, 2065 Wild Lime Dr 3/2.5 listed at $599K, 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $659K.
1 closed sale: 1898 Woodring Rd 2/2 $1.7M.
LOTS
1 new listing: 690 Birdie View Pt $369K.
1 price change: 1313 Par View Dr now $300K.
1 new sale: 1226 Isabel Dr listed at $1.239M.
No closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings.
1 price change: Captiva Shores #7B 3/2.5 now $1.425M.
1 new sale: Captiva Hide-A-Way #1B 2/2 listed at $889K.
No closed sales.
HOMES
1 new listing: 15138 Wiles Dr 6/5.5 $6.495M.
1 price change: 15200 Captiva Dr 2/2 now $988K.
2 new sales: 11520 Wightman Ln 3/2 listed at $2.695M, 16221/16217 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 listed at $4.389M.
No closed sales.
LOTS
No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Below is our “Island Sun” ad from today’s paper.
Enjoy your weekend!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan