Another Bright Sunny Friday on Sanibel & Captiva

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

Beach in front of our listing at White Sands

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

Weather Changing

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

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

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

SanibelSusan Realty

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

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

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

CONDOS:

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

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

HOMES:

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

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

What about sales, year-to-date?

CONDOS:

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

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

HOMES:

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

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

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

Update on COVID-19

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

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

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

Posted on-line Wednesday at FloridaRealtors®:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Island Spring Things

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

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

Lake Okeechobee Releases Reduced

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

No price changes.

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

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

Dockage at Mariner Pointe

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings.

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

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

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

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

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

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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

Easter Weekend 2021 on Sunny Sanibel

Easter weekend 2021 has arrived with the islands bustling this week with many families on spring holiday. Wonderful bright sunny warm weather has kept the beaches, waterways, and bike paths busy. Late yesterday another cool front passed through SW FL which brought stiff breezes (kiteboarders are happy) and dropped temperatures into the 50’s last night. It still is expected to reach the mid-70’s degrees on Sanibel today, with more of the same weather (no rain) expected for the next seven days.

At my home this morning, in addition to many brilliant pink hibiscus, bougainvillea, and periwinkle blossoms, I noticed that my gardenia bushes are blooming earlier than usual. Spring definitely has sprung here!

At SanibelSusan Realty

Again, this week, we have been busy with condo buyers, offers, listing presentations, and more closing action items. Another listing sale was finalized too, while teammates Dave and Elise also got another big postcard mailing out yesterday. Those postcards continue to bring us productive inquiries.

Usually, Easter week on the islands is one of the busiest of the year. With inventory continuing to dwindle, it will be interesting to see how 2021 differs from the norm.

Just after high season, when rental rates drop, often is when prospective buyers return that want to buy an investment property. Properties in seasonal rental programs that were heavily rented in high season may have a break in bookings between winter visitor bookings and summer vacationers. Those prospective buyers hope more showing opportunities are available during that short window.

In years past, bargain hunters also would return “post season”. Those are hoping to grab a property that may have been listed a long time that a seller wants to be done with before hurricane season.

With the abrupt change in supply and demand over the last few months, it is important to advise owners and prospective sellers that though the “as is” sales contract is used most often on Sanibel, this year, it has resulted in many contract cancellations. We rarely saw those before 2021.

Unlike the standard Florida residential sales contract which has no “out” for a buyer (unless there is a specified contingency), the “as is” contract has an inspection/cancellation period. During that inspection/cancellation period, the buyer may walk away from the sale for any reason. They could just change their mind.

In a hot market like now, buyers are making “as is” offers, often without them or their agent having seen the property. If that buyer becomes the successful offeror and the property goes under contract, the buyer then may come and view the property, or have it inspected, or do their due diligence during the inspection period.

To be successful, in some instances, those offers need to be at least full price and with no contingencies – including a zero-days inspection/cancellation period (no inspection/cancellation period).

Some desirable properties have gone under contract within days or minutes of going on the market, and sometimes over asking price. Which also is why, it is important for buyers to work with Realtors® with strong connections. Sometimes we sleuth out a property that will meet a buyers requirements.

Some sellers have asked us how long this market will continue. I wish we knew that answer, but we can say that it likely will take years for inventory to meet today’s demand.  Based on Sanibel sales activity over the pandemic months, today with just 54 properties available (including homes, condos, & lots), there is less than a two-month supply.

Yesterday, teammates and I chatted about how the pandemic has affected sales. The island has welcomed many “new” visitors over the last few months. The City usually posts a warning when the number of vehicles coming across the causeway that day will likely result in heavy off-going afternoon and evening traffic. Many of these “new” visitors discover that they love Sanibel and its lifestyle. Some, who have explored buying in other Florida beach areas, are appreciative of what their dollar can buy here.

With more people being vaccinated, many wanting a vacation break, and others finally feeling more comfortable traveling, though not yet outside the U.S., it may stay busy right through the summer. We have a few listings that fit the profile of the typical spring buyers and we continue to welcome new listings.

Pandemic Update

All Florida Residents Eligible for Vaccine – The state has announced that on Monday, April 5, all Florida residents are eligible to receive any COVID-19 vaccine as prescribed by the FDA. The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for persons age 16 and up, while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for persons age 18 and up.

My experience getting my 2nd shot this week at the airport site managed by FL Dept of Health in the north parking lot across from the old terminal was different from my first experience. Still well staffed and efficient, it took a bit longer with many more people being processed. The Disney-like maze of lines waiting to get into the tent for shots was tedious for about 30 minutes, took about 45 minutes total.

SanibelSusan Teammate #3 is getting her first shot on Monday at the same location. Pre-register for an appointment on-line at www.MyVaccine.FL.gov or call 866-200-3468. The week of April 12, this facility is relocating indoors to the old Sears location at Edison Mall (air conditioned).

On The Islands – The Tuesday update from www.MySanibel.com: “The City declared State of Emergency, issued in response to COVID-19, has been extended by Mayor Holly D. Smith until April 6, 2021, unless further extended. Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven (7) days and thus must be updated weekly as long as emergency conditions are present.

“Additionally, the City of Sanibel face covering mandate is reaffirmed to be consistent with the Governor’s Order 20-244. The face covering mandate is reaffirmed and shall remain in force and effect throughout the duration of this 7-day state of local emergency. To avoid the spread of COVID-19, social distancing is encouraged, and group gatherings should be avoided.”

According to the FL Dept of Health website, as of March 31, of the 2,064,525 COVID-19 cases reported in Florida, 243 were on Sanibel, 11 on Captiva.

Membership Offerings at The Sanctuary

I received an e-mail update this week from Kathryn Riggio, Membership Coordinator at The Sanctuary Golf Club. She is great at keeping island Realtors® aware of what is happening at the club so that we may correctly advise prospective buyers of the features and membership availabilities there. She said that some club membership price changes will take effect on May 1 when their premier offering, Equity Membership (full golf) increases from $120K to $130K. This membership provides full privileges to activities and sports, dining, and club facilities. The Club offers introductory and temporary memberships too.

Although there currently is at least a 2-year wait list for Social memberships, on May 1, those increase from $30K to $50K. These memberships come with access to the Club social activities and fine dining, the Wellness complex (tennis, pickleball, pool, fitness center, bocce) and to golf including playing the course from May 1 through September 30 for greens and cart fees. Social members do not have voting or redemption rights or hold an equity position in the Club, but the social fee may be applied as a credit toward an Equity Membership fee should a member want to convert their membership.

In addition to the fees mentioned for joining, each membership has annual dues, an annual capitol fee, and an annual food/beverage minimum.

Happy Easter

Best spring wishes from The SanibelSusan Team!

Below is a report of the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 26-April 2, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Mariner Pointe #231 2/2 $699K, Pointe Santo #D24 2/2 $795K, Sunset South #4D 2/2 $1.05M, Shorewood #2D 3/2 $1.595M.

3 price changes: Sanibel Arms #H6 1/1 now $360K, Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 now $629K, Island Beach Club #210A 2/2 $729K.

9 new sales: Sundial #D408 1/1 listed at $509.9K; Sanibel Arms West #J5 2/2 listed at $589K; Signal Inn #14 2/2 listed at $789K; Sundial #Q401 2/2 listed at $908K; Sanibel Surfside #123 2/2 listed at $935K; Loggerhead Cay #101 2/2 listed at $998,899; Gulfside Place #218 2/2 listed at $1.349M; Cyprina Beach #2 3/3 listed at $1.6M. Tigua Cay #489 3/3.5 listed at $2.325M.

7 closed sales: Casa Blanca #8 2/1 $340K, Sundial #F307 1/1 $460K, Pelicans Roost #106 2/2 $880K, Kings Crown #104 2/2 $990K (our listing), Gulfside Place #301 3/3 $2.125M, Seascape #106 3/3 $2.55M, Wedgewood #202 3/3.5 $2.595M.

Kings Crown beach path

HOMES

7 new listings: 2011 Mitzi Ln 2/1 $695K, 1186 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $825K, 2755 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $1.098M, 1743 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 $1.395M, 2303 Troon Ct 3/4 $1.4959M, 1460 Middle Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $1.799M, 1020 Bayview Dr 5/5.5 $4.595M.

6 price changes: 557 N. Yachtsman Dr 4/3 now $1.129M, 3010 West Gulf Dr 3/2 now $1.349M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 now $1.65M, 848 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 now $1.999M, 5633 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 now $2.1M, 544 Lighthouse Way 4/5.5 now $4.25M.

6 new sales: 2441 Shop Rd 4/3.5 listed at $949K, 3570 Bunny Ln 3/3 listed at $869K, 694 Heather Ln 3/3.5 listed at $1.4M, 940 Whelk Dr 3/2 listed at $1.495M, 2311 Starfish Ln 4/4 listed at $1.995M, 750 Periwinkle Way 5/4 listed at $3.3M.

18 closed sales: 4115 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/1 $550K, 3040 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $650K, 1753 Bunting Ln 3/2 $720K, 566 Boulder Dr 3/2 $725K, 458 Casa Ybel Rd 3/2.5 $740K, 649 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $745K, 888 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $749.9K, 1430 Sanderling Cir 4/3.5 $770K, 640 Periwinkle Way 3/2 $825K, 1683 Bunting Ln 3/3 $890K, 1312 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $950K, 1158 Harbor Cottage Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex $1.095M, 1259 Par View Dr 3/4 $1.125M, 1366 Tahiti Dr 3/2.5 $1.4M, 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 $1.6M, 784 Birdie View Pt 4/4 $1.795M, 1206 Bay Dr 4/5.5 $2.75M, 4323 West Gulf Dr 6/6 $6.565M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 6428 Pine Ave listed at $305K.

3 closed sales: 575 Sea Oats Dr $380K, 5821 Pine Tree Dr $430K, 0 Island Inn Rd $500K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Ventura Captiva #4A 3/3 $1.1M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Tennis Villas #3217 1/1 listed at $362.5K, Bayside Villas #5318 3/3 listed at $789.9K, Gulf Beach Villas #2024 3/3 listed at $1.075M.

1 closed sale: Captiva Cove #2A 3/2 $1.295M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 14980 Binder Dr 4/4 listed at $2.55M.

3 closed sales: 11505 Gore Ln 5/5 $1.6M, 15361 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 $2.65M, 16394 Captiva Dr 5/4 $6.2M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Spring 2021 Has Sprung! Island Real Estate Is Hot!

It’s another sunny Sanibel Friday afternoon. Record high temperatures were expected today, with it already creeping into the 90’s yesterday in some of SW FL. Forecasters say that similar beach-like weather is expected for at least another seven days, with no chance of rain (though it’s needed).

Local waterways, beaches, and shared-use paths continue to be busy, while road traffic seemed a tad lighter this week, likely because local schools are back in session. Just two more weeks of “high season” remain, with some snowbirds already planning their annual trek north.

As inventory continues to dwindle, The SanibelSusan Team and I continue to beat the bushes looking for new listings. Teammate Dave and I previewed a terrific near-beach home yesterday that may be on the market soon. A complete interior remodel by one of our recommended contractors is just finishing up. (Here’s a hint, it’s near the body of water shown below and where there is some of the best shelling in the world.)

Our condo listings had showings last Saturday during guest turn-over and I was out showing on Captiva yesterday, while in the office, we continue to prepare for several upcoming closings.

The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service is after a few news items below.

Sanibel Real Estate Inventory

Sometimes it is revealing to look at inventory with a price comparison. Below, by dollar increment, are the number of Sanibel properties available for sale (condos, homes, and lots), compared to the number under contract, and the number closed/sold year-to-date, as of today, March 26.

In snapshot terms, there currently are just 124 residential properties for sale on Sanibel (53 condos, 38 homes, 33 lots), while 167 are under contract, and 172 have already sold/closed this year – and that does not include the many closing occurring next week. The last day of the month is always the busiest day for closings, with March 31st often the busiest of the year!

 

SANIBEL

CONDOS HOMES LOTS
For Sale Under Contract Sold 2021 For Sale Under Contract Sold 2021 For Sale Under Contract Sold 2021
$100-200K 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4
$200K-300K 0 0 1 0 0 0 5 2 8
$300K-400K 2 3 4 0 0 0 10 6 5
$400K-500K 4 6 12 0 1 5 2 4 2
$500K-600K 9 11 12 1 7 9 2 1 1
$600K-700K 4 10 4 2 7 9 1 0 1
$700K-800K 5 4 7 0 15 7 3 0 0
$800K-900K 8 6 7 5 5 14 3 1 0
$900K-1M 9 8 6 3 5 5 2 0 0
$1M-1.5M 11 4 10 3 25 10 2 1 1
$1.5M-2M 1 4 3 11 16 9 0 0 1
$2M-3M 0 3 1 4 3 7 1 0 2
$3M-4M 0 0 0 2 3 2 2 2 0
$4M-5M 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0
$5M-6M 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0
$6M-7M 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
$7M-8M 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0
$8M+ 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0
TOTAL 53 59 67 38 89 80 33 19 25

Prospective sellers who may be wondering if they need a Realtor® in a market like this, the answer is “yes”. Most of Realtors® have buyers looking for a particular property in a certain location or with special requirements. Now that “season” is almost over, it becomes even more important to have the broadest exposure to the most prospective purchasers.

That means with the property offered in the islands Multiple Listing Service so that it is exposed to Realtors® everywhere, syndicated through worldwide real estate databases, and with local boots on the ground (in our case flip flops) to ensure that every step of the transaction is accomplished successfully so that owners get top dollar.

Pandemic Update

“Pop-Up Site” – Congratulations to FISH of Sanibel-Captiva (Friends in Service Here) for their action. They sent a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis and elected officials addressing the need for COVID-19 vaccines on Sanibel. It stressed the complications that island seniors face, particularly those with technological challenges in vaccination scheduling and logistical hurdles of vaccination sites often long distances away. Many seniors FISH identified as high priority due to age, medical conditions, or transportation limitations. FISH initiatives resulted in the Department of Health providing 250 doses which we used Tuesday during a “pop up” vaccination site at the Sanibel Community House. That day, islander seniors, scheduled by FISH, went by appointment to receive their one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccinations. As FISH says, “it takes a village”. They were assisted by island partners from the Community House, Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva, City of Sanibel Police Department, Sanibel Fire Department, parish nurses, medical offices, pharmacies, City officials, and FISH volunteers.

Those 50 & Over Now Eligible – This week with the state announcing that the vaccine now is available to anyone over 50, two SanibelSusan teammates now have received their first vaccines. In addition to the various pharmacies, big box stores, and medical facilities offering appointments, the vaccination site near the old SW FL regional airport continues to take appointments when doses are available. Contact them on-line at http://www.MyVaccine.FL.gov or by phone at 239-356-2006.

Those 18 & Over Soon Eligible – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is lowering the COVID-19 vaccination age to 40 starting Monday and to EVERYONE 18 AND UP starting April 5.

Sanibel’s State of Emergency – My apologies for not including an update on Sanibel’s state of emergency last week. Below is the Tuesday update from http://www.MySanibel.com:

The City declared State of Emergency, issued in response to COVID-19, has been extended by Mayor Holly D. Smith until March 30, 2021, unless further extended. Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven (7) days and thus must be updated weekly as long as the emergency conditions are present.

“Additionally, the City of Sanibel face covering mandate is reaffirmed to be consistent with the Governor’s Order 20-244. The face covering mandate is reaffirmed and shall remain in force and effect throughout the duration of this 7-day state of local emergency.

“To avoid the spread of COVID-19, social distancing is encouraged, and group gatherings should be avoided.”

Florida’s Housing Market: More Sales, Higher Median Prices

In an article posted on-line this week, Florida Realtors®, Marla Martin said:

“Florida Realtors’ data: Single-family home sales rose 15.7% year-over-year, median sales price up 16.6%; condo sales up 28.7%, median price up 16.6%. Chief Economist O’Connor: Fewer new listings and a tight inventory means a strong seller’s market.

“FEBRUARY HOME PRICES SOAR AS INVENTORY SHRINKS – The statewide inventory of active single-family home listings, which Florida Realtors has been tracking since January 2008, is currently at an all-time low. And the scarcity of inventory and high demand for existing homes continues to drive home prices higher.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – Amid increased COVID-19 vaccinations and hopeful signs for the future, Florida’s housing market in February reported more closed sales, higher median prices, more new pending sales and increased pending inventory in February 2021 compared to a year ago, according to Florida Realtors® latest housing data. Single-family existing home sales rose 15.7 % compared to February 2020.

““Florida’s housing market continued its momentum in February, but higher interest rates could be a factor going forward,” says 2021 Florida Realtors President Cheryl Lambert, broker-owner with Only Way Realty Citrus in Inverness. “While rising rates could potentially slow the pace of home sales, rates remain relatively low by historical standards. Record-low inventory is continuing to put pressure on home prices to rise and creates challenges for buyers. However, new pending sales rose 10.9% for single-family existing homes last month compared to February 2020, while new pending sales for condo-townhouse units increased 35.4% year-over-year.”

“Closed sales of single-family homes statewide in February totaled 23,947, up 15.7% year-over-year, while existing condo-townhouse sales totaled 11,379, up 28.7% over February 2020. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

“The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $314,900, up 16.6% from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Last month’s statewide median price for condo-townhouse units was $233,240, up 16.6% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

“Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor notes that Florida’s current housing market is a strong seller’s market, with fewer new listings and a very tight inventory (active listings), particularly for single-family existing homes. He says, “The statewide inventory of active single-family home listings, which Florida Realtors has been tracking since January 2008, is currently at an all-time low. At the end of February, single-family inventory was down 56.3% compared to a year ago. Most of this decline has been a result of our ultra-high rate of sales.

““However, so far in 2021, new listings of single-family homes have not kept up with their pace of 12 months ago. In February, they were down 4.9% year-over-year, which is an improvement over January, but still represents a move in the wrong direction. There’s a likelihood that much of this decline has been due to some sellers, who in normal times might have listed in January or February, instead listing ahead of 2021 in response to the unusually strong market in the second half of 2020. But there’s also the possibility that a small but increasing number of homeowners, who have been thinking of selling their current home and buying another one, are starting to get turned off by the lack of available inventory and the rising prices that have resulted from it.”

The condo-townhouse category shows a slightly different picture, O’Connor says.

““In February, closed sales in this category rose 28.7% year-over-year, which is consistent with the growth rates we’ve been seeing each month going back to September,” he says. “Some of this growth is likely being fueled by frustrated buyers who had their hearts set on a single-family home finally giving up and settling for an attached unit instead, but we’re also seeing high demand from folks with the typical condo- and townhouse-buyer profile, as well. And while inventory in this category is still high relative to what we’re seeing in the single-family home category, it was down 34.4% compared to a year ago.”

“On the supply side of the market, inventory (active listings) remained constrained in February. Single-family existing homes were at a very restricted 1.3-months’ supply while condo-townhouse inventory was at a 3.4-months’ supply.

“According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.81% in February 2021, significantly lower than the 3.47% averaged during the same month a year earlier….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 19-26, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Spanish Cay #F8 2/2 $449K, Sundial #C303 2/2 $739K, Heron at The Sanctuary #3A 2/2.5 $839K, Sanddollar #B101 2/2 $1.125M, Cyprina Beach #2 3/3 $1.6M.

1 price change: Sundial #D408 1/1 now $509.9K.

7 new sales: Sundial #F206 1/1 listed at $479K, Blind Pass #E101 2/2 listed at $485K, Sanibel Arms West #B5 2/2 listed at $550K, Sanibel Arms West #H4 2/2 listed at $559K, Kimball Lodge #302 1/1 listed at $574K, Blind Pass #G104 3/2 listed at $699K, Sanddollar #C201 2/2 listed at $1.199M.

7 closed sales: Captains Walk #B3 1/1 $286.5K, Sundial #F108 1/1 $425K, Mariner Pointe #732 2/2 $545K, Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 $950K, Beachcomber #D101 2/2 $985K, Pointe Santo #C25 3/2 $1M, Sundial #T405 2/2 $1.193M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1644 Bunting Ln 3/3 $643K, 3010 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.445M, 2857 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1.895M.

2 price changes: 848 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 now $2.049M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 4/4 now $4.295M.

12 new sales: 1942 Roseate Ln 2/2 listed at $524.5K, 3009 Singing Wind Dr 2/1.5 listed at $657K, 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 listed at $739K, 613 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 listed at $978K, 1983 My Tern Ct 3/2.5 listed at $1.098M, 557 N. Yachtsman Dr 4/3 listed at $1.124M, 446 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 listed at $1.178M, 249 Violet Dr 4/2 listed at $1.2M, 6412 Pine Ave 3/2.5 listed at $1.589M, 837 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.895M, 3744 West Gulf Dr 4/4 listed at $1.939M, 5633 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 listed at $1.949M.

5 closed sales: 9254 Kincaid Ct 2/2 $486K, 799 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex $550K, 757 Windlass Way 3/2.5 $1.2M, 1355 Eagle Run Dr 4/4.5 $1.84M, 3009 Turtle Gait Ln 4/4.5 $2.595M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 2133 Starfish Ln $529K, 1084 S. Yachtsman Dr $699K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 9042 Mockingbird Ln listed at $395K, 000 West Gulf Dr listed at $3.795M.

3 closed sales: 247/255 Robinwood Cir $265K, 717 Birdie View Pt $370K, 5749 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $607K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

3 new sales: Marina Villas #708 2/2 listed at $765K, Gulf Beach Villas #2024 3/3 listed at $1.075M, Beach Homes #17 4/3 listed at $3.45M.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3118 1/1 $341.5K, Lands End Village #1651 2/2 $1.245M.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 11530 Paige Ct 4/4/2 now $4.6M, 11559 Laika Ln 3/3 now $7.8M.

1 new sale: 11514 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5 listed at $2.349M

1 closed sale: 16813 Captiva Dr 3/3 $2.25M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale:: 16685 Captiva Dr listed at $2.45M.

No closed sales.

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

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

Until next Friday, enjoy spring! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

.

Just Another Gorgeous Friday on Sunny Sanibel

It is SanibelSusan with another Friday Sanibel and Captiva Islands real estate report. If you are wondering if the weather here is fantastic, if the islands are packed, and if the market still is hot, all are true again this week. The most challenging three weeks year-to-date traffic-wise likely will be those ahead as it seems the entire world wants to be visiting SW Florida this spring.

Last night, what forecasters call another “cold” front arrived. That means daytime temperatures will remain in the 70’s for over the weekend. Those from north of Florida, probably still get a chuckle about these tropical “cold fronts.” Below is a photo taken this afternoon from Woodring Rd, bayside where the breeze is evident and the water looking beautiful. (The full video is on my Facebook page.)

Best Beach Town is “Sanibel Island”

If you follow “Southern Living” magazine, you will see that their April 2021 issue features an island photo on the cover.

That is because their inside article says “Sanibel Island” is the best beach town!

Grab a copy to read about the South’s best beach towns, barbeque joints, bakeries, cities, parks, and other hidden gems.

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate Scoop

Meanwhile, low interest rates are keeping bankers slammed, while title companies are swamped with closings, and prospective buyers continue to think we are nuts when we tell them that inventory is low – or that there is nothing in their price range that meets their requirements.

Looking at island inventory in general terms, there now are just 159 residential properties for sale on Sanibel and Captiva. That includes homes, condos, and lots. If you think that sounds like a lot, compare it to the 186 that are under contract awaiting closing, and the 185 that have already sold and closed this year. Those total 371 sales in less than three months. For the entire year, 583 Sanibel/Captiva properties sold last year, while in 2019, 400 sold.

It certainly does not take a crystal ball to figure out that by the end of this month or first quarter 2021, as many island properties will have sold as in all of 2019. Betcha there will be more records set before the year is out.

The two news articles below provide an economic and political spin on things. After those is the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday, followed by our “Island Sun” ad from today’s paper today. Happy spring!

The Brighter Path Ahead

Nice outlook posted in the March-April 2021 “Realtor®” magazine by NAR Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun:

“More inventory and better access to vaccines are welcome news.

“The 2020 pandemic-induced recession was unique in terms of the sudden and massive slashing of jobs. It was also the first recession during which overall income grew. No doubt there are families struggling paycheck to paycheck, but due to the massive stimulus packages – including the initial deposit of $1,200 and enhanced unemployment benefits – the financial condition of many families was better in a recession than before the pandemic.

“Total income for the country in late 2020 was 4% higher than a year earlier. This was the figure reported just before the second stimulus checks of $600 per person went out in late December. It also does not include wealth accumulation from the record-high stock market or rising home prices. Also not reflected in the totals are the proceeds from mortgage refinances last year or the relief expected from a new stimulus. Still consumers remain cautious, as spending opportunities have been restricted by COVID-19. For the year, consumer spending fell by 2%. And the savings rate consequently rose to twice the pre-pandemic levels.

“The situation translates into the potential for a great unleashing of spending in 2021. The positive impact will be increasingly felt as jobs come around. The full effect will be evident once herd immunity is established with the vaccine, likely in autumn. That is to say, 2021 is a growth year that will take us out of the recession.

“The housing market continues to shine brightly. The main frustration is for buyers who find themselves outbid during multiple offer situations. More inventory is needed to give buyers more options and lessen the heat.

“It’s encouraging to see that builders are ramping up production of homes with backyards, which are now at their highest level in 13 years. Activity has been particularly robust in Southern states where land is more plentiful and building regulations are less onerous.

“Moreover, with the wider availability of COVID-19 vaccines, homeowners, especially older Americans who have been more hesitant about strangers visiting their homes, now may be more ready to list. Many seniors own their homes outright and have sizable housing equity for the next home purchase. They may even need to buy a larger place to accommodate more family visitors. After all, in the new economy, remote-work flexibility may mean more days working from grandma’s house.”

Political Power Shift Could Generate Changes in the U.S. Luxury Housing Market

On the other hand, the below article by Michele Lerner and published on “Mansion Global”, was linked to the February 2021 issue of the RSPS (Resort & Second-Home Property Specialist) newsletter. It was prefaced with:

“Everything from capital gains tax policy to a more stable political environment will affect how affluent buyers view their wealth and appetite for home purchases.

“There’s a new political party in charge in Washington, D.C., one that hopes to make some big changes in the U.S. economy, including tax reform. While the initial priorities of the Biden administration and Congress focus on mitigating the devastating impact of the pandemic, the new political dynamic could eventually create a shift in the luxury housing market.

““The luxury market has done very well in recent years thanks to low mortgage rates and to the performance of the stock market, which is influenced by politics,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for realtor.com in Washington, D.C.

““Political actions have both a direct and an indirect impact on the housing market. “We’ve never been at a time when the political landscape has continued to seem so uncertain,” said Frederick Peters, CEO of Warburg Realty in New York City. “Politics has an effect on the stock market, which in turn has an effect on the luxury real estate market.”

“While most of the Biden administration’s initial housing policies focus on the affordable housing crisis, Marco Rufo, a partner with The Agency real estate brokerage in Los Angeles, said that the possible extension of the federal eviction moratorium beyond the current date of March 31 could have implications for the higher end of the housing market in the future. “Most of our buyers are extremely wealthy and many of them own lots of property that they rent to tenants,” Mr. Rufo said. “If policies are put in place that reduce their ability to collect rent on multiple properties, that could have a negative impact on their net worth and willingness to upgrade into more expensive properties.”

“Another political issue that’s already had a major effect on luxury housing markets is tax reform. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that went into effect in 2018 has several provisions, such as lower tax rates, a higher lifetime estate and gift tax limit, and a higher standard deduction that are set to expire at the end of 2025. Democrats are anticipated to address those expiring provisions and other tax issues eventually.

““Most of the tax reform ideas impact people with incomes above $400,000 and capital gains of more than $1 million, the demographic that matches our homebuyers,” Mr. Rufo said. “If everything was enacted, it probably wouldn’t mean that people won’t buy homes, but it could mean that they pause a little to consider their options.”

“Some potential tax reforms include:

Lifting SALT deduction limitations. The 2018 limitation on the deductibility of state and local taxes (SALT) to $10,000 was significant in markets like New York and California, said Mr. Peters, who anticipates a positive impact on those tax-heavy locales if that limit is lifted by Democratic tax reform efforts. “It’s not just a matter of money and getting a larger tax deduction, it’s also the perception,” he said. “It would make people feel less anxious about buying in states with higher taxes.” In the Washington, D.C. area, where the luxury market mostly centers on homes priced between $1.5 million and $2.5 million, the SALT deductibility cap slowed the pace of sales, reduced luxury listings and reduced home buyers’ budgets, said Jeff Detwiler, president and CEO of Long & Foster Real Estate in D.C. “We saw $2 million homes sit on the market for a year or longer,” he said. “Now we have only a two-month supply of luxury homes because of migration trends and a frothy market in 2020. If the SALT cap is lifted, we’d see even more demand because those deductions directly impact the finances of our buyers.” Migration trends after the SALT cap meant that more people left high-tax states to move to lower tax states like Florida and Texas. “If your SALT deductions aren’t limited, then you can be agnostic over where you live,” said Melissa Cohn, executive mortgage banker with William Raveis Mortgage in New York City.

Higher income tax rates. Increasing income taxes always has a negative impact on the luxury market, Ms. Cohn said. However, she doesn’t expect tax rates to rise in the near future. “The pandemic changed everything, and the focus now is on rebuilding the economy. So even if the Democrats want to raise taxes eventually, now is not the time,” she said. An increase in tax rates for high earners probably won’t take buyers out of the market, said Mr. Detwiler, but it could reduce their price point by several hundred thousands dollars or more. “The good news about tax reform that would cause wealthier people to pay more is that it would be a federal issue that people can’t escape by moving to Florida,” Mr. Peters said.

Higher capital gains tax rate. While home sellers can exclude up to $250,000 in profit if they’re single and up to $500,000 if they’re married from a capital gains tax on their primary residence, an increase in the long-term capital gains tax rate could still hurt the luxury housing market. Currently, the highest capital gains tax rate is 20%. “If the capital gains tax rate is increased, that could have negative repercussions,” Ms. Cohn said. “People wouldn’t want to sell their homes, especially if they hoped the rates would roll back again in the future, and that would limit the supply of homes.” Mr. Detwiler said he thinks a higher capital gains rate could have a bigger impact on the second-home market. Currently, the long-term capital gains tax rate depends on your income and is either 0%, 15% or 20%. Single taxpayers who earn $441,450 or more and married taxpayers who earn $496,600 pay the top rate. “Sellers have to pay capital gains taxes on the profit of the sale of a home that’s not their primary residence,” Mr. Detwiler said, “In addition, if people have to pay more taxes on other gains, that shrinks their portfolio and changes how much they’ll want to pay for a house.”

Elimination of 1031 Exchange option. A 1031 Exchange allows investors to swap one property for another and postpone paying capital gains tax on the sale until you sell the next property. Without the 1031 Exchange, investors would have less money to put into their next deal, Ms. Cohn said. “Getting rid of the 1031 Exchange would have a direct impact in our area because we have a lot of luxury rentals at $40,000 to $50,000 a month in Los Angeles,” Mr. Rufo said. “Owners of these properties would pull back from buying and selling them if they had to pay capital gains on the transaction, and that would have a direct impact on property values.”

“Broader Impact of Politics on the Housing Market – Real estate market performance is tied to the fundamentals of supply and demand, which can also be influenced by political policies, realtor.com’s Ms. Hale said. (Mansion Global is owned by Dow Jones. Both Dow Jones and realtor.com are owned by News Corp.) “Demand is based on income and consumer confidence,” Ms. Hale said. “If wealthy households see their income go down due to a higher tax burden, it’s conceivable that their spending could decline and that would impact the housing market.”

However, a growing economy, especially one that drives stock gains, could mean after-tax incomes are higher for wealthy households, she said. “The way politics matters the most is how it makes people feel,” Mr. Peters said. “As real estate agents, we’re selling people a belief in their future. That’s a lot harder to do when people feel freaked out by the present. They’re less likely to take on large financial commitments when they’re concerned about the future.”

“Personally, Mr. Peters is optimistic about the impact of the new power configuration for his market in New York. “It’s not entirely irrelevant that the new Senate majority leader [Charles Schumer] is from New York,” he said.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 12-19, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sundial #F206 1/1 $479K, Pointe Santo #E24 3/2 $1.495M.

1 price change: White Sands #13 2/2 now $949K.

6 new sales: Sanibel Arms West #A1 2/2 listed at $534K, Heron at The Sanctuary I #1B 3/3.5 listed at $872.7K, Pointe Santo #E3 2/2 listed at $889K, Sanibel Arms West #D6 2/2 listed at $955K, Pointe Santo #E2 2/2 listed at $964K, Somerset #D102 3/2.5 listed at $1.849M.

6 closed sales: Sandpebble #2D 2/2 $534K, Sandpebble #2B 2/2 $535K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #2A 3/2.5 $830K, Sundial #A301 2/2 $1.1M, Sanddollar #C101 2/2 $1.117M, Island Beach Club #220D 2/2 $1.34M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 3009 Singing Wind Dr 2/1.5 $657K, 1117 Captains Walk St 2/2 $857K, 6412 Pine Ave 3/2.5 $1.589M, 3385 Twin Lakes Ln 5/5 $1.695M.

3 price changes: 5100 Sea Bell Rd 4/2.5 now $869K, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 now $999K, 742 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 now $1.599M

12 new sales: 2015 Wild Lime Dr 3/3 listed at $570K, 1606 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $649K, 2985 Island Inn Rd 2/2 listed at $649.5K, 3781 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $789K, 1657 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 listed at $797.5K, 5424 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 listed at $999K, 1890 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 listed at $1.15M, 2464 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 listed at $1.2M, 2843 Wulfert Rd 4/5 listed at $1.295M, 2479 Harbour Ln 4/3 listed at $1.695M, 2964 Wulfert Rd 5/5.5 listed at $2.998M, 1253 Anhinga Ln 4/4 listed at $3.795M.

4 closed sales: 430 Old Trail Rd 3/2.5 $550K, 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 $690K (our buyer), 2391 Shop Rd 3/2.5 $1.61M, 5618 Baltusrol Ct 4/4/2 $2.195M.

610 Hideaway Ct

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 1292 Par View Dr listed at $349.9K, 9056 Mockingbird Dr listed at $380K.

4 closed sales: 9436 Beverly Ln $200K, 0 Bunting Ln $225K, 717 Birdie View Pt $370K, 1837 Buckthorn Ln $460K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Cottages #1423 2/2 now $1.195M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11514 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5 $2.349M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 18 Urchin Ct 2/2 listed at $1.15M, 16813 Captiva Dr 3/3 listed at $2.25M.

2 closed sales: 11520 Wightman Ln 3/2 $2.225M, 16500 Captiva Dr 6/6/2 $6M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, have a great week! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Being on Sanibel & Captiva Is Lucky Enough! Happy Almost St. Patrick’s Day!

 

It is another SanibelSusan report, with the days of “high season” flying by at what seems like record speed. Compared to last week, it was another one of terrific bright sunny weather, more traffic, busy bike paths, and lots of real estate activity. Next week is expected to be even busier with local schools out for spring break.

I got a call last night from an island owner begging for help in finding transportation next week. She said there is not a rental car to be had in all of Florida, no island golf carts or bikes available for rent, and airport shuttles full. Thought her only option was to change her flight to Atlanta, where there are vehicles available, and drive to Sanibel. Yikes, that is a long drive!

At SanibelSusan Realty

Here at the office, we got access Saturday to our new listing at Mariner Pointe which had teammate Lisa scurrying to get keys made so that the Realtors® with prospective buyers could get in over the weekend. That unit had a flurry of showings, multiple offers, and was under contract by noon Tuesday.

During the week as Dave, Elise, and I got action items accomplished with both listings and sales, Elise also got another 2,500-piece postcard mailing done. We hope those get our remaining listings sold and drum up some new ones.

Listings that are seasonal rentals, with heavy bookings, continue to get showing requests that cannot always be accommodated because of occupancy or Covid precautions. Midday Saturdays continues to be the best, sometimes only, time those have showing opportunities. Our report of the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items.

First is a message that I borrowed from a Facebook posting Wednesday by Realtor® Mike McGraw who copied it from someone else. Mike is from the Orlando area and 2021 Vice President of Florida Realtors®. Though the message is a little blunt, it is interesting to read that real estate is “hot” in many areas. I have found the same to be true talking to clients and colleagues throughout the U.S. Except in major cities, the market is on fire in more rural and vacation-type areas. In Florida, the market is “hot” everywhere.

Here’s the borrowed post: “If you are a buyer in this market and you aren’t willing to pay over asking price & eliminate contingencies, please do yourself and your Realtor a favor and sit on the sideline for now. There is a market for you, it’s just not this one. It’s one with higher interest rates — which helps curb the amount of buyer competition we have right now. It’s like the Olympics of the housing industry. If you aren’t willing to go for gold, there’s no reason to compete. I showed a million-dollar home in Frisco last week. There were 130 showings in the first day. IN ONE DAY! 130 buyers vying for the same home & only one buyer can win!”

To put Sanibel and Captiva into this perspective. below is an update of inventory today, compared to sales last year. I know you are probably sick of seeing these statistics, but they really are mind blowing. Teammate Dave is out showing this afternoon, we both will be out showing tomorrow, and our listings have showings scheduled. Wish us luck!

SANIBEL

CAPTIVA

Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
For sale 58

10

826,294

1,841,750

47

16

2,474,021

4,008,374

33

3

914,546

5,131,666

Under contract 58

14

886,578

1,177,285

80

15

1,392,648

2,898,933

21

0

588,931

N/A

Closed year-to-date 55

13

773,643

875,538

69

11

1,337,138

3,434,263

19

0

647,473

N/A

Sold in 2020 192

47

733,876

821,713

288

27

951,487

2,923,148

23

4

606,233

2,537,500

Note: In the groupings above, the 1st line in each group provides Sanibel statistics, the 2nd line Captiva. This representation is based on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service 3/12/2021.

 Sanibel – COVID-19

The City declared State of Emergency, issued in response to COVID-19, has been extended by Mayor Mick Denham until March 16, 2021, unless further extended. Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven (7) days and thus must be updated weekly so long as the emergency conditions are present.

Additionally, the City of Sanibel face covering mandate remains in effect through the duration of this time. Social distancing is encouraged, and group gatherings are to be avoided.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through March 10 is 234 cases. That is five cases in seven days. PLEASE CONTINUE TO STAY VIGILANT.

Fannie, Freddie Tighten Rules for Condos in Vacation Locales

Dan Krispinsky with Lake Michigan Credit Union, who for years has been a local go-to lender for condotels, recently sent me the below “Wall Street Journal” article (January 9, 2021) which likely will affect those buyers needing financing. (FYI, a condotel is a condominium where units are individually owned but where there may be an on-site rental office where units are rented like a hotel. Several island non-residential complexes that allow short-term vacation rentals fall into that category.)

“Getting a mortgage for a resort-area condo might become more difficult after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac moved to tighten rules on buildings with many short-term rentals and hotel-like amenities, some Realtors® and bankers say.

“Fannie Mae last month changed its rules to make it clearer that it won’t back certain loans in high-rent vacation areas, with Freddie Mac taking similar steps that go into effect next month….

“The updated rules, which went into effect Dec 7 for Fannie, are starting to generate pushback from Realtors® and bankers who say entire buildings could be ineligible for financing even if only some

units are rented out on short-term basis.

“They also fault the process Fannie uses to determine the eligibility of a building, saying it is opaque and can’t be disputed by a building’s owners or its home-owners association.

“”We’re concerned that access to credit could be limited for whole projects or condo buildings, which could affect not just second-home buyers but some primary homebuyers across the country,” said Ken Fears, a senior policy adviser at the National Association of Realtors®.

“Fannie says its revamped rules are meant to clarify longstanding policies, which revolve around the eligibility of the entire condo project, not particular units. The focus is also more on “condotel” buildings organized centrally through management, rental, and realty companies than on individuals who offer their units on Airbnb or other hosting services….

“When a project as a whole functions more like a vacation rental resort, the building is ineligible for Fannie financing, and mortgages secured by units in that project are also ineligible, the company says.

“Fannie Mae’s charter is for residential lending,” the company spokesman said. “We provided clarity to lenders regarding what are acceptable residential condominium projects and what meets Fannie Mae Residential lending standards and practices.”

“Bankers say the tighter requirements are beginning to limit the number of lenders for second-home condos, driving up interest rates on new loans and limiting the availability of 30-year mortgages on such units. Bankers fear Fannie and Freddie may no longer buy loans on certain condos or force lenders to buy back mortgages on ineligible buildings.

“”Until there is more clarity from agencies, all mortgage bankers are shutting off the valve on condo loans right now,” said Rob Henger, director of mortgage banking at FirstBank Mortgage, a Nashville, Tenn-based bank.

“Fannie and Freddie don’t make loans. Instead, they buy mortgages and package them into securities that are sold to investors. The companies’ promise to make investors whole in case of default keeps down that price of home loans and underpins the popular 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

“Together, the companies backstop about half of the $11 trillion U.S. mortgage market. Condos make up between 7% and 10% of their business, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the firms’ federal regulator. It was unclear how many condos are located in beach towns and other resort areas affected by the tightened rules….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 5-12, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Mariner Pointe #122 1/1 $485K, Blind Pass #G104 3/2 $699K, Compass Point #102 2/2 $1.375M, Somerset #D102 3/2.5 $1.849M.

1 price change: Pointe Santo #E26 2/2 now $1.269M.

8 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #1512 2/2 listed at $525K; Sanibel Arms West #J3 2/2 listed at $569K; Kimball Lodge #302 1/1 listed at $574K; Sanibel Moorings #842 2/2 listed at $619K; Mariner Pointe #112 2/2 listed at $699K (our listing, see slideshow below); Sanibel Surfside #234 2/2 listed at $819K; Tarpon Beach #206 2/2 listed at $998,899; Wedgewood #202 listed at $2.595M.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

8 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #1043 2/2 $472.5K, Sundial #J102 1/1 $499K, Sanibel Arms West #A3 2/2 $520K, Pointe Santo #B5 2/2 $670K, Kings Crown #110 2/2 $765K, Pointe Santo #D35 2/2 $775K, Surfside 12 #A4 3/2 $830K, Pointe Santo #A31 2/2 $917K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 2015 Wild Lime Dr 3/3 $570K, 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 $599K, 3781 Coquina Dr 3/2 $789K, 2480 Library Way 3/2.5 $829K, 2311 Starfish Ln 4/4 $1.995M.

5 price changes: 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 now $669K, 2464 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 now $1.2M, 837 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3.5 now $1.895M, 848 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 now $2.095M, 950 Victoria way 4/4 now $2.25M.

4 new sales: 1612 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $674.5K; 1965 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed at $739,55; 1560 Royal Poinciana Dr 3/2 listed at $899K; 4701 Rue Belle Mer 4/5 listed at $3.395M.

6 closed sales: 984 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $505K; 6041 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/1 $750K; 9277 Belding Dr 3/3 $830K; 3019 Poinciana Cir 5/3.5 $1,180,718; 519 Kinzie Island Ct 4/3.5 $1.95M; 488 Lighthouse Way 4/4 $3.445M.

LOTS

4 new listings: 2348 Wulfert Rd $329K, 5687 Baltusrol Ct $399K, 809 Pyrula Ave $424.9K, 1321 Seaspray Ln $899K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 247 & 255 Robinwood Cir listed at $279K, 6008 White Heron Ln listed at $819K.

3 closed sales: 2372 Wulfert Rd $130K, 2933 Wulfert Rd $335K, 1825 Long Point Ln $362.5K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Gulf Beach Villas #2127 2/2 listed at $900K, Captiva Shores #1B 3/2.5 listed at $1.799M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 15146 Wiles Dr 2/2 listed at $2.389M, 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 listed at $2.45M.

2 closed sales: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 $2,004,202; 16189 Captiva Dr 6/4 $3.3M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

Perfect Weather, While Island Real Estate is Hot

It is another happy Friday at SanibelSusan Realty. Island weather remains “winter fantastic” with this week and the forecast for the next 10 days expected to be much the same – nighttime lows in the 60’s, days in the high 70’s/low 80’s with plenty of sunshine and blue skies.

The Island Real Estate World

The real estate market remains hot and we are down to just two listings – both getting action. That activity plus the postings since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follow a couple of news items below.

Though no Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting this week, brisk sales continue. It certainly is unusual to report new sales of 15 condos, 14 homes, and five lots in just seven days.

Inventory is so low now that we are getting calls from colleagues asking about the likelihood of properties coming on the market, that are owned by clients who worked with us when they purchased. I wish we could say some of those were becoming available. It certainly is a great time to be a seller.

Here is the scoop with Sanibel inventory from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service as of this afternoon (3:30 p.m. on Feb 26, 2021):

  • Homes: 53 for sale, 74 under contract, 57 sold/closed year-to-date.
  • Condos: 60 for sale, 63 under contract, 36 sold/closed year-to-date.
  • Lots: 27 for sale, 27 under contract, 15 sold/closed year-to-date.

Captiva also is hot:

  • Homes: 21 for sale, 15 under contract, 7 sold/closed year-to-date.
  • Condos: 13 for sale, 12 under contract, 10 sold/closed year-to-date.

 Sanibel – COVID-19

The City declared State of Emergency, issued in response to COVID-19, has been extended by Mayor Mick Denham until March 2, 2021, unless further extended. Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven (7) days and thus must be updated weekly so long as the emergency conditions are present.

Additionally, the City of Sanibel face covering mandate is reaffirmed to be consistent with the Governor’s Order 20-244 and shall remain in force and effect through the duration of the 7-day state of local emergency. Social distancing encouraged and group gatherings are to be avoided.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through February 24 is 228 cases. This is the number of cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go. Though the number of island cases finally seems to be decreasing, PLEASE CONTINUE TO STAY VIGILANT.

Sanibel& Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 19-26, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #H4 2/2 $559K, Sand Pointe #216 2/2 $798,957, Pointe Santo #E3 2/2 $889K, Compass Point #151 3/3 $1.495M.

2 price changes: Sandalfoot #3B3 1/1 now $524K (our listing), Heron at The Sanctuary II #2A 3/2.5 now $849K.

View from Sandalfoot #3B3

13 new sales: Spanish Cay #F2 1/1 listed at $325K, Tennisplace #C26 2/1.5 listed at $355K, Sundial #H107 1/1 listed at $455K, Mariner Pointe #733 2/2 listed at $525K, Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 listed at $639.9K, Loggerhead Cay #373 2/2 listed at $662.5K, Pointe Santo #B26 2/2 listed at $689K, Mariner Pointe #241 2/2.5 listed at $690K, Sunset South #10 2/2 listed at $710K, Pelicans Roost #106 2/2 listed at $929K, Pelicans Roost #102 2/2 listed at $930K, Beachcomber #D101 2/2 listed at $999.5K, Sandals #A 3/3.5 listed at $1.825M.

9 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #1019 2/2 $550K, Pointe Santo #B3 2/2 $650K, Loggerhead Cay #542 2/2 $675K, Sandpiper Beach #303 2/2 $800K, Cyprina Beach #7 2/2.5 $800K, Yacht Haven #4 3/2 $920K, Sundial #L205 3/2 $1.39M, Kings Crown #302 2/2 $1.4M, Sandpiper West #1 3/3 $2.05M.

HOMES

8 new listings: 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 $699K, 1667 Sabal Sands Rd 3/3 $749.9K, 1983 My Tern Ct 3/2.5 $1.178M, 249 Violet Dr 4/2 $1.2M, 486 Surf Sound Ct 3/3.5 $1.2M, 1355 Eagle Run Dr 4/4.5 $1.975M, 848 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 $2.195M, 544 Lighthouse Way 4/5.5 $4.495M.

5 price changes: 2441 Shop Rd 4/3.5 now $949K, 2355 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 now $1.649M, 1323 Seaspray Ln 4/4.5 now $1.75M, 6418 Pine Ave 3/3 now $1.789M, 1761 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.995M.

12 new sales: 976 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $515K, 5303 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 listed at $689.9K, 4397 Gulf Pines Dr 3/3 listed at $725K, 458 Casa Ybel Rd 3/2.5 listed at $749K, 445 Lake Murex 3/2 listed at $839K, 1045 Blue Heron Dr 2/2.5 listed at $889K, 1421 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $949K, 3960 W Gulf Dr 3/5 listed at $1.079M, 542 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed at $1.229M, 490 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 listed at $1.435M, 1480 Middle Gulf Dr 4/4/2 listed at $1.65M, 4664 Rue Belle Mer 5/5 listed at $1.896M.

12 closed sales: 315 E Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex $549K, 1653 Bunting Ln 3/2.5 $645K, 1012/1014 East Gulf Dr 4/2 duplex $699K, 9421 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $755K, 3751 Coquina Dr 3/2 $795K, 1752 Jewel Box 2/2 $815K, 2001/2003 Mitzi Ln 6/6 duplex $820K, 705 Oliva St 3/2 $875K, 1671 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 $889K, 9426 Sage Ct 3/3 $945K, 709 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.125M, 1238 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 $3.325M (our listing).

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 3013 Poinciana Cir now $259.9K, 2438 Wulfert Rd now $339K.

5 new sales: 1303 Par View Dr listed at $310K, 575 Sea Oats Dr listed at $385K, 717 Birdie View Pt listed at $399K, 539 Sea Oats Dr listed at $420K, 3324 Saint Kilda Rd listed at $449K.

7 closed sales: 2515 Wulfert Rd $220K, 6095 Dinkins Lake Rd $255.5K, 1340 Eagle Run Dr $295K, 602 Boulder Dr $405K, 217 Violet Dr $545K, 1159 Golden Olive Ct $1.5M, 1246 Seagrape Ln $2.575M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Seabreeze #1251 3/3 now $2.15M.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #4118 1/2 listed at $425K, Captiva Shores #7B 3/2.5 listed at $1.399M.

5 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3114 1/1 $325K, Bayside Villas #5244 1/2 $399K, Beach Villas #2112 1/1 $485K, Beach Villas #2314 2/2 $750K, Lands End Village #1615 2/2 $1.425M.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15261 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 now $11.995M.

1 new sale: 11544 Wightman Ln 4/4.5 listed at $2.25M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.  Enjoy your weekend, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Valentine’s & President’s Day Weekend on Sanibel

SanibelSusan here reporting that island weather this week again has been terrific with daytime temperatures in the 70’s, sometimes 80’s, with plenty of blue skies and sunshine. As the week progressed, teammates doing the on-/off-island commute saw a noticeable increase in traffic as incoming Valentine’s Day vacationers, week-enders, and Presidents’ Day holiday visitors began arriving. Traffic probably will be up next week too.

At SanibelSusan Realty

The local association of Realtors® had no meeting this week, but there still was plenty of island sales action reported again, even as the market responds to lack of inventory.

Tuesday, I showed a new-to-market $2M gulf-front residential condo. It already had received four offers in just a few hours. It is difficult to convince a prospect that they are not overpaying when they are in “no hurry” to purchase. When we hear that and they say, “we can wait for the next one to come along”, that could be a long time in today’s environment. That seller purchased in 1980. It is doubtful that anyone wants to wait 40 years to make their island dream come true, but one thing that is for sure in this real estate business – surprises happen every day with both buyers and sellers.

Within the same 24-hour period, I got texts from two agents working with buyers who had viewed one of our listings that recently went under contract. The texts said their clients were sorry that they had not made an offer(s). They wanted to know if the sale is “solid”. Then I got a call from an off-island broker asking about the same property. Where were these buyers during the last year+ that this property was listed for sale?

Of course, until a sale goes “pending” (meaning with no contract contingencies), we welcome back-up contracts. I have never had a buyer in 2nd position turn into the successful purchaser, but there is always a first time. We keep advertising our listings every week until every contingency in a contract is met. Once that occurs, the MLS listing status changes from “contingent” to “pending”.

Inventory continues to dwindle, as The SanibelSusan Team and our colleagues search for properties that match prospects requirements. It was a shock yesterday to tell a buyer, that there now are only nine Sanibel homes for sale priced under $1M. (Only 54 available in total, 69 under contract, 37 sold/closed year-to-date, compared to 288 sold last year.)

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

Bike, Walk, or Drive FREE on President’s Day

In honor of President’s Day, Monday, February 15, Wildlife Drive at the J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge will be fee-free all day from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians. For this national holiday, the Visitors and Education Center will be closed, but all other facilities including the America’s Best Restroom, Tarpon Bay Explorers rentals and tours, Bailey Tract, and all trails will remain open.

Average Long-Term Mortgage Rates Unchanged for 3rd Week

Most island sales continue to be “cash”, but mortgage rates remain great for those looking for financing. The 30-year fixed-rate for a home averaged 2.73% this week, as it has for the last two weeks. These near-record lows compare to the 3.47% rate last year. The pandemic resulted in suppressed mortgage rates through most of 2020. As the economy recovers, economists forecast only modest increases in loan rates this year. It continues to be a great time to buy for those seeking a mortgage.

3 Major Home Insurance Mistakes to Avoid

Following up on the insurance theme where last week flood insurance was discussed, below is the article posted online February 8, 2021 at FloridaRealtors®. It was written by Kathryn Pomroy, 2021 Local TV LLC.

“Homeowners trying to cut costs often focus on property insurance and cutting back will save money. But if something happens, they’ll regret it.

“NEW YORK – Due to COVID-19, unemployment has become one of the most critical economic issues facing the country. As a homeowner, you may be trying to find ways to save money. Revisiting your home insurance policy to make sure you’re getting the best deal and that your home is properly covered makes good sense.

“Avoid these 3 home insurance mistakes Your home is your largest financial investment. Yet it is vulnerable if left unprotected from theft and vandalism, fire, a natural disaster, injuries suffered while on the property, or some other mishap. Many people think things like this will never happen – until it does. That’s why it’s important to explore your home insurance options and avoid these three main home insurance mistakes.

  • Not having enough insurance coverage
  • Not having the appropriate coverage in advance
  • Not having natural disaster insurance.

Not having enough insurance coverage. Underinsuring your home can be a costly mistake. Many homeowners only have enough coverage to cover their mortgage. But if your mortgage or the equity in your home is only worth 75% of your home’s value, you may only receive that amount if it’s destroyed. That may not cover rebuilding.

“Likewise, you may have a policy that only covers the current value of your home. But your home’s current value may not cover the actual cost to rebuild at today’s prices. That’s why it’s important to know what it will cost to rebuild and get coverage close to that amount. This is also true concerning your personal belongings.

“Comparing multiple insurance quotes can potentially save you hundreds of dollars per year. Generally, there are two types of coverage-replacement cost and actual cash value.

  • Replacement cost value. Unlike actual cash value insurance, when a tragedy happens, replacement cost insurance will replace your belongings at their current value. For instance, if a fire damages your computer, and the cost to replace it today is $1,200, you are paid $1,200, even though you may have paid $1,000 two years ago.
  • Actual cash value. Actual cash value insurance will reimburse you for the cash value of your personal belongings. However, your belongings are not worth as much as they were when you bought them because of depreciation, so you are paid the actual cash value at the time the tragedy occurs, not what you paid for them.

Not having the appropriate coverage in advance. “Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to discover that your homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t cover natural disasters, or only part of the damage is covered. Worse yet, the type of damage you suffer is excluded from your policy.

“Most standard policies have hazard coverage, which covers the physical loss and damage to your property and possessions, and liability courage, which covers injuries to people while on your property, like slipping on your front steps. According to the Insurance Information Institute, standard coverage may also include damage from:

  • Explosions
  • Riots and civil unrest, vandalism, and malicious mischief
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Volcanos
  • Windstorms and hail
  • Damage from an aircraft or vehicle
  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Falling objects
  • Lightning strikes
  • In-home water damage (from within the home only)
  • Snow, ice storms and sleet.

“You may also want to cover personal possessions like expensive jewelry, musical instruments, cameras, or electronics that may be stolen or damaged. Or coverage for living outside your home while it’s being rebuilt. If someone slips on your front steps, you’ll want to have enough coverage to pay their medical bills.

“Having enough insurance is vital. Having the appropriate insurance coverage is just as important. To ensure your insurance is suitable for your circumstances, visit Credible to check out plans, providers, and costs.

Not having natural disaster insurance. Depending on where you live, you may need flood, earthquake, or region-specific insurance to ensure you have adequate home insurance in the case of a natural disaster. These coverages are not generally standard with most homeowners insurance policies.

“Flood insurance is a federal program that accepts everyone who needs coverage, so it’s not hard to get. If you live in earthquake-prone areas, your insurance carrier may also require earthquake coverage to qualify for a mortgage.

“Extra flood and earthquake insurance can cost from about $70 to $250 per month on top of your homeowner’s policy, depending on the value of your home and location, according to FEMA.

“If you’re searching for a new policy, renewing your current policy, or investigating your options as a new homeowner, you may also want to consider if you want coverage not typically standard on most homeowners’ policies. Add-ons to your policy may cover things like termites or other pests, mold, sewer backups, or damage due to lack of maintenance on the residence….”

Sanibel – COVID-19

The City declared State of Emergency, issued in response to COVID-19, has been extended by Mayor Mick Denham until February 16, 2021, unless further extended. Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven (7) days and thus must be updated weekly as long as the emergency conditions are present.

Additionally, the City of Sanibel face covering mandate is reaffirmed to be consistent with the Governor’s Order 20-244 and shall remain in force and effect through the duration of the 7-day state of local emergency. Social distancing encouraged and group gatherings are to be avoided.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through February 10 is 223 cases. This is the number of cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go.

Timing for number of cases reported included 134 cases last year (with 50 being in December). January was the highest month with 69 cases. The first ten days in February, 20 cases were reported. PLEASE CONTINUE TO STAY VIGILANT.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 5-12, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Captains Walk #B5 2/1 $392K, Pointe Santo #E2 2/2 $964K, Pointe Santo #E26 2/2 $1.299M, Gulfside Place #301 3/3 $1.95M.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms #C5 2/2 now $450K, Pointe Santo #C23 3/2 now $995K.

13 new sales: Spanish Cay #B2 2/2 listed at $469.5K; Sundial #J102 1/1 listed at $499K; Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 listed at $594.5K; Loggerhead Cay #274 2/2 listed at $669K; Sandalfoot #3C3 2/2 listed at $698K; Sand Pointe #217 2/2 listed at $795,555; Sandpiper Beach #105 2/2 listed at $825K; Yacht Haven #4 3/2 listed at $895K; Pointe Santo #A31 2/2 listed at $949K; Pointe Santo #C25 3/2 listed at $1.125M, White Pelican #111 2/2 listed at $1.2999M, Pine Cove #202 3/2 listed at $1.395M, Royale Tern #204 3/3.5 listed at $2.495M.

5 closed sales: Sundial #F205 1/1 $400K, Sandalfoot #4B2 1/1 $475K, Heron at The Sanctuary #2B 3/3.5 $749.9K, Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 $830K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-1 3/3 $899K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 694 Heather Ln 3/3.5 $1.475M, 2355 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $1.798M, 4664 Rue Belle Mer 5/5 $1.896M.

3 price changes: 1035 S. Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 now $999K, 1890 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $1.15M, 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $1.644M.

15 new sales: 1415 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed at $459K, 984 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $499K, 2010 Wild Lime Dr 4/4 listed at $759K, 1052 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 listed at $799K, 3570 Bunny Ln 3/3 listed at $869K, 6041 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/1 listed at $949K, 1312 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $979K, 1158 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $1.095M, 1259 Par View Dr 3/4 listed at $1.175M, 1147 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 listed at $1.335M, 751 Windlass Way 5/5 listed at $1.595M, 2391 Shop Rd 3/2.5 listed at $1.695M, 488 Lighthouse Way 4/4 listed at $3.695M, 4961 Joewood Dr 4/4 listed at $5.2M, 4323 West Gulf Dr 6/6 listed at $7.995M.

8 closed sales: 1030 Kings Crown Dr 2/2 $820K; 4180 West Gulf Dr 2/2 $845K; 761 Nerita St 3/2 $853,870; 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 $915K; 1155 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $922K; 201 Violet Dr 3/2 $1M; 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.175M; 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $1.785M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 2310 Wulfert Rd 299K, 217 Violet Dr $549K, 3304 Saint Kilda Rd $599K.

1 price change: 3308 Saint Kilda Rd now $469,555.

5 new sales: 1340 Eagle Run Dr listed at $315K, 2933 Wulfert Rd listed at $349K, 5821 Pine Tree Dr listed at $439K, 1872 Middle Gulf Dr listed at $495K, 1874 Middle Gulf Dr listed at $979K.

1 closed sale: 836 Limpet Dr $1.26M.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Marina Villas #708 2/2 $765K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Tennis Villas #3212 1/1 $320K; Bayside Villas #5118 1/2 listed at $399,999; Beach Homes #18 4/3 listed at $3.375M.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #703 2/2 $750K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11559 Laika Ln 3/3 now $7.5M.

2 new sales: 11504 Wightman Ln 4/3.5 listed at $1.495M, 11505 Gore Ln 5/5 listed at $1.695M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Happy Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, & weekend,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, & Flip Flops on Sanibel

SanibelSusan here reporting that island weather this week again has been terrific with daytime temperatures in the 70’s, sometimes 80’s, with plenty of blue skies and sunshine. As the week progressed, teammates doing the on-/off-island commute saw a noticeable increase in traffic as incoming Valentine’s Day vacationers, week-enders, and Presidents’ Day holiday visitors began arriving. Traffic probably will be up next week too.

At SanibelSusan Realty

The local association of Realtors® had no meeting this week, but there still was plenty of island sales action reported again, even as the market responds to lack of inventory.

Tuesday, I showed a new-to-market $2M gulf-front residential condo. It already had received four offers in just a few hours. It is difficult to convince a prospect that they are not overpaying when they are in “no hurry” to purchase. When we hear that and they say, “we can wait for the next one to come along”, that could be a long time in today’s environment. That seller purchased in 1980. It is doubtful that anyone wants to wait 40 years to make their island dream come true, but one thing that is for sure in this real estate business – surprises happen every day with both buyers and sellers.

Within the same 24-hour period, I got texts from two agents working with buyers who had viewed one of our listings that recently went under contract. The texts said their clients were sorry that they had not made an offer(s). They wanted to know if the sale is “solid”. Then I got a call from an off-island broker asking about the same property. Where were these buyers during the last year+ that this property was listed for sale?

Of course, until a sale goes “pending” (meaning with no contract contingencies), we welcome back-up contracts. I have never had a buyer in 2nd position turn into the successful purchaser, but there is always a first time. We keep advertising our listings every week until every contingency in a contract is met. Once that occurs, the MLS listing status changes from “contingent” to “pending”.

Inventory continues to dwindle, as The SanibelSusan Team and our colleagues search for properties that match prospects requirements. It was a shock yesterday to tell a buyer, that there now are only nine Sanibel homes for sale priced under $1M. (Only 54 available in total, 69 under contract, 37 sold/closed year-to-date, compared to 288 sold last year.)

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

Bike, Walk, or Drive FREE on President’s Day

In honor of President’s Day, Monday, February 15, Wildlife Drive at the J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge will be fee-free all day from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians. For this national holiday, the Visitors and Education Center will be closed, but all other facilities including the America’s Best Restroom, Tarpon Bay Explorers rentals and tours, Bailey Tract, and all trails will remain open.

Average Long-Term Mortgage Rates Unchanged for 3rd Week

Most island sales continue to be “cash”, but mortgage rates remain great for those looking for financing. The 30-year fixed-rate for a home averaged 2.73% this week, as it has for the last two weeks. These near-record lows compare to the 3.47% rate last year. The pandemic resulted in suppressed mortgage rates through most of 2020. As the economy recovers, economists forecast only modest increases in loan rates this year. It continues to be a great time to buy for those seeking a mortgage.

3 Major Home Insurance Mistakes to Avoid

Following up on the insurance theme where last week flood insurance was discussed, below is the article posted online February 8, 2021 at FloridaRealtors®. It was written by Kathryn Pomroy, 2021 Local TV LLC.

“Homeowners trying to cut costs often focus on property insurance and cutting back will save money. But if something happens, they’ll regret it.

“NEW YORK – Due to COVID-19, unemployment has become one of the most critical economic issues facing the country. As a homeowner, you may be trying to find ways to save money. Revisiting your home insurance policy to make sure you’re getting the best deal and that your home is properly covered makes good sense.

“Avoid these 3 home insurance mistakes Your home is your largest financial investment. Yet it is vulnerable if left unprotected from theft and vandalism, fire, a natural disaster, injuries suffered while on the property, or some other mishap. Many people think things like this will never happen – until it does. That’s why it’s important to explore your home insurance options and avoid these three main home insurance mistakes.

  • Not having enough insurance coverage
  • Not having the appropriate coverage in advance
  • Not having natural disaster insurance.

Not having enough insurance coverage. Underinsuring your home can be a costly mistake. Many homeowners only have enough coverage to cover their mortgage. But if your mortgage or the equity in your home is only worth 75% of your home’s value, you may only receive that amount if it’s destroyed. That may not cover rebuilding.

“Likewise, you may have a policy that only covers the current value of your home. But your home’s current value may not cover the actual cost to rebuild at today’s prices. That’s why it’s important to know what it will cost to rebuild and get coverage close to that amount. This is also true concerning your personal belongings.

“Comparing multiple insurance quotes can potentially save you hundreds of dollars per year. Generally, there are two types of coverage-replacement cost and actual cash value.

  • Replacement cost value. Unlike actual cash value insurance, when a tragedy happens, replacement cost insurance will replace your belongings at their current value. For instance, if a fire damages your computer, and the cost to replace it today is $1,200, you are paid $1,200, even though you may have paid $1,000 two years ago.
  • Actual cash value. Actual cash value insurance will reimburse you for the cash value of your personal belongings. However, your belongings are not worth as much as they were when you bought them because of depreciation, so you are paid the actual cash value at the time the tragedy occurs, not what you paid for them.

Not having the appropriate coverage in advance. “Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to discover that your homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t cover natural disasters, or only part of the damage is covered. Worse yet, the type of damage you suffer is excluded from your policy.

“Most standard policies have hazard coverage, which covers the physical loss and damage to your property and possessions, and liability courage, which covers injuries to people while on your property, like slipping on your front steps. According to the Insurance Information Institute, standard coverage may also include damage from:

  • Explosions
  • Riots and civil unrest, vandalism, and malicious mischief
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Volcanos
  • Windstorms and hail
  • Damage from an aircraft or vehicle
  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Falling objects
  • Lightning strikes
  • In-home water damage (from within the home only)
  • Snow, ice storms and sleet.

“You may also want to cover personal possessions like expensive jewelry, musical instruments, cameras, or electronics that may be stolen or damaged. Or coverage for living outside your home while it’s being rebuilt. If someone slips on your front steps, you’ll want to have enough coverage to pay their medical bills.

“Having enough insurance is vital. Having the appropriate insurance coverage is just as important. To ensure your insurance is suitable for your circumstances, visit Credible to check out plans, providers, and costs.

Not having natural disaster insurance. Depending on where you live, you may need flood, earthquake, or region-specific insurance to ensure you have adequate home insurance in the case of a natural disaster. These coverages are not generally standard with most homeowners insurance policies.

“Flood insurance is a federal program that accepts everyone who needs coverage, so it’s not hard to get. If you live in earthquake-prone areas, your insurance carrier may also require earthquake coverage to qualify for a mortgage.

“Extra flood and earthquake insurance can cost from about $70 to $250 per month on top of your homeowner’s policy, depending on the value of your home and location, according to FEMA.

“If you’re searching for a new policy, renewing your current policy, or investigating your options as a new homeowner, you may also want to consider if you want coverage not typically standard on most homeowners’ policies. Add-ons to your policy may cover things like termites or other pests, mold, sewer backups, or damage due to lack of maintenance on the residence….”

Sanibel – COVID-19

The City declared State of Emergency, issued in response to COVID-19, has been extended by Mayor Mick Denham until February 16, 2021, unless further extended. Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven (7) days and thus must be updated weekly as long as the emergency conditions are present.

Additionally, the City of Sanibel face covering mandate is reaffirmed to be consistent with the Governor’s Order 20-244 and shall remain in force and effect through the duration of the 7-day state of local emergency. Social distancing encouraged and group gatherings are to be avoided.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through February 10 is 223 cases. This is the number of cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go.

Timing for number of cases reported included 134 cases last year (with 50 being in December). January was the highest month with 69 cases. The first ten days in February, 20 cases were reported. PLEASE CONTINUE TO STAY VIGILANT.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 5-12, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Captains Walk #B5 2/1 $392K, Pointe Santo #E2 2/2 $964K, Pointe Santo #E26 2/2 $1.299M, Gulfside Place #301 3/3 $1.95M.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms #C5 2/2 now $450K, Pointe Santo #C23 3/2 now $995K.

13 new sales: Spanish Cay #B2 2/2 listed at $469.5K; Sundial #J102 1/1 listed at $499K; Loggerhead Cay #223 2/2 listed at $594.5K; Loggerhead Cay #274 2/2 listed at $669K; Sandalfoot #3C3 2/2 listed at $698K; Sand Pointe #217 2/2 listed at $795,555; Sandpiper Beach #105 2/2 listed at $825K; Yacht Haven #4 3/2 listed at $895K; Pointe Santo #A31 2/2 listed at $949K; Pointe Santo #C25 3/2 listed at $1.125M, White Pelican #111 2/2 listed at $1.2999M, Pine Cove #202 3/2 listed at $1.395M, Royale Tern #204 3/3.5 listed at $2.495M.

5 closed sales: Sundial #F205 1/1 $400K, Sandalfoot #4B2 1/1 $475K, Heron at The Sanctuary #2B 3/3.5 $749.9K, Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 $830K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-1 3/3 $899K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 694 Heather Ln 3/3.5 $1.475M, 2355 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $1.798M, 4664 Rue Belle Mer 5/5 $1.896M.

3 price changes: 1035 S. Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 now $999K, 1890 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $1.15M, 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $1.644M.

15 new sales: 1415 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed at $459K, 984 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $499K, 2010 Wild Lime Dr 4/4 listed at $759K, 1052 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 listed at $799K, 3570 Bunny Ln 3/3 listed at $869K, 6041 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/1 listed at $949K, 1312 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $979K, 1158 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $1.095M, 1259 Par View Dr 3/4 listed at $1.175M, 1147 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 listed at $1.335M, 751 Windlass Way 5/5 listed at $1.595M, 2391 Shop Rd 3/2.5 listed at $1.695M, 488 Lighthouse Way 4/4 listed at $3.695M, 4961 Joewood Dr 4/4 listed at $5.2M, 4323 West Gulf Dr 6/6 listed at $7.995M.

8 closed sales: 1030 Kings Crown Dr 2/2 $820K; 4180 West Gulf Dr 2/2 $845K; 761 Nerita St 3/2 $853,870; 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 $915K; 1155 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $922K; 201 Violet Dr 3/2 $1M; 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.175M; 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $1.785M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 2310 Wulfert Rd 299K, 217 Violet Dr $549K, 3304 Saint Kilda Rd $599K.

1 price change: 3308 Saint Kilda Rd now $469,555.

5 new sales: 1340 Eagle Run Dr listed at $315K, 2933 Wulfert Rd listed at $349K, 5821 Pine Tree Dr listed at $439K, 1872 Middle Gulf Dr listed at $495K, 1874 Middle Gulf Dr listed at $979K.

1 closed sale: 836 Limpet Dr $1.26M.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Marina Villas #708 2/2 $765K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Tennis Villas #3212 1/1 $320K; Bayside Villas #5118 1/2 listed at $399,999; Beach Homes #18 4/3 listed at $3.375M.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #703 2/2 $750K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11559 Laika Ln 3/3 now $7.5M.

2 new sales: 11504 Wightman Ln 4/3.5 listed at $1.495M, 11505 Gore Ln 5/5 listed at $1.695M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Happy Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, & weekend,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Spectacular Sanibel Sunsets This Week

This week has been a tad chilly, though mostly sunny, on Sanibel & Captiva. Great “open the sunroof” weather. There have been some terrific sunsets this week too, sunset last night was especially spectacular.

A weather warm-up is expected by Sunday with daytime temperatures forecast to be back in the 70’s next week.

After a short post-holiday lull, island traffic and business pick-up mid-January and boost again February 1, with February and March usually the months when the most sales occur here. After a couple of news items below is the activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Early Thursday morning was our Annual Installation and Awards event. No group meeting, no shared breakfast at The Sanctuary, but a fun Zoom event with a couple of videos presented that highlight 2020. It’s always fun to transfer the gavel to the incoming President in person, though not always fun to be oldest past-President (1999). The gavel-passing video used photos taken during our years as President. Passing of the Gavel Video

Congratulations to Kelly Huguenin for being selected for the “Community Service” award and Dave Arter for “Affiliate Business Partner”. They both rallied our members through 2020, even without in-person meetings. Wendy Kirschner was “Rookie of the Year” and 23 Realtors® earned Honor Society membership (my 28th year). 2020 Awards Video

Florida Realtors®

On Wednesday and Thursday, I attended more Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings via Zoom. At the Faculty and Curriculum Subcommittees (under the Professional Development Committee), it was reported that 58,182 Realtors® attended state-sponsored classes this year. That is almost double the number of attendees in 2019. It is excellent news to hear that over a quarter of Florida’s members made good use of COVID downtime. The GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute) series had 1,744 of those students which is a 110% jump over 2019.

Thursday, at The Resort & 2nd Home Specialist Think Tank, it was interesting to hear that though up and down, Florida’s vacation rental market survived the pandemic and has rebounded. That market is huge with over 15 million rentals a year.

A presentation by Denis Hanks, Executive Director of the Florida VRMA (Vacation Rental Managers Assoc) in an overview of 2020, said that vacation rentals had many challenges, as we all did, because of the pandemic.

When travel was suspended, hotels and timeshares open, but vacation rentals closed or limited to 30 days, vacation rental managers struggled to comply with 67 different regulations which were often vague and varied county-to-county.

Once those vacation rentals reopened, a huge increase in “drive” visitors (versus those flying) turned Florida’s panhandle into the hot market of 2020. Throughout the state, beach markets also have done well, though their business more up and down, and bookings sporadic. With lessons learned and the industry forced to become resilient, rental managers have had to adjust quickly to new cleaning protocols and adopt new guidelines including wait periods between stays, contactless check-ins, protection of staff and guests, COVID waivers, screening, cancellation policies, deposits/refunds, taxation, and chargebacks. The state VRMA also will soon be rolling out a program to train new employees and retrain those workers coming back into the industry.

Sanibel – COVID-19

On Tuesday, Sanibel Mayor Mick Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until January 26, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.)  The City face covering mandate remains in effect through the period.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through January 20 is 188 cases. This is just the number cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go. PLEASE stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings. Essentially no relief yet for the thousands of county residents over 65 looking to get vaccinated.

LCEC – 13 Years

For 13 years Lee County Electric Co-op has not had a rate increase. Best electric service provider, that SanibelSusan has experienced. I am always amazed, particularly during the summer rainy season, when electric outages happen, and they respond quickly.

When a property sells, The SanibelSusan Team recommends that sellers DO NOT CANCEL their electric service, but rather TRANSFER it. That way, there is no lapse in service and the buyer is not charged a connection fee. When your property is under contract and getting ready to close, please call LCEC, tell them the date of the scheduled closing, and ask them to transfer service then. They will not take a buyer’s contact info for billing until a seller calls first. With a transfer of service, LCEC takes a meter reading to document when your service responsibility completes and the buyers begins.

Sanibel Library Ranks High

According to the January 20 “Island Reporter”, the state library rankings are out, and the Sanibel Public Library ranks at or near the top in many areas, including materials borrowed, program attendance, and percentage of population with a library card. The 2020 ratings are based on FY 2018 Florida Library Statistics, which measures 82 libraries/library systems in the state. Sanibel was ranked number one per capita (per 1,000) for: circulation (number of books or items borrowed); availability of print, audio, video and other material to check out; local and state operating revenue; and square footage availability.

The library has been at or near the top ranking for about 15 years. It has also won national Star Library Awards (top 200 public libraries of 9,000 measured nationally) for five of the last 10 years. The library has been No. 1 on Trip Advisor for “Things to Do on Sanibel” many times and has won a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence every year since 2014, nearing Hall of Fame status on the site.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 15-22, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Spanish Cay #F2 1/1 $325K; Sundial #F307 1/1 $479K; Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 $649,950; Sandpiper Beach #303 2/2 $825K; Kings Crown #104 2/2 $999K (our listing).

Beach path at Kings Crown

4 price changes: Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 now $725K, Pelicans Roost #203 2/2 now $895K, Pelicans Roost #102 2/2 now $930K, Sandals #A 3/3.5 now $1.825M.

9 new sales: Sundial #F108 1/1 listed at $435K, Blind Pass #E207 2/2.5 listed at $489K, Mariner Pointe #1091 3/2 listed at $559K, Sandpebble #2D 2/2 listed at $568.5K, Kings Crown #110 2/2 listed at $795K, Pointe Santo #D35 2/2 listed at $795K, Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 listed at $899K, Sanddollar #B104 2/2 listed at $998K, By-The-Sea #B301 2/2 listed at $1.595M.

3 closed sales: Seawind #A108 2/2.5 $502.5K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 $580K, Oceans Reach #4D1 2/2 $840K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 1155 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $919K, 567 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $979K, 2313 Wulfert Rd 4/3 $1.099M, 3019 Poinciana Cir 5/3.5 $1.195M, 1133 Buttonwood Ln 3/2.5 $1.395M.

3 price changes: 418 Bella Vista Way 4/4 now $1.75M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 4/4 now $4.525M, 1349 Bay Dr 4/4 now $7.395M.

7 new sales: 1835 Ardsley Way 2/2 listed at $457K, 4661 Rue Bayou 2/2 listed at $679K, 1012/1014 4/2 duplex listed at $699K, 9277 Belding Dr 3/3 listed at $850K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.05M, 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 listed at $1.295M, 3009 Turtle Gait Ln 4/4.5 listed at $2.595M.

8 closed sales: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 $430K, 555 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $585K, 6141 Henderson Rd 3/2 $645K, 966 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 $965K, 3827 Coquina Dr 3/2 $1.055M, 2268 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $2.1M, 2411 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 $2.35M, 4067 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $5.55M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 6141 Starling Way $875K.

1 price change: 2515 Wulfert Rd now $239.5K.

3 new sales: 2372 Wulfert Rd listed at $147.5K, 5398 Osprey Ct listed at $299K, 1825 Long Point Ln listed at $389K.

1 closed sale: 4566 Buck Key Rd $148K (our listing).

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Lands End #1615 2/2 now $1.45M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

3 new sales: 16727 Captiva Dr 5/4 listed at $1,999,999; 15146 Wiles Dr 2/2 listed at $2.389M; 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 listed at $2.395M.

1 closed sale: 53 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.5 $886.7K.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Counting Down to Christmas on Sunny Sanibel

Ok, so it is sunny and bright but chilly and windy by island standards. Temperatures were only in the 50’s this morning and warmed up to 60 degrees F as I drove back to the office about 1:30 p.m. I took a little side trip up Dixie Beach Blvd to see how the water looks on San Carlos Bay. There have been a few reports of red tide mostly off shore and south of the islands, but the Army Corps of Engineers has reduced its Lake O releases so I bet between that and the breezes, things change. Can you tell from my photo that it’s a tad cool?

The SanibelSusan Team is counting down to Christmas, which is one of the few days that our office is closed. You can bet, however, that there will still be a Friday blog next week. Probably like yours, our individual 2020 Christmases will be different than any other year. We send good wishes that yours are safe, healthy, and happy! Below are a few photos from evening island spins. The first one is the bike path across the street from our office, followed by The Sanibel Community Church, and The Captiva House.

After a couple of news items is the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday. We are happy that three of the week’s closings were our listings!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Yesterday was the December Membership Meeting of the local Association of Realtors®. Held via Zoom, there were just a few attendees. Speaker was Juana Watkins, Esq., Florida Realtors Vice President of Law & Policy, & General Counsel. One item she addressed also was the subject of a recent article (posted below) by Meredith Caruso who is Associate General Counsel for Florida Realtors®. You may have heard about letters like this.

Hot Topic at NAR Convention? Buyers’ ‘Love Letters’ – How can I get the seller to accept MY offer?”, buyers wonder in today’s heated, multiple-offer market. In some areas of the country, “love letters” – a note from buyer to seller praising the home – are common. But some of the letters may flirt with Fair Housing Act violations.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Conference and Expo was held virtually this year, with meetings and events running from Nov. 2 to 18 – and many of the sessions involved discussions about buyer “love letters.” For those who aren’t aware of what I am referring to, “love letters” are written statements that accompany a potential buyer’s offer. While these types of letters are not in and of themselves illegal, it’s important to note that if done without careful consideration, it could end up being a Fair Housing Act (FHA) violation.

“How is this a possibility? Let’s examine a couple of examples of “love letters” – one that could be problematic with one that likely isn’t.

“Example 1: A buyer drafts a love letter that includes how excited the buyer is to raise a family in the home. They can’t wait to see future children excitedly running down the stairs on Christmas morning. Sounds harmless enough, doesn’t it? However, this buyer’s letter touches on two protected classes under the FHA: familial status and religion. Should a seller take these factors into account in arriving at a determination to accept the buyer’s offer, it could be a fair housing violation.

“Example 2: A buyer drafts a love letter that discusses the buyer’s love of the homes’ architectural features and the buyer’s appreciation of the various details of the home’s construction. Here, as the buyer solely focused on the property’s characteristics, none of which fall under a protected class, it’s likely not a fair housing violation.

“As agents, it’s important to remind consumers about fair housing issues if you see a potential problem on the horizon. While no agent is expected to explain the legal nuances of the Fair Housing Act, it may be wise to suggest a buyer or seller consult their personal attorney if either of the respective parties veer into potential FHA violation territory.”

Sanibel – COVID-19

Special City Council Meeting Dec 15 – Because of the nationwide increase in coronavirus cases, a special meeting was called to discuss the island’s COVID-19 safety measures and restrictions. Agenda items included:

  • Center-4-Life & Senior Center – which will remain closed with reconsideration in May.
  • More signage about masks on Sanibel.
  • Possibility extending the hours and footprint of the Sanibel Farmer Market if their visitor traffic increases as “season” gets underway.
  • Confirmed that the Mayor may enact changes quickly if needed to guard the health and welfare of citizens.

Florida Department of Health – reports that Sanibel’s total number of COVID-19 cases from March 26 through December 17 is 121. THAT INCLUDES 5 CASES REPORTED IN JUST ONE DAY THIS WEEK!  Last week, there were 17. Never had there been a week with a number in the double-digits. The number of Sanibel cases in December through 17th is 32, for November = 27. That means nearly half of the cases during the nine months of tracking, have been in the last few weeks. This is just the cases for residents in our zip code. It does not include the many workers and visitors that come and go. PLEASE stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.

The Island Store Celebration

The Island Store at Captiva’s 4-way stop, on 11500 Andy Rosse Ln, recently celebrated its reopening with a ribbon-cutting. Purchased in 2018 by the Bailey family, owners of Bailey’s General Store on Sanibel, the store was completely renovated and restored. Built around 1915, the building became a grocery store in 1940 under the ownership of Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling. Remodeled to today’s safety and quality standards, the store retains historical charm while offering residents and visitors easy on-island shopping for groceries and spirits. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Stabilization Project Expanded for Causeway

As reported in today’s “Island Sun”: “A project planned to stabilize the shoreline along the Sanibel Causeway has been expanded to improve drainage, parking and amenities on both causeway islands. The Lee Board of County Commissioners recently voted to expand the project, accept a $4.25 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation and allocated $2.4 million in tourism tax reserves for the project….” The project will “provide necessary erosion control structures and storm runoff by providing stabilization of the shoreline…will add beach sand, compacted shell and paved ADA parking spaces to Islands A and B and a picnic pavilion. Additional event parking areas and efforts to improve access to fishing on both sides of the islands are included.

“Construction is expected to begin with erosion control measures on Island B (closest to Sanibel) this summer, and all work will be completed by 2024. The total estimated cost to design, permit and construct the improvements and stabilize the shoreline is $8.5 million.”

Holiday Closings

At J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, The Visitor & Education Center and Refuge offices will be closed December 24, 25, and 31, and January 1. The Center’s restrooms will remain open during regular hours as will Wildlife Drive and its trails and Bailey Tract. Tarpon Bay Explorers also will remain open for normal operating hours except for Christmas, December 25, when it closes for the day.

Year-to-Date (through Dec 18) Sanibel Residential Real Estate Stats

Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $* # Avg $* # Avg $*
For sale 88 825,292 72 1,874,126 54 879,735
Under contract 36 689,325 52 1,280,244 10 367,301
Sold/closed 2020 172 745,024 273 953,709 23 606,233
Sold/closed 2019 127 694,392 211 949,790 15 372,200
Sold/closed 2018 155 720,617 218 1,112,747 21 602,095

* Avg $ is average asking price for properties “For sale” & “Under contract”. Otherwise, average sale price.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 11 – 18, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sandy Bend #6 2/2 $1,027,007; Pointe Santo #C25 3/2 $1.125M; Sundial #T204 3/2 $1.2M; Sundial #P402 2/2 $1.25M.

6 price changes: Casa Blanca #8 2/1 now $349K, Mariner Pointe #731 2/2 now $525K, Cottage Colony West #101 1/1 now $575K, Loggerhead Cay #542 2/2 now $685K, Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 now $725.5K, Pelicans Roost #106 2/2 now $929K.

1 new sale: Spanish Cay #A4 2/2 listed at $430K.

10 closed sales: Sundial #D309 1/1 $430K, Loggerhead Cay #332 2/2 $529K, Compass Point #232 2/2 $550K (our listing), Sandalfoot #2D2 2/2 $620K (our listing), Loggerhead Cay #532 2/2 $650K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-4 3/3 $725K, Sundial #O405 2/2 $1.15M, Villas of Sanibel #B202 3/3 $1.85M, Sanibel Sunset #201 3/2 $2.195M, Plantation Village #B222 3/3 $2.275M

HOMES

5 new listings: 430 Old Trail Rd 3/2.5 $629K, 2010 Wild Lime Dr 4/4 $759K, 3960 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.079M, 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.295M, 5391 Shearwater Dr 3/3.5 $1.795M.

7 price changes: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 now $449K; 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 now $699K; 4397 Gulf Pines Dr 3/3 now $725K; 3935 Coquina Dr 4/3 now $849,950; 966 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 now $980K; 1308 Eagle Run Dr 4/4 now $1.549M; 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $1.669M.

4 new sales: 753 Nerita St 3/2 listed at $579K, 705 Oliva St 3/2 listed at $875K, 1039 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $999K, 6101 Starling Way 3/3.5 listed at $1,148,990.

7 closed sales: 1645 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $530K, 1142 Shell Basket Ln 3/2 $560K, 543 Boulder Dr 3/2 $784K, 250 Hurricane Ln 3/2.5 $875K, 1860 Ibis Ln 5/3 $905K, 1120 Olga Ave 3/2 $940K (our listing), 1717 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 $2.15M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 1313 Par View Dr listed at $300K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3125 1/1 listed at $349K, Marina Villas #703 2/2 listed at $759K.

3 closed sales: Gulf Beach Villas #2005 2/2 $755K, Beach Villas #2525 2/2 $760K, Ventura Beach #2B 3/3 $970K.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 11431 Dickey Ln 3/2 now $1.1685M, 16189 Captiva Dr now $3.699M.

1 new sale: 956 South Seas Plantation Rd 6/6 listed at $4.995M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Until next Friday, happy almost-Christmas! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan