Happy November Has Begun on Sunny Sanibel


Though November is here, it was sunny summer weather again this week on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. The bright blue skies are great, but it would be wonderful to be rid of record-breaking high temperatures. Looking ahead, the island forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-80’s for the next ten days. If we get lucky, some evenings may go down into the high 60’s.

At SanibelSusan Realty

office pix 09-12-17At the office, I was out showing property two days which resulted in a home sale today, while teammate Dave also showed property and opened listings for showings, plus accompanied home inspectors, contractors, and held some Open Houses. Business is picking up and the roadways are busier too. The report of the week’s action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Red Tide Update

This week, evidence and reports of red tide have varied day-to-day and hour-to-hour with changes in wind direction, tides, and weather. The latest red tide sampling map posted by Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission shows high concentrations at Blind Pass, just off the Captiva beach, and in Pine Island Sound. Medium concentrations are noted at beach at end of Tarpon Bay Rd and at Lighthouse Beach. Concentrations also are high on Fort Myers Beach, Bonita Beaches, and Naples. A cool snap sure might help.

Ground Breaking for C-43 Reservoir

C43 reservoir.jpgOne water quality solution is the new Caloosahatchee (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir which will intercept and store water released from Lake Okeechobee and stormwater runoff. It will reduce discharges from the lake into the Caloosahatchee Estuary during the rainy season and will allow water managers to deliver freshwater to the river and the estuary during the dry season when it is needed.

Last Friday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visited the C-43 site to break ground on the embankments and canals. “This is a big step forward in expediting one of our most important Everglades restoration projects,” DeSantis said. “Once complete, the C-43 Reservoir will store approximately 55 million gallons of water, with 19 miles of embankments and 15 miles of canals to reduce harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee and help bring the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary back to health. I thank our partners at the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and the Department of Environmental Projection who I know will work hard to see this project through.”

sfwmd LOGOIslanders continue to also sing the praises of Sanibel resident Chauncey Goss, SFWMD Governing Board Chairman. The SFWMD is working to build the embankments and perimeter canals, allowing the two-cell reservoir to hold 170,000 acre-feet of water. Fourteen water control structures and public recreational features also will be incorporated into the site which is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

Island Happenings

2019 HalloweenThere were lots of island Halloween events yesterday for both children and grown-ups, including a costume contest at the Association of Realtor® Caravan Meeting. Those Thursday morning meetings where we announce new listings, new sales, and price reductions will continue right through “season”. SanibelSusan’s fortune-teller costume lost out to Willy Nelson and another called “Condo Rider”, but my prediction stands for strong healthy real estate sales this winter.

sanibel Jazz festival pixSunday, Nov 3 – Fourth Annual Sanibel Blues & Jazz Fest – from noon to 7 p.m. at Bailey’s Backyard behind Bailey’s Shopping Center. Bring your own chair, food & beverages available for purchase. $20 general admission at the event entrance. Funds raised aid the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club charities.

Roadways & Construction

Sanibelcityseal logoHere are a few areas where you may experience road delays next week. Info from http://www.mySanibel.com.

Periodic Lane Closures Coming on Island – The project to install new overhead signs approaching the island, on McGregor Blvd (Summerlin between Shell Point and the toll both) has been extended through next Fri, Nov 8.

Inspection of 3 Bridges – by Florida Department of Transportation will occur on the causeway bridges between Nov 5 and 7. The first two days most of the work will be done from barges below, but on Thursday, there may be roadway lane shifts.

Vegetation Trimming – on south side of San-Cap Rd from Blind Pass to Tarpon Bay Rd through next Friday, Nov 8.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 25 – November 1, 2019

paragon black knight logoSanibel

CONDOS

8 new listings: Spanish Cay #F8 2/2 $399K, Sundial #H307 1/1 $419K, Sundial #C210 1/1 $485K, Mariner Pointe #721 2/2 $534K, Sanibel Siesta #108 2/2 $579K, Compass Point #222 2/2 $695K, Kings Crown #213 2/2 $799K, Sanctuary Golf Villages #4-1 3/3 $925K.

4 price changes: Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 now $589K, Island Beach Club #P1A 2/2 now $619K, Loggerhead Cay #192 2/2 now $745K, Sanibel Moorings #1111 2/2 now $947K.

4 new sales: Yacht Haven #4 3/2 listed at $869K, Compass Point #181 2/3 listed at $1.195M, Villas of Sanibel #A102 3/3 listed at $1.295M, Gulfside Place #326 2/2 listed at $1.449M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

5 new listings: 5303 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $679K, 3256 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 $724.9K, 706 Nerita St 3/2 $774K, 1031 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $820K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 $1.039M.

5 price changes: 430 Old Trail Rd 3/2.5 now $579K, 4245 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 now $700K, 1717 Venus Dr 3/2.5 now $1.199M, 872 Limpet Dr 3/3 now $1.495M, 1238 Isabel Dr 4/4.5 now $3.595M (our listing).

View

The home is just as stunning as the view at 1238 Isabel Dr in Sanibel Harbours!

 

4 new sales: 256 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed at $747K, 9436 Yucca Ct 3/2 listed at $839K (our buyer), 788 Nerita St 3/3 listed at $887K, 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/6/3 listed at $2,999,999.

3 closed sales: 1060 White Ibis Dr 3/2 $735K, 1305 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $925K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 $1.1M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1303 Par View Dr now $319K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2216 1/1 $483.5K, Beach Villas #2426 1/1 $512.5K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 14865 Mango Ct 2/2 $1.295M.

1 price change: 15879 Captiva Dr 3/3 now $2.489M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

We love fallUntil next Friday, here’s to a new month and more fall fun!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s a Colorful Time… Vivid Rosy Bougainvillea, “Pink Out”, & …


Happy Friday, everyone! Following another sunny week on Sanibel Island, rain is expected to begin here soon. The tropical storm passing in the northern Gulf of Mexico is forecast to produce scattered showers over SW Florida into tomorrow afternoon. We need the rain.

Dry late fall weather usually gets bougainvillea trees and bushes blooming. Below are some that I noticed on my ride home last night. They are at the Pointe Santo entrance.

IMG_8830

Mine at home are starting to pop out too. This photo from Nov 2018.IMG_7125.jpg

Red Tide

The news that I don’t like reporting is that locals and visitors are in a tizzy about red tide. The City’s panoramic aerials posted Tuesday afternoon (link here), show such a huge difference in how the water looks now compared to last year at this time, that was it heartbreaking to read that the Marine Lab had done local testing and found presence of the red tide organism in some areas. Below is the message posted Tuesday night on social media by the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation:

2019-10-15 SCCF“Research scientists from SCCF’s Marine Lab took water samples on a short cruise today on the lower Caloosahatchee River, San Carlos Bay and into the Gulf of Mexico. They found Karenia brevis, the organism that blooms into red tide, present at all sites sampled. The maximum concentration they found was 880,000 cells/liter two miles offshore of Tarpon Bay Rd Beach on Sanibel. Levels higher than 100,000 can result in fish kills and respiratory irritation in humans. Next week, they will do a more expansive cruise into the Gulf from North Captiva Island to Sanibel. Stay tuned for ongoing updates.”

That posting sparked some questions, so they further clarified saying: “Our Marine Lab’s testing is part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) RAPID grant to study harmful algal blooms (HABs). The NSF grant is intended to investigate how the intensity of red tide blooms is “related to nutrients in freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee, a large inland lake in south-central Florida that is managed for flood prevention.” The research will contribute to the lack of “strong scientific evidence to support the connection between the red tide and Lake Okeechobee water releases.” The objective of the project is to provide water quality data prior to and throughout major freshwater releases. These data will provide insight into cause-and-effect relationships between freshwater releases, and algal blooms.”

SCCF logoWith SCCF reporting the highest number of organisms around the island off the beach at the end of Tarpon Bay Road, it is not surprising that this same area produced complaints, both yesterday and today, from beachgoers experiencing respiratory irritations. Some marine life also has washed ashore. Teammate Dave reported a noticeable smell on his drive over the causeway last night.

As a reminder, there had been no releases from Lake O all summer until just over a week ago when small releases were sent this direction to dilute the salinity in the estuary. This was to help the health of seagrasses in areas that had not received rain in recent weeks.

Prior to these reports, recent red tide incidents were mostly further south in the Naples/Marco Island area. Not a good omen for things to get better soon is the forecast for winds from the south all weekend.

Annual Meeting Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoYesterday was the annual meeting of the islands’ Association of Realtors®. Congratulations to newly elected board members, Realtors® Greg Demaras, Mike McMurray, and Janka Varmusa. With over 250 Realtor® members and nearly 150 Affiliate members, the Sanibel & Captiva Association is vibrant healthy and ready for “season”.

Caravan meetings will continue Thursday mornings biweekly until the end of the month, when we celebrate Halloween (costume contest) and revert to the “season” weekly schedule rotating from East End to West End. All winter you can expect to see Open Houses on Thursday mornings from 9 a.m. until noon. City rules allow only two open houses a month, up to 4-hours each, while Association MLS rules allow only one Caravan Open House every six months. You can be sure that we follow the rules and also try to schedule these events when they produce the most results.

Between now and the end of the year, the Association will continue to collect non-perishable food for the F.I.S.H. food pantry. Since Hurricane Irma and the water quality issues last year, local food needs have increased with supplies depleting quickly. Members and friends are encouraged to bring donations to either the Association of Realtors® Office at 2353 Periwinkle Way, Suite 201 (over Finnimore’s Cycle) or at F.I.S.H. at 2430-B Periwinkle Way (behind Bleu Rendez-Vous Bistro). The F.I.S.H. Food Pantry is open from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

After work on November 14, the Association will hold its annual “Fall Into Christmas” fundraiser for local charity “Friends Who Care”.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

2017-09-12 OfficeThe Association’s new Multiple Listing Service (MLS) provider offers a variety of new reports and advertising opportunities. Yesterday, Elise mailed our team’s monthly summary progress report letters which included the Islands’ 3rd Quarter Market Report. Lingering evidence of the market downturn from the water problems last year remains.

Below is an update of Sanibel’s inventory today. As the island gets busier, likewise, more listings come on the market every day. Both number of sales and average sale prices are off, even when compared to last year. That could change last quarter which is when we see the most sales to those wanting to winter in paradise or benefit from owning in 2020.  For arriving buyers, there is plenty of good well-priced inventory for them.

Sanibel Inventory
Condos Homes Lots
Status # Price $ DOM # Price $ DOM # Price $ DOM
For sale 108 839,859 196 142 1,338,771 171 67 730,723 442
Under contract 9 861,322 128 23 886,254 106 3 321,333 74
Sold 2019 thru 10/18 101 667,163 151 172 972,271 173 12 392,333 816
Sold 2018 155 720,617 172 218 1,112,748 162 21 602,095 240
Sold 2017 140 728,793 188 186 1,004,237 163 32 327,229 504

 

Event Reminders

Ding Darling Day31st Annual “Ding” Darling Day – Free Family Fun Day – Sunday, Oct 20, all day beginning at 8 a.m. More info at www.DingDarlingDays.com

breast cancer month8th Annual “Let’s Pink Out” – Thursday, Oct 24, Breast Cancer Awareness Celebration & Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Sanibel Fire & Rescue District Station #1 on Palm Ridge Road. Saturdays, all month, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Pink Out” volunteers are bagging groceries at Bailey’s for tips. Donations collected go to F.I.S.H. to help those in the community with cancer-related needs.

Rising Financial Wealth Boosts Demand for Vacation Homes

RSPS-Resort-Second-Home-Property-Specialist-Real-Estate-DesignationAs the instructor for the local class on the Resort & 2nd Home Market, I carefully follow the statistics published by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) and their newsletter from the RSPS (Resort & 2nd-Home Property Specialist) group. Here are some excerpts from an article they published on Oct 10, 2019:

“Increased financial wealth and low mortgage rates boosted the demand for and price of vacation homes, according to the National Association of Realtors® 2019 U.S. Vacation Home Counties Report, https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/us-vacation-home-counties.

“Between 2013 to 2018, the median sales price in vacation home counties increased at a slightly higher pace of 36% compared to the pace of increase of all existing and new homes sold,1 at 31%. Median price increases occurred across both expensive and inexpensive areas. The counties with the highest price increases during this five-year span were in three states: Pennsylvania, which includes Pike and Monroe counties; Wisconsin, which contains Price and Washburn counties; and Massachusetts, which includes Nantucket.

“Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says the present figures are telling, especially when compared to data from 10 years prior. “As of 2018, household net worth reached an all-time high of $100.3 trillion – that’s nearly double from a decade ago when wealth declined during the recession. Some of this tremendous growth in wealth, although concentrated, increased demand for vacation homes.”

“Although most homebuyers purchase their residence with an intent to use the property as a primary home, that is not the case for all buyers. In fact, a portion of homeowners purchase a second home expecting to use it as a general family vacation spot, as a tenant rental, a means to gain equity, or – upon retirement – a future primary residence….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 11 – 18, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Blind Pass #F204 2/2.5 $455K; Sanibel Arms West #I7 2/2 $579K; Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 $609,906; Sanibel Surfside #132 2/2 $925K; Sundial #K402 2/2 $1.1899M; Compass Point #181 2/3 $1.195M, Pointe Santo #E24 3/2 $1.425M.

4 price changes: Compass Point #221 2/2 now $695K, Loggerhead Cay #553 2/2 now $699K, Yacht Haven #4 3/2 now $869K, Gulfside Place #222 2/2 now $1.395M (our listing, photos below).

1 new sale: Wedgewood #305 3/3.5 listed at $1.495M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1356 Jamaica Dr 2/1.5 $587K, 6033 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 $799K, 1567 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $897K, 261 Ferry Landing 2/2 half-duplex $1.095M.

7 price changes: 1585 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $575K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 now $669K, 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $715K, 707 Cardium St 3/2 now $729K, 1667 Venus Dr 3/2 now $1.1M, 1307 Par View Dr 3/3 now $1.149M, 2964 Wulfert Rd 5/5.5 now $3.699M.

3 new sales: 335 Cowry Ct 4/3.5 listed at $799.9K, 9094 Mockingbird Dr 4/3.5 listed at $895K, 836 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2/2 listed at $1.295M.

5 closed sales: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex $398.5K, 1441 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $639K, 2719 Wulfert Rd 4/4/2 $1.2M, 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 $2.51M, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 $2.7225M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd now $220K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 $415K.

1 price change: Beach Homes #2 3/2 now $1.899M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11515 Gore Ln 5/4.5 $2.45M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 14981 Binder Dr 3/3 $957K.

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.

girl-standing-in-rainUntil next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

No Snow Here, But This Egret Sure is White!


It’s SanibelSusan reporting that the island roadways are getting busier. With 2018 off, it sure is great to again see activity pick up in October. In the summer, I often make a quick trip home during the noon lunch hour. That 2.9-mile trip up Periwinkle, in the off-season, usually takes about seven minutes. By yesterday, that time had expanded to 15 minutes. But, that’s OK, businesses need those returning owners and visitors.

Island friends, Ed and Ellie stopped in this week to say “hello” and Ellie shared the below photo she took at the Sanibel fishing pier. I told her this beauty will be the star of this week’s blog! It’s a beautiful great white egret (I think), not a snowy egret. Those are smaller and have the opposite coloring – still bright white, but black beak and yellow feet. Great white herons are similar too. Also large and their coloring is like the great white egret, but they have large heavy bills. If I guessed wrong, I bet a birder will set me straight!

2019-10 Ellie's bird

It still feels like summer! Weather this week cooled down to the high 80’s (degrees F) during the days, low 70’s at night – mostly sunny with occasional showers inland off-island. We need rain, so on Saturday the Army Corps of Engineers initiated minimum water flows from Lake O to the Caloosahatchee estuary. During certain times of the year, scientists say water releases like this are necessary to maintain a health estuary. The releases were expected to continue until tomorrow.

With the news reporting big weather changes elsewhere – huge temperature drops, plus snow and ice storms. That should make Sanibel & Captiva even more appealing.

Teammate Elise advises that the Lee County Schools first quarter ends today – that was fast. Local kiddos also get a full week off for Thanksgiving vacation this year, usually they just get a few days.

We did not have a local Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting this week. Next Thursday is our annual meeting. After a few news items below, check out the action since last Friday reported in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. You will notice that in comparison to last week, there was not much. We hope that changes with the holiday weekend and that you enjoy your weekend too!

Vice President Pence to Visit Sanibel Again This WeekendVice Presidents Logo

Once again, the island is a twitter with the news that Vice President Mike Pence is expected to make another trip to Southwest Florida this weekend. A TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) has been issued for VIP movement at Southwest Florida Regional Airport and southern Sanibel Island from Thursday at 11:45 p.m. through Sunday at 12:00 p.m.

During that time, the airspace around Sanibel has been designated as “national defense airspace,” which is common when the president or vice-president visits an area. The Sanibel Causeway and other roads are expected to close at times during the high-profile visit, but please know that it is not much of a disruption. He stays at a client’s home here that is off the beaten path so unless you happen to be on Periwinkle or the Causeway when he is on the move, you probably won’t even know that he is in town.

Process for Registering Sanibel Short-Term Rentals

Sanibelcityseal logoRecently, Sanibel City Council approved establishing a registration process for island short-term rentals. Council supports an ordinance to create registration of dwelling rentals and rental licenses. The purpose of the process is to regulate and ensure compliance of non-resort housing and platform vacation rentals like Airbnb and to preserve the character of residential neighborhoods. (It is basically a record and licensure process to ensure that rules already in place are followed. Sanibel Code says that compliant resort dwellings have no rental time or frequency limit, while non-resort dwellings must be rented for four consecutive weeks or more.) More on this in the weeks to come.

Events & ReOpenings

“Season” begins with lots of annual happenings:

Sanibel shellsSanibel-Captiva Shell Club – Though the Shell Museum remains closed while the new Aquarium construction completes, the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club’s first meeting of the season is this Sunday, October 13 at the Sanibel Community House beginning at 2 p.m.

historical village logoSanibel Historical Village – reopens Tues, October 15 and will be open Tues-Sat from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with guided tours at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Season highlights include several Twilight Talks and their annual gala fundraiser February 18 at The Community House. The talks are at noon on the 1st Mondays, December through March. New museum volunteers are always needed. Training begins November 4. More info at www.sanibelmuseum.org

Tower gallery13th Annual Tower Gallery Attic Sale– Fri & Sat, October 18 & 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. www.towergallery.net

 

4th Annual Sanibel Blues & Jazz Fest – Sun, November 3 from noon to 7 p.m. in the backyard of Bailey’s Center sponsored by the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club. Annual fundraiser for the club’s charities, including scholarships and summer youth programs at the Sanibel Rec Center. sanibel Jazz festival pixPerformances by islander Johnny Jensen at 1 p.m., the local Marty Stokes Band at 2 p.m., Sean Chambers featured on the U.S. Billboard Blues Album Chart at 3:30 p.m., & British Blues Hall of Famer Matt Schofield at 5 p.m. A jam session featuring all of the performers ends the event. Tickets at www.eventbrite.com, Bailey’s General Store, Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank, & George & Wendy’s Seafood Grille.

Hobie cat race 2019.pngSouth Seas Hosting World Championship Hobie Class Races – from Nov 1-16. This is the 1st time since 1984, that these races are being held in the U.S. and the 1st time in SW Florida. According to race organizers, the Hobie 16 World Championships is the only sailboat class in the world to supply brand new identical boats for all competitors to race. The course will be just off Sunset Beach, at the north end of Captiva. Sailboat racing fans may enter the resort entry gate and proceed to hotel registration where $5 per vehicle will be collected, parking pass issued, and wristbands provided for each spectator. Tickets also are available for special events (www.hobieclass.com).

crow-logo2019 Taste of The Islands – Sun, November 10 from noon to 5 p.m. at Sanibel Community Park with CROW’s animal ambassadors and silent auction in The Community House. The participating restaurants were announced this week including The Bubble Room, The clam Shack, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, The Jac Island Bar & Grille, Matzaluna The Italian Kitchen, MudBugs Cajun Kitchen, Rosie’s Café & Grill, Sanddollar Restaurant, Sanibel Deli & Coffee Factory, Sanibel Fish House, Shima Japanese Steakhouse, T2 (Traders 2), Thistle Lodge, and The Timbers Restaurant & Fish Market.

coastal keepers loglCoastal Watch 3rd Annual Fundraiser, The Launch – Sat, November 16 from 6 to 10 p.m. at The Community House, in support of local conservation initiatives.

UCF Economist: Recession No Threat to Florida

Florida Realtors logoThe below article was posted on-line this week at Florida Realtors®.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Forecasting, expects Florida’s economy to grow faster than the U.S. economy over the next three years.

His third-quarter economic forecast indicates that the state’s “powerful” economy will produce a higher percentage of jobs than the nation and attract more job seekers from other states through 2022. Snaith predicts that much of the job growth will come from the professional/business services, education/health care services, and construction sectors.

““Florida’s economy continues to hit on all cylinders, and there are no economic storm clouds on the horizon,” he says. “Our biggest challenge over the upcoming years will revolve around how best to manage and facilitate economic growth.” In addition, Snaith says the fundamentals of the state’s housing market remain “solid,” and economic and job growth and the influx of retiring baby boomers should continue to support the upward trend on sales.

““Low inventories of existing homes for sale and lagging housing starts growth contribute to an environment where home prices continue to rise,” Snaith adds. “The shortage in the single-family market will be rectified as the pace of single-family housing starts to ramp up over the next several years. Single-family housing starts in 2022 are expected to increase by 79.7% from 2014 levels.””

Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune (10/03/19) Hielscher, John

© Copyright 2019 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 4 – 11, 2019

Sanibel realtors logoSanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sunset South #2C 2/2 $609K, Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 $727.5K, Sundial #J208 2/2 $769K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

HOMES

3 new listings: 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 $629K, 1163 Seagrape Ln 4/4 $1.295M, 550 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $1.35M.

5 price changes: 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex now $504.9K, 1717 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now 645K, 1676 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 now $825K, 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 now $889K, 982 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 now $1.15M.

3 new sales: 1800 Ardsley Way 3/2 listed at $695,555; 198 Southwinds Dr 3/2 listed at $699.9K; 823 Birdie View Pt 4/3 listed at $799K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1837 Buckthorn now $629K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Lands End Village #1619 2/2 $1.549M.

2 price changes: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 now $419K, Bayside Villas #5228 1/2 now $429K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11528 Andy Rosse Ln 1/2.5 $2.9M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 17041 Captiva Dr 2/2 listed at $1.699M.

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.

christopher-columbus-day-clip-art-661308Best wishes for a fun holiday!

SanibelSusan Realty will be open so you won’t need Columbus. We can help you find what you want!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate Action This Week


cartwheelHappy Friday! It has been a week with a little more activity on the islands. Our listings certainly got more action, including two sales and a couple of price reductions. Teammates and I were out showing and viewing property, and we also got two new listings. Hopefully, this is an indication that the market is picking up.

A report with the details of the action since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Sanibel & Captiva Island Association of Realtors®

Sanibel realtors logoThis week, there was no Thursday morning Realtor® caravan of new listings. The bi-weekly summer schedule ends at the end of October when it reverts to every week. Our new listing at Pine Cove #201 will be open for caravan next week (9 a.m. to noon).

SCCF Sea Turtle Program 2019

kemp turtleDetails about the 2019 Sea Turtle tagging project are in “SCCF’s Member Update” Oct 2019 issue. Since the project began in 2016, their team has documented 1,178 encounters with turtles on the beach at night, representing 587 unique individuals. When a turtle is encountered, she is scanned for existing tags, tagged if none are found, and measured with calipers and a measuring tape.

Of the 587 seen, 236 have been encountered more than once. Sea turtles don’t nest every year – each individual lays approximately 3-6 nests over the course of the season and then spends a year or two foraging to replenish her energy reserves before returning to the nesting beach.

The 2019 season is the 4th year of the tagging project. “Highlights of the 2019 tagging season include:

  • A new record of 353 documented turtle encounters from May 1 – July 31
  • Six green sea turtles seen on Sanibel, totaling 18 observed nests
  • The average loggerhead carapace size was 94.5 cm (slightly over 3 feet), with their largest loggerhead measuring at 115 cm (almost 4 feet long).
  • Staff interacted with 1,126 beachgoers at night to educate them about the impacts of flashlights on sea turtles.”

More info at www.SCCF.org.

A Mixed Economic Picture Ahead

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_An interesting update in the September-October 2019 “Realtor®” magazine by NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun. He says, “Home building is accelerating, but sales continue to lag.”

“Annual home sales have been moving sideways in recent years: 5.4 million in 2016, 5.5 million in 2017, and 5.3 million in 2018. As of June, this year’s total stands to be 5.2 million on an annualized basis.

“These flat numbers make little sense in light of the decent economy. From 2016 through the first half of 2019, the economy added 8 million net new jobs at higher pay. Moreover, household net worth grew by $13.5 trillion, thanks to the rising stock market and surging real estate prices. The unyielding homeownership rate has lead to a more concentrated build-up in wealth than if ownership had expanded.

“Perhaps reduced tax benefits for homeowners is the main reason the home sales have become sluggish. Fortunately, the market is shifting for the better because of amazing mortgage rates. The Federal Reserve’s decision to be more accommodating has brought mortgage rates down to under 4%. The housing supply remains a hurdle but steadily homebuilders are responding by building more spec homes and at lower price points, where the demand remains the strongest. Realtors® are also witnessing an uptick in seller inquiries in our consumer survey. Consequently, pending contracts rose in June in all major U.S. regions, marking the first year-over-year gain in 17 months. Barring headaches over inspections, appraisals, and mortgage funding, closing activity is expected to shoot higher in the second half of the year.

“And the economy still has room to grow. Home building needs to increase robustly to address the inventory shortage. And falling vacancy rates in office, industrial, and apartment properties suggest commercial construction needs. The main looming worry is the impact of the intensifying trade war on corporate investment and the stock market. In a good economy, business investment should be rising around 5% or more – certainly roughly in line with the growth in profits, which have soared. That’s not happening, and it’s of concern.”

Fall Home Checklist

Florida Realtors logoWhether you are in Florida or elsewhere, here is a good Fall Home Checklist reminder taken from an article posted in the September issue of Florida Realtor® magazine:

Exterior

  • Trim tree branches and vegetation near roof
  • Check roof, siding and foundation for damage
  • Check chimney for loose bricks and missing mortar
  • Clean gutters and downspouts. Make sure water doesn’t pool around foundation
  • Seal gaps and holes that could provide access for animals
  • Replace loose or missing caulking around windows and doors
  • If area is subject to freezes, shut off exterior faucets and irrigation system and store hoses

Interior

  • Check attic and crawl spaces for leaks and moisture after wet weather
  • Check caulking around faucets showers, bathtubs, sink and toilets
  • Check faucets and supply valves for leaks or corrosion
  • Inspect water heater for leaks
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Have a professional inspect/clean the chimney. Test fireplace flue for tight seal
  • Test circuit breakers and ground-fault/arc-fault interrupters
  • Consider hiring a professional to inspect and tune up your furnace/HVAC system
  • Change HVAC system filters and remove any materials that block return air vent
  • Clean dryer vent.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service paragon black knight logoActivity September 20 – 27, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sandpebble #1A 2/2 $449K, Signal Inn #18 3/2 $1.175M, Pine Cove #201 3/2 $1.395M (our listing).

Lanai c

From the wrap-around balcony at Pine Cove #201.

2 price changes: Signal Inn #10 1/1 now $499.9K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 now $739K.

3 new sales: Sanibel Arms West #I1 2/2 listed at $569K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 listed at $575K, Sanibel Moorings #1341 2/2 listed at $680K.

1 closed sale: Pointe Santo #B2 2/2 $640K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1365 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $449K (our listing), 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 $499K, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 $959K, 1121 Skiff Pl 3/3 $995K.

20190927_102647.jpg

1365 Tahiti Dr in Tradewinds

6 price changes: 405 Tiree Cir 3/2 now $749K, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $959K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $975K, 842 Limpet Dr 3/3.5 now $2.095M (our listing), 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 now $4.795M, 4143 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 now $5.795M.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0795.JPG

842 Limpet Dr in Shell Harbor

5 new sales: 681 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $549K, 1558 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $599K (our listing), 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 listed at $1.095M, 1345 Tahiti Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.15M, 4709 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 listed at $3.125M.

default

1558 Sand Castle Rd in The Dunes

3 closed sales: 1203 Kittiwake Cir 3/2.5 $505K, 640 Oliva St 3/2 $649K, 2689 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $1.6335M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 2133 Starfish Ln now $389K.

1 new sale: 5737 Baltusrol Ct listed at 299K (our listing).

zpfile003

5737 Baltusrol Ct in The Sanctuary

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sunset Beach Villas #2217 1/1 $510K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: Sunset Captiva #204 2/2 $1M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11540 Laika Ln 3/2.5 $1.375M.

1 price change: 16525 Captiva Dr 3/4 now $1.495M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Wondering About Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate?


Happy Friday the 13th from SanibelSusan. It has been a very quiet week on the islands. Last weekend, when I manned the office, it was fun to write and negotiate an offer. Those are the best kind of surprises, particularly when it’s a sight-unseen purchase. That sale was one of the few posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service (MLS) this week, actually the only Sanibel condo sale. Details of all the action posted since last Friday are after a few news items below.

Gulf & Bay Waters Around Sanibel & Captiva

Last weekend, the aftermath of Dorian created a little havoc with red drift algae washing up on some Sanibel beaches (mostly east-end) and creating a bit of a stink. Or the thought was that rotting algae was the cause of the smell.

After complaints, the City brought in equipment and started cleaning up the algae at Lighthouse Beach. Click on the link below to see the drone aerials taken for the City on Tuesday morning. If you pan onto the beach near the “green roof” on the south side at Lighthouse beach, you will see the equipment and workers then, removing the algae. https://cityofsanibel.s3.amazonaws.com/LH9-10-19/index.html?fbclid=IwAR3DSv2s_4RWlDscmsk_zRVIhkolOVaUaKd-wfI9avKwWn4WVxL5FxdQTyQ

As follow-up, the City posted condition reports for several days on www.mySanibel.com about each of the island beaches. But, by Wednesday the beaches were all clear with the nasty odors gone. Some say that it could have been the offshore water itself that was creating the smell, from decayed material on the gulf floor that was stirred up during the hurricane. Mid-week, the wind had changed direction. That is when it all changed – a good example of how the beaches, like the shelling, can be different every day.

The picture below was posted today on the “Sanibel Island” Facebook page and described as in front of the Sanibel Inn at 10:15 a.m. this morning. The Sanibel Inn is at the end of Lindgren Blvd which is a continuation of Causeway Rd, so the photo is a good representation of what the east-end beach looks like. Thank you to Gina Frasca for sharing her photo.

2019-09-13 Sanibel Inn

Comparing water quality this summer to last year, this year there has been no evidence of red tide. Though the water level is high at Lake O, there have been no water releases this direction for many months. Fingers crossed that no more tropical storms come this way or that rains linger over the lake.

Peak hurricane time passed this week, as we remembered Hurricane Irma from two years ago. Now we look forward to November 30, when the 2019 hurricane season officially is over.

It has been bright sunny and warm here pretty much all week, but a few showers just began and are expected to occur off-&-on over the next few days as the tropical disturbance out in the Atlantic travels up the eastern seaboard.

76% of All Home Buyers Use Their Phones to Find Properties

REALTOR-Magazine_Logo_Wondering how real estate is done in today’s digital age? The below article by Information, Inc. was published last month by the National Association of Realtors®.

“CHICAGO – Buyers turn to mobile devices to find properties and connect with real estate agents. This puts increasing importance on real estate pros to make sure websites are mobile friendly and connecting to clients in the ways that they desire.

“The typical home buyer used a mobile device to search for properties online, looking at websites with photos, home listings, and information about the homebuying process, according to the newly released “Real Estate in a Digital Age 2019 Report” published by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) that looks at technology use within transactions.

“Overall, 76% of all buyers say they found their home on a mobile device – and 17% said they found their agent on a mobile device. The younger the buyer, the more likely they are to use mobile searches. Eighty-one percent of older millennials, 80% of younger millennials, and 78% of Generation X found their home on a mobile device compared to 68% of younger baby boomers, the NAR report finds.

“Type of communication – Ninety-three percent of real estate pros surveyed said they prefer to communicate with clients through text messaging, phone calls (93%) and email (92%). The mediums were more popular than instant messaging (38%) and postal mail (27%).

“Websites – The website features respondents find most helpful are photos (87%), detailed information about properties (85%), floor plans (52%), virtual tours (46%) and real estate agent contact information (42%). Half or more of respondents also valued property listings, agent/staff profiles, customer reviews/testimonials, mortgage/financial calculators and information on the home buying and selling process.

“Additional report findings:

“Social media: Real estate pros cited social media as the top tool for generating high-quality leads (47%), followed by Multiple Listing Service websites (32%).The main reasons cited for using social media was to promote listings, help build and maintain relationships with existing clients, and a belief that they’re “expected” to have a presence on social media sites nowadays. The top social networks used by Realtors: Facebook (97%), LinkedIn (59%), Instagram (39%) and Twitter (33%).

“Drones: Twenty-nine percent of real estate pros have hired a professional to operate a drone for their business, and 5% personally use one. An additional 14% say they plan to use drones in the future to capture aerial pictures or videos of their listings.”

iBuyer Perspective: Not New and Not Much to Worry About

Florida Realtors logoHave you heard about iBuyers? We have not seen them on the islands, though I have had inquiries from them. Here is an article about them, posted this week on Florida Realtors®: Realtor Bill Lublin, lead author of e-Pro and Florida Realtors® convention speaker, says iBuying has nothing to do with tech. They’re “instant buyers,” and “we’ve had them for years.”

“ORLANDO, Fla. – Bill Lublin, a Realtor® from Pennsylvania, lead author of e-Pro and a speaker at last month’s Florida Realtors® Convention & Trade Expo, says iBuying has nothing to do with tech. “It’s an ‘instant buyer’ and we’ve had them for years,” Lublin said. “That’s not new.”

“The big difference between flippers and iBuyers is the type of homes they want to buy. Flippers often want a fixer-upper they can improve and sell for a profit. iBuyers, however, look for value-added flips, said Lublin. “They want livable houses. Polish-and-buff kinds of buyers – minimal repair amounts.”

“New iBuyers continue to come onto the market, but the biggest – Opendoor, Knock, Offerpad, Zillow Instant Offers and Redfin Now – are “fueled by cash,” Lublin said. “Opendoor, the first one, has $1.3 billion in equity raised; Zillow has a $7.1-billion market cap; Offerpad has $150M in equity; Knock has $60.5 million equity raised (Knock is slightly different – buying and selling you another one.) Redfin has an $18 billion market cap.”

“As corporations, the iBuying concept is new, and investors want to get in on the ground floor. That makes them less concerned about profitability for now – and more concerned about becoming one of the dominant iBuyers in the U.S.

“Other iBuyer differences, according to Lublin: People go to the iBuyers websites, fill out a form about their house, and request an offer. An inspection might be requested, but “It all starts with someone raising their hand and saying they want an offer on their house,” Lublin said.

“iBuyers use algorithms. They calculate upfront what they can pay, what they need to sell the home for, and what the cost of holding is. Like Zillow home price Zestimates, iBuyers use an AVM (Automated Valuation Models) to calculate a home’s value. “It’s an educated guess,” said Lublin. “AVMs don’t include the things that make sales, such as views, neighbor’s flowers, etc.”

“Each iBuyer company has targets. Offerpad, for example, targets homes valued from $200,000 to $400,000. “They don’t want to buy everything. They identify a sweet spot in their business model, and that’s the only thing they buy,” said Lublin. “Just like Realtors have a market niche, they’ll stray from it if a potential sale comes up – but when iBuyers stray, it hurts their bottom line.

“Observers who wonder how the iBuyers make money may find out that they don’t – or not much money. “They’re only marginally concerned with profitability,” said Lublin. “They have tons of money to go out and experiment with a new business model. Redfin says they weren’t profitable in their first 10 years, and they made the most amount of money from their IPO. Speed of growth fuels profit in the beginning. None of these companies is profitable so far, and that’s a competitive advantage.”

“iBuying may not debut in all markets. Cities like Philadelphia have an older housing stock, for example. iBuyers are more attracted to metros, such as many in Florida, with a newer housing stock that’s easier to value. iBuyers with secondary companies – Zillow’s mortgage company, for example – could also benefit via their related industries.

“While the iBuyer share of the market isn’t expected to get large – Morgan Stanley projects a 3% market share by 2030 – it still could potentially pick up a large numerical number of sales.”

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate Scoop

Below is an update on the year-to-date sales posted in the islands MLS – first on Sanibel, then Captiva. It compares inventory today, sales year-to-date, sales over the last three years, and the sales during the market peak, 13 years ago, in 2006. Though averages, these statistics shows the market downturn from the water woes last summer. Even so, things are looking up!

 

 

Status as of 9/13

Sanibel
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 93 851,024 217 113 1,377,721 210 66 688,492 424
Under contract 6 652,816 204 20 1,097,970 146 3 311,166 782
Closed year-to-date 97 674,067 144 160 958,364 170 11 406,181 687
Sold in 2018 155 720,617 172 218 1,112,748 162 21 602,095 240
Sold in 2017 140 728,793 188 186 1,004,237 163 32 327,229 504
Sold in 2016 143 717,768 217 181 979,576 176 25 487,095 571
Sold in 2006 143 866,972 147 156 1,143,682 186 18 523,917 158

 

 

 

Status as of 9/13

Captiva
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 35 1,269,990 219 35 2,808,568 262 3 1,929,666 496
Under contract 4 806,725 443 1 2,400,000 637 0 N/A N/A
Closed year-to-date 19 1,047,894 337 14 2,984,325 288 0 N/A N/A
Sold in 2018 27 797,532 153 25 2,127,352 290 0 N/A N/A
Sold in 2017 34 671,551 261 22 2,457,023 394 2 2,312,500 1,005
Sold in 2016 22 873,636 314 27 3,195,000 284 2 3,150,000 365
Sold in 2006 21 1,362,476 180 10 2,307375 334 4 2,218,750 432

(Note: Average $ is average asking price for properties “For sale” and “Under contract”.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 6 – 13, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Heron at The Sanctuary #3B 3/2.5 $885K, Golden Beach #3 3/2.5 $1.499M.

1 price change: Sundial #H211 1/1 now $395K.

1 new sale: Sundial #I104 1/1 listed at $469K (our buyer).

Sundial West from I104

From Sundial I104 listing, showing central pool at Sundial Resort & looking toward the buildings of Sundial West.

1 closed sale: Seashells #12 2/2 $360K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 $599K.

8 price changes: 401 Raintree Pl 3/1.5 now $475K, 5745 Pine Tree Dr 2/1 now $498K, 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex now $509.9K, 681 Rabbit Rd 3/2.5 now $549K, 5303 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 now $648K, 760 Cardium St 3/2 now $699.9K, 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 now $1.095M, 2385 Wulfert Rd 4/5 now $1.199M.

2 new sales: 1203 Kittiwake Cir 3/2.5 listed at $539K, 725 Donax St 6/6 listed at $1.295M.

3 closed sales: 1520 Centre St 3/2 $409K, 1035 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $1.42M, 852 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 $1.595M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1800 Woodring Rd now $2.595M.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Bayside Villas #5316 3/3 $660K, Beach Homes #30 4/4.5 $3.949M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2216 1/1 $519.9K, Gulf Beach Villas #2008 2/2 listed at $639K.

2 closed sales: Beach Villas #2436 3/2 $812.5K, Ventura Captiva #2A 3/3 $900K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 17041 Captiva Dr 2/2 $1.699M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 15161 Wiles Dr 5/5.5 listed at $2.4M.

1 closed sale: 16801 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 $1.8M.

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, wishing you clear skies & sunny days!

36.

One of my favorite photos by our photographer Jim Anderson of JMA Photography. They are blue crested night herons. It reminds me of the ugly duckling story. Thanks for sharing, Jim!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

All Eyes on Dorian


What usually is a quiet week on the islands has turned into a bit of a worry with Hurricane Dorian expected to come ashore along Florida’s eastern seaboard early next week. Dave took a spin by all of our listings yesterday, removing and tucking away signs and items that could become airborne with strong winds. If all goes well he will be putting things back in place soon.

Sanibelcityseal logoAs I post this, a meeting is now occurring at Sanibel City Hall with a departmental operations update. Island partners in attendance include CHR, SCCF, Sanibel Library, BIG ARTS, Island Water, police, Chamber of Commerce, Advanced Disposal, Sanibel School, post office, FISH, CROW, LCEC, Ding Darling, plus both Sanibel & Captiva Fire & Rescue.

There is a separate meeting City Council meeting at 2 p.m. Listen live through the link on http://www.mysanibel.com Dorian Update #3 and follow the City website for more updates.

Island Real Estate

2017-09-12 OfficeUsually the Labor Day weekend brings a spurt of real estate business, but that is looking doubtful now with many 3-day visitors cancelling their plans.

But, if you are wondering, unless forecasts change, we will be open tomorrow and I will be there Sunday too. If we may help you with anything on island, please let us know.

For island Realtors®, this past Monday was the cut-over date for service with our new Multiple Listing provider, Paragon. It has lots of new state-of-the-art features and capabilities that we are learning.

A summary of the action this week in the islands’ MLS follows just a couple of news items below. Stay safe islanders!

At Florida Realtors®

CBAEEA3C-B9F0-4879-912A-44CB0A33B161Last week, at the Florida Realtors® 103rd Annual Convention & Trade Expo, first I served on the state instructor audition panel and then as an Education Ambassador where members had a choice of more than 40 educational sessions.

Following the convention, on Friday and Saturday, the Florida Realtors® leadership team held their governance meetings. This was my 22nd year participating, this year in the Resort & 2nd Home Specialist breakout group (which is part of the Legislative Think Tank), the Curriculum Subcommittee, and the Professional Development Committee.

Networking at these events is the “best” – especially after all these years. It was interesting to hear that water quality and short-term vacation rentals are two hot topics in every area – even those inland. These meetings were the first for our Association’s new Education Director. It was so much fun introducing her to some terrific instructors and her peers throughout the state.

At the Capital Club luncheon on Friday, we had a surprise visit from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. What a smart, energetic, thoughtful man he is. His priorities coincide with ours on the islands, “Florida 1st”.

Coastal Cleanup on Sept 21

Join the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) and Keep Lee County Beautiful as part of the Ocean Conservancy’s international Coastal Cleanup on Saturday morning, Sep 21. According to the Ocean Conservancy, 10.5 million volunteers have cleaned 350,000 miles of shoreline collecting 192 million pounds of trash in the more than three decades of this international effort.

If you would like to work at Gulfside City Park or Bowman’s Beach, sign up at http://klcb.org/coastal-cleanup.hmtl. For other Sanibel-Captivalocations or for more info, contact Alex Horn at ahorn@sccf.org or call SCCF at 239-472-2329.

SCCF will provide trash bags, data cards, gloves, water, and a tee-shirt to all participants before they head out for their beach assignments from 9-11 a.m. After collecting, documenting, and disposing of their trash back at the SCCF Nature Center (3333 San-Cap Road), volunteers will be offered complimentary lunch items starting at 11 a.m. (Thanks to Doc Ford’s Rum Barr & Grille as the 1st Lunch Partner for the 2019 Coastal Cleanup.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 23-30, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: White Caps South #8 1/1 $849K.

7 price changes: Seashells #36 2/2 now $380K, Sunset South #6B 2/2 now $575K, White Pelican #114 2/2 now $850K, Sandalfoot #1C1 2/2 now $899K, Tarpon Beach #305 2/2 now $1.075M, Gulfside Place #221 2/2 now $1.229M, Plantation Village #312 3/2.5 now $1.44M.

1 new sale: Sundial #J201 1/1 listed at $550K.

3 closed sales: Seashells #31 2/2 $405K, Coquina Beach #3E 2/2 $539K, White Pelican #133 3/3 $1.489M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 701 Nerita St 3/2 $749K.

8 price changes: 970 Greenwood Ct 3/2.5 half-duplex now $429.9K, 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 now $492.5K, 1536 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $592.5K, 5256 Punta Caloosa Ct 3/2 now $650K, 218 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 now $759K, 1560 Royal  Poinciana Cir now $1.295M, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4.5 now $1.899M, 2915 Wulfert Rd 5/6.5 now $2.875M.

2 new sales: 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $775K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 4/3 listed at $825K.

2 closed sales: 1550 Centre St 3/2 $585K, 3386 West Gulf Dr 3/3.5 $1.045M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1044 Fish Crow Rd $399K.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Homes #33 3/2 $1.799M.

1 price change: Lands End Village #1608 3/3 now $2.275M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3217 1.1 $316.5K, Sunset Beach Villas #2332 2/2 $745K.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, may Dorian be kind!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

From Sanibel to Orlando


The Sanibel weather has been great this week, although hot and with a few quick afternoon rain showers. With news reporting dangerous heatwaves in other parts of the country, I hope you have been staying cool where you are.

1C69D697-8D51-416F-97DB-DF1EF4EC55CAThe SanibelSusan Team has been manning the office all week, while I am in Orlando attending the Florida Realtors 2019 Convention, Trade Expo, and Annual Meetings.C55AE7AA-E304-4086-86BC-8FAF51E87A34

The convention educational sessions and expo have wrapped up, with committee meetings today and tomorrow. The highlight today was at the Capital Club annual luncheon with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. It was so inspiring to hear the many positive initiatives underway, thanks to his leadership, including in water quality. As he said, it’s all about “Florida first”. He is without a doubt, smart, energized, and working hard for our state.

240E8040-E5F3-4B47-94D6-475F102AF94A

Below are a few local news items from the Sanibel team, before a summary of the islands’ Multiple Listing Service activity this week.

County Approves Wulfert Bayous Acquisition

Ding FundraiserAs reported in this week’s “Island Sun”: On August 20, the Lee County Board of Commissioners voted in favor of supporting the acquisition of the 68-acre Wulfert Bayous parcel. The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) and the JN “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge have been working with the county on the collaboration for more than a year to make the acquisition a reality.

Lee County’s Conservation 20/20 program will fund $6.5 million of the total $9.5 million cost to purchase the property. DDWS has raised the additional $3 million through private donations. The refuge, for its part in the collaboration, will manage the property as part of its complex.

The city of Sanibel had already approved development of the land with up to 28 new homes. To preserve the tract from such development, DDWS, in February 2019, kicked of its public campaign to preserve the acreage.

Located along Wulfert Road and Sanibel-Captiva Road and adjacent to refuge boundaries, the property is home to a number of species that would be seriously threatened by development of the habitat. The preserved acreage will also help protect water quality as a natural filter.

The conservation and planned restoration of the Wulfert Bayous property will forward the goals and objectives of the Gulf of Mexico and the Greater Everglades Ecosystem restoration plans. In addition to 16 acres of existing mangroves, Wulfert Bayous contains 15 acres of wetlands that can be restored and enhanced to create wading bird colony of roseate spoonbills, wood storks, white ibis, and other egrets and herons, while serving as a natural water filter.

If you would like to help restore Wulfert Bayous’ 68 acres, contact DDWS at 472-1100 ext 232 or director@dingdarlingsociety.org.

2019 “Ding” Darling Day

ding darling goose logoSunday, Oct 20, in preparation for the Refuge’s 75th Anniversary Celebration, this year’s “Ding” Darling Day is full of the best traditions and it’s FREE. Here’s a summary:

TOURS:

8 a.m.   Birding with a biologist

9 a.m.   Biking at the Refuge (4 miles)

10 a.m. Birding Indigo Trail (meet at flagpole)

10-4     Tram tours on Wildlife Drive (every hour) sign up at the Tram Booth

ACTIVITIES

10 a.m. Nature sketching on Indigo Trail (meet at flagpole)

10 a.m. Wildlife yoga (in classroom)

11 a.m. iPhone photography walk (meet at flagpole)

12 p.m. Wildlife origami (in classroom)

1 p.m.   Canvas painting (in classroom) limited to 1st 25

2 p.m.   Wildlife cartoons with Dave Horton (in Visitor & Education Center)

PRESENTATIONS

10 a.m. “Ding” Day Amateur Nature Photography Contest (in classroom)

10 a.m. & 3 p.m. Live animals with C.R.O.W. (under the Big Top tent)

11 a.m. Python talk (under the Big Top tent)

11 a.m. & 2 p.m. Puppet show (in classroom)

12 p.m. Cartoon content award ceremony (auditorium A & B)

1-3 p.m. Federal & Junior Duck Stamp award ceremony (auditorium A & B)

2 p.m.   Snakes Alive (under the Big Top tent)

ON-GOING

Exhibitor booths, face painting, live music, nature crafts, archery, chalk drawing, hot dogs, butterfly house, fly-fish demos, art demos, plein-air artists, fire equipment demos

ON-GOING AT TARPON BAY EXPLORERS

Touch tank, stand-up paddle-boarding.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 16-23, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 now $450K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Cottage Colony West #117 1/1 $605K.

HOMES

No new listings.

4 price changes: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $437K, 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 now $499.5K, 1536 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $599.5K, 772 Birdie View Pt 3/3 now $1.189M.

4 new sales: 980 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex listed at $549.9K, 1060 White Ibis Dr 3/2 listed at $749K, 1119 Seagrape Ln 2/1 listed at $800K, 534 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed at $899K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 2372 Wulfert Rd now $134.9K, 9345 Dimmick Dr now $359K.

1 new sale: 933 Strangler Fig Ln listed at $495K.

1 closed sale: 1817 Longpoint Ln $269K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listing or price changes.

1 new sale: Sunset Captiva #204 2/2 listed at $1.149M.

No closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

To those asking about the gulf waters, though not taken personally, here is a photo posted yesterday afternoon on Facebook’s “Beautiful Sanibel” page, from a West Gulf Dr beach. With a storm now stalled out over the Atlantic off the east coast, a rainy weekend is expected. Let’s hope it still looks like this next week! Enjoy your weekends!

77D7B743-2CCC-4AAD-AC86-8F953A54A987.jpeg

Until next Friday! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Rain, Rain, Go Away!


It is the end of another soggy week on Sanibel. Though there have been periods of sunshine, there have been way more clouds and showers, day and night for over a week. The news today, forecast rain at 100%. Humidity is high and temperatures like the tropics. On the plus side, vegetation is lush and green, from free irrigation. If this sounds like islanders are grumbling, I am. We are so spoiled here – with gorgeous weather so much of the time – that being Susie Sunshine today, is a stretch.

(As a remembrance, the photo below was taken LAST Friday by JMA Photography at our listing at 1238 Isabel Drive in Sanibel Harbours overlooking San Carlos Bay. The new landscaping had just gone in!)

Master View

Unfortunately, from runoff this week, tannins again have stained bay waters giving pause to those worried about a change in gulf water quality. Luckily, at least so far, it is just a visual change. The latest Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report shows NO red tide in Southwest Florida except a small concentration in just one water sample from Pinellas County, north of here near St Petersburg.

Once the rain subsides, the sand should settle out and the color clear again. From the City’s website, Click here to see the most recent aerial photograph of water conditions at Lighthouse Beach Park.

This week, The SanibelSusan Team finished up their classroom training sessions for the new Multiple Listing Service that goes live here July 26. Between now and then, while old and new systems are running in parallel, we are setting up new searches for our prospects and getting more familiar with the system’s collaboration center which will provide both buyers and seller access to the system data including historical info.

Now that local schools here are back in session, there are fewer vacationers on-island. Some also say that occupancy is off because of the water last summer. The return of part-time residents will pick up as summer wraps up elsewhere.

Schools Back in Session

Lee County schools logoRegarding Lee County Schools, it was nice to hear that breakfast and lunch will be free at all schools for the 2019-2020 school year. The school district also said that four specialized centers are included in the breakfast/lunch program: Buckingham Exceptional Center, L.A.M.P., Royal Palm Exceptional School and Success Academy. Parents do not need to apply, and “Free and Reduced” meal applications do not need be completed. (They were required in earlier years). Food and Nutrition Services Director Lauren Couchois said, “We realize if a student is hungry, their ability to learn is compromised, providing this benefit will help our students excel.”

Teammate Elise also mentioned that the County school schedule this year goes into early June (usually school is over before Memorial Day) with a few extra days off at Thanksgiving.

Congratulations to Sanibel’s Leaders!

florida league of citiesYesterday, at the 93rd Annual Florida League of Cities Conference in Orlando, Sanibel’s own Mayor Kevin Ruane was sworn in as President of the Florida League of Mayors. With his family and Sanibel’s entire City Council there, he was sworn in by Sanibel’s City Clerk, Pamela Smith. He also posted that Florida’s League of Mayors unanimously approved his priority for 2020 as “President for Water Quality & Water Quantity”.

At this same event, Sanibel Councilor Holly Smith sits on the Municipal Administration Committee of the Florida League. They have chosen “Vacation Rentals” as their priority subject for 2020.

Good things will come from this involvement by our City leaders. Please join me in thanking them for all they do for all of us!

2019 Shared-Use Path Repair Project Begins

Sanibelcityseal logoThe City posted today that the annual repairs to Sanibel’s Shared-Use Paths begins Monday, Aug 19. Every year the City inspects all 26.06 miles of paths and prioritizes repair needs. This year, they total $210K with the contractor required to complete the project within 30 days, weather permitting.

For safety, the areas being repaired will be barricaded off from users. Please take care!

Bailey’s Groceries On Demand

Bailey's Groceries on DemandHere’s a Facebook message I saw posted this week by Bailey’s General Store:

“We are excited to announce mobile shopping! With a click of a button, have your groceries delivered to your home, condo, or rental accommodations. Simply download our app “Bailey’s General Store” on the Apple App Store or Android Market, OR click here http://baileys-sanibel.freshopsites.com/shop, add the groceries you need, and have them delivered straight to your door. Shopping has never been easier!”

Why the Jordan Marsh Water Quality Treatment Park Is So Cool

Ding Darling Society logoMidweek, I chatted with fellow Realtor Sarah Ashton who with her husband Jim Metzler co-chairs the Advocacy Committee for the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society’s Friends of the Refuge. They authored a “cool” guest commentary that was in this week’s “Island Reporter”. I offered my congratulations on the article which serves to educate as well as promote what Sanibel is all about. I hope you enjoy it too.

“The Sanibel Slough, known to most of us as the Sanibel River, feeds fresh water into low-lying swales to create Sanibel’s interior wetland system. As a result, the health of Sanibel Slough is critical to the health of the wildlife that inhabits the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Unfortunately, more than a decade ago, the slough was identified by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as being impaired for nutrients, meaning that it does not meet state standards for nitrogen and phosphorus. But we will describe a very cool project that is helping to reduce the nutrient concentrations in the slough.

“The somewhat recently opened Jordan Marsh is a filter marsh, one side of which abuts Casa Ybel Road. The creation of the marsh was funded by the South Florida Water Management District, Lee County impact fees, and the City of Sanibel. A pump located at the rear of the property pulls water out of the Sanibel Slough. The water meanders throughout the marsh before it is return to the slough. Within the marsh, plants such as cattails, bulrush, and pickerelweed, remove excess nutrients.

“If the water is pumped into the marsh at a low rate, it spends a lot of time there, and hence the marsh removes a high percentage of the nutrients. In contrast, if the water is pumped in at a high rate, it spends less time in the marsh and as a result, a lower percentage of the nutrients are removed. However, there is a trade-off. Since the water spends less time in the marsh, it is possible to pump more water through the marsh and hence the marsh can potentially remove a larger amount of nutrients.

“One of the reasons why the Jordan Marsh project is so cool is because it represents a close partnership between the City and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. One part of that cooperation is that the property on which Jordan Marsh was built is comprised of six acres of City-owned land known as the Jordan Marsh Preserve, and a 1.3-acre portion of the 8.5 acres that is within SCCF’s Wigley Preserve.

“The cooperation between the City and SCCF goes much deeper. The City is currently working with SCCF to collect data from the marsh relative to the amount of nutrients that are removed. This data is being analyzed by SCCF’s Marine Laboratory scientists and will be used to determine the overall effectiveness of the marsh and the optimal rate at which water should be pumped into the marsh. And speaking of cooperation, SCCF’s Marine Laboratory is located on property owned by the refuge.

“Another reason that the Jordan Marsh is so cool is that in addition to removing nutrients from the Sanibel Slough, the project also enhances the existing wildlife habitat on the site, providing recreational opportunities such as biking and birding, and educates park visitors on the various techniques being use to improve water quality.

“There is no doubt that solving the water quality issues such as cleaning up Lake Okeechobee will take considerable help from the federal government and the state. There is also no doubt that the biggest reason that Jordan Marsh is so cool is that it is a cooperative effort of many local groups to solve a problem in our own backyard.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 9-16, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Cottage Colony West #101 1/1 now $600K, Wedgewood #305 3/3.5 now $1.495M.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: Signal Inn #4 1/1 $490K (our listing), Sanibel Moorings #1622 2/2 $495K, By-The-Sea #C1023/2 $1.525M.

DCIM101MEDIADJI_0720.JPG

Still some other condos for sale at Signal Inn! Off the beaten path, yet right on the beach & pet friendly too.

HOMES

1 new listing: 198 Southwinds Dr 3/2 $699.9K.

1 price change: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $439K.

2 new sales: 845 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed at $1.169M, 852 Lindgren Blvd 3/3 listed at $1.595M.

4 closed sales: 6496 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3.5 $860K, 5313 Punta Caloosa Ct 4/3 $875K, 6047 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2.5 $900K, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $937.5K.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 2133 Starfish Ln now $399K, 3308 St. Kilda Rd now $479,555.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Marina Villas #606 2/2 $739K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2436 3/2 listed at $825K.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3230 2/2 $450K, Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 $760K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 17101 Captiva Dr 7/6.5 now $2.95M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

girl-standing-in-rainUntil next Friday, I hope your days are drier than here!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Come to Sanibel & Captiva to Cool Off


It’s another mostly-sunny Friday on Sanibel. Weather again this week has been a typical Florida summer pattern with warm bright days and occasional showers popping up – usually late day. The residual clouds continue to contribute to some gorgeous sunsets.

 

With disbelief, the team has watched up-north forecasts for high temperatures. If you are wondering about here, daytime highs next week are expected to be 87 to 89 degrees F; then, down to 79 degrees most nights, with 40% chance of daily showers.

Meanwhile, if  you are wondering, the gulf waters still are great and shells continue to roll in, particularly after the mini-storms.

Island Real Estate Happenings

There hasn’t been much Sanibel/Captiva real estate action this week. I got a surprise visit from a prospective buyer looking to purchase our near-beach lot listing. It’s always fun to help a young family achieve their dream of raising their family on the island. A summary of the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below. Next Thursday morning is the local Association of Realtors® July Membership meeting.

It’s a Sea Turtle Highway

SCCF photo

That was part of the description of a Facebook post this week by SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) which also said “Sanibel Island has surpassed 700 nests so far this season! Combine that with over 1,000 false crawls and our beaches are basically a sea turtle highway! It is also an interesting time of year because while we still have nesting mothers coming ashore, we have nests hatching too!

Please remember if you happen to be on the beach at night to always use red filters on any source of white light so none of our turtles become disoriented! For more information about sea turtle disorientations, please visit: http://myfwc.com/…/wild…/sea-turtle/lighting/disorientations”.

Scoop from Sanibel City Council Meeting, Tues July 16

At their Tuesday meeting, Sanibel Council considered the draft City budget for 2020 (FY 2020). It proposes a $70,443,258 budget with a 1.9139 operating millage rate (which is the same rate assessed to taxpayers since 2016). The Lee County Property Appraiser’s office preliminarily assessed the City of Sanibel’s taxable property value at $5,279,612,650, a historic high and 1.6% higher than last year. The first public hearing on Sanibel’s tentative budget and tentative operating millage rate will be Mon, September 9 at 5:01 p.m. The second will be Mon, September 23 at the same time. Both meetings will be at MacKenzie Hall at 800 Dunlop Road.

Council’s action on a proposed draft ordinance that would prohibit use of motorized scooters on Sanibel’s shared use path system was delayed until the August meeting. Also postponed was their action on the proposed ordinance regarding gas-powered leaf blowers.

On a positive note, Council voted to adopt a resolution in support of reducing plastic litter. It calls for individuals and businesses to voluntarily use “environmentally friendly” alternatives to disposable plastic bags, to include those made from paper, cloth, canvas, and other natural products. (Florida statutes do not allow local governments to rule or regulate disposable plastic bags, so this resolution is an alternative.)

Marketing to 55+ Buyers?

Older buyers aren’t much different than younger ones. Most now rely on social media and the internet for information, with print ads increasingly less effective. Since the islands of Sanibel and Captiva continue to be a destination that is like a step back in time, our weekly “Island Sun” still brings inquiries. The print edition delivered to island households and mailboxes is read as often on-line, while our social media advertising (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and internet advertising have hugely increased this year.

The below article from Florida Realtors® on-line this week addresses the subject. Sourced to “Online Preferences of 55+ Homebuyers,” Immersion Active (July 2019), © Copyright 2019 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

“NEW YORK – Home-buyers over age 55 rely on technology to find their home, just like their younger counterparts. They say internet searches and social media greatly influence their home-buying decisions, according to a new survey of home buyers 55 and older conducted by Immersion Active, a marketing solutions agency.

“Of the 55-plus consumers surveyed, 89% said they intend to purchase a new home in the next five years and nearly 70% of respondents said they used online real estate directories for sources of information, with Realtor.com, Zillow, and Redfin among the most popular. Online community directories that target the boomer market, such as Ideal Living and 55Places.com, were also frequently used, according to the survey.

“Many older home-buyers said they checked communities’ or developers’ social media channels. Social media and community websites allow prospective buyers to get a sense of the community’s lifestyle through photos and videos. Social media also allows consumers to see comments and feedback from current residents.

Facebook was the top social media channel for 55-plus buyers: 89% of consumers who used social media used Facebook, while 38% used Instagram and 31% used Pinterest.

““Social media has become a leading source of word-of-mouth recommendations,” the survey found. “It’s where consumers go for recommendations and referrals from friends and even strangers.”

10 highest-rated features on community websites

  • Downloadable floor plans (52%)
  • Interior photos of fully furnished homes (51%)
  • Exterior photos of available homes or lots (49%)
  • HOA Information (47%)
  • Information about amenities (34%)
  • Community benefits and amenities (pool, trails, golf, boating, etc.) (32%)
  • Photos of community life (26%)
  • Local area information (schools, restaurants, shops, etc.) (17%)
  • Content on community social lifestyle and activities (14%)
  • About the builder (13%)

“On the other hand, traditional marketing methods were ranked as least popular by older home-buyers. Only 13% of the 55+ buyers said they found information through print publication or direct mail, and only 3% reviewed welcome packets or brochures.

““This should be a reality check for community developers and builders who rely heavily on print ads, billboards and other traditional marketing methods,” says Joe Ford, president and senior digital strategist at Immersion Active. “Internet marketing – including websites and social media – is more vital than ever to 55-plus home-buyers as they search for the perfect home. For the best leads, developers and builders need to optimize their online presence and ensure their content depicts what life is like for the consumer if they purchased a home in the community.”

“They also need to be readily available to respond to inquiries. However, the survey found that most home-buyers don’t expect an answer to their social media or website inquiries immediately, but they do expect some kind of response, usually within 24 hours or one business day.”

Off-Season Closing

Sanibel Historical Village will close Wed, July 31 and reopen Tues, October 15.

Summer Freebies – National Park & Recreation Month

Lee County Commissioners signed a resolution designating July as National Parks & Recreation Month. In recognition, Lee County Parks & Recreation will offer free pool admission and free parking on July 27 and 28 at the following locations:

  • Regional parks: Lakes Park, Manatee Park, Hickey Creek Mitigation Park, Caloosahatchee Regional Park, Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, and Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve.
  • Beaches: Bonita Beach Access No. 1 & 10, Bonita Beach Park, Bowditch Point & Lynn Hall Memorial Park, Bunche Beach, Bowman’s Beach, & Turner Beach (north side of Blind Pass).
  • Boat ramps: Punta Rassa, Matlacha, Alva, Davis, Pine Island Commerical Marina, & Imperial River.
  • Pools: Leigh Community Pool, North Fort Myers Community Pool, Pine Island Community Pool, & San Carlos Community Pool.

More info at www.leeparks.org .

Europe Completes Its First Ever Blockchain Real Estate Sale for €6.5 Million

The July issue of ePro®’s newsletter had a link to the following article from Forbes, June 30. It is amazing how real estate business is changing with technology. Sanibel/Captiva Realtors® are looking forward to the advanced features that will be provided next month after conversion to our new Multiple Listing Service provider, while in Europe, the sale described below likely foretells the future of real estate sales. It will be interesting to see this evolve.

“Last week, the AnnA Villa in Paris made history by becoming the first ever European property to be sold entirely via blockchain transaction. The luxury building, located in the city’s Boulogne-Billancourt district, was valued at €6.5 million, and was sold to French real estate companies, Sapeb Immobilier and Valorcim. The process involved first transferring ownership of the building to a joint-stock company (SAPEB AnnA), then dividing the company into 100 tokens to be distributed to the owners respectively. Each token can be further broken down into 100,000 units, meaning individual shares of the building can be bought and sold for as little as €6.50.

“The deal – which was managed by French blockchain investment platform, Equisafe -was powered on the Ethereum token, and was the latest of several worldwide efforts to bring real estate sales onto blockchain technology. Last year, a $30 million Manhattan property was also tokenized on Ethereum, and in January of this year, a luxury resort in Aspen, Colorado raised $18 million through a security token offering.

“Real estate has often been touted as an industry ripe for tokenization, as its low liquidity and high barrier to entry deter many potential investors. Breaking real estate into fractional ownership would allow the general public easy access to small shares, enabling property to be traded similar to other exchange-based securities.

A search for real estate tokens reveals dozens that are already trading on secondary markets. For instance, digital equities group, Elevated Returns, plans to tokenize $100m of real estate in Thailand this year, while UK-based BRIKCOIN hopes to use blockchain technology to build affordable housing.

“Beyond the advantages of liquidity, tokenizing the real estate process provides many other advantages over a traditionally antiquated process. For instance, in the sale of the AnnA Villa, much of the cumbersome legal documentation involved with selling property (such as notarized deeds and proof of identity), was all encrypted and recorded on the blockchain. If scaled effectively, the time and cost saved from not having to manually verify this information could prove to be enormous. Equisafe is going as far as to claim individuals will be able to create investor profiles and access offers in less than half an hour.

“While the real estate industry is still very new to blockchain, it appears there is sustained interest in what the technology could provide moving forward. With precious few experiments to glean insight from, it’s likely this deal will have many eyes observing the outcome.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 12-19, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #M2 2/2 $559K, Sanibel Arms West #I1 2/2 $569K.

2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #952 1/1 now $419K, Sandals #A 3/3.5 now $1.987M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 $700K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 $505K, 1060 White Ibis Dr 3/2 $749K, 1230 Bay Dr 3/3 $1.749M.

2 price changes: 547 N Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 now $989K, 725 Donax St 6/6 now $1.295M.

4 new sales: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 half-duplex listed at $379K, 1520 Centre St 3/2 listed at $432.5K, 6047 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2.5 listed at $1.095M, 1159 Golden Olive Ct 3/2 listed at $1.59M.

7 closed sales: 1886 Farm Trl 3/3 $600K, 4779 Rue Helene 3/3.5 $674K, 3284 Twin Lakes Ln 4/4 $765K, 3050 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $770K, 5240 Caloosa End Ln 3/3 $775K, 947 Cabbage Palm Ct 3/3.5 $878.75K, 955 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $920K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2510 Coconut Dr $749K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 898 Rabbit Rd listed at $170K (our listing), 0 Dinkins Lake Rd listed at $268.5K, 1817 Longpoint Ln listed at $294.5K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Homes #21 3/3 $3.5M.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #103 2/2 now $800K.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3217 1/1 listed at $320K.

No closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, stay cool!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Memorial Day Weekend 2019 on Sunny Sanibel


It’s SanibelSusan reporting another warm sunny week on the islands with more perfect beach weather expected right through the holiday weekend.

Lots of real estate activity for The SanibelSusan Team this week with action items accomplished both with listings and properties closing. When I came into the office last weekend, as I was driving down Periwinkle Way, passing the 4-way stop at Causeway Road, I remember thinking, how could there be so little traffic when just a few weeks ago, it was all stop. What a difference a month makes!

Rarely are the island roadways this quiet. The office phone rang only once last weekend, so funny that things got busier as the week progressed.

Those here now, continue to remark about how clear and bright the water is – often that striking vivid teal color, like the Caribbean. The gang at Jensen’s Marina out on Captiva also have reported excellent tarpon fishing this week.

More sunny days, with daytime temperatures in the mid to high 80’s, are forecast for the next week plus – a great time to be enjoying life in SW Florida. Or coming to buy real estate!

There was no Association of Realtors Caravan meeting yesterday and not much sales action was reported in the islands Multiple Listing Service. The weekly report with that info follows a couple of news items below. There were no sales on Captiva and no condo or lot sales on Sanibel. Five Sanibel homes went under contract, though.

Here’s wishing all a happy safe Memorial Day weekend. When I lived in Maine, this weekend was considered the first of “summer”.

It’s always summer here! Or close to it. Exactly why I love it! The below photo illustrates how clear the water is here this week.

Here is a progress photo of the new building construction at BIG ARTS. Taken this morning. The new stage area is already poured! It’s going up fast!

2019 Lee County Market Report

A media release this week by the Royal Palm Coast Realtor® Association includes statistics from the Florida Gulf Coast MLS. Here are some excerpts:

“May 21, 2019 – Lee County’s housing market saw a decrease for the month of April in year-over-years sales of single family (-6.8%), but a nice increase over March with 1,362 closed sales, according to the latest statistics just released by Florida Realtors®… Broken down by cities, single family in Fort Myers was the only city that showed an increase (in number of sales) at 5.3%, year over year. All of the remaining cities saw a decrease over last year with Fort Myers Beach showing the largest decrease at -52.4% compared to last year.”

Their breakdown by City shows the following changes for number of sales and median sales prices, comparing sales in 2018 to 2019.

City Change in Number of Sales Change in Median Price $
Bonita Springs -12.8% -6.2%
Cape Coral -9% 3.3%
Estero -18.8% -0.5%
Fort Myers 5.3% -3.9%
Fort Myers Beach -52.4% 32.2%
Leigh Acres -13.8% 7.4%
North Fort Myers -5.9% 5.1%
Pine Island -13.3% 17.7%
Sanibel & Captiva -15.4% -28.2%

Season’s End: Status Update on Water Quality Initiatives

Below is an excellent write-up on recent initiates to improve local waters. Published this week in the “Island Reporter”, the authors are husband and wife team, Sarah Ashton and Jim Metzler. Sarah is a pal and fellow Realtor®. She and Jim are the co-chairs for the Advocacy Committee for the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society – Friends of the Refuge.

“As the tourist and Florida legislative seasons end, there are reasons for optimism relative to some of the recent initiatives to improve the quality of the water that surrounds the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Unfortunately, that optimism needs to be guarded, because so much more needs to be done. This column will highlight some of what has been accomplished in the last few months and some of the key initiatives that still need attention.

Everglades restoration

One major bright spot is the budget that the Florida Legislature recently passed includes $682 million for water quality, Everglades restoration and other environmental projects. The overall appropriation for Everglades-related projects is $322 million. This money will go toward both Everglades restoration and the early planning, design, and construction of the EAA reservoir. The cost of Everglades restoration, however, is supposed to be split 50-50 between the state of Florida and the federal government. In late January, all 27 Florida members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting $200 million in funding to support restoration of the Everglades. In February, Florida’s governor and both U.S. senators sent a letter to the president in which they requested his sustained commitment of $200 million a year in construction funding to support restoration of the Everglades. In May, the South Florida Water Management District sent the president a similar letter. The president’s budget, which until earlier this week had only called for $70 million for Everglades restoration, now calls for $200 million. The budget also includes $40 million to speed up and complete the final phase of the project to raise the Tamiami Trail. When complete, this project will restore the flow of more than 900 million gallons per day of water flowing south into Everglades National Park.

Blue-green algae

The budget includes $10 million for a blue-green algae task force. As specified by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the goal of the task force is to identify opportunities to fund priority projects with state, local and federal funding. The creation of the blue-green algae task force is an important step forward. However, a large open question is what proactive policies the state of Florida will enact to estimate or at least reduce future algae blooms.

Septic systems

The budget includes $25 million for septic-to-sewer conversions. The importance of that budget item was highlighted by the recently published results of the first phase of a study of the sources of water pollution in the Caloosahatchee and its watershed. The study sampled surface and groundwater in North Fort Myers and found significant pollution as well as widespread septic dysfunction. Florida House Bill 85 addresses the problem of septic dysfunction by requiring homeowners with septic tanks to have the tanks pumped out and inspected every five years. That bill was indefinitely postponed.

Lake Okeechobee

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers typically keeps the level of the water in Lake Okeechobee between 12.5 and 15.5 feet. To improve the health of the lake, the Corps is exercising a one-time exception to that practice and is in the process of lowering the level to roughly 10.5 feet. That process, which many groups strongly object, should reduce the likelihood that the corps will have to make massive releases out of Lake Okeechobee this summer.

Stay vigilant

In total, a lot of progress has been made since last year’s ecological disaster. However, restoring the quality of the water that surrounds the refuge will be a long, demanding process and we are only in the early stages.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 17-24, 2019

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #572 2/2 $719K, Seascape #304 3/3.5 $1.289M.

5 price changes: Seashells #42 2/2 now $379.9K, Sanibel Arms #C7 1/1 now $419K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 now $770K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 now $799K, Atrium #103 2/2 now $1.35M.

No new sales.

4 closed sales: Blind Pass 3D205 2/2 $450K, Villas Sanibel #2G 2/2 $660K, Sanibel Surfside #224 2/2 $725K, Sundial #E205 2/2 $1.22M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 980 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $549.9K; 1886 Farm Trl 3/3 $629K; 9459 Begonia Ct 3/4 $639,555; 1800 Ardsley way 3/2 $695,555; 4779 Rue Helene 3/3.5 $699K; 556 Chert Ct 4/3 $799K (our listing) (photos below).

9 price changes: 785 Rabbit Rd 3/2 half-duplex now $399K, 6447 Pine Ave 3/2.5 now $595K, 1009 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 now $649.9K, 9052 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $650K, 1175 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $738K, 1410 Albatross Rd 3/3 now $799K, 4155 Dingman Dr 4/5 now $900K, 1667 Venus Dr 3/2 now $1.15M, 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 now $4.989M.

5 new sales: 984 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 listed at $529.5K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 listed at $549.9K, 458 Casa Ybel Rd 3/2.5 listed at $679K, 9224 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $859.9K, 728 Windlass Way 3/2listed at $897K.

14 closed sales: 945 S Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $540K, 9446 Arum Ct 4/2 $544K, 922 Pepper Tree Pl 2/2 $570K, 221 Robinwood Cir 3/2 $640K, 697 Birdie View Pt 3/2 $700K, 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $700K, 4791 Rue Helene 3/2 $840K, 543 Hideaway Ct 3/2 $900K, 920 Snowberry Ln 3/3.5 $900K, 480 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 $975K, 1309 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $990K, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 $1M, 5609 Baltusrol Ct 5/5.5 $1.31M, 2190 Starfish Ln 3/3 $1,409,666.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Homes #17 4/3 now $3.292M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Cottages #1409 3/2 $1.16M.

HOMES

No new listings.

3 price changes: 11547 Laika Ln 4/4 now $2.22M, 14980 Binder Dr 4/4 now $2.695M, 17030 Captiva Dr 6/7.5 now $7.85M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 16548 Captiva Dr 4/4 $4M, 1129 Longifolia Ct 4/5 $6.3M.

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.

Until next Friday, don’t forget the holiday!

Also don’t forget Sunday is the last Sanibel Farmers’ Market until October. 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at City Hall.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan