Summertime & The Market Still is HOT!

Welcome to another Friday real estate update. The Sanibel & Captiva Islands market remains “hot” with the below summary showing the status of inventory today, sales year-to-date, sales last year, and for comparison, sales in the peak price year, 2006. (Note info based on The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. Prices “for sale” and “under contract” are asking prices.)

The SanibelSusan Team is thankful that of the 69 Sanibel properties under contract, four are our transactions, but we need listings. Plenty of buyers are ready, in the wings. We get inquiries every week from colleagues looking for properties coming on the market, while we personally have condo buyers waiting for availability at Blind Pass, Gulfside Place, Sand Point, and Sandalfoot, as well as several others wanting a variety of properties, including east-end home, canal-front property, near-beach home, large Captiva home with rental income. We have a few lot buyers too, so if you are thinking of selling, please give us a call. The seller’s market will continue until inventory improves.

It also appears that our summer visitor traffic remains high. Yesterday, the City issued their first summer high-traffic notice, after 5,500 vehicles had crossed the causeway before noon. That much oncoming traffic typically results in late afternoon slowdowns. When in doubt, check Sanibel’s traffic cams at https://www.mysanibel.com/Live-Street-Cams.

CONDOS HOMES LOTS
SANIBEL # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 18 819,044 152 29 2,449,893 124 14 558,414 334
Under contract 19 825,973 44 40 1,388,435 70 10 754,279 290
Closed 2021 to 7/16 190 864,843 143 238 1,309,063 100 55 723,627 479
Closed 2020 192 733,876 174 290 954,718 161 23 606,233 393
Closed 2006 143 866,972 147 156 1,143,682 186 18 523,917 158

 

CONDOS HOMES LOTS
CAPTIVA # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 6 1,339,000 127 12 5,910,583 258 0 N/A N/A
Under contract 5 2,569,400 123 1 2,695,000 302 1 4,250.000 1,287
Closed 2021 to 7/16 39 1,006,830 184 35 2,807,868 270 1 2,000,000 129
Closed 2020 47 821,713 134 27 2,923,148 315 4 2.537,500 448
Closed 2006 21 1,362,476 180 10 2,307,375 334 4 2,218,750 432

After a couple of news items below, see the details about the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

Summer of the Speed Buyer

From NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, as posted in the July-August 2021 “Realtor” magazine:

“The housing shortfall is driving up prices, but a crash is unlikely.

“Remember when it could take years to sell a home? MLS’s were flooded with distressed properties. In Miami, it was up to six years, according to news accounts in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

“Today, of course, it’s the opposite story. It’s generally taking just a couple of weeks, and sometimes days, to find a buyer. From listing to contract, homes typically sold in 17 days in April, the fastest rate ever. In most markets, home buyers can’t risk leisurely weighing several listings before committing to likely the most expensive purchase of their life. Rushed decisions can easily lead to buyer misgivings – about overspending for the home, its size, or having insufficient reserves for upkeep. Still, most buyers come to see they made the right decision in these competitive times. Seeing price, and hence their wealth, rising helps.

“Could it all crash as happened from 2008 to 2010? Not likely. The current housing cycle is fundamentally different. We thankfully don’t have risky subprime mortgages that overstretched buyers’ budgets. The gatekeepers at banks, mortgage brokers, and government regulators demand that loan-to-value ratios, debt-to-income rations, and income documentation meet guidelines before a mortgage is approved. To be sure, even with soundly written mortgages, we know some defaults can occur.

“A second major difference is supply. Leaking up to the housing bubble heyday, builders overbuilt. By my calculations, America had 2.1 million surplus housing units by 2006. Following the crash, underproduction steadily chipped away at the surplus, such that inventory normalized by 2011. Continuing underproduction led to the housing shortage. By 2015, the shortfall was 2 million homes. By the end of 2020, it totaled 4.8 million homes. The lack of inventory is why home prices are in no danger of falling sharply.

“Homebuilding activity in 2021 will be slightly above historical norms. But it will take at least a few years to correct the massive shortage. In the meantime, we expect the national median home price to rise 9% this year and another 3% in 2022. Hyper-speed homebuying should taper off by year’s end as supply improves and affordability challenges persist.”

Elsa Washes Away 45 Sea Turtle Nests on Sanibel

SCCF photo

From SCCF’s Wednesday update:

“Tropical Storm Elsa’s strong southern winds caused 125 sea turtle nests on Sanibel and Captiva to lose their marking stakes and protective screens. Sea turtle staff members have been working diligently over the last week to confirm whether the eggs washed away, too, or if they are still buried in the sand.

“Using highly accurate coordinates collected with a Trimble device, SCCF staff and volunteers were able to confirm that 40 of the 85 nests that lost their stakes on Sanibel survived the extreme tidal action. However, 45 nests were completely washed-out on Sanibel, reports SCCF Coastal Wildlife Director Kelly Sloan. The assessment on Captiva is still underway.

“Please remember that sea turtles have a nesting strategy that accommodates natural storm events. Female sea turtles deposit several nests throughout the nesting season, essentially hedging their bets to make sure that even if a hurricane or tropical storm hits during nesting season, there is a high probability at least a few of the nests will incubate successfully. For instance, in early June 2020, TS Cristobal washed away 29 nests and, in September, TS Sally washed away 17 nests on Sanibel and Captiva. Yet, there were still a record-breaking 924 nests last year.”

CEPD Provides Updated Start Date for Project

From the July 14, 2021 “Island Reporter”:

“On July 8, the Captiva Erosion Prevention District reported that the beach re-nourishment project’s start was being coordinated with its contractor, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, and the resource agencies. Following recent and ongoing planning discussions, construction is now projected to start no earlier than August 26, pending all notice-to-proceed approvals from the agencies….

“Barring any unforeseen delays, the project is estimated to take approximately 35 days to place the contracted 600,000 cubic yards once construction is underway….

“Construction for the beach re-nourishment will first move south near 16141 Captiva Dr to Turner Beach, and then north to fill in the remainder of the island in a similar manner. The beach fill will be placed along 4.85 miles of shoreline and the rehabilitation of existing dunes between Redfish Pass and Blind Pass.

“Designed to last beyond eight to 10 years, the project will provide the necessary maintenance to counteract long-term critical erosion of Captiva’s beaches, properties and shorelines. The project plans, design specifications, cost estimates and tentative cost apportionments are on file and available for public review at the CEPD’s office, at 11513 Andy Rosse Lane, Unit 4, Captiva (phone 239-472-2472).”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 9-16, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial #I103 1/1 $499K, Mariner Pointe #631 2/2 $695K, Sanibel Surfside #213 2/2 $920K, Tarpon Beach #305 2/2 $1.25M.

No price changes.

4 new sales: Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 listed at $395K, Mariner Pointe #323 2/2.5 listed at $549K, Loggerhead Cay #282 2/2 listed at $695K, Sanibel Arms West #C6 2/2 listed at $955K, Gulfside Place #225 2/2 listed at $1.595M.

3 closed sales: Pointe Santo #D24 2/2 $755K, Sanibel Surfside #115 2/2 $1.04M, Sundial #A205 2/2 $1.285M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1702 Bunting Ln 4/3 $749K, 545 Lighthouse Way 3/3.5 $3.395M.

2 price changes: 5268 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $999K, 1077 Bird Ln 3/3.5 now $5.699M.

No new sales.

4 closed sales: 974 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex $522K, 5161 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $585K, 2011 Mitzi Ln 2/1 $642.5K, 1306 Seaspray Ln 4/4 $3.8M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 0 Dixie Beach Blvd listed at $399,555.

2 closed sales: 2095 Wild Lime Dr $260K, 1028 Bayview Dr $2.08M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Beach Homes #25 3/2 listed at $2.095M, Beach Homes #6 3/3 listed at $2.879M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 11540 Laika Ln 2/2.5 $1.49M.

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.

Happy Friday! Will post again next week at this time.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

All’s Well Post Elsa & July 4th Holiday 2021

It is with a sigh of relief that the island is back to a typical sunny summer Friday. Tropical Storm Elsa damage here was minimal. Heavy winds and hours of rain resulted in some temporary flooding in some low-lying areas along Periwinkle Way and on my street too, but it dispersed quickly and was less disruptive than Tropical Storm Eta that passed by last fall.

The below photo was posted Wed on the “Beautiful Sanibel Island” Facebook page by pal Diana Taylor, a site admin. How about the size of this post-Elsa shell? Way to go, Diana.

Also on Wednesday, teammate Dave took the below pictures while at Algiers Beach, Gulfside City Park.

SCCF turtle patrol staff and volunteers have been checking for disrupted nests, while a bit of beach erosion also has occurred in a few locations.

In the middle of the night, there was a lightning strike that hit one of the roof-top decks in the back building at Pointe Santo causing a small fire that resulted in a brief evacuation of that building. All occupants (except in #C47) were back in their units by early the next morning.

The Lee County Mosquito Control team are busy with fly-overs while landscapers and pool service folks also are catching up from the holiday and the storm. My yard is busting with tropical growth, but I am still watching for the return of the Sanibel bunnies.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Here in the office, teammate Lisa got our holiday stars up in time for July 4th..

Last weekend, I put a home in The Sanctuary under contract.

On Monday teammate Elise was back at her post.

This week, teammate Dave, who in addition to being our Closing Coordinator, handles our off-island business, listed a large home in The Estates at Estero River. Shown in the aerial below, it features 4 bedrooms, 2-1/2 baths, 4-car garage, expansive general livign spaces & a beautiful backyard entertainment area with outdoor kitchen. Gated community with low HOA fee covering community gulf access for canoes, kayaks, small boats.

Island real estate news slowed down a little this week with the holiday and Elsa disrupting things.

After a news item below is the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Condo Insurers Reacting to Surfside Disaster

Yesterday, FloridaRealtors® on-olline posted the below follow-up article from the “Miami Herald”.

“It’s too soon for lawmakers to suggest solutions for problems not yet explained, but insurers have started to ask condo HOAs for proof that they’ve passed all inspections.

“MIAMI – Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that condominiums in Florida are “kind of a dime a dozen, particularly in southern Florida,” but he would not commit to any state action to address concerns about the aging buildings, suggesting that Champlain Towers South “had problems from the start.”

“Speaking after a briefing on Tropical Storm Elsa at the state Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee, the governor would not say if he supports calls to require that aging buildings throughout the state be recertified to assure residents of their structural integrity in the wake of the deadly collapse of the 136-unit high-rise in Surfside.

The building was going through its 40-year recertification process when it crumbled at about 1:20 a.m. on June 24. Experts say the tragedy has exposed weaknesses in the state’s building inspection process, and some state legislators, structural engineers and insurance agents have suggested that it’s time for the state to update laws that apply to coastal high-rises.

““We obviously want to be able to identify why did this happen,” DeSantis said. “Is this something that was unique to this building? Is it something that was unique to the person that maybe developed it – because obviously there are sister properties? Is it something that buildings of that age, that would have implications beyond southern Florida or the entire state of Florida? I think we need to get those definitive answers.”

“The governor was then asked about the impact of the condo collapse on the state’s soaring condominium real estate market. While the exact cause or causes of the collapse of the 40-year old structure probably won’t be known for some time, real estate experts warn that the tragedy has become a concern for would-be buyers of waterfront condos in older buildings.

““I can just say, just having talked with people who’ve been on the scene – people who’ve done stuff – I think this building had problems from the start, let’s just put it that way,” the governor answered. “… So I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about it but, at the same time, if there is something identified that would have implications broader than Champlain Towers, then obviously we’re going to take that and act as appropriate.”

“Miami-Dade County and several coastal cities in the county have launched their own review of aging buildings since the Surfside tragedy.

“On Friday, the city of North Miami Beach ordered the evacuation of Crestview Towers Condominium after a building inspection report found it to have unsafe structural and electrical conditions, and on Saturday firefighters ordered residents to evacuate a low-rise condominium complex in Miami Beach after a building inspector flagged a flooring system failure in a vacant unit and damage to exterior walls.

“Miami-Dade and Broward counties are the only Florida counties that require aging high-rises to go through a reinspection after they reach 40 years of age. No other Florida counties mandate routine inspection after a building is built.

“Call for more condo scrutiny – Sen. Jason Pizzo, a Miami Democrat whose district includes Surfside, said the state needs to update its reinspection process to include more factors, especially for buildings close to the shoreline and flood zones. With exposure to corrosive sea salt and vulnerability to sea level rise, coastal condominiums should be the subject of increased scrutiny in Florida, he said.

“The Surfside condo collapse is expected to dampen sales of existing condos in Miami, particularly in older buildings, experts said. According to the Miami Association of Realtors, sales of existing condos had been driven primarily by U.S. buyers from other states and in May jumped a whopping 286% year-over-year, from 563 to 2,176.

“Experts say it may take years for a forensic investigation to single out the source of the failure of Champlain Towers South. A 2018 engineering report done for the building’s condominium association detailed “abundant cracking” in concrete columns, beams and walls and said that the lack of proper drainage under the pool deck had caused “major structural damage.”

“Six engineering experts interviewed by the Miami Herald said that, based on the publicly available evidence, it appeared that a structural column or concrete slab beneath the pool deck likely gave way first on June 24, causing the deck to collapse into the garage below. That may have formed a crater beneath the bulky midsection of the tower, which then caved in on itself, the experts said.

“Documents from the Champlain Towers South condo association show that board members disagreed over the assessment for its building repairs, which first were estimated at $9 million and, within two years, grew to $15 million.

“Insurers grow concerned – In the absence of broader state and county regulation, the insurance industry in Florida has begun its own assessment of its liability in the condominium market. Insurance companies sent letters to owners of condominiums 40 years and older in South Florida last week, asking for proof that their buildings have passed all inspections or they will lose their coverage.

“The destruction of the Surfside condo has rattled the insurance industry that had already considered older condos on the coast – with their hurricane exposure, their common ownership structure and reputation for delaying maintenance – a high risk, experts said.

“”A deep wound” – Meanwhile, DeSantis has focused his attention on the rescue and recovery efforts. He spent most of the 13 days since the condo collapse at the building site meeting with leaders of the rescue mission and families of the people still missing.

“On Wednesday, the governor said the tragedy will not be forgotten and spoke of the determination of the rescue teams and the outpouring of community support. “It’s going to be a deep wound for a long time,” he said. “But as tragic as it’s been, I think the outpouring of support has shown a lot of great parts of our community.”

“He said the members of the rescue teams from across the country “are leaving a very impressive legacy.” “They get very invested in it and, so to see that, and to see that singularity of purpose, has really been heartening.”

He concluded: “I don’t think the state’s ever going to quite be the same. But I’ll tell you. You never want to go through the tragedies but those folks there, you know they are leaving a very impressive legacy.

““And for those who are missing, who have been identified as being deceased, the impact that they’ve had, not just on Florida but through folks all across the country and the world, has really been profound.””

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Gulfside Place #225 2/2 $1.595M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Sanibel Arms West #I7 2/2 $644.5K, Tarpon Beach #102 2/2 listed at $1.175M.

1 closed sale: Kimball Lodge #244 1/1.5 $520K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

5 new sales: 223 Southwinds Dr 3/2 listed at $815K, 540 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed at $1.025M, 5809 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 listed at $1.35M, 2367 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 listed at $1.928M (our buyer), 5270 Indian Ct 6/6.5 listed at $2.295M.

2357 Wulfert Rd

6 closed sales: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 $550K, 1649 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 half-duplex $635K, 9408 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $780K, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 $950K, 3960 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.01M, 768 Limpet Dr 3/3 $2.2M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 1032 Sand Castle Rd listed at $399,880.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5343 3/3 listed at $874K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 $2.695M.

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 sunshine, bright blue skies, & sparking water too!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Celebrating July 4th Weekend on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Another Friday has rolled around as Sanibel and Captiva have settled into summer – with sunny, occasionally cloudy mornings, then late afternoon showers cooling things down before a beautiful sunset.

It was quiet in the office all week, with similar news from other real estate offices. With the real estate market hot and only 81 properties available on both islands (condos/homes/lots), many prospective buyers are discouraged and playing the waiting game.

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

July 4th Holiday Weekend on the Islands

Though some are disappointment that there will not be a holiday parade or fireworks on Sanibel, the precautions are understood and appreciated. We still can decorate though – so, as usual, SanibelSusan Realty will be decked out in red, white, and blue as thankful freedom reminders.

If you are looking for some pre-July 4th fun, the San-Cap Motor Club is hosting a Cars and Coffee cruise-in tomorrow, Sat, Jul 3 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Periwinkle Place Shopping Center.

After that, the Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club’s 41st Annual Road Rally will line-up for a noon start time at The Timbers Restaurant parking lot. To sign up for the 2021 Freedom Road Rally, contact Randy Carson at RCarson@gmail.com. Cost is $50 per vehicle and prizes will be awarded. Registration will be accepted until 11:45 a.m. on race day. The afterglow party and awards presentations will immediately follow the rally in The Sanibel Grill at The Timbers.

On 4th of July, there is a celebration at American Legion Post #123, 4249 San-Cap Rd with free hot dogs served all day, plus music by The Marty Stokes Band from 3 to 6 p.m.

Also on July 4th, South Seas Resort will host their annual golf cart parade and fireworks. You must be a registered guest to enter the resort grounds.

At the J.N. “Ding” Darling Visitor and Education center, the refuge staff will observe Independence day on Mon, July 5, with the administrative building and Visitor Center closed, but Wildlife Drive and its trails, Bailey Tract, and Tarpon Bay Explorers remain open with their regular hours.

Presenting Offers: OK with License Law? Code of Ethics?

Posted recently at FloridaRealtors on-line, this article by Meredith Caruso (Associate General Counsel for Florida Realtors®) provides direction for Realtors® but offers good information for Sellers and Buyers too.

“Your exhausted seller received five offers in one day. Four are over asking price, but the last one offers $50,000 less, possibly making it a waste of time for an already exhausted seller. Must you still present it? Perhaps not – but only under very specific conditions.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – In today’s fast paced market, sellers receive many competitive offers on their properties. Some sellers may choose to ask for highest and best; some sellers may just accept one of the offers presented to them.

“This article isn’t about that though. This article focuses on the agents involved and their actions with regards to offers and counteroffers.

“Florida real estate licensees can have one of three types of agency relationships with buyers and sellers: single agent, transaction broker or no brokerage relationship. Unless a licensee has something in writing with their respective party indicating single or no brokerage relationship, Florida law presumes you are in a transaction broker relationship.

“Under a transaction broker relationship – as well as single agent relationship – you have obligations with regards to offers and counteroffers. Additionally, Article 1, Standard of Practice 1-6, 1-7 and 1-8 of the Code of Ethics set forth further requirements regarding the presentation of offers and counteroffers.

“Specifically, per Florida Statute 475.278, the licensee is obligated to present all offers and counteroffers in a timely manner, unless a party has previously directed the licensee otherwise in writing. This article focuses on the language of this statute.

“What does this mean in plain English? Unless your buyer or seller sent you something in writing in advance, or you’ve added something into your listing or buyer brokerage agreement clarifying what kinds of offers and counteroffers they want to see, you must present them all.

“We all know the market is hot right now, so I understand the pressure to act quickly, on both sides. However, Florida Realtors Legal Hotline calls have included statements from Realtors® indicating that some sellers feel overwhelmed by the number of offers they’re receiving. As a result, these agents try to help by picking and choosing which offers the sellers see.

“Let me be clear: If you don’t have something in writing in advance – before you received those multiple offers – stating that you’re able to do this, it’s a violation of your real estate licensing law.

“Does this mean this can’t happen at all? No! But you must do it properly.

“If you’re a listing agent taking a listing, you can easily have a conversation with the sellers and should be asking a variety of questions, including what kind of offers the sellers are looking for. Do they only want to see cash offers? Do they only want to see offers over a certain price point? Do they only want to see offers that can close by a certain time? If so, clarify that in writing in your listing agreement or get it in writing some other way from your sellers. Then if you get offers that don’t fall within the sellers’ criteria, you do not have to present those offers and are able to move forward, confident you are in compliance with your real estate licensing law and the Code of Ethics.”

SCCF’s June 30, 2021 Turtle Update

As locals and visitors tentatively watch what is happening south of Florida with Tropical Storm Elsa, it was great news to read this week’s email update from the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. Here it is, titled “Green Sea Turtles Return to Nest on Sanibel”:

“In the last few weeks, SCCF’s sea turtle team has documented 12 green sea turtle… nests on Sanibel. The team has been able to identify four different individual green nesters, two of which have been seen on Sanibel in years past and were part of a satellite tag tracking project in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

“Most of the nesting on Sanibel and Captiva is primarily by loggerhead sea turtles so a different species is always extra exciting,” said Research Associate Andrew Glinsky. “Based on the number and timing of nests there could possibility be as many as two more green sea turtles that we have yet to positively ID.”

“…As of today, Sanibel has 440 loggerhead nests… and Captiva has 139 loggerhead nests as hatching season is ramping up on our islands…. To date, nine nests on both islands have hatched, with nearly 1,000 hatchlings.”

Surfside Condo Tragedy Could Influence RE Market

As we all have watched the devastation on Florida East Coast, this article posted Wed on FloridaRealtors® is sourced to 2021 “Miami Herald” and distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. There is some interested info in the article.

Sanibel residents appreciate that there are no high-rise buildings here, prevented by our building code. Interestingly, in recent months, local West Coast Realtors® have seen an increase in business from East Coast buyers looking to get out of the Miami hustle bustle post-COVID. I wonder if the Surfside tragedy will mean even more future business here.

“It could take years to understand the Surfside tragedy’s cause, and condo buyers will likely pay more attention to building inspections and assessments going forward.

“MIAMI – As grim images of rescue workers sifting through the wreckage of the Champlain South Tower circulate around the world, Miami’s kingpin condo real-estate industry is bracing for a slide.

““In the short-term, the effect of the collapse will be jarring,” said real estate attorney Jesse-Dean Kluger, who said he spent the weekend fielding calls from clients under contract for units in older buildings. “You’re going to have some pushback from buyers on the closing dates, because why would you close before you have an inspection and a satisfactory report?” he said. “This could be a deal-breaker for some clients.”

“Built in 1981, the beachfront Champlain Towers South condo, located at 8777 Collins Ave., partially collapsed on the morning of June 24 shortly after 1:30 a.m. The building was going through its 40-year recertification process.

“Search and rescue efforts are ongoing – While the exact cause of the collapse probably won’t be known for at least a year, two suspected contributors – salt air and ocean water – are cause for concern for would-be buyers of waterfront condos in older buildings. In the short-term, at least, some experts say they expect the brakes to slam on what has been a county-wide sales bonanza.

““At the very least, people are being more sensitive to association fees and checking the financial health of the association,” said Ron Shuffield, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty. “These 40-year recertifications are now something that everyone is aware of, instead of just the industry. Buyers are also looking more closely to the construction of the building.” Increased attention to such detail is a positive development, said Shuffield. But it likely also will lead to higher prices and deter some buyers, say experts.

““Every condo, especially the older ones, are going to want to hire an expert and verify the integrity of their buildings,” said Alex Barthet, managing member of the Barthet Construction Law Firm and publisher of thelienzone.com website. “These are probably not fully budgeted items, so this will increase the assessments,” Barthet said. “That’s going to send buyers away, because they only have a certain number of dollars to spend, so why spend them on an older building?”

“According to the Miami Association of Realtors, sales of existing condos jumped a whopping 286% in May year-over-year, from 563 to 2,176, driven primarily by U.S. buyers from tax-burdened states. The median sales price of existing condos rose to $325,000, a 25% year-over-year increase, and sales of existing condos priced between $400,000-$600,000 – a range that includes many older waterfront buildings – increased 475.4% to a total of 328 transactions.

“The Champlain Towers South, where property records show a total of 14 units were sold over the last three years, was part of the sales boom. Condos in the town of Surfside may be particularly hard hit for the next year, especially in older buildings, said Ana Bozovic, founder of brokerage and consulting firm Analytics Miami. Buildings located near the collapse site may be most affected. Bozovic said resale prices might drop for the ultra-luxury Eighty Seven Park, which is adjacent to the site of the collapse and currently has seven units for sale priced between $2 million-$11 million. “Who wants to buy something overlooking this collapse? People died there,” she said. “People don’t want to look at the site.”

““When 9/11 happened, it affected the lower Manhattan area,” she said. “It’s going to be the same thing here.”

Buyer hesitation also may affect newer buildings, say experts. Such was the case for an attorney whose clients were scheduled to close on a Bal Harbour condo the day after the Surfside collapse. “They got cold feet, even though the building where they were buying is only three years old,” said the lawyer, who declined to be named. “They just needed a minute to hear more about what happened at the Champlain Tower. A lot of people with active contracts can delay their closings, but they can’t pull out because they would lose their deposits. They’re stuck.”

“Inspections underway – Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami Beach have started doing visual inspections and audits of buildings nearing or at their 40-year recertification process, which is required by county law. The city of Miami has gone further, requiring inspections of all buildings 40 years and older that are six stories or taller. The city has given condo associations a 45-day deadline to provide letters detailing the condition of their buildings signed by licensed structural engineers.

“But the enforcement boost hasn’t eased buyer concerns. “The question is, does being able to walk out on the sand surpass the value of safety?” said real estate analyst Jack McCabe. “What I thought was going to be paradise could now be a danger. “This collapse is the tip of the iceberg,” McCabe said. There are a lot of other buildings affected by sea level rise and hurricanes that are 40-50 years old, that have not been well maintained, and that have put off special assessments” – that can run into millions.

“Favorable pricing has been the chief attraction of older buildings. “It comes back to affordability,” said Dan Kodsi, CEO of the Miami-based development firm Royal Palms Companies, which developed the Paramount Worldcenter tower. “A lot of people live in those older buildings because they can afford it and still get to live by the water.”

“But repairs can diminish the differential. “Getting hit with a huge assessment bill is going to become a bigger factor in the minds of buyers,” McCabe said. “It could be a much more costly endeavor buying an existing unit than it was in the past.”

“Age matters – The numbers tell the story. According to the real estate firm Condovulturesrealty.com, some 1,660 units in buildings on the barrier islands built before 2000 – or before Florida’s building code was strengthened to its current standard – currently are listed for sale, with an average price per unit of $589,692. During the first three months of 2021, 779 sales were closed at an average price of $487,384. Currently 491 units are under contract at an average price of $484,821.

“In comparison, the current 1,241 active listings of condos in buildings on the barrier islands built after 2000 have an average asking price of $3,141,845 – a price tag beyond the reach of all but the wealthy.

“The gap likely will widen. “What you’re going to see is anything built before 2000 is going to suffer and [drop] their prices,” said Peter Zalewski, co-founder of Condo Vultures. “We have always told our clients not to look at anything built before then. Right now the system is stacked against any due diligence by the buyer. The associations are very private, and they’re not going to share any information that might impact pricing. They give the condo docs, and in three days your offer is locked in by default according to state law.” “According to Zalewski, there were 139 towers fronting the Atlantic Ocean in Miami-Dade County as of November 2019. Of those, only 60 were built between 2000-2019. The other 79 towers were built between 1930-1999.

“While waterfront has long been considered prime territory, inland locations have been gaining favor as waterfront prices soar and climate change becomes a greater concern. A recent study of “climate gentrification” in Miami-Dade showed home buyers and renters are increasingly choosing properties on higher-elevation land, most of which happens to be in primarily Black and Hispanic neighborhoods.

“The collapse may speed the inland migration. Cordelia Anderson, founder of the Miami-based I Heart Real Estate LLC brokerage firm, said one of her prospective condo buyers from New York is now considering moving her search more inland, expressing concern about the structural integrity of coastal buildings and sea level rise.

“Falling prices? The seemingly inevitable price drop of older condos in beachfront locations isn’t just a problem for their owners and brokers. According to the Miami-Dade County Property Appraiser, the county is poised to collect more than $94 billion in 2020 taxes from condominium owners – money that goes to everything from schools and police and fire services to infrastructure repairs and maintenance.

“If prices of older condos take a nosedive, all Miami-Dade residents will feel the pinch, since taxes are calculated by property values. But if prices drop far enough in older buildings to make selling too much of a loss for the owner, there’s another possible scenario that could eliminate the problem altogether, said Alicia Cervera, chairman and principal of Cervera Real Estate: Condo termination, in which owners decide to sell the entire building to a developer interested in building something new at the location.

“When you sell an entire building in a triple-A location to a developer, you get a much better price for your condo,” she said. “It may be that some associations are not doing the repairs because they simply can’t afford it. Selling to a developer could be a solution for the owners and would result in the buildings being taken down before they become unlivable. It’s a good exit strategy for a lot of condo owners.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 25-July 2, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Mariner Pointe #231 2/2 now $674K.

1 new sale: Loggerhead Cay #433 2/2 listed at $735K.

7 closed sales: Sundial #F106 1/1 $440K, Sanctuary Heron #3A 2/2.5 $760K, Pointe Santo #A1 2/2 $868.5K, Sanibel Surfside #123 2/2 $905K, Loggerhead Cay #101 2/2 $964K, Sundial #P403 2/2 $1.3M, Sanddollar #A102 3/2 $1.425M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 5809 San-Cap Rd 3/2 $1.35M, 5379 Shearwater Dr 4/3 $2.295M.

1 price change: 5270 Indian Ct 6/6.5 now $2.295M.

5 new sales: 1376 Jamaica Dr 2/2 listed at $710K, 1270 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $859K, 1450 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $1.199M, 633 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 listed at $1.235M, 1206 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $1.249M.

12 closed sales: 1643 Bunting Ln 2/2 $626K, 1737 Serenity Ln 3/2 $635K, 429 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $740K, 1585 Serenity Ln 3/3 $749K, 2480 Library Way 3/2.5 $725K, 770 Donax St 2/2 $850K, 1469 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $969K, 450 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $980K, 812 Sanddollar Dr 3/3 $1.2M, 3385 Twin Lakes Ln 5/5 $1.5M, 1460 Middle Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $1.725M, 4701 Rue Belle Mer 4/5 $3.395M.

LOTS

1 new listing: Dixie Beach Blvd $399.5K.

1 new sale: 2431 Shop Rd listed at $249.9K.

1 closed sale: West Gulf Dr $3.895M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Homes #20 3/3 listed at $3.549M.

3 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4118 1/2 $425K, Bayside Villas #5318 3/3 $789.9K, Lands End #1629 2/2 $1.376M.

HOMES

Nothing to report.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Wishing you and yours a safe and happy July 4th holiday weekend.

Summer Solstice & Fathers’ Day on Sanibel & Captiva 2021

This week, the first day of summer is almost here and the rainy season also finally is underway in SW Florida. With cloudy days and occasional showers on the islands since Monday, the forecast for next week is much the same, with afternoon thunderstorms expected, typical weather for this time of the year.

Summer solstice is the day of the year with the most hours of sunshine. This year, in the northern hemisphere, that day coincides with Fathers Day, on Sunday. Hopefully there will be some sunshine amid the raindrops. In the meantime, it’s great to see tropical vegetation greening up again. The Sanibel bunnies are loving it too. The baby one in my yard this morning is soo tiny, only a few inches long.

The islands remain busy with visitors, including more first-timers than usual for this time of the year. Lots of pent-up demand for vacations has resulted in few, if any vacancies, now, with full occupancy expected right throughout the July 4th holiday. With Lee County Schools also finishing up this week, a busy summer is expected.

Real-estate wise, there have been a few new listings and sales, while overall inventory remains very low. The SanibelSusan Team is thankful for our new listing at Gulfside Place, it is one of just two waterside units like it within the community. It offers the convenience of condo living with a 180-degree gulf view and privacy of a home, with private stairs from balcony to beach, plus easy-care coastal-vibe tile floors throughout (those allowed only on 1st level).

Below is an update of Sanibel and Captiva inventory today, while the week’s details follow a couple of news items below.

SANIBEL

CAPTIVA

Condos

Homes

Lots

Condos

Homes

Lots

#

$ Price

#

$ Price

#

$ Price

#

$ Price

#

$ Price

#

$ Price

Available for Sale

21

862,895

31

2,289,612

16

533,542

8

1,626,000

11

6,239,363

0

N/A

Under Contract

28

818,135

58

1,402,381

13

1,103,873

6

1,443,900

5

2,307,800

1

4,250,000

Closed 1/1-6/18/21

167

857,630

205

1,302,007

50

646,710

34

1,002,397

31

2,898,561

1

2,000,000

Closed in 2020

192

733,876

290

954,718

23

606,233

47

821,713

27

2.923,148

4

2,537,500

Closed in 2019

127

694,392

211

1,112,748

15

372,200

29

1.037,077

17

2,737,503

1

1,375,000

Note: Prices in italics are average asking prices (properties available & under contract)

Great News from SCCF

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation recently acquired three off-island properties on McGregor Blvd near the causeway. They are of critical environmental importance, totaling more than 25 acres, all containing mangrove forest with/or adjacent to tidal waterways. This habitat including mudflats and salt flats is important to many shore birds, diamondback terrapins, endangered sawfish, and many invertebrate species.

SCCF also reports that sea turtle nesting season is at its peak with staff and volunteers monitoring 388 nests (85 on Captiva, 303 on Sanibel). In preparation for the upcoming Captiva beach renourishment project, SCCF has relocated 14 nests that could be affected. For more info on protecting and caring for sea turtles, visit SanCapLifeSavers.org.

Sanibel Leaf Blower Legislation

News from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society recently posted: “Kudos to the Sanibel City Council for passing a new ordinance that restricts current use of gas-powered leaf blowers and ultimately bans them by January 1, 2023…”

Fed Accelerates Plans to Raise Interest Rates – But Not Yet

Posted yesterday on “FloridaRealtors”: “Low rates directly keep adjustable-rate loans low and help, indirectly, fixed-rate loans. At one time, the Fed had no rate-hike plans until 2024; now it’s two in 2023.

“WASHINGTON – With the economy and inflation set to surge this year as the nation emerges from the COVID-19 recession, the Federal Reserve is starting to ease back from pandemic era policies aimed at jolting growth. Citing an upgraded economic outlook and a spike in inflation, the Fed on Wednesday held its key interest rate near zero and vowed to maintain its bond buying stimulus, but it’s now forecasting two rate hikes in 2023, up from none previously.

“Fed officials foresee its benchmark short-term rate at a range of 0.5% to 0.75% in 2023, according to their median estimate. While most of the officials said they want to hold the rate near zero through next year, only five foresee rates at that level in 2023. Two prefer one rate increase in 2023, while three envision two hikes and eight foresee an even higher rate by then.

“Fed officials “are more comfortable that (the economic conditions for raising rates) will be met somewhat sooner than previously anticipated,” Fed Chair Jerome Powell said at a news conference. “We’re going to be in a strong labor market pretty quickly here.”

“Progress on vaccinations will likely continue to reduce the effects of the public health crisis on the economy, but risks to the economic outlook remain,” the Fed said in a statement after a two-day meeting. Yet Powell noted Fed officials’ rate forecasts are merely estimates, adding that “liftoff is well into the future.” In its statement, the Fed reiterated it would keep its benchmark short-term rate near zero until the economy returns to full employment and inflation has risen above its 2% target “for some time.”

“Powell said the Fed’s focus in the short term is on when to begin tapering its bond purchases. The central bank repeated that it would continue to purchase $120 billion a month in Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities to hold down long-term rates “until substantial further progress has been made toward” the Fed’s employment and inflation goals. Powell said the Fed discussed reducing the purchases this week and would provide more guidance “at a future meeting.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 11-18, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sanibel Inn #3513 2/2 $699K, Island Beach Club #310A 2/2 $799K, Gulfside Place #115 2/2 $1.995M (our listing).

4 price changes: Mariner Pointe #712 2/2.5 now $659K; Mariner Pointe #231 2/2 now $674.9K; Breakers West #A5 2/2 now $749K; Sanibel Arms West #D2 2/2 now $919,999.

2 new sales: Coquina Beach #2B 2/2 listed at $595K, Sanibel Inn #3511 2/2 listed at $695K.

7 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #A1 2/2 $560K, Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 $585K, Loggerhead Cay #261 2/2 $695K, Sunset South #11D 2/2 $740K, Oceans Reach #2D1 2/2 $890K, Sanibel Surfside #123 2/2 $905K, Pointe Santo #A47 3/2 $2.413M.

HOMES

7 new listings: 565 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $749K, 9431 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $899K, 540 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $1.025M, 1206 Par View Dr 3/2 $1.249M, 547 N. Yachtsman Dr 4/3 $1.399M, 852 Birdie View Pt 4/3 $1.699M, 1305 Par View Dr 3/4 $1.749M.

2 price changes: 1376 Jamaica Dr 2/2 now $710K, 1187 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $1.199M.

4 new sales: 1826 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $849K, 5100 Sea Bell Rd 4/2.5 listed at $949K, 1450 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $1.199M, 1206 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $1.249M.

9 closed sales: 966 Fitzhugh St 2/1 $610K, 3009 Singing Wind Dr 2/1.5 $657K, 1644 Bunting Ln 3/3 $665K, 5186 Sea Bell Rd 3/3 $1.015M, 940 Whelk Dr 3/2 $1.425M, 820 Angel Wing Dr 3/2 $1.46M, 837 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3.5 $1.75M, 2857 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1.78M, 1253 Anhinga Ln 4/4 $3.7M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 2431 Shop Rd listed at $249.9K.

No closed sales..

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3120 1/1 $419K.

No price changes or new sales

1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2514 2/2 $820K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 11540 Laika Ln 2/2.5 listed at $1.525M

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel & Captiva Sunshine, Real Estate, Property Values, Climate Control, & More…

The wonderful sunny Sanibel/Captiva weather continues, and it was another good week for SanibelSusan with in/out repair surgery yesterday on my torn meniscus. Amazing how the fix-up was quick and easy at Orthopedic Specialists of SW FL Center for Specialized Surgery, followed by PT this morning at Island Therapy (right next door to SanibelSusan Realty). Highly recommend both facilities as I am already back at work and on to real estate news.

At Sanibel Susan Realty

Tues, pre-surgery, I taught the Resort & 2nd-Home Module of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist Designation at the islands’ Association of Realtors®. With attendees both in person & via Zoom, it was fun to again have a live audience. (Last year, with COVID, it was only offered via Zoom.) Thanks to all who participated & Association staff, CEO Bill Robinson & Education Director Megan Rose, who made it easy. It was great to have a mix of newbies, long-time Realtors, all island-lovers with different life stories, yet eager to keep learning. Their input makes teaching fun!

Our office condo listing (White Sands #23) closed yesterday. Thanks to Realtor Kate Helman who sold this and recently another of our condo listings. Her excellent follow-up is appreciated. Great efforts also from David Wright & his crew at Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank, Cameron Anholt at Royal Shell Vacation Rentals, Patience Rodriguez at Select Vacation Properties, Michelle Landl at Knight Barry Title, Carol McCarley at Noak & Company CPA, and teammates Dave, Elise, and Lisa. Like with a knee, a real estate transaction can take a village. Teamwork makes the dream work!

After a couple of other news items below is the action this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

High Flood-Risk Homes Sell for More Than Low-Risk

Posted Wed on FloridaRealtors, by Kerry Smith: “SEATTLE – A study of flood-risk and home values suggests that concerns over climate change haven’t affected the value of property that’s located in a high-risk flood zone. It appears to be true even though consumers have greater access to flooding information via online listing advertising websites.

“In the first quarter of 2021, the median sale price of homes with high flood risk was $402,010, compared with $353,783 for homes with low flood risk, according to a new report from Redfin. That means high-risk homes sold for a record 13.6% premium – up from a premium of 10.1% in the first quarter of 2020 and up from a premium of 7.2% in the first quarter of 2019.

“Since 2013, homes with a high flood risk have sold, on average, for about 7% more than homes with low flood risk, likely because many of them are luxury waterfront properties. That premium surged during the coronavirus pandemic when many wealthy homebuyers started eyeing oceanfront or lakefront houses outside of major cities.

“”Americans are buying the beach houses they always dreamed of because they have the flexibility to work from wherever they want,” says Redfin Senior Economist Sheharyar Bokhari. “While flood risk is intensifying in many parts of the country, it doesn’t seem to be a deal breaker for a lot of homebuyers. This may be because buyers aren’t aware they’re purchasing a home in a flood plain or just don’t view it as an immediate danger. Places with high flood risk are also often home to large concentrations of retirees, many of whom don’t see climate change as a threat they need to worry about in their lifetime. Florida is one example.”

“Redfin and other real estate websites have started sharing property-level flood risk data online to help house hunters determine if the homes they’re interested in are located in flood plains and whether they should purchase flood insurance.

“Places prone to flooding are also seeing stronger growth in home sales. Sales of high-flood-risk homes rose 18.6% year over year in the first quarter – about double the 9.6% gain in sales of low-flood-risk homes.

“In Jacksonville, homebuyers often inquire about flood risk, but it virtually never causes them to back out, says local Redfin real estate agent Heather Kruayai. Jacksonville has two waterways running through it, and about 43,000 properties have a high flood risk, according to First Street Foundation’s Flood Factor. “If you buy a home on the water in Florida, flooding is just something that comes with the territory. Most buyers understand that,” Kruayai says. “A lot of out-of-state buyers have been moving here during the pandemic and purchasing waterfront properties, but there are also locals looking for space to spread out because the city has become so congested.” Kruayai says that flood risk isn’t even a strong negotiating factor if buyers hope to snag a lower price. “Even if you wanted to … you’d have a tough time because we’re in such a hot seller’s market.”

“Low-risk flood-zone homes do have one price advantage, however. Prices have gone up for all homes regardless of flood risk, but homes in low-risk zones are more likely to finalize a price higher than the owner’s asking price.

In the first quarter of 2021, 47.2% of low-flood-risk homes sold for more than their list price, compared with 37.4% of high-flood-risk homes. That 9.8-percentage-point gap is the largest on records dating back to 2013.

Overall, properties with low flood risk typically cost less than properties with high risk because they’re less likely to be on the beach or have any kind of waterfront view, Bokhari explained. Because low-risk properties are more affordable, they also face more competition, which means buyers are more likely to bid up the prices.”

Estimated Island Taxable Property Values Up 

Early preliminary property tax values for Sanibel and Captiva have increased over 2020 according to an article posted in the Jun 9, 2021 “Islander”. It says, “The Lee County Property Appraiser’s Office released its estimated tax roll values on Jun 3, which indicate a 2,57% increase for the city of Sanibel and a 6.3% increase for Captiva as part of unincorporated Lee County. The official numbers will come out by July 1, then will be sent to Tallahassee for approval…” (Betcha those numbers next month are higher.)

Working Group Seeks To Make Sanibel a Model in Climate Policy

Also, in this week’s “Islander”: “On May 21, Lee County Chapter of the Climate Reality Project co-founder Bob Moore and Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Environmental Policy Director James Evans hosted the first meeting of the Renewable Energy Working Group, according to SCCF.

“The meeting brought together a collection of civic leaders, businesspeople, climate activists, and educators to discuss opportunities to address climate change through renewable energy policies. “The aim of this group is to make Sanibel a model for climate policy, similar to the way the Sanibel Plan has been a model for sustainable community development,” Evans said…. “By combining efforts across Charlotte, Lee, and Collier counties, we will be able to capitalize on the expertise of … members and educate a wider range….”, Evans said.” Stay tuned.

Olivia McMurray Goes to Olympic Trials

Shout-out to island Realtor Mike McMurray and family, especially daughter Olivia who travels to Nebraska next week for the U.S. swimming trials for the Olympics. Olivia is a 2021 graduate of Fort Myers High School and eight-time Florida state high school champion. She will compete in six swim events with hopes of securing a spot if not in the next Olympics in Tokyo, perhaps the one after in Paris. Whatever the outcome, Olivia already is a success and her friends in SW FL are rooting for her and her proud family. 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 4-11, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Mariner Pointe #323 2/2.5 $549K, Coquina Beach #2B 2/2 $595K, Sanibel Inn #3511 2/2 $695K, Pointe Santo #A26 2/2 $1.35M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Gulfside Place #124 2/2 listed at $1.385M.

8 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #1/1 $335K, Sundial #C409 1/1 $485K, Sandpebble #1D 2/2 $540K, Sanibel Arms West #I2 2/2 $599K, Sundial #C303 2/2 $690K, Pointe Santo #E3 2/2 $787K, Sanddollar #B101 2/2 $1.05M, White Sands #23 2/2 $1.05M (our listing).

HOMES

5 new listings: 1826 Farm Trl 3/2 $849K, 633 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 $1.299M, 917 Pepper Tree Pl 4/3 $1.349M, 737 Periwinkle Way 3/3 $2.3M, 856 Limpet Dr 4/2.5 $2.45M.

2 price changes: 4506 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $819K, 1146 Golden Olive Ct 5/4 now $3.099M.

7 new sales: 1737 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $635K, 1376 Jamaica Dr 2/2 listed at $699K, 4505 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/3 listed at $729K, 1371 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed at $839K, 1025 S. Yachtsman Dr 3/1.5 listed at $850K, 1426 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $1.15M, 1218 Ferry Rd 3/2 listed at $1.23M

7 closed sales: 3031 Poinciana Cir 3/3 $690K, 9456 Beverly Ln 3/2 $735K, 1186 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $835K, 1117 Captains Walk St 2/2 $857K, 1743 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 $1.35M, 9445 Beverly Ln 4/3 $1.43M, 950 Victoria Way 4/4 $2.06M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 5648 Baltusrol Ct now $338.9K.

No new sales.

4 closed sales: 971 Main St $200K, 9056 Mockingbird Dr $349K, 6505 Pine Ave $675K, 6519 Pine Ave $725K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2214 2/2 $752.5K.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 11540 Laika Ln 2/2.5 now $1.525M, 11559 Laika Ln now $7.5M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 41 Oster Ct 2/2.5 $1.03M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: with contingencies: 16970 Captiva Dr listed at $4.25M.

No closed sales.

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

Roseate spoonbills

Until next Friday, I hope your life is rosy too!

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Island June = Raindrops & More Bunnies

SanibelSusan reporting that the good news this week is that the rainy season has begun in SW Florida. Not that we like to see a lot of run-off which in years past has affected local water quality, but the island bunnies which I love – like it when tropical vegetation is green and lush, not yellow and crunchy. It was great to see several of these little critters out enjoying my lawn Thurs morning after our first “big” rain Wed night.

The island real estate world has been quiet even through the holiday weekend. The action over the last seven days posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service is after a couple of news items below. Not much is happening. Total available Sanibel inventory is 57 properties (condos, homes, lots) while Captiva has 19 available.

Here at SanibelSusan Realty, teammate Dave returns to the office Mon, while I now have a plan of action for my sore knee with a quick surgical procedure scheduled next week to repair a torn meniscus. How handy is it that Island Therapy is right next door to my office? I am all set to be up and running again soon, while teammate Elise has been the glue that has kept us together this week, with teammate Lisa on Sat.

CROW Wildlife Walks & Daily Presentations Return

This week CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) announced that Wildlife Walk guided hospital tours and daily presentations are back. The guided hospital tours provide an opportunity for visitors to get an in-depth look into the inner workings of CROW’s hospital and the treatment process of over 5,000 wildlife patients each year. The 1-1/2-hour program has two parts: the daily presentation in the AWC Visitor Education Center followed by a guided tour through treatment areas of the hospital. Up-close encounters with Animal Ambassadors are included along the way. These tours resumed Jun 1 and will be offered Mon through Fri at 12:30 p.m. At all times, masks must be worn. Each tour is limited to eight people and advance registration is required. Program cost is $25 per person and includes General Admission to the AWC Visitor Education Center and the daily presentation. The program is open to all, but not recommended for children under the age of 13. Tours are subject to modification or cancellation based on animals being treated.

Free Summer Tours at The Refuge

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel will offer free summer tours from Jun 20 through Aug 7. There is no set schedule, so monitor the refuge’s Eventbrite page at https://www.eventbrite.com/o/jn-ding-darling-nwr-32246304043 to see what staff and volunteers are offering each week and to sign up for tours such as Birding the Refuge, car caravan tour, Mindfulness Walk at Bailey Tract, Bike Tour and Beach Walk.

Faces of Change

It was great to see a friendly face on the cover of the May-June Issue of Realtor® Magazine. It was none other than a Florida Realtors® Audition Panel colleague, Adam Gurske from Matchmaker Realty of Alachua County which is in Gainesville. He is one of the young real estate practitioners selected for the 2021 Class of 30 Under 30 for their resilience and adaptability during rapidly changing conditions that have forced a quick rethinking of business practices. “Adaptability is one trait that Adam’s ten years in the business have helped him hone. His Mom has been the area’s association executive for 30 years, so Adam has grown up in the business. At 29, he is active in his local association, a longtime board member of a local nonprofit that is dedicated to helping homeless families, all while being a multi-million $ producer with 28 transaction sides last year. If you ever need real estate assistance in Gainesville, I encourage you to contact Adam, and mention SanibelSusan. He is a solid hardworking smart young man.

14-Day Rental Rule

Good advice in the recent RSPS (Resort & 2nd-Home Specialist) Newsletter: “With the interest in vacation rentals rising across the U.S., owners of second homes may be tempted to make that property available for rent. There are certain tax implications (and possible deductions) that are determined by the use of the second property as well as the length of time the property is rented out. Anyone interested should consult with a tax professional before proceeding.” (Click here for a link to IRS Topic 415 Renting Residential and Vacation Property.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist Designation

Speaking of RSPS (Resort & 2nd-Home Specialist), this week I updated that module for the islands specialist designation classes that are offered annually by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®. Earning the designation requires completion of 12 modules including this one. It was 2012 when I prepared that class for the first time. Time flies. Was not as much fun last year to teach it via Zoom. The class interaction, where we share experiences and advice, is the fun part. Wish me luck on Tuesday as I teach for the 9th year.

SCCF Update – Periwinkle Wetlands Restoration Project Begins Next Week

Here is the latest, right from the Conservation Foundation’s Wed update email:

“Next week, SCCF will begin the preliminary steps of a multi-phase restoration project on the newly acquired Periwinkle Wetlands Preserve.  “We are grateful that we were able to acquire these key 12-plus acres and we ask the public to please understand that we must clear the land of exotics before we can restore it,” said SCCF CEO Ryan Orgera. “Since it’s right on Perwinkle Way and highly visible, we want to explain the process so a return to a diverse, natural habitat is well understood.”

“Land Clearing Phase – Over the next several months, contractors will be conducting the land clearing phase, which will include the removal and eradication of dense stands of large, invasive exotic trees. The work will be overseen by SCCF Habitat Management staff and vegetation debris will be mulched on-site.

“In addition to the tree removal, SCCF staff will be conducting selective herbicide treatments to manage invasive exotic vines, groundcovers, and grasses. Habitat Management also will begin to revegetate many areas throughout the property and construct hiking trails.

“SCCF wants island residents and passersby to understand what is happening at the site as it begins to unfold.

““As the initial land clearing portion progresses, the conversion from densely vegetated to nearly barren land can often seem destructive and a shock to the senses. However, as the planting stage begins to take root, the landscape rapidly transitions back to a diverse, natural habitat,” explained Wildlife & Habitat Management Director Chris Lechowicz. Removing exotic plants — which lack any native predators or pests to keep them in check — is key to successful restoration.

““Invasive species can become dominant, rapidly displacing native plant communities and resulting in the loss of key habitats for migratory and resident bird populations as well as other animal species found throughout Sanibel Island,” Lechowicz said. Restoring land to its historic natural state reinforces SCCF’s rich history of conservation and its core mission “to protect and care for Southwest Florida’s coastal ecosystems.”

“Lechowicz said the timing of the restoration was planned around nature itself, and a firm completion date has not been established. “Restoration projects often take place over an extended period and many factors contribute to the time it takes to complete a project,” he said. “As summer approaches, thunderstorms, seasonal flooding, and hurricanes can delay portions of the restoration.”

“Restoration/Improvement Phase – Following the initial preserve restoration, improvements will be added to the approximately two acres fronting Periwinkle Way between Purdy and Martha’s Lanes. These improvements will be open to the public, while the majority of the preserve acreage will be dedicated for exclusive use as wildlife habitat. “The intentional reimagining of this space will connect visitors to nature and celebrate our shared and historic role in protecting and nurturing Southwest Florida’s coastal ecosystems,” said Orgera.

“After the exotics are removed, the community space will be replanted with thriving native landscaping. Inviting and inspiring, it will feature a 1,100-foot loop walking/biking trail connected to the shared-use path. The trail will take bikers and walkers through a welcome plaza with a water bottle-filling station and interpretive panels.

“A lush demonstration marsh with wetlands features will include water-quality education panels. There will be interpretative gardens with seasonal blooms and a sculpture garden to encourage thoughtful reflection on the importance of land, water, and wildlife. Throughout the restoration process, SCCF Habitat Management staff will routinely conduct inspections for the reintroduction of invasive, exotic species to ensure it is a diverse, healthy ecosystem.

““The Periwinkle Wetlands Preserve restoration project is essentially revitalizing characteristics of Sanibel’s historic ecosystems,” Orgera said, “while inviting in the public to learn more about Sanibel’s environment and to contemplate its beauty.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 28 – June 4, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Breakers West #A5 2/2 $895K, Villa Sanibel #2E 2/2 $959K, Sanddollar #C101 2/2 $1.21M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Coquina Beach #3D 2/2 listed at $599K.

5 closed sales: Pointe Santo #C4 1/1 $570K, White Sands #13 2/2 $938K, Gulfside Place #218 2/2 $1.35M, Pointe Santo #E24 3/2 $1.4225M, Shorewood #2D 3/2 $1.595M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1737 Serenity Ln 3/2 $635K, 1376 Jamaica Dr 2/2 $699K.

1 price change: 3010 West Gulf Dr now $1.245M.

4 new sales: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 listed at $550K, 1550 Center St 3/2 listed at $799K, 1362 Tahiti Dr 4/3 listed at $1.295M, 539 N. Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.295M.

7 closed sales: 868 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $725K, 2098 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 $780K, 4377 Gulf Pines Dr 3/3 $860K, 509 Lake Murex Cir 3/2.5 $1.2M, 5773 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 $1.325M, 9441 Peaceful Dr 3/3.5 $1.395M, 2311 Starfish Ln 4/4 $1.945M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 5642 Baltusrol Ct now $339.9K.

1 new sale: 6141 Starling Way listed at $897K.

4 closed sales: 3013 Poinciana Cir $255K, 1044 Fish Crow Rd $350K, 9042 Mockingbird Dr $385K, 0 West Gulf Dr $3.7M.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 14991 Binder Dr 4/4 $6.295M.

1 price change: 14865 Mango Ct 2/2 now $1.295M.

1 new sale: 15261 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 listed at $11.499M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, wishing you only bright skies & easy summer rains,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Beautiful Weather for Memorial Day Weekend 2021

SanibelSusan here reporting that all is well on the islands for the holiday weekend. Traffic on Periwinkle and the causeway was already picking up yesterday afternoon and has been steady most of today. More summerlike weather is expected for the immediate future, so plenty of weekend warriors may be arriving.

If you follow local news, this week there has been a lot of hype about red tide and blue-green algae. With the rainy season approaching those often are summertime concerns in SW Florida. But, if the water surrounding Sanibel today is any indication, there is none. I took the below photos this earlier this afternoon showing bayside surrounding waters – they are clear and a beautiful bright blue reminiscent of the Caribbean. Should be perfect for boaters and beachgoers here for the holiday holiday! We hope you enjoy your weekend too and remember those who served.

At SanibelSusan Realty

Here in the office teammate Elise has kept things running smoothly while teammate Dave is on vacay and I have struggled with a bad knee. Who knew that just getting up from a chair causes injury?  Anyway, I now have mastered using a walker, luckily can still drive, and should get an orthopedic plan of action next week. Teammate Lisa is in the office tomorrow.

Thank goodness we work like a well-oiled machine and much of it is over the internet. I put our last lot listing under contract Sunday, we had two nice closings this week, and both Elise and I have spoken with and visited owners thinking of selling.

Meanwhile, island inventory continues to diminish. Today on Sanibel, there are just 13 condos, 25 homes, and 15 lots for sale. Even fewer listings on Captiva, where seven condos, 11 homes, and just one lot are available.

You will see the week’s report of the action in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service after a couple of news items below. There was not a lot of new listing activity this week.

Most remaining snowbirds are heading north this weekend, while the post-season crowd will be here for the holiday. Fingers crossed they are “nice” and appreciate the islands’ low-key laid-back eco-friendly ambience.

Use of ‘Escalation Clause’ Skyrockets in Hot Seller’s Market

With Florida real estate market hot, the below article posted this week by Joel Maxson, Florida Realtors® Associate General Counsel is especially appropriate. One of the offers that one of our listings recently received had an escalation clause and it was not the successful offer. Sometimes other terms are more important to a seller than the price.

“As escalation clauses become more popular during this hot seller’s market, buyers should consider the pros and cons of using them – as well as the broader legal context of their offer.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – During this white-hot seller’s market, many conversations on Florida Realtors® Legal Hotline involve multiple offer scenarios. Buyers are desperately seeking ways to try and make their offer stand out. One method that has rocketed in popularity is using an escalation clause.

“There are many variations of these clauses, but the one thing they have in common is that a buyer is willing to increase the purchase price above the amount in the initial offer. A simple version of an escalation clause may read something like this: “Buyer agrees to pay $____________ more than the next highest offer, not to exceed a final purchase price of $___________.”

“This is the core concept, at least. Most clauses will also include some combination of the following components, although this is by no means an exhaustive list. The clause can get increasingly more complex the more a buyer adds to the clause.

  • “The amount of money to add to the next highest offer (the escalation amount)
  • The maximum purchase price
  • Seller’s obligation to show the buyer a copy of the next highest offer used to calculate the final purchase price
  • Whether the financing amount will increase, or whether the buyer will pay cash to cover the escalation amount
  • How to handle a situation involving two or more competing escalation clauses
  • Whether the buyer or seller will be obligated to sign or initial further documents if the escalation clause is triggered
  • Whether the escalation is based on the purchase price or net proceeds to the seller (to account for costs and credits in a competing offer)

“The positive side of escalation clauses is that they may make a buyer’s offer stand out. It also invites a seller to take an easy path to finalize negotiation.

“Most of the confusion we hear about these clauses on Florida Realtors Legal Hotline centers around the fact that the buyer’s offer is just that – an offer. A seller who receives an offer can accept, reject, counter, or even ignore an offer.

“For example, can the seller send a brief message that instructs the buyer to submit a new, “highest and best” offer, with a fixed purchase price by a deadline? Yes – the seller is welcome to reject the buyer’s offer.

“What if the seller removes the escalation clause and counters the buyer’s offer right at buyer’s maximum price cap with no information about any other offers? Can the seller do that? Yes – the seller is welcome to counter buyer’s offer.

“Can the seller go with a different buyer’s offer (even a lower-priced one) and never inform the buyer with the escalation clause? Yes – the seller is welcome to ignore the buyer’s offer.

“As you can see, the crux of most buyer frustrations centers on the concept that the seller isn’t bound to follow the rules in the escalation clause unless the seller accepts the offer.

“Please note that there are additional angles to this issue – this brief article is simply designed to give an overview of the escalation clause itself. For example, although this article mentions a seller’s right to ignore an offer, a listing Realtor must comply with this Standard of Practice from NAR’s Code of Ethics: REALTORS®, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property. Where disclosure is authorized, REALTORS® shall also disclose, if asked, whether offers were obtained by the listing licensee, another licensee in the listing firm, or by a cooperating broker.”

Memorial Day Weekend Happenings

“Ding” Darling’s Summer Fun Virtual Auction is now through Monday, May 31, at https://DingFunAuction.givesmart.com . All proceeds benefit conservation efforts at the National Wildlife Refuge.

Sanibel’s last Farmer Market until fall wraps up Sunday, May 30, on the grounds of City Hall, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market begins again on the first Sunday in October.

Also Sunday, May 30, American Legion is hosting a Backyard BBQ from noon until 8 p.m., 4249 San-Cap Rd at Mile Marker 3. Featuring burgers, brats & sides, with live music & fun.

Beachgoers, please be on the lookout for turtle and snowy plover nests. As of May 19, four active snowy plover nests have been recorded. If you see a nest that has not yet been roped off, contact shorebirds@sccf.org. Also as of May 19, SCCF already has counted and marked off 60 turtle nests on Sanibel, 25 on Captiva. That’s a lot for this early in the season. Please do not disturb any nests and if you are on the beach at night, only red/amber lights are allowed.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 21-28, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

6 new sales: Captains Walk #B2 1/1 listed at $299,999, Mariner Pointe #943 2/2.5 listed at $749K, Sunset South #11D 2/2 listed at $749K, Pointe Santo #D24 2/2 listed at $795K, Pelicans Roost #102 2/2 listed at $930K, Sanddollar #A102 3/2 listed at $1.395M.

13 closed sales: Sundial #I105 1/1 $405K, Mariner Pointe #731 2/2 $515K, Sandalfoot #3B3 1/1 $520K (our listing), Lighthouse Point #121 3/2 $591K, Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 $630K, Loggerhead Cay #572 2/2 $670K, Sanibel Arms West #C4 2/2 $910K, Sunset South #4D 2/2 $997.5K, Tarpon Beach #109 2/2 $1.055M, Pointe Santo #C43 3/2 $1.075M (our listing), Compass Point #151 3/3 $1.495M, Atrium #102 3/2 $1.498M, Cyprina Beach #3 3/3 $1.749M.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 939 Beach Rd 3/2.5 now $1.55M.

6 new sales: 2011 Mitzi 2/1 listed at $650K, 1605 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $699K, 429 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $749.5K, 770 Donax St 2/2 listed at $850K, 4516 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2.5 listed at $979.9K, 5765 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 listed at $1.648M.

8 closed sales: 1657 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $767K, 3570 Bunny Ln 3/3 $869K, 1983 My Tern Ct 3/2.5 $1.02M, 557 N. Yachtsman Dr 4/3 $1.124M, 5403 Shearwater Dr 4/3 $1.599M, 2355 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $1.649M, 1680 Hibiscus Dr 3/3.5 $1.8M, 1044 Whisperwood Way 4/4.5 $1.94M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: with contingencies: 1894 Farm Trl listed at $199K (our listing & our sale), 461 Sawgrass Pl listed at $699K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Captiva Hide-a-Way #D 2/2 $1.075M.

1 price change: Lands End Village #1649 2/2 now $1.395M.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2514 2/2 listed at $820K.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3217 1/1 $355K, Ventura Captiva #4A 3/3 $1.1M.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 $2.4M, 14980 Binder Dr 4/4 $2.475M.

LOTS

No new listings.

price change:

No new or closed sales.

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

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

Best wishes for a safe Memorial Day Weekend,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

A Trio of Baby Osprey Accompanies Today’s Island Update

Here it is another Friday with an update saying island weather again is beautiful. Sanibel and Captiva had plenty of sunshine over the last few days, with temperatures usually in the low 80’s, then cooling down a bit in the evenings. A quick shower last night might be indicating the rainy season is beginning. More of the same is expected next week.

A client that purchased his bayside home with us a few years ago also is a blog follower and knows we love island wildlife. His property has a huge osprey nest on the dock. He shared these recent pix so I could share them with you. Thank you, Scott.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® April Membership Meeting

Yesterday was the monthly membership meeting of the local Association of Realtors®. Speaker was Michael Nachef, Director of Government Relations for Lee Health. It was a Zoom meeting, apropos since Michael was calling from Tallahassee where Florida’s legislative session is wrapping up this week. His update on the pandemic offered some interesting info. Here are some takeaways:

COVID-19 Update

This Wed, Apr 28, 2021, there were a total of 188 COVID patients in Lee Health hospitals. Compare this to the highest number in July 2020, when there were 360 patients. The low was in Oct 2020, when there were only 44 patients.

Wondering why? During pandemic tracking, the median patient age has shifted downward. Leading into the high, the median patient age was 64/65. Today, the median age is 39, proving that vaccinating the primary (older) group is working and showing that younger residents re-engaging in social activities are not protected and urgently need vaccinations.

He said that it will take 70/80% of the population to be vaccinated for herd immunity. Once vaccinated, an individual has only a 10% chance of getting the virus and if they do get it a 95% chance that they will be asymptomatic or show no evidence of the disease.

Today just 54% of the population has had one dose, so everyone is encouraged to get vaccinated. Locally, more vaccines now are available than those wanting appointments.

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate News

It was not a surprise that there were few real estate announcements during the Caravan portion of the meeting. No announced new listings, just one price reduction, and just one property open for viewing.

Usually after Easter, business slows on the islands. The activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service (MLS) follows a couple of news items below. First, the latest summary numbers from MLS. Hard to believe that on Sanibel there are only 83 properties for sale on the entire island – that includes just 27 homes. With 431 Sanibel sales already this year, it has been a buying frenzy!

 

Sanibel

Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
For sale 4/30 33 859,672 27 2,612,185 23 616,879
Under contract 56 809,171 78 1,477,048 17 1,239,576
Sold/closed 2021 thru 4/30 109 860,780 136 1,304,958 35 529,828
Sold/closed in all of 2020 192 733,876 290 954,718 23 606,233
Sold/closed in all of 2019 127 694,392 211 949,790 15 372,200

At SanibelSusan Realty

This week, the team and I are thankful that another listing is under contract and another closing finalized. Our remaining listings continue to get inquiries and good action. As inventory continues to dwindle, we hear the same news from friends in other vacation destinations.

Gov. DeSantis Again Extends Florida’s COVID-19 State of Emergency

On Tuesday, Florida’s Gov. DeSantis extended the state emergency order for another 60 days. Since March 2020, the Governor has been extending the original emergency order in 60-day increments. This order allows Florida to activate its emergency operations center, work with and ask for federal government assistance, and allowed deployment of the Florida National Guard to help.

It also has allowed additional precautions by state and local agencies to keep workers safe from exposure and has allowed licensed healthcare workers certified in other states to practice in Florida, providing more hands for testing, vaccination, and other care.

This week, Sanibel’s State of Emergency also was extended for another week (or until May 4) by Mayor Holly Smith. The number of cases reported here from March 26, 2020 through April 28 is 250. Captiva’s cases total 12.

U.S. – 2nd Most-Affordable Housing Market in the World

Who knew? This interesting tidbit in the May 2021 “FloridaRealtor®” magazine: “The United States is the second-most-affordable housing market in the world, according to comparethemarket.com. Researchers looked at average property price per square foot and average disposable income to calculate the cost per square foot as a percentage of annual income. No. 1? Turkey, followed by the United States, Russia, South Africa, and Mexico.”

Sanibel’s 2021 Prescribed Burn Areas

2021 City Map of Prescribed Burn Areas

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge posted the below info on-line this week: “During the 2021 spring/summer season, the Sanibel Prescribed Fire Task Force is planning prescribed burns on the following conservation sites:

SCCF/City of Sanibel – Erick A. Lindblad Preserve

USFWS, JN “Ding” Darling NWR – Legion Curve, Botanical Site, & Bailey Tract

“We would like to invite the public to a virtual information meeting on Wed, May 5, 2021 starting at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the burn plans and address any questions or concerns. Access to this meeting is through this Zoom link:

https://sccf-org.zoom.us/j/89160685854….

“When forecasted conditions are favorable, the Sanibel Prescribed Fire Task Force will issue further notification that a prescribed burn is imminent and identify the specific location of the burn. All prescribed fires must be authorized by the Florida Forest Service on the morning of the scheduled burn. A change in the forecast conditions may result in cancellation of the planned burn. A prescribed fire will NOT be conducted if the prescription conditions cannot be met prior to ignition.

SCCF photo

“A burn plan, or “prescription,” has been established for the priority areas within these conservation lands. The prescription details the required conditions that must exist in order for a prescribed burn to take place. These include environmental conditions such as soil moisture, fuel conditions, and recent rainfall, as well as forecasted and actual weather conditions including temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and wind direction. Following a predefined prescription allows fire management officers to establish the desired fire behavior (intensity, flame length, direction of fire spread and smoke). The prescription also identifies the number of qualified fire personnel needed to conduct the burn as well as the types and number of equipment required to safely complete the burn.

“Why are prescribed fires needed? Fire is a natural part of Florida’s ecosystem, historically set by lightning. Because of this history of periodic fires, many of Florida’s natural communities are adapted to burning. Fire removes old vegetation, promotes new growth of native vegetation, and suppresses the growth of non-native invasive plants. In the absence of fire, many plant communities are displaced by dense, woody vegetation which can reduce plant diversity and eliminate foraging opportunities for the island’s wildlife. Species such as the gopher tortoise, eastern indigo snake, and Sanibel rice rat all depend on a fire-maintained ecosystem. In addition to the natural benefits of fire, carefully planning and conducting prescribed burns can reduce the likelihood of catastrophic wildfires by reducing the amount of vegetation – or “fuel”—that would be available in the event of a wildfire.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 23-30, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #C6 2/2 $955K, Gulfside Place #124 2/2 $1.385M, Cyprina Beach #3 3/3 $1.6M, Pointe Santo #A47 3/2 $1.995M.

1 price change: Pointe Santo #A1 2/2 now $889K.

10 new sales: Sanibel Arms #H6 1/1 listed at $360K; Mariner Pointe #731 2/2 listed at $525K; Kimball Lodge #244 1/1.5 listed at $550K; Sanibel Arms #A1 2/2 listed at $555K, Sundial #C303 2/2 listed at $695K; Oceans Reach #2D1 2/2 listed at $890K; Sanibel Arms West #C4 2/2 listed at $910,990; White Sands #23 2/2 listed at $1.099M (our listing); Island Beach Club #230D 2/2 listed at $1.335M, Compass Point #151 3/3 listed at $1.495M.

10 closed sales: Mariner Pointe #541 2/2 $515K (our listing), Sanibel Arms West #A1 2/2 $525K, Sanibel Arms West #I4 2/2 $559K, Sanibel Arms West #J3 2/2 $560K, Sanibel Moorings #842 2/2 $610K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 $700K, Sandpiper Beach #105 2/2 $797.5K, Pelicans Roost #203 2/2 $875K, Pointe Santo #E22 2/2 $875K, Royale Tern #204 3/3.5 $1.2475M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1643 Bunting Ln 2/2 $599K, 999 East Gulf Dr #103 4/3 $1.995M, 1237 Isabel Dr 6/6.5 $3.195M.

3 price changes: 5100 Sea Bell Rd 4/2.5 now $949K, 820 Angel Wing Dr 3/2 now $1.45M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 4/4 now $4.245M.

12 new sales: 1643 Bunting Ln 2/2 listed at $599K, 1644 Bunting Ln 3/3 listed at $658K, 868 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $725K, 4505 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/3 listed at $729K, 9456 Beverly Ln 3/2 listed at $789K, 2480 Library Way 3/2.5 listed at $829K, 4377 Gulf Pines Dr 3/3 listed at 875K, 915 Fitzhugh St 4/2.5 listed at $945K, 5773 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 listed at $1.225M, 812 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 listed at $1.549M, 1761 Venus Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.899M, 768 Limpet Dr 3/3 listed at $2.3M.

3 closed sales: 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 half-duplex $565K, 4202 Old Banyan Way 3/2 $848K, 2843 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1.295M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 0 Rue Bayou now $649,555.

4 new sales: 255 Hurricane Ln listed at $368K, 5687 Baltusrol Ct listed at $399K, 1318 Par View Dr listed at $399K, 00 West Gulf Dr listed at $3.895M.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Cottages #1423 2/2 listed at $1.195M.

4 closed sales:  Tennis Villas #3212 1/1 $305K, Gulf Beach Villas #2024 3/3 $1.035M, Captiva Shores #7B 3/2.5 $1.324M, Lands End Village #1662 3/3 $1.99M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 42 Oster Ct 2/2.5 listed at $1.095M, 41 Oster Ct 2/2.5 listed at $1.125M.

4 closed sales: 18 Urchin Ct 2/2 $1.0625M, 15146 Wiles Dr 2/2 $2M, 11544 Wightman Ln 4/4.5 $2.1M, 11541 Paige Ct 3/4/2 $3.625M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

The Island Real Estate Market Remains Hot… Sunny too!

It is time to report another sunny Friday on Sanibel. Weather was not like this all week. Some much-needed rain was received Mon through Wed, followed yesterday by the highest recorded temperatures in the nation. The high today is expected to be 83 degrees F, followed by another week of the same sunny weather with maybe a passing thunderstorm Sunday morning. We sure are lucky to be here!

Sanibel’s State of Emergency

On Tuesday, Sanibel’s State of Emergency due to COVID-19 again was extended another week (until April 27). Masks remain required in all businesses and outside where social distancing is not possible. Just one more case reported on Sanibel this week with a total of 249 cases from Mar 26, 2020 through Apr 21, 2021. Still just 11 on Captiva during the same timeframe.

Sanibel & Captiva Farmers Markets

With Florida’s vegetable growing season winding down, visitors and locals who enjoy the local farmers markets have one more month to visit them on the islands. Sanibel Farmers Market at City Hall is OPEN Sundays, 8-1 through May 30. Captiva Island Farmers Market at South Seas Island Resort is OPEN Tuesdays, 9-1 through May 25.

The other Local Roots markets at the Sanibel Outlets and on Boca Grande have already finished their season, while the Wednesday markets at Lakes Park and Thursday markets at Coconut Point will finish up next week (Apr 28 and 29).

The Saturday morning Bonita Springs markets continue through May, while the River District markets in downtown Fort Myers are Thursday mornings year-‘round (except Thanksgiving).

Who knew when Betsy and Jean organized their first market nearly 15 years ago in the parking lot at Tahitian Gardens, that their business would expand into some of the largest fresh markets in Lee County. Congratulations, ladies! More details on http://buylocallee.com.

At SanibelSusan Realty

Here in the office, teammates Dave, Elise, and I got our monthly progress report letter in the mail. Those again illustrate how inventory is dwindling. Our three remaining listings all had inquiries and showings this week, with more showings scheduled tomorrow during guest turns-overs.

I was out showing homes most of Monday. With only 32 for sale on the entire island, it is difficult for buyers to find exactly what matches their desires. This week, Sanibel condo inventory also is down. There are just 36 units for sale. Owners looking to make a change, whether they are buying to upsize or downsize, will benefit from selling high but may struggle with limited buying options (which also will be high).

From the inventory action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday, which follows a couple of news items below, you will notice only two new listings (Sanibel & Captiva) during the 7-day period. With 30 new sales and 13 closings during that same window, inventory is further reduced.

There would have been one more closing, but we had a snafu with one that was to occur this week. The buyer was using her hometown bank for a mortgage. (When the property went under contract, I asked the buyer’s agent who would be doing the financing and warned her there always are problems with non-local banks. She assured me there would be no trouble with this one. Ha!)

The bank (where the buyer had done business for decades) provided written loan commitment weeks ago, but when it came time for them to issue loan documents to the title company, they denied the loan. I have never heard of this happening, but thankfully our seller is co-operative, is giving the embarrassed buyer more time, and the Sanibel-Captiva Community Bank has come to the rescue. David Wright and San-Cap Bank routinely lend all over the island and will get this one closed albeit with a bit of a delay.

Water Quality Update

As we continue to enjoy the bright blue waters viewed when crossing the causeway, it is important to remember what can happen after the rainy season. An article written by SCCF’s Environmental Policy Director, James Evans, and posted in this week’s “Island Reporter” has some news about that:

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in the process of developing a new Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule that will provide new guidance on how the Army Corps will manage water in Lake O for the different parts of South Florida’s complex water management system. The new schedule is called the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual, or LOSOM.

“LOSOM will consider additional infrastructure that will soon be operational, including rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike, Kissimmee River Restoration and Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERTP) projects, such as the C-43 Reservoir located within the Caloosahatchee watershed and the C-44 Reservoir location in the St. Lucie watershed. LOSOM is supposed to balance the various project purposes of the Central and South Florida Project (C&SF); flood control; navigation; water supply for agricultural irrigation, municipalities, industry and Everglades National Park; regional groundwater and salinity control; enhancement of fish and wildlife; and recreation.

“Extensive drainage work that has occurred in the Caloosahatchee watershed over the past century resulted in a system that drains very quickly with little to no treatment, resulting in water of poor quality being delivered to the estuary and the coast. Because of these hydrological changes, the Caloosahatchee currently receives the lion’s share of the harmful discharges from the lake during the rainy season and is often cut off from beneficial flows during the dry season. This has resulted in wide-ranging damage to the estuary and its ecosystems, including impacts to freshwater tape grass, oysters and sea grasses that depend on a balance of fresh and saltwater.

“CERP is the roadmap to restoring the ecosystem damage caused by the C&SF Project. The goal of CERP is to restore the quality, quantity, timing and distribution of freshwater flow to the Everglades and Florida Bay and the northern estuaries of the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie. The plan relies on massive infrastructure projects to store, treat and convey freshwater to the Everglades and reduce damaging discharges to the northern estuaries.

“While we wait for Everglades restoration to be completed, we have the opportunity to better balance the needs of our natural systems through development of the new lake regulation schedule. LOSOM is not designed to solve all our water management issues – although some stakeholders are using LOSOM to push for near-perfect water management conditions without the infrastructure to support such a request.

“The Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District will need to make challenging decisions about how best to balance the needs of the system. It is unacceptable to continue to operate the system to benefit private landowners at the expense of our public resources.

“During the LOSOM process, we need our West Coast stakeholders to be engaged and support plans that reduce the damaging high-flow discharges to the Caloosahatchee, while providing beneficial flows during the dry season. We also need to support plans that protect other natural systems that we depend on by maintaining water levels in Lake O that maintain a healthy ecosystem and deliver dry season flows to the Everglades. This can only be achieved by all stakeholders recognizing the need for truly balancing the needs of the entire system.

“To learn more about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s process for development LOSOM, visit the Lake Okeechobee System Operation Manual at https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/LOSM.”

More info at www.SCCF.org, too.

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Marine Lab Data to Help

From SCCF’s Wednesday update: “The SCCF Marine Laboratory recently uploaded its extensive water quality data from Gulf waters off our islands into the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (FDEP) Watershed Information Network database system. This is a major step forward so that the state can officially evaluate the Gulf of Mexico’s quality for management planning.

“Southwest Florida residents are likely to assure that the state already understands what’s happening in the Gulf due to repeated red tide and algae bloom events that impact humans and wildlife. However, not even one “waterbody unit” in the Gulf has ever been evaluated by FDEP due to a lack of enough water quality data.

SCCF photo – Marine Lab getting water samples.

“SCCF put forth a tremendous effort for this very purpose. The SCCF Water Quality Database was created in 2009 and it includes 88,000 samplings and analysis records from nearly 9,700 separate sampling events. Using the R/V Norma Campbell, The Marine Laboratory regularly collets water quality data in the Gulf of Mexico thanks to funding from the Vince Family through Goldman Sachs Cares.

“”That’s a lot of records,” said SCCF Research Associate Mark Thompson. “The FDEP requires each record go through a series of more than 100-quality assurance checks before it can be accepted. The data must be in the correct form and order, with the correct elements that fall within acceptable ranges. You can imagine how time-intensive this feat was to upload 88,000 records.”

“This massive undertaking will eventually be rewarded through improved state and federal management. The Impaired Water Rule requires the state to identify impaired waterbodies based upon existing water quality data – so now it has the data that show how and where the water is impaired and the sources of those problems.

“The FDEP’s Watershed Information Network (WIN) database evaluates and maps the state’s waters, each portioned into what the state calls a “waterbody ID unit” as indicated on this chart. A certain amount of data is needed before the unit is evaluated, and the information is used by researchers and reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“”SCCF has collected enough data to satisfy FDEP requirements for evaluating Gulf of Mexico waterbody segments near Sanibel and Captiva,” said Thompson. “This data is ready to be assessed by FDEP so it can get started on improving water quality in the Gulf.”

Thompson added, “This sounds dry and boring to most folks – even to the person who did it. But there was a warm and fuzzy feeling which transpired just after the deed was done.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 16-23, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Sundial #C303 2/2 now $695K, Sanibel Arms West #C4 2/2 now $910,990.

13 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #242 1/1 listed at $409K, Sundial #I105 1/1 listed at $415K, Sundial #C409 1/1 listed at $469K, Sandpebble #1D 2/2 listed at $569.5K, Pointe Santo #C4 1/1 listed at $585K, Sanibel Arms West #E4 2/2 listed at $889K, Oceans Reach #1C1 2/2 listed at $899K, Pelicans Roost #102 2/2 listed at $930K, White Sands #13 2/2 listed at $949K, Sanddollar #B101 2/2 listed at $1.125M, Pointe Santo #E26 2/2 listed at $1.269M, Sanddollar #C202 3/2 listed at $1.3M, Pointe Santo #E24 3/2 listed at $1.495M.

5 closed sales: Tennisplace #C26 1/1 $350K, Mariner Pointe #241 2/2.5 $665K, Heron at The Sanctuary #1B 3/3.5 $850K, Sanddollar #C201 2/2 $1.18M, Tigua Cay #489 3/3.5 $2.325M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 9456 Beverly Ln 3/2 $789K.

7 price changes: 1644 Bunting Ln 3/3 now $658K, 2011 Mitzi Ln 2/1 now $685K, 4619 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $862K, 5773 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $1.225M, 820 Angel Wing Dr 3/2 now $1.495M, 1761 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.899M, 486 Surf Sound Ct 3/3.5 now $1.295M

13 new sales: 2098 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 listed at $795K, 1560 Poinciana Cir 3/2 listed at $880K, 5186 Sea Bell Rd 3/3 listed at $998K, 2563 Coconut Rd 2/2 listed at $1.049M, 1350 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $1.199M, 5423 Shearwater Dr 3/3 listed at $1.245M, 812 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 listed at $1.249M, 9445 Beverly Ln 4/3 listed at $1.375M, 940 Whelk Dr 3/2 listed at $1.47M, 837 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3.5 $1.895M, 813 Angel Wing Dr 3/3.5 listed at $2.689M, 4601 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 listed at $3.395M, 4701 Rue Belle Mer 4/5 listed at $3.395M.

5 closed sales: 958 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $705K, 1421 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $905K, 1200 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 $905K, 249 Violet Dr 4/3 1.04M, 3744 West Gulf Dr 4/4 $1.95M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2299 Starfish Ln $549K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 3013 Poinciana Cir listed at $259.9K, 0 West Gulf Dr listed at $3.895M.

1 closed sale: 6008 White Heron Ln $810K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Seabreeze #1251 3/3 now $2.05M.

1 new sale: Ventura Captiva #4A 3/3 listed at $1.1M.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #4322 3/3 $729K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 15155 Wiles Dr 3/2 listed at $1.975M.

1 closed sale: 15000 Binder Dr 3/2 $1.271M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Another Bright Sunny Friday on Sanibel & Captiva

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

Beach in front of our listing at White Sands

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

Weather Changing

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

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

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

SanibelSusan Realty

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

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

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

CONDOS:

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

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

HOMES:

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

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

What about sales, year-to-date?

CONDOS:

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

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

HOMES:

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

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

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

Update on COVID-19

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

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

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

Posted on-line Wednesday at FloridaRealtors®:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Island Spring Things

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

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

Lake Okeechobee Releases Reduced

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

No price changes.

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

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

Dockage at Mariner Pointe

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings.

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

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

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

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

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

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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