As the holiday season unfolds, the islands had more chilly weather this week. That is expected to continue with daytime highs in the 70’s, nights in the 60’s. With the forecast calling for a 50% chance of rain Sunday, our coldest morning yet could be early next week.
Even so, SW Florida usually is the warmest spot in the nation. You can bet we are thankful for that!
Sanibel Luminaries – Today, Fri Dec 8:
- 4 to 8 p.m. at Adventures in Paradise Outfitters in Tahitian Gardens with complimentary drinks & hors d’oeuvres.
- 5 to 8 p.m. at Jerry’s Foods with Christmas caroling, ornament decorating, food samples, wine tastings, & Boy Scouts serving hot dogs & sodas for donations.
- Starting at 5 p.m. at Whitney’s Bait & Tackle with holiday shopping & cheer.
- 6 to 9 p.m. at Sanibel Community Church with Christmas light stroll, pony rides, petting zoo, snow pit, arts & crafts stations, food & fire pits to make s’mores.
- 6 to 9 p.m. at Tuttle’s Seahorse Shell Shop at East-end with live music & holiday shopping.
Captiva Community Carol Sing – Sun Dec 17 at 6 p.m. at Chapel by the Sea. This is the 12th year of this special event. It did not occur last year following the hurricane. Again, this year, SanibelSusan will be part of the ensemble singing. There will also be performances by the Sanibel School Choir.
Wed, after dozens of speakers testified, the Lee County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to approve changes to the county comprehensive plan removing longstanding building-height limits on Captiva. The vote to approve was despite near-unanimous opposition by both Captiva and Sanibel communities, citing increased density and intensity of development, strains on infrastructure and natural resources, and no real-need related to restoration.
The Protect Captiva coalition vows to continue its efforts to control heights and density at South Seas and on Captiva. They are pursing legal remedies to reverse these changes in the Lee Plan and county Land Development Code and to preserve their integrity and reasonable regulations. They also will continue to work with the Lee County Legislative Delegtion to file and seek passage of a bill creating the Captiva Islands Conservation Area which would codify the existing plan and code language in Florida statutes.
Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate News
Tues morning, the local Association of Realtors® Professional Development Committee met where dates were proposed for the 2024 SCIS (Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist) designation classes and annual continuing education required for license renewals. The next step is to confirm instructors, followed by class announcements.
There was no island Association of Realtors® Caravan this week. The next ones scheduled are Thurs mornings Dec 14 and Jan 4.
At SanibelSusan Realty, teammate Dave and I continue to talk and meet with both buyers and sellers. Buyers often are surprised at the high prices of single-family homes, while condo owners thinking of selling are recognizing those sales can be challenging unless complexes are ready for occupancy. We are also thankful for another closing this week.
Between restoration/construction delays and limited accommodation availability, it likely will be a quieter than usual “high season” on the islands this year. Ian caused massive destruction, so the “how do you eat an elephant?” saying applies. “You do it one bite at a time.” We are energized every day when we see more progress – which has accelerated.
Florida Realtors® 2023 Broker Summit
Mon and Tues afternoons, SanibelSusan attended the 5th annual Florida Realtors® Broker Summit. Moderated by Naples broker, Mike Hughes, first-day sessions covered national issues.
Dr Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist described that although 2023 has been exceptional with record-high prices, nationally there has been an 18% decline in the sale of existing homes. That segment of the market is on track to have its worst year since 2008 or 1993. New home sales, on the other hand, are up 4.5% year-to-date, on track for the best year since 2008 (the foreclosure year). Nationally, inventory is low on existing homes, while inventory of new homes is high.
Dr Yun thinks the 20-yr high interest rates have probably topped out, with 10-year treasury-yield drops signaling the Feds to pivot. He said monthly job gains are softening and higher unemployment (highest in nearly two years) is dampening wage growth which is at its lowest in 2.5 years.
Looking at home appreciation since COVID, Florida tops the nation (Maine is #2). He also suggests that the 30-year fixed rate will be 6-7% by early spring.
What will the future bring? Dr Yun described that there are pent-up sellers who don’t want to wait any longer. He also offered some interesting statistics (SanibelSusan loves those) about what the next two years will bring. These events affect real estate sales:
- 50 million job changes
- 7 million babies born
- 7 million turning 65
- 4 million deaths
- 4 million net new jobs
- 3 million marriages
- 5 million divorces.
He predicts that home sales will bottom out this year before an upturn next year. Next year, he sees sale of new homes up 19%, sale of existing homes up 13%.
What are the risks for the real estate business in the new year? He listed four: a Government shutdown, the lawsuit on Buyer representation, community banks (affected by high interest rates), and the reduction in international buyers.
The Tues sessions were state-specific with Dr. Brad O’Connor, Florida Realtors® Chief Economist, touting the real estate advantages here: Domestic in-migration is slowing but still high. Florida is an ideal location for untethered remote workers. Retirees with existing home equity are not as fazed by high interest rates, while housing remains affordable and more spacious here relative to the Northeast and West Coast.
Also there has been solid job growth throughout the state. Since 2019, U.S. job growth has been 3.5%, while Florida jobs grew 9%. Looking at prices, the median Florida sales price is up 57% over the last four years, but prices are now stabilizing. In dollar volume of closed sales, $172B has sold in Florida year-to-date, compared to $194B last year and $200B in 2021.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service
Below, with data from the islands MLS are summary tables of the residential sales statistics, followed by the island MLS action this week.
|#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM|
|Sold 2023 to 12/8||93||946,941||64||258||1,274,165||73||24||920,645||76|
|#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM||#||Avg Price||DOM|
|Sold 2023 to 12/8||16||830,062||101||17||2,716,647||70||0||N/A||N/A|
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Dec 1 – 8
2 new listings: Mariner Pointe #1083 2/2 $649.9K, Sundial #L404 2/2 $1.85M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: Loggerhead Cay #174 2/2 $899.9K.
No closed sales.
8 new listings: 1617 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $665K, 588 Hideaway Ct 3/2 $1.095M, 979 Whelk Dr 3/3 $2.28M, Moonshadows #1C 3/3 $2.3M, 228 Violet Dr 3/2.5.5 $2.5M, 2871 Wulfert Rd 4/4 $2.59M, 3421 West Gulf Dr 5/4.5.5 $7.8M, 3767 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $10.495M.
1 back on market: 4752 Rue Helene 2/2 $599K.
5 price changes: 3898 West Gulf Dr 3/2 now $1.095M, 465 Lake Murex Cir 2/2.5 now $1.139M, 6003 Clam Bayou Ln 4/3 now $1.595M, 815 Birdie View Pt 3/3 now $1.999M, 848 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 now $2.495M.
4 new sales: 4389 Gulf Pines Dr 3/3.5.5 listed at $1.75M, 848 Limpet Dr 3/2 listed at $1.85M, 759 Pyrula Ave 3/3 listed at $1.895M, 2477 Wulfert Rd 3/4 listed at $1.998M.
4 closed sales: 1388 Tahiti Dr 3/2 $1.1M, 924 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 $1.3M (SanibelSusan sale), 6063 San-Cap Rd 4/3 $1.34M, 2502 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $2.5M.
2 new listings: 2348 Wulfert Rd $399K, 1874 Middle Gulf Dr $2.15M.
1 price change: 0 Bowman’s Beach Rd now $198K.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 1030 White Ibis Dr $475K.
No new listings
2 price changes: Marina Villas #603 2/2 now $975K, Marina Villas #804 2/2 now $975K.
No new sales.
2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5226 1/2 $675K, Bayside Villas #5344 3/3 $1.625M.
HOMES & LOTS
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association, or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Enjoy your weekend, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan