It’s Sanibel Fall – or Like Summer With Pumpkins

If you are tired of hearing that it has been another quiet week on sunny Sanibel, I won’t say it, though it’s still mostly true. One diversion has been watching the increasing storm activity coming across the Atlantic. My favorite on-line forecaster Mike’s Weather Page at www.SpaghettiModels.com does not have things looking good for Florida next week. Fingers crossed that projections change in the upcoming days.

The City of Sanibel has been sending out warning messages, encouraging checking of disaster supply kits and reconfirming hurricane plans. I have already stocked up both at home and office. Teammate Dave has moved things off the floor in the office and I will pick up our “for sale” signs if it continues to look like the islands will get hit.

At SanibelSusan Realty This Week

We were contacted by another returning owner thinking of selling, will meet with them once they have settled in. Also worked with buyers writing a successful offer on a property they viewed nearly a month ago.

There was no island Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday, but our listings have had showings.

The sales action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service is after a couple of news items below. Our ad from today’s “Island Sun” also is below..

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Reatlors®

Next Thursday is the Association’s monthly membership breakfast meeting where speakers from the Captiva Erosion Protection Control District will update attendees.

At the Professional Development Meeting this week, we finalized the speaker schedule for the rest of this year. November speaker will be Amira Fox, State Attorney for the 20th Judicial Circuit of Florida (covering Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee counties). December speaker is Sanibel City Manager Dana Souza.

There is no speaker in October since our annual meeting is then (on October 27).

Before that, the Association annual RPAC (Realtor® Political Action Committee) Golf Tournament and Auction are scheduled for October 12 at The Dunes.

SanibelSusan’s donation (lobsters from Maine) usually sells for top dollar. Always happy to support fundraising efforts that protect and promote the real estate.

What Does the Fed Rate Increase Mean?

Below write-up received by email yesterday from Dan Krispinsky, Senior Loan Officer, at Lake Michigan Credit Union, Fort Myers Office. Bet you also enjoy it.

“The Fed increased policy rates by 0.75% at their September meeting and indicated they will continue raising rates until inflation is tamed. But that doesn’t mean mortgage rates will rise at the same pace. Why?

  • Market forces also influence mortgage rates. If inventors shy away from stocks and invest in safer mortgage bonds, for example, rates may come down.
  • If the Fed moves policy rates too far or too quickly, we could see a recession. Historically, that means lower mortgage rates.
  • Mortgage rates had already risen in anticipation of a Fed move. They may settle down now that the Fed has spoken.

“Does this mean you should wait for the possibility of lower rates? Not necessarily. I encourage my clients to consider all the moving pieces – not only in the markets, but also in their lives. If this is the right time for you to buy a home or access cash from equity, then let’s find a way to work withing the framework of the current interest rate environment. After all, rates are still lower than long-term averages, and there are options like hybrid ARMs, buydowns, and HELOCs that can help in this environment.

“Background on the Fed:

  • The Federal Reserve Board (the Fed) controls the federal funds rate and discount rate, which are charges for overnight loans from bank to bank or from the Fed to member banks,
  • The rate was lowered to near zero in March 2020 in response to the pandemic. These historic measures are now being reversed.
  • This is the fifth increase this year.

“Don’t let interest rates hold you back from making a move or accessing cash. I’m happy to help you navigate this market. After all, we’re still closing loans every day!”

Reach Dan at (239) 908-5936 dan.krispinsky@lmcu.org, 7920 Summerlin Lakes Dr, Fort Myers FL 33907

National Public Lands Day at The Refuge

Tomorrow, Saturday, September 24, across the U.S. is National Public Lands Day, a time to especially enjoy parks, refuges, and other green spaces protected by the federal government. At The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, there are plenty of FREE activities:

  • 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wildlife Dr free admission
  • 8:30 a.m. Morning Mindfulness at the Observation Tower on Wildlife Dr (pre-register on Eventbrite)
  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Self-guided Scavenger Hunt with prizes. Check-in at Visitor & Education Center.
  • 10 to 11 a.m. Educational programs at Visitor & Education Center.
  • 12:30 p.m. International Color Blindness Awareness Month colorblind glasses giveaway. (Year-‘round the Refuge serves the color-challenged population with a colorblind scope at the Observation Tower and loaner pairs of colorblind sunglasses at the reception desk.)
  • 1 to 3 p.m. Artist Reception featuring Jacqui Roch at Visitor & Education Center.

Seasonal Events Beginning Again

SanCap Motor Club – will host its first “Coffee & Cars” cruise-in of the new season on Saturday, October 1, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Periwinkle Place Shops (2075 Periwinkle Way). Shop owners and the Club will provide a continental breakfast, donuts, coffee, and other refreshments. Open to the public, no pre-registration required. Also, the Club will hold a dinner on the 2nd Wednesday of every month. Membership is $60/person or $75/couple or family. Email Scot Congress for more info at scot@scongress.com.

Farmers Markets – on both islands also begin in October (and go through May). Sanibel Market, on City Hall grounds, next to the Library, is Sundays from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. (every Sunday, except Christmas Day when instead it will be open on Monday). Captiva’s market is Tuesdays, at the entrance to South Seas Resort (5400 Plantation Rd), from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Info about seven other local markets is on www.BuyLocalLee.com  Big thanks to Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura for starting these markets. Time flies and expansion occurs when success abounds! Congratulations, ladies!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 16-23, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Captains Walk #C6 1/1 $399K.

1 price change: Loggerhead Cay #271 2/2 now $869K.

2 new sales: Lake Palms #3 2/2.5 listed at $699K, Shell Island Beach Club #6C 2/2 listed at $1.325M.

2 closed sales: Sanibel Arms West #K8 2/2 $850K, Loggerhead Cay #331 2/2 $870K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 747 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.35M.

3 price changes: 2005 Mitzi Ln 2/2 now $805K, 1270 Par View Dr 3/2 now $1.599M, 2474 Wulfert Rd 3/2 now $1.695M.

3 new sales: 749 Cardium St 3/2 listed at $1.179M, 242 Christofer Ct 3/2 listed at $1.499M (our sale), 424 East Gulf Dr duplex 4/2 listed at $2.599M.

2 closed sales: 542 Boulder Dr 2/2 $1.05M, 5690 San-Cap Rd 3/3 $1.65M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11529 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 $3,990,050.

1 price change: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 now $4.799M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 11517 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4.5 $4.5M.

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! Keep an eye on the weather!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Mid-September & Islands Are Quiet

Here’s another update on another quiet week on sunny Sanibel. Here at the office, we had been noticing periodic slow internet service – which went out completely last Friday when I was trying to send our update.

Internet service can have problems during summer tropical storms, but teammate Dave thought this more serious and got Comcast “on it”. Now we have a new wireless modem plus all new wiring from our unit, under the parking lot, and over the buildings behind us, to the closest central pole. It took several days, but we are happy speedy internet users again.

Speaking of storms, all eyes are on Fiona, but “knock on wood”, 2022 continues to treat SW Florida well.

While out on Captiva this morning, I noticed many construction projects underway – some are huge. As I drove around the “S” curve, I remembered that before Hurricane Charley in 2004, we enjoyed the tunnel of tropical vegetation there – which was destroyed in that storm. A tunnel (of sorts) is back, without the Australian pines that created such havoc.

Out on Santiva, it looks like Castaways Cottages have received new bright cheerful coats of paint. Sunset Grill center also is getting updates. Similarly on Sanibel, all kind of projects are underway or wrapping up as we all look forward to a busy “season” beginning, hopefully, when the first snowbirds arrive in a few weeks. We are ready!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Monday through Wednesday, the Association offered the Continuing Ed classes required for state license renewals. At the biweekly Caravan Meeting yesterday, attendance was light and just two properties were open for viewing. Tomorrow morning (Saturday), Association members are participating in Coastal Clean-Up.

Photo from Seagrape Ln bayside, after class on Monday, 12:48 p.m. 09-12-22

According to the Sanibel & Captiva islands Multiple Listing Service, Sanibel inventory ticked up a little this week with one more condo and four more homes available today, compared to last Friday. (Today, there are 27 condos, 37 homes, and five lots are for sale on Sanibel. Captiva has seven condos, nine homes, and one lot for sale.)

The action this week posted in the local Multiple Listing Service is below. Our ad from today’s “Island Sun” also is here.

As mentioned before, most island offers today are on the Florida Realtors® “As Is” Contract which by default has a 15-day inspection/cancellation period. That timeframe often is negotiated. Because of that right to cancel and buyers going under contract before they have seen a property or had inspections, many listings recently have come of the market, quickly gone under contract, and then come back on the market. For example, since last Friday, three homes and a condo that were under contract again are available.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 9 – 15, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sanctuary Heron #3A 2/2.5 $999K.

1 price change: Loggerhead Cay #271 2/2 now $879.9K.

1 new sale: Lighthouse Point #232 3/2 listed at $1.095M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 6054 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/2 $899K, 1986 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 $975K.

1 price change: 1018 S Yachtsman 3/3 now $1.245M.

1 new sale:  1242 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $1.145M.

2 closed sales: 671 Durion Ct 3/2 $1.095M, 3169 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 $1.2M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Marina Villas #803 2/2 $1.275M

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Sunset Captiva #1 2/2.5 listed at $3.9M.

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.

Enjoy your weekend!

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

An Interesting Friday at SanibelSusan Realty

Another quiet week for us at SanibelSusan Realty, so much so that yesterday Dave and Lisa took another long-deserved day off together. When we are in the office, we are catching up with database updating, reaching out to fence-sitting buyers and sellers, and gearing up for “season”. Inventory still is low. For sale today on Sanibel, just 26 condos, 27 homes, and five lots.
It was five years ago today, when many left the island as Hurricane Irma was looming. It arrived September 10, 2017. Thankfully, we have not seen any serious storms this year, though the heavy rain, thunder, and lightning that passed through the islands several times yesterday, kept the alarms ringing at the community park across the street from our office.
Late-afternoon, I also received repeated City warning announcements of severe thunderstorms. As they say in Florida this time of the year, wait a few minutes for the weather to change. I say, keep an eye on the sky and a good weather app. Yesterday, it was heavy rain on Sanibel, while the night before it was inland. Both events resulted in more than 1000 lightning strikes during very short timeframes.
With water quality always in our minds, particularly after storms, I stopped at the bayside beach on Bailey Rd enroute to the office this morning. Water not sparkling blue, but still clear.
This afternoon, we have been without internet service for hours so that’s why this is a little later than usual today. In fact, It came back on for a few minutes but is off again now, so am winging this from my iPad.
SanibelSusan’s Crystal Ball
So, over the long weekend, I both met and corresponded with more prospective buyers. Since we Realtors© often hear the same objections again and again, here is my 2-cents worth on some. First a little background from my 30 years selling island real estate and maybe a little credit for spending 23 years in marine engineering, management, and contracts before that.
These may be generalities, but most buyers here are NOT looking to purchase somewhere else. They want to be on the island. Maybe it’s the weather, or the laid-back lifestyle, or the taxes, or the school, or the environment, or something else, but they want to be on Sanibel. Most of these buyers also say they do NOT need to buy – or can wait to buy. Most also recognize that the Sanibel/Captiva market has been hot, inventory is down, and prices are up.
Many also say, they are waiting for the market to change because they think it will – for reasons like the economy, war in Ukraine, high interest rates, increases in insurance costs, storms, politics, and more.
What they can’t understand is that I don’t always agree with them. They look at me like I’m a salesman when I say that every island Realtor® worth their salt has a list of buyers just like them, that the difficulty is the amount of inventory and when it is available, not that the property is not worth what sellers are asking. Property values are determined by buyers, based on what they are willing to pay.
Here it is an issue of supply and demand. Sanibel often is a retirement destination which may mean buyers purchase more than one property here before they get their final one. There are few listings motivated by job or family changes. Those that sell to leave the island are often going for health reasons or to enter a retirement community.
Many of today’s prospective sellers would like to take advantage of the “hot market”, but where would they go? For that reason alone, many are sitting tight. Those that are choosing to sell though sometimes get the luxury of doing things on their own timeline and choosing from a variety of good offers.
What does a seller consider a good offer? That varies with their motivation, but in most cases, it is a cash full-price with strong deposit(s), no seller warranty or repairs, and closing at a time of seller choice.
What else happened here with real estate, from the pandemic, is that island owners who previously spent only short times on-island, now are here much longer, or moving here permanently, or working from here, or no longer renting their property. Real estate availability has been reduced.
Unfortunately, for prospective buyers, this market boom usually means the best deals are grabbed up quickly. Despite some media claiming otherwise, existing properties for sale and priced appropriately still are moving at a remarkably fast pace in many areas. According to statistics collected by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the average house in the U.S. is selling in just 14 days. To put that into perspective, U.S. homes took an average of 96 days to sell back in 2011.
It is true that Florida home prices are up over 30% over last year. Despite escalating mortgage rates and slumping home sales in the second quarter of 2022, a greater number of U.S. markets experienced double-digit annual price gains compared to the prior quarter, according to NAR. Eighty percent of the 185 tracked metro areas posted double-digit price gains, up from 70% in the 1st quarter of the year.
Nationally, the median single-family existing-home price eclipsed $400K for the first time, rising 14.2% from one year. Year-over-year price appreciation eased slightly compared to the previous quarter. Are there homes on the islands priced this low? No. As I had to tell recent prospects wanting to spend no more than $750K, the lowest-priced home on the island today is one that is inland for $815K. I’ll watch for some priced lower, but who knows when that will be.
Many real estate gurus predict that Florida will stay hot through the year. I bet it stays hot through winter too.  Will high interest rates affect the number of sales? Sure, just not much here, where few buyers make offers with mortgage contingencies. What I see those higher interest rates may do is slow price growth. (The key word here is “growth”, prices are not trending down.)
For years, the supply of new homes in Florida has trailed behind population growth. On the island, new homes are almost impossible to find. Adding the post-pandemic migration to Florida resulted in an enormous gap in supply and demand – which continues to drive prices up.
Many who follow the market also think that through the remainder of this year and into 2023, housing demand will be all about the Gulf Coast of Florida. As the popularity of working remotely grows, people are expected to continue to move from major cities to slower-paced lifestyles. That’s here!
Those selling in Florida this year will probably make a nice profit. They may not get multiple offers, but they should have choices.
Meanwhile, those island buyers sitting on the sidelines thinking the market here is going to crash, better think again. I bet prices will continue to go up – perhaps more modestly – until the day (if ever) that the islands become less desirable. That probably would take a catastrophic event.
Buy now, tomorrow is not promised. That is one lesson learned from the pandemic.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®
No caravan meeting this week at the local Association of Realtors©, but there was still a little action posted in the Multiple Listing Service. See that below, after a couple of news items.
Next week, the Association is offering the classwork required every two years for Realtor© license renewals. I will be in class Monday morning and all-day Tuesday to finish up the continuing education required for my renewal in March. (It’s true, “old dogs can learn new tricks.”) I look forward to seeing long-time instructor pals, Chuck Bonamer from Venice who is teaching Bias Override and Pat Pitocchi from Naples who will teach both Code of Ethics and Core Law. (Tough to keep those subjects interesting, but I know these two will do it.)
SanibelSusan teammates Dave and Lisa have already completed their classwork and renewed their licenses for two more years.
September Restaurant Closures
Update below on when some restaurants are closed this month. Best September advice is to give them a call before going. Some are experiencing delays in reopening.
·        400 Rabbits – 9/19-25
·        CIP’s – In Sept, closed for lunch CLOSED & CLOSED all day Tuesdays, otherwise Happy Hour 4-6 p.m. & open for dinner at 4 p.m.)
·        Gramma Dot’s – 8/29-9/30, reopens 10/1
·        Island Pizza – 9/6-19, reopens 9/20
·        Lighthouse Café – reopens tomorrow
·        Mad Hatter – 9/5-30, reopens 10/1
·        Over Easy Café – 9/12-22, reopens 9/23
·        Paper Fig Kitchen – 9/18-20, reopens 9/21
·        Rosie’s Café & Grill – 9/5-12, reopens 9/13
·        Schnapper’s Hots – 9/6-15, reopens 9/16
·        Sweet Melissa’s – 9/4-19, reopens 9/20
·        The Fig – 9/11-13
·        Trader’s – 9/18-10/2, reopens 10/3
·        Traditions – 9/4-26, reopens 9/27
·        Tutti Pazzi – 9/6-13, reopens 9/14
Bankrate’s Best State for Retirement in 2022? Florida
Posted Tuesday, September 6, 2022, on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to Nexstar Broadcasting:
“In a study heavily weighted for affordability, Fla. “unsurprisingly took the top spot,” while Alaska, despite its affordability, came in last.
“MIAMI, Fla. – Whether it’s kicking back on the porch reading the newspaper, enjoying the outdoors or just being closer to the grandkids, post-career goals vary for people. But all states are not the same when it comes to retirement, a recent study from Bankrate found.
“Bankrate conducted a study to find the best and worst states for retirement in 2022. “For this study, Bankrate looked at five broad categories: affordability, wellness, culture, weather and crime. We placed the heaviest weighting on affordability,” according to the study, whose authors acknowledged that some things, such as proximity to loved ones or personal dislike of the cold, were just too subjective to measure.
“The Southeast dominated the top two spots followed by some Midwest states and others across the U.S. Florida, well known for its warm weather, abundant golf and retirement communities such as The Villages, unsurprisingly took the top spot.
“Let’s check out the best and worst states:
“Alaska was relegated to the last spot because of its poor scores for weather, crime and affordability. If avoiding taxes is your top goal, however, you may still want to consider Alaska, which beat out all other states in that category.
“As for overall affordability, Michigan is your destination. Despite the frigid winters, The Great Lakes State broke the overall top five for 2022 thanks in large part to its cost of living.
“Also in the top five were Georgia, for its mostly pleasant weather (outside of hurricane season) and affordability; Ohio for its affordability and lack of bad scores in other metrics; and Missouri, also for affordability and weather.
“If it’s still too hard to pick, consider the advice of Laura Kovacs, former director of education at the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors in Arizona who recently retired herself: “Go to a variety of different places that you seem to be attracted to – places that have a lower cost of living and lower property taxes – and test them out for a while. If you’re interested in Florida or Arizona or California, stay there for a while and see if you like the climate at the time of year you’re going to be living there.””
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 2 – 9, 2022
Sanibel
CONDOS
2 new listings: Lighthouse Point #232 3/2 $1.095M, Tiqua Cay #487 3/3.5 $3.4M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: Beach Rd Villas #101 2/2 listed at $685K.
2 closed sales: Sundial #G306 1/1 $845K, Gulf Beach #107 2/2 $925K.
HOMES
No new listings.
1 price change: 683 Emeril Ct 2/2 now $1.049M.
1 new sale: 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 listed at $2.339M.
1 closed sale: 531 Birdsong Pl 3/2 $755K.
LOTS
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: 4636 Rue Royale listed at $825K.
No closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings.
1 price change: Tennis Villas #3113 1/1 now $519K.
No new or closed sales.
HOMES
1 new listing: Sunset Captiva #1 2/2.5 $3.9M.
No price changes, new or closed sales.
LOTS
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association, or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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Labor Day Weekend 2022 on Sunny Sanibel

As we look forward to a holiday weekend, islanders continue to “knock on wood” that this has been the quietest hurricane season in decades. Island weather has been nice again this week too, though the lightning storm surrounding midnight Tuesday night/Wednesday morning was another humdinger. More daytime temperatures in the high 80’s/low 90’s expected for the foreseeable future, again with a good chance of rain sometime during each 24-hour period.

At SanibelSusan Realty

Teammate Dave got another big postcard mailing out Wednesday. It featured our three east-end listings. Our ad from today’s “Island Sun” below also highlights them.

The next few months usually are busy with island real estate, mostly sellers thinking of taking advantage of the market and buyers wanting a property to benefit from themselves this winter – whether it be for personal use or income.

Below is an update of island residential inventory today (data from the Sanibel/Captiva MLS September 2, 2022):

 

 

Status

SANIBEL
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 25 1,250,080 66 30 2,225,633 61 6 1,702,000 90
Under contract 8 1,211,362 31 14 1,499,000 38 2 247,500 47
Sold to-date 2022 113 1,137,190 43 148 1,672,436 57 23 686,641 244
Sold 2021 287 875,127 113 355 1,341,881 89 69 698,862 442

 

 

 

Status

CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 6 1,433,666 111 8 7,085,345 127  1 15,500,000 160
Under contract 0 N/A N/A 1 4,995,000 197  0 N/A N/A
Sold to-date 2022 28 1,458,963 52 21 5,690,500 130  0 N/A N/A
Sold 2021  64 1,150,373 145 44 2,988,520 261  2 2,950,000 731

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

At the Caravan Meeting yesterday at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors©, many donations of goods plus a $500 check were presented to Jennifer Benton, CEO of ACT (Abuse, Counseling, & Treatment Inc.), the private non-profit in Fort Myers that serves victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Always looking for volunteers and contributions, you also can support ACT through their thrift store (Second ACT which is on U.S. 41 at 12519 South Cleveland Ave), their gallery and boutique (at 2265 First St in the Fort Myers River District), and their annual benefit Gala/Art Auction (this year on October 29). More info at www.ACTAbuse.com

After the meeting, three newly-listed homes open for viewing – an indication that inventory is increasing albeit slowly and that new listings are no longer selling immediately – though one of those properties hit the MLS for the first time the day before and the listing agent reported that it already had nine showings. (It is a very large near-beach like-new well-furnished pool home.)

Beach Bucket Success

Posted in SCCF’s August 31 update, “Coastal Watch is happy to announce that the buckets at the beach bucket stations are being used! Several volunteers have been monitoring and reporting the usage of the buckets over the past two months at the three bucket stations – Lighthouse Beach, Tarpon Bay Rd Access, and Bowman’s Beach. We are thrilled to see the community and visitors taking advantage of this program and helping Coastal Watch keep our beautiful beaches clean! More volunteers are needed to help monitor the stations. If interested, please email CoastalWatch@sccf.org.”

September Closures & Happenings

Restaurants – Traditionally, September is the slowest month of the year on the islands. Social media has been overloaded with questions about what restaurants are closed – and when. Many with maintenance projects and improvements planned are dealing with construction and material delays. So best advice is to call the restaurant before you go to be sure they are open. Below is the list from the Chamber of Commerce website showing 2022 off-season restaurant closures:

  • 400 Rabbits – 9/19-25
  • Blue Giraffe 2 – 9/4-19
  • CIP’s – (Today on Facebook, their page says September hours: Lunch CLOSED; also CLOSED all day Tuesdays, CLOSED Labor Day Monday, otherwise Happy Hour 4-6 p.m. & open for dinner at 4 p.m.)
  • Paper Fig Kitchen – 9/18-20
  • Gramma Dot’s – 8/29-9/30
  • Island Pizza – 9/6-19
  • Lighthouse Café – 9/5-9
  • Over Easy Café – 9/12-22
  • Sweet Melissa’s – 9/4-19
  • The Fig – 9/11-13
  • Trader’s – 9/18-10/2
  • Traditions – 9/4-27
  • Tutti Pazzi – 9/6-13.

CROW Visitor Center – Closed September 5 to 9 for Labor Day and fall cleaning. Call to schedule Wildlife Walk Guided Hospital Tours for the week of September 12.

Island Hopper Songwriter Fest – Beginning September 16 and running for ten days, this Southwest Florida festival features performances by singers-songwriters from Nashville and beyond. The first weekend is on Captiva (Sep 16-18), then downtown Fort Myers during the week (Sep 19-22), followed by weekend on Fort Myers Beach (Sep 23-25).  Get the full line-up of performers at www.island-hopperfest.visitfortmyers.com.

International Coastal Clean-Up Day – is Saturday September 17. Several island organizations including the local Association of Realtors©, CROW, and SCCF’s Coastal Watch are participating. For more info or to sign up through SCCF, visit www.Bit.ly/sccf-cleanup-2022 For off-island locations, go to www.KLCB.org/events/coastal-cleanup

SCCF Watch Party – This fundraising event supporting the Foundation’s community-based marine conservation and volunteer program, Coastal Watch, is September 30 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Sanibel Sea School (455 Periwinkle Way). It includes live music from Uproot Hootenanny, shrimp boil, other good eats, craft beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages, casting competition, 50/50, and more fun ways to give. Tickets available at www.CoastalWatchParty.eventbrite.com.

Plan Ahead for “Taste of The Islands”

CROW’S oldest running fundraiser is evolving again. This year it will be a Sanibel-Captiva restaurant week, scheduled for November 12-19. Restaurants still will feature a “Taste” for judging and panels of judges will do tasting on each Saturday. More details to come in October.

More Insurance News

Posted yesterday, September 1, 2022, on FloridaRealtors© and sourced to The News Service of Florida:

“State-Owned Citizens Insurance May Raise $700K Cap

“TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With homeowners struggling to find coverage, insurance regulators are looking at the possibility of lifting a $700,000 cap on policies sold by the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Citizens is barred by law from providing what is known as a “replacement cost” coverage of more than $700,000 for homes, except in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, where the limit is $1 million.

“But as Florida’s property-insurance market has crumbled and home values have soared, many homeowners have been dropped by private insurers and cannot qualify for Citizens coverage because of the $700,000 cap.

During a Citizens committee meeting Wednesday, Susanne Murphy, a deputy commissioner at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FOIR), said that regulators are analyzing whether they could increase the $700,000 cap in at least some counties.

“State law would allow such a move if regulators determine that “there is not a reasonable degree of competition” in those counties. That finding in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties opened the door for an increase to a $1 million coverage limit. “Whether there’s enough data to support that finding is what we’re trying to determine,” Murphy told members of the Citizens Market Accountability Advisory Committee. “The last time we did this (with Miami-Dade and Monroe), it was pretty clear … and I think that the data that we’ve looked at thus far is not as clear as it was years ago.”

“Committee member Lee Gorodetsky, a South Florida insurance agent, said “clients can’t even squeeze into Citizens insurance, even though they want to or need to.” That has resulted, for example, in homeowners having to turn to what is known as surplus-lines coverage, which is largely unregulated and can include more conditions on policies.

“Murphy, a member of the Citizens committee, said it will probably take another month before regulators decide on whether to lift the cap. The discussion about the cap is more fallout from the troubled private insurance market, as carriers have shed policies and sought large rate increases to try to curb financial losses. Since February, five insurers have been deemed insolvent and placed into receivership.

“Citizens, which was created as an insurer of last resort, has been flooded with policies during the past two years. As of Friday, it had about 1.02 million policies. By comparison, it had 499,056 policies on Aug. 31, 2020, and 687,079 policies on Aug. 31, 2021, according to data posted on its website.

“The coverage cap also is tangled in longstanding efforts by state leaders to have homes insured in the private market, rather than by Citizens. Those efforts, in part, stem from concerns about financial risks if the state is hit by a major hurricane or multiple hurricanes.

“Citizens policies had a $2 million coverage cap until 2013 when lawmakers passed a measure to gradually reduce it, with the $700,000 limit in place since 2017. Murphy said increasing the $1 million cap in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties – and potentially other counties – would require the Legislature to change state law. Home values vary in different parts of the state, and most do not exceed $700,000. But the cap issue has drawn particular attention in high-value areas such as Broward and Palm Beach counties.

“As an example, the metropolitan statistical area that includes Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach had a median sales price for existing single-family homes of $595,000 in July, according to the industry group Florida Realtors. In the area that includes Naples, Immokalee and Marco Island, the median sales price was $748,270.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Aug 26-Sep 2, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings or sales.

2 price changes: Shell Island Beach Club #6C 2/2 now $1.325M, Sanibel Surfside #125 2/2 now $1.345M.

2 closed sales: Seawind #A105 2/2.5 $885K, Pointe Santo #D44 2/2 $1.3M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 466 Sea Oats Dr 4/4 $2.239M.

1 price change: 1543 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/4 now $2.895M.

5 new sales: 1747 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $849K (stats), 1835 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $899K, 921 Strangler Fig Ln 3/2.5 listed at $999K, 1565 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $1.15M (stats), 641 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 listed at $1.279M.

3 closed sales: 1421 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 $769K, 1012/14 E Gulf Dr 4/2 $960K, 5802 San-Cap Rd 3/3.5 $1.125M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 4636 Rue Royale $825K, 1729 Jewel Box Dr $1.35M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 1994 Wild Lime listed at $350K.

1 closed sale: 1321 Seaspray Ln $950K.

Captiva

CONDOS

Nothing to report.

HOMES

1 new sale: 11517 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4.5 listed at $4.995M.

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.

Here’s hoping you enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Clear Water, Smiling Dolphins, & Florida Real Estate News

It’s another sunny Florida Friday. The summer showers this week have been mostly late day and inland. More similar “chance of rain” days are forecast through next week – a good reminder for beach and boating lovers to make their outdoor plans for mornings.

Teammate Dave (and his first mate teammate Lisa) had his boat out this week, reporting smooth sailing and clear waters up into Charlotte Harbor. The below picture was taken by one of his pals in Redfish Pass where the dolphins are actively soliciting hand-outs. Though this smiling guy is cute, please don’t feed the wildlife.

Photo by Britt Maxwell, 8-23-22, Redfish Pass

At SanibelSusan Realty

The action since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service is posted after a couple of news items below. Our ad from today’s “Island Sun” also is included.

Association of Realtors®

There was no Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors© caravan meeting this week at it was the 2022 Florida Realtors® Convention in Orlando. The schedule for that annual event has changed since the pandemic with many of the leadership meetings by Zoom last week. This week (Wednesday through tomorrow) is the actual convention with trade show, educational sessions, and meetings, followed to the Board of Directors meeting Sunday morning. I zoomed several sessions and events, but sure missed networking in person with committee pals.

This morning, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spoke at the Realtor Party Town Hall with a political update and look ahead to the midterm election this fall. Of course, I also tuned In to that.

In addition to describing the state of the state, emphasizing the Hometown Heroes Program and other state benefits to first responders, teachers, nurses, etc., he mentioned the unprecedented resident migration into Florida. Most newcomers are from New York, California, and Illinois, while he also said the migration here is four times the number that recently moved to Texas. Two years in a row now, the wealth moving into Florida is setting records. In fact, money-wise, the Governor said that Florida just reported its largest ever budget surplus.

Of particular interest to those along the Gulf Coast where water quality is so important, are the Florida monies allocated and improvements made toward Everglades restoration ($3.3 billion, which is more than two times what was spent in the four years before Desantis).

It also was interesting to hear Desantis say that no Florida state university has raised tuition during his four years, with the University of Florida now also being rated the #5 college in the nation.

Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis spoke after the Governor saying that Florida is rated #1 for its fiscal condition, but he also mentioned insurance problems. He said that while 7% of insurance claims come from Florida, so does 70% of litigation. Insurance reform remains a top priority.

Lee County 2022 TRIM Notices

The TRIM Notice for my Sanibel home arrived in Saturday’s mail. It was a bit of a surprise to see the assessed value was up 53%. I am gladly homesteaded which also means I receive the “Save Our Homes” benefit which limits property value increases for tax purposes to 3% annually and offers portability. So, thankfully, even worst case, my 2022 property taxes will only go up a few dollars.

These TRIM (or Truth in Millage) notices inform property owners of what the millage rates are proposed to be from the various entities that tax them, what the assessed value of the property is, its taxable value, and what they will owe in ad valorem and other taxes for the year will be, should the tax rates be approved at upcoming public hearings.

Assessed values are based on sales the previous year, or before January 1 this year. Property owners have 25 days after their notice is received to file an appeal.

To file for a homestead exemption, owners must reside in the property January 1 that year, and file for the exemption before March 1. (They are renewed automatically each year.)

Without this exemption, value increases are limited to 10% annually. More info and filing on-line available at www.LeePA.org.

Special Rental & Tour Discounts for Residents

Tarpon Bay Explorers is offering a September discount for locals. For the month, they are extending a 25% discount on all rentals and guided tours for residents of Lee, Charlotte, and Collier counties. This is a great opportunity for residents to enjoy “Ding Darling” during the “quiet” season. Kayak, canoe, paddleboard, and bike rentals are available first-come between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Fishing kayaks and pontoon rentals need a reservation, as do cruise, paddling, and tram tours. Call 239-472-8900 or visit www.TarponBayExplorers.com for more info, reservations, pricing.

South Seas Plantation Scoop

The rumor mill has been having a heyday about upcoming changes at Captiva’s South Seas Plantation. Luckily our colleagues who work there are happy to share info. Here are a few improvements in the works there.

  • The old employee housing buildings are essentially demolished with cleanup and grading finishing up.
  • The golf course will close September 6 to begin its renovation. Completion not expected until mid-summer 2023.
  • Front-office arrival desk will be moving to the conference center just outside the resort near Doc Ford’s.
  • Current front-desk arrival area being converted to a water feature to include lazy river, adult pool, kiddie splash zones, and food-beverage option. Design expected to be done later this year with start date of 3rd quarter 2023.
  • Replacement of T-dock schedule delayed with target now early 2023.
  • Starbucks will be doubling in size with renovations to begin later this year, or early 2023.

Appliances to Upgrade Before Selling

From “Florida Realtor®” magazine September 2022:

“50% of homeowners surveyed said they would upgrade their current appliances before selling to increase their home’s value. Homeowners believe that replacing their appliances would increase the value of their homes by nearly $14K. The top 6 are:

  • Air conditioner
  • Dishwasher
  • Water heater
  • Oven
  • Washing machine
  • Refrigerator.”

Bailey Tract Trail Closed Next Week

More summer projects and pre-season maintenance announced this week, when it was posted that the Bailey Tract will be closed Monday through Friday (August 29 through September 2) for maintenance work and mowing.

Lower 2022 Home Sales Projection

Posted Wednesday, August 25, on FloridaRealtors© and sourced to Inman (8/22/22): “Fannie Mae expects a 16.2% drop in home sales year-to-year in 2022; one month earlier it predicted 15.6%, but “housing remains clearly on the downtrend.”

“WASHINGTON – According to the latest projections from Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group, home sales are expected to total 5.78 million this year, down 16.2% from a year ago. In July, one month earlier, Fannie Mae forecast a 15.6% decline.

““Housing remains clearly on the downtrend – and has been for several months now – due to the combined effects of outsized home price increases and the significant and rapid run-up in mortgage rates,” says Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan. “Despite a pullback in mortgage rates over the past month, recent incoming data point to a faster near-term slowdown in sales than we had expected, especially for new homes.”

“New-home sales are now projected to fall 18% to 632,000 this year, and existing-home sales are expected to drop 16% to 5.143 million. Fannie Mae forecasters said existing-home sales in June “were somewhat stronger than we had anticipated,” but “recent leading indicators of July home sales, such as pending sales and mortgage applications, point to a continued slow down.”

“Meanwhile, pending sales, which lead closings by approximately 30 to 45 days on average, fell 8.6% from May to June, though by a much smaller 1% in July. However, Fannie Mae economists also believe mortgage rates have peaked and will trend downward into next year.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 19-26, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Rd Villas #101 2/2 $685K.

No price changes.

4 new sales: Captains Walk #F3 2/2 listed at $620K, Spanish Cay #E4 2/2 listed at $649K, Sanibel Arms West #K8 2/2 listed at $889K, Sanibel Moorings #1112 2/2 listed at $1.325M.

2 closed sales: Sanibel Arms West #B8 2/2 $820K, Somerset #D101 3/2.5 $2.1M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 921 Strangler Fig Ln 3/2.5 $999K, 1345 Junonia St 2/2 $1.2M, 1224 Kittiwake Cir 3/2 $1.55M, 9319 Kincaid Ct 3/2 $1.795M, 950 Victoria Way 4/4 $2.695M.

No price changes or new sales.

6 closed sales: 1289 Par View Dr 3/2 $900K, 1313 Seaspray Ln 3/3 $1.65M, 839 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.925M, 437 Lake Murex Cir 5/3 $1.95M, 4640 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 $2.55M, 885 Limpet Dr 4/3 $3.25M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS, HOMES, LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

More Island Scoop as Summertime Wraps Up on Sunny Sanibel

Wrapping up another quiet week on sunny Sanibel without the Saharan dust and where the summer breezes pushed east so there were very few showers, except inland. It really has been a nice summer so far – though we continue to watch the tropics and waves coming off Africa.

A favorite photo from 2011 by Jim Anderson, JMA Photographer

At SanibelSusan Realty

This week, our listings had more showings, but overall real estate activity has been slow as shown in the Multiple Listing Service action which is after a couple of news items below.

Demand for real estate here remains high but compared to the action six-plus months ago when properties were selling quickly, often for full price or higher, that no longer is the norm. Buyers are more cautious. Market is shifting.

Teammate Dave and I also received more calls from owners thinking of selling. Most don’t want to give up their property yet or don’t have a replacement to use this winter, so probably will revisit the idea when they come next. Our crystal ball doesn’t extend too far, but you can be sure we closely watch inventory and sales.

Buyers sitting on the fence thinking more choices at lower prices will be available soon, could be disappointed. As we tell prospective purchasers, if you see something you like, buy it. Who knows what will become available next and when. There is no time like the present to enjoy owning on the islands which also is why we understand those not wanting to sell soon, even if they could get a great price.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Professional Development Committee – The Association’s Professional Development Committee met Tuesday. Due to speaker commitments, some schedules were swapped for the rest of the 2022 Monthly Membership Breakfast Meetings. Details on the August meeting, which was yesterday, are below.

An update of other classes and educational events planned through the year also were discussed. SanibelSusan will participate in the upcoming Bias Override, Code of Ethics, and Core Law classes which are September 12 and 13. She also will proctor the next new member orientation on September 20.

August Membership Meeting – It was almost a full house at the monthly breakfast meeting yesterday, August 18, 2022. Sponsored by Rapid Response Team (affiliate Melanie Holliday), speakers were three affiliate members (John Treblicock Esq. with Goede, DeBoest & Cross; Cameron Govreau with Heidrick & Company; and Brian Chapman with Chapman Insurance Group). As a panel they covered how recently enacted Florida Senate Bill 4-D (Building Safety) affects condominiums.

There were few announcements during the Caravan section of the meeting and just one property was open for viewing, a condo that is “back on the market”, after being listed in May and under contract in July.

Below are some take-aways from the panel discussion on Florida condo changes.

Photo by Melanie Holliday (Rapid Response Team)

Florida Condos – Building Safety – Those complexes affected by the new bill are those with one or more buildings that are three or more stories high. Such buildings located within three miles of coastline require a milestone inspection 25 years from the certificate of occupancy (C.O.). (For those further away, the inspection is required within 30 years from C.O.)

After this milestone inspection, they will be required to have the same inspection performed at least once every ten years thereafter. The inspections must be conducted by a licensed architect or building engineer and include load-bearing walls, primary structural members, systems, and the resulting report must attest to the life safety and adequacy of the structural components of the building.

If a building C.O. was issued on or before July 1, 1992 (which includes most of those on the islands), the initial milestone inspection must be performed before December 31, 2024.

Additionally, a study of the reserve funds required for future major repairs and replacement of the common areas also must be completed by this same date and then updated at least every ten years. Study components shall cover roof, load-bearing walls or other primary structural members, floor, foundation, fireproofing and fire protection systems, plumbing, electrical systems, waterproofing and exterior painting, windows, and any other item that has a deferred maintenance expense or replacement cost that exceeds $10K.

What does all this mean to today’s condo owners? As John said at the beginning of his talk “The era of subsidized condo living is Florida is over.”

For example, no longer will these associations be able to waive their reserves (including for replacement of windows that some have pushed off onto individual owners). It is expected that many associations will have to pony up to get adequate reserve monies in place.

All of this is to improve the safety of condo living but makes it more important than ever for owners and potential owners to thoroughly review the association financial posture and stability. As a new bill, there may be clarification in the next legislative session. With politics involved there likely will be changes. Stay tuned.

Home Prices Still Soaring in Undervalued Cities

Posted Monday, August 15, 2022, on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to Realtor.com.

“Increases in Miami (up 36.2%) and Honolulu (up 23.5%) reflect remote work trends, but 8 cities with “top 10” price increases are ones with still-affordable housing.

“NEW YORK – Some suggest that the hot housing market is slowing down as mortgage rates rise and inventories increase, but the reality is that the demand for houses still outpaces supply, according to experts. There’s a change – and overall demand may have fallen – but there are still more buyers than sellers.

“There are signs, however, that home prices will begin to plateau or slow, as sellers reduce their expectations and sellers look for deals.

““There are several indicators that the national housing market is rebalancing in a more buyer-friendly direction,” says Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale, but “in these top 10 markets with the biggest price growth, we’re generally seeing signs that the rebalancing seen elsewhere has not progressed as far.”

“The top 10 cities where house prices continue to rise are:

  • Miami, with year-over-year price growth of 36.2% in July
  • Memphis, Tennessee (32.7%)
  • Omaha, Nebraska (31.3%)
  • Wichita, Kansas (25.2%)
  • Greensboro, North Carolina (25.1%)
  • Honolulu, Hawaii (23.5%); Grand Rapids, Michigan (23.2%)
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin (23.1%)
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma (22.8%)
  • Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (22.3%)

““Eight of these 10 markets have median home list price well below the U.S. average,” Hale says. “The two exceptions, Miami and Honolulu, are warm-weather spots benefiting from ongoing remote work trends and the resumption of domestic and global travel.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 12-19, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Captains Walk #F3 2/2 $620K, Sundial C209 1/1 $799K, Sanibel Moorings #1112 2/2 $1.325M, Shell Island Beach Club #6C 2/2 $1.35M, Sanibel Surfside #125 2/2 $1.395M, Kinzie Island #A 4/4.5 $4.495M.

No price changes.

4 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #331 2/2 listed at $899K, Sundial #G206 1/1 listed at $945K, Somerset #D101 3/2.5 listed at $2.499M, Wedgewood #104 3/3.5 listed at $3.495M.

2 closed sales: Sundial N301 3/2 $1.23M, Sundial H406 2/2 $1.3145M.

HOMES

2 new listings:  1283 Par View Dr 2/2 $1.149M, 1433 Sanderling Cir 4/3 $1.895M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 542 Boulder Dr 2/2 listed at $1.15M.

1 closed sale: 1260 Par View Dr 3/3 $1.58M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS, 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.

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

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

P.S. Also here’s a pix like the kitten that walked up my front walk at home as I was heading out this week. As I ran to get my phone to take its picture, thinking it was a neighbors pet that escaped, out from behind a bush came its mama. They are bobcats. Gotta love living in paradise!

Summertime Scoop on Sunny Sanibel

With Lee County Schools back in session this week and other folks finishing up vacations, it has been another quiet few days on the islands. Luckily the Saharan dust has kept seasonal showers away much of the time. The good weather has helped some annual projects, including the summer roadside trimming and paving projects underway.

This time of the year, islanders keep a close watch on the tropics. Hard for us long-timers to forget that 18 years ago in August, on Friday the 13th 2004, Hurricane Charley came to visit.

So far, 2022 has been kind to Florida storm-wise. Before heading out, particularly in the afternoons, I check radar on WinkWeather. As they say in Florida, when a shower is coming/or arrives, wait a few minutes and it will pass.

For forecasts for more serious storms, I follow “Mike’s Weather Page” at www.SpaghettiModels.com. He’s on social media too, has links to the national and international projections, and has a track record of accurate predictions.

Island Real Estate Scoop

No weekly Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting this week, but office calls at SanibelSusan Realty are picking up. Yesterday, teammate Dave and I viewed a condo that should come on the market soon, while yesterday afternoon I showed a home that soon will be available. All signals that snowbirds and winter are right around the corner. Our “Island Sun” ad from today’s paper (below) zeros in on that.

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

You will notice that there have been few sales this summer. No new ones on either island this week. That also likely will change soon. Supply and demand continue to dictate sale prices.

Below is a summary of Sanibel residential inventory today (August 12, 2022) by the property type (condos, homes, lots) and locations (bayfront, canal, gulf, inland, and near beach). Data from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

SANIBEL

CONDOS

Bayfront Canal Gulf Inland Near Beach Total
# Median $ # Median $ # Median $ # Median $ # Median $ # Median $
For sale 0 N/A 0 N/A 16 1,362,000 3 1,198,000 5 685,000 24 1,049,000
Under contract 0 N/A 1 899,000 5 999,000 0 N/A 0 N/A 6 949,000
Sold yr-to-date 6 765,000 9 591,000 73 1,225,000 4 867,000 16 723,000 108 986,111

 

SANIBEL

HOMES

Bayfront Canal Gulf Inland Near Beach Total
# Median $ # Median $ # Median $ # Median $ # Median $ # Median $
For sale 2 7,800,000 9 1,995,000 1 4,295,000 13 1,625,000 7 1,179,000 32 1,795,000
Under contract 1 5,195,000 4 1,620,000 0 N/A 2 784,000 12 1,490,500 19 1,365,000
Sold yr-to-date 3 5,500,000 24 1,862,500 4 4,537,500 16 1,272,500 67 1,306,000 138 1,412,500

 

SANIBEL

LOTS

Bayfront Canal Gulf Inland Near Beach Total
# Median $ # Median $ # Median $ # Median $ # Median $ # Median $
For sale 0 N/A 1 699,000 1 5,995,000 1 348,000 2 672,500 5 699,000
Under contract 0 N/A 0 N/A 0 N/A 0 N/A 2 570,000 2 570,000
Sold yr-to-date 1 1,850,000 2 887,500 1 2,050,000 9 320,000 9 1,620,000 22 577,500

80% of Metros See Double-Digit Price Gains in 2Q

Posted yesterday, August 11, 2022, on Florida Realtors®:

“NAR: Median home prices in the second quarter were up 14.2%, but Fla. saw bigger gains: Of the top 10 U.S. metros for home-price increases, Fla. had 7 ranking cities.

“CHICAGO – Despite escalating mortgage rates and slumping home sales in the second quarter of 2022, more markets saw double-digit annual price gains compared to the prior quarter, according to the National Association of Realtors®’ (NAR) latest quarterly report.

“Of the 185 metro areas tracked by NAR, 80% posted double-digit price gains, up from 70% in the first quarter.

Nationally, the median single-family existing-home price eclipsed $400,000 for the first time, rising 14.2% from one year ago to $413,500. However, year-over-year price appreciation still eased slightly compared to the previous quarter’s 15.4%.

“In Florida, however, prices increased outpaced most of the nation. Of the top 10 metro areas with the largest year-over-year price gains, seven are in Florida:

“Top 10 U.S. metro areas for prices gains in 1Q 2022

  • Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark.-Mo. (31.9%)
  • Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla. (31.4%)
  • Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Fla. (28.9%)
  • North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla. (28.8%)
  • Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, S.C.-N.C. (28.5%)
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. (28.0%)
  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. (27.8%)
  • Punta Gorda, Fla. (27.4%)
  • Ocala, Fla. (26.7%)
  • Ogden-Clearfield, Utah (25.5%)

““Home prices have increased at a pace that far exceeds wage gains, especially for low- and middle-income workers,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Overall, the national price deceleration inevitably followed the softening sales, providing well-positioned prospective buyers a small measure of welcomed relief.”

Regionally, the South – the section that includes Florida – accounted for 44% of single-family existing-home sales in the second quarter, and it had the largest price appreciation at 18.2%. Prices increased 12.7% in the West, 10.1% in the Northeast, and 9.7% in the Midwest.

“The top 10 most expensive markets in the U.S., half of which were in California, included:

  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. ($1,900,000; 11.8%)
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. ($1,550,000; 11.9%)
  • Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif. ($1,300,000; 17.2%)
  • Urban Honolulu, Hawaii ($1,145,000; 17.3%)
  • San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif. ($965,900; 13.6%)
  • Boulder, Colo. ($933,400; 11.8%)
  • Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Fla. ($850,000; 28.9%)
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif. ($825,700; 9.2%)
  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. ($818,900; 14.4%)
  • Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass, N.H. ($722,200; 8.9%)

““The local job market performance and supply availability are the clear distinguishing factors driving local home price growth,” Yun added. “Job growth is positive and should be applauded, but supply restraints are creating unnecessary barriers to ownership opportunities.”

“Housing affordability pains – Housing affordability dramatically tumbled in the second quarter of 2022, driven by sharply rising mortgage rates and climbing home prices. The monthly mortgage payment on a typical existing single-family home with a 20% down payment jumped to $1,841. That’s an increase of $444 – or 32% – from the first quarter of this year and $612 – or 50% – from one year ago. Families typically spent 24.3% of their income on mortgage payments, up from 18.7% the prior quarter and 16.9% one year ago.

“Growing unaffordability impacted first-time buyers looking to purchase a typical home during the second quarter of 2022: For a typical starter home valued at $351,500 with a 10% down payment loan, the mortgage payment rose to $1,810 – a bounce of $433 (or 31%) from the prior quarter and $597 (or 49%) from one year ago. First-time buyers typically spent 36.8% of their family income on mortgage payments, up from 28.7% in the previous quarter. A mortgage is considered unaffordable if the monthly payment (principal and interest) amounts to over 25% of the family’s income. A family needed at least $100,000 to afford a 10% down payment mortgage in 53 markets, nearly double the 27 markets from the prior quarter. Yet, a family needed less than $50,000 to afford a home in 23 markets, down significantly from 63 markets in the previous quarter.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 6-12, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: Nutmeg Village #104 2/2 $850K, Compass Point #201 2/2 $945K.

HOMES

1 new listing:  683 Emeril Ct 2/2 $1.099M.

4 price changes.: 1046 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 now $925K, 1447 Albatross Rd 3/2 now $970K, 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 now $1.149M, 1270 Par View Dr 3/2 now $1.649M.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: 9409 Moonlight Dr 3/2.5 $1.185M, 458 Casa Ybel Rd 3/2.5 $1.25M, 1324 Seaspray Ln 4/4 $3.295M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS, HOMES, LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Summer Island Weather & Real Estate News

Anyone on Sanibel and Captiva Islands on Monday night got a good example of why SW Florida is the lightening capital of the world. There were so many strikes from about 11 p.m. until just after 2 a.m., that it would be surprising if anyone could sleep through it. Thousands were recorded.
Both Tuesday/Wednesday nights and late day yesterday (and again now) were/are more storms, though not as severe. This time of the year, they often begin inland or on the other coast, slowly traveling west out into the gulf. Their storm clouds create some terrific sunsets, and the rain has been contributing to many rainbows and keeping vegetation green.
Thankfully, though Florida temperatures in August may reach into the 90’s, there haven’t been a lot of those, or at least not yet. It was a breezy 76 degrees F when I left the house early yesterday heading to our Association of Realtors® Thursday caravan meeting. It warmed up to 89 as the day progressed but cooled right back to 80 following the afternoon shower. Forecasters say we could get some 90-degree days over the weekend and early next week with more sporadic showers expected.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting

Attendance was light and only one property was open for viewing at the Caravan Meeting yesterday. No new sales were announced and just one price reduction, plus one listing coming back on the market.

More Island Real Estate Scoop

Back-on-market listings have been more frequent this year. It happens most when a property sells using the “as is” contract and the buyer comes to view it and/or inspects during the cancellation period. An “as is” sale may be canceled for any reason – or no reason – provided it is within the agreed time period.
Yesterday, I spoke to several Realtors® at the Caravan Meeting. Those working with buyers, say their customers are expecting better “deals” now that the real estate market is shifting. Many, they say, are waiting to see what happens with prices in the weeks/months to come. However, we Realtors® agreed that they shouldn’t always believe what they hear on the news and read on the internet. Talking to a professional local to the area being considered is an important step for any prospective buyer.
The details of the action since last Friday – both with our listings and posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service – follows a couple of news items below. First a summary of the island inventory and sales year-to-date (from San-Cap MLS August 5, 2022), including sales during the same time period last year.
Status
SANIBEL
Condos
Homes
Lots
#
Avg $
DOM
#
Avg $
DOM
#
Avg $
DOM
For sale
26
1,262,077
55
34
2,315,117
49
5
1,677,400
97
Under contract
7
1,059,842
42
20
1,712,700
37
2
570,000
253
Sold to-date 2022
107
1,129,467
42
135
1,682,963
58
22
674,670
231
Sold same time last year
199
868,925
139
258
1,287,790
97
56
718,205
473
Status
CAPTIVA
Condos
Homes
Lots
#
Avg $
DOM
#
Avg $
DOM
#
Avg $
DOM
For sale
8
1,620,312
106
9
6,853,085
105
1
15,500,000
132
Under contract
1
1,375,000
42
1
7,250,000
77
0
N/A
N/A
Sold to-date 2022
27
1,468,575
51
20
5,637,525
128
0
N/A
N/A
Sold same time last year
 40
1,068,160
180
35
2,807.868
270
 2
2,950,000
731
If you are wondering what Sanibel properties are available for sale today in the San-Cap MLS, below is a list of the 65 properties available (by property type, then in ascending price order). It illustrates the huge spread between lowest and highest priced in each property type. Inventory is increasing, albeit slowly.
CONDOS
Captains Walk #A6 – 2nd floor 1 bedrm with washer/dryer – $449K
Colonnades #8 – 1st floor 1 bedrm in on-site daily rental program – $489K
Blind Pass #D102 – ground floor 2 bedrm in on-site weekly rental program – $685K
Lake Palms #3 – 2 bedrm  townhome condo – $699K
Blind Pass #D201 -2nd floor 2 bedrm in on-site weekly rental program – $699,007
Sundial #D203 – 2nd floor 1 bedrm in off-site weekly rental program – $850K
Sundial #I-103 – 1st floor 1 bedrm in on-site daily rental program – $850K
Loggerhead Cay #323 – 3rd floor 2 bedrm in weekly rental program – $860K
Sundial #C310 – 3rd floor 1 bedrm in on-site daily rental program – $875K
Sanibel Arms West #K8 – 2nd floor 2 bedrm in on-site rental program – $889K
Loggerhead Cay #331 – ground floor 2 bedrm on weekly rental program – $899K
Loggerhead Cay #271 -ground floor 2 bedrm in weekly rental program – $900K
Sundial #D305 – 3rd floor 1 bedrm with washer/dryer & owner rentals – $950K
2661 Wulfert Rd, Sanctuary Golf Villages #2 – ground floor 3 bedrm – $1.198M
2633 Wulfert Rd, Sanctuary Golf Villages #5 – 3rd floor 2 bedrm – $1.299M
Pointe Santo #E21 – 2nd floor 2 bedrm with weekly rentals – $1.325M
Sundial #F403 – 4th floor 2 bedrm in on-site daily rental program – $1.325M
Pointe Santo #D41 – 4th floor 2 bedrm with roof-top deck & weekly rentals – $1.399M
Pointe Santo #B44 – 4th floor 2 bedrm with roof-top deck & weekly rentals – $1.4M
Pointe Santo #A25 – 2nd floor gulf-front 2 bedrm with weekly rentals – $1.4M
Sanibel Surfside #116 – 1st floor gulf-front 2 bedrm with weekly rentals & cabana – $1.495M
Sanibel Surfside #122 – 2nd floor gulf-front 2 bedrm with weekly rentals – $1,54M
Sanddollar #A302 – gulf-front 3 bedrm in weekly rental program – $1,85M
Seascape #302 – 1st floor 3 bedrm – $2.495M
Somerset #D101 – 1st floor 3 bedrm – $2.499M
Wedgewood #104 – 2nd floor gulf-front 3 bedrm – $3.495M
HOMES
1835 Farm Tr, Island Woods – 3 bedrm 2 ba inland – $899K
1046 Sand Castle Rd, The Dunes – 2 bedrm 2 ba – $942K
1447 Albatross Rd, The Dunes – 3 bedrm 2 ba with pool – $980K
1382 Tahiti Dr, Tradewinds – 3 bedrm 2 ba near-beach – $995K
671 Durion Ct, East Rocks – 3 bedrm 2 ba near-beach with pool – $1.095M
9476 Balsa Ct, Gumbo Limbo – 3 bedrm 2 ba inland with pool – $1.135M
542 Boulder Dr, East Rocks – 2 bedrm 2 ba near-beach with pool – $1.150M
749 Cardium St, Sanibel Shores – 3 bedrm 2 ba near-beach with pool & owner rentals – $1.179M
1283 Par View Dr, Beachview Country Club Estates – 2 bedrm 2 ba with pool & rentals – $1.199M
1018 S Yachtsman Dr, Sanibel Estates – 3 bedrm 3 ba canal-side with pool – $1.295M
9448 Begonia Ct, Gumbo Limbo – 3 bedrm 2.5 bath lakeside inland – $1.35M
4677 Rue Bayou, Chateaux Sur Mer – 3 bedrm 3 ba near-beach with pool – $1,495M
1224 Kittiwake Cir, The Dunes – 3 bedrm 2 ba lakeside with pool – $1.625M
917 Lindgren Blvd, Shell Harbor – 3 bedrm 2 bath canal-side with pool – $1.692M
1270 Par View Dr, Beachview Country Club Estates – 3 bedrm 2 ba with pool – $1.699M
9020 Mockingbird Dr, The Dunes – 3 bedrm 2 bath lakeside with pool – $1,795M
6136 Henderson Rd, Betts – 3 bedrm 2 ba with on direct access canal – $1.795M
931 S Yachtsman Dr, Sanibel Estates – 4 bedrm 3.5 ba canal-side with pool & rentals – $1.895M
9027 Mockingbird Dr, The Dunes – 4 bedrm 3 ba lakeside with pool – $1.895M
1433 Sanderling Cir, The Dunes – 4 bedrm 3 ba lakeside with pool – $1.975M
2474 Wulfert Rd, The Sanctuary – 4 bedrm 4.5 ba with pool – $1.995M
896 Angel Wing Dr, Shell Harbor – 3 bedrm 2.5 ba canal-side with pool – $1.995M
2729 Wulfert Rd, The Sanctuary – 4-bedrm 4.5 ba with pool – $1.998M.
5855 Sanibel-Captiva Rd, Metes & Bounds – 3 bedrm 2 ba with pool on bayou – $2.275M
424 East Gulf Dr, Sanibel Estates – near-beach duplex with pool, 2 bedrm 1 ba each side – $2.599M
4353 Gulf Pines Dr, Gulf Pines – 3 bedrm 2.5 ba near beach – $2.85M
1543 San Carlos Bay Dr, Sanibel Isles – 4 bedrm 4 ba with pool on deep-water canal – $2.995M
1690 Sabal Palm Dr, Water Shadows – 5 bedrm 3 ba with pool on deep-water canal – $3.177M
543 East Gulf Dr, Sanibel Estates – beach-front 2 bedrm 2 ba “Summer of 42” – $3.5M
1520 Angel Dr, Sanibel Isles – 4 bedrm 4.5 ba with pool on deep-water canal – $3.655M
2969 Wulfert Rd, The Sanctuary – 6-bedrm 6.5.5 ba with pool – $3.695M
1318 Seaspray Ln, Seaspray – 5-bedrm 3.5 ba gulf-front – $4.295M
1558 & 1545 San Carlos Bay Dr, Sanibel Isles – bayfront 3 bedrm 3.5 ba with pool & dock lot – $4.35M
1191 Bird Ln, Richardsons – bayfront 5 bedrm 4.5 ba with pool & 2 boat lifts – $11.25M.
LOTS
2462 Wulfert Rd, The Sanctuary – golf course – $348K
1994 Wild Lime Dr, Sanibel Bayous – near-beach – $350K
1084 S Yachtsman Dr, Sanibel Estates – canal – $699K
3005 Turtle Gait Ln, Cardinal Ridge – acre plus near-beach – $995K
West Gulf Dr parcel 1, Metes & Bounds – gulf-front – $5.995M
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.

Update on Sea Turtle Nesting

Posted Tuesday morning on FB by an island volunteer: “Things were slow on the beach this morning after some heavy storms last night. I checked the condition of 18 nests in the zone I cover. While loggerhead sea turtle nesting is starting to wind down, hatching season is ramping up. 773 nests have hatched on Sanibel and Captiva beaches so far, with many of those reported hatches occurring last week. Thanks to the hard work from our volunteers and staff, 15,548 hatchlings have already emerged this season. Currently, there are 483 nests incubating on the islands, and more are expected to trickle in throughout August. (All sea turtle monitoring and research activities are conducted by trained individuals operating under Marine Turtle Permit #047)”

New August Schedule at CROW

The CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) Connection received this week advises that for the month of August there will be just ONE daily presentation at 11 a.m. (Mondays-Fridays) with ONE wildlife walk guided hospital tour each day after that presentation. Also, the Visitor Education Center will be closed Saturdays and Sundays.

Vacation Rental Company Sold

Back in June, Island Vacations of Sanibel & Captiva sold to Gulf Coast Vacation Rentals which is a division of Gulf Coast Property Management, which has expanded beyond the Florida panhandle. Island Vacations will continue to operate under the same name.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 29-August 5, 2022

Sanibel
CONDOS
3 new listings: Sundial #D203 1/1 $850K, Sundial #I103 1/1 $850K, Loggerhead Cay #331 2/2 $899K.
2 price changes: Somerset #D101 3/2.5 now $2.499M, Wedgewood #104 now $3.495M.
2 new sales: Seawind #105 2/2.5 listed at $899K, Pointe Santo #D44 2/2 listed at $1.399M.
4 closed sales: Spanish Cay #A4 2/2 $638.5K, Sandalfoot #2A2 $860K, Gulfside Place #210 2/2 $1.33M, Atrium #301 $1.959M.
HOMES
1 new listing:  9448 Begonia Ct 3/2.5 $1.35M.
No price changes.
4 new sales: 531 Birdsong 3/2 listed at $799K, 446 Lake Murex 2/2 listed at $820K, 1289 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $999K, 488 Lighthouse Way 4/4 listed at $5.195M.
2 closed sales: 3947 Coquina Dr 2/2 $1.125M, 2658 Coconut Dr 3/2 $2.489M.
LOTS
Nothing to report.
Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings, price reductions, or closed sales.
1 new sale: Marina Villas #902 2/2 listed at $1.375M.
HOMES
1 new listing: 16512 Captiva Dr 7/5.5 $11.995M.
No price reductions or new sales.
1 closed sale: 11524 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $3.995M.
LOTS
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.
Enjoy your weekend! 

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Little Rain This Week on Sunny Sanibel

It has been another quiet week on the islands. No meeting at the Association of Realtors® and little action reported by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. No new listings on either island. That MLS activity since last Friday is posted after a couple of news items below. Also, our “Island Sun” ad from the paper today.

Photo below from Thistle Lodge. Was great to return there last week for dinner. Service, food, and view still as terrific as ever! Also had lunch today at Doc Ford’s. It also remains a favorite!

Economic News

All eyes are on the economy. Wednesday when the Federal Reserve enacted its 2nd consecutive 0.75%-point interest rate increase as it tries to slow down runaway inflation, we couldn’t help but wonder when all of this will stop affecting island sales.

This week, we are thankful that the Sanibel-Captiva Bank again got a transaction done on time for a client. We love it when we can make a recommendation and it turns into a positive experience.

Local Schools Starting August 8

With Lee County schools starting in just two weeks, local kiddos already are preparing to go back.

It sure was a fast summer this year!

Inching Closer to Recession

The Sumer 2022 issue of Realtor® magazine arrived this week. It includes the following article by NAR (National Association of Realtors®) Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun:

“The next downturn may be different than the last. Look to commercial real estate for clues about the direction of the economy.

“The U.S. gross domestic product contracted in the first quarter by 1.5%. The stock market has bee tumbling. Inflation is stubbornly high. The Federal Reserve plans to continue raising interest rates. Pending home sales have fallen for six straight months and are now trending slightly below 2019 levels. The economy, in short, is on the verge of a recession.

“Yet, it will not be a straightforward recession. Despite hiring freezes at tech firms and recent job cults among mortgage lenders as refinance business dries up, the bigger problem for the economy is not a lack of jobs but rather a shortage of workers. Statistically, there are two job openings for each unemployed person. That’s why wages are up an average of 5.5% from a year ago, to nearly $32 per hour nationwide. However, inflation is gobbling the increase up with an 8% rise in cost of living.

“A recession typically means bad news for commercial real estate. But this time, the condition of the commercial market may not be an indicator about the direction of the overall economy. Demand for apartments and single-family rentals is booming because of consistent job gains and affordability challenges in the For Sale market. Low vacancy rates, though, have pushed up average rents significantly this year.

“Demand for warehouse space has surged as retailers took to avoid supply-chain disruptions. The retail sector is recovering, with more fitness gyms, nail salons, and restaurants popping up in the suburbs. Hotel bookings, air travel, and park attendance, are above pre-pandemic levels. Consumer spending in the GOP calculation was up a solid 3.1%, even after adjusting for inflation.

“Weak trade numbers – exports were down, and imports were up – brought the fall in GDP. Homeowners, after all, have accumulated sizable housing wealth: $75,100 in the last two years and $155,400 over the past five years. The stock market is going through a painful correction, though the broad S&P 500 index is up by 70% from five years ago. That’s why total net household wealth has essentially doubled from 10 years ago.

“The office market is another story. There’s no strong desire on the part of employees to return to their downtown offices. Google’s GPS tracker shows robust movement just about everywhere except in office locations during work hours. Some form of working from home will be a permanent feature of the post-COVID-19 economy. This is also the reason traffic jams are happening more often on weekends than on weekdays. Welcome to the new normal.”

Sanibel City Happenings

Tuesday was Land Development Code meeting where the agenda was the proposed revisions to the Land Development Code pertaining to Chapter 94-Floods based upon the updated FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) which include the delineation of the Limit of Moderate Wave action (LiMWA).

Though these new FEMA maps are not effective until mid-November, they result in positive changes for many island properties. The new maps may be viewed in person at City Hall in the Planning Department. Electronic versions may be seen and downloaded through the   These new maps may be viewed in person at the Planning Department at City Hall.  Electronic versions may be viewed and downloaded through the FEMA Flood Map Service Center search by entering the State, County and Community in the drop down menus.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 22‑29, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Loggerhead #323 2/2 now $860K.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: Captains Walk #A5 2/1 $549K (our buyer), Sandalfoot #1A3 2/2 $1.135M, Pine Cove #101 3/2 $1.65M.

Captains Walk Bldg A

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 446 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 now $820K.

5 new sales: 4052 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $1.199M, 5802 San-Cap Rd 3/3.5 listed at $1.365M 5690 San-Cap Rd 3/3 listed at $1.875M, 437 Lake Murex Cir 5/3 listed at $1.95M, 1318 Seaspray Ln 5/3.5 listed at $4.295M

3 closed sales: 1545 Serenity Ln 3/2 $820K, 947 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $1.2M, 585 Chert Ct 3/2 $1.48M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 1321 Seaspray Ln listed at $995K.

1 closed sale: 1226 Isabel Dr $1.85M.

Captiva

CONDOS, 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!

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanbelSusan

Another Wonderful Friday on Sunny Sanibel

This week as much of the world has suffered with high temperatures, weather on Sanibel and Captiva has been normal for summer rainy season – maybe even with fewer showers that usual for late July. Sunny daytime temperatures are mid to high 80’s F, while sometimes the high humidity makes it feel warmer. Occasional showers pass quickly, but it makes sense to always keep an umbrella handy.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Yesterday morning was the July Membership Meeting of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®. County Commissioner (former Sanibel Mayor) Kevin Ruane was the guest speaker. Following the meeting, the Caravan of new listings had six properties open for viewing, including our new listing at Captains Walk. Six properties “open” is the highest number in months, years. Probably another sign that the market is shifting.

The activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service and our ad from today’s “Island Sun” are after a couple of news items below.

First a few highlights from Commissioner Ruane’s talk. His transition from serving for more than a decade on Sanibel City Council, including as Mayor, to Lee County District 1 Commissioner (covering Sanibel, Captiva, Pine Island, St James City, Boca Grande, and southwest Cape Coral) sure is a plus for us.

Thank you, Kevin, for all you continue to do! Here are some items mentioned:

  • Restructuring of Sherriff’s department, office, and 911 system upgrade. Lee County now ranks the safest in 67 counties. To improve safety, added 24 new sheriffs and more prosecutors.
  • Emergency response improved with addition of 32 more ambulances.
  • 34,000+acres preserved through Conservation 20/20 program, exceeding original goal.
  • With 100% increase in Florida visitors since the pandemic, the Port Authority (SW Florida international Airport (RSW)) is undergoing a $331 million expansion. Last two years, it has ranked as fastest growing airport in the county.
  • With last tropical storm causing loss of ~5” on both sides of the causeway islands, the $10 million erosion plan underway is of utmost importance to islands who rely on the causeway as their way on/off to mainland. Though some plans still being finalized, intent is to reduce number of parked cars to 450. Parking cost expected to remain free, but still being discussed in workshops. Sheriff and ranger presence has increased tremendously to keep the public in check. Causeway A expected to remain with open areas for windsurfing, kayaking, etc.

Island Inventory

Sanibel and Captiva inventory continues to stabilize with summer activity this year significantly less than last. Economic worries seem to be the biggest factor. Below is an update of inventory today (July 22, 2022) with data from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

 

 

Status

SANIBEL
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 28 1,294,214 63 40 2,262,375 38 9 1,220,177 312
Under contract 13 1,106,284 34 18 1,583,277 27 1 145,000 6
Sold to-date 2022 98 1,132,004 42 124 1,679,275 61 22 676,943 231
Sold 2021 287 875,127 113 355 1,341,881 89 69 698,862 442

 

 

 

Status

CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 8 1,725,312 88 8 6,210,345 106  1 15,500,000 118
Under contract 1 535,000 62 2 5,622,500 45  0 N/A N/A
Sold to-date 2022 27 1,468,575 51 19 5,723,973 134  0 N/A N/A
Sold 2021  64 1,150,373 145  44 2,988,520 261  2 2,950,000 731

 

Sanibel City Happenings

Tuesday afternoon/evening, I listened to Sanibel’s City Council Meeting where a lengthy (12-page) agenda (beginning at 9 a.m. and not wrapping up until 5:58 p.m.) covered such topics as proposed 2023 budget millage rates, changes to FEMA flood maps that become effective in November (available for viewing at City Planning Dept), non-motorized vehicles on beach, smoking on beach, digging holes on beach, operation of low-speed vehicles on roadways, boat ramp parking, and more. Sanibel City government officials and staff certainly are a thoughtful careful bunch. Kudos to all involved in this successful meeting, especially Mayor Holly Smith.

Midweek, it was announced that vegetation trimming has begun and will continue through August 3 on Periwinkle Way (including the shared use path) from the Lighthouse to Tarpon Bay Rd. The road occasionally may be limited to one lane with minor delays expected.

Last night, the City announced that their new website is “up & running”. Check it out at www.MySanibel.com.

NAR Study: International Buyers Are Back

By Kerry Smith, posted Monday July 18, 2022, on FloridaRealtors®:

“WASHINGTON – Foreign buyers purchased $59 billion worth of U.S. existing homes over a one-year period (April 2021 through March 2022) – an 8.5% increase from the previous 12-month period and the end of a pandemic-led three-year skid.

“The 98,600 existing homes sold – the lowest since NAR tracking began in 2009 – were down 7.9% year-to-year. Overall, however, Florida led the nation in welcoming foreign investment as one in four international buyers (24%) selected property in the Sunshine State.

“Top international buyer destinations

  • Florida (24%)
  • California (11%)
  • Texas (8%)
  • Arizona (7%)
  • New York (4%)
  • North Carolina (4%)

“Florida ranking among residents of foreign countries

  • Canada: Florida was the No. 1 choice for 45% of Canadians
  • China: Florida No. 4 for 7%
  • Brazil: Florida No. 1 for 55%
  • Mexico: Florida No. 2 for 12%
  • Colombia: Florida No. 1 for 60%

“Region of origin for Florida’s top foreign buyers

  • Latin America/Caribbean: 39%
  • North America: 25%
  • Europe: 12%
  • Asia/Oceania: 4%
  • Africa: 0%
  • Region not identified 20%

““For the second year in a row, restrictions and general caution tied to international travel during the pandemic slowed home buying by wealthier foreign buyers,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Even so, domestic home buying demand was exceptional and, therefore, boosted home sales nationally.”

“NAR’s 2022 Profile of International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate surveyed members about transactions with international clients who purchased and sold U.S. residential property from April 2021 through March 2022.

“Foreign buyers who resided in the U.S. as recent immigrants or holding visas that allowed them to live in the U.S. purchased $34.1 billion worth of U.S. existing homes, a 5.2% increase from the prior year and 58% of the total dollar volume of purchases.

“Foreign buyers who lived abroad purchased $24.9 billion worth of existing homes, up 13.2% from the 12 months prior and for 42% of the dollar volume. International buyers accounted for 2.6% of the $2.3 trillion in existing-home sales during the time.

“Typical foreign buyer home

“The average ($598,200) and median ($366,100) existing-home sales prices among international buyers were the highest ever recorded by NAR – and 17.7% and 4.1% higher, respectively, than the previous year. The increase in foreign buyer prices partly reflects the increase in U.S. home prices, as the monthly average existing-home sales price rose to $374,300, up 10% from the prior period.

“At just over $1 million, Chinese buyers had the highest average purchase price, and nearly a third – 31% – purchased property in California. “Affordability challenges along with the inability to find the right property were the top reasons given for prospective international buyers who showed interest but ultimately did not purchase a home in the United States,” says Yun.

“China and Canada remained first and second in U.S. residential sales dollar volume at $6.1 billion and $5.5 billion, respectively, continuing a trend going back to 2013. India ($3.6 billion), Mexico ($2.9 billion), and Brazil ($1.6 billion) rounded out the top five.

“For the 14th straight year, Florida remained the top destination for foreign buyers.

“All-cash sales accounted for 44% of international buyer transactions, nearly twice the rate (24%) of all existing-home buyers. Non-resident foreign buyers (60%) were twice as likely to make an all-cash purchase compared to resident foreign buyers (30%). Nearly 7 out of 10 Canadian buyers (69%) made all-cash purchases, the highest share among foreign buyers. Asian Indian buyers were the least likely to pay all-cash, at just 9%. Almost 6 out of 10 Chinese buyers (58%) and a quarter of Mexican (27%) and Brazilian buyers (26%) made all-cash purchases.

““Due to rising interest rates, overall home sales will decline in the U.S. this year. Foreign buyers, however, are likely to step up purchases, as those making all-cash offers will be immune from changes in interest rates,” Yun says. “In addition, international flights have increased in recent months with the lifting of pandemic-related travel restrictions.”

“Type of homes purchased

“44% of foreign buyers purchased their property for use as a vacation home, rental property or both.

64% purchased detached single-family homes and townhouses.46% bought a home in the suburbs while 29% bought a home in an urban area, numbers which have held steady over the last five years. 5% bought property in a resort area, down from 17% in 2012

“NAR “collaborates with groups across the country to help our members unlock and better understand the opportunities in U.S. real estate for foreign buyers, maximizing the global business potential in our local markets,” says Katie Johnson, NAR’s general counsel and chief member experience officer. The network has grown to include more than 100 real estate associations across 76 countries.”

Redfin Reports Prices Begin to Fall from Record Highs

Posted on-line Monday July 18, 2022, on “Realty Times” and sourced to RedFin:

“Inflation and high mortgage rates are taking a bite out of homebuyer budgets, leading to fewer sales and supply gains The median sale price for U.S. homes came down 0.7% from its record-breaking June peak during the four weeks ending July 10, according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com),….

“Sellers’ asking prices also came down 3% from their May peak as the share of homes with price drops hit another new high. Home supply posted its first year-over-year increase since August 2019 as pending sales continued to slide. These changes in the housing market can be attributed to buyers reaching their limit on costs—not just of homes and mortgages, but also food, transportation, and energy.

““Inflation and high mortgage rates are taking a bite out of homebuyer budgets,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “Few people can afford homes costing 50% more than just two years ago in some areas, so homes are beginning to pile up on the market. As a result, prices are starting to come down from their all-time highs. We expect this environment of reduced competition and declining home prices to continue for at least the next several months.”

“Leading indicators of homebuying activity:

  • For the week ending July 14, 30-year mortgage rates rose to 5.51%. This was down from a 2022 high of 5.81% but up from 3.11% at the start of the year.
  • Fewer people searched for “homes for sale” on Google—searches during the week ending July 9 were down 5% from a year earlier.
  • The seasonally-adjusted Redfin Homebuyer Demand Index—a measure of requests for home tours and other home-buying services from Redfin agents—was down 18% year over year during the week ending July 10.
  • Touring activity as of July 10 was up 1% from the start of the year, compared to a 23% increase at the same time last year, according to home tour technology company ShowingTime.
  • Mortgage purchase applications were down 18% from a year earlier during the week ending July 8, while the seasonally-adjusted index was down 4% week over week.

“Key housing market takeaways for 400+ U.S. metro areas: Unless otherwise noted, the data in this report covers the four-week period ending July 10. Redfin’s weekly housing market data goes back through 2015.

Data based on homes listed and/or sold during the period:

  • The median home sale price was up 12% year over year to $393,449. This was down 0.7% from the peak during the four-week period ending June 19. A year ago the median price rose 0.9% during the same period. The year-over-year growth rate was down from the March peak of 16%.
  • The median asking price of newly listed homes increased 14% year over year to $397,475, but was down 2.8% from the all-time high set during the four-week period ending May 22. Last year during the same period median prices were down just 0.9%.
  • The monthly mortgage payment on the median asking price home hit $2,387 at the current 5.51% mortgage rate, up 44% from $1,663 a year earlier, when mortgage rates were 2.88%. That’s down slightly from the peak of $2,487 reached during the four weeks ending June 12.
  • Pending home sales were down 14% year over year, the largest decline since May 2020.
  • New listings of homes for sale were down 1.7% from a year earlier.
  • Active listings (the number of homes listed for sale at any point during the period) rose 1.3% year over year—the largest increase since August 2019.
  • 43% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within the first two weeks on the market, down from 47% a year earlier.
  • 29% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within one week of hitting the market, down from 33% a year earlier.
  • Homes that sold were on the market for a median of 18 days, flat from a year earlier and up slightly from the record low of 15 days set in May and early June.
  • 51% of homes sold above list price, down from 54% a year earlier.
  • On average, 7.1% of homes for sale each week had a price drop, a record high as far back as the data goes, through the beginning of 2015.
  • The average sale-to-list price ratio, which measures how close homes are selling to their asking prices, declined to 101.6%. In other words, the average home sold for 1.6% above its asking price. This was down from 102.2% a year earlier.

“To view the full report, including charts and methodology, please visit:
https://www.redfin.com/news/housing-market-update-prices-fall-inventory-climbs/

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 15‑22, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Colonnades #8 1/1 $489K, Lake Palms #3 2/2.5 $699K.

2 price changes: Loggerhead Cay #271 2/2 now $900K, Sanddollar #A302 3/2 now $1.85M.

1 new sale: Gulf Beach #107 2/2 listed at $999K.

4 closed sales: Seashells #9 2/2 $650K, Sundial #D405 1/1, $851,350, Seawind #110 2/2.5 $900K, Pointe Santo #C26 2/2 $950K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 9027 Mockingbird Dr 4/3 $1.895M, 1543 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/4 $2.995M.

4 price changes: 446 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 now $844K, 1289 Par View Dr 3/2 now $999K, 542 Boulder Dr 2/2 now $1.15M, 1283 Par View Dr 2/2 now $1.199M.

6 new sales: 1421 Sandpiper Cir (1/2 duplex) 3/2.5 listed at $769K, 760 Cardium St 3/2 listed at $1.172M, 3947 Coquina Dr 2/2 listed at $1.249M, 1260 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $1.699M, 1313 Seaspray Ln 3/3 listed at $1.795M, 839 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed at $1.995M.

1 closed sale: 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 $917K.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1226 Isabel Dr $1.85M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or closed sales.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3113 1/1 listed at $535K.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan