Tropical Storms, Multiple Offers, & Other Island Fun!

The real estate market craziness continues here even with a tropical storm thrown in on Wednesday to complicate things. Lee County schools were closed Monday because of the bad weather forecast. At that time who knew where Tropical Storm or Hurricane Eta would end up? That was one unpredictable storm.

Schools were back in session Tuesday and students also instructed to attend on Wednesday (Veterans’ Day) which was a previously scheduled holiday, but instead used as a hurricane make-up day. No sooner were the kiddos settled in their classrooms on Wednesday when the weather took a turn for the worse and parents were notified that schools would close three hours early.

It was wild and wooly outside the office then too. Teammate Elise and I watched as driving rain and wind sometimes knocked down branches at City park across the street. By late morning, there also were periodic power outages. During this, Teammate Dave was at a home inspection that finally was halted when the electricity went out there too.

Coming back to the office, Dave noted flooding all over the east-end and long lines of traffic going off-island at the 4-way stop. This water accumulation was different from the 100-year rain event earlier in October. This one was salt water from the gulf being driven ashore by the wind – especially causing havoc at high tide. Earlier, the City had removed some of the beach walkway mats at Lighthouse Beach where the parking lot flooded, becoming impassable.

Dave also took a drive by my house, noticing a few tipsy trees, downed branches, and my dock mostly submerged. East-end beaches had all but disappeared with water coming up the beach paths onto the roadways and parking lots in many areas.

We heard the causeway was closed temporarily while debris was removed from the roadway. When Elise left the island about noon for school pick-up, she reported that waves were crashed over the cars as they neared the bridge. Later, when Dave left, he saw front-end loaders removing sand from the roadway on Summerlin just off-island past the toll booth.

After closing at 5 p.m., as I drove home, there was little activity on Periwinkle Way. I passed just a lone “Prime” delivery vehicle and a couple of parked cars at just a handful of businesses still open. Most were closed.

It was not long after I got home that the rain stopped, the wind let up, and a stray biker in a rain slicker pedaled down my street. Sanibellians and her visitors make the best out of any weather!

By yesterday morning, the weather was back to normal, though the parking lots at the fishing pier side of the lighthouse and the big one at Blind Pass remained closed due to standing water.

Today, it was back to being a beautiful bright-blue sunny 78-degree morning as I drove to the office. The forecast for the next ten days is much the same. I probably should not say it too loud, but the 2020 hurricane season may finally be over! Or almost!

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Even during the wild weather this week, there were three more SanibelSusan Realty sales. There also are reports of multiple offers and some properties selling at or over asking price. As more visitors arrive and snowbirds return, inquiries and showing requests continue to increase. The action this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

City of Sanibel – Emergency Declaration, COVID-19

Again, Sanibel’s Mayor extended the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19, now it goes until November 17, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.) The City face covering mandate remains in effect too.

Per the Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 68. Numbers are being posted now by the week, but unfortunately like much of the nation, cases are increasing here too. Below is a summary to put the number of cases in context, over time:

  • Week-ending 3/29 through 5/31 – two months = 11 cases
  • Week-ending 6/7 through 8/30 – two months = 30 cases
  • Week-ending 9/6 through 11/1 – two months = 22 cases
  • Week-ending 11/8 – 1 week = 5 cases

Please stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

Yesterday, the local Association of Realtors® hosted a brokers’ roundtable Zoom meeting. Officers and directors of the association were in attendance as were brokers from John Gee & Company, John Naumann & Associates, John R Wood Island Real Estate, Pfeifer Realty Group, ReMax of the Islands, Royal Shell Real Estate, South Seas Sanibel & Captiva Properties, VIP Realty Group, and, of course, SanibelSusan Realty. Updates were provided on the City review of requirements for temporary business signs, on requirements for Realtor® team advertising, and on recent MLS monitoring, changes, and improvements.

Biweekly Zoom caravan meeting will continue followed by caravan open houses with safety precautions. The next one is next Thursday.

Last night the Association held a toy drop-off event called “Merry F.I.S.H.-mas” to provide donations to F.I.S.H. for the upcoming Christmas season. Donations (unwrapped toys, gift cards, checks made out to “F.I.S.H.”) are being accepted at the Association Office until the end of the month.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 6-13, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Mariner Pointe #1091 2/2 $559K, Sandalfoot #2C2 2/2 $657K, Island Beach Club #210A 2/2 $759K, Sand Pointe #113 2/2 $799K, Pelicans Roost #203 2/2 $925K.

3 price changes: Lighthouse Point #120 3/2 now $620K, Sundial #T201 2/2 now $799K, Pointe Santo #C23 3/2 now $1.1M.

12 new sales: Spanish Cay #F3 1/1 listed at $325K (our buyer), Sundial #D309 1/1 listed at $434K, Coquina Beach #2B 2/2 listed at $479K, Sandpebble #2B 2/2 listed at $480K, Mariner Pointe #522 2/2 listed at $484.9K (our listing), Blind Pass #G201 2/2 listed at $540K, Sanibel Arms West #M2 2/2 listed at $546K, Sanibel Arms West #K7 2/2 listed at $562.5K, Sunset South #9D 2/2 listed at $599K, Gulf Beach #106 2/2 listed at $849K (our buyer), Sayana #103 2/2 listed at $948.5K, Atrium #103 2/2 listed at $1.175M.

3 closed sale: Mariner Pointe #1083 2/2 $465K, Sundial #O201 3/2 $810K, Sundial #K402 2/2 $1.04M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 660 Oliva St 3/3 $829K.

2 price changes: 2001/2003 Mitzi Ln 6/6 duplex now $859K, 1245 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 now $2.149M.

6 new sales: 1764 Bunting Ln 2/2 listed at $524K; 1125 Captains Walk St 3/3 listed at $739,937; 1467 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $789K, 250 Hurricane Ln 3/2.5 listed at $1.049M, 1717 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 listed at $2.2685M, 1718 Jewel Box Dr 4/4.5 listed at $2.749M.

5 closed sales: 1403 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex $483K, 1296 Par View Dr 3/3 $710K, 9393 Peaceful Dr 3/2.5 $750K, 4156 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.115M, 1558 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3.5 $3.05M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 5301-25 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $1.2M.

1 price change: 6008 White Heron Ln now $819K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 2486 Wulfert Rd $100K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Lands End Village #1659 2/2 listed at $975K, Ventura Captiva #2B 3/3 listed at $979K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11540 Laika Ln 3/2.5 $1.29M.

2 price changes: 16189 Captiva Dr 6/4 now $3.75M, 16660 Captiva Dr 5/6.5 now $15.95M.

1 new sales: 16611 Captiva Dr 6/6.5 listed at $4.889M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Until next Friday, here’s hoping you are storm-free & safe! Be well, too!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

For Merry Christmas, It’s a Friday Blog on Wednesday

It’s SanibelSusan with my Friday blog two days early this week because of the upcoming holiday.

White Christmas Sign

Island & SanibelSusan Realty Scoop

With day-time temperatures expected to remain in the low- to mid-80’s for the next week, it will not be a chilly holiday here, but I bet visitors and vacationers are happy. The beach, bike paths, and roadways already are busy. Recent fishing reports have been good ones, while retailers and restaurants are crowded too.

Accommodations and rental managers advise that a few vacancies remain this week, but following the big turn-over this coming Saturday (12/26), there will be nary a room available.

Several clients spend their holidays on the islands. One knows that I am always looking for things to post on my blog so he shares his Sanibel photos. Here are a few of his bird pictures from Woodring Point, most taken today. Thank you, Scott!

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There will be no island real estate Caravan this week because of the holiday, but our listings had a few showings with several others planned. We are thankful for another new condo listing and that a home listing went under contract last Sunday evening. All of the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday, follow a couple of news items below.

2015 Florida Real Estate Year in Review

Florida Realtors logoThis article posted today on-line at FloridaRealtors®:

“In 2015, Florida’s real estate market faced changes big and small, good and not so good. Here are the most influential Florida real estate stories of 2015:

“The market? It’s back As a state famous for investment homes and international sales, Florida tends to be hit hard by recessions and blessed by economic booms. In 2015, it was the latter. According to Freddie Mac’s latest Multi-Indicator Market Index ­– a measurement of state and local markets’ strength – Florida’s real estate rebound led the nation, with Orlando the top U.S. rebound city. In the October 2015 housing report released by Florida Realtors, single-family home prices rose 12.4% year-to-year.

“Time to buy – but what? Homebuyer demand continues to rise from millennials to baby boomers, but there’s a problem: Buyers can’t find enough homes for sale. Overall, Florida’s tight inventory of for-sale homes last year (5.4-month supply in Oct. 2014) was below the six-month supply economists generally consider a balanced market – and it grew even tighter this year (4.4-month supply in Oct. 2015). Why? Some underwater owners still can’t sell; some boomers are staying put; and some investors scooped homes in the lower-price categories, leaving today’s first-time buyers struggling.

“Mortgage process scrambled Realtors knew the mortgage process inside and out until Oct. 3. On that day, almost everything changed as U.S. regulators rolled out a new set of borrower disclosures and rules. While the onus of the change fell on title companies and lenders that had to gut and redo software systems, Realtors had to understand the new disclosures and wrestle with locked-in-stone timelines that threatened closing dates. When the dust settled, however, the industry had adapted with only a little collateral damage.

“Easy money. Well, easier anyway Lenders’ purse strings loosened a bit in 2015 and more homebuyers discovered that they qualify. Mortgage-backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac introduced a number of buyer-friendly changes, such as mortgage down-payments as low as 3%. In addition, FHA lowered its mortgage insurance fees. To top it off, a number of banks eased their credit score requirements a bit, allowing more marginal borrowers to consider making the move to homeownership.

“No trouble here In the shadow of the recent real estate recession, a few local observers think that today’s rising home prices and limited inventory suggest that another real estate bubble could be forming. But experts shoot down the bubble theory, saying homes in only a few selected cities might be overvalued, and there’s no reason to panic. This time around, most loans are fixed rate, first-time buyer programs have increased the quality of purchasers, the economy is strengthening, and much of the recent rise in prices can be attributed to the construction industry’s inability to keep up with demand.

“Condo can-do For most of 2015, there was a disconnect between the home preferred by many first-time buyers – a condominium – and their ability to qualify for the most popular first-time buyers’ mortgage product: a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan. Since FHA first looks at the operation of a condo complex and its board, a rejection at that level means an automatic mortgage rejection for any unit in the complex. In November, however, FHA said it would relax its board rules, which should give buyers a new assortment of affordable options. Florida – with its range and diversity of condo projects – has the most to gain.

“Let the 2016 games begin In early 2015, Zillow completed its merger with Trulia, creating an online real estate advertising behemoth – and mega-provider News Corp took over Move Inc., the oversight company for realtor.com. But the story doesn’t end there. Consolidation is the watchword, and the battle heading into 2016 is “Who can offer the most real estate services in a one-stop shop?” The big players are rolling out transaction management programs, commercial real estate options, marketing programs and new technology that everyone needs – even if they don’t know it yet.

“Make it simple NAR and its wholly owned subsidiary, Realtors Property Resource (RPR), announced a new system for brokers’ data entry that could potentially simplify the business of selling real estate in 2016. Project Upstream/AMP (Advanced Multi-list Platform) is a behind-the-scenes tool to simplify listing data entry and distribution. Currently, a single listing may be keyed in several times for different purposes – for entry in the local MLS, other MLSs, the broker’s own website and one or more advertising websites, for example. Under Upstream/AMP, brokers will enter data only once. After that, MLSs and vendors that use the data will download the information from Upstream. NAR’s 2015 president calls it “an initiative that truly can be thought of as ‘game changing.”

“Drones on and on and on For most of this year, only Realtors with a pilot’s license and FAA approval could legally fly a drone. However, that changed in December when the FAA issued a rule that opened up drone use to everyone – with limitations. Some existing rules still apply, such as no flights higher than 400 feet or within five miles of an airport, but a new one requires every drone operator to register with the FAA – name, address, email, etc. – and every drone to be marked with that operator’s unique registration number. Experts believe up to 700,000 drones will be given as gifts this year, leading the FAA to make its long-awaited announcement right before the holidays.

“Mortgage rates on the rise As 2014 came to a close, most experts predicted that mortgage rates would rise in 2015. And they did the same thing a year earlier in 2014. And they’re doing so again this year. But one thing changed that increases the chances of higher mortgage rates next year: On Dec. 16, 2015, the Federal Reserve boosted its key rate 0.25 basis points for the first time in seven years. That increase has an indirect impact on long-term mortgage rates and a more direct, albeit small, impact on adjustable mortgage rates. Few experts predict a series of further rate increases in 2016, however. Some say the next one won’t come until June, while others expect a small boost every other time the Fed meets.

“THE NEW YEAR

“2016 real estate forecast Florida’s 2015 real estate rebound “outperformed the nation as a whole,” according to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo. While the state ended the year “catching its breath after a very hectic late summer and early fall,” Tuccillo predicts that 2016 will continue to “settle down” as sales and home values rise – but at a less hectic pace.

“Against the backdrop of an expanding state economy with growing employment, home sales should increase by 8-10% over 2015 (numbers) and home prices (measured as actual value) should rise by about 5%,” Tuccillo says.

“Anniversary In 2016, Florida Realtors hits a milestone: Its 100th anniversary. In 1916, 67 real estate brokers from 19 cities gathered in Jacksonville to serve the Realtors of Florida and Sunshine State families. At the time, Miami had only 644 residents, while Tampa had 50,000 and Jacksonville 100,000. One hundred years later, Florida’s cities look different and Florida Realtors has over 150,000 members. Look for festivities to continue throughout the year.” (Note: SanibelSusan has already provided some old island MLS books that will be used in the state celebration beginning at the FloridaRealtors Mid-Winter Business Meetings in Orlando in late January. Sure have been a lot of changes in this business over the last 20-some years.)

“National Association of Realtors In 2016, Florida will have a strong voice at the national level when Florida Realtors 2003 President, Tom Salomone from Coral Springs, serves as president of the National Association of Realtors®. Salomone will oversee a network of 1 million Realtors throughout the U.S.” (Note: Tom is a good ambassador for us.  He has often traveled to Sanibel to participate in our local Realtor annual events including end-of-season RPAC auction fundraiser, and Installation and Awards Banquets. We Floridians love having the national president come from our state!)

16th Annual National Polar Bear Club “Polar Plunge”

2015 polar bear plungeSince it looks like the weather will be cooperating, if you want to test the waters, the Sanibel-Captiva Chapter of the National Polar Bear Club will host its annual meeting for brave plungers at the “crack of noon” on January 1 at Tarpon Bay Beach.

When the club began here in 2001, only 29 participated. The last several years have brought about 300. The photo (from CaptivaSanibel.com) above was taken during the chilly plunge in 2015.  It’s free and fun to watch too. Participants, wear your bathing suit and bring a towel. Sign in and song sheets for the singing of the traditional Polar Bear anthem will be handed out starting at 11 a.m.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity December 18-23

Sanibel
CONDOS
1 new listing: Mariner Pointe #411 3/2 $549K (our listing).
MP Bayside Pool
2 price changes: Blind Pass #G203 2/2 now $475K, Kimball Lodge 3306 2/2 now $989K.
3 new sales: . Nutmeg Village #307 2/2 listed at $599K, Nutmeg Village #113 2/2 listed at $1.079M, Shorewood #2B 3/3 listed at $1.395M
No closed sales.
HOMES
5 new listings: 938 Strangler Fig Ln 2/2 $599K, 9455 Calla Ct 3/3 $749K, 5303 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $749K, 513 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $825K, 4440 Waters Edge Ln 3/3 $1.495M.
1 price change: 5773 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $1.029M.
2 new sales: 1516 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $650K, 5743 Baltusrol Ct 3/3/2 listed at $1.35M (our listing).
20150813_140700.jpg
1 closed sale: 1312 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $675K.
LOTS
2 new listings: 1311 Par View Dr $319.9K, 6053 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $1.495M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 4636 Rue Royale listed at $429K.
No closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS
Nothing to report.
HOMES
2 new listings: 11526 Laika Ln 4/4 duplex $1.95M, 17101 Captiva Dr 7/6/1 $2.995M.
No new or closed sales.
LOTS
Nothing to report.

(This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.)

 Merry Christmas! Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

santa snowman