Winding Up Independence Day Week 2017


It’s another quiet week on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. At least pretty quiet in the real estate business.

2017 lighthouse decorated

Plenty of families were here over the holiday enjoying the festivities. The Independence Day Parade again was well attended. This year, there were several special music entries including the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation who headlined the parade, celebrating their 50th anniversary. Their upbeat band was terrific as was the more traditional patriotic-song playing BIG ARTS Community Band.

2017 parade start

The color guard with bagpipes kick off the parade.

 

2017 Parade kids

The colorful entry from Sanibel’s Summit Christian Pre-School.

2017 Rotary

 

The Bissell family whose Dad/Granddad Realtor® Don Bissell, founded the parade 27 years ago, had a fun entry too. With plenty of Bissell boys dressed as Olympic athletes & pushing mock bobsleds, they “struck a pose” whenever a spectator wanted a photo.

2017 Bissell Family

The Bissell Family’s “Happy Birthday, America” entry.

 

After the parade, the Sanibel-Captiva Optimists Club Road Rally was tougher than I remember from earlier years (winners not announced yet). Hopefully plenty was raised for local scholarships. The Sanibel Grill at The Timbers Restaurant certainly did their part after the rally in providing food and drink to the 20-some rally teams. I’m sure that Team #12, “Beamer Stars” didn’t win any awards, but we sure had fun. The fireworks went off without a hitch too.

With nice summer weather, followed by late day or evening rains, the beaches, waterways, and bike paths have been busy the rest of the week too. There will be lots of check-outs tomorrow.

The activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a few new items below.

Blind Pass Beach Parking Lot Closed for Maintenance

Sanibelcityseal logoA City of Sanibel notice was posted today advising that the City will begin maintenance of the parking lot at Blind Pass Beach Park on Monday, July 10. Weather permitting repairs, it will be closed until Friday, July 14. Residents and visitors are encouraged to use other public City beach parks during this time.

State’s Economy To Top $1 Trillion Next Year

heraldtribune_logoAs posted today in Orlando on FloridaRealtosr® on-line and sourced to “Sarasota Herald-Tribune” (07/07/17):

“University of Central Florida (UCF) Economist Sean Snaith predicts that Florida’s gross state product will break the $1 trillion mark next year – and then climb to $1.074 trillion in 2019.

“That gross state product level would make the Florida economy the 16th largest in the world, as ranked by the World Bank.

“Snaith expects the gross state product to expand at an average annual rate of 2.9% through 2019 and outpace the projected average for the United States’ gross domestic product for the same period. Driving the economy will be job growth and home construction, Snaith said in his 2nd quarter Florida & Metro Forecast.

“”The fundamental underpinnings of the housing market in Florida continue to strengthen. Job growth in Florida is forecasted to continue outperforming the U.S. labor market and more baby boomers continue to reach the end of their working lives,” says Snaith, the director for the Institute for Economic Competitiveness at the UCF College of Business Administration. “This bodes well for continued population growth via the in-migration of workers and retirees.”

“Snaith notes that Florida faces a growing single-family-housing shortage because of the shrinking inventory of existing homes and a pace of housing starts that trails growth, which is rapidly pushing prices up in the single-family market.

“”While this looks like another housing bubble, it’s really just an old-fashioned shortage in the single-family market,” Snaith says. “It is expected to correct itself as new housing starts ramp up over the next few years.””

It’s Not Easy to Regulate Rentals

Florida Realtors logoToday, I read an interesting article from the “Miami Herald” that was reposted today on FloridaRealtors®.

Of course, the islands are a far cry from Miami, but the subject hit close to home when it described how the unincorporated Miami-Dade County commissioners spent hours of deliberation over a proposed ordinance that would create a laundry list of new regulations for short-term rental owners. The ordinance which had been fine-tuned over four months of meetings, would require rental platforms like Airbnb to sign up for a certificate of use, register for a business tax receipt, screen for sexual offenders, and enforce a number of “vacation rental standards” on their guests. The ordinance also imposes requirements on the platform hosting the listing, whether it be Airbnb, HomeAway, Craigslist or another site.

The commissioner who proposed the ordinance said, “The industry is here; I just want to see it sufficiently regulated for our client Miami-Dade County.” That industry is here in Southwest Florida too. Time and time again in the real estate business, we run into island owners and similar platforms violating the rental restrictions of a community or complex or not collecting taxes on short-term rentals, and guests who unknowingly are renting where they shouldn’t be.

In the case of this proposed ordinance on the other coast, the commissioners were unable to agree on several of the provisions and were worried that Airbnb and others may sue the city, so they deferred their vote until Sept. 7. At question were some of the specific requirements imposed on hosts, such as home inspection rules, the potential effect vacation rentals could have on affordable housing and the legality of creating requirements for the platforms themselves.

State law prohibits local governments from enacting new rules after 2011 that impact the frequency and duration of short-term rentals.

With the onset of the internet, the rental business changed significantly and it has been a continual work in progress then. Stay tuned for more on this subject. Sanibel and Captiva Islands are and will continue to be mostly a second home and investment market. Rental business affects that tremendously.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 30-July 7, 2017

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Sand Pointe #113 2/2 now $719K.

1 new sale: Spanish Cay #A6 2/2 listed at $389K.

1 closed sale: Seashells #6 2/2 $385K.

HOMES

No new listings.

3 price changes: 673 East Rocks Dr 3/2 now $739.9K, 932 Whelk Dr 3/3 now $1.299M, 984 Oyster Ct 3/3.5 now $1.65M.

3 new sales: 9409 Moonlight Dr 3/2.5 listed at $599K, 2489 Harbour Ln 3/2 listed at $699.9K, 6494 San-Cap Rd 3/2 listed at $1.795M.

2 closed sales: 1315 Par View Dr 3/2 $676K, 2507 Blind Pass Ct 3/3 $1.34M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 540 East Lake Rd listed at $169K, 1340 Eagle Run Dr listed at $270K.

1 closed sale: 434 Lake Murex Cir $250K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or closed sales.

1 price change: Sunset Captiva #201 2/2 now $895K.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #4102 1/2 listed at $348.5K.

HOMES

No new listings, new sales, or closed sales.

1 price change: 16525 Captiva Dr 8/8 now $3.995M.

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.)

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Coming up on Memorial Day 2017 on Sanibel


It is SanibelSusan with another Friday update about the island real estate market, weather, and more. Though the long weekend essentially is here, the island remains quiet. Maybe tomorrow will bring more visitors with rental check-ins.

Beach

On Periwinkle Way, there has been little traffic, even during Sanibel rush hour, except on Wednesday when right at quitting time a quick, but huge, downpour hit. Southwest Florida had been under a severe weather watch from midday (until 11 p.m. that night), but a couple of much-needed showers were all that was received. Forecasters say that was because of a cool front that passed through. That means lower humidity and temperatures only into the mid- to high-80’s expected for the holiday weekend. Growing up in Maine, it still cracks me up when I hear about a Florida cool front in the 80’s.

junonia 05-25-17After the high winds and unusually big waves with that Wednesday storm, shelling reports are that “it’s outstanding”. Plenty of live ones reported on the beach, with most conscientious shellers returning them to the water. A huge perfect junonia shell was found yesterday at Lighthouse Point beach. Experienced shellers say those live junonia shells are about 10 miles off shore, so it’s unusual for an empty one to make it to shore unscathed. After 30 years shelling, I’m still looking.

SanibelSusan Realty Happenings

Sanibelsusan LogoJust because Realtor® Caravan has reverted to every other week, doesn’t mean there is no real estate action.

This week our listings had just a couple of showings with more scheduled this weekend. The activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follows a couple of news items below. We had another nice condo sale this week and a new listing today at The Sanctuary. More on that in the days to come, including hosting an Open House during Caravan next Thursday.

ASSOC LogoThe team gets a day off for the Monday holiday, but I’ll be manning the fort then – hoping to hear from buyers and Realtors® interested in our listings – also updating the two classes I will be instructing for the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist Designation in early June. This year, I’m teaching both the Resort & 2nd Home Property segment and the Condo Market segment.

Sanibel farmers market bikeLast Sanibel Farmers’ Market

Sanibel’s last Farmers’ Market of the season is Sunday on the grounds of City Hall from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. It’s always a long summer before the market reopens in October.

Workshop Options for Center-4-Life

Front page news in both the “Island Sun” and the “Islander” this week, was the meeting last Wednesday of a workshop hosted by Sanibel City Council to discuss the future of the City’s Center-4-Life facility.

Sanibelcityseal logoThe Center’s current building at the corner of Library Way and Palm Ridge Road was assessed for refurbishment five years ago during the initial planning phases of the Civic & Cultural Core project. Now that that project is tabled, the purpose of Wednesday’s meeting was for council to learn about the Center-4-Life’s needs today. They received an architectural presentation and one by City Recreation Dept Director which included information on the facility’s participation levels, trends, space needs, expansion alternatives, and an analysis of the current site.

Originally the Sanibel Library, the current Center-4-Life building was enlarged at least twice when it was the library – 1st in 1977 and again in 1983. Today the Center-4-Life provides such island seniors with such activities as land aerobics, yoga, card games, cooking socials, educational classes, and special presentations.

Membership has grown annually and last year exceeded 8,000 members. To accommodate the increased demand for additional programming presenters estimated the building needs to be expanded to 7,500 sq. ft. Five options were provided:

  1. Retain the status quo
  2. Renovate in place with CHR remaining (this is office space for Community Housing Resources, which the City is obligated to fund),
  3. Renovate in place with CHR relocating
  4. Rebuild on current site
  5. Build a new facility on a different site.

Councilors weighed in on all options, with options 4 and 5 receiving their support. Estimates were requested for new buildings, with another workshop expected after staff review, maybe in August, with the final decision ultimately up taxpayers. Stay tuned.

Library Renovation Begins

sanibel-library-logoSanibel Public Library has started the first phase of their Your Library Reimagined project. From Monday through Friday next week (May 29-June 2), the building will be closed to the public while the interior is prepared for the project. It will reopen Saturday June 3 from 9 to 1 p.m. During the down-time the facility is being reconfigured to provide library services during remodeling. During the summer, some of the building will be closed to the public while the infrastructure is updated. The library will provide service during most of the renovation time, but occasionally may close when utility or plumbing work is being done.

sanibel libraryThe goal is to provide more space, appeal, and usefulness for users. The Sanibel Public Library began with a group of volunteers in the 60’s and currently is in its 3rd home, at 770 Dunlop Road which opened in 1994. In 2004, the building was expanded to its current size. Upgrades now are to replace much of the infrastructure, HVAC, fire suppression, plumbing, lighting, technology, and flooring. The project has been in the planning stages since 2015 with public input. The library board has set a budget of $5.9 million with the cost covered by library reserves, grants, and gifts.

Blind Pass Project Complete

Blind%20Pass%20Aerial%202016.jpgThe Blind Pas maintenance dredging project neared completion this week with the final work expected to be done today. Demobilization of the equipment will take place between tomorrow and June 1. The sand dredged from the pass and deposited on Sanibel to re-nourish some of the beach will be tilled on June 1. More info at www.leegov.com/naturalresources/blind-pass-2017-construction

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity May 19-26, 2017

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Ibis at The Sanctuary #B102 2/2 $470K (our listing) (building & pool shown below), Sand Pointe #228 2/2 $799K.

ExteriorPool

3 price changes: Mariner Pointe #811 2/2 now $449K, Tarpon Beach #103 2/2 now $775K, Royale Tern #103 3/3.5 now $1.675M.

5 new sales: Captains Walk #A1 2/1 listed at $338K, Seashells #38 2/2 listed at $349K, Lighthouse Point #129 3/2 listed at $574K (our listing) (Lighthouse Point condo complex shown below), Sanibel Seaview #B2 3/3 listed at $1.489M, High Tide #A302 3/2 listed at $1.675M.

Lighthouse Point c

3 closed sales: Seashells #3 2/2 $377.5K, Pointe Santo #C36 2/2 $775K, Sundial West #A308 2/2 $775K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 746 Cardium St 4/2 duplex $729K.

12 price changes: 1447 Albatross Rd 3/2 now $529K; 376 Lake Murex Blvd 3/2 now $576.9K; 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $636.9K; 673 East Rocks Dr 3/2 now $779,888; 5306 Umbrella Pool Rd 4/3 now $845K; 655 Anchor Dr 3/3 now $849K; 1294 Par View Dr 3/2.5 now $929K; 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.68M; 1137 Golden Olive Ct 5/3.5 now $1.794.5M; 984 Oyster Ct 3/3.5 now $1.799M; 5606 Baltusrol Ct 4/6 now $2.895M; 3869 West Gulf Dr 6/7/2 now $8.495M.

7 new sales: 5308 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2 listed at $578K, 5105 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/3 listed at $624.9K, 1036 S Yachtsman Dr 3/3 listed at $624.9K, 5056 Joewood Dr 3/2 listed at $759K, 1234 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 listed at $1.149M, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 listed at $1.595M, 696 Kinzie Island Ct 4/5 listed at $2.15M.

5 closed sales: 1602 Serenity Ln 4/2 $438K, 1895 Farm Trl 3/2 $580K, 1429 Jamaica Dr 3/3 $664.9K, 2629 Coconut Dr 2/3 $767K, 863 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $950K.

LOTS

2 new listings: 486 Ponce De Leon Rd $199K, 1340 Eagle Run Dr $299K.

2 price changes: 5126 Sea Bell Rd now $174.5K, 5116 Sea Bell Rd now $174.5K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #2617 1/1 $499K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2318 2/2 listed at $595K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11509 Chapin Ln $2.299M.

1 price change: 11521 Andy Rosse Ln now $2.799M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 11520 Wightman Ln 3/2 $2.3M.

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.)

Memorial DayHappy Memorial Day all & a big thank you to those who have & who continue to serve & protect us!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Another Picture-Perfect Friday on Sanibel Island


Another Friday has arrived with the islands settled into a steady post-season routine – essentially no traffic delays on Periwinkle, no lines at local restaurants, but still vacationers here enjoying summer-like weather at the beaches, on the bike paths, and outdoors in general. They are benefiting from lower off-season accommodation rates too.

dolphins 11-6-15

Overall, inventory remains fairly low and sales activity is a little slow. At our last “season” weekly Realtor® Caravan meeting yesterday, only a couple of new sales were announced and just six new listings were open for viewing.

The schedule of these Thursday morning caravan meetings has now switched to the ever-other-week summer schedule which will apply until new listing activity picks up again in the fall. The next meeting on May 12 will be an “Open Caravan” – meaning property that either east or west-end properties may be included. That “open” schedule flexibility will continue until fall.

Sanibel Inventory in Perspective

sancap GO MLS logoUsing the data from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service as of April 29 and comparing the activity year-to-date with the sales during the same timeframe last year, here are the standings. Also included are the same statistics for 2006 – the year of the market “peak”. Though ten years ago, it is interesting how those statistics compare to the same 4-month period (January 1 through April 29).

# for Sale                         # Sold/Closed 2016  # Sold/Closed 2015   #Sold/Closed 2006

Median Asking Price     Median Sale Price     Median Sale Price     Median Sale Price

SANIBEL CONDOS:

96                                       56                                   64                                   73

$662,450                          $664,500                    $662,000                      $799,000

SANIBEL HOMES:

154                                       59                                  94                                  59

$997,000                          $795,000                    $764,000                      $899,000

What does this mean? Though inventory is low, particularly when compared to previous years, there still is a lot. At the current rate of sales, there are about seven months of condo inventory and over ten months for homes.

Typically, there are fewer island sales in the spring and summer, with more last quarter and first quarter, but this year is a bit of an anomaly. The median sale price is up, but the number of units sold is down, both for condos and homes. If election year jitters calm down, it certainly will help.

A couple of the articles below about the economy and predictions for the rest of the year offer more insight. The action posted over the last week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follow the news.

Work To Upgrade AT&T Signal Under Way at Donax Tower

flag cell towerAccording to an article posted in last Friday’s “Santiva Chronicle”, “AT&T appears to be getting closer to the long-awaited signal upgrade on Sanibel. Heavy equipment is presently on the site along Donax Street where the cellphone tower that doubles as a heavy-duty flagpole sits. AT&T told the city early this year that the upgrade would occur in the second quarter of 2016.

““The city issued a building permit to the AT&T subcontractor well more than a month ago and the city had been previously advised that AT&T planned to install its communications equipment during the second quarter of 2016,” City Attorney said in an e-mail on Thursday, April 21.

AT&T_logo_svg““Our understanding is that the AT&T subcontractor has now commenced construction of the ground building that will house the generator and ground equipment which supports the communications equipment to be installed within the tower,” Cuyler said.

“Finally getting the new equipment running on the Donax tower will help alleviate the frustration AT&T customers have experienced with weak signals and dropped calls….”

Islanders Briefed on Blind Pass at Stakeholders Meeting

santiva chronicleAs reported in the “Santiva Chronicle” this week – “Keep Blind Pass open and keep it open in a correct way – That was the consensus of about 100 people attending the Blind Pass Inlet Management Study meeting at The Sanctuary clubhouse Thursday evening, April 21.

“The meeting was hosted by the Lee County Natural Resources Division to discuss the status of the ongoing study of Blind Pass and to take input from stakeholders. It drew a cross section ranging from Sanibel and Captiva officials, to members and officials of island non-profits and residents of the immediate area.

““Everything is on the table. We have powerful tools to develop this model,” Steve Boutelle, operations manager of the Lee County DNR, said.

“The meeting was to take community input to supplement the vast amount of data that is being gathered to determine the best way to keep one of the key inlets open and the water within it circulating as it should be.

Blind Pass is the inlet that separates Captiva and Sanibel. Its history, which was reviewed by B&I, the consulting firm hired by the DNR, is one of closing, opening and moving around as a result of natural forces and human intervention.

BlindPass_1953_4H_75

“Michelle Pfeiffer of B&I presented a number of slides and charts, and she also had aerial shots of the various shapes the volatile inlet has taken through the years. The most dramatic was in 1972 when Hurricane Agnes marched through, “forever altering Blind Pass,” according to B&I’s Tom Pierro.

Blind pass 2002

“Blind Pass has been dredged and one more dredging is scheduled before the current permit to do so expires. Presently the pass is in extremely shallow condition with people easily wading across and causing boats with shallow drafts to struggle.

blind pass sanibel

“Ann Vanderbilt spoke for the 300 members of the Bayous Preservation Association, a citizens group that works to restore and maintain the water quality in the area, including Blind Pass. She was the first of several to point out the recent cooperation between stakeholders when it comes to Blind Pass.

“The DNR got valuable input from knowledgeable residents of the surrounding neighborhoods, including Harvey Padewer and John McCabe. Both men spoke for others in the hope that whatever decision is arrived at for Blind Pass, that it will keep the water circulating and improve water quality.

““Blind Pass has a history of opening and closing. The decision has been made to keep it open. Our goal is to determine how best to do that,” Boutelle said.

““The study is in the very early stages, so it is very important to get input from you at this time,” Pierro told the stakeholders.

“Tidal inlets that connect the ocean to estuaries are important to the ecology of estuaries. Decreased water flows in the estuaries generally lead to increased sedimentation and accumulation of nutrients.

“Thursday’s meeting was the first of three. The DNR team said it expects a second meeting in two months with a third to follow.”

4 Housing Predictions for the Rest of 2016

FreddieMacLogo_3From Monday’s “Daily Real Estate News” on line, sourced to: Freddie Mac

“Freddie Mac economists are still upbeat about the housing market’s outlook for the rest of the year, despite recent data that showed a gloomier first quarter in economic growth than originally projected. According to Freddie Mac’s April outlook, housing will “maintain its momentum in 2016 and be an economic engine of growth.”

“”We’ve revised down our forecast for economic growth to reflect the recent data for the first quarter, but our outlook for the balance of the year remains modestly optimistic for the economy,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “However, we maintain our positive view on housing. In fact, the declines in long-term interest rates that accompanied much of the recent news should increase mortgage market activity, particularly refinance.”

“Economists made the following predictions for the remainder of 2016:

  • Employment: The labor market is expected to stay strong. The unemployment rate is projected to drop back below 5% for 2016 and 2017. “Stronger economic growth for the remainder of 2016 and reduced slack in the labor market will drive wage gains above inflation, though the gains are likely to be modest,” Freddie’s report notes.
  • Mortgage originations: Loan originations are estimated to rise by $50 billion in 2016 and reach $1.7 billion. The forecasted boost is a result of low mortgage rates that are fueling a refinancing boom.
  • Mortgage rates: Low mortgage rates are expected to stick around longer. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.7% in the first quarter. “After lowering the forecast for subsequent quarters by a tenth of a percent, expect rates to average 4% in 2016,” Freddie Mac researchers note.
  • Housing prices: Home prices will rise by 4.8% in 2016 and by another 3.5% in 2017, Freddie Mac researchers predict. These rising home prices will lead home owners’ to see more equity gains.”

Why the Economy Is Slowing

NAR gray-logoBy my favorite economist as posted in RealtorMag” last Thursday, this article is sourced to “Forbes”, April 19, 2016:

“The economy has been on a roller coaster ride the past few years. Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, points to two main reasons behind the latest slowing of the economy: Constrained homebuilding and business spending.

“Homebuilders have been slow to up their production of new homes. They’ve been plagued with labor shortages and a shortage of suitable land for development. They’re also facing new housing permit rules and new financial regulations on small-sized banks. All of these factors are contributing to an “abnormally sluggish homebuilding recovery in this cycle,” Yun notes in his column at Forbes.

“What’s more, this contraction in home building is contributing to an overall sluggishness in the economy, Yun says.

“Housing starts in March were about 1.09 million units at an annualized pace. While it is up 14.1% from a year ago, it’s still far from historical levels.  Normal activity is usually about 1.5 million housing starts a year. Yet, builders have been producing fewer than 1.1 million units since 2008. Prior to that, housing starts had not dipped below that level since 1981 and 1982, when mortgage rates were near 20%, and in 1991 when the economy was in a recession.

““Had the housing starts rebound been like in past cycles – that is, quickly getting back up to 1.5 million new units – then broad economic growth would have been markedly stronger,” Yun notes in his recent column at Forbes.

““With soft housing starts, GDP growth is similarly expected to be soft, barely above the zero growth line in the first quarter. … Had the economy moved along at the normal historical growth rate of 3% average annual GDP growth compared to what we actually experienced over this past decade, the typical American would have an additional $7,000 this year.”

“But homebuilding isn’t the only factor leading to a slowing economy. The economy also has been slowing due to “an unusual trend in recent years of business spending being below corporate profits,” Yun says.

“He explains: “For most of U.S. history, business spending (defined as the sum of spending for non-residential equipment and intellectual property products in GDP accounting) was higher than corporate profits. Borrowing, typically by new small businesses, had permitted more spending. That is, America always had more entrepreneurial ideas than money. But in recent years, ideas are apparently no longer in abundance and corporate cash is sitting on the sidelines and not doing much.”

“Yun notes that he believes an increase in homebuilding and business spending are key to getting the economy back on track.”

Turtle Nesting Season Begins Sunday

Turtle CrawlAs reported in “The News-Press” on Wednesday: “Although nesting season doesn’t start until Sunday, there have been two nests this year, on Captiva and Fort Myers Beach.

“Turtle nesting season runs from Sunday, May 1, through Oct 31.

“Turtle nesting season begins Sunday and experts are hoping the four-year trend of high nesting continues.

After almost a decade of a low count of nests, females have been coming ashore in higher numbers since 2012. But Eve Haverfield, president and founder of Turtle Time, says that doesn’t mean 2016 will be another top year.

Sea Turtle Nest

“We are hoping for the best,” she said. “Last year was a good season and we are hoping for another one.”

She said a real pattern has not been established with nesting numbers.

““They are better, but they are not out of the woods yet,” Haverfield said. “Just because you had one or two or three good years, that does not mean the species has recovered. You don’t want to draw conclusions over a few years.”

“Still Haverfield is always positive about turtles. “We are eternally optimistic,” she said.

Seaturtlehatchlings

“Last year Bonita Beach had the first nest of the season, but this year that honor goes to Captiva that had a nest laid on April 21. That is just one day short of the record for the earliest nest laid there on April 20, 2012.

“Kelly Sloan, turtle coordinator for the Sanibel/Captiva Conservation Foundation, is excited about having the first nest and also about a new program piloting on Sanibel. For the first time Sanibel will have two volunteers that patrol the beach four or five nights a week to tag the mother turtles.

“Tagging has been done for years on Keewaydin Island in Collier County and by Mote Marine. Sloan said tagging on Sanibel will add to the pool of knowledge and let researchers see if there are changes in patterns and the genetics of the turtles that come on shore. “Part of the reason is to see if there is a genetics break at San Carlos Bay,” Sloan explained. Her 120 volunteers will also be patrolling Sanibel and Captiva in the morning and putting screens around the nests to prevent coyotes from eating the eggs. Sloan said this program was very successful last year. “We are hopeful for another great year,” Sloan said.

“Maura Kraus, senior environmental specialist for Collier County Natural Resources is also hopeful for another great turtle season. “We are hoping it is all the work we have been doing all these years. Everything we have been doing, hopefully we are seeing an upward trend,” Kraus said. Kraus said for the last three decades there has been a strong push to help sea turtles, from more public awareness to turtle excluder devices on shrimp boats to the work done on beaches around the state.

loggerhead_sea_turtle_baby_blog““Loggerheads take 30 years to reach maturity. So hopefully we are seeing the results of our hard work,” she said. Kraus is feeling a lot better about turtle season now than she did in the past. “In 2002 we were getting a little nervous. It was pretty worrisome,” she said about the low number of nests then.

“Kraus said most people in Collier County comply with keeping lights from shining on the beach and pulling furniture from the sand at night. But one problem she does see is people who dig holes in the sand and then don’t fill them in. “So we want to make sure people fill in the holes,” Kraus said. “People should stay off the beach at night. Everyone has their lights on their phones and their cameras on the phones and we don’t want that on the beach at night.”

“Although nesting season doesn’t start until Sunday, volunteers have been monitoring the beaches since April 15. So far there have only been two nests this year, the one on Captiva and one laid on April 25 on Fort Myers Beach.

“Now that nesting season is beginning, Haverfield wants people living along the beach to use amber LED lighting and to close their drapes at night. Hatchlings follow the lights of the horizon to find the water and can be disoriented by unnatural light.  She said most people do comply, but there are some that still shine too much light on the beach. “People have been very supportive,” Haverfield said. “People love the fact that sea turtles nest on our beaches.”

FACT BOX

*Loggerheads are the most common sea turtles in Florida

*Adults grow to more than 3-feet long and weigh 200-350 pounds

* They may travel thousands of miles from feeding grounds to nesting beaches

* Female turtles nest on the same beaches where they were born.

* A female loggerhead may nest 1-7 times during a season at about 15 day intervals

* Incubation takes 55-65 days

* The temperature of the nest determines the sex of the hatchlings. Cooler sand produces mostly males, while warmer sand produces mostly females.

* Hatchlings are about 2 inches long

* Hatchlings emerge at night and are guided by the lighter Gulf horizon to the water

THE LAW

Both interior and exterior lights must not be visible on the beach.

People can explore the different options of LED fixtures at: http://myfwc.com/conservation/you-conserve/lighting/certified

Beach furniture must be removed from the beach from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. (must be behind the dunes and vegetation or up against the house)

The rule is in effect from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. May 1 to Oct. 31.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 22-29, 2016

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Lighthouse Point #122 2/2 $499K, Sanibel Arms West #B8 2/2 $548.9K.

3 price changes: Beach Road Villa #105 2/2 now $424K, Blind Pass #A102 2/2 now $429K, Sanibel Surfside #127 2/2 now $1.065M.

3 new sales: Donax Village #14 2/2 listed at $529K, Sanctuary Golf Villages 1-1 2/2.5 listed at $595K (our sale), Clam Shell #E 3/2.5 listed at $995K.

3 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #211 1/1 $365K, Shell Island Beach Club #5A 2/2 $790K, West Shore #3 3/3 $1.637M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 $410K, 3118 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $619.9K, 810 Elinor Way 3/2 $679K, 2313 Wulfert Rd 4/3 $1.15M, 243 Southwinds Dr 4/2.5 $1.195M.

8 price changes: 2407 Shop Rd 3/1 now $349K; 1635 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex now $464K; 535 Birdsong Pl 3/2 now $499,999; 5306 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $625K; 5299 Ladyfinger Rd 3/3 now $749K; 588 Hideaway Ct 3/2 now $779K; 563 Hideaway Ct 3/2 now $795K; 1238 Isabel Dr 5/3/2 now $3.864M.

6 new sales: 1322 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $529.9K, 441 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 listed at $569K, 702 Oliva St 3/2 listed at $649K, 1858 Farm Trail 3/2 listed at $649K, 676 Emeril Ct 3/2 listed at $749K, 841 Lindgren Blvd 2/2 listed at $899K.

3 closed sales: 1565 Bunting Ln 3/2 $585K, 911 Strangler Fig Ln $2.219M, 3421 West Gulf Dr 5/4.5 $6.8375M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1329 Par View Dr $349K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 1310 Par View Dr listed at $359,555.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Seabreeze #1251 3/3 $2.25M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15 Seascape Ct (Sunset Captiva) 3/2.5 $995K.

2 price changes: 1135 Longifolia Ct 4/4.5 now $4.295M, 16560 Captiva Dr 7/7.5 now $6.5M.

1 new sale: 19 Urchin Ct 2/2.5 listed at $879K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

1 new listing: 956 S Seas Plantation Rd $2.1M.

1 price change: 16298 Captiva Dr now $5.049M.

No new or closed sales.

(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.)

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel Sunsets & Island Real Estate News


Another summer week is behind us, surprisingly with Southwest Florida being touted as one of the coolest spots in the nation a couple of times. It is definitely an unusual weather pattern if Florida is cooler than 40 of the 48 contiguous states.

Over the last seven days, Sanibel and Captiva Island have had mostly sunny days but plenty of rain too, particularly yesterday. More is expected later today and again tomorrow. Swales are full, ponds and lakes overflowing, and the tropical vegetation is growing like crazy.

Here is a photo sent to me earlier this week by one of our happy island homeowners. Those afternoon/early evening storms usually are followed by fabulous sunsets! Luckily this family now owns in the perfect location for viewing those.

Sanibel sunset, photo thanks to Scott, 07-13-13

Sanibel sunset, photo thanks to Scott, 07-13-13

Here are a couple of news items, followed by the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service action this week. We had another nice closing on Monday, the last of our “winter sales”, now on to summer…

Association of Realtors® July Membership Meeting

ASSOC LogoSanibelSusan Realty listings starred in the Realtor Caravan following our local Association of Realtors® meeting yesterday. Since our Association had not met for four weeks because of the July 4th holiday, most attendees expected that many new listings would be announced, but “no”, there was just a handful, including our new listing in Sanibel Shores.  The new-listing caravan had only five properties on tour (15 is the maximum allowed). Three of the five were SanibelSusan listings including Marine Pointe #631, Pointe Santo #B23, and 9477 Peaceful Drive (photos below). We got good feedback on them too! Now we just need to see buyers in town.

Mariner Pointe #631

Mariner Pointe #631, photo by Dave

Pointe Santo

9477 Peaceful Drive

9477 Peaceful Drive, photo by JMA Photography

The educational segment of the meeting featured a panel of rental company managers offering helpful information on how these companies can best work with sales associates. One of the items discussed was the new Florida Realtors/FloridaBAR sales contracts that are expected to be approved during the upcoming August Florida Realtors® Annual Business Meetings in Orlando. Both the traditional “Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase” and the “”AS IS” Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase” in addition to other changes includes one about future rentals. In the paragraph about “Occupancy and Possession” a new paragraph with check-box is added which says:

“CHECK IF PROPERTY IS SUBJECT TO LEASE(s) OR OCCUPANCY AFTER CLOSING: If property is subject to a lease(s) after Closing or is intended to be rented or occupied by third parties beyond Closing, the facts and terms thereof shall be disclosed in writing by Seller to Buyer and copies of the written lease(s) shall be delivered to Buyer, all within 5 days after Effective Date. If Buyer determines, in Buyer’s sole discretion, that the lease(s) or terms of occupancy are not acceptable to Buyer, Buyer may terminate this Contract by delivery of written notice of such election to Seller within 5 days after receipt of the above items from Seller, and Buyer shall be refunded the Deposit thereby releasing Buyer and Seller from all further obligations under this Contract. Estoppel Letter(s) and Seller’s affidavit shall be provided pursuant to STANDARD D. If Property is intended to be occupied by Seller after Closing, see Rider U. POST-CLOSING OCCUPANCY BY SELLER.”During a follow-up question-and-answer period, a local bank Vice President and Association Affiliate Member, mentioned that checking this box could adversely affect a Buyer’s loan scenarios/terms. That makes sense, since investment property is generally considered highest risk (compared to primary residences and 2nd homes).

Another Realtor® member mentioned that sometimes Seller’s have future rental bookings at reduced rates or they block future rental periods for themselves/family/guests at no cost. Sometimes that is looked upon unfavorably by a prospective Buyer who may be looking to maximize income.

A good time to revisit your lease/rental agreement and think about the best way to get your property sold is before it is listed.  Many rental contracts have obligations about future bookings. Be sure and pass that information along to your Realtor® and perhaps, when you decide to sell, think twice about how far out you are willing to accept bookings, sometimes prospective buyers do not want to honor rentals. (In recent years, the percentage of buyers wanting rental income has declined. Rather, most buy primarily for their own use.)

Helping Mother Nature on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

SCCF logoOne of my favorite things about living on Sanibel and Captiva is the general positive attitude about coexisting with nature. This summer with a beach renourishment project coming up, staff and volunteers with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) Sea Turtle Monitoring Program are even assisting Mother Nature.

Each day during nesting season, May to October, the 18 miles of the island gulf beaches from Sanibel’s east-end lighthouse to the tip of Captiva are checked starting at dawn by Turtle Patrol volunteers. Sea turtle nests are identified and marked for monitoring and protection. New hatches are evaluated and recorded with the data helpful in future state and national decision-making that protects sea turtles.

SCCF photo of Sanibel's first turtle nest of 2013

SCCF photo of Sanibel’s first turtle nest of 2013

Unfortunately, this year nesting season falls smack-dab in the middle of a long-planned August beach renourishment project which will add more than 800,000 cubic yards of sand on Captiva from Redfish Pass to Blind Pass, and also on the Captiva-end of Sanibel, where an additional 75,000 cubic yards will be added.

In preparation for this project, SCCF and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) stepped in and took action. A special permit was issued which allows SCCF’s biologist and Turtle Monitoring Program Coordinator, Amanda Bryant, and other FWC Marine Turtle permit holders to move nests that would be impacted.

SCCF photo of turtle hatchlings heading to gulf

SCCF photo of turtle hatchlings heading to gulf

According to Amanda, as of last week, they had moved 21 nests. According to an article in today’s “Island Sun”, she trained for two years with FWC to obtain this permit and she knows how to create a new egg chamber, just like a mama turtle would. Moving the eggs quickly also is key. The new nests are staked, marked and numbered, just like the ones the mamas create. Thanks to Amanda and her team of volunteers, hundreds of new hatchlings may emerge in about two months – just another wonderful example of how life is on the islands.

City of Sanibel Continues To Be Cost Cautious

Sanibelcityseal logoAt Tuesday’s Sanibel City Council meeting, a preliminary millage rate of 2.0861 was established as recommended by the City’s financial department with a 2014 budget described by City Manager Judie Zimomra as “tight”. This rate is slightly less than last year’s 2.1 mils. Council will conduct the first budget public hearing on Saturday, September 7 at 9 a.m. The 2nd and final hearing will be held on Tuesday, September 17 at 5:01 p.m.

Sanibel Crosswalk Study

CROSSWALKAnother item on Tuesday’s City Council agenda was discussion about three of Sanibel’s busiest areas for pedestrian and bike traffic. To improve crosswalk safety, several design alternatives were presented as part of this study.

The three intersections being investigated are:

  • Periwinkle Way & Bailey Road (near the Dairy Queen and Lazy Flamingo)
  • Periwinkle Way & Casa Ybel Road (across from Jerry’s Market)
  • Tarpon Bay Road & Island Inn Road (across from Lily & Company)

Following public input and discussion, these areas will be examined further and the topic is continued until Council’s next meeting.

Helping You Save During the Heat Wave

Lcec logoIn getting ready for our closing this week, the buyer asked for advice on the appropriate HVAC temperature setting for their new home. Most of the time, I keep my home and the office set at 78 degrees F, but was happy that a flier arrived from Lee County Electric Co-op with my electric bill on the same day and about that very subject. It says:

“Warmer weather has arrived and you may be looking for ways to save energy and lower your bill. Our energy experts are here to help you save energy by following these simple tips:

  • When cooling your home, set the thermostat at 78 degrees F. Each degree below adds 8 to 12% to cooling costs.
  • While away from home for more than two hours, set the thermostat at 83 degrees F.
  • Install a programmable thermostat that will automatically raise and lower the temperature at certain times of the day.
  • Turn off fans when the room is not occupied. Each continuously running fan costs approximately $7 per month on your electric bill.
  • Do not close A/C vents or interior doors when A/C is running.

For more green energy tips visit www.lcec.net.”

One for the Birds

Visit Florida logoWhen I saw this article posted on VisitFlorida.com this week, I knew Sanibel would have to make the list.

“Five Top Spots for Birding in Florida – Florida, birding and wildlife viewing is a big deal – even bigger than you might imagine.

In fact, birding is second only to beach-related activities as a form of outdoor recreation for both visitors and residents. The trend is still on the rise, so count on seeing more and more people carrying binoculars and spotting scopes around the Sunshine State.

If you’re already into birding, you probably know that Florida is considered one of the best places in the world for the activity. Here are five of the top spots you don’t want to miss:

•   Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge – For Titusville, having one of the state’s most diverse wildlife habitats on your doorstep is a good thing. In January, the area hosts the annual Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, which is the largest of its kind in the country. Birders flock to the area en masse to get a look at migrating waterfowl and all manner of shorebirds along Black Point Wildlife Drive, a 7-mile loop around salt marsh impoundments. Whether you’re visiting for a day or a week, you’re sure to check a few species off your life list here. 

•   Everglades National Park – When wildlife lovers dream, they more than likely dream about the Everglades. Not only is it a National Park, it’s also designated as an International Biosphere Reserve for its ecological importance. Residents of Everglades National Park include the Florida panther, American crocodile, the rare Ghost orchid, manatees and much more. For a good day trip, check out the Anhinga Trail and the Shark Valley tram. www.nps.gov/ever

•   Dry Tortugas National Park – Located about 70 miles west of Key West in the Gulf of Mexico, Dry Tortugas National Park is a little difficult to reach, but the reward is well worth the effort. Catch a ride on the Yankee Freedom Ferry, a high-speed catamaran that can get you there in just a couple of hours. Go in the spring and you’ll be rewarded with the rare sight of thousands of Sooty terns and Brown noddies nesting on Bush Key. www.nps.gov/drto

Roseate spoonbills in J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, photo by Hans.

Roseate spoonbills in J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, photo by Hans.

•   J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge – Year-round birding and wildlife viewing is terrific on Sanibel Island. At “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, you can drive around the 4-mile Wildlife Drive and get looks at Roseate spoonbills and Gray kingbirds. Take a walk on the Indigo Trail in the summer months, where Mangrove cuckoos can be found. www.fws.gov/dingdarling

•   STA5/Lake Okeechobee – It’s not a National Park or a National Wildlife Refuge, but STA-5 is one of the best birding spots in South Florida. Stormwater treatment areas are designed to filter out excess nutrients that would otherwise flow to the Everglades, but they also turn out to be excellent places for birding. To access STA-5, you’ll need to register a visit with one of the local Audubon Society chapters. The birding is fantastic year-round, and you’ll definitely add a few life-listers at STA-5. www.hendrygladesaudubon.org

If five locations aren’t enough, don’t worry. The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail covers the entire state, with 514 official sites to explore. Check out www.floridabirdingtrail.com for more information.”

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

Sanibel
CONDOS
2 new listings: Mariner Pointe #733 2/2 $395K, Sanibel Arms #C4 2/2 $489.9K.
3 price changes: Sanbel Arms #C8 2/2 now $429K, Loggerhead Cay #451 2/2 now $485K, White Pelican #112 2/2 now $799K.
2 new sales: Tarpon Beach #206 2/2 listed for $667K, Gulfside Place #323 2/2 listed for $969K.

Our closing this week, Lake Palms #2

Our closing this week, Lake Palms #2

3 closed sales: Lake Palms #2 2/2.5 $235K (our sale), Island Beach Club #P3A 2/2 $450K, Tarpon Beach #205 2/2 $650K.
 
HOMES
4 new listings: 1520 Center St 2/2 $319K, 659 Donax St 2/2 $449K (our listing), 735 Donax St 3/2 $489K, 1480 Angel Dr 3/3 $1.545M.
2 price changes: 4563 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/3 now $649K, 1826 Woodring Rd 3/2 now $1.33M (short sale).
1 new sale: 1941 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed for $449.9K.

Our new listing this week at 659 Donax St

Our new listing this week at 659 Donax St

3 closed sales: 966 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex $322.5K, 1193 Kittiwake Cir 4/3 $530K, 407 Bella Vista Way E 4/4 $2.6M.
 
LOTS
No new listings.
1 price change: 708 Durion Ct now $359K.
1 new sale: 5891 SanCap Rd listed for $448K.
No closed sales.
 
Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings.
1 price change: Sunset Beach Villas #2238 3/3 now $825K.
2 new sales: Bayside Villas #5208 1/2 listed for $255K, Bayside Villas #5134 1/2 listed for $267.9K.
1 closed sale: Beach Villas #2533 2/2 $685K.
 
HOMES
No new listings.
2 price changes: 11516 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5 now $1.899M, 14971 Binder Dr 4/3  now $2.695M.
No new or closed sales.
 
LOTS
1 new listing: 16297 Captiva Dr $1.749M.
No price changes, new or closed sales. 

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 the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.  If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.

sunset from masterHere’s to a rain-free weekend or if not, at least one with more fabulous sunsets!

Don’t forget to call The SanibelSusan Team for all of your island real estate needs! (both Sanibel & Captiva)

SanibelSusan