Happy New Year & Happy 1st Friday 2021

Happy New Year 2021, with best wishes to all from The SanibelSusan Team.

It is just me (Susan) in the office this afternoon – albeit briefly after showing a few homes earlier. Gorgeous day to do that as was just mid-70’s when we started out at 10 a.m., then warming up to 78 degrees F about 2 p.m. Bright blue sky, lots of sunshine, and breezy – best kind of island day.

SanibelSusan Realty has had a good week. A listing sale closed Tues, Dave had a closing Thurs, we got a new listing, several action items were completed for other listings awaiting closings, and I have been writing offers this afternoon – which is why this is emailed a little later than usual – all good indicators that “season” is here.

As another indicator, what a difference a week makes! There was a huge traffic increase this week (compared to last week (Christmas)). The City announced Tuesday that 7,000 cars had crossed the causeway that morning. Wednesday, by midday, that day count already was up at 6,000. Those additional day-trippers make the roadways slow-going when heading off-island from about 3 p.m. until dark. If you need to travel then, remember to check the City traffic cams on www.MySanibel.com.

With several daytime runs by both teammate Elise and I between the office and the East end, and on-/off-island, we also could not help but notice the number of bikers. I do not remember the bike paths ever being this busy. The pickleball courts were packed most of the time too. Likely the wonderful weather brought visitors escaping the snowy north and doldrums of the pandemic. We just pray none of them brought more viruses.

Below are a couple of news items, including COVID update, followed by the action since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel – COVID-19

On Tuesday, Sanibel Mayor Mick Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until January 5, 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 through the period.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through 9 a.m. December 31 is 138 cases. Fifty-four of those cases are just since December 1. This is just the number cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go. PLEASE stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.

How the Coronavirus Is Changing Buying & Selling Real Estate

The need to practice social distancing and restrict in-person contacts has accelerated both innovation and technology. Realtors® servicing Sanibel and Captiva, where both sellers and buyers often are in far-away places, have always provided different services than in a traditional geographical area where both parties are nearby. From the pandemic, there likely will be some long-lasting effects, like those below.

Competitive Buying – Purchasers that are out of town are more motivated to make sight-unseen offers. For those successful offerors, using the “as is” contract, the buyer may use the 15-day inspection/cancellation period to come and see the property, and/or have inspections performed. In the last few weeks, we have had two listings sell sight-unseen. Both received multiple offers with the sight-unseen buyers winning out, because they were willing to pay full price.

Streaming Videos & FaceTime Showings – Professional photography including drone aerials with streaming videos continue to get prospects interested in a property. After they become interested, virtual walk-throughs and Facetime showings by us or their Realtor® have become popular. We have had almost as many showings that way in the last few months as showings with the buyers there in-person.

Meetings – Though most now are more familiar with cleaning procedures and protocols for traditional showings in today’s more hygienic environment, more meetings are held virtually. These include listing presentations, discussions on making offers, even actual closings. Though SanibelSusan Realty has not again begun holding open houses, we are available to open our listings for showings or deliver keys and fliers to Realtors® not going to their offices. Whatever it takes to get them sold, while staying safe!

400 Rabbits Is Open

There have been many positive reports on social media this week about the soft opening and then the full opening yesterday of the all-new restaurant “400 Rabbits” which is in the shopping center on the San-Cap Rd end of Rabbit Rd. Mexican-inspired and with a tequila bar, this venture combines the culinary talents of Jeramie and Debra Campana, owners of Paper Fig Kitchen (in Tahitian Gardens) and James Beard Society award-winning chef Don Yamauchi and his wife Cleta.

What Real Estate Has to Be Grateful For in 2020

This was posted on FloridaRealtors® just before Christmas, by Melissa Dittmann Tracey:

“It’s hard to look at 2020 in a positive light, but the real estate industry was uniquely and unexpectedly a beacon of hope for a nation battered by the COVID-19 virus. Home sales boomed, mortgage rates repeatedly hit record lows and rising values bolstered homeowners’ equity.

“CHICAGO – No doubt, 2020 has been a uniquely challenging year. With unemployment still above pre-pandemic levels, the country coming to terms with longstanding racial inequities, Americans worrying about natural disasters, a contentious national election and the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, people are searching for reasons to feel gratitude as the year draws to a close.

“The housing market has emerged as an economic bright spot. While the nation continues to feel widespread effects from 2020’s turmoil, here are a few things the real estate industry can be grateful for this year.

Booming home sales

“Overall, real estate professionals have been busy – home buying activity is at its highest level since 2006. The housing market defied high unemployment and an economic recession, and it surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Existing-home sales in October were 27% higher than a year ago, new-home sales were 32% higher, and pending home sales or contract signings in September jumped 20.5% annually.

““This winter may be one of the best winters for sales activity,” says Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) chief economist. “It won’t match summer or spring sales numbers, but on a winter-to-winter comparison, this could be one of the best breakout years just based on the fact that pending contracts are at such a higher level.”

“Mortgage applications, up 20% year over year, reflect buyers in the pipeline, ready to buy. The downside: Buyers are in a frenzy to compete for the limited housing stock, and 72% of homes that sold in October were on the market for less than a month, NAR’s data shows.

Record low mortgage rates

“Homebuyers are locking in some of the lowest mortgage rates in recorded history. Last week, for the 15th time this year, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage set a record low, averaging 2.67%, according to Freddie Mac. Yun predicts that mortgage rates will stay low into 2021, averaging 3.1% for all of next year.

““These ultra-low mortgage rates significantly lower mortgage payments, making housing more affordable than a year earlier in many areas,” even with prices rising, writes Nadia Evangelou, a research economist, on NAR’s Economists’ Outlook blog. In the Washington, D.C., metro area, for example, home prices have jumped nearly 12% compared to a year earlier, Evangelou notes. However, the monthly payment on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is lower than a year ago, averaging $1,820.

Seller equity

“Home sellers got a financial boost from housing appreciation. The median existing-home price for all housing types was $313,000 in October – a 16% increase from a year ago. Sixty-five percent of 181 metro areas NAR recently tracked have reported double-digit price gains compared to a year ago.

“That means home owners who haven’t taken a financial hit from the pandemic feel richer. In the third quarter, 16.7 million residential properties in the U.S. – 28.3% overall – were considered “equity rich,” according to a report from ATTOM Data Solutions, a real estate research data firm. A property is considered equity rich when the property owner has at least 50% equity in the home.

““Homeowner equity in the third quarter added another pebble to the pile of markers showing that the U.S. housing market continues to defy the broad downturn in the economy this year,” says Todd Teta, chief product and technology officer for ATTOM Data Solutions. “Home prices keep rising, boosting the balance sheets of homeowners throughout most of the country. … The market is strong and homeowners remain in a position to benefit.”

Technology

“With people forced to keep their distance during the pandemic, technology became real estate pros’ ally in keeping transactions moving. Nick Bailey, chief customer officer at RE/MAX LLC, says that the average real estate transaction takes 181 steps from beginning to end, and technology has increasingly responded to those steps.

“During state shutdowns earlier this year, real estate professionals increasingly relied on virtual and 3D tours, videoconferencing, augmented reality, automation, artificial intelligence and remote online notarizations, says Jeb Griffin, NAR’s director of strategy and innovation.

““Technology is playing a more active role through the buying and selling cycle, and agents are playing an even bigger role to consumers who [have] less access to homes in person [due to the pandemic],” Griffin says.

The future now requires “taking the traditional way of doing business and augmenting it with new ways that will allow you to serve customers in a variety of ways – and on their terms,” adds Andy Ambrose, DocuSign practice lead director at DocuSign Notary.

New priorities

““The coronavirus without a doubt led homebuyers to reassess their housing situations and even reconsider home sizes and destinations,” says Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights for NAR. “Buyers sought housing with more rooms, more square footage, and more yard space, as they may have desired a home office or home gym. They also shopped for larger homes because extra space would allow households to better accommodate older adult relatives or young adults that are now living within the residence.”

Affirmation of a Realtor’s value

“As Americans reevaluated what they wanted from a home, they increasingly relied on real estate agents to guide them through purchase and sales transactions. According to NAR’s latest survey, 88% of buyers reported using an agent to purchase their home, and 89% of sellers used an agent to help with their sale.

““We are all in unknown territory with this pandemic, so it’s no surprise that more buyers than ever turned to agents to help them navigate through some of the uncertainties and one of the most complex, competitive markets any of us have ever seen,” says NAR’s immediate past president Vince Malta.

The sanctity of home

““Nothing feels more precious this year than the safety of our homes,” says Shannon McGahn, NAR’s chief advocacy officer, “and we believe all Americans should have equal opportunity to a home of their own.”” Source: National Association of Realtors®

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 25 – January 1, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sandalfoot #3B3 1/1 $549K (our listing).

View from Sandalfoot #3B3

1 price change: Sandals #A 3/3.5 now $1.835M.

6 new sales: Sundial #G406 1/1 listed at $519K, Mariner Pointe #421 2/2.5 listed at $579K, Pointe Santo #B3 2/2 listed at $699K, Sandy Bend #6 2/2 listed at $1,027,007; Sanibel Surfside #124 2/2 listed at $1.05M, Junonia #103 3/2 listed at $1.295M.

12 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 $413K, Signal Inn #10 1/1 $485K, Loggerhead Cay #462 2/2 $550K, Compass Point #221 2/2 $615K, Lighthouse Point #111 2/2 $645K, Island Beach Club #220F 2/2 $710K, Sundial #T201 2/2 $750K, Gulf Beach #106 2/2 $775K (our buyer), Sundial #P203 2/2 $845K, Point Santo #D47 2/2 $920K, Sayana #103 2/2 $948.5K, Tarpon Beach #207 2/2 $899K (our listing).

HOMES

3 new listings: 784 Birdie View Pt 4/4 $1.795M, 5270 Indian Ct 6/6.5 $2.695M, 488 Lighthouse Way 4/4 $3.695M.

3 price changes: 1835 Ardsley Way 2/2 now $457K, 685 Sea Oats Dr 3/2/2 now $1.089M, 490 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 now $1.499M.

4 new sales: 799 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex listed at $570K, 1752 Jewel Box Dr 2/2 listed at $859K, 966 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 listed at $980K, 9441 Peaceful Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.395M.

7 closed sales: 1764 Bunting Ln 2/2 $515K, 731 Durion Ct 3/2 $737K, 836 Angel Wing Dr 3/2 $885K, 6176 Henderson Rd 3/2 $910K, 1308 Tahiti Dr 3/3 $907.5K, 1203 Kittiwake Cir 3/3 $985K, 769 Pyrula Ave 3/3.5 $1.335M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2314 2/2 listed at $779K, Marina Villas #808 2/2 listed at $779K.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4106 1/2 $378K, Beach Villas $2334 3/3 $960K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15000 Binder Dr 3/2 now $1.298M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 15200 Captiva Dr 2/2 $954K, 11515 Gore Ln 5/4.5 $2.25M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new, or closed sales.

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

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

Again, enjoy your 2021, while staying safe and well! Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Merry Christmas 2020!

Christmas Day 2020 at Sanibel Lighthouse 1:08 p.m.

What a different one it is. As we likely are all celebrating the season in new ways this year, I bet you too are looking forward to a safer, healthier, more productive 2021. I hope you are spending your day, like me and The SanibelSusan Team, the best you can under the circumstances.

As mentioned before, the pandemic has affected the islands real estate market, some ways great, some not-so-good. We have learned social-distancing skills and developed new marketing techniques while buyers and sellers have struggled to achieve their goals too – in this wonderful place that remains special regardless of what is happening worldwide.

It was so quiet this morning at my house, that I decided to take a spin around the East End, take a few photos, and then send this from the office. So here I am in Sanibel Square doing what I enjoy most. One of those things was getting a listing under contract yesterday. It is great to have a sale on Christmas Eve.

Another event was learning that a closing scheduled to occur on Monday, may now instead be the following week. Snafus with lenders, condo associations, and overnight mail with holidays are obstacles that make us so love cash sales with few contingencies – and appreciate our clients who continue to understand that as hard as we work to prevent any delays, stuff happens. This year, it seems to be all “new stuff”.

Below are some more photos taken about this afternoon. Though there have been sporadic recent reports of red tide, I did not see any evidence. There were plenty of people beach walking on both the bay and gulf side, also many folks at the fishing pier. Some bundled up as it is only mid-50’s and breezy, but there were a few brave kids wading in the water, plus the usual kiteboarders. The four photos below were from the beach access at the gulf end of Seagrape Lane.

Moving to the other end of Seagrape Lane, on San Carlos Bay, I watched a kiteboarder who was blown into the water struggle to get close to shore and get the kite airborne again. I waited until the rider was flying again was over the water, before departing. You can see the kite (teal color) in the center of the third photo below. (Moms worry about those kiteboarders.)

Moving on to the Sanibel Marina, it was pretty quiet there. No one in sight and Gramma Dot’s is closed until tomorrow. In the bottom picture, you can see how they spread out tables for outside dining.

If you also want to follow red tide reports, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) in their weekly email included a link to https://habforecast.gcoos.org/. That is NOAA’s Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System. Today it shows high readings on south of here at Vanderbilt Beach and the Naples Pier. It looks to be clear on both Sanibel and most of Captiva. Here is hoping this cool weather and northerly winds keep it away!

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

Holiday Celebrations Around the World

Late Monday, I attended an on-line Zoom meeting put on by Florida Realtors® Global Business Committee. My Naples pal, Paula Angelopoulos Urbinati chairs that committee this year, while Realtor® friend Christel Silver owner of Silver International Realty in Del Ray Beach is Vice Chair.

With presentations by Realtors® with personal and family connections in other countries, it was not surprising to hear that most holiday celebrations outside the U.S. also involved sharing a special meal(s) with family, gift giving, and music/caroling. It was surprising in some instances to learn how some celebrations differ. Here are just a few tidbits.

In Greece, Christmas celebrations officially last for 14 days, starting on Christmas Eve and ending on Epiphany (January 6) with the ‘Great Blessing of Water’.

In Barbados, celebrations begin December 1 with island residents painting their homes inside and out, often also purchasing all new furnishings to welcome the season with a clean slate.

In the Philippines, their celebrations are the longest in the world, beginning in early September, through the first Sunday in January which is the Feast of Three Kings. Another holiday custom in the Philippines is parents giving children a red envelope with cash inside.

In Cuba, Christmas was not celebrated for 30 years. That changed in 1998 when the Pope visited the country. In Cuba today, the celebration includes roasting a whole pig and gifts given for 12 days following Christmas.

In the United Kingdom, it was interesting to hear that stockings are not hung on mantels, but instead are placed at the foot of the beds. Sometimes pillowcases are used instead – ready for Father Christmas to fill them up. Advent calendars are popular, and everyone listens to the Queen’s speech on Christmas Day. She has been giving those since 1957, usually about 3 p.m. Christmas crackers also are popular in the UK. (I usually have them at my Christmas dinners too. Missing that this year.) This tradition goes back to the 1800’s with the cracker which pulls apart to make a “pop”, then opens to contain a paper crown (which must be worn during dinner), a silly joke, and a tiny toy. Christmas dinner in the UK most closely resembles many in the US including turkey (sometimes goose); roast beef; brussels sprouts (no Christmas dinner complete without those); mashed carrots and turnips (together); stuffing balls with sage, onion, chestnut; roasted potatoes (never mashed); Yorkshire pudding, peas; and cranberry sauce or bread sauce (which is a white sauce).Their Christmas desserts include mince pies, Christmas pudding aged for a month or two and with a silver coin inside, brandy butter to go on the pudding, and trifle.

In Hungary, many of their traditions are like those in Germany. Their holidays begin four Sundays before Christmas. Santa Claus Day is December 6. Children put their “clean” boots on their window sill at night with the “good” children receiving candy and those “naughty” ones getting sticks instead. Their trees go up on December 24, while their Christmas Day menus typically include codfish soup and stuffed cabbage. Their trees, which are decorated with colorfully wrapped candy and chocolate, stay up until January 6, though the candies particularly those on the bottom branches, reachable by children, disappear first. Like Germany, Christmas is celebrated on both December 25 and 26.

Israel’s Hannukah or “Festival of Lights” is an eight-day rededication ceremony with dates that change each year. It is not related to Christmas, but typically ends sometime before Christmas. Part of this celebration is adding lights to a menorah (candle holder). Every person in each family has their own, so if in a large family, it can mean many lights. Each menorah has nine candle holders so that one candle is lit each night with the ninth (or shamash) for the helper candle that is used to light the others. Common food at their celebrations include matza ball soup, potato latkes (pancakes), and jelly donuts. Children receive gifts all eight days of Hannukah with their traditions kept alive with gifts like dreidels, gelt (chocolate coins), and menorah.

In Africa, Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26 to January 1, observed by people of all faiths since it is not tied to any religion, but rather is to inspire blacks to be united, self-determined, accountable, financially invested, purposeful, creative, and full of faith. It is a celebration of life and a ritual to welcome the first harvests to the home. Each day of the seven days of Kwanzaa has special meaning, also with lighting of candles, in black, green, and red.

Sanibel – COVID-19

Florida Department of Health’s daily report says that Sanibel’s total number of COVID-19 cases from March 26 through December 24 at 9 a.m. is 128. This is just the cases for residents in our zip code. It does not include the many workers and visitors that come and go. PLEASE stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 18 – 25, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Sundial #G406 1/1 $519K, Kimball Lodge #244 1/1.5 $550K, Sanibel Arms West #H6 2/2 $579K, Sanibel Arms West #I4 2/2 $579K, Pointe Santo #B26 2/2 $689K, Mariner Pointe #241 2/2.5 $690K.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms #C5 2/2 now $475K, Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 now $999.5K.

2 new sales: Mariner Pointe #541 2/2 listed at $515K (our listing), Sundial #P203 2/2 listed at $899K.

5 closed sales: Captains Walk #B4 2/2 $380K, Coquina Beach #2B 2/2 $452.5K, Sanibel Arms West #M2 2/2 $525K, Coquina Beach #1D 2/2 $528.5K, Sundial #H203 2/2 $725K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1480 Middle Gulf Dr 4/4.5.5 $1.65M.

1 price change: 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $1.669M.

7 new sales: 3935 Coquina Dr 4/3 listed at $849,950; 916 Almas Ct 3/3.5 listed at $1.39M, 9441 Peaceful Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1,395M,  1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.599M, 5391 Shearwater Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.795M, 2411 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 listed at $2.4949M, 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 listed at $4.495M.

7 closed sales: 4044 Coquina Dr 2/2 $485K, 1603 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $570K, 280 Southwinds Dr 3/3.5 $618K, 1610 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $675K, 580 Boulder Dr 3/2 $799K, 735 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 $1.24M, 1237 Isabel Dr 5/6.5 $2.6M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 539 Sea Oats Dr $420K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 3945 West Gulf Dr listed at $2.999M.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Gulf Beach Villas #2127 2/2 $900K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Lands End Village #1628 4/4 listed at $2.749M.

1 closed sale: Captiva Hide-A-Way #2A 2/2 $880K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 15361 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 $2.795M, 11530 Paige Ct 4/5.5 $4.579M.

1 price change: 17201 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 now $5.65M.

1 new sale: 17101 Captiva Dr 7/6.5 listed at $2.695M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

1 new listing: 16685 Captiva Dr $2.45M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Jensen’s on Captiva also went under contract this week (with contingencies). Asking price $13.995M, it includes 14 historic cottages, 35 boat slips, marina, fuel dock, fleet of rental boats, ships store & office.

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”.

You can be sure that I’ll be posting next Friday too – with a Happy New Year report! Meanwhile, enjoy your Christmas!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s Not Black Friday Here – Bright Blue Sky & Sunshine

Happy day after Thanksgiving! The SanibelSusan Team hopes you had a good holiday. It’s pretty quiet in our office today, though the roadways and bike paths are busy as it is bright and sunny with temperatures in the low 80’s.

As the holiday approached, island traffic picked up significantly. It was back to looking like “season”. The rare overcast foggy morning, like Monday, brought out shoppers and more traffic directors at the 4-way stops. All good, as island businesses need activity.

Though there was no local Association of Realtors Zoom Caravan meeting this week (next meeting is Dec 3), there was plenty of activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The week’s MLS postings follow a couple of news items.

First an updated island inventory summary. It is shaping up to be a good year with an unbelievable bounce-back from the early pandemic months. With only 79 Sanibel homes for sale and over 300 sold this year, it will be interesting to see what happens over the winter. Not quite as extreme is the situation with Sanibel condos. There are under 100 for sale and nearly 200 sold to date.

Inventory numbers like that usually indicate a sellers’ market, but the sales this year have been a tad slanted regarding what products are selling. More mid-range homes and more high-end residential-type condos have sold, likely pandemic-driven and related to occupancy and safety. In the winter when the islands are busiest usually is when there are the most sales. This year that could be tempered because of inventory.

Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price $ # Avg Price $ # Avg Price $
SANIBEL
For sale 96 773,127 79 1,911,043 55 805,241
Under contract 46 794,145 47 1,406,424 9 412,495
Sold year-to-date 150 731,868 254 948,367 20 632,418
Sold 2019 127 694,392 211 949,790 15 372,200
Sold 2018 155 720,617 218 1,112,747 21 602,095
Sold 2017 140 728,793 186 1,004,236 32 327,228
CAPTIVA
For sale 28 1,432,571 29 4,486,999 2 6,472,500
Under contract 6 783,000 8 2,548,375 1 795,000
Sold year-to-date 39 825,706 22 2,905,545 3 3,150,000
Sold 2019 29 1,037,077 17 2,737,503 1 1,375,000
Sold 2018 27 797,532 25 2,127,352 0 N/A
Sold 2017 34 671,551 22 2,457,022 2 2,312,500

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.

Farmers Markets & Christmas Trees

Captiva Farmers Market reopened this week. Those are on Tuesdays through April 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 5400 Plantation Rd at the entrance of South Seas Resort.

Sanibel Farmers Market reopened a few weeks ago. It is Sundays through May 30 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sanibel City Hall, 800 Dunlop Rd. Local Roots also runs six other markets in SW Florida. More info about their start dates, hours of operation, and locations is on their website at www.LocalRoots.com.

Sanibel-Captiva Lions Christmas Tree Sale – begins tomorrow, Nov 28. All proceeds benefit local charities. Located next to Island Cinema in the Bailey’s Shopping Center, they offer fresh Michigan Fraser firs from 5 to 10’ plus wreaths and stands. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sunday, with island delivery and set-up available. On-line ordering also beings Nov 28 at www.SanCapLions.com.

City of Sanibel – COVID-19

On Tuesday, Acting Mayor Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19. Now it goes until December 1, 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 through the period.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 84. Cases are rapidly increasing here. NINE more cases in the last week.

Weeks-ending 3/29 through 5/31 – 2 months = 11 cases

Weeks-ending 6/7 through 8/30 – 2 months = 30 cases

Weeks-ending 9/6 through 11/1 – 2 months = 22 cases

Weeks-ending 11/8 through 11/22 – 3 WEEKS = 21 cases (that is seven more cases than last week)

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

U.S. Borders with Canada, Mexico Remain Closed Through Dec. 21

Posted Wed on FloridaRealtors®: “Don’t get hopes up for cross-border holiday travel. With the pandemic apparently escalating, the borders aren’t expected to open anytime soon.

“McLEAN, Va. – If you were hoping that the United States’ borders would reopen for holiday travel, don’t get your hopes up. The land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed through Dec. 21, Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced on Thursday.

““In order to continue to prevent the spread of COVID, the U.S., Mexico, & Canada will extend the restrictions on non-essential travel through Dec. 21,” he wrote on Twitter. “We are working closely with Mexico & Canada to keep essential trade & travel open while also protecting our citizens from the virus.

“Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair, wrote on Twitter that border-closure decisions “will continue to be based on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe.” Though these travel restrictions have been extended in monthly increments throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the borders are not expected to open anytime soon. The U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases of any country with more than 11 million, while Mexico and Canada have more than 1 million and 300,000, respectively.

““The pandemic seems to be escalating in both of our countries. That would seem to suggest that these measures are with us for a while,” Canadian ambassador to the U.S. Kirsten Hillman said Tuesday, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.

“Both U.S. land borders were closed to all but essential traffic in mid-March after the coronavirus pandemic hit, with government officials announcing multiple extensions as case counts continued to rise, especially in the U.S. The previous extension, announced in mid-October, was due to expire Nov. 21. Despite the closure of land borders, U.S. citizens can still travel by air.

“Canada has begun allowing extended family members who live in the U.S. to seek an exemption allowing them to travel north amid these restrictions, provided they follow that country’s COVID-19 requirements. Lawmakers have called on President Trump to do the same on the U.S. side.”

Copyright © 2020, USATODAY.com, USA TODAY, Jenna Ryu; contributing, Jayme Deerwester and David Oliver. All rights reserved.

County Commissioners Approve Toll Transponder Agreement

From this week’s “Island Reporter”, “On Nov 17, the Lee County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve an agreement to allow motorists to use E-ZPass transponders – widely used along the East Coast and beyond – to drive on Lee County toll roads.

“The E-ZPass toll network includes 18 states throughout the Northeast and Midwest. The agreement would allow people who already have those transponders to use them on Lee County toll bridges….

“The agreement that allows the use of E-ZPass in Lee County is with the Central Florida Expressway, which joined the E-ZPass group in 2018. The Central Florida Expressway would process transactions with no transaction fee charged to the County.

“The transponders will be accepted locally starting early next year. Local motorists can continue to use LeeWay and SunPass transponders. For more information about Lee County toll programs, visit www.leewayinfo.com.”

The Double-Edged Housing Boom

Another good article by Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, in the November-December 2020 “REALTOR®” magazine:

“Eye-popping home sales and prices pose longer-term problems.

“Remarkably, in the midst of the pandemic, the housing market is in a clear V-shaped recovery. Sales for both existing and new home sales in August hit their highest mark since 2006. The data popped out as round numbers: existing-home sales at an even 6 million and new-home sales at exactly 1 million on an annualized basis, up 10.5% and 43.2% from a year ago. Pending contracts also hit an all-time high.

“Buyer activity this winter is unlikely to chill: Mortgage applications for home purchases are up about 30% compared to a year ago. Due to the extraordinary demand home prices have reached an all-time high. The national median home price was … up 11.4% from a year earlier. The strong price run-up is partly due to a latent boom in the luxury market and to a jump in multiple offers for starter homes. While those situations result in multiple “losers”, buyers are persevering. They aim to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates.

“Such a frenzy of activity, reminiscent of 2006 raises questions about a bubble and the potential for a painful crash. The answer: There’s no comparison. Back in 2006, dubious adjustable-rate mortgages taxed many buyers’ budgets. Today, buyers are taking out 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. Fourteen years ago, there were 3.8 million homes listed for sale, and home builders were putting up about 2 million new units. Now, inventory is only about 1.5 million homes, and home builders are underproducing relative to historical averages.

“But let’s look at current trends through a different lens. Escalating home prices will soon cause damage of a different sort, shutting out first-time buyers. That’s why more supply is critical. Only when home prices rise roughly in line with income growth can we say that the market is in equilibrium. Perhaps as people continue to flee crowded cities, new construction will get a boost. Greater flexibility to work from anywhere and improved broadband access in rural areas could spur home buying in remote areas, a market trend to watch for in the years ahead.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 20-27, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Sanibel Moorings #441 2/2 $585K, Cottage Colony West #125 1/1 $609K, Cottage Colony West #119 1/1 $619K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #2A 3/2.5 $869.5K, Sanibel Arms West #E4 2/2 $889K, Sanibel Arms West #D2 2/2 $960K.

4 price changes: Spanish Cay #A4 2/2 now $430K, Loggerhead Cay #373 2/2 now $662.5K, White Sands #23 2/2 now $1.099M (our listing, yellow arrow, followed by view), Sundial #L205 3/2 now $1.395M.

4 new sales: Captains Walk #B4 2/2 listed at $395K, Seawind #A108 2/2.5 listed at $527K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-1 3/3 listed at $899K, Sundial #O405 2/2 listed at $1.25M.

6 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #D7 1/1 $315K, Mariner Pointe #952 1/1 $350K, Sandpebble #2B 2/2 $457K, Seawind #A103 2/2.5 $565K, Island Beach Club #320C 2/2 $829K, Plantation Village #322 3/3 $2.275M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 2985 Island Inn Rd 2/2 $649.5K, 1850 Farm Trl 3/2 $699K, 2464 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 $1.295M, 1366 Tahiti Dr 3/2.5 $1.4M, 4166 Dingman Dr 4/4 $2.2M, 950 Victoria Way 4/4 $2.3M.

2 price changes: 9277 Belding Dr 3/3 now $850K, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $899K.

6 new sales: 6141 Henderson Rd 3/2 listed at $658.5K, 3251 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed at $819K, 3020 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 listed at $849K, 6176 Henderson Rd 3/2 listed at $998K, 509 Lake Murex Cir 3/2.5 listed at $1.225M, 4381 West Gulf Dr 5/5.5 listed at $11.5M.

4 closed sales: 9248 Dimmick Dr 3/3 $675K, 1304 Par View Dr 3/3 $730K, 549 East Rocks Dr 3/2.5 $1.085M, 1520 Angel Dr 5/5.5 $1.4M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 6428 Pine Ave $305K, 1825 Long Point Ln $389K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 3013 Poinciana Cir listed at $239.9K.

2 closed sales: 1048 Fish Crow Rd $323K, 4995 Joewood Dr $2.38M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes or new sales.

3 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5218 1/2 $387.5K, Beach Villas #2522 1/1 $529K, Lands End Village #1608 3/3 $2.025M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 11431 Dickey Ln 3/2 $1.258M, 11551 Paige Ct 5/6 $6.495M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 listed at $2.189M, 11555 Wightman Ln 3/2 listed at $3.695M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 925 South Seas Plantation Rd $5.6M.

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

The Friday Before Thanksgiving 2020… on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

The island continues to get busier as early Thanksgiving holiday vacationers/families arrive, and more snowbirds return. The weather this week finally took a long-awaited turn toward fall with lower humidity and daytime temperatures barely out of the 70’s on Wednesday. With little to no chance of rain, it also looks like the rainy season also finally is over. The forecast for the next ten days shows more of the same beautiful weather. Should be perfect for extended social distancing and outside holiday dining next week.

Many friends have returned to Sanibel for the holiday and shared photos taken this week. The below roseate spoonbill shots were taken Monday, Nov 16 at the wildlife refuge. Thank you, Dr Paul & Lynn.

 

While the next photo from our pal Scott was taken from Woodring Rd. Thanks for sharing!

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

It also was another week of good action with our listings. With eight closings already in the hopper, all expected to close before the end of the year, we were happy to get another listing under contract yesterday. It should be our first closing in 2021. This has kept Dave busy following up on deposits, community applications, attending inspections, and ensuring sale action items are on time. Simultaneously, Elise has fielded more weekday showing requests and feedback, while Lisa and I cover those on the weekend. We are beating the bushes for new listings, if you know anyone thinking of selling.

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

City of Sanibel – Politics, COVID-19, & More

Like much of the nation, islanders anxiously follow COVID updates and hope that SW Florida stays safe. This week Sanibel former-Mayor Kevin Ruane, who stepped down when he ran for a Lee County Commissioner seat, was officially sworn in as our County Commissioner for District 1. On Tuesday, his colleagues on the commission also elected him as their board chairman for next year. On Sanibel, that bumped Vice Mayor Mick Denham into the Acting Mayor position.

On Tuesday, Acting Mayor Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19. Now it goes until November 24, 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 through the period.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 77. Cases are rapidly increasing here. NINE more cases in the last week.

Weeks-ending 3/29 through 5/31 – 2 months = 11 cases

Weeks-ending 6/7 through 8/30 – 2 months = 30 cases

Weeks-ending 9/6 through 11/1 – 2 months = 22 cases

Weeks-ending 11/8 through 11/15 – 2 WEEKS = 14 cases (that is nine more cases than last week)

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

Work Space, Outdoor Living, & The Burbs

A good article in the new FloridaRealtor® magazine (Nov/Dec 2020) summaries what is happening on Sanibel too, “as the pandemic changes what homebuyers are looking for…”

“With schools closed and businesses shuttered, many people found their entire lives confined to the four walls of their homes. From working and homeschooling to eating and entertaining, daily life started and ended at home, causing many people to recognize the importance of a comfortable, practical place to live.

“As more companies realize that working from home is a viable option and many schools are on a virtual or a hybrid leaning schedule, these shifts seem to be more than a passing fancy….”

Below are the four trends that followed:

“Trend 1 – More indoor space for remote working and family members. What buyers want: Home office, home gym, well-appointed kitchen, walk-in pantry….

“Trend 2 – Increased consumer appetite for more outdoor and entertainment space. What buyers want: Private and spacious outdoor area, pool, backyard, patio….

“Trend 3 – Move from urban to suburban. What buyers want: Less densely populated location, single-family living….

“Trend 4 – More tech-enabled homes. What buyers want: High-speed WiFi connectivity, tech improvements/upgrades….

The article ends with a note from John “Chuck” Fowke, Tampa-based custom home builder and chairman of the board of the National Association of Home Builders, Washington, D.C.: “About 88% of our buyers indicated their home has become very important or more important because of the pandemic. There’s a trend of people thinking that, because they’re in the suburbs and not in congested areas, the health opportunities are much better. Emphasize the outdoor recreation and freedom of movement outside rather than being inside or in small spaces.””

8 Do’s & Don’ts of Owning a Vacation Rental

Also from the Nov/Dec 2020 issue of “FloridaRealtor®” magazine: “Are you considering a vacation home purchase that will produce valuable rental income when you’re not using the property? If so, check out these dos and don’ts to get the most out of your financial investment.

“DO: Create a financial plan. This will help you predict the potential revenue and expense of owning a rental property.

“DO: Work with a knowledgeable Realtor® when buying. A good agent can help you find a property in a good location with the best rental potential.

“DO: Get to know your property. Carefully check all parts of the property and repair and replace items that need it.”

“DO: Choose a property manager carefully. Check their reputation in the area, then ask how they’ll: Maintain the property so it stays in good condition, communicate with you and maximize your revenue.

“DON’T: Ignore preventive maintenance. It’s better to fix or replace that aging hot water heater or HVAC system now than have it break during a renter’s stay.

“DO: Be strategic about using the property yourself. If your goal is to maximize rental income, stick to planning your stay during the off season.

“DO: Plan to reinvest in the property. Figure you may have to spend 1% of the property value each year on maintenance.

“DO: Be realistic about pricing. Research area rental rates and don’t overprice. Your ultimate goal is to make a reasonable profit and that will require a high occupancy rate.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 13-20, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Spanish Cay #A4 2/2 $450K, Sanibel Arms West #J3 2/2 $589K, Sundial #L205 3/2 $1.495M.

5 price changes: Sanibel Arms #C7 1/1 now $349K, Blanca #8 2/1 now $365K, Sanibel Arms #H6 1/1 now $384.9K, Sundial #F108 1/1 now $450K, Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 now $726K.

6 new sales: Breakers West #B5 2/2 listed at $569K; Compass Point #221 2/2 listed at $639,999; Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-4 3/3 listed at $799K; Sundial #T201 2/2 listed at $799K;  Pointe Santo #D47 2/2 listed at $974K; Junonia #103 3/2 listed at $1.295M.

10 closed sales: Sundial #I405 1/1 $405K, Sundial #D308 1/1 $414K, Mariner Pointe #813 2/2 $525K, Loggerhead Cay #573 2/2 $657.5K, Lighthouse Point #229 3/2 $712K (our listing), Sunset South #14B 2/2 $920K, Blind Pass #G105 4/3 $950K, Blue Gulf #201 3/2 $1.135M, Sunward #201 3/2 $1.2M, High Tide #B302 3/2 $2.08M.

View from Lighthouse Point #229, sold full price!

HOMES

4 new listings: 1027 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $499K, 9254 Kincaid Ct 2/2.5 $499.9K, 490 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 $1.595M, 4961 Joewood Dr 4/4 5.2M.

4 price changes: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 now $514,555; 721 Durion Ct 3/3 now $649.9K; 6141 Henderson Rd 3/2 now $658.5K; 1743 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 now $1.35M.

9 new sales: 1357 Jamaica Dr 2/3 duplex listed at $559K, 1142 Shell Basket Ln 3/2 listed at $625K, 1015 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 listed at $649K (our listing), 482 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $789K, 660 Oliva St 3/3 listed at $829K, 769 Pyrula Ave 3/3.5 listed at $1.395M, 677 Anchor Dr 5/5.5 listed at $1.895M, 2268 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 listed at $1.995M, 4067 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 listed at $5.9M.

1015 Fish Crow Rd

8 closed sales: 1410 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $612,408; 9128 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $635K; 9307 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $680K; 1326 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $700K; 525 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $775K; 917 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $850K; 770 Elinor Way 3/2.5 $895K, 2343 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.39M.

LOTS

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

No price changes.

1 new sale: 5116 Sea Bell Rd listed at $229K.

1 closed sale: 2297 Wulfert Rd $179K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 $380K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 now $2.79M.

No new sales.

1 close sale: 15147 Captiva Dr 6/5.5 $2.85M.

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”.

Best wishes from The SanibelSusan Team for a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Labor Day Weekend 2020 on Sunny Sanibel Island

There was an uptick in real estate showings and inquiries this week at SanibelSusan Realty. Many neighborhoods and complexes have annual maintenance and summer repair projects underway, yet the islands are expected to have more visitors over the three-day holiday weekend.

Following a couple of news items below are the week’s postings in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

City of Sanibel

On Tuesday, Sanibel Mayor Ruane issued City Proclamation 20-061, extending the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19.

Per the Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26, as of August 31, is 42. That is the total number of positive cases reported during that 5+month period, not current cases.

Proclamation 20-061:

  • Extends temporary prohibitions of alcohol on beaches. (Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages are prohibited from 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. seven days a week at all City-operated beaches & associated parks or picnic areas with public parking (including Bowman’s Beach, Blind Pass, Gulfside City Park (Algiers), Lighthouse Beach & fishing pier, Trost lot (Tarpon Rd beach), Bailey Rd north beach, & picnic areas at Sanibel boat ramp).
  • Extends temporary parking fines. (Until November 30, 2020, parking fines remain $200 to prevent overcrowding at beach parking lots & around beach access points.)
  • Extends until November 30, 2020, the temporary allowance for certain outdoor displays of merchandise.

The state of emergency extension is until September 8, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute the maximum time for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days, so it must be updated weekly while there are emergency conditions.)

Shoreline Stabilization Project at Turner Beach

On Monday, the City posted that Turner Beach Park will be closed September 8 through November 6 for a construction project.

The project includes the removal and replacement of the rip-rap revetment along the south side of the park, drainage improvements throughout the entire park, ADA accessibility improvements, and dune restoration.

Lee County Tourist Development Council is providing the funding.

SCCF Documents Most Loggerhead Nests Ever

2020 is a record-breaking nesting season on both islands for loggerhead sea turtles. As of September 2, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) sea turtle team has documented 679 nests on Sanibel breaking the previous record of 649 in 2017. On Captiva, 265 nests have been recorded, beyond the previous record of 194 in 2016.

Sea turtles have complex life cycles – females lay more than one nest per year but do not typically reproduce every year, so even when the population is stable, it is natural to see fluctuations from year to year.

After the red tide during the 2018 nesting season stranded more than 100 loggerheads, there was concern that the number of adults lost would have a negative impact on the nesting season this year. SCCF has a research project underway to better understand how these algae blooms affect the health of surviving turtles.

Sanibel School Back in Session

The Sanibel School is back in session this week, with students adjusting to some changes due to the pandemic. The school has been shut down since Spring Break in March, when lockdown orders were issued, and the Lee County School District transitioned into a remote learning program.

This week, school leaders expected about two-thirds of its enrollment – or about 180 students – to be back in class for face-to-face learning. New safety protocols are in place aimed at keeping students and faculty safe. The remaining students opted for one of three home study options offered by the school district.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 28 – September 4, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Ibis at The Sanctuary #202 2/2 $487.5K, Loggerhead Cay #373 2/2 $669,555; Seawind #A103 2/2.5 $579K, Sunset South #10C 2/2 $725K.

1 price change: Sanibel Arms #D7 1/1 now $339K.

2 new sales Sunset South #14B 2/2 listed at $950K, Yacht Haven #2 3/2 listed at $999K.

6 closed sales: Blind Pass #E202 2/2 $392.5K; Sand Pointe #227 2/2 $715K; Seawind II #2 2/2.5 $763,225; Sand Pointe #116 2/2 $870K; Somerset #C302 3/2 $1.5M; High Tide #A301 3/2 $1.845M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 555 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $629K; 1410 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $645,750; 2343 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $1.42M; 4067 West Gulf Dr 5/4.5 $5.9M.

3 price changes: 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 now $850K, 1717 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 now $2.348M, 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 now $4.595M.

7 new sales: 915 Main St 2/1 listed at $439K, 1752 Serenity Ln 3/2 $450K, 4455 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 listed at $738K, 756 Windlass Way 4/3 listed at $869K, 3351 Barra Cir 3/2.5 listed at $1.199M, 2739 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 listed at $1.25M, 790 Beach Rd 4/3.5 listed at $1.295M.

8 closed sales: 968 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex $377K (our listing), 1890 Farm Trl 3/2 $524K, 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $640K, 3117 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $788K, 1358 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 $925K, 3850 Coquina Dr 3/3 $1.04M, 912 Kings Crown Dr 3/3.5 $1.175M, 5089 Joewood Dr 6/5 $2.85M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2501 Tropical Way $695K.

2 price changes: 355 Cowry Ct now $295K, 1048 Fish Crow Rd now $340K.

2 new sales: 2307 Wulfert Rd listed at $199K, 2319 Wulfert Rd listed at $199K.

2 closed sales: 2462 Wulfert Rd $207K, 1219 Par View Dr $275K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Captiva Hide-A-Way #1C 2/2 now $879K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 now $2.89M.

1 new sale: 53 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.5 listed at $889K.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

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

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

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Island Real Estate Selling During the Pandemic

SanibelSusan reporting that it has been another quiet week on Sanibel. Some of the local private schools reopened (Canterbury School this week, Bishop Verot next week). On-island, late vacationers are here enjoying the beaches while dodging seasonal showers and business has settled into the dog days of summer.

August/September often is when island lovers start thinking about the upcoming winter and planning their upcoming escapes from cold weather. We are working with buyers from afar as they await Florida’s full reopening.

Redfish Pass at the tip of Captiva earlier this week.

The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday follows a few items, including the status of the local real estate market and latest COVID-19 info.

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate Scoop

Buyers are asking what the repercussions have been from the pandemic on real estate sales. That question is heard almost as often as “what happened following Hurricane Irma in 2017” and the later water woes.

Below is a comparison of island real estate closings during COVID for the six months of 2020, from Valentines’ Day through August 14, and the same time frame before Irma in 2017 and the years with red tide 2018/2019.

Island Sales from February 14 to August 14

 

Year

CONDOS HOMES LOTS ALL RESIDENTIAL
# Price $ DOM # Price $ DOM # Price $ DOM # Price $ DOM

SANIBEL

2020 78 725,852 157 135 964,248 165 6 471,166 364 217 865,647 167
2019 80 668,828 146 143 910,134 168 10 419,900 725 233 806,242 184
2018 104 728,529 183 142 1,161,457 155 13 815,538 288 259 970,255 173
2017 82 742,847 193 120 1,036,917 166 21 334,738 600 223 862,659 217

CAPTIVA

2020 14 944,000 107 9 3,561,555 171 2 1,925,000 462 25 1,964,800 158
2019 13 1,023,230 401 11 3,216,686 258 0 N/A N/A 24 2,028,564 335
2018 12 769,354 115 12 2,225,942 197 0 N/A N/A 24 1,487,648 156
2017 20 681,512 265 15 2,611,466 410 2 2,312,500 1,005 37 1,552,087 364

(Info from Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service, disclosure at bottom applies.)

What I glean from these statistics is that regardless of what happens in the world, with the weather, the water, the economy, or the year. Sanibel and Captiva have been and continue to be desirable. Even during the recession, island real estate continued to sell and sell well. Prices fluctuate with inventory and seller motivation. Island inventory is low, but from the pandemic, demand is increasing.

Florida’s Single-Family For-Sale Inventory Hit Record Low in 2Q

The following article by Kerry Smith was posted yesterday online at FloridaRealtors®: “ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida homeowners: There’s never been higher demand for your home. Economists generally consider a six-month supply of for-sale homes (inventory) to be balanced between buyers and sellers. An inventory greater than six months is a buyer’s market; an inventory less than six months is a seller’s market. In the second quarter of 2020, Florida’s inventory of homes was 2.8 months.

““Apart from the condo-townhouse category, we are at record lows right now,” says Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor.

“Florida Realtors records sales of condominiums and townhouses separately, and at 5.7-months’ supply in the 2Q, the condo-townhouse market remains in seller territory, but it’s closer to a balanced market.

The coronavirus-related shutdown impacted Florida’s single-family inventory, but more homes now appear to be coming into the market.

“Still, demand from buyers, thanks in part to record-low mortgage rates, has not subsided. Selling prices have continued to trend upward as buyers find too-few available homes for sale. In the second quarter, the median price for a Florida single-family home was $277,500 – 4.7% higher year-to-year.

““All indications are that Florida will continue to see home sales surge through the end of the summer, with our biggest near-term issue being a severe lack of single-family inventory,” O’Connor said in the report. “With mid-year inventory levels down over 27% compared to last year, the scarcity of homes on the market will continue to propel prices upward. Price growth has remained so strong throughout the pandemic that at the mid-point of the year, Florida has already seen close to $50 billion worth of closed single-family home sales – less than 2% off last year’s pace.”

“The inventory problem isn’t just in Florida. Fannie Mae’s latest U.S. market report found similar conditions nationwide, with a few buyers pulling back as home prices continue to rise.

““Supply constraints appear to be applying upward pressure to consumers’ home price expectations, which in turn has contributed to both a sharp reversal in optimism about whether it is a good time to buy a home and further improvement in home-selling sentiment,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. © 2020 Florida Realtors®”

To bring this closer to home, the sold info below is extracted from my table above and compares those island sales over the last six months (during the pandemic) to today’s inventory:

 

Status

CONDOS HOMES LOTS
# Price $ DOM # Price $ DOM # Price $ DOM

SANIBEL

Sold 2/14-8/14/20 78 725,852 157 135 964,248 165 6 471,166 364
Under contract 22 713,968 151 48 973,223 150 7 349,193 386
Available today 115 826,994 224 111 1,654,230 189 58 824,531 461

CAPTIVA

Sold 2/14-8/14/20 14 944,000 107 9 3,561,555 171 2 1,925,000 462
Under contract 10 759,145 144 4 1,876,000 264 0 N/A N/A
Available today 34 1,162,582 231 41 2,873,024 249 3 3,563,000 555

(Info from Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service, disclosure at bottom applies.)

Applying the economist definition about six months of inventory, it remains a buyer’s market for condos and vacant lots on both islands, as well as Captiva homes. But it now is a seller’s market for Sanibel homes.

This could change as recovery from the pandemic continues and winter approaches. Coming up are the months when the most island listings usually come on the market. I wonder if it will be different this year. Being safe may be as important to some as the islands being eco-friendly, natural, and laid-back. That could mean sellers will hold tight and it also could mean there will be more buyers. An interesting period is ahead. 2020 may continue to be a year for the record books in more ways than one.

Tidbits from NAR Economist Dr. Lawrence Yun

Yesterday was the first monthly membership meeting of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® since the pandemic began.

Granted it was by Zoom, but it featured one of my favorite economists, Dr. Lawrence Yun.

Here are a few of my notes from his presentation.

  • 2nd quarter was softer from the government-imposed economic lockdown.
  • Migration into Florida continues with about two-thirds of those here wanting a comfortable life with no income tax.
  • A surge in spending is coming (pent-up).
  • Today mortgage applications are 20% higher than a year ago.
  • Real estate is always a good hedge against inflation.
  • Today’s massive federal deficit will result in inflation.
  • The long-term real estate outlook in Sanibel/Captiva is bright with more companies offering flexibility on working from home and more retirees looking to come to the sunshine state.
  • The Federal Reserve likely will be accommodating for the next two years. Expect 3% rates to remain for the next 18 months, then slowly rising in 2022.
  • Encourage buyers to lock into the low rates before inflation appears.

Openings/Closings/Rescheduling

On Tuesday, Mayor Ruane extended Sanibel’s declared State of Emergency in response to COVID-19, until August 18, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute the maximum time for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days, so it must be updated weekly while there are emergency conditions.)

Since March 26, a total of 40 COVID 19 cases have been reported on Sanibel by Florida Department of Health (DOH), five on Captiva.

2021 Shell Show Cancelled – As a member of the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club, I received the following email notice on Wednesday: “On August 10, 2020, the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club Board of Directors held a Zoom meeting to discuss the merits of having the 2021 Sanibel Shell Show vs. the health risks.  As the number of positive Corona Virus cases continue to escalate in Florida and throughout the country, and because of the inability to predict the status of the virus in the early months of 2021, the Board erred on the side of caution and voted to cancel the show. Our major concern with having a Shell Show like we have had in the past is the safety, health, and welfare of everyone involved. However, there will be a Shell Festival and the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club will support the Sanibel Community Assn. and work with them to make it a success. We are investigating the possibility of having an educationally oriented virtual Shell Show event that would begin on the opening day of the festival. The bottom line is that we hope to have a Shell Show, but it will be different from the competitive show that we have had in the past. The October issue of The Junonia will have updated information about the Board’s plans.”

Sanibel Library – Temporarily closed for sanitization, but open for digital borrowing. Phone and email support available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The library’s eShelf and all online services remain available 24/7. All user fees waived during the closure. For more info, call 239-472-2483 or visit http://www.SanLib.org.

SanCap Cares – Posted this week on SanCap Cares Facebook page: “Given the current state of the pandemic, and after much discussion among the SanCap Cares committee members, we have made the decision to cancel the rescheduled 20th Anniversary Celebration that was slated for November 22, 2020…. The 2021 annual event is still on for March 28, 2021 at the Sanctuary Golf Club. Lee Health and Golisano Children’s Hospital needs us now more than ever! See you in 2021”

Sanibel Recreation Center & Playgrounds – Community Park (across from our office) and Bowman’s Beach playgrounds are open. At the Rec Center, registration for the After-School Youth Program is open. A new on-line reservation system also has been set up for members using the lap pool, tennis courts, and weight room. To comply with social distancing protocols, use of the Rec Center is by appointment only with reservations. Go to www.MySanibel for more info.

Travel Restrictions Removed by Governor – On August 6, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Executive Order 20-192, which addresses short-term vacation rentals and rescinds the travel restrictions for the tri-state area: New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. People from those areas had been advised to self-quarantine for two weeks. The executive order also rescinds the previous employee screening requirements for restaurant employees. This means employees who have previously tested positive do not need to receive two negative tests before they can come back to work. Employers are required only to implement screening protocols pursuant to CDC guidance. The executive order also removes the requirement that employees who have traveled through an airport in the last 14 days be prohibited from working in a restaurant.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 7-14, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Ibis at The Sanctuary #102 2/2 $479K; Seawind #108 2/2.5 $529K; Lighthouse Point #121 3/2 $609,906; Blind Pass #G105 4/3 $969K.

3 price changes: Gulf Beach #106 2/2 now $849K, Somerset #A101 3/2.5 now $1.7M, Plantation Village #322 3/3 now $2.55M.

2 new sales: Spanish Cay #A3 1/1 listed at $293K, Sandpebble #4E 2/2 listed at $475K.

4 closed sales: Sundial #B406 2/2 $732.5K, Sundial #T301 2/2 $805K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-3 3/3 $900K, Loggerhead Cay #514 2/2 $965K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 1797 Serenity Ln 2/2 $445K, 600 Boulder Dr 3/2 $599K, 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 $620K, 1001 East Gulf Dr 2/2 $649K, 545 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 $1.075M.

2 price changes: 718 Durion Ct 3/2 now $599K, 4345 Gulf Pines Dr 4/4 now $855K.

5 new sales: 4606 Brainard Bayou Rd 2/2 listed at $469.9K, 9240 Belding Dr 3/2.5 listed at $620K, 1350 Middle Gulf Dr #1F (Moonshadows) 3/3 half-duplex listed at $729K, 1724 Bunting Ln 3/3.5 listed at $949.5K, 1121 Skiff Ln 3/3 listed at $999K.

3 closed sales: 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 $980K, 3706 West Gulf Dr 4/3 $1.2M, 4775 Rue Helene 4/3 $1.499M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1048 Fish Crow Rd now $350K.

1 new sale: 978 Main St listed at $169.9K.

No closed sale.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

5 new sales: Tennis Villas #3120 1/1 listed at $308K, Bayside Villas #4112 1/2 listed at $375K, Bayside Villas #5114 1/2 listed at $380K, Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 listed at $399K, Beach Villas #2418 2/2 listed at $759K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings

1 price change: 1124 Longifolia Ct 4/5 now $2.649M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

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

Until next Friday, stay safe, enjoy your weekend & this recent sunset photo shared by our photographers, Jim and Jimmy Anderson with JMA Photography. Their photo was taken recently from one of their drones overlooking the same area of South Seas Plantation as my photo above (Lands End Village overlooking Redfish Pass). Summer sunsets are the best!

Susan Andrews aka Sanibel Susan

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

Another Summery Friday on Sanibel

Happy Friday from the SanibelSusan Team. Typical sunny summer weather continues with occasional showers. Essentially no impact was felt here from Tropical Storm (later Hurricane) Isaias passing by the East Coast last weekend. With Atlantic and Gulf waters now very warm, even for summer, you can be sure we will continue to watch the weather channel right through hurricane season. Because of that warm water, more activity than normal is expected.

Yesterday afternoon while checking a couple of properties I snapped the following photos will my cell. From the bay to the gulf, even with recent occasional showers, waters are clear and bright.

Regarding COVID-19

On Monday, Mayor Ruane extended Sanibel’s declared State of Emergency in response to COVID-19, until August 11, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute the maximum time for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days, so it must be updated weekly while there are emergency conditions.)

Florida Department of Health (DOH) reports a total of 38 COVID-19 cases on Sanibel, five on Captiva.

On a positive note, DOH on-line reports that Lee County test results from Wednesday showed a lower percentage of positive test results. On August 5, it reports the county had 2,187 negative tests, 136 positive, or 5.9% positive. We all hope that downward trend continues.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

All of us are back at work this week, wearing masks and happy to say that office visitors are wearing them too. We had a few of those this week, some folks thinking of buying, others, Realtors® comparing notes on the market and picking up/returning keys.

Island inventory remains low as we roll into what are traditionally the slowest months of the year (Aug, Sep, Oct), but we know this year certainly is not like the norm. Since last Friday, the islands Multiple Listing Service reports 20 new Sanibel sales (8 condos/12 homes) and both a condo and a home sale on Captiva. The complete weekly update of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week is after a couple of news items below.

The annual Association of Realtors SCIS designation classes (Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist) have been rescheduled for September 15-October 2, so I am updating the segment I teach on the Resort and 2nd-Home Market. I have been teaching this class for eight years, but this will be my first using Zoom. Wish me luck.

Four Florida Beaches Make List of USA’s Most Charming Beach Towns

Posted Monday, August 3, by SouthFloridaReporter.com:

“The TravelMag results are out with Destin, Key West, Sanibel Island, and St Augustine, making the list of the Most Charming Beach Towns in the USA.  Florida had more beaches on the list than any other state.

“Waves lap 88,633 miles (142,641 km) of United States shoreline from the Arctic Ocean in the northwest, and the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean from west to east (according to the US Census Bureau). And all along these twists and turns of land, around the bays and inlets, estuaries and peninsulas, there are signs of human existence, from mighty cities like New York and Los Angeles, to remote towns and peaceful beaches. In all, 23 of the 50 States meet an ocean at some point, while an additional seven states have shoreline beach towns along one of the Great Lakes.

“Therefore, we decided to ask a broad array of writers, travel bloggers, photographers and other in-the-know professionals to pick the five beach towns they consider to be the most charming in the United States. To be eligible for inclusion, a town or city had to have a population of fewer than 30,000 people. After totting up the votes, we now present to you, in alphabetical order, the 30 beach towns our survey deemed the USA’s most charming.… [See the entire list HERE]….”

Below is what it had to say about Sanibel:

Sanibel Island, FL

Located off the southwest coast of Florida, the barrier island of Sanibel is known for its shells. Beachcombers can pick their way along the long expanses of coarse sand, like those at Bowman’s Beach, looking for their own specimens. Alternatively, see the grand collection at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. Sanibel Island’s human story is largely one of first conquering the elements, by controlling the wetlands and building a causeway from the mainland. In recent decades however, the focus has shifted more towards long-term goals through conservation and protection of these delicate environments, with much of the island dedicated to wildlife refuges, particularly JN Ding Darling, where you might be lucky to see roseate spoonbills, mangrove cuckoos, pelicans, alligators, turtles and even a bobcat.”

‘Ding’ Darling Free Lecture Series Moving to Community House for 2021

From the August 6, “Santiva Chronicle” on-line :

“The upcoming season’s “Ding” Darling Friday Lecture Series will evolve with the times and persisting distance protocols by moving to the larger venue of the Sanibel Community House at 2173 Periwinkle Way. The free lectures will occur on five select days throughout the season with one 10 a.m. lecture per day.

“The 17th annual “Ding” Darling Friday Lecture Series, which runs Jan.29 through March 19, 2021, features photographers Clyde and Niki Butcher, Feather Thief author Kirk W. Johnson, and eminent authorities on water conservation, eagles, owls, and woodpeckers.

““The uncertainties of COVID-19 challenged us to experiment with a new lecture series format so we could accommodate high-quality lecturers but still abide by new distancing guidelines,” said Ann-Marie Wildman, “Ding” Darling’s Nature Store manager and lecture series organizer. “We would be very limited on how many we could seat at our usual venue in the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center auditorium, but the Community House gives us more latitude. So, we’ve decided on fewer lectures with topnotch speakers.”

“…Visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/lecture-and-film-series for further information on lecturers. Seating for the free lectures is limited and available on a first-come basis. About 200 seats will be available. Face masks will be required. DDWS will be filming most lectures and broadcasting them on Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/dingdarling….”

Salt Pulping on Wood Pilings

Teammate Dave had to put me in my place last week when we were discussing some piling damage at a home we viewed. From the archives he pulled out a summary provided January 12, 1996 by Max Anderson, Sanibel’s Building Official at the time. If you need a reminder too, here is that info:

“There have been several instances of a strange looking fuzzy decay and deterioration on wood pilings on Sanibel. There seemed to be no answer as to why this was happening and what to do to correct the problem.

“Samples were taken from some pilings where this occurred and sent to Dr. Terry Amburgey at Mississippi State University. He is a recognized expert on wood products. He indicates this problem is called salt water pulping and caused by salt water being absorbed up into the piling. This happens because, in his opinion, the piling is not dried or aged properly prior to use.

“To stop the action of the salt water, the water column in the piling must be blocked, some important facts and best possible suggestions to correct the problem are as follows:

  1. The chromated copper arsenate (C.C.A.) pressure treatment is the most common method used. This is a waterborne treatment and drying prior to use of the wood piling is critical.
  2. When driven into a salt water environment the natural air drying above grade causes the salty water to be sucked or drawn up into the wood.
  3. It is necessary to block this water column action to stop this salt water pulping.
  4. A suggested method to break this water column is to drill a ½-inch diameter hold in one face of the piling near the base at an angle downward into the center. Move to each of the other 3 faces of the piling moving up about 12” and drill similar holes. Pour these holes full of a water preservative generally available at a hardware store. Go back several times over a couple of weeks refilling the drilled holes. The preservative will be drawn into and absorbed by the piling. Then seal the hole.
  5. Brush off existing fuzz and deteriorating wood from the face of the piling and coat with the water preservative.
  6. This treatment as suggested should break the water column drawing the salt water into the column.

“This is a treatment which is recommended by Dr. Amburgey and has not been tested, but in his opinion should correct the problem of salt water pulping. The Sanibel Building Department would like for people using this system to report back in approximately one year as a test program.”

Salt Damage to Wood

Since I wondered if there were more recent articles on the subject, here is an interesting one I found from the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory (#06-2011-001):

“Many types of deterioration can affect wood in service. One potential problem facing dock owners is the occasional development of “fuzzy wood” caused by salt uptake into the wood. This salt damage – also referred to as “salt kill” or salt defibration – is sometimes seen in wood that is chronically exposed to salt, such as marine pilings, bridge decks where salt is used as a de-icer, utility poles that are splashed with road salt, or wood associated with salt storage.

Wood in this instance acts like a bundle of straws, wicking salt water into the wood structure. As the wood surface is exposed to heat and drying (as from direct sunlight), the water evaporates and salt crystals form in the wood cells. Over time, the physical forces exerted by the salt crystals push the fibers of the wood apart, causing the “fuzzy” appearance. This phenomenon is often seen in extreme environments, both hot and cold. Past research at FPL has shown that salt damage can accumulate in as little as 5 years of repeated wetting and drying cycles. Salt damage can be observed on untreated wood or wood treated with waterborne preservatives, such as CCA (copper chromated arsenate) and ACQ (alkaline copper quat). It does not usually occur on wood treated with oily preservatives, such as creosote, because the oil forms a barrier to the sale movement.

“Although salt damage may be unsightly, the fuzzy wood need not be cause for alarm. The gradual sloughing off of the wood surface proceeds slowly, and the wood beneath the affected area remains sound. Salt damage has been observed on poles and pilings that are still in service after 25-30 years. Paints, coatings, or barriers have been suggested to prevent the movement of water from the wood surface, but it’s not clear how effective these treatments might be….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 31-August 7, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

4 price changes: Sanibel Arms #C7 1/1 now $356K, Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 now $639.9K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #2B 3/3.5 now $759K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #3A 3/2.5 now $799K.

8 new sales: Casa Blanca #4 1/1 listed at $357K, Blind Pass #E205 2/2.5 listed at $405K, Sunset South #A11 2/2 listed at $549K, Cottage Colony West #134 1/1 listed at $614.5K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #5-4 3/3 listed at $790K, Sanibel Surfside #126 2/2 listed at $799K, Seawind II #2 2/2.5 listed at $799.9K, Sundial #K402 2/2 listed at $1,149,900.

3 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #A7 1/1 $338K, Sanibel Shores #A2 2/2 $459K, Sandalfoot #1C1 2/2 $775K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 537 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 $1.095M.

6 price changes: 9247 Dimmick Dr 3/2 now $580K, 9128 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $699K, 1296 Par View Dr 3/3 now $749K, 1777 Serenity Ln 5/4.5 now $919K, 4629 Rue Bayou 5/3 now $1.195M, 2411 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 now $2,494,900.

12 new sales: 454 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $630K, 4339 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 listed at $695K, 9106 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $749K, 3117 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed at $793K, 5422 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 listed at $799K, 1752 Jewel Box Dr 2/2 listed at $859K, 1406 Causey Ct 3/2.5 listed at $895K, 401 Lagoon Dr 4/4 listed at $899K, 776 Conch Ct 3/2 listed at $899K, 1437 Causey Ct 3/2.5 listed at $925K, 940 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 listed at $948K, 5089 Joewood Dr 6/5 listed at $3.495M.

7 closed sales: 1356 Jamaica Dr 2/1.5 $515K, 1973 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 $554K, 5834 Pine Tree Dr 2/2 $675K, 701 Nerita St 3/2 $675K, 2100 Sunset Cir 3/2 $698K, 2284 Troon Ct 4/4.5 $1.7M, 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/4/3 $2.895M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 5847 Pine Tree Dr $300K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5114 1/2 listed at $380K.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5104 1/2 $385K.

HOMES

No new listings

1 price change: 11555 Wightman Ln 3/2 now $3.695M.

1 new sale: 11514 Wightman Ln 5/5 listed at $1.895M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

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

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”. Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Wrapping Up July on Sunny Sanibel Island

It has been another quiet week on sunny Sanibel. One with beautiful summer weather – typical for the days before a tropical event. Teammate Dave remarked this morning about how bright sunset was last night. Saharan dust is orange and red, so sunsets through the dust haze are often bright and brilliant.
Something else that is pretty spectacular this time of the year is the night-blooming cereus. These desert-type cactus bloom once a year in the summer when the temperature drops at night. Their large flowers are showy and a contrast to their typically unexciting appearance.
There is a large group of them on trees on the north side of Periwinkle Way. I have enjoyed them for many years, just catching the tail-end of their blooms as I head to the office in the morning.
The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing service is after a couple of news items below.

Watching the Weather

You can bet that many have been doing plenty of weather watching this week. The early afternoon forecast looks like Hurricane Isaias will skim past the east coast of Florida, so that is a relief. Southwest Florida looks to be totally out of the cone. But, we also know that it pays to stay tuned. Hurricanes have changed path before. On a more positive note, several east coast residents are coming here to enjoy the weekend. Their business will be welcome.

Island Openings/Closings

Sanibel Mayor Ruane has extended the declared state of emergency in response to COVID-19 until August 4. As of yesterday, the Florida Department of Health announced one new confirmed COVID-19 positive tests on Sanibel bringing the total cases since March 26 to 35. The City’s home page (www.MySanibel.com) has direct access to these daily reports.
Re-openings:
  • Sanibel Community House has announced August events (with masks and social distancing required): Thursdays at 1 p.m. open forum on “Leading Life Currently”; Kids Cooking Camp M-F August 3 to 7 from 10 a.m. until noon (private lessons also available); Camp to Go Shell Critter Kits & Camp to Go Art Kits available for purchase or to ship; Lee Health Blood Mobile Thurs August 20 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Community House Rib Night Social Fri August 21 beginning at 6 p.m. More info at www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net and 239-472-2155.
  • Sanibel Historical Village already has been closed for four months and usually is closed during the off-season August 1 through mid-October. They updated their membership this week and advise that current plans are to reopen with new safety precautions on October 20.
  • Beginning Mon, August 3, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will resume charging Wildlife Drive admission fees which have been waived since March 23 to avoid unsafe interaction during the pandemic. Now with safety protocols, the daily vehicular fees will return to $5 and entry fees for pedestrians and cyclists over age 15 again is $1. Although the Visitor & Education Center will remain closed until announced, its “America’s Best Restroom” will reopen to the public daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. also starting August 3. The Nature Store inside the visitor center is offering free curbside delivery for orders placed on www.ShopDingDarling.com during the physical store closure. Call 239-472-1100 Ext 241 or visit the website to lean more.
  • Tarpon Bay Explorers’ narrated tram tours of Wildlife Drive will resume on August 4 and will run every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 8:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. until further notice. Visitors also may purchase annual and federal passes from the Wildlife Drive fee booth Saturday through Thursday and at the Tarpon Bay Explorers’ gift store on Fridays. Call 239-472-1351 or 239-472-8900 for latest info.

Taken about noon today at Tarpon Bay Explorers

A couple of long-time island retail establishments are closing:
  • Owners of The Sporty Seahorse Shop at 362 Periwinkle Way are retiring, after 30 years on Sanibel’s east end. According to their ad in today’s “Island Sun”, starting August 1 all merchandise is 40% off.
  • C. Turtles Hip Boutique at 1985 Periwinkle in Tahitian Gardens closed yesterday after 24 years in business. We still miss Susie as our neighbor at her former location in Sanibel Square.

The Return of McMansions? They Answer Pandemic Buyers’ Needs

Posted yesterday on-line at FloridaRealtors® and sourced to Realty Biz News (07/27/2020) Wheatley, Mike
“NEW YORK – As the pandemic compels people to spend more time indoors, experts say home buyers are increasingly searching for larger spaces with so-called McMansions apparently back in fashion, says Sonia Hirt, dean of the University of Georgia College of Environment and Design. “The suburban home that was so stereotypical and boring suddenly proved itself to have benefits we’ve completely forgotten about,” Hirt says.
“A recent report by the National Association of Realtors® found that the median size of an existing home was 2,060 square feet prior to the coronavirus pandemic. For new homes, however, the median size was 2,291 feet, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Architects say they expect those medians to increase in the next year.
““It’s being driven by people looking for the right combination of functionality and price,” says Ken Perlman, managing principal at John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Families want more room to accommodate adult relatives who might have moved in due to the pandemic. College students and young adults also opted to move back home due to stay-at-home measures and the economic situation.
““We’re going to see another bump in multigenerational living,” says Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United. “By combining resources, they can afford a bigger house or a more comfortable lifestyle.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 24-31, 2020

Sanibel
CONDOS
2 new listings: Sundial #J107 2/2 $729K, Pointe Santo #A31 2/2 $949K.
2 price changesMariner Pointe #522 2/2 now $484.9K (our listing), Seawind II #2 2/2.5 now $799.9K, Sanddollar #B104 2/2 now $1.05M.
1 new sale: Shell Island Beach Club #7C listed at $799K.
4 closed sales: Sanibel Arms West #B2 2/2 $490K, Mariner Pointe #542 2/2 $565K, Sanibel Surfside #132 2/2 $840K, Island Beach Club #340E 2/2 $1.06M.

View from Mariner Pointe #522

HOMES
2 new listings: 981 Main St 4/2.5 $699.9K, 1035 S Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 $1.099M.
2 price changes: 1752 Jewel Box Dr 2/2 now $859K; 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 now $875K.
2 new sales: 9036 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $624,999; 1271 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $925K.
9 closed sales: 9465 Calla Ct 3/2 $475K; 1361 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $509,600; 954 Donax St 3/3 $510K; 433 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $550K; 5056 Joewood Dr 3/2 $800K; 1199 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $950K; 2385 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1M; 2477 Wulfert 3/4 $1.1M;  2154 Starfish Ln 3/3 $1.31M..
LOTS
No new listings.
1 price change: 2297 Wulfert Rd now $187K.
2 new sales: 2462 Wulfert Rd listed at $229K, 1912 Par View Dr listed at $284,999.
1 closed sale: 6419 Pine Ave $785K.
Captiva
CONDOS
2 new listings: Beach Villas #2418 2/2 $759K, Lands End Village #1659 2/2 $975K.
No price changes.
2 new sales: Bayside Villas #5304 3/3 listed at $667.5K, Captiva Shores #C6 2/2 listed at $1.019M.
No closed sales.
HOMES
No new listings, price changes, new, or closed sales.
LOTS
No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.
Here’s hoping your weekend weather also is storm free. Until next week…
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s A Tropical Kinda Friday!

SanibelSusan here reporting another happy Friday! (Those are especially nice on weeks with closings.) There have been bright blue skies here so-far today, after a soggy Thursday afternoon. Now that the rainy season has settled in and the first of the tropical storms have developed in the gulf, showers have become more frequent and sometimes heavy.

Sanibel Square lost electricity for a short time yesterday. (A notice from the City said that 2000 island customers were affected.) Lee County Electric Coop (LCEC) continues to respond quickly. Go to http://www.lcec.net to download their “Smart Hub” app to report outages and to access your account. LCEC’s outage management map is a good resource too.

A plus with these showers is the islands are back to their lush tropical summer look, vegetation is a brilliant green and growing like crazy. Here are a few photos of the things blooming in my yard today. The gardenia bush is flowering for the third time this year – that’s a first.

These recent rains also have resulted in a lot of skeeters! There are almost enough to help carry in the mail. Though Lee County Mosquito Control (LCMC) has been working hard to keep them in check, population now is expanding faster than the island marsh bunnies – and that is booming. (Seriously, LCMC does a great job keeping those pesky biters in check during “mosquito season”, May through October. Mosquito activity increases, particularly after heavy rains that produce large areas of standing water. With the islands, mangroves, wetlands, and salt marshes, Sanibel is a prime breeding ground, so contact LCMC if you have a large number in your island neighborhood.)

At SanibelSusan Realty

Once again, our listings got some action this week. No offers, but some inquiries and showings. The activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. Plenty of real estate sales are occurring here. If you are interested in an updated Sanibel/Captiva inventory list, contact The SanibelSusan Team. We are happy to mail or email you one anytime.

Much of the local news, probably like where you are, is about COVID-19 and when schools will begin. Lee County’s School Board met yesterday and have decided to delay the opening here from August 10 to August 31.

The “Real Estate” State of the State

Below is the June 2020 – Florida Housing Report from Dr. Brad O’Connor, Florida Realtors Chief Economist:

“The June 2020 statistics from Florida Realtors have just been released, and they erase any remaining doubts that Florida’s housing market is in the midst of a large-scale recovery. This isn’t to say that every segment of the market is performing well, but on the whole, things are looking better than they have in several months.

“Let’s start by looking at the statewide statistics for existing single-family home sales. For the first time since March, closed sales were up year-over-year, rising by 1.3%. Remember in April and May, closings were down about 21 and 36%, respectively. But thanks to this nice recovery in June, plus the unusually strong sales growth we had ahead of the pandemic in January and February, here at the mid-point of 2020, closings are only down a little over 7% for the year compared to the first half of 2019. At our current trajectory, in fact, it’s possible that we may end the year with more closed single-family home sales statewide than we had last year.

“Of course, if you’ve been following the numbers with us over the past couple of months, you likely saw all of this coming. After all, new pending sales of single-family homes were up 2.3% in May. And if we assume new pending sales trends will continue to provide reliable forecasts of closings in the months to come, then based on the latest numbers from June, we can expect a very good summer. Why? Because in June, statewide new pending sales of single-family homes were up over 23%, year-over-year.

“Several factors are playing into this renewed demand for housing, but by far, the most important factors are record-low mortgage interest rates and the release of all the pent-up demand from our derailed spring buying season. Of course, we can’t expect this supercharged level of sales growth to last forever, since at some point, we will burn through all of this pent-up demand. But interest rates are not expected to rise any time soon, and they still have some room to go lower, so we have every reason to be optimistic about sales over the coming months, barring additional negative shocks to the economy.

“Over in the condo and townhouse category, existing home sales continue to lag those from the single-family category, but they still show significant improvement. Closed sales in this category were down nearly 11% year-over-year in June, but keep in mind, they were down over 50% in May. Still, the best signal that condos and townhouses are making a comeback comes from probably the most surprising number we saw this month, which is the nearly 20% increase in new contracts compared to the same month last year.

“Over on the supply side of the market, inventory remains scarce and one of our most immediate areas of concern, particularly in the single-family home category. As of the end of June, there were over 27 percent fewer single-family homes listed for sale in Florida’s MLSs than at this time a year ago. Looking at it another way, in three months’ time, we have gone from nearly 84,000 statewide single-family listings at the end of March to under 66,000 listings here at the mid-point of 2020. Fortunately, the condo and townhouse category has fared better, with inventory being down only about 6% compared to a year ago.

“The one positive aspect of this reduction in the supply of available housing is that it counteracted the temporary drop in home sales activity we saw in the first couple months in the pandemic, thereby keeping home values relatively stable. But now that demand has come roaring back, we are starting to see rising prices again. The median sale price for closed single-family home sales in June was $282,000, a 4.4% increase from a year ago. Over in the condo and townhouse category, the median sale price was up 7.7%, to $210,000. As we continue on through 2020, our biggest concern remains the inventory shortage, which could eventually put a cap on the number of possible transactions. But home values should remain stable.

“Now, I’ve covered the state as a whole, but every local market has its own trends….”

The Market on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Looking more specifically at the island market, the below graphic provides the statistics through 2020’s 2nd quarter, provided by the islands Association of Realtors®.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

The local Association of Realtors® office remains closed for meetings including caravans, but members are looking forward to our first “virtual” membership meeting on August 13 where the guest speaker is Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist and Senior Vice president of Research at the National Association of Realtors®.

He will discuss today’s economic climate, current housing trends, the outlook on resort and 2nd home markets like ours, and his projections for the end of 2020 and beyond. (You may remember from my past blogs that I am a huge fan of his conservative outlooks. If anyone has a question that you would like me to pose to him, just let me know.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 17-24, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sunset South #2D 2/2 $675K, Villas of Sanibel #B202 3/2 $1.895M.

4 price changes: Casa Blanca #4 1/1 now $357K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 now $699K, Atrium #103 2/2 now $1.225M, Sunward #201 3/2 now $1.259M.

5 new sales: Colonnades #C3 1/1 listed at $245K, Pointe Santo #D21 2/2 listed at $549K, Kings Crown #306 2/2 listed at $838K, Somerset #C302 3/2 listed at $1.65M, High Tide #A301 3/2 listed at $1.989M.

3 closed sales: Captains Walk #C3 1/1 $250K, Island Beach Club #320B 2/2 $649K, Heron at The Sanctuary #3B 3/2.5 $775K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 315 East Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex $599K, 756 Windlass Way 4/3 $869K, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr #1A (Moonshadows) 3/3 half-duplex $889K, 1259 Par View Dr 3/4 $1.175M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 4/4 $4.65M.

3 price changes: 799 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex now $580K, 690 Durion Ct 3/2 now $695K, 1081 Captains Walk St 4/2.5 now $995K.

10 new sales: 560 Piedmont Rd 3/2 listed at $460K, 1890 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $549.4K, 9247 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $590K, 1567 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $595K, 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $677K, 5304 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/3 listed at $770K, 9024 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $819K, 2439 Harbour Ln 3/3 listed at $1.089M, 1329 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.375M, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 listed at $2.995M.

9 closed sales: 1593 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $583.5K, 1021 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $658K, 1807 Serenity Ln 3/2 $700K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 $725K, 5659 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 $750K, 901 S.Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $760K (our listing), 1430 Causey Ct 3/2 $865K, 5855 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $900K, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4.5 $1.4M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 6411 Pine Ave $290K, 6053 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $922K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #2522 1/1 $529K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3213 1/1 listed at $354.9K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 11515 Gore Ln 5/4.5 now $2.395M, 1124 Longifolia Ct 4/5 now $2.938M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

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

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

When It Rains on The Islands, Just Wait a Few Minutes

It has been another week of typical July weather on Sanibel and Captiva Islands – bright blue skies with big white puffy popcorn clouds often rolling in, bringing along a quick shower and resulting in some terrific sunsets. I took a quick detour on my way back to the office about 1 p.m. this afternoon trying to capture a photo of those clouds. My quick trip up Bailey Road was not fast enough, so I tried Dixie Beach Blvd. You can see from the photos below that it was already raining off island with waves forming on San Carlos Bay and Pine Island Sound. Now the rains have stopped, with both islands first getting a good dousing.

From the lot at the end of Dixie Beach looking toward Woodring Rd

Already raining across Pine Island Sound.

A few little white caps on San Carlos Bay

New real estate action was down a little this week following the departure of holiday visitors, but overall, closed sales are doing well. Below is a summary comparison of island sales (from January through today) over the last three years. Current inventory also is shown.

For those who can work from home or want to spend more time here, there is plenty of inventory and lenders are offering some of the best programs in decades. Prudent buyers also will note that prices again are creeping up.

Residential Property – Condos, Homes, & Lots
Sanibel Captiva Total Both Islands
Sold/Closed from 1/1 to 7/17 # Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
2020 214 879,346 32 2,024,593 246 1,028,321
2019 227 841,871 22 1,856,533 249 931,522
2018 272 1,011,547 29 1,430,385 301 1,051,900
For Sale Now 316 1,156,219 86 2,610,933 401 1,469,652

Looking more carefully at sales to-date this year, here are answers to some questions often posed to Realtors®. (My answers are based on the island Multiple Listing Service.)

What is the cost of a 2-bedroom condo on the gulf? On Sanibel, today there are 55 for sale, average asking price $815,576. On Captiva, seven are for sale, average asking price $1,285,214.

What if I need 3 bedrooms? Expect to pay a lot more. On Sanibel, 16 are for sale, average asking price $1,634,125. On Captiva, six are for sale, average asking price $2,456,500.

How much do properties sell off their asking price? Looking at those same property types and sales this year, 33 Sanibel 2-bedroom gulf condos sold in prices ranging from $508,000 to $1,200,000 (a huge spread). Average sale price compared to average list price = 94%. On Captiva, there were just four gulf-side 2-bedroom condo sales. Prices ranged from $674,500 to $1,480,000. There, average sale price compared to list price is 96%.

What is the cost of a single-family 3-bedroom home with pool near-the-beach? That is the most popular island property. On Sanibel, 14 are for sale, average asking price $855,278. Year-to-date, 13 have sold at prices ranging from $447,000 to $1,167,500. Average sale price $875,657 is 94% of the average asking price. On Captiva, four are available, average asking price $1,818,500. Year-to-date, just two have sold. Average sale price of $1,862,500 is 94% of average list price.

Below are a few news items followed by the activity this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. You will notice that there was just one new Sanibel condo sale, while there were eight home sales. Closings were similarly split this week with no Sanibel condo closings, but 11 Sanibel homes closed. Usually condo buyers are here now… hopefully they are coming soon!

City of Sanibel

On Tuesday, Sanibel City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting. One item discussed was the City budget and the expected 2020 millage rate.

As reported in today’s “Island Sun”:  “Despite COVID-19, island property values are projected to have risen this year, although by less than one percent, and the City is projected to have the lowest tax rate since 2007.”

There was no change in the Mayor’s State of Emergency Proclamation Due to COVID-19, other than extending it until July 21.

Great News from Turtle Patrol

Posted Wed on SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) FaceBook page:

“Captiva has broken its record for the most loggerhead sea turtle nests ever documented! With 231 nests, the island is well ahead of last year’s record of 193 loggerhead nests.

“On Sanibel, we are up to 585 loggerhead nests with a couple weeks of nesting still to go. The previous record on Sanibel was set in 2017 for loggerheads, with 649 nests.

“We are now tracking three loggerheads that nested on our beaches this summer. Last week, our team tagged a loggerhead named Periwinkle…. Pepper, Junonia, and Periwinkle received satellite transmitters this nesting season to learn more about the inter-nesting movements, migratory pathways, and foraging grounds of loggerheads nesting on our beaches. Click here to track these turtles! https://www.trackturtles.com/

Why We Love It Here

Here are a few reminders of why so many love Sanibel and Captiva:

Tops in Nation – Widely recognized & consistently ranged as one of the country’s top destinations for beach combing, shelling, kayaking, bird watching, and biking. Family Fun magazine has rated Sanibel a top overall family attraction.

Popular Winter Destination – The American Society of Travel Agents has ranked the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva in their top ten most popular winter destinations. The Weather Channel also has ranked the islands in its top five winter escapes, along with Key West, Kahului (in Maui), Honolulu, and Miami.

Sanibel Shell Festival – Beaches are ranked some of the best in the world for shelling. More varieties can be found here than anywhere else in North America. Shelling posture is so common, that it has a name – The Sanibel Stoop. It also is no wonder that the Sanibel Shell Festival will celebrate its 84th year in 2021. Among the rare shells collected here are the brown speckled junonia, sculpted lion’s paw, coveted golden olive, golden tulip, and Scotch bonnet. Live shelling is banned, but shell seekers are encouraged to pick up abandoned treasures that wash up on shore.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge – Occupying more than half of Sanibel, the national wildlife refuge was named for Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jay Norwood Darling, who also was the first environmentalist to hold a presidential cabinet post (Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration).

Boating – There are plenty of opportunities on the islands and surrounding waterways for water enthusiasts, from easy kayaking to serious tarpon fishing. Boat straight across the state from Fort Myers/Sanibel to Palm Beach via the Caloosahatchee River and Okeechobee Waterway, both part of the intra-coastal waterway.

Creativity Abounds Here – From authors to artists to musicians & more – Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the wife of America’s famous aviator, wrote her best-selling book, “A Gift from the Sea,” without identifying it as Captiva Island.

Gladiolus Capital – Some of Lee County’s original settlers were flower growers from the Benelux region of Europe. At one time their horticultural efforts made nearby Fort Myers the “Gladiolus Capital of the World.”

Update on The Wildlife Refuge

From the July 16, 2020, “’Ding’ on The Wing”, News from the ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Society:

Tarpon Bay Explorers has restructured its Sealife and Nature Cruises schedule. Currently, the tours depart every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday at 11, 1:30, and 6. Keep current on developments via our COVID-19 web page.  In the meantime, we urge you to #StayHome as much as possible, get out in nature when you can, and maintain social distance and mask guidelines when you must go out.”

At the Refuge store, their special edition Sanibel Shells masks are in stock and more Roseate Spoonbill masks are expected to arrive soon. Easy to order at ShopDingDarling.com.

Realtor.com’s Website Has ‘Record-Level’ Buyer Interest

Posted July 10 on FloridaRealtors® on line:

“The site created a Housing Market Recovery Index just a few weeks ago to gauge the market’s return to “normal,” and real estate is already close to pre-pandemic levels.

“Realtor.com says its monthly website traffic hit an all-time high of 86 million unique users in June 2020, breaking May’s record of 85 million unique users. It also broke its daily record on June 25 when 7 million unique users visited the site.

“Realtor.com created a new Housing Market Recovery Index in early June to gauge how fast the pandemic-slowed real estate market returned to “normal.” The index considers a score of 100 to represent the real estate market on Feb. 1, 2020 – before the pandemic hit – and any current metro score below 100 represents its relative weakness compared to the pre-pandemic market.

“In many metro areas, however, the index has returned to something close to normal; in some areas, it’s even improved.

“In the four Florida metro areas realtor.com includes in its Index, one has already passed the Feb. 1 baseline – Jacksonville with an index of 100.4 – and the other three are only slightly below for the week ending July 4.

Nationwide, the index number reached 97.8, which is the largest weekly increase since the index was introduced. The week’s 2.1-point increase week-to-week brings the index just 2.2 points below the pre-COVID baseline. However, supply remains the biggest factor that will slow a recovery, realtor.com analysts say. Total listings on realtor.com are down 31% year-to-year.

“All-time low mortgage rates and easing job losses have boosted buyer confidence back to pre-pandemic levels,” says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com. “With supply at record lows, the backlog of demand portends increased competition and a seller’s market in the weeks ahead. While buyers are back, growth in home sales this summer will be constrained by the slow return of sellers and the limited amount of homes hitting the market.

“Nationwide, listings spent three days less on the market year-to-year the week of July 4. Asking prices on realtor.com were up 6.2%, and the number of new listings were down 4%. Out of the 50 metros included in the Index, the Boston area ranked first with a score of 119.9; the Milwaukee metro area ranked last with a score of 85.8.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 10-17, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Spanish Cay #F4 2/2 listed at $399,999; Kimball Lodge #263 1/1.5 $525K; Loggerhead Cay #542 2/2 $699K; Sundial #T201 2/2 $830K; Surfside 12 #A4 3/2 $849K.

4 price changes: Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 now $419K, Sundial #C301 1/1 now $460K, Mariner Pointe #421 2/2 now $589K, Kings Crown #306 2/2 now $838K.

1 new sale: Sanibel Surfside #126 2/2 listed at $799K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1304 Par View Dr 3/3 $775K.

1 price change: 1720 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/3 now $995K.

8 new sales: 9426 Beverly Ln 3/2 listed at $575K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 listed at $589K; 6033 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 listed at $698.5K; 1515 Angel Dr 3/2 listed at $849,948; 1358 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 listed at $995K; 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 listed at $997K; 3706 West Gulf Dr 4/3 listed at $1.325M; 3615 West Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $2.995M.

11 closed sales: 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 $514K, 3947 Coquina Dr 2/2 $550K, 990/992 Greenwood Ct N 3/2.5 duplex $640K, 9418 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $655K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 $680K, 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 $700K, 1220 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $775K, 676 Emeril Ct 3/2 $830K, 847 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $850K, 1230 Bay Dr 3/2 $1.45M, 2460 Harbour Ln 3/3 $1.75M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 0 Island Inn Rd now $599,555.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 now $399K, Beach Homes #30 4/4.5 now $3.65M.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3114 1/1 listed at $329K, Beach Homes #21 3/3 listed at $3,000,050.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11520 Wightman Ln 3/2 $2.589M.

1 price change: 16500 Captiva Dr 6/6/2 now $6.389M.

1 new sale: 11547 Laika Ln 4/4 listed at $1.995M.

2 closed sales: 11520 Wightman Ln 3/2 $2.5M, 16221-16217 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 $3.6M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.

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

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

Until next week, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan