What’s Hot in the Sanibel Island Real Estate World

It is time to wrap up a week of iffy weather on Sanibel & Captiva. Several days have been cloudy and chilly (nights in the 50’s, days in the 60’s/low 70’s), with short shower interruptions as several cold fronts passed SW FL. (Coming from Maine, it still gives me a chuckle that 50 degrees is considered a cold front.)  The forecast says, chilly days will continue until it is fully sunny again on Tuesday, followed by a warm-up next week. We are ready!

Like the weather, the red tide reports change daily. Though the news seems to report that the sky is falling, the red tide readings this week have been minimal. Here is the link again for the NOAA site that tracks those measurements in the Gulf of Mexico, https://habforecast.gcoos.org/ Most of the high readings, have been south of the islands, with Lighthouse Beach sometimes affected.

Here at SanibelSusan Realty, the team has been keeping things moving with both our listings and sales. We also have a new listing, Kings Crown #104. A bit tough to get a property sold during a pandemic when there is a paying guest, meaning one cannot get in. This renter is there until the end of the month. Makes it challenging to view a property, get professional photos, and market without having access; but we like challenges. Even sight-unseen buyers like to see what the inside looks like, but the beach there is fantastic. See below!

Beach in front of Kings Crown

Our listings had more showings this week and more action was reported in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. Our closing late last Friday also has been posted. That info follows a few news items below.

What’s Hot & What’s Not

First, it always makes sense to look at the larger complexes and communities. For example, at Sundial Beach & Golf Resort, 26 units sold last year, compared to 20 in 2019. Today, five units are under contract and just three are for sale. Safe to say that community is hot!

Likewise, at The Dunes, 39 homes sold last year, compared to 20 in 2019. There, four homes are under contract and just two are available.

Canal-front homes like in Sanibel Estates and Shell Harbor also sold well last year. In 2020, 37 sold, compared to 20 in 2019. There, three homes are under contract, while eight are for sale. More inventory here is somewhat indicative of what has been happening with the high-end product.

Last year on Sanibel, 503 residential properties (condos, homes, lots) sold, median price was $700,000. In 2019, 353 sold, with the same median price ($700,000). Comparing that to today’s Sanibel inventory: there are 192 properties for sale, median asking price is $859,000.

Of the 192 Sanibel properties for sale today, 26 are over $2M. Of the 503 that sold last year, only 26 were over $2M – perhaps illustrating that there is a year’s worth of high-end available.

With homes being the hottest commodity during the pandemic lockdown months, it was interesting to see lots moving once the more-affordable island homes started disappearing. Last year, 23 Sanibel vacant residential lots sold. In 2019, that number was 15. Today, 18 already have sold or are under contract.

Condo sales which were a little sluggish during the lockdown are moving well now too. First quarter, when the most condo visitors are in town, is generally when we sell the most condos. This year should be no exception, however, just 84 Sanibel condos are available, compared to 192 sales in 2020, 127 in 2019, 29 under contract.

Florida Realtors®

Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings have begun. This is when the state committees meet (via Zoom, this year) and the annual installation of officers occurs. Wed morning, I attended the Forms Content Committee meeting. Next week, I’ll be Zooming in at the Realtor® Town Hall, Faculty and Curriculum Subcommittees, and Resort & 2nd Home Specialist Think Tank.

Sanibel – COVID-19

On Tuesday, Sanibel Mayor Mick Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until January 19, 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 January 14 is 176 cases. Locals are trying to stay calm, but that is 19 cases in seven days. 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. Essentially no relief yet for the thousands of county residents over 65 looking to get vaccinated.

Plenty of Reasons for Optimism

Below are excerpts from an article in the January/February 2021 issue of “REALTOR®”, by National Association of Realtors® Economist, Lawrence Yun.

“The housing market was a spectacular surprise in 2020 – and the positive trend will continue this year. Home sales in 2021 are expected to rise by around 10%. Home prices will also climb, but I expect more moderate increases than we’ve seen, a break for staying at or near historic lows of 3% on average. The labor market will strengthen, especially as vaccines become widely available and life moves toward normal.

“Around 4 million net jobs could be added, a gradual rebound from the net loss of roughly 7 million during the pandemic year of 2020. The unemployment rate by the year’s end could be at 5.5%, a great improvement from 14.7% in April 2020 when the nation was under a strict lockdown, but still a few notches up from the generational low of 3.5% right before the pandemic.

Low mortgage rates have been the key reason for the housing market’s strong performance in the midst of the pandemic and high employment…. While mortgage rates are highly influential, they’re not the only factor affecting home sales. Given the substantial commitment and financial dollars at stake, consumer confidence and life-cycle events such as marriage, changes to family size, and retirement all play a role. During the pandemic, we learned that most people who work in offices could be just as productive at home, and this new reality will help fuel home sales in the post-pandemic economy. Already, big tech companies are allowing greater work-from-home flexibility. Other organizations will no doubt follow in some hybrid fashion. Perhaps the work-from-home trend was inevitable as internet speed and software improved. The pandemic just accelerated the timeline in a flash.

Owners who were content with their home before the pandemic are thinking about the benefits of another bedroom to use as a dedicated home office or are considering relocating to the countryside, knowing that commuting to downtown offices every day has become a thing of the past. Some consumers are turning to vacation properties as an appealing work-from-home option….

“The encouraging news on the home front contrasts drastically with the specter of newly empty office buildings. Those with leases are still mostly paying rent even though office spaces are not being used, and businesses with leases that are terminating are clearly reevaluating their space needs. In the second and third quarter of 2020, office usage dropped by a combined 74 million square feet. The situation will not improve until the middle of year; even then, the normal relationship between office job creation and net new leasing will not align as many companies will reevaluate and rejigger their office space needs. Downtown retail shops and eateries will also undergo a harsh transition from the reduced foot traffic….

“The housing market is facing an acute inventory shortage. Adding more demand without addressing the supply will push up home prices at an even faster clip. That is why it’s critical to turn raw land into developable lots so that homebuilders can increase production. But Biden’s proposal to remove 1031 like-kind exchanges from the tax code would hinder land sales and pile more negative pressure onto commercial real estate. Without serious reconsideration of this tax incentive, home prices could take off and essentially negate the benefit of federally supported down payment assistance programs.

“The Biden administration is also likely to appoint Federal Reserve governors who will be more tolerant of higher inflation in order to quickly bring down the unemployment rate. That means printing more money. Don’t be surprised if, over time, prices for a tangible asset like real estate consistently outpace overall consumer price inflation. Even bitcoin, with its limited supply, may attract investors.

“Finally, under a Biden presidency, overall government spending is likely to rise. The goal: Fix the economy before worrying about the deficit. Spending on programs such as high-speed internet access for rural communities and improved rail transportation to distant suburbs will have a positive impact, since demand will continue to increase outside of city centers. Land is plentiful and relatively cheap, making it easier for homebuilders to construct homes. Only when the supply of new homes is growing does stimulating additional demand make sense.

Looking to File for a Florida Homestead Exemption?

This Homestead Exemption is a constitutional benefit of up to a $50,000 exemption removed from the assessed value of your property. It is granted to those applicants who possess title to real property and are bona fide Florida residents living in the dwelling and making it their permanent home on January 1. Documentation that proves you were a resident at the homestead property is required.

Rental of the Homestead Property – Property owners who receive the homestead exemption on their residence need to be aware that personally renting their property or renting through home-sharing or collaborative consumption companies may constitute abandonment and, therefore, loss of the homestead tax exemption. Renting typically means exclusive use by a tenant on a temporary, seasonal, or annual basis. If you plan to rent, please contact the appropriate legal advisers to be sure that you do not jeopardize your homestead exemption. Relinquishing your homestead exemption will increase your property taxes.

Value Limitations (caps) – Properties granted homestead exemption automatically receive the “Save Our Homes” benefit. This is a constitutional benefit approved by the Florida voters in 1992. It places a limitation of 3% on annual assessment increase on homestead properties beginning with the 1995 tax year. For properties granted homestead exemption in the prior years, that assessed value will be the base value for the implementation of “Save Our Homes”. Thereafter, the assessed value will not increase more than 3% or the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less. Exceptions to that limitation include new additions or construction that escaped taxation in the past. When a homestead property sells, the assessed value returns to fair market value in the year following the sale. That value assessment then becomes the new owner/homestead applicant’s base value for “Save Our Homes” purposes.

When to File – Florida law requires that application for a new Florida Homestead Exemption be made by March 1st to be eligible for up to a $50,000 Homestead Exemption. Only new applicants or those who had a change of residence need apply. Automatic renewals are mailed in January each year. The Lee County Property Appraiser’s Office offers on-line filing for Homestead Exemption is at www.LeePA.org.

There are two ways to apply, depending on certain criteria. If you meet ALL of the criteria below, application may be made online using the “Quick Apply Form”:

  • You are applying for Homestead Exemption ONLY
  • You are applying for yourself or you and your spouse
  • You have a valid Florid Drivers License for both you and your spouse (if applying together), and the Drivers License shows the address of the property you would like to apply for
  • You resided in the home prior to January 1, 2021.

If ANY of the criteria below apply, use their Homestead Online form:

  • You are applying for Homestead Exemption AND Portability
  • You are applying for Homestead Exemption for owners other than you and your spouse
  • You are married and your spouse is NOT applying
  • You have a partial interest in the property that you are applying for.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 8-15, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Captains Walk #B3 1/1 $299.9K, Sanibel Arms West #A3 2/2 $529K, Sanibel Arms West #B5 2/2 $569K, Pointe Santo #E22 2/2 $899K.

7 price changes: Sundial #F108 1/1 now $435K, Sanibel Arms West #J3 2/2 now $569K, Cottage Colony West #125 1/1 now $599K, Cottage Colony West #119 1/1 now $609K, Sandalfoot #3C3 2/2 now $698K, Sand Pointe #113 2/2 now $789K, Sundial #P402 2/2 now $1.189M.

6 new sales: Mariner Pointe #1043 2/2 listed at $490K, Sundial #G406 1/1 listed at $519K, Sandpiper Beach #401 2/2 listed at $775K, Sandpiper Beach #205 2/2 listed at $815K, Sanctuary Golf Villages #1-5 2/2.5 listed at $999K, Sandpiper West #1 3/3 listed at $2.15M.

3 closed sales: Beach Road Villas #105 2/2 $479K, Mariner Pointe #522 2/2 $484.9K (our listing), Breakers West #B5 2/2 $560K.

View from Mariner Pointe #522

HOMES

9 new listings: 4661 Rue Bayou 2/2 $679K, 5100 Sea Bell Rd 3/2.5 $868K, 4202 Old Banyan Way 3/2 $899.5K, 1147 Buttonwood Ln 3/2 $1.335M, 751 Windlass Way 5/5 $1.595M, 940 Whelk Dr 3/2 $1.595M, 3910 Coquina Dr 6/4 $1.95M, 1680 Hibiscus Dr 3/3.5 $2.15M, 1266 Isabel Dr 3/3 $2.895M.

1 price change: 1430 Sanderling Cir 3.5 now $799K.

10 new sales: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 listed at $449K, 1415 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed at $459K, 1076 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $750K, 9421 Moonlight Dr 3/2 listed at $775K, 1030 Kings Crown Dr 2/2 listed at $879.9K, 1308 Eagle Run Dr 4/4 listed at $1.549M, 784 Birdie View Pt 4/4 listed at $1.795M, 5771 Baltusrol Ct 3/4 listed at $1.8M, 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 listed at $1.929M, 2336 Starfish Ln 3/2.5 listed at $2.195M.

5 closed sales: 753 Nerita St 3/2 $545K, 1001 East Gulf Dr 2/2 $595K, 1073 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $740K, 482 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $780K, 2984 Island Inn Rd 3/2 $815K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 9042 Mockingbird Dr $395K.

2 price changes: 3013 Poinciana Cir now $249.9K, 2933 Wulfert Rd now $349K.

1 new sale: 6095 Dinkins Lake Rd listed at $269,555.

1 closed sale: 1313 Par View Dr $300K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Beach Homes #6 3/3 now $2.879M.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3136 1/1 listed at $340K, Beach Homes #25 3/2 listed at $1.995M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 14865 Captiva Dr 4/4 $1.699M, 14980 Binder Dr 4/4 $2.55M.

2 price changes: 11544 Wightman Ln 4/4.5 now $2.25M, 16500 Captiva Dr 6/6/2 now $6.289M.

3 new sales: 11520 Wightman Ln 3/2 listed at $2.589M, 16189 Captiva Dr 6/4 listed at $3.699M, 1119 Schefflera Ct 4/3.5 listed at $5.975M.

1 closed sale: 11521 Laika Ln 3/3 $1.275M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Until next Friday, stay warm, safe, & smiling! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Ready to Set New Records in 2021

Welcome to the 2nd Friday Sanibel/Captiva real estate update in 2021. With the holidays over and a home inspection this afternoon, we are wrapping up another productive week at SanibelSusan Realty – two more sales, more listings shown, more action items accomplished for both listings and upcoming closings, and a closing late today. The last time we had seven sales on the books in just the first week of the year was back in 2004 which was our record year, so we are crossing our fingers to break that record in 2021.

Traffic lessened last weekend when many holiday visitors departed. Unfortunately, coronavirus numbers are up and expected to go higher. 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 & Captiva Island Association of Realtors®

Though still not meeting in person, our local Association of Realtors® held a Zoom meeting Wednesday with required attendance by our Board of Directors and members serving as 2021 Ombudsmen or on Grievance and Professional Standards Committees. That annual training updates the leadership team on recent changes regarding ethics and arbitration issues. Thanks to Marcia Tabak, Deputy General Counsel at Florida Realtors®, for hosting.

Thursday morning was a Zoom Caravan meeting for our entire membership. No new listings were open for caravan viewing, but both Jim Hall (VIP Realty Group) and I announced new sales. No price reductions were announced. My announcement of our new listing at Sandalfoot #3B3, was the only new listing mentioned.

The next Caravan meeting will follow our Annual Installation of Officers and Awards Ceremony at 8 a.m. Jan 17, also on Zoom.

With most of the year-end closings now posted on the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service, below is an update of the statistics. Shown are the recent sales action, compared to 2019, and inventory today. To say, more listings are needed is an understatement. Many Realtors® have buyers awaiting the perfect property that meets their requirements.

 

SANIBEL

Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
Available 86 820,012 63 2,036,258 45 816,216
Under Contract 27 709,322 53 1,346,665 17 783,177
Sold 2021 to-date 2 995,000 3 1,324,666 1 265,000
Sold 2020 192 733,876 288 951,487 23 606,233
Sold 2019 127 694,392 211 949,790 15 372,200

 

 

CAPTIVA

Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
Available 20 1,622,849 32 3,713,937 3 5,131,666
Under Contract 8 787,375 8 787,375 0 N/A
Sold 2021 to-date 1 2,700,000 2 2,762,500 O N/A
Sold 2020 47 821,713 27 2,923,148 4 2,537,500
Sold 2019 29 1,037,077 17 2,737,503 1 1,375,000

Sanibel – COVID-19

On Tuesday, Sanibel Mayor Mick Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until January 12, 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. January 7 is 157 cases. Twenty-one were reported just last week. 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.

Vaccination Rollout Update from Florida Department of Health & Lee County Government

FYI, as posted yesterday on http://www.MySanibel.com:

“Fort Myers, FL, Jan. 7, 2021 – Tidal Basin, the state’s call-center vendor for COVID-19 vaccinations for seniors and front-line medical workers, earlier this week captured more than 10,000 phone calls in 11 minutes when its new reservation line opened. The Florida Department of Health-Lee (FDOH) and Lee County today have announced that next Tuesday and Wednesday’s allocation of vaccinations at the current site will be used for those additional callers, most of whom now have been pre-registered by the vendor.

“The phone line for reservations is currently closed and remains closed; residents are asked to not dial the call center. The state and county will announce when additional vaccine doses are available and the line reopens. Visit  www.leegov.com/vaccine

“Tidal Basin will begin placing calls to schedule the pre-registered slots beginning this afternoon through Monday. Not every pre-registered individual will receive a scheduling call today. Shots will be administered between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 12 and 13.

“DOH-Lee anticipates administering about 4,000 doses during those two days at the current site, which is east of Interstate 75 off Daniels Parkway. It’s the site of the old airport terminal parking lot off Paul J. Doherty Parkway. The site has proved a successful solution to vaccinating thousands of people 65 and older without an unnecessary wait. Traffic to and from the site is flowing; parking is ample; people with appointments are not experiencing delays. Public transportation is available to the site.

“By close of business today, more than 11,000 individuals will have been vaccinated at Lee County sites. This total does not include medical workers vaccinated at separate sites by the Florida Department of Health-Lee or vaccinations issued by other entities such as Lee Health.

“FDOH-Lee and the county soon will announce information about the second dose of the vaccine and how scheduling will be handled.

“The state and county have requested that Tidal Basin stand up a help line or call center for pre-registered people who have questions. Details will be announced when they become available at www.leegov.com/vaccine .

“As COVID-19 vaccine distribution continues, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office advises to be aware of emerging fraud schemes, such as:

  • Calls asking to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine.
  • Calls asking to pay to put your name on a vaccine waiting list or to get early access.
  • Advertisements for vaccines through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online or from unsolicited/unknown sources.
  • Marketers offering to sell or ship doses of the vaccine for payment.
  • Requests from someone unknown to an individual asking for a social security number, bank account information or credit card information.

“Lee County residents who believe they have been the victim of COVID-19 fraud can report it to:

  • Lee County Sheriff’s Office fraud line – 258-3292
  • HHS-OIG Hotline: 1-800-HHS-TIPS or log on to hhs.gov
  • FBI Hotline: 1-800-CALL-FBI
  • CMS/Medicare Hotline: 1-800-MEDICARE

“Additional information: Complete information can be found at www.leegov.com/vaccine . People can visit Lee County Government Facebook and other social media channels (www.leegov.com/socialmedia ) or monitor Florida DOH’s Twitter @flhealthlee. The United Way 211 line for vaccine questions is staffed 24/7. Dial 211 or 239-433-3900. This is not a reservation or appointment phone line.”

2021 Resolution: Cut Risk – 15 Steps to Resolve Legal Issues

Posted on FloridaRealtors® this week, the below article is sourced to Gary M. Singer, “Sun Sentinel” (Fort Lauderdale, FL). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. It has some excellent points.

“Many legal troubles start with phrases like “I didn’t realize that …” or “I didn’t read that part of the document.” To lower risk and avoid trouble, ask questions, read contracts, do research, take notes, record with cellphone photos and take an extra day to think about things.

“FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – As another year starts, it’s once again time to discuss some lessons we’ve learned in dealing with real estate law issues. Therefore, I present to you, in no particular order, some best practices you can use when dealing with any legal matter.

  • Do not sign anything you have not read and understood.
  • Do not be afraid to ask questions, and do not feel you must accept the answers at face value.
  • If you have any doubt as to what you are told, do more research.
  • There are very few things that cannot wait one day while you think about it.
  • Whenever a situation seems like it might become a problem, take lots of notes and cell phone photos.
  • If you come to a meaningful agreement on a telephone call, send an email to the person you spoke with to confirm the details.
  • While confrontation can be uncomfortable, the best and least expensive way of resolving a dispute is speaking calmly to the responsible party about the issue.
  • If the branches from your neighbor’s tree hang over your property line, you can safely trim them back, at your expense, as long as you do not damage the tree’s health.
  • Consult with an estate planning professional to get your will done.
  • If you are buying a property with someone you are not married to, it is good to get a joint property ownership agreement prepared.
  • If you rent a home, you should read the landlord-tenant statute; it is relatively easy to read and acts as an instruction manual.
  • When buying a property in a condominium or homeowners association, you need to understand the rules and live by them. If this idea does not work for you, find a different property.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of insurance and the importance of shopping around for the best price.
  • Some have said that good fences make good neighbors, but I find it is more accurate to say that good people make good neighbors.
  • As hard as it can be to sift through the junk, it is essential to check your mail for important notices regularly.

“It has been a rough year. I hope these tips will help your new year be a better one.”

Wildlife Refuge Status Update

From today’s “Ding” on the Wing”: The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge has announced changes to scheduling due to the lingering effects of the pandemic. Until further notice, the Visitor & Education Center will be closed every Sunday.

Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the front desk and Refuge Nature Store will be open in the Center. All exhibits remain closed. The Center’s restrooms will stay open daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Wildlife Drive will continue with its seasonal schedule of Saturday to Thursday 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

recreation concession tours and rentals will operate according to their regular schedule.  Stay up-to-date on Refuge news and events at our COVID-19 page.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 1-8, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sanibel Moorings #242 1/1 $424.5K, Blind Pass #E207 2/2.5 $489K, Sanibel Arms West #F1 2/2 $949K, White Pelican #111 2/2 $1.2999M.

3 price changes: Blind Pass #E101 2/2 now $485K, Loggerhead Cay #274 2/2 now $669K, Sandpiper Beach #401 2/2 now $775K.

7 new sales: Sundial #I102 1/1 listed at $450K, Sanibel Arms West #H6 2/2 listed at $579K, Sanibel Moorings #441 2/2 listed at $585K, Loggerhead Cay #542 2/2 listed at $685K, Surfside 12 #A4 3/2 listed at $849K, Yacht Haven #4 3/2 listed at $895K, Sundial #L205 3/2 listed at $1.395M.

6 closed sales: Tennisplace #B24 2/2 $350K, Spanish Cay #F4 2/2 $390K, Blind Pass #G201 2/2 $520K, Sanibel Arms West #K7 2/2 $550K, Sanibel Moorings #932 2/2 $562K, Somerset #A101 3/2.5 $1.6M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 2620 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $799K, 1890 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $1.2M, 1283 Isabel Dr 3/2 $1.925M.

4 price changes: 9254 Kincaid Ct 2/2 now $493K, 1560 Royal Poinciana Cir 3/2 now $899K, 837 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3.5 now $1.995M, 1761 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $2.095M.

11 new sales: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 listed at $514,555; 315 East Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex listed at $559K; 430 Old Trail Rd 3/2.5 listed at $629K; 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2 listed at $699K (our buyer); 566 Boulder Dr 3/2 listed at $739K; 1076 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $750K; 2010 Wild Lime Dr 4/4 listed at $759K; 2001/2003 Mitzi Ln 6/6 duplex listed at $859K; 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 listed at $899K; 215 Hurricane Ln 3/3 listed at $1.089M; 815 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed at $1.395M.

5 closed sales: 1667 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 $413K, 718 Durion Ct 3/2 $550K, 705 Rabbit Rd 3/3 $699K, 215 Hurricane Ln 3/3 $1.029M, 1718 Jewel Box Dr 4/4.5 $2.725M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 717 Birdie View Pt $399K.

1 price change: 1292 Par View Dr now $349.9K.

7 new sales: 1894 Farm Trl listed at $199K (our listing & buyer), 9436 Beverly Ln listed at $235K, 3354 Barra Cir listed at $365K, 602 Boulder Dr listed at $399K, 836 Limpet Dr listed at $1.345M, 1159 Golden Olive Ct listed at $1.599M, 1246 Seagrape Ln listed at $2.789M.

1 closed sale: 5627 Baltusrol Ct $265K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1628 4/4 $2.7M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 11431 Dickey Ln 3/2 listed at $1,168,500.

3 closed sales: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $1.975M, 11555 Wightman Ln 3/2 $3.55M, 15831 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 $5M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Until next Friday, stay safe,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Woohoo! A busy real estate kinda Friday at SanibelSusan Realty!

It has been another busy week for The SanibelSusan Team. Two more of our listings went under contract. We are very thankful to have ten closings in our “under contract” hopper simultaneously. In many ways, 2020 is a year for the record books. Two closings for us today too with the gals at Knight Barry Title Solutions who are super busy! The second being finalized now. Woohoo!

Also, this week our office carpet got its annual cleaning. Shout-out to Tru-Clean, Carpet & Tile Care, who always does a terrific job. This year, it seemed like summer and the rainy season went on forever – then like magic, it became winter. With the 2nd cold front here this week and another set to arrive next week, it has been a nice reprieve to have daytime highs in the 60’s – feels like Christmas is coming. We locals are bundled in our wool shirts, sweaters, and jackets, while tourists wearing tank tops and shorts are riding with tops down. It is always funny to see that.

The SanibelSusan Team island-wide holiday bulk mailing went to the post office today. With interest rates low and demand to buy high, there should be more sales in the upcoming weeks. Meanwhile, we are looking for new listings to replenish our supply and still have a few wonderful listings available. Photos below taken today from our listing at White Sands #23.

Elise also has our tree decorated and the office looking festive. Pandemic or not, we celebrate the season!

Bailey’s antique delivery vehicle decorated for the season!

Earlier this afternoon, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® leadership team and 2021 Professional Standards Committee are attending a Florida Realtors® Zoom meeting that covers recent changes by the National Association of Realtors® to the Realtors® Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. I will be Zooming in as this update supplements the required Pro Standards training coming up in early January. Always new things to learn to stay current.

Sanibel – COVID-19

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases from March 26 through December 6 is 100. There were 63 cases in reported in the first seven months, but 37 in just the last six weeks. PLEASE stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.

It was a smart addition this week to see the electronic sign in front of the Chamber of Commerce coming onto the island which reads “Welcome to Sanibel”, followed by “Wear Your Mask”. City Council acted on that notice at their meeting last week. At that same meeting, the City also agreed to advise of new cases as they are reported, rather than just weekly which is when the state provides their analytics.

Last night, a post on the City’s website announced that City Council has called a special meeting to discuss potential adoption or modification of COVID-19 related restrictions. It is scheduled for Monday, December 14 at 10 a.m. You can tune in to hear the audio live at www.MySanibel.com.

Pandemic Didn’t Change Work Model So Much as Accelerate It

Posted December 7 by Jennifer Quinn, economist, and Director of Economic Development for Florida Realtors®:

“Is the work-from-home trend here to stay, along with its real estate impact on new housing and location demands? A nine-month study suggests that the change was already underway before the pandemic started. It’s simply happening faster now.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – Preliminary analysis of a nearly nine-month remote-work experiment points to the reality that the pandemic was not a change agent, but rather an accelerant. Meaning – companies were likely going to embrace more remote work and telecommuting options for their employees in the coming decade, particularly in areas where traffic is just unbearable (we are looking at you New York and Silicon Valley).

“However, adapting to the pandemic accelerated these plans, pushed forward technology adoption and created a new way of connecting and doing business. The future of work appears to have arrived earlier than previously expected. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top 10 remote work occupation categories according to the percent of people who teleworked because of the pandemic are:

  1. Computer & Mathematical Occupations
  2. Business & Financial Operations
  3. Life, Physical, & Social Science Occupations
  4. Legal Occupations
  5. Architecture & Engineering Occupations
  6. Community & Social Service Occupations
  7. Educational Instruction & Library Occupations
  8. Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports & Media Occupations
  9. Management Occupations
  10. Office & Administrative Support Occupations.

“People who work in these occupations are seen as “suddenly mobile” – they are no longer tied to the gateway cities they lived in prior to the pandemic and are able to re-think their proximity to the office (and what the “office” even is). Faced with staggering home prices and wages that don’t seem to keep up, many are asking themselves, “Can we do this somewhere else?”

“So, if people no longer have to live near their offices, will they still choose to live where they have been? According to a survey by Upwork’s Remote Workers on the Move released in October 2020, 14 million to 23 million Americans are planning to relocate to a new U.S. city or region. The survey reveals that not all moves are minor, such as moving from an inner ring suburb to an exurb of the same city. Some of these moves are to different states entirely, depending on what percentage of their work will be conducted remotely.

“That is a lot of people whose view from their home office can go from one where snow blankets the backyard to one with a palm tree and some sand. Looking at the concentration of these top 10 industries, Florida tracks similarly to the U.S., meaning there are plenty of people here already living the dream. Focusing on in-migration from Northeastern and Western states is hardly new, as Florida has topped the lists for relocation for a while now. However, tapping into the new and potentially large suddenly mobile market could yield positive results for you and your business.

“But does this trend have legs? The Upwork survey indicates that companies find several advantages to increasing their remote workforce, chief among them lower operating costs, increased employee availability and job satisfaction. Additionally, companies throughout the world can readily tap into Florida’s increasingly diverse workforce with increased ease.

“Many believe that once the pandemic fades and people can go back to the office as they did in 2019, not all will – at least not full-time. Several large tech firms have announced long-term remote work plans for employees and others are considering the same. And it’s not just tech – 57% of small and medium-size businesses plan to offer remote work plans for the long term as well.

“Florida offers many upsides to the suddenly mobile that benefit both their employers and themselves. Home prices in Florida remain affordable compared to the more expensive housing markets that people are coming from – Boston, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and New York City. Combined with the lack of state income tax, the calculus to make the move to Florida pencils out….”

Mortgage Unchanged From Last Week’s Record Low

By Kerry Smith at FloridaRealtors®: “Last week, the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage hit its 14th record low this year, and it held onto that 2.71% rate. The 15-year loan was also unchanged at 2.26%.

“MCLEAN, Va. – The average 30-year mortgage rate held onto the 2.71% average rate it hit last week – the 14th record low set this year. “Mortgage rates remain at record lows, resisting their typical correlation to Treasury yields, which have recently been moving higher,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. The Treasury plays a role in mortgage rates since they are part of the funding mechanism.

““Mortgage spreads – the difference between mortgage rates and the 10-year Treasury rate – are declining from their elevated levels earlier this year,” Khater adds. “Although today’s mortgage spread is about 1.8% and still has some room to move down if the 10-year Treasury continues to rise, it’s encouraging to see that the spread is almost back to normal levels.”

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 2.71% with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Dec. 10, 2020, unchanged from last week. A year ago, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.7%. The 15-year FRM averaged 2.26% with an average 0.6 point, also unchanged from last week. One year earlier, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.19%. Only the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) declined in this week’s survey. It averaged 2.79% with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.86%. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.36%.”

Even with the low interest rates, we are lucky on the islands that most of our sales are “cash”. One of our closings this week was scheduled to close November 30 but delayed because the lender is so busy – or taking on more business than they can support. These buyers got frustrated and instead paid cash. Local lenders are attuned to the idiosyncrasies of mortgages on a barrier island and usually have rates as competitive as anywhere. The SanibelSusan Team has preached for years – that it always pays to use a hometown bank.

7 Top-Rated Resorts on Sanibel Island, FL

Written by Lura Seavey, this article was posted November 17 on http://www.PlanetWare.com:

“Sanibel Island acts as a barrier between the Gulf of Mexico and the larger Pine Island, connected to Fort Myers on the mainland by the Sanibel Causeway. The central and eastern part of the island is most active with tourists and is full of resorts, restaurants, and shops that can be easily reached by foot or via the trolley that stops at all the major hotels. The south-facing beaches are the island’s widest and most crowded, known for an extraordinary abundance of seashells.

“As you head west, the beaches narrow, but the resorts spread out, resulting in more privacy. At its northern tip, Sanibel Island connects via a bridge over the Blind Pass to its tiny sibling, Captiva Island. Here, you will find resorts that have shores facing both the gulf, as well as the more protected Pine Island Sound, perfect for vacationers who will be arriving by water.

“Marinas are also available on the north side of Sanibel Island, opposite the resort-lined beaches. All the island’s resorts have amazing sunsets over the gulf and offer plenty of recreational activities for both families and adults.

“Choose your tropical getaway with our list of the top resorts on Sanibel Island.

“1. Sanibel Moorings Resort – Located on the eastern end of the island near Sanibel Lighthouse, the Sanibel Moorings Resort is a quiet getaway boasting a private beach with complimentary lounge chairs and umbrellas for guests’ use. Nature-lovers will appreciate the guided beach walks and shelling lectures conducted weekly by a marine biologist, as well as tours of the property’s six-acre tropical botanical garden, which includes a butterfly garden. Resort amenities include two heated pools plus a kids’ area with a separate pool, two tennis courts, a fitness center and business center, self-serve laundry, library, and resort-wide Wi-Fi. The resort also has rentals available for canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards, as well as bicycles, so you can easily explore the island. Pet-friendly units are available, and all lodgings include a full kitchen, his and hers sinks in the master bath, and a private screened porch. There are also dockside units available for those arriving by boat. Accommodation: Sanibel Moorings Resort

“2. Sundial Beach Resort & Spa – Condominium-style lodgings at the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa range from studios to three-bedroom suites equipped with full kitchens and on-site self-serve laundry facilities. Accommodations include a full breakfast, housekeeping, and complimentary use of equipment such as paddleboards and kayaks. In addition, the resort hosts recreational activities for all ages. Sports facilities include a fitness center, tennis courts, beach volleyball, and pickleball, as well as tabletop games like ping-pong and foosball. The resort is also home to an 18-hole golf course with club rental, and an on-site day spa that offers a full range of services. Live entertainment and refreshments are available at the resort’s swimming pools, and there are plentiful poolside cabanas and deck chairs to accommodate everyone. There are five restaurants on the property that offer everything from American fare to sushi, plus a convenience store with groceries and a gift shop. Check out the Sea Breeze Cafe, which is considered some of the best waterfront dining in southwest Florida. You can grab a table outside with gorgeous views, especially at sunset. There is also a pizza restaurant that is popular with families for its slices of pizza, hot dogs, and ice-cream scoops. Accommodation: Sundial Beach Resort & Spa

“3. West Wind Inn – The West Wind Inn offers a choice of standard guestrooms or kitchenette rooms, all of which come with a screened-in balcony or deck with views of either the Gulf of Mexico or the resort’s lovely tropical gardens. The property includes a peaceful butterfly garden and goldfish pond, a heated pool with a large deck and poolside entertainment and refreshments, and a private beach. For guests’ convenience, management provides a shell-cleaning area, as well as multiple faucets throughout, where guests can rinse the sand from their feet and shoes to keep the grit out of their rooms. Beach chairs and umbrellas are available for rent, and local activities like sightseeing cruises can be booked directly by the concierge. Other resort amenities include tennis, shuffleboard, self-serve laundry, free parking, and Wi-Fi. Those with mobility issues should request a ground floor room as there is no elevator. Accommodation: West Wind Inn

“4. Casa Ybel Resort – The all-suite Casa Ybel Resort sits on 23 acres along Sanibel Island’s Knapps Point, facing south over the gulf. Every suite is oceanfront and includes a full kitchen and outdoor gas grill; a separate living room with a pullout couch; and a screened balcony or lanai, so you can enjoy the ocean views bug-free in the evening. The resort offers many ways to make guests feel welcome and get the most out of their beach vacation, including group classes like yoga on the beach at sunrise and sunset and family activities, like s’mores and a bonfire or an outdoor movie in the evening. Both experienced and new tennis players will enjoy the six courts and optional lessons and clinics, and those who want to have fun in the water can take advantage of Jet Ski, paddleboard, and ocean kayak rentals. In addition to a large, heated pool with the convenient Coconuts Grill, there is a well-shaded kiddie pool with plenty of room for parents to relax. The resort also offers on-site dining at Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant. Sanibel’s most historic dining establishment, it has hosted everyone from Henry Ford to Thomas Edison over the centuries. The fine-dining restaurant serves Floridian and European fare for brunch, lunch, and dinner and has special holiday menus as well. Other resort amenities include a range of spa services, including massages. These can be enjoyed in your room, at the pool, or on the beach. Accommodation: Casa Ybel Resort

“5. Island Inn – The eco-conscious Island Inn provides guests with all the amenities of a full-service resort without the extra fees, offering lodgings ranging from standard rooms with kitchenettes to fully equipped beach cottages that can accommodate up to 12 people. Set on 10 acres, the property sits in the central part of Sanibel Island and includes a private beach, where you can enjoy educational naturalist-guided tours. There is a convenient cleaning station for shell-collectors, as well as fishermen – you can cook your catch on one of the gas grills or opt to have the inn’s restaurant expertly prepare your fresh-caught meal. On-site recreational facilities include volleyball and tennis courts, shuffleboard, and horseshoes, while rentals are available for bicycles, as well as kayaks and paddleboards. For a break from the sun or to socialize on a cool evening, the library and family lounge offers a fireplace, television, computers, books, and games. Accommodation: Island Inn

“6. South Seas Island Resort – Occupying the entire northern section of Captiva Island, the South Seas Island Resort provides guests with everything they need to enjoy this island paradise. The property is so large that a trolley runs from one end to the other, and resort activities are nearly endless. In addition to a full-service marina, the resort’s Offshore Sailing School provides lessons and rentals, and several fishing and eco-tours depart from here as well. Guided nature walks throughout the 330-acre wildlife preserve offer a chance to learn more about the ocean life, birds, and ecosystem, while guests are free to roam the 2.5 miles of pristine beach. Kids’ and teen education programs are also offered, as well as many family activities, including crafts, games, and even crab racing. Camp Skullywags is open for half or full days to kids aged three to 11, perfect for giving them a change of pace and giving parents some alone time or a chance to relax at the full-service resort spa. There are an astounding 20 pools to choose from, including the main pool area, which features dining and live entertainment.

Other recreation includes a playground, tennis, volleyball, and an arcade room, as well as fishing and a wide array of water sports. The resort also boasts a private, nine-hole, par-27 golf course with a pro shop, and multiple dining options, including full-service restaurants; a gourmet market; an ice-cream shop; and, of course, a Starbucks. The resort has a wide range of lodging options to fit every need, including hotel-style rooms, condos of various sizes, and even beach home rentals with as many as six bedrooms. Accommodation: South Seas Island Resort

“7. ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa – Located in the narrow central part of Captiva Island, ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa has the ambience of “old Florida” hospitality. The 13-acre property faces the water on both sides, with a private beach to the west and a marina on Pine Island Sound to the west. The marina is available for guests’ private craft and also offers rentals, as well as guided eco-adventures. In addition to the beach, water bugs can enjoy the Olympic-size pool, the smaller Serenity Pool, a hot tub, and a kiddie pool for little ones. Other resort recreation includes tennis, pickleball, and kayaking, as well as crab races, karaoke, and live entertainment nightly. The resort spa offers a full range of services to help guests relax, and although there is no golf course on the property, guests are given a discount at a nearby golf club. There are a few different dining options on-site, including the award-winning Old Captiva House restaurant. It is a national historic landmark and is famous for its homemade breads, fresh Florida cooking, and locally sourced produce all served in a nautical setting. It is open for breakfast and dinner. Also on-site is the Crow’s Nest Grille. It features views of the Gulf of Mexico and island classics served in casual, family-friendly environs. Accommodation: ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa

Sanibel & Captiva Water Conservation Rules

Highlighted in the Winter 2020 issue of IWA Pipeline, Island Water reminded property owners that Sanibel’s permitted schedule for irrigation is:

  • Even numbered addresses – Tuesdays & Fridays
  • Odd numbered addresses – Mondays & Thursdays.

For Captiva, Lee County’s permitted schedule for irrigation is:

  • Even numbered addresses – Thursdays and Sundays
  • Odd numbered addresses – Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 4 – 11, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sandalfoot #3C3 2/2 $710K, Sandpiper West #1 3/3 $2.15M.

2 price changes: Sundial #F106 1/1 now $465K, Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 now $579,990.

6 new sales: Sundial #F205 1/1 listed at $419K, Sandalfoot #4B2 1/1 listed at $489K, Signal Inn #10 1/1 listed at $529K, Lighthouse Point #117 3/2 listed at $549K (our listing), Sanibel Moorings #441 2/2 listed at $585K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 listed at $599K.

4 closed sales: Spanish Cay #F3 1/1 $310K (our buyer), Seashells #43 2/2 $427K, Loggerhead Cay #222 2/2 $570K, Sunset South #9D 2/2 $585K.

Sanibel River area aka Panama Canal behind Spanish Cay condos

HOMES

3 new listings: 1415 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $459K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 $1.05M, 5391 Shearwater Dr 3/3.5 $1.795M.

3 price changes: 223 Southwinds Dr 3/2 now $719K, 1323 Seaspray Ln 4/4.5 now $1.875M, 418 Bella Vista Way 4/4 now $1.8959M.

6 new sales: 718 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $599K, 9426 Sage Ct 3/3 listed at $995K, 3827 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $1.075M, 201 Violet Dr 3/2 listed at $1.1M, 735 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 listed at $1.249M, 815 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed at $1.395M.

6 closed sales: 2480 Library Way 3/2.5 $600K, 1125 Captains Walk St 3/3 $736K, 1467 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $790K, 1720 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/3 $925K, 2957 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $1.475M. 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 $2.3M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 3941 West Gulf Dr $3.695M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 4566 Buck Key Rd listed at $149K (our listing).

4566 Buck Key Rd lot

1 closed sale: 5251 Indian Ct $600K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Homes #2 3/2 listed at $1.899M.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1659 2/2 $950K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 $2.45M.

1 price change: 11522 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4.5 now $2.495M.

1 new sale: 11540 Laika Ln listed at $1.29M.

1 closed sale: 16801 Captiva Dr 5/5 $2.049M.

LOTS

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

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

A Different First Weekend In December on the Islands (2020)

As Periwinkle Way sparkles at night, it sure is evident that the island December mood is festive even if social gatherings are discouraged and events tempered. We will miss Sanibel’s traditional Luminary tonight and tomorrow on Captiva but appreciate the extra decorating effort that makes an evening drive through the islands so special. Instead of the usual nighttime Luminary events, there are additional offerings and sales at many retail shops all week, from today through December 11.

I again took a quick spin this afternoon down to the lighthouse where the decorations are up, though the sky a little dismal from the next cool front that is arriving this afternoon (my photo below). That’s the 2nd cool front this week. The locals are so excited to wear long sleeves again! (It’s 73 degrees F now, but expected not to get out of the 60’s next Tues/Wed/Thurs.)

Here at SanibelSusan Realty, our listings have had more showings, more action items were completed for upcoming closings, and the team is working on an island-wide holiday mailing. The week’s postings in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follow a couple of news items below.

Good News on the Waterfront

Hooray! Yesterday, the City issued a press release that says: “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Jacksonville District will start reducing outflows from Lake Okeechobee to the estuaries, starting Saturday, December 5. USACE will reduce releases from Lake Okeechobee gradually to allow time for the ecosystems of the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers and estuaries to adjust.

“Beginning December 5, USACE will begin the transition to dry season operations on Lake Okeechobee by implementing a 7-day release with a reduced average target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary of 3,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at the Moore Haven Lock & Dam (S-77). At the same time, the Corps will implement a multi-week release pattern for the St. Lucie Estuary, starting with a 5-day pause to allow for recovery of estuary health, followed by a 7-day average release of 1,500 cfs as measured at St. Lucie Lock & Dam (S-80) near Stuart….”

Sanibel – City Council, Shell Harbor, & COVID-19

City Council – At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, former councilor Jerry Muench was selected to fill the 3-month interim seat vacated by former Mayor Kevin Ruane when he ran (successfully) for County Commissioner. This seat and two others will be filled officially during the upcoming March election.

Also, at this meeting, councilors selected their new Mayor and Vice Mayor. Congratulations go respectively to Mick Denham and Holly Smith. Following those installations, Mayor Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19. Now it goes until December 8, 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.

Shell Harbor – Posted on the City’s website today: “Beginning Monday December 7th, the City of Sanibel will commence dredging of the entrance channel to the Shell Harbor Subdivision. The channel will remain open for use during dredging; however, there may be short periods of time when boat traffic will need to be stopped. Boaters are advised to be alert and aware of the construction operations taking place.  Weather permitting, the project is expected to continue for approximately three weeks. Please PROCEED SLOWLY and CAUTIOUSLY through the area when dredging operations are underway. Contact the Community Services Department at 239-472-6397 if you have any questions regarding the Shell Harbor dredging project.”

COVID-19 – From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 90.

Weeks-ending 3/29 through 11/29 – 36 weeks = 83 cases.

Cases since last Friday – 7 days = 7 cases.

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

Chapel by The Sea’s Christmas Eve Service

Chapel by the Sea’s Christmas Eve service has been canceled, but their lights are up and will be burning each evening until January 10, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Always a popular spot for holiday photos, viewers are advised that masks are mandatory and social distancing (6’ apart) required.

Mortgage Rates Drop to 2020’s 14th Record Low: 2.71%

If you get an offer that has bank financing, stand by for a delay. With interest rates low, lenders are busy. Loan commitments are taking longer than usual, and many closings are occurring late. Below is an article by The Associated Press, posted yesterday on FloridaRealtors.org:

“It’s only a slight drop from last week’s 2.72%, but it’s enough to break another record. One year ago, the rate for a 30-year mortgage loan averaged 3.68%.

“WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. long-term mortgage rates edged lower this week, reaching record lows for the 14th time this year against the backdrop of the pandemic-ravaged economy.

“Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate home loan slipped to 2.71% from 2.72% last week. By contrast, the benchmark rate stood at 3.68% a year ago. The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate loan declined to 2.26% from 2.28%.

“Home loan rates have trended downward through most of this year, bolstering demand from would-be homebuyers or people looking to refinance existing mortgages. But as Freddie Mac noted, home sales have stalled as the lack of available homes for purchase continues to stifle house hunters.

“Home prices have risen significantly in the past year as supply remains near historically low levels. In the latest sign that the economy and job market remain under stress from the resurgent viral outbreak, the government reported Thursday that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to a still-high 712,000.”

‘Tis the Season for Predictions: Realtor.com Is First

Also posted this week on FloridaRealtors.org is the following article by Kerry Smith:

“Economists predict a 5.7% U.S. price increase and 7% growth in sales, but a closer look at 9 Fla. metros finds varying predictions. They range from a projected 1.5% sales growth (4.3% price) in Cape Coral-Fort Myers to 11.6% sales growth (4.7% price) along the Space Coast.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – What will the real estate market look like in 2021? In December, national economists start rolling out their predictions, with the first, realtor.com, publishing their expectations first.

Amid COVID-19 uncertainty, 2021 will be a robust sellers’ market for U.S. buyers as home prices hit new highs (+5.7%) and buyer competition remains strong, according to the realtor.com’s 2021 housing forecast. Their economist expects inventory to make a slow yet steady comeback, providing buyers with some relief. However, increasing interest rates and prices will make affordability a challenge throughout the year.

““The 2021 housing market will be much more ‘normal’ than the wild swings we saw in 2020,” says realtor.com Chief Economist, Danielle Hale. “Buyers may finally have a better selection of homes to choose from later in the year but will face a renewed challenge of affordability as prices stay high and mortgage rates rise. With less cash and no home equity, millennial and Gen Z first-time buyers will be impacted the most by rising home prices and interest rates. While waiting until the fall or winter months of 2021 may mean more home options to choose from, buyers who can find a home to buy earlier in the year will likely see lower prices and mortgage rates.”

“Many of realtor.com’s predictions, however, assume the COVID-19 pandemic will be under control within the first half of the year. Realtor.com’s 2021 housing market forecast

·        Mortgage Rates – Up to 3.4% by year end

·        Existing Home Median Price Appreciation – +5.7%

·        Existing Home Sales – +7.0%

·        Single-Family Home Housing Starts – Up 9%

·        Homeownership Rate – 65.9%

Realtor.com also provides a breakdown of predictions by metro area, and it varies for the nine Florida metro areas included – from a projected 1.5% sales growth (4.3% price growth) in Cape Coral-Fort Myers to 11.6% sales growth (4.7% price growth) in the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville metro area. 2021 predictions for Florida markets

·        Cape Coral-Fort Myers: 1.5% growth in sales, 4.3% increase in prices

·        Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach: 5.4% growth in sales, 6.3% increase in prices

·        Jacksonville: 9.4% growth in sales, 5.0% increase in prices

·        Lakeland-Winter Haven: 5.1% growth in sales, 4.9% increase in prices

·        Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach: 3.7% growth in sales, 7.1% increase in prices

·        North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton: 10.3% growth in sales, 6.6% increase in prices

·        Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford: 10.1% growth in sales, 5.8% increase in prices

·        Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville: 11.6% growth in sales, 4.7% increase in prices

·        Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater: 8.7% growth in sales, 7.5% increase in prices

“What 2021 will be like for buyers? Buyers will find some relief in 2021 as more homes hit the market, but many will struggle with affordability as home prices continue to rise. Mortgage rates will slowly rise toward 3.4% and no longer offset prices as much. The time it takes to sell a home will slow from the late 2020’s frenzy, the economists predict, but fast sales will remain in many parts of the country. It will also be more challenging than 2020 for first-time homebuyers.

“What will 2021 be like for sellers? Sellers will still hold the upper hand throughout 2021. Home prices won’t grow as fast as they did in 2020, but steady increases will continue to push them to new highs. Sellers who list can expect their home to sell relatively quickly in 2021. Many sellers who are also buyers should have their next home lined up before listing.

“Forecast 2021 housing trends: Millennials will continue to drive the market while Gen-Z become market players. Older millennials will likely be trade-up buyers while the larger, younger segment of the generation age into their key home buying years. The oldest members of Gen-Z will turn 24 in 2021 and their impact on the market will only continue to grow from here.

“Affordability will become a growing obstacle. Buyers in 2020 received a huge boost when mortgage rates pushed to new lows, but a lack of inventory and strong demand drove prices up, erasing most of that boost. Buyers will need to act with a sense of urgency if they want to lock in a low rate before home prices increase even more in 2021.

“Inventory will begin the slow road toward recovery. A lack of for-sale homes has plagued the U.S. housing market for the last five years. The problem intensified in 2020, in large part due to an estimated shortfall of nearly 4 million newly constructed homes heading into the year, as well as sellers pulling back due to COVID-19. The number of homes for sale is expected to slowly rebound in 2021, but the road to recovery will be long because the market has to make up for multiple years of declines. While additional homes will hit the market in 2021, it won’t be enough to tip the scales in favor of buyers.

“Suburbs will shine if remote work stays around. As COVID-19 lockdowns gripped many of the nation’s largest cities, it sparked intense buyer interest in suburban homes, further exaggerating a trend that had been slowly emerging over the last couple of years. The big question is what demand will look like once a coronavirus vaccine is widely available. If companies require workers to return to the office, demand may wane. Conversely, if companies commit long-term to remote work, demand for these homes could see an additional boost in 2021.

“Wildcards that could shake things up in 2021:

“COVID-19: The deck is stacked with wildcards for 2021. The most impactful will be the U.S.’s ability to control and contain the spread of COVID-19 as well as distribute a vaccine. Additional lockdowns and quarantines could put a dent in housing inventory and sales, slowing the market and putting increased pressure on buyers. Conversely, if a vaccine is rolled out quickly, it could lead to better than expected sales and a strong increase for home prices and inventory.

“Double dip recession: The possibility of a double dip recession is still in play for 2021. As the U.S. continues in a K-shape recovery, a gap is widening between those with and without jobs, as well as industries recovering well versus those seeing a continued lack of business. In the short term, this could lead to less consumer spending. In the long term, this could impact the U.S. housing market as “would-be” buyers disappear from the market, cooling demand and driving down home prices. The current question is how long the K-shape can diverge before the impact begins to cascade into the broader economy and other previously less-affected sectors such as housing.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 27-December 4, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #261 2/2 $719K, Pointe Santo #D35 2/2 $795K.

2 price changes: Heron at The Sanctuary II #2B 3/3.5 now $749.9K, Sanibel Surfside #124 2/2 now $1.05M.

4 new sales: Sundial #D305 1/1 listed at $519.9K, Coquina Beach #1D 2/2 listed at $549K, Oceans Reach #4D1 2/2 listed at $859K, Sundial #L205 3/2 listed at $1.395M.

8 closed sales: Spanish Cay #F6 1/1 $280K, Sanibel Arms #B7 1/1 $342.5K, Blind Pass #B111 2/2 $420K, Seashells #26 2/2 $425K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #202 2/2 $476.5K, Loggerhead Cay #212 2/2 $560K, Sanibel Arms West #K6 2/2 $569K, Wedgewood #102 3/3.5 $2.425M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1030 Kings Crown Dr 2/2 $879.9K, 3827 Coquina Dr 3/2 $1.075M, 735 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 $1.249M, 837 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3.5 $2.095M.

3 price changes: 315 East Gulf Dr #212 3/2 half-duplex now $559K, 753 Nerita St 3/2 now $579K, 9441 Peaceful Dr 3/3.5 now $1.395M.

14 new sales: 1667 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 listed at $425K; 1027 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $499K; 1001 East Gulf Dr 2/2 listed at $639K; 721 Durion Ct 3/3 listed at $649.9K; 1850 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $699K; 705 Rabbit Rd 3/3 listed at $699K; 1610 Sabal Sands 3/2 listed at $714.9K; 9421 Moonlight Dr 3/2 listed at $775K; 3751 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $839K; 5835 Pine Tree Dr 3/2 listed at $844.5K; 1430 Sanderling Cir 4/3.5 listed at $870K; 1203 Kittiwake Cir 3/3 listed at $997,898; 1259 Par View Dr 3/4 listed at $1.175M; 2564 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 listed at $1.929M.

5 closed sales: 1357 Jamaica Dr 2/3 duplex $540K, 3926 Coquina Dr 3/2 $755K, 4345 Gulf Pines Dr 4/4 $775K, 3351 Barra Cir 3/2.5 $1.165M, 1152 Buttonwood Ln 3/3.5 $1.6M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 9436 Beverly Ln $235K.

1 price change: 3354 Barra Cir now $365K.

1 new sale: 0 Bunting Ln listed at $229,555.

2 closed sales: 2279 Wulfert Rd $295K, 2142 Starfish Ln $400K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Captiva Shores #7B 3/2.5 now $1.399M.

3 new sales: Tennis Villas #3212 1/1 listed at $320K, Sunset Beach Villas #2334 3/3 listed at $950K, Gulf Beach Villas #2028 listed at $1.085M.

1 closed sale: Gulf Beach Villas #2012 2/2 $765K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15138 Wiles Dr 6/5.5 now $6.195M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 16611 Captiva Dr 6/6.5 $4.75M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 11525 Murmond Ln $700K.

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, enjoy the holiday decor! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

Tropical Storms, Multiple Offers, & Other Island Fun!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

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

City of Sanibel – Emergency Declaration, COVID-19

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

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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

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

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

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 2486 Wulfert Rd $100K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

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

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

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

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

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

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

A “King Tide” Kinda Friday on Sunny Sanibel

Another Friday is here with Sanibel and Captiva continuing to get busier with increased daytime traffic on Periwinkle Way. Our days are getting shorter with sunsets closer to 7 p.m. Temperatures have been a little cooler too, often with lower humidity. I heard on a weather report yesterday that the average date for local temperatures to dip below 90 degrees F is October 30. So soon, it will be even cooler. This week, it has been mostly sunny and breezy with day-time temps in the mid-80’s, nights mid-70’s.

This afternoon when teammate Dave and I were checking a new listing at Mariner Pointe, I noticed the canal water over the boat docks. When I mentioned it, Dave said “that’s because of the king tide”. Those happen, usually once or twice a year, in coastal communities. Typically, the highest tides of the year, that made me take my time heading back to the office as I snapped a few photos from a few other locations.

King tide at Mariner Pointe 2020-10-16, see the water over dock area.

On entry road to Sanibel Lighthouse 2020-10-16

Bay beach access at end of Bailey Rd 2020-10-26

End of Dixie Beach Blvd 2020-10-16

Our weekly update about the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

How COVID-19 Has Changed The Real Estate Market

If you did not read the Sunday article on “ForbesLife” titled “COVID-19 Has Changed The Housing Market Forever”, here are a few tidbits.

“Amid all the uncertainty brought on by COVID-19 over the past six months, one thing is assured: the pandemic has re-ordered real estate markets across the board on an unprecedented scale. Some of this may be irreversible. Real estate’s re-sorting this time isn’t just based on markets crashing (the Great Recession), political turmoil (the 1979 oil embargo), or financial speculation (the first and second dot.com busts)—after which there’s generally confidence that overall consumer demand and buyer preferences will sooner or later snap back to normal.

“Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, more deep-seated, tectonic-sized questions beyond markets and interest rates are being asked this time around that no one really has the answers to yet—like will people feel safer living in the south and southwest where they can spend all year social distancing outside? What if companies let workers work remotely for the rest of their lives? Why go back to retail shopping when I’m already ordering everything online? What’s the point of living “downtown” if half of the restaurants, bars, and museums never open back up?

“How these questions get answered will fundamentally re-order how Americans live in the “new” pandemic normal, and as a result will play a huge X-factor in which cities and states will experience growth, demand, and price appreciation over the next 3-5 years, and which ones will stagnate and lose out….

“Against this backdrop, real estate’s new normal is also creating huge swathes of opportunity. Dozens of cities and counties that were once considered too small, too southern, too hot, too flat, or lacking in amenities, culture, or sophistication are now finding themselves being swooned to the top of the real estate desirability lists as Americans seek warmer, healthier, less dense, better educated, and more mobile places to live that offer closer access to the outdoors, better hospitals, smaller schools, and more open space with no clear end to the pandemic in sight….

“The repercussions of America’s great COVID migration has the potential to re-shuffle the essential demographic and economic balance of America for the next generation. Realtors, investors, and politicians should be paying attention…. By every metric, Americans are moving faster now than they were before the pandemic. Page-per-property views on real estate platforms like Realtor and Zillow are up over 50% year-over-year almost everywhere, inventory in America’s 100 top metro markets has been shrinking since March, along with days on market and the gap between list-to-sale price. A lot of real estate experts prefer the word “despite” when it comes to accounting for this phenomenon while the pandemic’s still raging, when it’s probably more accurately “because of”.

““Real estate markets have undergone noticeable shifts since the start of the coronavirus pandemic,” …“In the wake of the lockdowns in March, Americans discovered that existing homes were not adequate for the new work, teach, exercise, cook and live at home reality. Based on realtor.com surveys of consumers, we learned that home shoppers are looking for more space, quieter neighborhoods, home offices, newer kitchens and access to the outdoors, traits which have revived a strong interest in the suburbs and smaller metro areas.”

“…So what’s the bottom line? Keep your bathing suit and laptop ready to pack. The longer COVID-19 continues to push Americans into the “new” normal, the more of us will be moving south and west, working by the pool….”

City of Sanibel – Emergency Declaration, COVID-19, & Rental Property Deadline

Again, this week, Sanibel’s Mayor extended the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until October 20, 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.) Additionally, the City face covering mandate was reaffirmed and remains in effect through the period.

Per the Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 57. (Yes, that is a big increase in the last couple of weeks. Everyone is urged to continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and to avoid group gatherings.)

Also, this week, the City posted a notice to owners of island rental property reminding them that Dwell Rental License and Registration application submission is required by Friday, October 30. Questions about this process should be addressed to Code.Enf@MySanibel.com or Planning at 239-472-4136.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 9-16, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Compass Point #232 2/2 $599K (our listing), Mariner Pointe #411 3/2 $599K (our listing), Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 $1.075M, Kings Crown #302 2/2 $1.499M.

Drone photo of Compass Point taken 2020-10-15 by JMA Photography

View from Compass Point #232

3 price changes: Loggerhead Cay #274 2/2 now $679K, Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 now $726.5K, Tarpon Beach #207 2/2 now $899K (our listing).

Gulf view from Tarpon Beach #207

9 new sales: Spanish Cay #F6 1/1 listed at $293K, Sanibel Arms #B7 1/1 listed at $356.5K, Seashells #43 2/2 listed at $429K, Seashells #26 2/2 listed at $439.9K, Blind Pass #B111 2/2 listed at $475K, Mariner Pointe #813 2/2 listed at $569K, Villas of Sanibel #B202 3/3 listed at $1.895M, Plantation Village #B222 3/3 listed at $2.53M, Wedgewood #102 3/3.5 listed at $2.595M.

6 closed sales: Kimball Lodge #263 1/1.5 $490K, Pointe Santo #D32 2/2 $700K, Sundial #J107 2/2 $700K, Sandpiper Beach #202 2/2 $760K, Gulfside Place #121 2/2 $1M, Sanibel Sunset #301 3/2 $1.8M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 1860 Ibis Ln 5/3 $895K, 770 Elinor Way 3/2.5 $899K, 9277 Belding Dr 3/3 $925K, 1308 Tahiti Dr 3/3 $949K, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 $2.195M.

7 price changes: 9195 Dimmick Dr 2/2 now $449K, 315 East Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex now $579K, 1142 Shell Basket Ln 3/2 now $625K, 1001 East Gulf Dr 2/2 now $639K, 1610 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 now $714.9K, 1430 Sanderling Cir 4/3.5 now $870K, 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 now $4.495M.

4 new sales: 9248 Dimmick Dr 3/3 listed at $699K, 1304 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $750K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 listed at $829K, 2957 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed at $1.525M.

10 closed sales: 9247 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $565K, 490 + 460 Old Trail 3/2.5 $675K, 9024 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $780K, 215 Robinwood Cir 4/3 $800K, 756 Windlass Way 4/3 $810K, 776 Conch Ct 3/2 $850K, 919 Pecten Ct 3/3/2 $900K, 545 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 $1.035M, 790 Beach Rd 4/3.5 $1.18M, 3615 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $2.6M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 6000 White Heron Ln $889K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 2279 Wulfert Rd listed at $318K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 listed at $399K, Lands End Village #1667 2/2 listed at $1.088M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 16189 Captiva Dr 6/4 multi-home now $4.099M.

1 new sale: 1124 Longifolia Ct 4/5 listed at $2.649M.

1 closed sale: 15879 Captiva Dr 3/3 $2.1M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 925 South Seas Plantation Rd listed at $5.899M.

No 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

Paradise Post-Sally… Just Another Sunny Friday!

Tropical Storm Sally caused some excitement on Sanibel this week, even if she did not come ashore here. Following many rainy season days, Southwest Florida already was soggy when the storm slowly passed offshore last weekend. So slowly, that as the week began, the City reported that in just nine days, 20.47” of rain had been recorded. Then, there was more.

Late Sunday, between bands (silly me, I thought it had stopped), I went out to check a nearby listing. Just minutes from my home, I received multiple City and County tornado warning messages – cell calls, texts, and emails. Thankfully, those were just caution alerts. Within the hour, the warnings were canceled. There are some cool wall-of-water photos taken then, posted on www.MySanibel.com.

With more often-heavy rain and strong winds Sunday night, by daybreak Monday, a moat surrounded my home and Anchor Dr, at the gulf-end was impassable in a low vehicle. Since that was the last day of my Continuing Ed classes via Zoom, I opted to take them at home, while Elise opened the office.

A surprise for her was finding SanibelSquare also flooded. A little water made it in up the step and through our back door, but for the most part, the buildings here bordering Periwinkle are OK.

The back buildings were not as lucky. They remained flooded as did the parking lot until the sun came out Wednesday.

Monday when the water in our front lawn along the bike path subsided, Elise spotted the return of a marsh bunny. We were worried about those little guys.

We love our critters and got a giggle Tuesday afternoon when ducks enjoyed our parking lot, swimming by our back door.

Island-wide, including on Captiva, it took nearly all week for the water to go down in many areas. Today, when out doing sign and property checks, I saw high water at the entrance to West Rocks and in the swales along West Gulf Dr. Luckily the forecast for the next week (other than Sunday) has little or no rain expected.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Our listings had a few more inquiries and showings this week. The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

The Association of Realtors® annual 12-part educational series to earn the islands specialist designation began this week. On Tuesday morning, I will be teaching the Resort and 2nd Home Market module by Zoom. It probably will not be as much fun as a classroom setting but I have my course material updated and will do my best to make it informative.

City of Sanibel

Again, this week, Sanibel Mayor Ruane extended the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until September 22, 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.)

Per the Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 49.

Effective today (Sep 18, 2020), on Sanibel, irrigation is permitted only two days per week based on property address. Odd addresses on Mondays and Thursdays, even addresses on Tuesdays and Fridays. No irrigation is permitted between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. As of today, these regulations now apply year-‘round.

Another recent pro-environment City change is: As of Oct 1, 2020, plastic bags many no longer be used for yard and horticulture waste for collection by the City’s waste hauler. Yard and horticulture waste may continue to be properly bundled, collected in refuse containers, or disposed of in biodegradable paper lawn and leaf bags.

SCCF’s Turtle Patrol

SCCF Photo

The Conservation Foundation’s Turtle Patrol reported Monday that more than 50 sea turtle nests on Sanibel and about 25 on Captiva were still incubating as of Saturday. They thought about 10 nests may have washed away on Sanibel, but their team had not been able to assess Captiva due to high water.

Some nests were visibly washed out. Others had their stakes washed away, but eggs still incubating under the sand. Their turtle team worked all week to confirm which nests were fully lost. In some, they found stranded hatchlings and assisted getting them to the gulf.

Their updated report on Wednesday, said “Our team is using a GPS device to confirm which nests have been fully lost…. the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva, once crowded with a record number of yellow stakes marking nests, now host only 51 incubating nests on both islands combined. The season is all but over, with our last nests due to hatch in October. So far, 569 nests have hatched and 32,862 hatchlings have started their long journey to the Loop Current.”

Openings/Closings/September Scoop

The September vacations, deep cleans, and maintenance projects and improvements continue with the following business announcements this week:

Blue Giraffe – reopens tomorrow (Sat, Sep 18).

Cheeburger Cheeburger – reopens tomorrow (Sat, Sep 18).

Joey’s Custard – closed through Sep 30.

Over Easy Café – reopens tomorrow (Sat, Sep 18).

Paper Fig Kitchen – closed through Sep 20.

Schnapper’s – closed through  Sep 20.

The Sanctuary – Is often the site of our annual Realtor® End-of-Season Golf Tournament & Auction which some old-timers still call the “Over-the-Hump Party”. This year, because of the pandemic, it was postponed from late May until mid-October. This week it was announced that The Sanctuary has canceled all member and non-member events through December, so our tournament and party are canceled. But we will still have an RPAC auction – albeit a 2-day on-line event ending with a Zoom meeting. Just another twist to 2020.

Traditions at Island Inn – Closed for vacations through Sept 29.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 11-18, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Casa Blanca #8 2/1 $375K, Sundial #D204 1/1 $450K, Loggerhead Cay #573 2/2 $679K.

4 price changes: Seawind #A108 2/2.5 now $528K, Mariner Pointe #421 2/2.5 now $579K, Loggerhead Cay #192 2/2 now $719K, Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 now $899K.

5 new sales: Seawind #A103 2/2.5 listed at $579K, Loggerhead Cay #532 2/2 listed at $689K, Island Beach Club #220F 2/2 listed at $745K, Blue Gulf #201 3/2 listed at $1.199M, Sanibel Sunset #301 3/2 listed at $1.95M.

2 closed sales: Colonnades #3 1/1 $235K, Pointe Santo #D21 2/2 $530K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1653 Bunting Ln 3/2.5 $647K, 1352 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.095M.

1 price change: 3751 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $839K.

8 new sales: 915 Main St 2/1 listed at $439K, 1797 Serenity Ln 2/2 listed at $445K, 799 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex listed at $570K, 690 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $695K, 9307 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $699K, 1170 Buttonwood Ln 4/2 listed at $899K, 2343 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed at $1.42M, 1175 Bird Ln 4/3/2 listed at $3.25M.

6 closed sales: 3001 Swinging Wind Dr 2/2 $406K; 1350 Middle Gulf Dr #1F (Moonshadows) 3/3 half-duplex $708,375; 1406 Causey Ct 3/2.5 $830K; 1271 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $880K; 1437 Causey Ct 3/2.5 $902K; 940 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $935K.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1159 Golden Olive Ct now $1.599M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 4767 Tradewinds Dr $1,435,750.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

6 new sales: Bayside Villas #5110 1/2 listed at $369.5K, Bayside Villas #4204 1/2 listed at $389K, Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 listed at $399K, Bayside Villas #5228 12 listed at $399K, Bayside Villas #4220 1/2 listed at $415K, Beach Villas #2422 1/1 listed at $545K.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3120 1/1 $300K.

HOMES & 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

Sanibel in September = Sunshine – Showers – Sunsets

 

Now that Sanibel September has settled in, it will be interesting to see how this year compares to those in the past. Usually the slowest month for island traffic, Septembers here usually are filled with annual repair and maintenance projects and a few temporary restaurant closures, staff vacations, and general “get ready for season” preparations. This year, September is coupled with election madness and the effects of COVID-19, but it does not seem to be affecting sales much. The market for single-family homes is hot-hot-hot.

This week, Southwest Florida weather has included plenty of summer showers, sometimes heavy, resulting in standing water in a few locations. Those big puddles make the wildlife happy but keep Lee County Mosquito Control super busy. They are doing a great job, by the way.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates 

Though the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® office remains closed, they have expanded their educational offerings. This week, I took two Zoom classes as part of the 14-hours of Continuing Education Realtors® must take every two years. Tuesday was a 4-hour “Internet Whiz” class by The Real Estate Technology Institute, followed by a 4-hour attorney-presented class Thursday on “Florida Realtors® Contracts”.

Monday is an all-day class that covers Ethics and Core Law. When done, SanibelSusan will be ready for license renewal (and better prepared for the Zoom class she teaches September 22).

This week our listings had some great inquiries/showings with more scheduled this weekend. The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a few news items below.

City of Sanibel

Of concern to many again was the jump in the number of reported virus cases. With schools back in session and more folks traveling, it is not the time to put your guard down.

On Tuesday, Sanibel Mayor Ruane issued City Proclamation 20-062, extending the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until September 15, 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.

Per the Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26, as of September 10, 2020 is 48.

Monday, September 15, at 9 a.m. is a regular City Council meeting with full agenda (available with live audio link at www.mySanibel.com). COVID-19 is one of many items on the agenda. It will be busy for City leaders that day as after the City Council meeting, the first budget hearing begins at 5 p.m.

Openings/Closings/September Scoop

400 Rabbits – probably opening in December at the Rabbit Rd former Doc Ford’s location, this new restaurant (by the owners of Paper Fig) today posted their new logo on Facebook.

It will be a Mexican-inspired restaurant and tequila bar. Now, that’s a new twist for Sanibel.

Fresh Produce – the clothing store at Periwinkle Place has closed for good (& will be missed).

Sanibel Sprout Juice Bar & Vegan Café – with remodeling almost complete, Sanibel Sprout expects to open soon in the former location of Totally Baked in Island Center at 2407 Periwinkle Way.

Traders Restaurant on Sanibel – which usually closes for the month of September for employee vacations will not close this year. Continuing through September, open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 4 to 8:30 p.m. for inside/patio dining, curbside pickup, & free delivery. Live music nightly beginning at 6 p.m.

Condo Projects Underway – In between the summer showers, several community projects are underway. Here are a few noticed this week: Exterior renovation including new paint & railings at White Sands. Major exterior renovation at Sanibel Arms West “B” building. Exterior work at Building C at Sanddollar too. At Loggerhead Cay, elevators being refurbished, & pool resurfaced.

What Precautions Are Vacation Rentals Taking?

Beach walk at Sanibel Moorings

Many have asked what island hotels and vacation rentals are doing to prevent spread of the virus? The below info is extracted from Sanibel Moorings website (www.SanibelMoorings.com) . It is a good example of how hard some businesses are working to keep visitors safe.

“*Important information: Per the City of Sanibel proclamation 20-040, face masks are now REQUIRED for all persons on the Island while indoors at public places, or when social distancing is not possible. Sanibel Moorings will require all persons to wear masks while inside all amenities such as the front office (currently closed for face-to-face interactions), conference room, guest laundry areas, fitness room, and anytime social-distancing is not possible, whether indoors or outdoors.*

“Vacation rentals are still under some restrictions per the State of Florida, Lee County, and the City of Sanibel.

The current restrictions and guidelines affecting Vacation Rentals in Sanibel are as follows:

  • Shall prohibit rentals to persons traveling internationally.
  • Shall allow adequate time between the conclusion of a guest stay and the check-in of the next guest stay for appropriate cleaning and sanitation.
  • Shall clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces in the property between each guest stay.
  • Shall wash all linens, dishware, and other service items available for use by guests between each guest rental.
  • Shall provide sufficient soap and surface sanitation supplies for guests to use in the vacation rental property during the guest’s rental period.
  • Shall ensure adequate safety protocols are in place and publicly displayed, in line with CDC guidance, regarding shared or multi-residence amenities such as pools, gyms, and other communal spaces.
  • Shall follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting their facility, per the CDC site

“Sanibel Moorings Resort’s COVID-19 Cleaning Procedures and Fees: Safety and cleanliness are and always have been a top priority for us at Sanibel Moorings. At this difficult time, we understand providing the safest, cleanest environment for you is paramount and at the top of your mind! While we have always provided the cleanest accommodations, we have enhanced our already stringent protocols.

“Here are a few keys changes we have made to our condo cleaning process:

  • A 24-hour gap between guests is enforced to allow time to properly clean, disinfect and then sanitize every condo.
  • Housekeepers and staff may not enter a condo until at least three hours have passed since a departing guest has left the condo to allow bacteria and viruses in the air to settle to surfaces.
  • After three hours have passed, disinfecting spray will be applied to solid surfaces in the condo and housekeeping will remove all bath towels, sheets, bedspreads, blankets, and pillow shams to be professionally laundered after every guest departure. All garbage and recycling left by the guest will also be removed.
  • Maintenance will then enter the condo to perform preventative maintenance.
  • The following morning, housekeepers will thoroughly clean the condo.
  • After cleaning, the room will be inspected by a head of housekeeping.
  • After inspections, a disinfecting solution will be applied to the entire condo by an electrostatic fogger. The solution is botanical in nature and is non-toxic to humans and animals. Click here for more information about the product.
  • In order to allow the electrostatic fogger cleaning solution to penetrate all surfaces, decorative pillows and unnecessary paper items have been removed from every unit….

“With the new cleaning and disinfecting guidelines in place, we will need to have a minimum of 24-hours between guests in order to properly disinfect each unit. This may affect some reservations already made, which will need to be moved to accommodate this new process. We will contact all guests affected by the 24-hour policy directly. Thank you for your patience and understanding with this change.

“Changes in Staff Standard Operating Procedures:

  • A daily health questionnaire and temperature check is completed by each associate upon arrival to the office.
  • Associates that are not feeling healthy, have a temperature of more than 100.4 or that have symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to stay home, see a doctor, and call their supervisor.
  • Personal Protective Equipment is used by staff while cleaning condos and common areas
  • Masks are required to be worn by associates if they cannot maintain 6ft distance from others

“Current Status of Sanibel Moorings’ services, activities, and amenities (which could change at any time):

The following are OPEN or available:

  • The Beach (Beach chairs and loungers are self-service. Bring your own umbrellas!)
  • Pools
  • Grills
  • Tennis Courts (No equipment is available. Please bring your own.)
  • Conference Center
  • Guest Laundry Rooms
  • Fitness Center
  • Beach Towel Rentals (delivery only)
  • Maintenance Work Orders (unit must be unoccupied while workers are present.)
  • DVD Rental (Delivery Only from 8:00am-4:30pm. Please call or text.)

“The following services, activities and amenities have been suspended or closed until further notice:

  • Beach Umbrellas (Please bring your own through October, 2020.)
  • Monday Shelling Lecture, Wednesday Garden Tours, Friday Beach Walk with Sanibel Sea School (Hopefully resuming in November)
  • Paddle Boards, Bikes, Canoe and Kayak Rentals through Sanibel Moorings
  • Laundry Exchange Window (call or text for delivery of fresh towels from 8:00am-4:30pm). Dirty bath towels should be taken to the Exchange Window bins designated for dirty towels and linens.
  • Maid service for in-house guests

“Our office will remain closed to in-person interactions. We are available, however, via phone, texts, and email from 8:00am-4:30pm every day and from 4:30-6:00pm for guest arrivals (check-ins) curbside….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 4-11, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

5 price changes: Captains Walk #E8 2/1.5 now $385K, Sandalfoot #4B2 1/1 now $489K, Sundial #D305 1/1 now $529K, Sanddollar #B104 2/2 now $998K, Sanibel Sunset #301 3/2 now $1.95M.

6 new sales: Mariner Pointe #1083 2/2 listed at $490K, Kimball Lodge #263 1/1.5 listed at $525K, Kings Crown #112 2/2 listed at $679K, Sandpiper Beach #202 2/2 listed at $789K, Blind Pass #G105 4/3 listed at $969K, Gulfside Place #121 2/2 listed at $1.15M.

3 closed sales: Villa Sanibel #3A 2/2 $625K, Sand Pointe #223 2/2 $735K, Kings Crown #306 2/2 $825K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1357 Jamaica Dr 2/3 duplex $559K.

3 price changes: 799 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex now $570K, 9307 Dimmick Dr 3/2 now $699K, 917 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 now $895K.

10 new sales: 5151 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 listed at $467K, 566 Boulder Dr 3/2 listed at $689.9K, 9128 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $699K, 979 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 listed at $900K, 836 Angel Wing Dr 3/2 listed at $939K, 595 West Rocks Dr 3/3 listed at $1M, 1035 S. Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 listed at $1.099M, 930 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 listed at $1.395M, 5757 Baltusrol Ct 3/3 listed at $1.539M, 676 Gopher Walk Way 4/5 listed at $1.575M.

3 closed sales: 5304 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/3 $750K, 5422 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 $750K, 2417 Wulfert Rd 3/3 $945K.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 9226 Kincaid Ct $129K, 489 Ponce De Leon Rd listed at $219K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Lands End Village #1667 2/2 now $1.088M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Beach Homes #21 3/3 $2,775,050.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 half-duplex listed at $2.495M, 15147 Captiva Dr 6/5.5 listed at $3.995M.

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

Another Beautiful Friday on Sunny Sanibel

Another Friday again is here with the SanibelSusan Team reporting a few more inquires and showings with our listings, plus two new listings this week. (See the views from those listings below.)

View from Mariner Pointe #541

View from Lighthouse Point #229

During the same time, as islanders/visitors continued to dodge summer showers, all eyes were on Hurricane Laura as it gained strength through the gulf. Our thoughts are with those affected by the storm.

Almost daily, Sanibel and Captiva have been getting a good soaking. Wednesday’s afternoon dousing was strong and heavy with minor flooding in some areas. Thankfully, most of that water now has disappeared.

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

2020 Florida Realtors® Virtual Convention

This week was the first Florida Realtors® “virtual” convention. Since the mid-90’s, each August, I have attended these annual conventions in person in Orlando. It certainly was a different experience being virtual. Though it was a disappointment not to network with colleagues, it certainly was easy to hear/see the educational sessions and inspiring keynote speakers from the convenience of office or home. Those I viewed had excellent attendance, perhaps a plus from it being remote and FREE.

Kudos to Realtor® friends, Mike Bruno from Sarasota and Mari Colgan from Tampa who were the event chair/co-chair. Below are a few tidbits from a couple of the sessions I attended via ZOOM.

From the Legal Update presented by Florida Realtors® Law and Policy team, we learned that Florida’s Department of Business & Professional Regulation shows that there are 205,926 active sales associates; 21,641 active broker/sales associates; and 41,844 active brokers. Huge numbers!

When I first got involved with the state leadership team and became part of the Professional Development Committee’s Audition Panel for instructors, we used to say that when folks moved to Florida, they got a real estate license right after they got their Florida driver’s license. That still may be the case.

Florida Residential & Economic Trends (by Dr. Brad O’Connor, Florida Realtors® Chief Economist)

Brad and his research department track data from every area and with input from every Realtor® association in the state. He said that before the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was looking to be a record-breaking year for residential real estate in the Sunshine State. Even with that derailing of the U.S. economy, Florida home values remained stable and sales overall are surging this summer.

In comparing pending sales of existing homes by month to last year, in January and February, Florida sales were more than 12% ahead of last year. Then COVID hit. In March pending home sales were down 22% and in April down 35%. Pending sales of existing condos were off even more, during those winter months which typically bring the most sales in Florida. In March, Florida pending condo sales were off 35%, when compared to 2019. In April, condo sales were down 56%.

May was a month of transition. Pending home sales were up 2.3%, but condo sales still were off, lagging 16% behind last year. Over the summer, pending sales of both homes and condos have improved state-wide. Year-to-date, Florida home sales are up (though less than 1%), while condo sales are down more than 8%.

Interestingly, when looking at actual closed sales by county, Lee and Collier have had more sales than many areas. So far, demand in Florida has recovered faster than supply. Home inventory is down, but not so with condos.

Another interesting tidbit is that the loss in employment is much less in Florida, than nationally.

What is the outlook for Florida’s housing and economy? Brad said several factors will affect this:

  • Inventory shortage looms large
  • Fiscal and monetary policy responses/stimulus
  • Mortgage forbearance & loan delinquency packages
  • Renter eviction moratoria
  • International buyer activity
  • Pandemic progression & school re-openings.

Calling the iBuyer Bluff (by Steven David)

Maybe you are not familiar with the term iBuyer, but I bet you have heard of Zillow, seen their website, and looked up their Zestimate® for a property, maybe your own home. Did you know that the actual market value of a property and a “Zestimate®” are WAY different? (P.S. FYI, an iBuyer is a company that uses technology to make an instant offer on your home.)

As a long-time fan of Steven David, in this class he provided data and calculations that explain the bottom-line difference Realtors® make in listing/selling property.

What is a Zestimate? Steven said that by Zillow’s own account, a Zestimate is the “estimated market value” of a property. By estimated, they mean a home value assigned using proprietary computer algorithms developed by statisticians. A Zestimate does not involve human touch, vision, or interaction.

I deviated from Steven’s presentation and looked up exactly what Zillow says on their website – by their own definition: “Zillow is the leading real estate and rental marketplace dedicated to empowering consumers with data, inspiration and knowledge around the place they call home, and connecting them with the best local professionals who can help.” What does this definition mean? It means Zillow is a marketing company, looking to profit from real estate transactions.

Steven David, through his presentation, commented on how professional Zillow was in their email interactions with him, but the difference between what they said a property is worth and what they were willing to pay for it was astounding.

He used as an example a property in an area that he knows in Margate, FL that had a Zestimate® value of $260,071. Again, Zillow carefully explains on their site that a Zestimate is an estimate of valuation using basic facts or computer-generated data.

What does this mean? It means that no one actually viewed or visited the property, no people were involved in the calculation, no “real” comparables were used, and who knows if that value is what “real” people will pay for it.

Zillow also offered to buy this same property (with $260,071 Zestimate®) for $226,550 and that offer is before they deducted their fees and selling costs.

Here is some info about those: From the $226,550, they deducted 6% selling costs. (Maybe what they think a sales commission could be.) Then they deduct a 1% Zillow service fee. Now the Seller net is down to $210,645, but there is more!

They then deduct closing costs (in this case $3,461). (Maybe they know who pays what for closing costs in that county or area, or maybe it is another Zestimate. The closings costs at that sales price wouldn’t have been that much here.)

Next, they deduct repairs and upkeep based on what they consider the market average for a property in that price range. In this case, they said the repairs needed would be between $9,800 and $17,200. (Where do these numbers come from? Have you ever sold a property that needed that much in repairs?)  For his example, Steven used an average of Zillow’s repair range or $13,500.

Are you wondering how they can deduct monies to fix up a property that they have not seen? Maybe that property is in tip-top condition and does not need a thing.

Pure and simple, using this actual example with the documentation to prove it. Zillow would buy the property they Zestimate at $260,071 for $226,550, with a net to Seller of $193,684 (after deducting their costs of sale). That is more than 25% less than their own Zestimate®.

So, the question becomes, why pay someone to get you less than fair market value? It has been proven time and time again though real sates data, that Realtors® bring added value to a transaction. Above and beyond the money, Realtors® bring hope and confidence to a transaction.

The virus is driving demand to real estate with folks vacating big cities and Florida being one of the best states for growth. Real estate “always” comes back and long-term “always” works. Do not be swayed by an estimate or Zestimate® and do not be taken advantage of by someone who does not know your community and has not seen your property.

Steven said that the total value of all real estate in the United States is $38 trillion. With Zillow, those owners could lose trillions. Be smart, know that a Zestimate may include as much or more than 25% in guesstimated fees.

City of Sanibel COVID-19 Update

On Tuesday, Mayor Ruane extended Sanibel’s declared State of Emergency in response to COVID-19, until September 1, 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.)

The proclamation #20-060 and posting on the City’s website says: “Per the State Department of Health the number of COVID-19 positive cases reported in the 33957 zip code since the inception of the pandemic remains at 41. This is the accumulative number of COVID-19 positive cases since March 26, 2020 not the number of currently active cases.

No new cases on Sanibel have been reported by the Florida Department of Health for the past eleven days. This is not a reason to lessen our community’s diligence in reducing the spread of the virus. To assist the citizens of Sanibel, City staff track Sanibel specific trends of the COVID-19 cases, released to the public by the State Department of Health. As of today (March 25, 2020), the total number of COVID-19 cases reported on Sanibel represent 0.2% of the total COVID-19 cases reported in Lee County (in which Sanibel is located) since the inception of the pandemic. Per the U.S. Census Bureau 2019 Population Estimate, Sanibel represents 0.9% of the total population of Lee County.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 21-28, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Mariner Pointe #541 2/2 $515K (our listing), Lighthouse Point #229 2/2 $712K (our listing), Island Beach Club #220F 2/2 $745K, Pelicans Roost #102 2/2 $959K, Pelicans Roost #106 2/2 $979K.

3 price changes: Mariner Pointe #813 2/2 now $569K, Sanibel Inn #3514 2/2 now $705K, Sanibel Surfside #125 2/2 now $950K.

3 new sales: Spanish Cay #F4 2/2 listed at $399,999; Sand Pointe #223 2/2 listed at $749K; Plantation Village #322 3/3 listed at $2.55M.

1 closed sale: Colonnades #13 1/1 $283K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 915 Main St 2/1 $439K, 3935 Coquina Dr 4/3 $949,949.

5 price changes: 4044 Coquina Dr 2/2 now $499K, 9455 Beverly Ln 2/2 now $524K, 979 Whelk Dr 3/2.5 now $900K, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $925K, 676 Gopher Walk Way 4/5 now $1.575M.

7 new sales: 9247 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $580K, 1068 White Ibis Dr 3/3 listed at $719K, 215 Robinwood Cir 4/3 listed at $829K, 2984 Island Inn Rd 3/2 listed at $849K, 1170 Buttonwood Ln 4/2 listed at $899K, 919 Pecten Ct 3/3/2 listed at $999K, 537 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 listed at $1.095M.

8 closed sales: 1567 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $540K, 9426 Beverly Ln 3/2 $560K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 $589K, 1813 Farm Trl 3/2 $610K, 1476 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $670K, 1515 Angel Dr 3/2 $810K, 660 Durion Ct 3/2 $850K, 401 Lagoon Dr 4/4 $858K.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 5627 Baltusrol Ct now $289K.

1 new sale: 4334 West Gulf Dr listed at $989K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Homes #30 4/4.5 listed at $3.65M.

1 closed sale: Tennis Villas #3234 2/2 $472K.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 11547 Laika Ln 4/4 $1.725M.

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”. I had fun preparing that one!

Until next Friday, enjoy your weekend, the last few weeks of summer, & please contact The SanibelSusan Team if we can help you with real estate on the islands!

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