Sanibel September Snapshots

Susan here reporting another week of little island traffic-wise though over the weekend near Lighthouse Beach, there were lots of boaters just offshore and plenty of beachgoers. Likewise, the causeway beaches were packed Saturday and Sunday. The pent-up demand to “get out” and enjoy post-summer weather continues here even though September usually is the “quiet” month. During the week, the beaches have been super empty probably also related to the area getting plenty of off-and-on showers.

My friend Kim, a manager at the West Wind Inn, occasionally posts a photo on social media when she’s working their pool bar. When I asked if I could use the one she posted Tues (Sep 14), she said “sure”. Enjoy.

(If you haven’t enjoyed a meal yet there or at the Inn’s Normandie Cafe, be sure and do it. Favored by many locals, as well as the late Willard Scott, many will miss seeing him there. Normadie is open daily from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., and again from 5 to 9 p.m.)

Island Real Estate

At the Sanibel & Captiva Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday which I attended via Zoom, only one property was open for viewing, no new sales or price reductions were announced, and just one “coming soon” listing was mentioned.

Our weekly report of the action posted with the island Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. Like the last few weeks, with low inventory, there have not been many sales. I worked both last weekend and will again tomorrow on a home that we hope to post next week as “under contract”. In this “hot market”, sometimes it takes working behind the scenes to create an ideal situation for buyers/sellers. We continue to sleuth for buyers waiting for a particular area or property. We heard from a couple of island owners this week, so some new listings are in the works.

State of the Southwest Florida Real Estate Market

An annual real estate event called Market Trends was held last Thursday at the Caloosa Convention Center in downtown Fort Myers. Attorneys Henderson Franklin were sponsors and posted the following recap of the presentation which focused on the 2021 real estate market in Southwest Florida in three major areas: the residential real estate market, new residential construction, and commercial real estate.

“Continuing the trend from the 2nd half of 2020, both the residential and commercial markets in Southwest Florida sustained their momentum. New homebuyers continue to flock to the region and developers are trying to keep up with demand.

Residential resale market – While we thought the market in 2020 was hot, the resale market in Southwest Florida in 2021 set unprecedented numbers we may never see again. The numbers for existing single-family homes sales continued to rise from 2020 to 2021. Charlotte County saw a 42% increase, Lee County a 44% increase, and Collier County a 65% increase in existing homes sold. The same goes for median sale prices, with Charlotte County seeing a 31% increase, Lee County a 29% increase, and Collier County a 38% increase compared to the previous year.

“With increases in sales and prices, some may begin to fear another market crash. However, the presenters believe we are on track for the market to correct itself rather than seeing a repeat of the previous market crash. The “irrational market” will be replaced by a rational one and we will likely be passing the peak of buyer frenzy that we saw through the height of the pandemic and the early parts of the year.

New construction market – The total number of new building permits for single-family and multi-family in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties has continued to increase. 2020 saw a total of 18,418 residential permits issued. The year-to-date total for residential permits issued in 2021 currently sits at 14,272, with the projected total by year’s end estimated to be 23,400 permits issued. The past 12 months have seen a double-digit percentage increase in new permits in all three counties. Lee County saw an 11% increase, Collier a 22% increase, and Charlotte with an astounding 50% increase.

“As was the case in 2020, individual communities continued to see astounding growth. The top three communities were Ave Maria, Babcock Ranch and Isles of Collier Preserve. To showcase that the residential market continues to grow, look no further than Babcock Ranch, which in 2020 saw 533 new building permits issued to various builders. It currently stands at 691 residential permits issued to various builders in 2021.

“While the big builders like Lennar, DR Horton, and Pulte continue to dominate the market, we have seen a comeback for the small builders, with over 6,000 permits issued to these builders. An interesting new trend taking place in Southwest Florida is the build-for-rent model. This model appears to be aimed at a younger generation looking for homes but wanting more financial flexibility. It will be interesting to see how this trend continues over the coming years.

“While at some stage the market will likely level off, demand in the residential market looks set to continue in 2021 and the foreseeable future in Southwest Florida. As homebuyers continue to move into the region, developers look to continue buying up land and building single-family and multi-family units.

Commercial real estate – While certain sectors continue to be affected by the pandemic, especially with the emergence of the delta variant, the Southwest Florida commercial real estate market as a whole continues to thrive in 2021. Through the height of the lockdown in 2020, commercial sale volume still hit $150 million. Through Q2 of 2021, commercial sales have hit upwards of $560 million, with an astounding 275% increase over 2020. The retail market makes up nearly 50% of the total sales volume in 2021, at approximately $259 million in sales.

“The industrial market has seen an increase in rent and occupancies, with over 2.2 million square feet of industrial space coming into the market. So why such large quantities of space? This increase is due in large part to large-scale distribution centers moving into the region. With e-commerce taking over, fulfillment centers for companies like Uline and Amazon are becoming ever-present in Southwest Florida.

“As we experience a consumer spending rebound, Lee, Charlotte and Collier County all saw increases in rent and occupancy over the last year in the retail market, with goods and services driving the market forward. However, labor shortages due to the pandemic will impact how well this market performs.

“The office market over the last year is stable but an odd one. Rents and occupancies are all up but at times space is economically occupied but physically vacant. This is in large part due to the pandemic and employees working from home, as well as tenants waiting to see how things play out before renewing leases. We have not seen the “great migration” back to the office that we thought. Most new deliveries in the market are now including amenities to try and entice the workforce back into the office. So with these issues, what sector has caused the increase in rent and occupancies? The medical office sector has led the way in this regard. Regional medical groups have taken advantage of the market and have grabbed good land positions in the region.

Take-Away – The Market Trends report this fall showcased how the real estate market in Southwest Florida has continued to thrive thus far in 2021. Both residential and commercial sectors have seen exponential growth. It will be interesting to see how both finish out the year, what their outlook will be heading into 2022, and what impact the pandemic will have on the market going forward.”

Island Hopper Songwriter Fest

Marking its seventh year, the Island Hopper Songwriter Fest begins today and runs through Sept 26. This free 10-day festival – except for a few ticketed events – features singer-songwriters. Today through Sunday (Sept 17) it will be on Captiva, then moves to historic downtown Fort Meyers (Sept 20-23), followed by Fort Myers Beach (Sept 24-26). During the first three days on Captiva, venues include poolside at “Tween Waters, Keylime Bistro, RC Otter’s, Doc Ford’s, Mucky Duck, Sunset Beach (at South Seas), and Green Flash.

The Island Hopper Songwriter Fest is the largest in Southwest FL. This year, over 60 singer-songwriters will preform more than 100 shows. For more info, go to https://www.island-hopper.fortmyers-sanibel.com.

Events Postponed & Temporary Closings

‘Ding’ Darling Day – Due to federal restrictions regarding the coronavirus, the 33rd Annual ‘Ding’ Darling Day at Lakes Park in Fort Myers scheduled on Sunday, Oct 10, has been postponed until spring 2022. Watch www.dingdarlingday.com for the new date and more details. The ‘Ding’ Darling Day Amateur Nature Photography Contest has been extended to Oct 15. Winners will be announced Nov 15. For more info on that, contact Sierra at 239-472-1100 Ext 4.

Restaurants – Below is an updated list of the island restaurants that are closed temporarily for annual vacations, deep cleans and fix-ups, etc. Lighthouse Cafe & Schnapper’s were added to the list this week.

  • Bleu Rendez-Vous Bistro – closed thru Sep 30, reopens Oct 1.
  • Blue Giraffe at Periwinkle Place – closed thru Sep 20, reopens Sep 21.
  • Blue Giraffe 2 at Beachview Estates – closed thru Sep 20, reopens Sep 21.
  • Island Pizza – closed thru Sep 29, reopens Sep 30.
  • Lighthouse Café – closed thru Sep 23, reopens Sep 24.
  • Mad Hatter – closed thru Sep 30, reopens Oct 1.
  • Over Easy Café – closed thru Sep 23, reopens Sep 24.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – closed thru Sep 29, reopens Sep 30.
  • Schnapper’s Hots – closed thru Sep 20, reopens Sep 21.
  • Sweet Melissa’s Café – closed thru Sep 20, reopens Sep 21.
  • Traders – closed Sep 11 thru Oct 5, reopens Oct 6.
  • Traders 2 (T2) – closed thru Oct 4, reopens Oct 5.
  • Traditions on the Beach – closed thru Sep 23, reopens Sep 24.

Sanibel Vaccinations

An article in today’s “Island Sun” by Wendy McMullen describes how Sanibel City Council has been walking on a tightrope trying to get City staff vaccinated. It says,

“Now, it’s attempting to sweeten the pill by offering a $500 incentive for all city staff who have a vaccination certificate.

“Florida businesses and governments that require proof of vaccinations face a $5,000 fine. The federal government has required vaccination or weekly testing. Vaccine passports are banned by the state.

“Sanibel City Council got around the various mandates and restrictions by offering a substantial inducement to city staff who voluntarily provide proof of vaccination before Oct 30 of this year. The $500 incentive has been ratified by the Association of Municipal Employees.

“City Manager Judie Zimomra reported that 78 city employees had been fully vaccinated, six had one vaccination, 43 were unvaccinated and 38 did not respond.

“Those figures are much lower than vaccinations among Sanibel residents, which are around 97%, but similar to those in Lee County. Councilmember Dr. Scott Crater said that the number of people vaccinated in Lee County is lower than in the neighboring counties of Charlotte and Collier, and lower than in Broward County on the east coast. Lee County was averaging 10 deaths a day from COVID-19.

“Dr. Crater provided information about the 10 vaccinations that children must have before they attend school and the diseases that have been all but eradicated as a result.

“Planning Commission Chairman Roger Grogman said that employers can require drug tests for safety reasons and COVID presents the same safety issues. “Safety, safety, safety. Not safety for you, but safety for everyone around,” he said, speaking in public comment.

“Applicants for city jobs are required to be tested at the time they are hired but vaccination is not required. Zimomra estimated that it would reduce the pool of applicants by between 25 and 30%.

“A suggestion from Councilmember Mike Miller that unvaccinated city employees get tested weekly was considered impractical. City council decided that it would encourage city staff to get vaccinated, track vaccinations, require K95 or N95 masks for the unvaccinated and reward those that are vaccinated now or who get vaccinated. The decision was unanimous.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 10-17, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sundial #R402 2/2 $1.249M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Blind Pass #C201 2/2 listed at $590K, Seashells #16 2/2 listed at $599.9K, Mariner Pointe #231 2/2 listed at $674.9K.

7 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #211 1/1 $525K, Mariner Pointe #323 2/2.5 $533K, Sanibel Inn #3514 2/2 $665K, Sanibel Inn #3513 2/2 $690K, Breakers West #A5 2/2 $725K, Loggerhead Cay #282 $685K, Sundial #E104 2/2 $1.299M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 700 Birdie View Pt 3/2 $985K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 535 Birdsong Pl 3/2 listed at $695,555; 4771 Tradewinds Dr 3/3 listed at $2.99M.

7 closed sales: 1536 Bunting Ln 3/2 $775K, 1270 Par View Dr 3/2 $859K, 5268 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $950K, 1319 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $1.15M, 1350 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $1.199M, 743 Durion Ct 3/2 $1.31M, 4949 Joewood Dr 5/5 $4.075M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1219 Par View Dr $449K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 6141 Starling Way $800K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

3 new sales: Tennis Villas #3210 1/1 listed at $499,999; Beach Villas #2638 3/3 listed at $1.349M, Captiva Shores #8A 3/2.5 listed at $1.795M.

2 closed sales: Beach Homes #25 3/2 $1.881M, Beach Homes #33 4/3 $3.1M.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday! Happy weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Photo below taken Sep 2018, during our Realtor Continuing Education class on the water. These are the fish houses of North Captiva. September clouds always great!

Sun shining, breeze blowing, islanders smiling

Susan here, reporting that The SanibelSusan Team is beating the bushes looking for listings. With island sales brisk, it is a first for us to only have two available properties in February. Our other listings are all under contract as we work through the sale milestones associated with those purchase contracts.

If you know anyone looking to sell, please tell them that the market is in their favor and the SanibelSusan Team would be happy to help them.

Below is an update of the island sales stats. The number of sales in 2020 was higher than in decades, but the year-to-date sales are even more remarkable. Remember, The Sanibel Susan Team updates our island-wide inventory lists every weekend. If you would like a new one, they easily are e-mailed or snail mailed, just let us know.

# of

Properties

For Sale 2/19/2021 Under Contract 2/19/2021 Sold/Closed 2021 to 2/19 Sold/Closed 2020 Sold/Closed 2019
SANIBEL
Condos 67 57 27 192 127
Homes 53 73 46 288 211
Lots 31 30 8 23 15
CAPTIVA
Condos 14 14 5 47 29
Homes 22 15 7 27 17
Lots 3 0 0 4 1

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

At SanibelSusan Realty

My favorite tree at home, which was leafless after the storm in Oct, is popping with color today (2-19-2021)!

I was out showing property again over the weekend. One showing was at a home new to the market which already had an offer and four showings lined up. Another property the prospects wanted to view was seller occupied and they would not allow a showing until after the holiday weekend. That can be tough when a buyer is flying home before they will let them in. Too bad, they would have been a good candidate for that property.

There are challenges even in a hot market. Buyers needing financing find their island competition tough, since so many buyers write “cash” offers. Some buyers will not buy sight-unseen, though they often compete with offers where buyers do not need to personally view a property. Couple that with offices often closed on weekends, it pays to have built strong relationships with colleagues. Thankfully, we work hard to keep our relationships positive.

Before showing property, it always makes sense to thoroughly discuss with the prospect how the sale process works here. It is not only the Florida sales contracts that are different. But on-island, deposits are much higher than on the mainland. The basic contract most often used also is not the norm. Add to that the extra time needed in a “hot market” to accomplish inspections, appraisals, and surveys. These also are opportunities where it pays to have strong vendor relationships. The “golden rule” goes a long way in this real estate business.

At The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Monthly Membership Meeting

Yesterday was the local Realtor® Association February membership meeting. Meeting via Zoom sure ain’t like in person, but the monthly meeting is when we have a speaker, so always interesting.

SCCF – This month’s speaker was Ryan Orgera, CEO of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) with an update on what is happening there. One phrase he used that I thought was particularly apropos to Sanibel’s mission statement, The Sanibel Plan, and SCCF’s mission is “balance over unfettered development”.

A couple of changes at SCCF is their new logo which was recently launched, illustrating their evolution and based on the three elements inspired by their work to protect land, water, and wildlife. The logo features sawgrass which is an iconic wetland plant, water (representing water quality, marine life, and sea-level rise), and a royal tern representing shorebirds and the monitoring and research SCCF performs with various species of wildlife.

Another SCCF change is their new magazine called “Connecting You to Nature” which will be published three times a year. The first issue is arriving now in mailboxes. It reflects on SCCF’s progress since 1967, including projects completed, underway, and in planning.

One project just announced is SCCF’s Periwinkle Wetlands Campaign which a 12+acre parcel at the corner of Periwinkle Way and Purdy Drive. It includes 525’ along the Periwinkle Way shared-use path between Purdy and Martha’s Lane. It extends inland 1,800’ back into the wetlands toward the Sanibel Slough. With a campaign goal to raise $2.4M before October 31, 2021, the acquisition of these lands for conservation protects them from development. Pending City approval, the nearly two acres along the roadway are earmarked as community green space with native landscaping, a shell trail, and educational area sharing everyone’s role in protecting and nurturing SW Florida’s coastal ecosystems.

Some other SCCF projects that Ryan mentioned included their help in the relocation of 300 Florida box turtles discovered from a nearby poaching ring. It was a surprise to hear that 40% of China families have a pet turtle because of the animal’s religious significance in Buddhism. He asked that everyone report to the police any suspicious activity with any wildlife – not just turtles. He also mentioned that poachers often are involved in other serious crimes, like human and drug smuggling. Who knew?

At the SCCF Marine Lab and Research Lab, Ryan mentioned their work through an EPA grant. While oyster restoration of 25 acres in the sound is another project underway. These oyster bed areas were disturbed/destroyed when the causeway islands were created.

Following up on the Sanibel Sea School, it became wholly part of SCCF in January 2020. One of their new endeavors is a scholarship program called “Girls in Science” (with Florida Gulf Coast University) whereby girls interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education may take advantage of SCCF’s program which brings them to the island. He mentioned girls living within five miles of Sanibel that have never been here to experience the water, wildlife, environment.

Concerning Florida’s legislative session which begins March 2 (same day as our City Council election), Ryan encouraged everyone to pay particular attention to the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area. He said the full weight of the community may be needed to push this project forward with full funding. Watch SCCF’s alerts for action and please support them.

He also encouraged members to attend Coastal Watch Focus 2021 which is an annual Everglades update. To tune in, go to SCCF’s website (SCCF.org) on Wednesday, February 24, from 6-8 p.m.

RPAC Awards – The Association of Realtors® RPAC Committee again thanked members for their continued contributions to RPAC. In 2020, The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association won four state awards and two national awards, including the Triple Crown. Local RPAC contributions placed our association within the top 15 in the nation.

Easter Donations for F.I.S.H. – The Association’s Communication & Public Relations Committee is spearheading efforts to provide donations to F.I.S.H. for Easter. Between now and March 19, members and the public are asked to drop of contributions at the Association Office. Items needed for children’s Easter baskets and holiday dinners include the baskets themselves and basket filler, plus children’s books, toys, candy, plastic eggs, etc. and such canned/packaged food items as corn, peas, mashed potatoes, pasta, etc.

Recent Commercial Sales

Jensen’s Twin-Palm Cottages & Marina – Posted this week in the local MLS was the sale of Jensen’s on Captiva. Including both business and real estate, the sale included over an acre on the bayside of Captiva with 14 historic rental cottages, 35 marina slips, fuel dock, boat fleet, ship store, and offices. On the market off-&-on since late 2017, the sale price of $11M was significantly less than the original ask ($19,850,000). Purchaser was Roberts Development Corp.

The Green Flash – Another recent sale was this Captiva restaurant. The new owners are Captiva Hospitality Restaurant Group (owned by Tim and Julie McGowan). The sale included both the real estate and restaurant. The McGowan’s have already expanded the outdoor patio seating and initiated dinner service to the dockside tables at The Green Flash, which has 15 dock slips so diners may arrive by boat.

Sanibel – COVID-19

The City declared State of Emergency, issued in response to COVID-19, has been extended by Mayor Mick Denham until February 23, 2021, unless further extended. Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven (7) days and thus must be updated weekly as long as the emergency conditions are present.

Additionally, the City of Sanibel face covering mandate is reaffirmed to be consistent with the Governor’s Order 20-244 and shall remain in force and effect through the duration of the 7-day state of local emergency. Social distancing encouraged and group gatherings are to be avoided.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through February 17 is 226 cases. This is the number of cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go.

Timing for number of cases reported included 134 cases last year (with 50 being in December). January was the highest month with 69 cases. The first 17 days in February, 23 cases were reported. PLEASE CONTINUE TO STAY VIGILANT.

Annual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner Canceled

Understandable with COVID concerns, but still disappointing, to hear that this Kiwanis event is canceled this year. Realtor® pal Mary Lou Bailey and I have attended the spaghetti dinner for many years, though not quite for the three-plus decades that this February dinner has been enjoyed by thousands of residents and visitors. It is an island tradition and the longest-running community event.

As one of the club’s major fundraisers, the annual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner supports scholarships for local youths and grants to island non-profits for youth recreation and educational activities. We still can support the scholarships and activities by participating in their Silent Auction and Raffle which will be in a virtual format online with details coming soon.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 12-19, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial #D408 1/1 $529.9K, Sanibel Surfside #234 2/2 $819K, Sanibel Arms West #D6 2/2 $955K, Tarpon Beach #109 2/2 $1.1M.

2 price changes: Loggerhead Cay #261 2/2 now $714.5K, Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 now $724.5K.

11 new sales: Captains Walk #B3 1/1 listed at $299.9K, Captains Walk #B5 2/1 listed at $392K, Sanibel Arms West #C5 2/2 listed at $450K, Sundial #F307 1/1 listed at $479K, Sandalfoot #2C2 2/2 listed at $657K, Lighthouse Point #221 3/2 listed at $719K, Sand Pointe #113 2/2 listed at $789K, Sanibel Arms West #F1 2/2 listed at $949K, Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 listed at $999.5K, Gulfside Place #301 3/3 listed at $1.95M, Sandpiper West #1 3/3 listed at $2.15M.

6 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #C7 1/1 $343K, Sundial #G406 1/1 $490K, Sandy Bend #6 2/2 $979K, Atrium #103 2/2 $1.095M, Sundial #P402 2/2 $1.15M, Somerset #D302 3/2.5 $1.63M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 1940 Periwinkle Way 3/2 half-duplex $569K, 649 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $759K, 1683 Bunting Ln 3/3 $895K, 1421 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $949K.

4 price changes: 490 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 now $1.435M, 1283 Isabel Dr 3/2 now $1.895M, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 now $1.99M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 4/4 now $4.395M.

13 new sales: 3085 Poinciana Cir 2/2 listed at $599K, 9211 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $699K, 1753 Bunting Ln 3/2 listed at $725K, 888 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed at $749.9K, 649 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 listed at $759K, 1683 Bunting Ln 3/3 listed at $895K, 1050 White Ibis Dr 4/3.5 listed at $935K, 567 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/3 listed at $1.049M, 685 Sea Oats Dr 3/2/2 listed at $1.089M, 2843 Wulfert Rd 4/5 listed at $1.295M, 5076 Joewood Dr 3/2 listed at $1.329M, 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 listed at $1.644M, 1206 Bay Dr 4/5.5 listed at $3.399M.

8 closed sales: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 $487K, 1029 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/2 $570K, 1850 Farm Trl 3/2 $649K, 9277 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $675K, 4661 Rue Bayou 2/2 $700K, 1039 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $980K, 1345 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.049M, 418 Bella Vista Way 4/4 $1.7M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 255 Hurricane Ln now $368K.

6 new sales: 1820 Ardsley Way listed at $179.9K; 355 Cowry Ct listed at $295K, 3308 Saint Kilda Rd listed at $469,555; 217 Violet Dr listed at $549K; 5749 Sanibel-Captiva Rd listed at $629K; 1028 Bayview Dr listed at $2.195M.

1 closed sale: 1313 Par View Dr $310K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3118 1/1 $350K.

2 price changes: Beach Homes #25 3/2 now $2.095M, Lands End Village #1634 3/3 now $2.32M.

1 new sale: Captiva Cove #2A 3/2 listed at $1.295M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

4 new sales: 11541 Laika Ln 4/4 listed at $2.15M, 15146 Wiles Dr 2/2 listed at $2.389M, 11522 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4.5 listed at $2.495M, 16447 Captiva Dr 7/6/2 listed at $2.79M.

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, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

It’s a Tropical October on Sanibel & Captiva!

It has been another beautiful sunny Friday on Sanibel after a few cloudy rainy days earlier in the week – from more tropical waves passing through SW Florida. Those were a reminder that hurricane season runs through the end of November, though this time of the year sunny afternoons start outnumbering the rainy ones. (Photos here taken yesterday by JMA Photography for our new listing at Mariner Pointe #411, ground-level bayview 3 bedroom.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® continues to be physically closed for group gatherings, but at our monthly Zoom membership meeting yesterday, we heard insurance updates from two affiliate members: David Arter with Private Client Insurance Services and Chris Heidrick with Heidrick & Co. Insurance & Risk Management Services. I took a few notes, though some of the news was not the best.

Chris Heidrick in discussing flood insurance reminded that all properties located in AE or VE flood zones that get a mortgage will need flood insurance as a loan requirement. The coverage must be enough for either replacement cost, $250K, or the amount of the loan. Regarding condominium master flood insurance policies, he said associations may buy a master policy that also covers the individual units (up to a maximum of $250K/unit). These do not cover contents. However, many (most) associations do not buy this additional coverage or up to the $250K/unit allowed, so buyers getting a loan need to be prepared to pay for supplemental or enough coverage to satisfy their loan.

In 2014, occupancy also became a factor in the cost of flood insurance. Grandfathering does not apply to occupancy, but basically a property that is owner occupied and not rented at all will pay a lower flood premium.

Properties build pre-FIRM (or before there were area Flood Insurance Rate Maps) may see increases as much as 25%. Pre-FIRM on Sanibel is property constructed before April 1975, before October 1984 on Captiva. With many flood insurance policies assumable, Realtors® were advised to get the insurance carrier and policy information from a seller when a property is listed.

Area flood maps also are in the process of being changed. The new preliminary maps show many VE areas (those with highest premiums) changing to AE (also a velocity zone, but less expensive as rated with less chance of flooding). This map change process takes time with the new maps likely not resulting in rate reductions for a year or two. (You can view these maps and look up your property at http://www.msc.fema.gov. Be sure and check, you may be surprised to see that a property is, or will soon be, eligible for a reduction.

Further regarding flood insurance, Chris advised that beginning in October 2021, properties will no longer be rated based on flood map or flood zone, but rather on a system called “Risk Rating 2”. This system rates a property based on its risk factors like type of construction/structure, actual elevation, proximity to water, etc. Flood maps will still be needed but will not determine the premium amount.

David said that up until about 2018, insurance providers were looser with their underwriting requirements. As an example, prior to that time, a shingle roof that was 15 years old was acceptable, sometimes even those 18 years old, provided they had three years of life left.

Today, with so many storm payouts since then, often because of lawsuits from 3rd party insurance assignees, and Florida paying for the brunt of the claims, a single roof that is less than 10 years old now may be required. Premiums are increasing from 5% to as much as 30-40% (yikes).

Underwriting requirements are tighter with the best rates for properties built in 2014 or newer. For older properties, David’s advice is to mitigate them. Replace the roof, get opening protection (impact glass, shutters, on every opening), and ensure your roof has hurricane clips with three nails. (There are even local companies that specialize in this third nail.)

For new listings, Realtors® were advised to get the Wind Mitigation Report (in addition to the Elevation Certificate). Quizzed on what roof is best, David’s answer was “metal”, provide it meets 2001 building code.

David acknowledged that Florida Realtors® using RPAC dollars was instrumental in the recent reform on Assignment of Benefits, but more change is needed. Those legislative actions take time, with continued torte reform action needed.

RPAC Update – With a few weeks remaining in 2020, even with the many obstacles this year, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® already has raised over 400% of their RPAC goal. Always looking to get 100% participation from our members, there may be another push to get more contributors. Including from our RPAC Auction last week, over $22K has been raised this year – all to go toward preserving and protecting real estate and property rights. Congratulations to the two successful bidders that won SanibelSusan’s lobster dinners.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Real Estate Statistics

As we work through the last quarter of the year, it is interesting to see how the market had rebound from those COVID weeks/months of lockdown. The benefits of island living are now more appreciated than ever. The below data as of today, proves it. Shown are the number and average price of the properties for sale now, those under contract, and those that have already sold and closed this year. Also shown are the statistics 2019 (in total) and the island often-referenced most recent “peak” year or 2006.

Condos Homes Lots All Residential
# Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
Sanibel
For Sale 98 764,405 82 1,882,465 53 848,512 233 1,177,245
Under Contract 38 933,834 53 964,097 11 406,686 102 892,709
Sold 2020 thru 10/23 128 719,381 219 956,023 14 628,419 361 859,411
Sold in 2019 127 694,392 211 949,790 15 372,200 353 833,361
Sold in 2006 143 866,972 156 1,143,682 18 523,917 317 983,665
Captiva
For Sale 24 1,517,500 32 4,129,281 3 4,580,000 59 3,089,779
Under Contract 13 558,607 7 2,390,285 1 5,899,000 21 1,423,471
Sold 2020 thru 10/23 29 891,070 18 2,945,666 2 1,925,000 49 1,688,021
Sold in 2019 29 1,037,077 17 2,737,503 1 1,375,000 47 1,659,315
Sold in 2006 21 1,362,476 10 2,307,375 4 2,218,750 34 1,737,669

Note: Avg Price – shown in italics above for the properties “Available” & “Under Contract” – is average asking price.

The representation is based on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the author nor the Association guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.

The statistics show that more property has already sold (and closed) on the islands that in all of last year, with inventory low today, particularly for Sanibel homes. With homes, the entry-level and mid-range ones are moving best, while with Sanibel condos, it is the larger more residential variety that are the top sellers.

With last quarter usually when island sales pick up, it will be interesting to see what the next few weeks bring, particularly after the election which often creates a hiccup while voters are distracted. Seems the many distractions this year, including the pandemic have served to make island real estate more desirable. Fingers crossed that the investment variety with rental bookings start moving next, those usually follow residential sales.

City of Sanibel – Emergency Declaration, COVID-19

Again, this week, Sanibel’s Mayor extended the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until October 27, 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 60. (There were just 50 cases during the initial six months, but there have been ten since the first of this month. Please stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.)

Help the Gopher Tortoises

The City of Sanibel Department of Natural Resources encourages participation in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) tortoise conservation efforts. FWC launched a new interactive web application that functions on any device and records sightings. Click here to learn more and report a sighting.

Sanibel has a sizeable population of gopher tortoises and is listed as a threatened species and is protected by both state and local laws. Gopher tortoises are long-lived reptiles that occupy upland habitat throughout Florida. They did deep burrows for shelter, forage on low-growing plants, and share their burrows with more than 350 other species (therefore, referred to as a keystone” species) Gopher tortoises must be relocated before any land cleaning or development takes place, and property owners must obtain permits from the FWC before capturing and relocating tortoises.

The gopher tortoise is one of five North American tortoise species and is the only tortoise naturally found east of the Mississippi River. Its range includes from southeastern Louisiana east to southern South Carolina, and south to Florida, where they are found in all Florida counties.

It is a moderate-sized terrestrial turtle, averaging 9-11” in length when fully grown, though can reach up to 15”. It is identifiable by its stumpy elephantine hind feet and flattened shovel-like forelimbs covered in thick scales. Hatchlings (less than a year old) and juvenile tortoises tend to be yellow-orange and brown in color, but the bright color fades with age. The shell of an adult gopher tortoise generally is tan, brown, or gray.

They can live 40-60 years in the wild, though captive tortoises may live 90+years. The breeding season occurs between March and October. Females typically lay one clutch of 5-9 ping-pong ball-sized eggs per year with eggs deposited between May and July. They nest in open sunny locations frequently with a soft mound of sand at the entrance of their burrow (called a burrow apron). Egg incubation lasts 80-110 days with hatchlings emerging between August and November.

The life of a gopher tortoise revolves around its burrow where they spend 80% of their time. Burrows average 15’ long and 6.5’ deep, though have been documented reaching up to 40’ long and 10’ deep. The burrows help to regulate their body temperature, offer shelter from predators, and serve as refuge for other species including burrowing owls, Florida mice, indigo snakes, rabbits, gopher frogs, and more.

If you see a tortoise crossing a busy road, FWC grants permission to move it across the road in the same direction it was headed if it is safe for you to do so. Do not move the tortoise to another location or put it in a cage as this constitutes illegal possession.

To protect the community gopher tortoises and their habit, Sanibel property owners can:

  • Plant native vegetation for them to feed on.
  • Maintain open areas by trimming back woody vegetation that can “shade out” gopher tortoise burrows.
  • Leave existing gopher tortoise burrows undisturbed.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 16-23, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sanibel Arms #C5 2/2 $499K, Signal Inn #10 1/1 $529K, Sanibel Arms West #K7 2/2 $562.5K, Sundial #G204 2/2 $749K, Sundial #O405 2/2 $1.25M.

3 price changes: Seawind #A108 2/2.5 now $527K, Sandpiper Beach #205 2/2 now $815K, Pelicans Roost #106 2/2 now $959K.

6 new sales: Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 listed at $419K, Sundial #F205 1/1 listed at $419K, Loggerhead Cay #332 2/2 listed at $549K, Somerset #A101 3/2.5 listed at $1.7M, Sanibel Sunset #201 3/2 listed at $2.195M, High Tide #B302 3/2 listed at $2.295M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

2 new listings: 915 Fitzhugh St 4/2.5 $945K, 685 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $1.1425M.

4 price changes: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 now $519,555; 2001/2003 Mitzi Ln 6/6 duplex now $899K; 9426 Sage Ct 3/3 now $1.039M; 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $1.769M.

8 new sales: 1001 East Gulf Dr 2/2 listed at $639K, 731 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $737K, 543 Boulder Dr 3/2 listed at $799K, 1860 Ibis Ln 5/3 listed at $895K, 770 Elinor Way 3/2.5 listed at $899K, 549 East Rocks Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.095M, 2957 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed at $1.525M, 1133 Golden Olive Ct 3/3.5 listed at $2.269M.

7 closed sales: 1797 Serenity Ln 2/2 $430K, 5151 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 $447K, 915 Main St 2/1 $450K, 1031 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $695K, 1671 Hibiscus Dr 5/3 $1.05M, 676 Gopher Walk Way 4/5 $1.4445M, 2323 Starfish Ln 4/4 $2.415M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2933 Wulfert Rd $359K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 5627 Baltusrol Ct listed at $289K.

1 closed sale: 9226 Kincaid Ct $122K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sunset Beach Villas #2314 2/2 $779K.

1 price change: Lands End Village #1634 3/3 now $2.345M.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #5136 1/2 listed at $399K, Beach Villas #2525 2/2 listed at $760K.

3 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5110 1/2 $350K, Bayside Villas #5304 3/3 $639K, Captiva Shores #C6 2/2 $1M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 11515 Gore Ln 5/4.5 listed at $2.395M.

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

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