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

BOGO With Gulf Of Mexico Tropical Storms

Time for another Friday update from SanibelSusan Realty, where we are keeping a watchful eye on the weather. 2020 sure has been one for the record books. Today, adding that two tropical storms are expected to arrive simultaneously in the Gulf of Mexico adds to the unpredictability of the year.

Teammate Dave was out this morning checking our listings and we will continue to follow projections. The latest indicates that Tropical Storm Laura may be nearby, though maybe off shore, Monday into Tuesday.  

Meanwhile, though the islands already have experienced plenty of summer showers this week, the surrounding gulf waters are clear and beautiful. Jim Sazbo, owner of SanCap Aerial photography, provider of drone views for the City, on Wednesday posted the below photo showing the Lighthouse end of the island. May the water stay looking like this!

Island Real Estate Action

Island sales action has slowed a little this week. Often fewer visitors are here late August through September, but it also is the time that those looking usually are serious – particularly those wanting to have a property in place to enjoy or rent this winter.

We got an inquiry this week about one of our condo listings that resulted in a showing and it was interesting to hear the same question from them that I heard last week from a buyer interested in another complex.

That question is “Why are so many properties for sale in that community?”. It certainly makes sense to ask why owners are selling and to be cautious if it looks like a community may have a problem. But in all my years here, it has been rare to have owners want to sell because of something negative about a neighborhood. More often, owners sell to move up to another property, or for investment, or because of a change in life situation.

What also is interesting is that some communities sell more one year than aother, often without a common explanation. Here are a few that have had noticeable jumps in sales this year:

  • Blind Pass condominiums: 5 units have sold/closed this year to-date, compared to just 2 in all of 2019.
  • Gulfside Place, 4 sold/closed, compared to 2 last year.
  • Sand Pointe, 5 sold, compared to 2 last year.
  • The Dunes, 20 homes have sold to-date, compared to the same number in all of 2019, but another 10 are under contract.
  • Sanibel Estates, where I live, 12 homes have sold, compared to 9 last year, 2 others under contract.
  • Sanibel Isles, 4 homes sold to-date & 2 under contract, just 1 sale in 2019.
  • Captiva in South Seas Plantation, Bayside Villas: 2 sales last year, 4 year-to-date, 7 more units under contract in last 2 weeks.
  • Captiva Beach homes also are ahead of last year: 3 homes sold then, 5 have sold this year, 3 others under contract.

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

Here in the office, I am close to finishing my annual update of the Resort & 2nd Home module that I teach for the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist Designation. It is challenging trying to convert it to a Zoom format without losing the fun associated with in-person classes. Hoping to learn some tips, I have signed up to take the 14-hours of Continuing Ed required of Realtors® every two years, by Zoom.  

Openings/Closings/Rescheduling

City of Sanibel – On Tuesday, Mayor Ruane extended Sanibel’s declared State of Emergency in response to COVID-19, until August 25, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute the maximum time for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days, so it must be updated weekly while there are emergency conditions.)

Since March 26, a total of 41 COVID 19 cases have been reported on Sanibel by Florida Department of Health (DOH).

F.I.S.H. 12th Annual 10K Race Will be Virtual – While the “official” date of the race was scheduled for October 24, runners may participate virtually and log their time at any point from when they register through October 31. Registration will open later this month through the Fort Myers Track Club. More info regarding incentives for runners who help register groups or raise funds for F.I.S.H. will be available on the F.I.S.H. and Fort Myers Track Club websites. Participants will receive a dri-fit shirt with this year’s Hortoon logo and matching face covering. (www.fishofsancap.org). (SanibelSusan will not be needed as a Sanibel Square race safety monitor this year, but fully supports all that this wonderful organization has done and continues to do for those needing a hand, particularly in these trying times. The Association of Realtors® Summer 2020 challenge continues with our members and affiliates donating bags of items with school supplies and non-perishables for the F.I.S.H. food pantry. Their needs this year are enormous.)

Library Reopens – Monday, the Sanibel Public Library’s building reopened to the public following a deep clean. Precautions are in place to help protect staff and visitors from COVID-19. Inside the building, social distancing and wearing of masks (except those under age 6) are required. Library cards are available at no charge to residents of Sanibel and Lee County. Visitor library cards are available for a $10 annual fee. The Library is open Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more info, call 239-472-2483 or visit online at www.sanlib.org. Contact-less curbside service is continuing, call or go online to place a hold.

Virus May Have Boosted the Housing Market

Locals recognize that the pandemic is boosting the island real estate market, but here is a more national glimpse, from an article posted August 11 on FloridaRealtors® by Kerry Smith.

“In earlier times, a pandemic + recession would have slowed the market, but today’s unique circumstances seem to have sparked an even stronger demand for homeownership.

“SEATTLE – Three-quarters of homebuyers who plan to buy a home within the next 12 months say the coronavirus pandemic has impacted their homebuying plans – and one in four (25%) says it caused them to move faster or speed up their timeline.

“However, one in five (20%) say they’ve postponed homeownership, and 17% are now looking at less expensive homes, according to a survey conducted by Redfin.

““Somewhat counterintuitively, the coronavirus-driven recession is propping up the housing market,” says Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. He says homebuyer demand surged in the second quarter of 2020 even though GDP took a nosedive.

““Americans value the home more than ever and are willing to prioritize housing even as they cut back on other expenses,” says Fairweather. “Additionally, the Fed is using low interest rates to stimulate the economy, which is giving buyers more purchasing power and boosting home sales. But even with low rates, widespread unemployment and financial uncertainty mean not everyone who wants to buy a home is able to” do so.

“The pandemic’s most common homebuyer impact is a desire for more space: 21% of respondents want a designated area to work from home and 21% want more outdoor space; in addition, 10% of respondents now want a bigger home, and 7% want a designated space for children to learn from home.

““When the pandemic first hit, a few buyers canceled contracts due to economic uncertainty and concerns about potential layoffs,” says Phoenix Redfin agent Thomas Wiederstein. “I’ve also had some clients take breaks from searching because they don’t know how the economic situation is going to play out.

“But then there’s the other side,” says Wiederstein, “those who are encouraged by low mortgage rates, sitting around in their tiny apartment dreaming of the space a single-family home can offer.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 14-21, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-5 2/2.5 $999K.

No price changes.

4 new sales: Ibis at The Sanctuary #102 2/2 listed at $479K, Island Beach Club #P1A 2/2 listed at $599K, Sunset South #2D 2/2 listed at $675K, Sundial #J107 2/2 listed at $729K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

3 new listings: 2001/2003 Mitzi Ln 6/6 duplex $999K, 3351 Barra Cir 3/2.5 $1.199M, 4992 Joewood Dr 3/3.5 $1.595K.

8 price changes: 981 Main St 4/2.5 now $675K, 4397 Gulf Pines Dr 3/3 now $745K, 543 Boulder Dr 3/2 now $799K, 215 Robinwood Cir 4/3 now $829K, 930 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 now $1.195M, 2739 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 now $1.25M, 5757 Baltusrol Ct 3/3 now $1.539M, 1520 Angel Dr 5/5.5 now $1.575M.

8 new sales: 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed at $549K, 1031 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $695K, 1114 Sabal St 2/2 listed at $795K, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 listed at $875K, 545 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 listed at $1.075M, 930 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 listed at $1.195M, 1671 Hibiscus Dr 5/3 listed at $1.199M, 1558 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3.5 listed at $2.989M.

3 closed sales: 6033 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 $685.9K, 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 $860K, 5419 Osprey Ct 3/3.5 $1.035M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 4995 Joewood Dr now $2.45M.

2 new sales: 0 Island Inn Rd listed at $599,555; 1226 Isabel Dr listed at $1.239M.

No closed sale.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #4216 1/2 listed at $374.9K, Bayside Villas #5218 1/2 listed at $399K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 16525 Captiva Dr 3/4 listed at $1.459M, 16531 Captiva Dr 8/8 listed at $2.85M.

2 closed sales: 11525 Wightman Ln 3/2 $1.175M, 11514 Wightman Ln 5/5 $1.65M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 16151 Captiva Dr $8.95M.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

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

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

Enjoy your weekend & watch out for those BOGO’s.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan