Spectacular Sanibel Sunsets This Week

This week has been a tad chilly, though mostly sunny, on Sanibel & Captiva. Great “open the sunroof” weather. There have been some terrific sunsets this week too, sunset last night was especially spectacular.

A weather warm-up is expected by Sunday with daytime temperatures forecast to be back in the 70’s next week.

After a short post-holiday lull, island traffic and business pick-up mid-January and boost again February 1, with February and March usually the months when the most sales occur here. After a couple of news items below is the activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Early Thursday morning was our Annual Installation and Awards event. No group meeting, no shared breakfast at The Sanctuary, but a fun Zoom event with a couple of videos presented that highlight 2020. It’s always fun to transfer the gavel to the incoming President in person, though not always fun to be oldest past-President (1999). The gavel-passing video used photos taken during our years as President. Passing of the Gavel Video

Congratulations to Kelly Huguenin for being selected for the “Community Service” award and Dave Arter for “Affiliate Business Partner”. They both rallied our members through 2020, even without in-person meetings. Wendy Kirschner was “Rookie of the Year” and 23 Realtors® earned Honor Society membership (my 28th year). 2020 Awards Video

Florida Realtors®

On Wednesday and Thursday, I attended more Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings via Zoom. At the Faculty and Curriculum Subcommittees (under the Professional Development Committee), it was reported that 58,182 Realtors® attended state-sponsored classes this year. That is almost double the number of attendees in 2019. It is excellent news to hear that over a quarter of Florida’s members made good use of COVID downtime. The GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute) series had 1,744 of those students which is a 110% jump over 2019.

Thursday, at The Resort & 2nd Home Specialist Think Tank, it was interesting to hear that though up and down, Florida’s vacation rental market survived the pandemic and has rebounded. That market is huge with over 15 million rentals a year.

A presentation by Denis Hanks, Executive Director of the Florida VRMA (Vacation Rental Managers Assoc) in an overview of 2020, said that vacation rentals had many challenges, as we all did, because of the pandemic.

When travel was suspended, hotels and timeshares open, but vacation rentals closed or limited to 30 days, vacation rental managers struggled to comply with 67 different regulations which were often vague and varied county-to-county.

Once those vacation rentals reopened, a huge increase in “drive” visitors (versus those flying) turned Florida’s panhandle into the hot market of 2020. Throughout the state, beach markets also have done well, though their business more up and down, and bookings sporadic. With lessons learned and the industry forced to become resilient, rental managers have had to adjust quickly to new cleaning protocols and adopt new guidelines including wait periods between stays, contactless check-ins, protection of staff and guests, COVID waivers, screening, cancellation policies, deposits/refunds, taxation, and chargebacks. The state VRMA also will soon be rolling out a program to train new employees and retrain those workers coming back into the industry.

Sanibel – COVID-19

On Tuesday, Sanibel Mayor Mick Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until January 26, 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 20 is 188 cases. 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.

LCEC – 13 Years

For 13 years Lee County Electric Co-op has not had a rate increase. Best electric service provider, that SanibelSusan has experienced. I am always amazed, particularly during the summer rainy season, when electric outages happen, and they respond quickly.

When a property sells, The SanibelSusan Team recommends that sellers DO NOT CANCEL their electric service, but rather TRANSFER it. That way, there is no lapse in service and the buyer is not charged a connection fee. When your property is under contract and getting ready to close, please call LCEC, tell them the date of the scheduled closing, and ask them to transfer service then. They will not take a buyer’s contact info for billing until a seller calls first. With a transfer of service, LCEC takes a meter reading to document when your service responsibility completes and the buyers begins.

Sanibel Library Ranks High

According to the January 20 “Island Reporter”, the state library rankings are out, and the Sanibel Public Library ranks at or near the top in many areas, including materials borrowed, program attendance, and percentage of population with a library card. The 2020 ratings are based on FY 2018 Florida Library Statistics, which measures 82 libraries/library systems in the state. Sanibel was ranked number one per capita (per 1,000) for: circulation (number of books or items borrowed); availability of print, audio, video and other material to check out; local and state operating revenue; and square footage availability.

The library has been at or near the top ranking for about 15 years. It has also won national Star Library Awards (top 200 public libraries of 9,000 measured nationally) for five of the last 10 years. The library has been No. 1 on Trip Advisor for “Things to Do on Sanibel” many times and has won a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence every year since 2014, nearing Hall of Fame status on the site.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 15-22, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Spanish Cay #F2 1/1 $325K; Sundial #F307 1/1 $479K; Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 $649,950; Sandpiper Beach #303 2/2 $825K; Kings Crown #104 2/2 $999K (our listing).

Beach path at Kings Crown

4 price changes: Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 now $725K, Pelicans Roost #203 2/2 now $895K, Pelicans Roost #102 2/2 now $930K, Sandals #A 3/3.5 now $1.825M.

9 new sales: Sundial #F108 1/1 listed at $435K, Blind Pass #E207 2/2.5 listed at $489K, Mariner Pointe #1091 3/2 listed at $559K, Sandpebble #2D 2/2 listed at $568.5K, Kings Crown #110 2/2 listed at $795K, Pointe Santo #D35 2/2 listed at $795K, Pointe Santo #E23 2/2 listed at $899K, Sanddollar #B104 2/2 listed at $998K, By-The-Sea #B301 2/2 listed at $1.595M.

3 closed sales: Seawind #A108 2/2.5 $502.5K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 $580K, Oceans Reach #4D1 2/2 $840K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 1155 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $919K, 567 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $979K, 2313 Wulfert Rd 4/3 $1.099M, 3019 Poinciana Cir 5/3.5 $1.195M, 1133 Buttonwood Ln 3/2.5 $1.395M.

3 price changes: 418 Bella Vista Way 4/4 now $1.75M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 4/4 now $4.525M, 1349 Bay Dr 4/4 now $7.395M.

7 new sales: 1835 Ardsley Way 2/2 listed at $457K, 4661 Rue Bayou 2/2 listed at $679K, 1012/1014 4/2 duplex listed at $699K, 9277 Belding Dr 3/3 listed at $850K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.05M, 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 listed at $1.295M, 3009 Turtle Gait Ln 4/4.5 listed at $2.595M.

8 closed sales: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 $430K, 555 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $585K, 6141 Henderson Rd 3/2 $645K, 966 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 $965K, 3827 Coquina Dr 3/2 $1.055M, 2268 Wulfert Rd 4/5.5 $2.1M, 2411 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 $2.35M, 4067 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 $5.55M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 6141 Starling Way $875K.

1 price change: 2515 Wulfert Rd now $239.5K.

3 new sales: 2372 Wulfert Rd listed at $147.5K, 5398 Osprey Ct listed at $299K, 1825 Long Point Ln listed at $389K.

1 closed sale: 4566 Buck Key Rd $148K (our listing).

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Lands End #1615 2/2 now $1.45M.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

3 new sales: 16727 Captiva Dr 5/4 listed at $1,999,999; 15146 Wiles Dr 2/2 listed at $2.389M; 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 listed at $2.395M.

1 closed sale: 53 Sandpiper Ct 2/2.5 $886.7K.

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

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

Counting Down to Christmas on Sunny Sanibel

Ok, so it is sunny and bright but chilly and windy by island standards. Temperatures were only in the 50’s this morning and warmed up to 60 degrees F as I drove back to the office about 1:30 p.m. I took a little side trip up Dixie Beach Blvd to see how the water looks on San Carlos Bay. There have been a few reports of red tide mostly off shore and south of the islands, but the Army Corps of Engineers has reduced its Lake O releases so I bet between that and the breezes, things change. Can you tell from my photo that it’s a tad cool?

The SanibelSusan Team is counting down to Christmas, which is one of the few days that our office is closed. You can bet, however, that there will still be a Friday blog next week. Probably like yours, our individual 2020 Christmases will be different than any other year. We send good wishes that yours are safe, healthy, and happy! Below are a few photos from evening island spins. The first one is the bike path across the street from our office, followed by The Sanibel Community Church, and The Captiva House.

After a couple of news items is the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday. We are happy that three of the week’s closings were our listings!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Yesterday was the December Membership Meeting of the local Association of Realtors®. Held via Zoom, there were just a few attendees. Speaker was Juana Watkins, Esq., Florida Realtors Vice President of Law & Policy, & General Counsel. One item she addressed also was the subject of a recent article (posted below) by Meredith Caruso who is Associate General Counsel for Florida Realtors®. You may have heard about letters like this.

Hot Topic at NAR Convention? Buyers’ ‘Love Letters’ – How can I get the seller to accept MY offer?”, buyers wonder in today’s heated, multiple-offer market. In some areas of the country, “love letters” – a note from buyer to seller praising the home – are common. But some of the letters may flirt with Fair Housing Act violations.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Conference and Expo was held virtually this year, with meetings and events running from Nov. 2 to 18 – and many of the sessions involved discussions about buyer “love letters.” For those who aren’t aware of what I am referring to, “love letters” are written statements that accompany a potential buyer’s offer. While these types of letters are not in and of themselves illegal, it’s important to note that if done without careful consideration, it could end up being a Fair Housing Act (FHA) violation.

“How is this a possibility? Let’s examine a couple of examples of “love letters” – one that could be problematic with one that likely isn’t.

“Example 1: A buyer drafts a love letter that includes how excited the buyer is to raise a family in the home. They can’t wait to see future children excitedly running down the stairs on Christmas morning. Sounds harmless enough, doesn’t it? However, this buyer’s letter touches on two protected classes under the FHA: familial status and religion. Should a seller take these factors into account in arriving at a determination to accept the buyer’s offer, it could be a fair housing violation.

“Example 2: A buyer drafts a love letter that discusses the buyer’s love of the homes’ architectural features and the buyer’s appreciation of the various details of the home’s construction. Here, as the buyer solely focused on the property’s characteristics, none of which fall under a protected class, it’s likely not a fair housing violation.

“As agents, it’s important to remind consumers about fair housing issues if you see a potential problem on the horizon. While no agent is expected to explain the legal nuances of the Fair Housing Act, it may be wise to suggest a buyer or seller consult their personal attorney if either of the respective parties veer into potential FHA violation territory.”

Sanibel – COVID-19

Special City Council Meeting Dec 15 – Because of the nationwide increase in coronavirus cases, a special meeting was called to discuss the island’s COVID-19 safety measures and restrictions. Agenda items included:

  • Center-4-Life & Senior Center – which will remain closed with reconsideration in May.
  • More signage about masks on Sanibel.
  • Possibility extending the hours and footprint of the Sanibel Farmer Market if their visitor traffic increases as “season” gets underway.
  • Confirmed that the Mayor may enact changes quickly if needed to guard the health and welfare of citizens.

Florida Department of Health – reports that Sanibel’s total number of COVID-19 cases from March 26 through December 17 is 121. THAT INCLUDES 5 CASES REPORTED IN JUST ONE DAY THIS WEEK!  Last week, there were 17. Never had there been a week with a number in the double-digits. The number of Sanibel cases in December through 17th is 32, for November = 27. That means nearly half of the cases during the nine months of tracking, have been in the last few weeks. This is just the cases for residents in our zip code. It does not include the many workers and visitors that come and go. PLEASE stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.

The Island Store Celebration

The Island Store at Captiva’s 4-way stop, on 11500 Andy Rosse Ln, recently celebrated its reopening with a ribbon-cutting. Purchased in 2018 by the Bailey family, owners of Bailey’s General Store on Sanibel, the store was completely renovated and restored. Built around 1915, the building became a grocery store in 1940 under the ownership of Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling. Remodeled to today’s safety and quality standards, the store retains historical charm while offering residents and visitors easy on-island shopping for groceries and spirits. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Stabilization Project Expanded for Causeway

As reported in today’s “Island Sun”: “A project planned to stabilize the shoreline along the Sanibel Causeway has been expanded to improve drainage, parking and amenities on both causeway islands. The Lee Board of County Commissioners recently voted to expand the project, accept a $4.25 million grant from the Florida Department of Transportation and allocated $2.4 million in tourism tax reserves for the project….” The project will “provide necessary erosion control structures and storm runoff by providing stabilization of the shoreline…will add beach sand, compacted shell and paved ADA parking spaces to Islands A and B and a picnic pavilion. Additional event parking areas and efforts to improve access to fishing on both sides of the islands are included.

“Construction is expected to begin with erosion control measures on Island B (closest to Sanibel) this summer, and all work will be completed by 2024. The total estimated cost to design, permit and construct the improvements and stabilize the shoreline is $8.5 million.”

Holiday Closings

At J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, The Visitor & Education Center and Refuge offices will be closed December 24, 25, and 31, and January 1. The Center’s restrooms will remain open during regular hours as will Wildlife Drive and its trails and Bailey Tract. Tarpon Bay Explorers also will remain open for normal operating hours except for Christmas, December 25, when it closes for the day.

Year-to-Date (through Dec 18) Sanibel Residential Real Estate Stats

Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $* # Avg $* # Avg $*
For sale 88 825,292 72 1,874,126 54 879,735
Under contract 36 689,325 52 1,280,244 10 367,301
Sold/closed 2020 172 745,024 273 953,709 23 606,233
Sold/closed 2019 127 694,392 211 949,790 15 372,200
Sold/closed 2018 155 720,617 218 1,112,747 21 602,095

* Avg $ is average asking price for properties “For sale” & “Under contract”. Otherwise, average sale price.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 11 – 18, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sandy Bend #6 2/2 $1,027,007; Pointe Santo #C25 3/2 $1.125M; Sundial #T204 3/2 $1.2M; Sundial #P402 2/2 $1.25M.

6 price changes: Casa Blanca #8 2/1 now $349K, Mariner Pointe #731 2/2 now $525K, Cottage Colony West #101 1/1 now $575K, Loggerhead Cay #542 2/2 now $685K, Sanibel Inn #3512 2/2 now $725.5K, Pelicans Roost #106 2/2 now $929K.

1 new sale: Spanish Cay #A4 2/2 listed at $430K.

10 closed sales: Sundial #D309 1/1 $430K, Loggerhead Cay #332 2/2 $529K, Compass Point #232 2/2 $550K (our listing), Sandalfoot #2D2 2/2 $620K (our listing), Loggerhead Cay #532 2/2 $650K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-4 3/3 $725K, Sundial #O405 2/2 $1.15M, Villas of Sanibel #B202 3/3 $1.85M, Sanibel Sunset #201 3/2 $2.195M, Plantation Village #B222 3/3 $2.275M

HOMES

5 new listings: 430 Old Trail Rd 3/2.5 $629K, 2010 Wild Lime Dr 4/4 $759K, 3960 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.079M, 829 Pyrula Ave 3/3 $1.295M, 5391 Shearwater Dr 3/3.5 $1.795M.

7 price changes: 956 Dixie Beach Blvd 2/1 now $449K; 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2.5 now $699K; 4397 Gulf Pines Dr 3/3 now $725K; 3935 Coquina Dr 4/3 now $849,950; 966 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 now $980K; 1308 Eagle Run Dr 4/4 now $1.549M; 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $1.669M.

4 new sales: 753 Nerita St 3/2 listed at $579K, 705 Oliva St 3/2 listed at $875K, 1039 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $999K, 6101 Starling Way 3/3.5 listed at $1,148,990.

7 closed sales: 1645 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $530K, 1142 Shell Basket Ln 3/2 $560K, 543 Boulder Dr 3/2 $784K, 250 Hurricane Ln 3/2.5 $875K, 1860 Ibis Ln 5/3 $905K, 1120 Olga Ave 3/2 $940K (our listing), 1717 Jewel Box Dr 3/3.5 $2.15M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 1313 Par View Dr listed at $300K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3125 1/1 listed at $349K, Marina Villas #703 2/2 listed at $759K.

3 closed sales: Gulf Beach Villas #2005 2/2 $755K, Beach Villas #2525 2/2 $760K, Ventura Beach #2B 3/3 $970K.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 11431 Dickey Ln 3/2 now $1.1685M, 16189 Captiva Dr now $3.699M.

1 new sale: 956 South Seas Plantation Rd 6/6 listed at $4.995M.

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, happy almost-Christmas! 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

 

The Friday Before Thanksgiving 2020… on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

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

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

 

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

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

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

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

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

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

On Tuesday, Acting Mayor Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19. Now it goes until November 24, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.)  The City face covering mandate remains in effect through the period.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Work Space, Outdoor Living, & The Burbs

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

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

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

Below are the four trends that followed:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

View from Lighthouse Point #229, sold full price!

HOMES

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

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

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

1015 Fish Crow Rd

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

LOTS

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

No price changes.

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

1 closed sale: 2297 Wulfert Rd $179K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

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

HOMES

No new listings.

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

No new sales.

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

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

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel & Captiva Scoop – Columbus Day Weekend

SanibelSusan here reporting another day of beautiful weather on Sanibel. The islands continue to slowly reopen, as sea turtle nesting and rainy season finish up for the year. News on both is positive.

A few days ago, SCCF posted on their Facebook page that “Sea turtle season is really winding down on the islands. Currently, we are monitoring 12 nests, a substantial difference from the record number of 669 nests on Sanibel and 268 nests on Captiva earlier this season. So far, a total of 33,267 hatchlings have made it to sea.”

Water quality was an agenda item at Tuesday’s Sanibel City Council meeting. Acting Director of Natural Resources, Holly Millbrand reported that although Lake Okeechobee water level is up and there has been some increase in water releases, there are no signs of any negative effects here, no red tide or blue green algae. “I’m pleased that the corps has been willing to take a more cautious approach,” she said, referring to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that determines when and how much water to release from the lake. “We encourage the corps to weigh all the factors…,” she said, adding that there is not so much concern from the corps of potential dyke failure even though the level is high.

Though that is all good news for returning snowbirds and the additional vacationers expected over the holiday weekend, many have been carefully watching the weather and the track of Hurricane Delta. All clear here today with that tropical weather pattern resulting in some lower humidity this week. The forecast says next week it will be in the mid to high 80’s with the usual chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms. That usually equates to nice beach weather during the day, followed by a spectacular sunset. There have been some beauties lately.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Still closed for group meetings, the islands Association of Realtors® has revised plans for a couple of their annual events. Our end-of-season golf outing, party, and auction to benefit RPAC which were postponed from May until this month is revised again with a 2-day auction coming up next week (October 12-14) followed by an hour-long Zoom party.

Through the years, our RPAC dollars have worked on many ownership issues affecting islanders. As an example, last week, a bill that funded the federal government through December 11 was signed into law. That bill includes a full-year extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and surface transportation funding. Under the agreement, NFIP authority is extended through September 30, 2021. This is the second year in a row for a full fiscal year extension for flood insurance. While Realtors® continue to work toward comprehensive insurance reform and long-term reauthorization, the marketplace needs stability and continuity. In the continuing resolution is a similar extension of surface transportation funding. Transportation projects take years from concept to completion, and any lapse in funding is especially disruptive. This is a win for those looking toward a post-coronavirus market.

Here is another unusual twist because of COVID-19. For our local RPAC auction, SanibelSusan often donates a Maine Lobster Bake which is a dinner kit that comes from The Lobster Net in Brewer, ME. Included are not only jumbo fresh lobsters and a large pot for cooking them, but also all of the other ingredients, supplies, and instructions needed for a complete party-style meal, from appetizers to desserts. For years, the donation has sold for far more than the actual value. Imagine my surprise when I checked their website this year and found this message “Due to pandemic, live lobsters 2.0 – 4.0 lbs. are temporarily next to impossible to find.” So, this year’s donation is a little different.

The Association Annual Meeting and election of officers will be by electronic voting in early November. No word yet on when group in-person committee and Caravan meetings will resume.

The week’s action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

City of Sanibel

Again, this week, Sanibel Mayor Ruane extended the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until October 13, 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, this week, 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 54.

Other Upcoming Events & Openings/Reopenings

The Sanibel Sprout Juice Bar & Vegan Café – reopened this week in their new just-remodeled location in Islander Center, 2407 Periwinkle Way, (former location of Totally Baked).

The Island Store (Captiva) – at the corner of Andy Rosse Lane & Captiva Drive, reopened this week after a nearly year-long renovation. Operated by Bailey’s General Store, it is open daily Sunday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sanibel Historical Village – reopening October 20 with safety protocols. Will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All visitors, volunteers, and staff will be required to wear a mask and observe social distancing. Guided tours are suspended until January. However, visitors may make appointments for guided tours with 48-hour advance notice (for minimum of six, no more than ten guests). For self-tours, there are audio buttons in each building and brochures. Annual gala fundraiser canceled, but several Twilight Talks are in the planning stages. Events will be posted on museum website, http://www.SanibelMuseum.com.

Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum “Mollusk Monster Mash” – October 27 at Traders. The Shell Museum’s kick-off fundraising event for the season will have a few new twists. Tickets include a gourmet meal served with wine either at the restaurant or with a takeout option delivered to your car. With socially-distance seating inside and out, reservations are needed. Call 239-395-2233 for more info.

SCCF’s “Wines in the Wild 2020” – November 13 – This year the event will not be at the Bailey Homestead, but at your homeINstead with SCCF providing the ingredients for a fun evening. The portable party “to go” will be available for touchless drive-by pickup at the Bailey Homestead on November 13. Included are a bottle of white and red wine; food by chefs from Cielo, Catering by Leslie Adams, Spoondrift, and Sweet Melissa’s Café; a centerpiece designed by the Native Landscapes & Garden Center; a link to a specially curated Wines in the Wild music playlist; & a yummy dessert, & surprises too. Contact SCCF by November 6 to reserve your box.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity October 2-9, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Spanish Cay #F6 1/1 $293K, Breakers West #B5 2/2 $569K, Loggerhead Cay #462 2/2 $579K, Sanibel Sunset #201 3/2 $2.195M.

3 price changes: Cottage Colony West #101 1/1 now $585K, Sanibel Inn #3514 2/2 now $699K, Sanibel Surfside #124 2/2 now $1.025M.

3 new sales: Sundial #D204 1/1 listed at $450K, Island Beach Club #320C 2/2 listed at $829K, Sanibel Surfside #123 2/2 listed at $935K.

3 closed sales: Blind Pass #E205 2/2.5 $380K, Sandpebble #4E 2/2 $460K, Sunset South #11A 2/2 $537K.

HOMES

7 new listings: 1603 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $580K, 3926 Coquina Dr 3/2 $769K, 640 Periwinkle Way 3/2 $825K, 966 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 $1.06M, 1152 Buttonwood Ln 3/3.5 $1.695M, 677 Anchor Dr 5/5.5 $1.895M, 418 Bella Vista Way E 4/4 $1,995,900.

3 price changes: 9426 Sage Ct 3/3 now $1.059M, 201 Violet Dr 3/2 now $1.1M, 1761 Venus Dr 4/4 now $2.195M.

5 new sales: 4044 Coquina Dr 2/2 listed at $499K, 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $725K, 1326 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed at $775K, 4345 Gulf Pines Dr 4/4 listed at $855K; 1352 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.095M.

4 closed sales: 1954 Roseate Ln 3/2 $520K, 4339 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $620K, 2439 Harbour Ln 3/3 $950K, 1175 Bird Ln 4/3/2 $3M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 2486 Wulfert Rd listed at $129K

2 closed sales: 978 Main St $162,450; 4334 West Gulf Dr $900K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Homes #6 3/3 $2.998M.

3 price changes: Gulf Beach Villas #2112 1/1 now $492.5K, Captiva Shores #1B 3/2.5 now $1.799M, Lands End Village #1608 3/3 now $2.085M.

2 new sales: Gulf Beach Villas #2005 2/2 listed at $755K, Captiva Hide-A-Way #2A 2/2 listed at $900K.

2 closed sales: Beach Villas #2418 2/2 $765K, Beach Homes #30 4/4.5 $3.15M.

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”.

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Labor Day Weekend 2020 on Sunny Sanibel Island

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

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

City of Sanibel

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

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

Proclamation 20-061:

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

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

Shoreline Stabilization Project at Turner Beach

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

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

Lee County Tourist Development Council is providing the funding.

SCCF Documents Most Loggerhead Nests Ever

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

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

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

Sanibel School Back in Session

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

1 new listing: 2501 Tropical Way $695K.

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

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

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

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

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

No new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

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

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

No closed sales.

LOTS

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

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

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

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Island Real Estate Selling During the Pandemic

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

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

Redfish Pass at the tip of Captiva earlier this week.

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

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate Scoop

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

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

Island Sales from February 14 to August 14

 

Year

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

SANIBEL

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

CAPTIVA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Status

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

SANIBEL

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

CAPTIVA

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

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

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

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

Tidbits from NAR Economist Dr. Lawrence Yun

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

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

Here are a few of my notes from his presentation.

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

Openings/Closings/Rescheduling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings.

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

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

No closed sale.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings

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

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

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

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

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

Susan Andrews aka Sanibel Susan

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

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

Wear a Mask, Wash Your Hands, Stay Well… Please!

Another Friday – time for another update from SanibelSusan. As the holiday week wraps up on Sanibel, the island vibe seems to have settled into an odd combination. Islanders, particularly older ones, are sticking close to home. Visitors and vacationers, on the other hand, are “out and about”, though carefully selecting where they go and what they do. Mostly, simply enjoying the best of Sanibel – the beach and nature.

Photo at right taken this week by JMA photography showing the foot bridge over Clam Bayou to Bowman’s Beach.

Second photo is of a sunset this week, also at Bowman’s Beach. It’s the site of many of the best sunsets. Super shelling too!

 

Thankfully, island appeal continues to be up while we all adjust to new ways of life and business, while staying safe.

Below is a summary of the status of the City of Sanibel proclamation (as of July 7) followed by a couple of news items that may be helpful in this new world. After that, is our weekly update of the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

City of Sanibel Status as of July 7, 2020

State of Emergency Proclamation Due to COVID-19 extended through July 14, 2020 (which is when the next City Council meeting is scheduled). Listen to that audio or read the latest proclamation in full at www.MySanibel.com.

Face coverings – required while inside public places and outdoors in public places when social distancing is not possible. (exceptions listed in Proclamation 20-040). Minimum age for children to wear coverings is six.

Beach parking – is open, illegal parking fines are $200. Possession & consumption of alcohol from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at all City operated beaches, parks, picnic areas is prohibited.

Public lodging – occupancy caps removed, but reservations including vacation rentals, motels & timeshares with guests from areas identified by Governor as high risk (NY, NJ, CT) must be for periods longer than quarantine period established by Governor (14 days). International travelers prohibited.

Retail – may operate at full capacity with social distancing and sanitization.

Museums, movie theaters, auditoriums, playhouses, concert houses – may operate at 50% capacity with social distancing & sanitization.

Huge Spike in Internet Viewings in June

Every month, I get a report showing the number of viewings our listings receive through ListHub. ListHub is a real estate syndication service that synchronizes listings from hundreds of Multiple Listing Services with 150+publisher websites. How it works is, ListHub connects to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The broker in charge of company listings sets up their desired distribution for their listings. Then, LisHub pulls the listing info and synchronizes to each website selected. As new listings are added or existing listings are updated, ListHub automatically distributes the new info. Then, monthly, ListHub collects the traffic metrics from the publisher websites and compiles them into reports provided to the brokers.

Through ListHub, I syndicate SanibelSusan Realty’s listings to 68 of the sites available to our MLS. Some of those are HomeFinder.com, Homes.com, The Real Estate Book, Homes & Land, HomeSpotter, HomeWinks, Homes.net, HousesForSale, HousingNow, IdealEstate, International Property Network, Juwai, LuxuryRealEstate.com, Point2 Homes, Properties Online, PropertyPath, and PropertySimple.

Our listings get hits from this additional exposure, as they do through the Internet Data Exchange network that is offered by Florida Realtors®. In reviewing our last report, I noticed a marked increase in searches during the pandemic, in April and May when so many viewers were “at home”. More surprising is that in June our listings were viewed a whopping eight times more frequently than in May. Here’s hoping those lookers turn into buyers.

Protect Your Meetings from Unwanted Visitors

Good article in the July issue of Florida Realtor®: “As large numbers of people turn to video-teleconferencing (VTC) platforms to stay connected in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, reports of VTC hijacking (also called Zoom-bombing”) are emerging nationwide. The FBI has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language.

“As individuals continue the transition to online lessons and meetings, the FBI recommends exercising due diligence and caution in your cybersecurity efforts. The following steps can be taken to mitigate teleconference hijacking threats.

  • “Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private: require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control the admittance of guests.
  • “Do not share a link to a teleconference or classroom on an unrestricted publicly available social media post. Provide the link directly to specific people.
  • “Manage screensharing options. In Zoom, change screensharing to “Host Only”.
  • “Ensure users are using the updated version of remote access/meeting applications. In January 2020, Zoom updated their software. In their security update, the teleconference software provided added passwords by default for meetings and disabled the ability to randomly scan for meetings to join.
  • “Lastly, ensure that your organization’s telework policy or guide addresses requirements for physical and information security.

“If you were a victim of a teleconference hijacking or any cybercrime, report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov.”

9 Ways to Prepare for a Virtual Showing

Viewing real estate likely will continue to be a mix of in-person and virtual showings. Below are suggestions from Florida Realtors® for the best of virtual showings:

  1. Declutter. Clutter is a major distraction when buyers are viewing a home. You want them to focus on all the great features of the house not look at the stack of mail cluttering the kitchen counter.
  2. Depersonalize. Remove items like framed family photos and memorabilia. It’s hard for a buyer to picture living in the home if they see photos of you everywhere.
  3. Remove all signs of your pet. In the same way that you should depersonalize, tuck away your pet’s toys, bowl, and bed. Not everyone is a pet person.
  4. Turn on lights & open doors. To minimize the surfaces your Realtor® is touching, turn on all the lights and open all doors before your Realtor® walks through to livestream or film your home.
  5. Open blinds. Natural light is an essential when filming a home. Open the blinds and let as much light in as possible so the camera picks up all the beautiful details of each room.
  6. Plan the route around the house. If you’re showing the home without a Realtor® present, be sure to work with your agent to plan a clear route around the home that shows off each room and is clear of trip hazards.
  7. Think about your prospective buyer. If your Realtor® is doing the showing, be sure to tell them some personal stories or unique details about the home so they can relay it in the livestream or video.
  8. Tackle outdoor spaces. Prune any overgrown landscaping, cut back tree branches and mow the lawn.
  9. Clean up the front entrance. The walkway to your property and the front entrance are your home’s first impression. Power wash outside, touch up paint in the entryway and clear out any dirt and grime that has collected around the edges.”

Openings/Closings/Reopenings

It is getting hard to keep track of what is open, closed, and reopened, but here is scoop on a few that I noticed this week.

Cielo – As a precautionary measure for guests and staff, closed their dining room beginning Tuesday July 7. They now are open for take-out/curbside pick-up only, until such time as they feel they can safely reopen. Check their website for updates at https://cielo-sanibel.com/

The Sanibel Sprout – The sign went up this week at their new location in Islander Center at 2407 Periwinkle Way (former site of Sanibel Baked), but their Facebook page says they are remodeling, expecting to reopen in August.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 3-10, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Spanish Cay #A3 1/1 $293K, Sundial #D305 1/1 $539K.

4 price changes: Colonnades #C3 1/1 now $249K, Sanibel Arms #B7 1/1 now $356.5K, Mariner Pointe #1083 2/2 now #490K, Sanibel Siesta #302 2/2 now $676K.

4 new sales: Colonnades #C13 1/1 listed at $299K, Villa Sanibel #3A 2/2 listed at $669K, Sand Pointe #227 2/2 listed at $729K, Sand Pointe #116 2/2 listed at $899K.

3 closed sales: Sundial #H208 1/1 $470K, Blind Pass #B209 2/2 $470K, Seawind #A107 2/2.5 $500K.

HOMES

3 new listings: 9247 Dimmick Dr 3/2 $590K, 9106 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $749K, 5672 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $879K.

6 price changes: 5151 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 now $467K, 718 Durion Ct 3/2 now $619K, 9421 Moonlight Dr 3/2 now $775K, 1777 Serenity Ln 5/4.5 now $930K, 1358 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 now $995K, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 now $2.995M.

4 new sales: 1476 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $695K, 660 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $849K, 345 Cowry Ct 3/4.5 listed at $875K, 2477 Wulfert Rd 3/4 listed at $1.249M.

5 closed sales: 1401 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex $460K, 970 Palm St 3/2 $535K, 1056 S. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $840K, 1606 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $875K, 792 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 $983,750.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 4767 Tradewinds Dr listed at $1.595M.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

4 new listings: Tennis Villas #3114 1/1 $329K, Bayside Villas #5114 1/2 $380K, Beach Villas #2418 2/2 $749K, Captiva Hide-A-Way #1C 2/2 $889K.

2 price changes: Tennis Villas #3213 1/1 now $354.9K, Bayside Villas #4220 1/2 now $415K.

No new sales.

1 close sale: Seabreeze #1253 3/3 $1.325M.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 6 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2 $2.55M.

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, please heed the precautions, wear a mast, wash your hands, & stay well!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan