Sanibel & Captiva Islands Gulf/Bay Waters & 1st Quarter Real Estate Stats

SusanSusan here reporting the end of another week of gorgeous weather with the island thinning out a little as snowbirds continue to depart and “season” activities wrap up. Many locals and visitors have noticed this week that the water around the islands is beautiful, both gulf and bay side – a brilliant clear teal blue. Seeing the water like that in the spring makes one wish the summer rainy season would stay away, but it’s an inevitable part of the Florida weather cycle.


In another few weeks, regular afternoon showers will begin with the first of the afternoon puffy popcorn-like clouds already appearing occasionally, though mostly inland.

chateau 8 07-17


Sanibel/Captiva Real Estate

Now that first quarter is over, I always like to compare the activity from one year to the next to confirm that what the market seems to be indicating is true. Below is this year’s real estate action, compared to 2016 and 2017:

Sold/Closed Sales 1st Quarter
2016 2017 2018


Avg Sale Price $ Avg DOM  


Avg Sale Price $ Avg DOM  


Avg Sale Price $ Avg DOM
Condos 38 709,628 190 32 732,686 219 34 765,668 118
Homes 44 966,872 191 58 1,047,638 138 63 1,263,989 160
Lots 6 365,333 269 11 389,074 354 3 247,333 238
Condos 4 831,125 285 10 432,600 214 11 911,783 190
Homes 8 4,096,250 309 6 2,161,667 116 9 2,462,500 169
Lots 1 1,549,000 386 1 1,925,000 294 0 N/A N/A

DOM = days on market

On Sanibel, closings indicate that homes continue to be the predominate product, with both condo and home prices on the rise. With the winter months being when the most high-end buyers are on island, it makes sense that larger more-luxurious more-expensive properties sell then.

This year, it may be surprising to see the jump in the number of closings that are posted this month and in May, since sales activity didn’t pick up until later than usual this year. Perhaps that’s related to the stock market, new tax laws, or something else. Those in the real estate business are happy that it did improve, now we hope that it doesn’t trickle off with folks leaving.

As a listing agent, an important consideration always is remaining inventory or the competition. It can provide insight into how long it may take for listings to sell, particularly at this time of the year when the next wave of prospective buyers is expected to be those who may think they can get a great deal buying post-season and before hurricane season. The below table shows the same details as the table above, but this one shows the properties currently for sale and under contract, on both Sanibel & Captiva.

Inventory as of April 6, 2018
Under Contract Without Contingencies, Awaiting Closing Under Contract With Contingencies Available

For Sale



Avg Asking Price $ Avg DOM  


Avg Asking Price $ Avg DOM  


Avg Asking Price $ Avg DOM
Condos 5 1,056,100 85 25 759,076 193 104 804,055 181
Homes 19 2,016,526 125 37 1,100,088 109 192 1,431,145 168
Lots 1 239,800 278 1 59,000 413 67 646,683 363
Condos 1 2,095,000 182 0 N/A N/A 38 1,414,843 199
Homes 0 N/A N/A 3 2,696,000 418 47 3,209,702 249
Lots 0 N/A N/A 0 N/A N/A 3 4,264,667 117

Again, the data confirms that Sanibel homes are the hot commodity and indicates that it is the pricier larger ones that are moving. Many of us have buyers just waiting for the right gulf-front pool home. There haven’t been many of those for sale. Not of enough of those exist on Sanibel, which probably is what has caused the bay-front pool home market to get lots of action in the last few weeks. With 192 Sanibel homes for sale, 63 closing first quarter, and another 56 under contract, there still are a lot of homes for sale – probably better than a year’s worth of inventory in my estimation.

With Sanibel condos having 34 sales first quarter and another 30 under contract, seeing 104 on the market, probably means that’s close to a year’s worth of inventory too. I bet we see fewer condo sales than we usually do this summer, but I hope I’m wrong.

The time to move island lots and Captiva properties are tough to guess-timate because those markets are so small, specialized, and varying in price. Captiva condo statistics can be skewed too, because the 33 gulf-front Beach Home properties (priced as high as $4+million) and 68 units Land’s End Village units within South Seas Resort are home-like but are in condo associations.

So, our hopes are that brisk sales continue. Many of our winter listings have sold or are under contract, so we are looking for new listings and working hard to get our remaining listings sold. Our focus shifts to getting showings at the properties that could not be viewed “in season” due to paying guests and promoting them to agents who have not shown them, as well as reminding those who have shown previously that they still are available.

Teammate Dave held several Open Houses this week, unfortunately with little traffic, probably because of the beautiful weather. The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week follows a couple of news items below.

Leaving LIBOR, Say Hello to SOFR

miami herald logoAn interesting article was posted on-line by the “Miami Herald” last Friday, March 30, 2018. It’s by Tom Hudson who hosts “The Sunshine Economy” on WLRN-FM; @HudsonsView.

“If you have a home equity line of credit, private student loan, commercial mortgage or business loan, your payment may be tied to LIBOR. The London Interbank Offered Rate serves as the starting point for figuring out how much borrowers owe. But the interest rate underpinning trillions of dollars of loans will be changing.

“In the week ahead, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York begins publishing the SOFR. The Secured Overnight Financing Rate aims to be more reliable and less contrived. It also begins a new chapter in the massive move away from LIBOR and its lock as a fundamental price of borrowed funds.

“Deep inside most variable interest rate loan documents is LIBOR. Since the 1980s, lenders have leaned on LIBOR as the gauge to set other market interest rates. As LIBOR moves, so moves repayment costs. But it is an imperfect reflection of the cost of cash.

“LIBOR isn’t based on actual borrowing. It is a daily poll of banks, asking them what they think would be the cost to borrow from each other without using any collateral. Those are unsecured loans, and fewer banks are conducting business like that. So, the poll has become less accurate. And since it’s a survey of expected costs, not actual costs, the poll is vulnerable to manipulation. A dozen banks have paid billions of dollars in fines for rigging LIBOR rates.

“LIBOR lied. The benchmark is broken.

“Over the past four years a group of bankers, financiers and American regulators have been working toward a new reference rate. That rate, the SOFR, makes its debut Tuesday morning. It differs from LIBOR in two significant ways; It will be based on actual lending rates between banks, and it will be based on loans using US Treasuries as collateral — a more common practice than LIBOR’s unsecured loans.

“The introduction of what may become the new benchmark is far from complete. Whereas LIBOR rates include different durations ranging from overnight loans to those lasting one year, the SOFR is solely short-term money — one day.

“New variable interest rate loans likely will include references to SOFR as the new standard. Other loans may include fallback language allowing them to swap the old benchmark for a new one.

“This may seem like an arcane action by the financial industrial complex, but with trillions of dollars of consumer and business loans tethered to LIBOR, a smooth and orderly transition to a new interest rate benchmark is vital for the American economy.”

Is A Seller’s Disclosure Required?

Florida Realtors logoHaving served on the state Contract and Forms Content Committees many times, I often find that I can be too close to this question. The following article was posted on-line this week by Attorney Joel Maxson who is Director of Member Legal Services at Florida Realtors®. Joel also manages the Realtors’ Legal Hotline.

Florida is a full-disclosure state, but I have found that often when a property is not the primary residence of the seller or is a rental investment property, the seller does not always know of the property defects. Here is Joel’s posting from April 2, 2018:

“Based on what we hear on Florida Realtors Legal Hotline, most residential sellers are content to complete the Florida Realtors Seller’s Property Disclosure – Residential form (SPDR) around the same time they enter into a listing agreement. However, every now and then, a seller will balk at the idea of completing this form, prompting a member to ask what Florida law requires regarding disclosures.

“Although sellers aren’t required to complete this specific SPDR form, a residential seller does have to comply with the rule established in Johnson v. Davis. In that case, the Florida Supreme Court held that “where the seller of a home knows of facts materially affecting the value of the property which are not readily observable and are not known to the buyer, the seller is under a duty to disclose them to the buyer.” These material facts are sometimes referred to as latent defects.

“In addition, in Rayner vs. Wise Realty Co. of Tallahassee, the First District Court of Appeal provided that this same disclosure requirement applies to residential properties that are being sold as is.

“Sellers can make this disclosure in writing or verbally, although Florida Realtors attorneys recommend that it be made in writing.

“Realtors should note that the SPDR contains safeguards to ensure the seller completes the form – not the associate or broker. As a reminder to all parties, the first line of the SPDR provides “Notice to Licensee and Seller: Only the Seller should fill out this form.”

“As a separate but related issue, some brokerage companies may require that certain documents (like a seller’s property disclosure) be maintained in a file, so associates should always ensure they understand and comply with any specific requirements their company may have.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 30 – April 6, 2018

sancap GO MLS logoSanibel


12 new listings: Casa Blanca #2 2/1 $379K, Sundial #F205 1/1 $429K, Sanibel Arms #D4 2/2 $549K, Mariner Pointe #1052 2/2 $565K, Sanibel Siesta #306 2/2 $599.5K, Sunset South #6A 2/2 $619K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #2-5 2/2.5 $759K, Tarpon Beach #206 2/2 $799K, Sundial East #N403 2/2 $889.5K, Compass Point #102 3/2 $1.295M, Bougainvillea #B 3/3 $1.299M, Villas of Sanibel #A102 3/3 $1.495M.

3 price changes: Mariner Pointe #122 1/1 now $399K, Sanibel Moorings #941 2/2 now $524.9K, Gulfside Place #323 2/2 now $1.298M.

3 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #422 2/2 listed at $535K, Sunset South #7C 2/2 listed at $569.5K, Tamarind #B302 2/2 listed at $1.789M.

5 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #212 1/1 $415K, Loggerhead Cay #264 2/2 $580K (our listing), Surfside 12 #A1 3/2 $790K, Sandpiper Beach #302 2/2 $835K, Gulfside Place #222 2/2 $1.05M (our sale).

GSP 222 view 2018-04

Gulfside Place #222 view


7 new listings: 1851 Farm Trl 3/2 $629K, 1339 Tahiti Dr 3/2 duplex $679K, 247 Daniel Dr 3/2.5 $939K, 641 Lake Murex Cir 4/3 $1.125M, 1349 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.155M, 872 Limpet Dr 3/3 $1.849M, 1324 Seaspray Ln 3/3 $1.899M.

9 price changes: 317 East Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex now $565K; 3784 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $595,995; 1357 Tahiti Dr 2/3 duplex now $629K; 978 Black Skimmer Way 3/2 now $695K; 5410 Osprey Ct 3/2.5 now $749K; 1545 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 now $1.149M; 735 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 now $1.279M; 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.629M; 411 Bella Vista Way 4/4 half-duplex now $2.075M.

8 new sales: 1004 Spanish Laurel Ln 2/2 listed at $598K, 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $625K, 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2.5 listed at $645K, 1020 White Ibis Dr 3/3 listed at $649K, 1450 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $749.9K, 852 Lindgren Blvd 4/3 listed at $1.159M, 1475 Angel Dr 3/4.5 listed at $1.549M, 1083 Bird Ln 4/2.5 listed at $3.999M.

6 closed sales: 3021 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 $485K, 1169 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $650K, 601 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $659.9K, 4960 Joewood Dr 3/3 $975K, 940 Spoonbill Ct 3/2.5 $1M, 747 Windlass Way 4/3.5 $2.25M.


No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 1312 Eagle Run Dr $290K.



No new listings.

2 price changes: Lands End Village #1665 2/2 now $950K, Beach Homes #25 3/2 now $1.995M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 $370K.


No new listings.

1 price change: 11559 Laika Ln 2/2 now $5.5M.

No new or closed sales.


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.

happy weekendUntil next Friday, enjoy your week…

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan


It’s Shellabration 2012 on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

It has been another busy week on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. With the Shell Fair in full swing today and again tomorrow, the islands are hopping.

How about this big junonia shell that is welcoming visitors to Sanibel’s Community House for the big event? It was made for the Guinness World-Record Sanibel Stoop which kicked off the multi-day festivities.

Being the 75th year of the Shell Fair and Show has brought many first time visitors to the islands. SanibelSusan Realty gladly again this year is one of the prize sponsors.

During the Shellebration 2012 Fashion Show at The Sanctuary on Monday, this hand-sewn wedding gown embellished with shells was the featured attraction and it won first prize too. Other fashions, all in shell motif, were on the runway during this first-time luncheon event. Even the bride’s flower girls had shells adorning them from their headpieces to their flip-flops.

With the extra traffic, we even saw a “long wait” for lunch yesterday at Doc Ford’s. That had not happened yet this year, but could be the norm from now until the end of high season in five weeks.

Speaking of Doc Ford’s, if you are on the island on Sunday or Monday, you can meet best-selling author Randy Wayne White who wrote the books about Doc Ford. He will be autographing copies of his latest book “Chasing Midnight!” at the Sanibel restaurant on March 4 and 5 and at Doc Ford’s Fort Myers Beach on March 22, from 12-2 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. on all three dates.

Sanibel and Captiva Real Estate Summary

On the real estate front, son David took the above photo during a home inspection on the bay on Wednesday. Sometimes the benefits of living and working on Sanibel are in the little events like this.

The good news about island real estate is that we finally are seeing more sales than new listings. As of today, there are 255 Sanibel condos for sale, with 22 sold/closed this year, and another 26 condos under contract awaiting closing. Average time on market is still well over a year. Average condo sale price to-date is $667,690 compared to last year at $591,861. Don’t read too much into that increase though, as the units currently under contract are priced significantly less. It takes about six months before the averages have much meaning.

Homes continue to move a tad better, with 236 Sanibel homes for sale, 33 sold/closed homes this year, and another 42 under contract. Of the homes sold and under contract, the average time on the market is around nine months, significantly less than condos. Average Sanibel home price to-date is $830,144, compared to last year at $826,130. The prices of the homes under contract are less too, so like condos, these averages will make more sense in another couple of months.

There are 103 Sanibel lots for sale, 5 sold/closed this year, another 3 are under contract. Those that sold were relatively new to the market. The existing inventory averages over two years for sale.

On Captiva, sales have not been as brisk and prices are just beginning to get down to where they should be to get the inventory moving. With 67 condos, 60 homes, and 10 lots for sale on that island, the 4 condos and 7 homes that have sold are just a drop in the bucket. 

Buffett: ‘I’d Buy Up a Couple Hundred Thousand’ Homes

Here is an upbeat article that was posted on Florida Realtors® yesterday.

Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO, said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” recently that he’d “buy up a couple hundred thousand” single-family homes if it was practical. Buffett said that’s because he believes purchasing a home with ultra-low mortgage rates and holding it for the long-term has become a better investment than stocks right now. “Housing will come back, you can be sure of that,” Buffett wrote in his annual letter to shareholders recently.
“Buffett forecasts an increase in household formations, as more people who moved in with their parents or family members during the recession look to move out and get their own home soon. “People may postpone hitching up during uncertain times, but eventually hormones take over. And while ‘doubling-up” may be the initial reaction of some during a recession, living with in-laws can quickly lose its allure.” Buffett said the recovery in the housing market could vary quite a bit among local housing markets, however. He did not provide a timeline of when he expected a full housing recovery, admitting that his prediction last year that a housing recovery will take shape within the year turned out to be “dead wrong.”

Florida Real Estate Loses Its Thumbs-up in Fed’s Beige Book

The Miami Herald posted the following article yesterday. It is not quite as upbeat, but probably an accurate reflection of the state overall.

“Florida’s real estate recovery no longer gets rave reviews from the Federal Reserve.
The latest Fed Beige Book, which analyzes regional economies across the country, suggested Florida was missing out on some of the momentum behind the nation’s real estate market at the start of 2012.
Writing about the Southeast, Fed authors wrote the majority of “residential brokers reported that home sales accelerated in January and early February and stand above levels from the same time period last year. However, reports from Florida brokers were more mixed.” The Florida mention stands out, since past Beige Books have described Florida as an improving real estate market while other states in the Southeast were languishing. Fed analysts compile the Beige Book through anecdotal reports gathered from their regional offices, including one in Miami. The language always requires a bit of deciphering, but the overall tone can convey optimism or worry. The latest Beige Book maintained the cautiously upbeat vibe of past reports, with hiring up modestly, and residential real estate improving “somewhat.”
“For the Atlanta region, which covers the Southeast, analysts described the economy as “expanding at a somewhat stronger pace.” That appears to be the most optimistic phrase used for the District in at least two years, replacing “expanding at a modest pace,” expanding at a “very subdued pace”, “little-changed,” “moderated,” “advancing modestly,” “improved,” “mixed picture,” “slowed somewhat,” and “remained slow.” Of interest in South Florida, the Atlanta report noted higher convention attendance, lower cruise bookings thanks to the Costa shipwreck in Italy, and “modest growth” in trade with Latin America.”

Sanibel & Captiva MLS Activity February 24 – March 2

6 new listings: Sundial #F407 1/1 $297.5K, Sanibel Arms West #J1 2/2 $439K, Loggerhead Cay #121 2/2 $750K, Sundial #E108 2/2 $875K, Sundial #E305 2/2 $879K, St. Croix 2/2.5 $895K.
10 price changes: Captains Walk #D3 1/1 now $150K, Lake Palms #9 2/2.5 now $217K (short sale), Lake Palms #7 2/2.5 now $269K, Sunset South #1B 2/2 now $564K, Compass Point #213 2/2 now $569K, Sanddollar #B104 2/2 now $955K, Snug Harbor #113 2/2 now $985K, Compass Point #181 2/3 now $1.099M, Seascape #105 3/3 now $2.195M, Sedgemoor #101 3/3.5 now $2.399M.
4 new sales: Sanibel Arms #G2 gulf-front 1/1 listed for $395K, Sanibel Inn #3534 2/2 listed for $495K, Nutmeg Village #211 2/2 listed for $539K, Sundial #T403 2/2 listed for 598K.
3 closed sales: Sundial #S301 3/2 $619.9K (our sale), Gulf Beach #207 2/2 $665K, Signal Inn #18 2/2 $844.5K.
1 new listing: 9020 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $725K.
12 price changes: 2621 SanCap Rd 3/2 now $275K; 585 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $599K; 1001 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 now $654K; 5820 Pine Tree Dr 2/2 now $674.9K; 1339 Par View Dr 3/2 now $685.5K; 1511 Angel Dr 2/2 now $724K; 3861 Coquina Dr 3/3 now $729K; 919 Almas Ct 3/2.5 now $1,199,999; 760 Periwinkle Way 3/2.5 now $1.449M; 4809 Tradewinds Dr 3/3.5 now $1.495M; 3864 West Gulf Dr 4/5.5 now $2.188M; 3441 West Gulf Dr 5/4/2 now $5.75M.
8 new sales: 535 Piedmont Rd 3/2 listed for $387.5K, 555 Chert Ct 3/2 listed for $379K, 761 Nerita St 3/2 listed for $465K, 1284 Par View Dr 2/2 listed for $549K, 207 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed for $569K, 3061 Poinciana Cir 3/2 listed for $698K, 836 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2/2 listed for $1.199M, 1191 Bird Ln 4/3 listed for $2.195M (short sale).                                    
3 closed sales: 4291 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2.5 $510K, 994 Whelk Dr 2/2 $550K, 1019 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $690K.
No new listings.
2 price changes: 2423 Blue Crab Ct now $329.9K, 4771 Rue Helene now $496K.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 847 Casa Ybel Rd $112K.
1 new listing: Sunset Beach Villas #2318 2/2 $599.9K.
1 price change: Bayside Villas #4322 3/3 now $520K (short sale).
1 new sale: Captiva Hide-A-Way #1D 2/2 listed for $600K.
No closed sales.
2 new listings: 11531 Paige Ct 3/3.5 $3.75M, 16221-17 Captiva Dr 5/5 $4.945M.
No price changes, new or closed sales.
Nothing to report.


This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors or its 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. If your property currently is listed with another broker, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.

Until next week, here’s hoping that you Shellabrate your weekend! See you next Friday, SanibelSusan