It’s Not a Joke – It’s an Overcast Friday in Paradise

Rumor has it that some snowbirds already have headed north, but you couldn’t prove it this week by the heavy traffic in SW Florida. More wonderful breezy sunny weather has made for perfect days for outdoor lovers. Beaches, waterways, and bike paths have been busy.

With limited rain since Florida’s storm season ended last fall, forecasters have reported fire danger for much of central and south Florida. Rainy season usually doesn’t begin until May, but with unusual weather events in many places in recent years, who knows what 2022 will bring.

Weathermen say a front is arriving today that may stall over the weekend bringing a few occasional showers. That should help, so far it’s just turned from sunshine to overcast.

Real Estate Scoop

There were a couple of Association of Realtors® sponsored events this week with a Flood Insurance Seminar at the Community House Tuesday evening. With presentations from two Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association affiliate members, Dave Arter with Private Client Insurances Service and Chris Heidrick with Hedrick & Co. Insurance, the focus was the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) new FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) 2.0 Rating System for flood insurance. It recently went into effect to more fairly charge flood rates. Unfortunately, on barrier islands like Sanibel and Captiva, that usually means higher premiums. Presenter examples often included a former $800 annual premium jumping to $8,000. Luckily, the new system limits increase to 18% per year.

Their final take-away slide had the following advice:

  • Don’t let your flood policy lapse! Risk rating 2.0 rates will apply.
  • If your premium is escrowed, you still are the responsible party.
  • Be prepared for 18% premium increases for the foreseeable future
  • At renewal, you may receive a request for additional information (type of construction, number of floors, square footage, etc.). Speak to your insurance agent to avoid “Provisional Rates”.
  • Speak with an insurance agent for advice, specific to any property you are buying.
  • Always get the elevation certificate AND the seller’s flood declaration page, when buying a home

Tuesday afternoon was a Zoom class for members of Realtor® Association Professional Standards Committees. At least ten associations throughout the state attended including two members from Sanibel and Captiva. The presenter, Shannon Allen, is an attorney and Florida Realtors® Director of Local Association Services. With Realtors® governing themselves on ethics and arbitration through their local groups (which include Ombudsmen, Grievance and Professional Standards Committees), it was insightful to hear how a hot market and the electronic age have caused nuances. Luckily in a small Association like the islands, complaints are rare.

At the Association Thursday morning Realtor® Caravan meeting, attendance was light, but at least there were two new listings open for viewing. After a couple of news items is the activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Final Car Show of the Season

San-Cap Motor Club is hosting its final “Cars & Coffee Cruise-In” of the season tomorrow, April 2 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Periwinkle Place shopping center. Exhibitors are suggested to arrive by 8:30 a.m. to secure a good spot. They include antique cars, hot rods, muscle cars, all makes and models, including motorcycles. There is visitor parking behind the shopping center.

Community Chorus Spring Concert

Another annual event is the Spring Concert of the BIG ARTS Community Chorus. SanibelSusan has missed singing with them this year but has followed their progress and upcoming program – which is terrific. Tickets are on sale now and night of the concert, which is Wednesday, April 6 at 7 p.m. in the BIG ARTS Performance Hall. Link for tickets: https://my.bigarts.org/3260/3262

SCCF’s “Beer in the Bushes”

Yet another annual unofficial end of season celebration is right around the corner. The popular fundraiser for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation will be Saturday, April 16 from 6 to 10 p.m. Tickets are available online at www.beerinthebushes.com.

Real Estate Trends to Watch This Spring

Posted online Tuesday, March 28, 2022 on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to Realtor.com, 2022 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD.

“Realtor.com: Home sellers may continue to hold the upper hand, but buyers may be more sensitive to price increases; and more inventory could enter the market.

“SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Home sellers will likely continue to hold the upper hand this spring, says a realtor.com® housing report that also uncovered upcoming trends.

“Buyers are likely to become more sensitive to price increases. Mortgage rates are on the rise and are expected to continue to increase this year. As home shoppers face higher borrowing costs, they may need to tighten their budgets or even step back from the market as home prices increase as well. That could help to moderate price trends, realtor.com says. The trend occurred last year, even when mortgage rates were at historical lows but home prices were climbing by double-digit annual gains. In early May 2021, the number of sellers who made price adjustments rose by 17.8% compared to the start of the year.

“More inventory will likely hit the market. Buyers may see the benefit of a greater housing supply. Still, the number of homes for sale is expected to remain historically low this year, though more options are likely to become available. Builders are adding more homes to the inventory. Also, more homes typically come on the market during the spring season. Realtor.com notes that based on historical trends, by mid-August the number of sellers with actively listed homes usually rises 17.4% over the beginning of the year. If that trend holds true, it could mean more options for buyers and more competition for home sellers.

“Sellers may face trade-offs. Homeowners who have to sell and buy could face a dilemma: If they hold out for peak asking prices on their home, they also could end up paying a premium for the home they buy, realtor.com says. Listing prices usually reach their highest levels in the summer. But home seller-buyers who delay will face more competition from other sellers and the possibility of missing out on buying opportunities.

““We all know that homes are selling lightning-fast right now,” says Rachel Stults, managing editor at realtor.com. “But that doesn’t necessarily mean your house will sell itself. Before you list your home this spring – or any other time this year – make sure you’ve taken steps to get it ready, including cleaning and decluttering, getting cost estimates on repairs you might need to make, and talking to agents to see who would be a good fit for your needs. No matter when you decide to list, whipping your home into shape beforehand will help you sell faster and for more money.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 25 ‑ April 1, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Coquina Beach #5A 2/2 $779K, Sanibel Moorings #1042 2/2 $869K.

1 price change: Pointe Santo #C26 2/2 now $1.195M.

4 new sales: Loggerhead Cay #201 2/2 listed at $995K, Sand Pointe #131 2/2 listed at $1.295M, Island Beach Club #P4E 2/2 listed at $1.799M, Junonia #301 4/2 listed at $2.4M.

4 closed sales: Captains Walk #C5 2/1 $591K; Donax Village #9 2/2 $746K; Sanibel Surfside #225 2/2 $1,022,222; Pointe Santo #A2 2/2 $1.371M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 9476 Balsa Ct 3/2 $1.195M, 3822 Coquina Dr 4/3.5 $1.595M, 479 Las Tiendas Ln 4/3 $1.68M, 733 Durion Ct 3/2 $1.695M, 746 Windlass Way 4/3 $2.495M, 1558/1545 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3.5 $4.7M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 1600 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 listed at $1.2M, 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $1.35M, 4577 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/3 listed at $1.725M.

11 closed sales: 799 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex $840K, 4560 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 $889K, 1666 Middle Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.05M, 4563 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 $1.3M, 1437 Causey Ct 3/2.5 $1.365M, 1174 Harbor Cottage Ct 3/3 $1.507M, 2711 Wulfert Rd 4/4/2 $1.65M, 2695 Wulfert Rd 4/4/2 $1.8475M, 5817 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/3 $2.1M, 444 Lighthouse Way 5/4.5 $3.75M, 1077 Bird Ln 4/4/2 $5.5M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 3005 Turtle Gait Ln $1.15M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 2310 Wulfert Rd $290K.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Lands End #1610 3/3 $3.7M, Beach Homes #6 3/3 $3.749M.

No price changes or new sales.

3 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4210 1/2 $594.5K, Lands End #1659 2/2 $1.3M, Beach Cottages #1404 2/2 $1.609M.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15261 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 now $11.25M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 11549 Wightman Ln 3/4 $3.395M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 15819 Captiva Dr $15.5M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

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

Until next Friday,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Woohoo, More Sanibel Closings, Listings, & Sales!

Another week has flown by with the islands again busy with more visiting families on spring break. It sure is a good thing that states and schools have vacations at different times. As it is, locals are counting down to Easter, when traffic usually eases as snowbirds start heading north. We love the extra winter business and understand why so many want to be here, but too many at once can be challenging to drivers.

Heads-up, roads and bike paths probably also will be busy next week as Lee County schools are out today and next week. With the forecast for more sunny days and temperatures in the low 80’s, those visiting should be happy!

SanibelSusan Realty 

Blind Pass condos

It was nice to get a new surprise listing over the weekend. One that managed to go under contract within hours, even before we got to see it and have it photographed, as it has a rental guest. Blind Pass #D204 is the 3-bedroom condo mentioned in the Multiple Listing Service activity summary, posted after a couple of news items below. We appreciate that the Blind Pass rental office allowed us to use their photos to get the listing posted.

Another new listing was signed and posted in MLS as “coming soon”, then it became “active” today. The difference between those listing statuses is that “coming soon” listings are only available for Realtors® to see, while “active” listings are syndicated to the public and many real estate sites. It was professionally photographed early, thanks to JMA Photography. This condo, a direct bay-front Lighthouse Point 3 bedroom has showings beginning tomorrow.

View from Lighthouse Point #227

A 3rd new listing also signed and posted in MLS as “coming soon” is a condo in Windjammer Village in The Landings in Ft Myers. That listing is occupied but will be available to show in April. It also has been professionally filmed, including streaming video.

With closings, it was another week with a nice one of those. Thanks to Realtor® Wendy Kirschner for bringing that buyer.

Island Inventory

Every week, we continue to get calls and emails from prospective buyers and renters. It is frustrating when we often can’t help them. It certainly pays to have a Realtor® on the lookout though as we often hear of listings coming on the market or cancellations.

Though 1st quarter isn’t over yet, it is amazing to see what is happening with sale prices and days-on-market (DOM). Some are saying that prices are beginning to stabilize, but I’m not a believer – or not yet. As long as demand remains high and inventory low, buyers must be poised to pounce, while most sellers are smiling.

Below is an update of island inventory as of this morning, March 18, 2022, data from Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service). Looking at just residential property, only 15 condos, 10 homes, and 11 lots are for sale on Sanibel. Just 8 condos and 8 homes on Captiva. With 113 closed sales and another 91 properties under contract, the sellers’ market continues.

 

 

Status

SANIBEL
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 15 1,387,533 56 10 2,919,250 44 11 1,439,545 350
Under contract 30 1,100,726 18 42 1,826,950 44 10 504,155 113
Sold to-date 2022 37 966,863 47 52 1,710,807 78 8 762,625 184
Sold 2021 287 875,127 113 355 1,341,881 89 69 698,862 442
Sold 2020 193 733,136 174 189 950,426 161 23 606,233 393

 

 

 

Status

CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 8 1,339,250 20 8 7,929,875 116 0 N/A N/A
Under contract 4 1,209,000 32 5 4,515,800 29 0 N/A N/A
Sold to-date 2022 10 1,488,402 51 6 3,952,416 196 0 N/A N/A
Sold 2021 64 1,150,373 145 44 2,988,520 261 2 2,950,000 731
Sold 2020 47 821,713 134 27 2,923,148 315 4 2,537,500 448

Americans Moving to Sun Belt States

From the April 2022 issue of “Florida Realtor” and sourced to 2022 News World Communications, Inc.:

“Both U-Haul and United Van Lines listed Florida as a top destination state. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) chief economist credits affordability, job creation and lower taxes for the moves.

“Job-rich, low-tax states such as those in the Sun Belt are attracting many Americans as housing prices rise, recent reports show. Zillow and U-Haul both cited Florida and Texas as hot relocation destinations in separate reports, while Unit Van Lines listed Florida and South Carolina among the top states for inbound migration…

“Meanwhile, U-Haul reported in its annual Grown Index that Texas edged out Florida for the largest net gain of one-way trucks in 2021, while California and Illinois saw the greatest net losses.

“And United Van Lines reported in its 45th annual National Movers Study that two Sun Belt states made the top five for inbound migration in 2021: South Carolina (63%) and Florida (62%) joined Vermont (74%), South Dakota (69%) and West Virginia (63%).

“States such as Illinois (67%), New York (63%), Connecticut (60%), and California (56%) appeared once again at the top of the list for outbound migration….”

Seawall Approved at Spanish Cay

It was good news to read the below article in today’s “Island Sun”. This approval has been long in coming.

“The problem of crumbling and cracked seawalls on man-made canals was under discussion at the Sanibel Planning commission meeting last week when commissioners approved replacing the seawall behind Spanish Cay condominiums on Middle Guld Drive.

“Seawalls were allowed as a special conditional use in many subdivisions bordering San Carlos Bay including Shell Harbor north and south of Periwinkle Way, Sanibel Harbour, Sanibel Isles and Water Shadows. The Sanibel Land Development Code includes standards for repairing nonconforming use seawalls on humanmade bodies of water.

“The seawall at Spanish Cay borders the manmade canal separating it from Beachview Estates. Repairs to the seawall bordering a narrow walkway required commission approval of a long form development permit.

”Complicating the matter was that removal of the seawall could not result only in loss of land bordering the water, but also cause a very high probability of undermining buildings that are 10 feet or less from the existing seawall.

“To avoid damage to structures, engineering firm Hans Wilson and Associates proposed a plan that includes replacing the seawall cap and installing a 10- to 12-foot shelf of rock riprap with a maximum 2:1 slope and consisting of limestone that is 12 to 36” in diameter.

“Two concerns addressed by the commission were rainwater downspouts from each building that discharged water directly into the canal and the limited vegetation along the seawall. The condominium association accepted a proposal to relocate the downspouts to prevent discharge into the canal or onto neighboring properties, and to install native vegetation along the path where possible…

“Native vegetation will also be planted within the riprap to provide a habitat for aquatic species to live or hide within the voids of the riprap.

“Planning commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the project.”

International Buyers Are Back

Another article in the new “Florida Realtor®” magazine says “Canada and South America are strong markets this year. Global buyers are looking for all types of properties – not just vacation homes…

“Stifled by COVID-19 the past couple of years, global buyers are finally seeing restrictions lifted and opportunities in U.S. properties.

“For decades, Florida has been a preferred U.S. market for foreign real estate buyers seeking a vacation home, primary residence or an income-generating commercial investment. But the travel restrictions imposed in spring 2020 by the COVID-19 pantenic dramatically slowed global purchases.

“Two years later, international buyers are returning to Florida, creating new business opportunities… Some of Florida’s traditional global markets are expected to see a bigger rebound than others this year. For instance, Canadian snowbirds are traveling again to Florida, and buyers from Latin American and the Caribbean are active throughout the state. On the other hand, there may be fewer buyers from China or European nations that imposed travel bans and lockdowns in late 2021 due to the omicron variant….

“According to the 2021 Profile of International Residential Transactions in Florida, Latin American/Caribbean buyers made up 46% of the global market followed by Canadians at 18% and Europe at 15%… Countries with good relations and economic ties with American are the best targets….” 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 11-18, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Captain’s Walk #D5 2/1 $569K, Breakers West #A4 2/2 $849K, Loggerhead Cay #201 2/2 $995K, Lighthouse Point #227 3/2 $1.395M (our listing), Island Beach Club #210C 2/2 $1.495M.

1 price change: Junonia #301 4/2 now $2.49M.

Bridge over Clam Bayou heading to Bowman’s Beach

7 new sales: Sundial #I307 1/1 listed at $595K, Blind Pass #D102 2/2 listed at $685K, Breakers West #C1 2/2 listed at $799K, Blind Pass #D204 3/2 listed at $799.9K (our listing), Sanctuary Golf Villages I #5-3 2/2.5 listed at $859K, Sundial #B206 2/2 listed at $1.3M, Sedgemoor #101 3/3.5 listed at $3.995M.

5 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #1411 1/1 $510K, Sunset South

Bowman’s Beach

#11C 2/2 $1.025M, Sanibel Moorings #122 2/2 $1.08M (our listing), Shell Island Beach Club #A5 2/2 $1.2M, Lantana #101 4/3.5 $2.395M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 2451 Blind Pass Ct 4/4.5 $2.895M.

3 price changes: 1243 Sand Castle Rd 4/4 now $1.745M, 1543 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/4 now $2.499M, 488 Lighthouse Way 4/4 now $5.495M.

2 new sales: 1072 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 listed at $949K, 244 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 listed at $1.268M.

2 closed sales: 2276 Starfish Ln 4/3.5 $1.8M, 475 Sawgrass Pl 3/3.5 $2.1M. 

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: 2486 Wulfert Rd $219K, 3304 Saint Kilda Rd $590K.

Captiva

CONDOS

4 new listings: Tennis Villas #3128 1/1 $549K, Beach Villas #2312 1/1 $1.075M, Gulf Beach Villas #2027 3/2 $1.595M, Lands End Village #1628 3/4 $3.5M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #4210 1 /2 listed at $594.5K.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5226 1/2 $625,026.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1106 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 half-duplex $4.2M.

No price changes, new sales, or 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.

Until next Friday,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Read On to Find Out Why the Magic Number Today is 12

It is that time of the year when Floridians are especially grateful to be here. Though a cool front sometimes comes through in the winter, the weather here sure tops what is happening elsewhere.

One of those fronts just came through the islands. Though sunny and bright, it is breezy with temperatures only up into the high 60’s. Do visitors still fill the bike paths and beaches in their shorts and tee-shirts, “yes”. Meanwhile, locals are enjoying more fresh air and relish a chance to wear their long sleeves and an occasional sweater or jacket.

At the office, we continue to finalize action items for our upcoming closings and get ready for our big annual inventory mailing. If you are not already on our mailing list and want a copy of this report, please send your request to Susan@SanibelSusan.com. We update the islands residential inventory list (Sanibel & Captiva condos, homes, & lots) every weekend, so have it available anytime and email it often, but the bulk hardcopy mailing only goes out once a year (saving trees & $). It will go out in early February. (The data is from the local Multiple Listing Services as well as the county tax records.)

Yesterday afternoon, teammate Dave listed his in-laws off-island investment property. He probably set a record for a quick sale. Following several immediate inquiries/offers, he had it successfully under contract by 8 p.m.

So, as we continue to market for new listings, today the magic inventory number is 12. According to the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing service, now there are just 12 condos and 12 homes for sale on Sanibel, while on Captiva, there are 12 in total (4 condos plus 8 homes).

With most colleagues having buyers waiting in the wings, it is tough convincing those prospects that it is going to take a very long time for supply to meet demand. Meanwhile, the strong sellers’ market continues. I am meeting with condo owners tomorrow. Hopefully a new listing follows.

Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings

Last Friday, I attended the Florida Realtors® Resort and Second Home Think Tank meeting via Zoom. During that meeting, Kate Chunka, Vice Present of Industry Engagement at “Visit Florida” provided an update on that agency’s efforts including some interesting statistics. She said that every dollar spent results in $3.27 in tax revenue. Nearly 40% of that in 2020 was the impact of the pandemic on tourism with the third quarter last year exceeding any previous year. In 2021, from first through third quarter, 91.5 million visitors came to Florida. Numbers now are starting to exceed 2019 which was the highest recorded ever. For FY 2022-2023, a $50 million budget has been recommended.

Next, Florida Realtors® Vice President of Law/Policy and General Counsel, Juana Watkins provided an update on the legal options to address local short-term rental ordinance. That has become a huge problem in some areas. Luckily Sanibel and Captiva are proactive in that regard.

A legislative update then was provided by Andy Gonzalez, Florida Realtors® Public Policy Representative. He said, this week legislators are back in session in Tallahassee. On the Senate agenda is a discussion regarding short-term rentals.

He asked Realtor® Broker Marilue Maris from Walton County in the Panhandle to tell us how access to the gulf there is regulated. She described how beach access and use by the public is limited to only the areas of “wet” sand, with security guards sometimes patrolling to ensure that non-property owners don’t settle their chairs or blankets in dry areas. Wow!

Next week, I will be attending a “Florida Real Estate Trends” update by Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. He is scheduled to update policymakers, residents, and Realtors® on what is ahead in 2022. Real estate drives Florida’s economy and as the COVID-19 pandemic continues into its second year, it sure would be nice to know what lies ahead.

Also on the agenda next week are the Forms Content Committee meeting, and Legal and Professional Standards Update – also good stuff to stay up on.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Tuesday was the first 2022 meeting of the local Association’s Professional Development Committee. Many educational classes for members already are scheduled with the focus of this meeting speakers for the upcoming monthly membership meetings. The first of those is February 24.

Our annual Realtors® lnstallation and Awards Breakfast was early yesterday at The Community House. Attendance was lighter than in normal times, but it was great to see many familiar faces in-person for the first time in more than two years.

Congratulations to the incoming Board of Directors and Officers (shown in the Association photo above) and the many “of the year” awards including 2021 Honor Society recipients (my 29th year).

Though 2021 was a record one for island sales, we all hope that 2022 will be safer, less stressful – and that there will be more product to sell. The details on the activity posted since last Friday in the islands MLS are below.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 7‑14, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sundial #G104 2/2 $875K.

2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #421 2/2.5 now $759K, Sunset South #11C 2/2 now $1.095M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Pointe Santo #C3 3/2 $1.095M.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 3324 Saint Kilda Rd 4/4 now $2.995M.

9 new sales: 804 Rabbit Rd 2/1 listed at $499K, 458 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $925K, 1133 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $945K, 1251 Sand Castle Rd 4/3 listed at $1.05M, 4737 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 listed at $1.6M, 719 Periwinkle Way 4/3 listed at $1.895M, 500 Kinzie Island Ct 3/3 listed at $2.295M, 5415 Osprey Ct 3/3 listed at $2.495M, 1360 Eagle Run Dr 5/3.5 listed at $2.695M.

1 closed sale: 1278 Sand Castle Rd 4/3 $1.526M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 845 Pyrula Ave 525K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 3308 Saint Kilda Rd $640K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Land End Village #1659 2/2 now $1.345M.

1 new sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2236 2/2 listed at $1.3M.

1 closed sale: Gulf Beach Villas #2122 2/2 $1.075M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 57 Sandpiper Ct 2/2 listed at $1.399M.

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”.

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s Almost 2022 on Sunny Sanibel

As the sun gets ready to set on another year, why is it always a surprise when the islands are snarled with traffic during Christmas/New Year week? With mostly delightful weather (sunny with daytime temperatures high-70’s to mid-80’s), the causeway has been a slow crawl in the mornings from before the toll booth coming onto the island through the 4-way stop and down Periwinkle Way.

About 3 p.m., the same crawl begins in reverse making it a fun ride home in the evening. It sure appears that more folks have been enjoying things on-island this year.

Today, with holiday closings, there is less traffic and it started out foggy – an unusual occurrence here. It burned off about noon, but more fog is expected tomorrow morning with a cool front forecast to pass through Florida Monday. (That probably means daytime temperatures then will only go into the low 70’s that day.) Otherwise, the next ten days are expected to be sunny and warm.

A summary of the week’s real estate activity is after a couple of news items below. There have been a few more year-end closings so first an updated island inventory table. (Data from Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service as of 12/31/21.)

Hard to believe that there are only 19 Sanibel condos/homes for sale and that nearly 700 have gone under contract/sold this year.

 

 

Status

SANIBEL CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $
For sale 14 1,160,628 15 2,922,733 19 630,210 4 2,684,750 8 6,248,000 0 N/A
Under contract 27 900,883 31 1,662,258 7 676,840 5 905,600 3 5,361,333 0 N/A
Sold 2021 284 877,655 355 1,341,881 68 703,830 62 1,161,369 44 2,988,520 2 2,950,000

New Year Weekend Happenings

  • San-Cap Motor Club Cars and Coffee Cruise-in – Sat, Jan 1 at Periwinkle Place – 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Sanibel-Captiva Audubon Society Bird Walk – Sat, Jan 1 on Wildlife Dr at J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge at 9 a.m. Meet in overflow parking lot on left as you enter the Refuge. On a side note, the Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count conducted Sun, Dec 18, with 108 participants counted a total of 10,869 birds comprised of 96 different species. The results of the San-Cap count are reported to the National Audubon Society and will become part of the 122nd Audubon Christmas Bird Count. The overall count was below average. Warm temperatures up north may have delayed migrations could have played a part.
  • Sanibel-Captiva Polar Bear Plunge 2022 – Sat, Jan 1 at northside of Sanibel Causeway Island B. (Island closest to Sanibel). Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. At “crack of noon”, swimmers will plunge into the “frigid” (70 degree) water to kick off the new year!
  • Community House Arts & Crafts Show – Sun, Jan 2 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

New Lending Rules Threaten Some Condo Sales

By Kerry Smith, the below article was posted Dec 22 on FloridaRealtors®:

“Fannie and Freddie tighten condo-lending rules. Details vary, but they generally won’t back single-unit condo loans if a building has deferred maintenance issues.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – In response to the Surfside tragedy, Freddie Mac announced last week that it would immediately start taking a closer look at a condo development’s maintenance issues before approving individual loans. The change follows a similar announcement made earlier by Fannie Mae. The two mortgage giants back over half of all U.S. loans.

“The new requirements can be complex – Freddie Mac posted its announcement online – but they will generally deny condo and co-op unit loans if the building has deferred maintenance issues, special assessments to fix deferred issues or other problems.

“All changes announced in Freddie Mac’s bulletin “will be effective for Mortgages with Settlement Dates on or after Feb. 28, 2022.” Fannie Mae’s earlier bulletin says its rules will be “effective for whole loans purchased on or after Jan. 1, 2022, and for loans delivered into MBS pools with issue dates on or after Jan. 1, 2022.”

“Both policies “remain in effect until further notice.”

“As part of the process, Fannie Mae lenders will send condo managers a five-page form that must be completely filled out. Under the section that covers insurance types and amounts, it even includes instructions, such as “Do NOT enter ‘contact agent.’” The regulations apply to all condominiums with five or more units, even if that complex is otherwise exempt from review.

“While individual condo buyers may immediately face hurdles getting a loan approved, the tighter policies could have a longer-term impact on entire condominium complexes. Even condo associations without concerning maintenance issues could find that unit owners – without the backing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – will have a harder time selling their property if the new paperwork isn’t filled out correctly and returned promptly.

““Loans secured by units in condo and co-op projects with significant deferred maintenance or in projects that have received a directive from a regulatory authority or inspection agency to make repairs due to unsafe conditions are not eligible for purchase,” Fannie Mae states in its Oct. 13 announcement. And those projects “will remain ineligible until the required repairs have been made and documented.”

Fannie Mae considers acceptable documentation to be “a satisfactory engineering or inspection report, certificate of occupancy, or other substantially similar documentation that shows the repairs have been completed in a manner that resolves the building’s safety, soundness, structural integrity, or habitability concerns.”

“While Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s changes apply nationwide, Florida may feel a greater impact due to the number of condo buildings across the state. In addition, condo complexes that have deferred maintenance issues or one of the other problems noted won’t be approved for Fannie Mae- or Freddie Mac-backed loans until those issues have been fixed.”

Updated Captiva Land Development Code & Regulations

Realtors® were noticed this week (see letter below) following amendment approvals to Captiva’s land development code by the Lee County Board of County Commissioners. The new code revisions are shown below in red while some rule reminders are included too:

“CAPTIVA COMMUNITY PANEL

P.O. Box 72, Captiva, FL 33924-0072

“Dear Captiva Property Owners and Companies Doing Business on Captiva:

“The Lee County Board of County Commissioners has just approved amendments to the Captiva land development code. These changes were recommended by the Captiva Community Panel and they will keep our Village beaches pristine at the end of each day, protect our dark skies and reduce unnecessary light trespass onto neighboring properties, protect our bicyclists and pedestrians from dangerous conditions caused by overgrown vegetation on Captiva Drive, and reduce the number of contractor, design professional and real estate signs on our islands.

“It is important that all of us who live and work on Captiva review these new updates to the code as well as existing provisions which protect and preserve our fragile barrier island. The Panel believes in the power of community and in voluntary compliance with our codes and ordinances. Enforcement on Captiva should be necessary only as a last resort.

“To assist us, the Panel has summarized the new code provisions (in red) and reminds everyone of some of the existing regulations that apply to Captiva (in black). Please remember that Captiva is an unincorporated part of the Lee County and that many Lee County regulations (in addition to the Captiva-specific rules) apply to Captiva. We ask everyone to comply with them all.

Beach Furniture and Equipment

All beach furniture and equipment when not in use and unoccupied must be removed from the beach between 9:00 p.m. and 8 a.m. at all times of the year between Alison Hagerup Park and the south end of Wiles Drive. Beach furniture and equipment not removed shall be considered abandoned property and subject to removal.

Remember: A similar rule applies to the rest of Captiva’s beaches during turtle season – from May 1 to October 31.

Outdoor Lighting

            All new outdoor lighting, including landscape spotlights, must be hooded or shielded so that the light source is masked, and does not shine beyond or above the structure, property or highest foliage to be illuminated or spill onto adjacent property. Fixtures attached to poles, trees or buildings must also be hooded or shielded, shall be no more than 15 feet above grade, and directed downward. No new or existing lights may be aimed, directed, focused onto adjacent property, or allowed to cause direct light or glare to be projected onto adjacent property. Seasonal decorations are permitted for up to 60 days per year.

“Captiva Drive Landscaping

No vegetation shall be allowed to grow on Captiva Drive or its paved shoulder. A setback of at least 2 feet from the edge of the pavement must be maintained at all times for all vegetation below the height of 8 feet.

“Signs on Captiva

            All residential identification signs shall not exceed 6 square feet. Remember: The height of these signs may not exceed 4 feet above grade. If illuminated, the lights must shine downward and wattage may not exceed 36 watts per sign. Uplighting is prohibited and approval for electric hookup to illuminate a new sign must be obtained from Lee County.

All contractor, subcontractor, or design professional signs shall not exceed 6 square feet. There may be no more than 2 signs per property and they must be removed within 10 days of the issuance of the certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance. Remember: Any design professional, landscaper or contractor signs not located at a work site under construction are prohibited and must be removed.

All real estate signs advertising a property for sale or rent in a residential neighborhood may not exceed 2 square feet in size with the bottom edge of the sign no more than 12 inches above the ground. A property is limited to one real estate sign at any given time.

Remember: Sandwich signs, banner signs, pennants, flying signs and neon signs are prohibited on Captiva. (There are some exceptions for short-term special events.)

“DON’T FORGET

            Rentals: Residential dwelling units cannot be rented for less than a week on Captiva. The one-week minimum does not apply to rooms in hotels and motels.

Golf Carts: Golf carts can operate between South Seas and ‘Tween Waters, and at night with the required lights and equipment. But no one can operate a golf cart on Captiva without a valid driver’s license.

Parking: Parking on all Captiva streets is prohibited.

Littering: It is unlawful for any person to place litter on a street, beach, or waterway on Captiva. Litter includes cans, bottles, boxes, straws, paper, and cigarette butts.

Open Containers: It is illegal to carry an open alcoholic beverage or drink any alcoholic beverage on a street, sidewalk, beach, or parking lot on Captiva. It is also illegal to have an open container of an alcoholic beverage while a passenger in a car or on a golf cart.

Dunes: No person may harm or destroy a dune or dune vegetation on Captiva, or harass, molest or disturb wildlife. And no one may light or maintain any open fire on the beach.

Building Height Restrictions: Captiva has very strict building height restrictions and requirements from which no variances or deviations can be permitted. Anyone planning construction should review these regulations carefully.

“Please remember: This letter only summarizes the new regulations – and only lists some of the existing ones. If any of them apply to you, it is important to review the full text of the regulation. Amendments to our Noise, Fertilizer, Parking, Golf Cart and Septic regulations have been presented to the County for future adoption.

“2021 CAPTIVA COMMUNITY PANEL

Members: Ann Brady – Jay Brown – Ken Gill – John Jensen – Mike Kelly – Linda Laird

Mike Lanigan – Tony Lapi – R. Bruce McDonald – David Mintz – Bob Walter”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 24-31, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Pointe Santo #D41 2/2 $1.45M.

1 price change: Gulfside Place #117 2/2 now $1.789M.

3 new sales: Blind Pass #D102 2/2 listed at $625K, Sanibel Moorings #1132 2/2 listed at $799K, Pointe Santo #D37 2/2 listed at $1.395M.

3 closed sales: Captains Walk #B4 2/2 $510K, Loggerhead Cay #422 2/2 $769.9K, Sedgemoor #205 3/4 $4.27M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 2114 Egret Cir 3/2 $769K.

No price changes.

4 new sales: 9217 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $699K, 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/3 listed at $865K, 1347 Jamaica Dr 2/2 listed at $1.498M, 2711 Wulfert Rd 4/4/2 listed at $1.595M.

9 closed sales:  1667 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 $650K, 1841 Ibis Ln 2/2 $680K, 4226 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $852K, 2539 Coconut Dr 2/2 $1.1M, 1585 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $1.2M, 1410 Sanderling Cir 3/2 $1.2M, 737 Periwinkle Way 3/3 $1.9M, 807 Limpet Dr 3/2 $2.15M, 1146 Golden Olive Ct 5/4 $2.9M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5320 3/3 $1M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 16897 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 listed at $4.989M, 11548 Wightman Ln 4/4.5 listed at $7.5M.

1 closed sale: 15300 Captiva Dr 9/7 $6.19M.

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”.

Happy New Year! Wishing your good health & safety, happiness & colorful sunsets in 2022!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

White Christmas Here = Beach Sand & Seashells

Susan here, reporting that Florida warm weather continued this week with daytime temperatures in the high 70’s to mid-80 degrees F. Island roadways have been getting busier by the day with early arrivals of holiday visitors.
Even after living almost 30 years on Sanibel, it still is a surprise when Christmas sneaks in with temperatures like this. It’s great!

At SanibelSusan Realty

Our phones were noticeably quieter this week, probably with many shopping and concentrating on upcoming celebrations.
The activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of other news items below.
Next Friday (Christmas Eve day), the SanibelSusan Team has the day off. Like on New Year’s Eve the following Friday, you still can expect to see an update posted on the week’s happenings. I won’t ever forget the year that I sold a house on Christmas Day, so even when we are not in the office, we are just a phone call or electronic message away, and always respond quickly. Technology is our friend.
This morning, I had a pre-closing walk-through and seller document signing at Superior Title, before the actual buyer walk-through on Sunday, and closing on Monday. Title companies are super busy in December with many sales to finalize before the end of the year. We always appreciate when some of the closing activities can be done before the actual closing day, especially with holidays fast approaching. That will be our last closing of 2021 and a nice one to report next week.

Singing Your Way Into Christmas

Always fun this time of the year to remember some familiar tunes that have been modified to fit our island paradise. Here are a couple of songs that the BIG ARTS Community performed in past years and still apropos now. Bet if you read the words, you start humming.
Sung to the tune of “Winter Wonderland”, words by Doug MacGregor:
Seagulls sing, are you list’nin’?
At the beach, surf is glist’nin’
A beautiful sight, a sunset tonight
Walking’ in a winter wonderland.
Stored away are the snow skis
Here we stay in our short sleeves
You sing a new song, “This is where I belong!
Livin’ in a winter wonderland.
In the yard, we can trim a palm tree,
Then pretend to shovel lots of snow
You’ll say “Do you miss it?”, I’ll say, “no ma’am”
“I feel younger by the minute don’t you know.
Later on, we’ll conspire
And grill some shrimp on the fire
The plans we have made include sun and some shade
Walkin’ in a winter wonderland.
This one with words modified by Mike Bugler is to the tune of ”Here Comes Santa Claus”:
We’re on Sanibel, we’re on Sanibel
We just got here by plane
Escaped the snow & bitter cold
Snowbird is my name
Seashell bringin’, ocean swimmin’
The sun is always real bright
So, let’s give a thought to our friends up north
Whilst we’re having fun tonight
We love Sanibel, we love Sanibel
Warmer down here than Maine
Deck chairs set out on the beach
More sunshine here than rain
Sip that cocktail, spray that suntan
All here just seems just so right
We’re not going north for another few months
So, let’s all have fun tonight

Realtors® Get Update on Water

Yesterday was the December membership breakfast meeting at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®. Chauncey Goss, former Sanibel City Councilor and son of Sanibel’s first mayor was the guest speaker. With a long career in public service, Chauncey currently is Chairman of the governing board of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). Here are few highlights from his presentation:
SFWMD began in 1949 and expanded as a result of the Water Responsibilities Act of 1972. Today several projects are underway that are part of the solution to improving Florida’s water quality. The C-44 reservoir project which mostly affects the St. Lucie River and Florida’s east coast was just completed in November. The filling of that reservoir has just begun. This is the first major project to be completed in 21 years. (I can attest to that with our local and state Realtors® working hard during that time to keep water issues in the hearts and minds of FL property owners and their legislators. The fight must continue as water is a major ingredient in real estate here.)
Chauncey offered some distance references to put the expansive work of SFWMD in perspective. Would you believe the distance of the waterways they manage is like from going from here to Quebec. Over a million acres are under their management including some big marshes which are wonderful not only for the protection they provide, but for birdwatching!
C-43 is the west coast basin which more greatly affects what happens with water here. That project is expected to complete in May 2022. About 67% complete now, you can see it on the right on Rte 80 on way to LaBelle. The storage reservoir for that project is expected to be completed in Dec 2023 and will be ~3 miles by 6 miles (that’s like half the size of Sanibel).
The third project he highlighted is the FAA Reservoir Project which is in the Everglades Agricultural Area. This one also will have a storm water treatment area. Construction is expected to complete in Sep 2023.
Managing Florida’s water quality requires efforts from multi-agencies and multi-solutions. Chauncey urged attendees to remind their customers to stay attuned to water quality issues.

Islands To Receive $ for Beach Shoreline Projects

At their Dec 7 Lee County Board of County Commissioners meeting, funds were approved for local beach and shoreline projects including approximately $2.43 million for Sanibel/Captiva. The commissioners voted to approve interlocal agreements to fund 17 projects across Lee County using more than $4.5 million tourist development tax dollars. Among the agreements, Sanibel will receive $2,070,100 and the Captiva Erosion Control District (CEPD) will get $358,500.
On Sanibel, the City requested and received in full: $1,605,100 for facility beach maintenance, $225,000 for the Bowman’s Beach bridge replacement, $200,000 for changing room rehabilitation at Bowman’s Park, and $40,000 for beach erosion monitoring.
On Captiva, the CEPD requested and received $127,500 for beach park maintenance. It also requested $680,000 for Alison Hagerup parking lot upgrades but was approved for $231,000.
The county reported that beach and shoreline project funding accounts for 26.4% of the proceeds from the tourist development tax assessed on short-term lodging, such as hotels, resorts, and motels. For more info, visit www.leevcb.com/funding-programs/beach-and-shoreline.

New Restaurant Alert

I saw yesterday on Facebook that Bamboo Pan Asian Kitchen just opened. Located on Tarpon Bay Rd behind Tower Gallery, their message said “Come on in, today, Friday, Saturday 4pm to 8 p.m. We will update our hours after the opening 3 days!”.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 10‑17, 2021

Sanibel
CONDOS
1 new listing: Duggers Tropical Cottages #1 1/1 $475K.
No price changes.
2 new sales: Pointe Santo #A26 2/2 listed at $1.35M, Atrium #106 2/2 listed at $1.71M.
5 closed sales: Spanish Cay #F8 2/2 $479K, Blind Pass #C207 2/2.5 $625K, Coquina Beach #3E 2/2 $875K, Sanibel Arms West #E3 2/2 $915K, Junonia #101 3/2 $1.579M.
HOMES
3 new listings: 3702 Coquina Dr 2/2 $899K, 1196 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $899K, 2711 Wulfert Rd 4/4/2 $1.595M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 1195 Sand Castle 3/2.5 listed at $1.225M.
7 closed sales: 5308 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/3 $779K, 328 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $925K, 1187 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $1.2M, 993 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $1.4M, 924 Pecten Ct 4/4 $1.865M, 1511 Angel Dr 3/3 $1.996M, 4014 West Gulf Dr 4/4 $3.8M.
LOTS
No new listings, price changes, or new sales.
1 closed sale: 5850 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $450K.
Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings or price changes.
2 new sales: Bayside Villas #4306 3/3 listed at $850K, Bayside Villas #5341 3/3 listed at $969K.
3 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3217 1/1 $405K, Tennis Villas #3120 1/1 $470K, Bayside Villas #4220 1/2 $535K.
HOMES
1 new listing: 11548 Wightman Ln 4/4.5 $7.5M.
No price changes.
1 new sale: 5 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 listed at $3.595M.
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 Christmas Eve day! Best wishes, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sunny Sanibel September Scoop

Even with the Monday holiday, it has been a quiet September week on sunny Sanibel. The causeway was packed over the long weekend, but Sanibel beaches were not overly busy.

Though the great summer-like weather continues with little traffic, there are a few visitor rumblings about the many temporary restaurant closings. That list has been updated and provided below.

Meanwhile, like me, some of my local pals are not out socializing much, but instead limiting their travels to home, work, necessary shopping, and doctoring. We are anxious for COVID-19 numbers to get under control. It is sad that this week, Lee Health had their highest number of pandemic deaths, as many as 18 a day. The number of unvaccinated cases reported is staggering and hospitalizations now include many children. With the politics about mask wearing and CDC precautions all over the news, it is scary to realize that this pandemic is getting worse – not better. We hope that you and yours remain safe and healthy.

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate

In the world of island real estate, there was no Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting this week, At the late-August membership meeting, where two local rental managers spoke (Fran Peters with Island Vacations and Sharon Michie with Cottages to Castles), it was interesting to hear how 2021 has set records for both rental income and bookings. Even with cancellations and without foreign visitors, the islands have persevered as a much-desired vacation destination. Both companies were booked until late August. Rental prices continue to rise as the pent-up demand for island vacations goes up.

They also reported that accommodations are fully reserved for the upcoming winter season. Like we have seen in sales, many property owners now are using their condos and homes more themselves, further limiting rental availability. Those companies with accommodations have wait lists of vacationers wanting extended winter stays.

It will be interesting to see what happens with reservations over the next few weeks. There likely will be more COVID-related cancellations, but I bet those timeslots quickly will be scooped up by others anxious to come.

Regarding real estate sales, according to the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service (MLS) today, there are just 15 Sanibel condos for sale, 5 on Captiva. Looking at homes, there are 26 on Sanibel and 12 on Captiva.

After a few news items below is the action posted in the MLS since last Friday.

Sanibel Causeway Toll Collection

Posted this week on the Lee Government website: Lee County has moved to an all-electronic process for toll collection. To avoid administrative fees that will be reinstated beginning October 1, 2021, they suggest residents sign up for a LeeWay transponder or use a compatible transponder such as SunPass or E-ZPass. Residents can sign-up to receive a transponder to avoid these extra fees being reinstated Motorists with compatible transponders will continue to pay the same prices. Motorists using pay-by-plate will be charged a $3 administrative fee per toll. This fee covers the manual costs of identifying motorists and billing them by mail. Visit leegov.com/tolls for more information.

Sanibel Farmers Market Beginning Soon

Get ready, the Sanibel Farmers Market opens for its 14th season on Sunday October 3 at City Hall. Open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on every Sunday (including Easter) through May 29, please check their website at http://www.BuyLocalLee.com for info on all their markets in SW FL and their required COVID-19 precautions.

Revised List of Temporary Restaurant Closings

As in past Septembers, several restaurants are taking time off, some for vacations, some for deep-cleans and annual maintenance. Here is an updated list as of this week:

  • Bleu Rendez-Vous Bistro – closed thru Sep 30, reopens Oct 1.
  • Blue Giraffe at Periwinkle Place – closed thru Sep 20, reopens Sep 21.
  • Blue Giraffe 2 at Beachview Estates – closed thru Sep 20, reopens Sep 21.
  • Island Pizza – closed thru Sep 29, reopens Sep 30.
  • Mad Hatter – closed thru Sep 30, reopens Oct 1.
  • Paper Fig Kitchen – closed thru Sep 13, reopens Sep 14.
  • Rosie’s Café & Grill – closed thru Sep 13, reopens Sep 14.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – closed thru Sep 29, reopens Sep 30.
  • Sweet Melissa’s Café – closed thru Sep 20, reopens Sep 21.
  • Traders – closed Sep 11 thru Oct 5, reopens Oct 6.
  • Traders 2 (T2) – closed thru Oct 4, reopens Oct 5.
  • Traditions on the Beach – closed thru Sep 23, reopens Sep 24.

Scoop from SCCF

Nature lovers, be sure and check the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s Wednesday reports for weekly updates. Here are a couple of tidbits from their report this week:

Nesting Turtles Update – SCCF sea turtle monitors last observed a new sea turtle nest on August 22, which turned out to be a rare green sea turtle nest. While this nest comes later than usual, green nests were documented at later dates in August in three previous years. Overall, while Hurricane Ida impacted 106 nests, 171 still are incubating on our beaches.

World Shorebirds Day – On September 7, SCCF staff and 10 volunteers divided into small groups to cover the East End of Sanibel for shorebird counts as part of World Shorebirds Day. A total of 1,532 individuals of 25 species of birds were counted. To see the detailed list of sightings, visit https://ebird.org/checklist/S94363237

SCCF Launches Weekly Water Conditions Update on Fridays – Have you checked out SCCF’s Weekly Water Conditions Update which can be emailed to you each Friday? (sign up at http://sccf.org/our-work/join-our-mailing-list). It provides a comprehensive understanding of the water quality surrounding the islands. A visual, virtual tour of the waters surrounding Sanibel Lighthouse Beach Park is included with a link to SCCF’s site https://aerialwq.sccf.org/lighthouse/virtualtour/ where beachgoers can see the water’s color and clarity. Also included in the e-newsletter are the status of flows from Lake Okeechobee, red tide and harmful algal blooms in the region, and a real-time look at water quality data throughout the Caloosahatchee estuary through SCCF”s River, Estuary, and Coastal Observing Network (RECON) monitoring system at eight sites (http://recon.sccf.org/).

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 3-10, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sandalfoot #5B1 1/1 $769.5K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Beach Road Villas #101 2/2 listed at $495K, Blind Pass #A102 2/2 listed at $630K.

4 closed sales: Sundial #I202 1/1 $532K, Sundial #J301 1/1 $610.5K, Sanibel Arms West #K3 2/2 $680K, Sanibel Moorings #512 2/2 $1.15M (our listing).

HOMES

3 new listings: 1245 Par View Dr 3.2.5 $1.575M, 2030 Sunrise Cir 3/3 $1.625M, 1278 Sand Castle Rd 4/3 $1.65M.

2 price changes: 535 Birdsong Pl 3/2 now $695,555; 727 Periwinkle Way 3/3 now $2.1M.

1 new sale: 720 Elinor Way 3/2 listed at $939.9K.

2 closed sales: 1360 Jamaica Dr 3/3 $1.349M, 812 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 $1.55M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 5642/5648 Baltusrol Ct $738K

1 price change: 3308 Saint Kilda Rd now $595K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 255 Hurricane Ln $370K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #2638 3/2 $1.349M.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Stay well & be safe,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Market Outlook – Here, There, Everywhere

Another Friday and SanibelSusan here with another island real estate report. First a photo of what it looks like here on a sunny Sanibel afternoon.

This week, the Saharan dust covering much of Florida has kept rain away from the islands. There have been a few showers, but nothing like usual peak storm season. Driving across the causeway, the hazy view over the water reminded me of growing up on the Maine seashore and how it looked before morning fog burned off. Now, that dust is moving away from Florida, so weather likely will return to a more typical September weather-pattern with daytime temps expected to be in the low- to mid-80’s with chance of afternoon thunderstorms. Now through the weekend, we also may see some wind from Hurricane Ida passing out in the Gulf, no real concern for SW Florida though.

Florida Realtors® Annual Convention

I sure hated to miss this event in-person again this year, but thankfully with new Covid-protocols still was able to participate electronically. Florida Realtors 2021 Convention and Trade Expo is being held August 24-28 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando.

Yesterday, in between classes, was the Annual Awards luncheon. It was great to hear that some friends were acknowledged and rewarded: Congratulations to 2021 Realtor® of the Year – Florida Realtors® 2020 President Barry Grooms from Bradenton, 2021 Humanitarian of the Year – Steven David from Broward, Palm Beaches, and St Lucie Realtors®, and to our 2021 District 5 VP – Ursula Weinkauff from Bonita Springs. They all excelled in a challenging year as they have for many years.

Today, our local Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Director of Education, Megan Rose, is sitting on the Florida Realtors® Audition Panel for the Professional Development Committee, evaluating candidates looking to teach state-approved classes. I sure enjoyed doing that for many years and know Megan will do a great job representing us. She will have a long tiring but fulfilling day. It is great process to ensure that Florida’s teachers are top-notch.

Tonight is the annual in-person Florida Realtors® 2021 PAC live auction. You-know-who has been bidding electronically all week on silent auction items. Tomorrow, the event wraps up with a Candidate Forum, Member Update, and the individual District meetings, followed by the Board of Directors Meeting.

At the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

There was no caravan meeting this week for the islands Association of Realtors®, but some real estate activity still was posted in the local Multiple Listing Service. The action follows a coupe of news items below.

At SanibelSusan Realty

Happily, The SanibelSusan Team has two closings before the end of the month, so Dave and I will be busy with those over the weekend and early next week. We both remarked this morning about how little traffic is on the island now. At quitting time last night, I went home the back way (west on Periwinkle to Tarpon Bay Rd north to Gulf Dr to the east end to Periwinkle) and didn’t pass a single car going in either direction until I got to just before the turn-off to my street. Even then, only saw one work truck heading off-island. Dave said it was little later when he left Lighthouse Beach, to head off island. He also didn’t see other vehicles. Where is everyone? September usually is the quietest month on the islands, appears that late-August is getting ready.

The Market Outlook – Nationally & More

Tuesday, I attended a Zoom presentation given at the National Association Leadership Summit in Chicago by NAR’s Chief Economist and Senior VP of Research, Lawrence Yun. As a long-time fan, it was interesting to hear his take on the pandemic, today’s housing shortage, and what he thinks the real estate future will bring.

He prefaced his speech saying that 99% of the country is experiencing a double-digit price change in their median priced home.

Then, he began with “when does this pandemic end?” He reiterated that though it has been over 100 years since the Spanish flu pandemic, through history pandemics have been a common phenomenon, a human experience. One that will not be done and over when this pandemic subsides. The Delta variant being a good example of that.

Looking at today’s statistics compared to recent history, one of his first slides showed that for the first time in decades, in the U.S., birth and death rates are equal. He referred to past forecasters who said that when the baby boomer generation starts dying out, U.S. population will decrease. That is looking to be true, though this data does not include those immigrating here and coming across borders illegally.

He then described how today’s housing shortage is a different kind from recent history when there were not enough actual homes for the housing demand. Today, rental prices are skyrocketing and expected to soar even higher. He gave examples where rental properties are getting multiple offers. Today, there is a historic shortage of rental vacancies, while the number of rental households is at an all-time high (mostly because those renters can’t compete with the offers from today’s buyers).

Existing homes sales (which traditionally are 90% of that market) are still above pre-pandemic levels, but not as frenzied as they were a few months ago. Newly-constructed-home sales (usually 10% of the market), now are just matching pre-pandemic levels.

Though interest rates still are historically low (less than 3%), mortgage applications from those looking to buy are below pre-pandemic levels. Why is this? It is because all-cash sales are elevated. Cash is king with cash sales ruling the market, essentially everywhere.

With most median home prices up over 20% in the last year, rental demand has gone up as most 1st-time buyers now are priced out of the market. Monthly mortgage payments are rising even at time when interest rates are at their lowest.

Though mortgage debt is at a record high, the record high property valuations should overwhelm any risk, so he says there is no worry of the market being over leveraged.

Comparing geographic areas, it was interesting to see where local market homeowner wealth gained over the last year. The highest equity gain was in the San Francisco Bay area where the average property increase was $160K. Unfortunately, this appreciation is not enjoyed across the population, as only 45% of San Francisco residents own. Like anywhere, homeownership rates vary across geographic areas, age groups, ethnicity, etc.

In comparing home occupant wealth, his slides showed how the average renter has a nest egg of only about $8K while the average property owner has $297K.

He made a point of mentioning of how the news media using old data does not help us understand the market – and how you cannot always believe what you hear. Particularly, considering the 2020 census numbers, that data does not reflect where people live and work today with so many fleeing cities to work in the suburbs or more preferred areas.

He had a slide showing the metro areas with the most net migration gains since the first of the year, and interestingly most of those are in vacation areas. For example, the places with the highest population increase year-to-date include Barnstable, MA (Cape Cod), Portland (ME), Myrtle Beach (SC), Asheville and Wilmington (NC), Huntsville (AL), Jacksonville (FL), and others. Another tidbit he mentioned was that Huntsville has the highest number of PhD’s in the nation. (Who knew?)

What will these vacation areas show for 2021? He said they all are experiencing a sizeable jump in sales, which is exactly what has happened here on Sanibel and Captiva.

What will the future bring? He said that housing demand should be compared to where people with jobs are doing their jobs.

As inflation increases the Fed will be forced sooner to make changes. When that happens, he expects that negative effects will occur from the Federal Reserve, who provides monetary policy, gradually increasing mortgage rates. He sees a tapering of purchases of mortgage-backed securities later this year, short-term rates rising next year, and an inevitable increase in G-fees to cover Congress’s infrastructure package. (A G-fee is the gurantee-fee to cover projected credit losses from borrower defaults over the life of loans, admin costs, and a return on capital.)

A positive effect will come from more first-time buyers qualifying for a mortgage as they have demonstrated financial capability from renting longer. (Big data also will help show their payment capability, with so many creating a financial trail through their use of Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc.)

Inflation already is popping out and is not going to go away. He predicts high inflation will continue. Already many of us are seeing price increases in used cars, gas, airfares, appliances, and the like.

The Government says rents are rising at 1.9% annually, but he provided info from national rental organizations showing that increases are more like 6, 7, and 8%, probably an indication that the Government also is under estimating inflation.

As the pandemic wanes, sales to foreign buyers and immigrants will pick up.

In the commercial arena, office space usage is shaky, particularly in downtown areas where many cities, like New York and Chicago, have high vacancies.

Industrial spaces, on the other hand, are booming. Retail spaces are coming back as buying improves, while apartment spaces also are coming back strong.

In his wrap-up, he likened the economy internationally to the winners of the Olympic gold medals, showing how through history those with the most medals were the most economically strong. We might have received the most medals in the Olympics this year, but China is a close second. Followed by Japan, before Great Britain. There is a message in that. Stay tuned.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 20-27, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Blind Pass #A102 2/2 $630K, Sanibel Arms West #E3 2/2 $965K, Gulfside Place #210 2/2 $1.495M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #211 1/1 listed at $525K, Breakers West #C3 2/2 listed at $749K, Gulf Beach #207 2/2 listed at $1.1M.

3 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #921 1/1 $435K, Sanibel Inn #3511 2/2 $695.1K, Kings Crown #102 2/2 $1.55M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 4771 Tradewinds Dr 3/3 $3.35M.

2 price changes: 1025 S. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed at $820K, 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $1.799M.

8 new sales: 837 Casa Ybel Rd 2/2 duplex listed at $599.9K, 5802 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3.5 listed at $899K, 4760 Rue Helene 3/2 listed at $1.325M, 4954 Joewood Dr 3/2 listed at $1.599M, 5379 Shearwater Dr 4/3 listed at $2.149M, 2475 Tropical Way Ct 3/3.5 listed at $2.295M, 856 Limpet Dr 4/2.5 listed at $2.358M, 4014 West Gulf Dr 4/4 listed at $3.849M.

1 closed sale: 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 $1.55M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 5642 Baltusrol Ct now $369K.

1 new sale: 1272 Par View Dr listed at $459K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3127 1/1 $385K, Captiva Hide-a-Way #1D 2/2 $1.032M.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Beautiful Weather for Memorial Day Weekend 2021

SanibelSusan here reporting that all is well on the islands for the holiday weekend. Traffic on Periwinkle and the causeway was already picking up yesterday afternoon and has been steady most of today. More summerlike weather is expected for the immediate future, so plenty of weekend warriors may be arriving.

If you follow local news, this week there has been a lot of hype about red tide and blue-green algae. With the rainy season approaching those often are summertime concerns in SW Florida. But, if the water surrounding Sanibel today is any indication, there is none. I took the below photos this earlier this afternoon showing bayside surrounding waters – they are clear and a beautiful bright blue reminiscent of the Caribbean. Should be perfect for boaters and beachgoers here for the holiday holiday! We hope you enjoy your weekend too and remember those who served.

At SanibelSusan Realty

Here in the office teammate Elise has kept things running smoothly while teammate Dave is on vacay and I have struggled with a bad knee. Who knew that just getting up from a chair causes injury?  Anyway, I now have mastered using a walker, luckily can still drive, and should get an orthopedic plan of action next week. Teammate Lisa is in the office tomorrow.

Thank goodness we work like a well-oiled machine and much of it is over the internet. I put our last lot listing under contract Sunday, we had two nice closings this week, and both Elise and I have spoken with and visited owners thinking of selling.

Meanwhile, island inventory continues to diminish. Today on Sanibel, there are just 13 condos, 25 homes, and 15 lots for sale. Even fewer listings on Captiva, where seven condos, 11 homes, and just one lot are available.

You will see the week’s report of the action in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service after a couple of news items below. There was not a lot of new listing activity this week.

Most remaining snowbirds are heading north this weekend, while the post-season crowd will be here for the holiday. Fingers crossed they are “nice” and appreciate the islands’ low-key laid-back eco-friendly ambience.

Use of ‘Escalation Clause’ Skyrockets in Hot Seller’s Market

With Florida real estate market hot, the below article posted this week by Joel Maxson, Florida Realtors® Associate General Counsel is especially appropriate. One of the offers that one of our listings recently received had an escalation clause and it was not the successful offer. Sometimes other terms are more important to a seller than the price.

“As escalation clauses become more popular during this hot seller’s market, buyers should consider the pros and cons of using them – as well as the broader legal context of their offer.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – During this white-hot seller’s market, many conversations on Florida Realtors® Legal Hotline involve multiple offer scenarios. Buyers are desperately seeking ways to try and make their offer stand out. One method that has rocketed in popularity is using an escalation clause.

“There are many variations of these clauses, but the one thing they have in common is that a buyer is willing to increase the purchase price above the amount in the initial offer. A simple version of an escalation clause may read something like this: “Buyer agrees to pay $____________ more than the next highest offer, not to exceed a final purchase price of $___________.”

“This is the core concept, at least. Most clauses will also include some combination of the following components, although this is by no means an exhaustive list. The clause can get increasingly more complex the more a buyer adds to the clause.

  • “The amount of money to add to the next highest offer (the escalation amount)
  • The maximum purchase price
  • Seller’s obligation to show the buyer a copy of the next highest offer used to calculate the final purchase price
  • Whether the financing amount will increase, or whether the buyer will pay cash to cover the escalation amount
  • How to handle a situation involving two or more competing escalation clauses
  • Whether the buyer or seller will be obligated to sign or initial further documents if the escalation clause is triggered
  • Whether the escalation is based on the purchase price or net proceeds to the seller (to account for costs and credits in a competing offer)

“The positive side of escalation clauses is that they may make a buyer’s offer stand out. It also invites a seller to take an easy path to finalize negotiation.

“Most of the confusion we hear about these clauses on Florida Realtors Legal Hotline centers around the fact that the buyer’s offer is just that – an offer. A seller who receives an offer can accept, reject, counter, or even ignore an offer.

“For example, can the seller send a brief message that instructs the buyer to submit a new, “highest and best” offer, with a fixed purchase price by a deadline? Yes – the seller is welcome to reject the buyer’s offer.

“What if the seller removes the escalation clause and counters the buyer’s offer right at buyer’s maximum price cap with no information about any other offers? Can the seller do that? Yes – the seller is welcome to counter buyer’s offer.

“Can the seller go with a different buyer’s offer (even a lower-priced one) and never inform the buyer with the escalation clause? Yes – the seller is welcome to ignore the buyer’s offer.

“As you can see, the crux of most buyer frustrations centers on the concept that the seller isn’t bound to follow the rules in the escalation clause unless the seller accepts the offer.

“Please note that there are additional angles to this issue – this brief article is simply designed to give an overview of the escalation clause itself. For example, although this article mentions a seller’s right to ignore an offer, a listing Realtor must comply with this Standard of Practice from NAR’s Code of Ethics: REALTORS®, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property. Where disclosure is authorized, REALTORS® shall also disclose, if asked, whether offers were obtained by the listing licensee, another licensee in the listing firm, or by a cooperating broker.”

Memorial Day Weekend Happenings

“Ding” Darling’s Summer Fun Virtual Auction is now through Monday, May 31, at https://DingFunAuction.givesmart.com . All proceeds benefit conservation efforts at the National Wildlife Refuge.

Sanibel’s last Farmer Market until fall wraps up Sunday, May 30, on the grounds of City Hall, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market begins again on the first Sunday in October.

Also Sunday, May 30, American Legion is hosting a Backyard BBQ from noon until 8 p.m., 4249 San-Cap Rd at Mile Marker 3. Featuring burgers, brats & sides, with live music & fun.

Beachgoers, please be on the lookout for turtle and snowy plover nests. As of May 19, four active snowy plover nests have been recorded. If you see a nest that has not yet been roped off, contact shorebirds@sccf.org. Also as of May 19, SCCF already has counted and marked off 60 turtle nests on Sanibel, 25 on Captiva. That’s a lot for this early in the season. Please do not disturb any nests and if you are on the beach at night, only red/amber lights are allowed.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 21-28, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

6 new sales: Captains Walk #B2 1/1 listed at $299,999, Mariner Pointe #943 2/2.5 listed at $749K, Sunset South #11D 2/2 listed at $749K, Pointe Santo #D24 2/2 listed at $795K, Pelicans Roost #102 2/2 listed at $930K, Sanddollar #A102 3/2 listed at $1.395M.

13 closed sales: Sundial #I105 1/1 $405K, Mariner Pointe #731 2/2 $515K, Sandalfoot #3B3 1/1 $520K (our listing), Lighthouse Point #121 3/2 $591K, Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 $630K, Loggerhead Cay #572 2/2 $670K, Sanibel Arms West #C4 2/2 $910K, Sunset South #4D 2/2 $997.5K, Tarpon Beach #109 2/2 $1.055M, Pointe Santo #C43 3/2 $1.075M (our listing), Compass Point #151 3/3 $1.495M, Atrium #102 3/2 $1.498M, Cyprina Beach #3 3/3 $1.749M.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 939 Beach Rd 3/2.5 now $1.55M.

6 new sales: 2011 Mitzi 2/1 listed at $650K, 1605 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $699K, 429 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $749.5K, 770 Donax St 2/2 listed at $850K, 4516 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2.5 listed at $979.9K, 5765 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 listed at $1.648M.

8 closed sales: 1657 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $767K, 3570 Bunny Ln 3/3 $869K, 1983 My Tern Ct 3/2.5 $1.02M, 557 N. Yachtsman Dr 4/3 $1.124M, 5403 Shearwater Dr 4/3 $1.599M, 2355 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $1.649M, 1680 Hibiscus Dr 3/3.5 $1.8M, 1044 Whisperwood Way 4/4.5 $1.94M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: with contingencies: 1894 Farm Trl listed at $199K (our listing & our sale), 461 Sawgrass Pl listed at $699K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Captiva Hide-a-Way #D 2/2 $1.075M.

1 price change: Lands End Village #1649 2/2 now $1.395M.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2514 2/2 listed at $820K.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3217 1/1 $355K, Ventura Captiva #4A 3/3 $1.1M.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 $2.4M, 14980 Binder Dr 4/4 $2.475M.

LOTS

No new listings.

price change:

No 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”.

Best wishes for a safe Memorial Day Weekend,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

Wrapping up a Sunny Quiet Sanibel Friday

It has been another week of great weather, but rain is needed! Below is some news followed by the weekly action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

At SanibelSusan Realty

Here in the office, we are down to just one listing available and three under contract, with two closings next week. Inventory is sooo low. Realtors everywhere are looking for new listings. That includes us!

What Will Exurb Buyers Do if Called Back to the Office?

Posted May 12, 2021 on FloridaRealtors®: By Kerry Smith – “Pandemic-era buyers moved farther out and to new cities, assuming they’d never have to return to the office. Now, if forced to choose, 25% would pick home over their job.

“SANTA CLARA, Calif. – COVID-19 drove working professionals out of the office and sparked a surge in home buying in the less-expensive outskirts of cities and even in small towns across the U.S. But so far, only 48% of these workers have been told they can continue working remotely. An unknown number may soon be expected to commute to work if a return becomes mandatory, creating a conflict that pits their new house against their job.

“According to a realtor.com study, almost 60% of new homeowners who purchased within the last 12 months work from home – and 62% prefer to be. However, less than half have been told that they can continue to do so. About 25% of those surveyed have no definitive answer on whether they can remain fully remote indefinitely; another 25% already have plans to return.

““Throughout the last year we have seen homebuyers across the country, empowered by the newfound ability to work remotely, moving farther and farther from crowded urban downtowns in search of more space, a higher quality of life and a lower cost of living,” says George Ratiu, Sr. economist for Realtor.com. “Our survey data shows that people are really enjoying their new communities and larger homes, and aren’t willing to give them up anytime soon.”

“If companies start demanding that these workers return to the office, Ratiu says we “could see an influx of new homeowners in the job market. For companies willing to stay more flexible with either hybrid or entirely remote opportunities, there’s a large cohort of young professionals with growing families who … welcome the benefits of a technologically-enhanced employment landscape.”

“Job versus home – When asked what they will do if their employer decides they must return to the jobsite, 48% would try to arrange a flexible schedule that allows for some in-office work and some remote work – but almost 25% said they’d find a new job. Only 30% said they’d willingly return to the office if asked, and only 8% would sell their pandemic-era home to be closer to work.

“Going the distance – Despite the fact that 31% are less willing to commute farther for work, close to 40% would have to travel 30 minutes or more each way to the office if asked to return to the workplace, and 18% of new homeowners would have to commute more than 60-minutes each way – an unappealing prospect for many.

““As offices begin to reopen, those who are currently looking for a new home may have to start factoring commute time into their search. One way to find homes within your desired commute time is to use the Realtor.com commute time filter.,” says Lexie Holbert, home and living expert at Realtor.com.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 14-21, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Mariner Pointe #943 2/2.5 $749K.

No price changes.

5 new sales: Blind Pass #E104 2/2 listed at $549.9K, Sanibel Arms West #I2 2/2 listed at $599K, Heron at The Sanctuary #3A 2/2.5 listed at $839K, Sanddollar #C103 3/2 listed at $1.375M, Gulfside Place #320 2/2 listed at $1.389M.

6 closed sales: Sundial #H107 1/1 $450K; Blind Pass #D203 2/2 $459K; Kimball Lodge #302 1/1 $552,750; Sanibel Arms West #J5 2/2 $600K; Blind Pass #G104 3/2 $687.5K, Sundial #Q401 2/2 $908K.

HOMES

4 new listings: 4506 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $839K, 4516 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2.5 $979.9K, 5765 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 $1.648M, 1360 Eagle Run Dr 5/3.5 $2.695M.

3 price changes: 2011 Mitzi Ln 2/1 now $650K, 4619 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 now $848K, 1237 Isabel Dr 6/6.5 now $2.995M.

11 new sales: 5161 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 listed at $574K, 1649 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 half-duplex listed at $599.9K, 4505 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/3 listed at $729K, 555 Piedmont Rd 3/2 listed at $765K, 9408 Moonlight Dr 3/2 listed at $768.5K, 2548 Wulfert Rd 3/4 listed at $943K, 221 Robinwood Cir 3/2 listed at $999K, 5431 Shearwater Dr 3/3 listed at $1.148M, 1187 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $1.399M, 4701 Rue Belle Mer 4/5 listed at $3.395M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 4/4 listed at $4.245M.

13 closed sales: 1942 Roseate Ln 2/2 $500K; 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 $619,830; 2441 Shop Rd 4/3.5 $920K; 5424 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 $999K; 2563 Coconut Dr 2/2 $1.049M; 694 Heather Ln 3/3.5 $1.2534M; 1391 Jamaica Dr 4/3 $1.299M; 2303 Troon Ct 3/4 $1.3M; 5423 Shearwater Dr 3/3 $1.315M; 994 Whelk Dr 3/2 $1.325M; 4664 Rue Belle Mer 5/5 $1.62M; 775 Conch Ct 4/3 $1.75M; 4601 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 $2.9M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 2829 Wulfert Rd $349K, 3938 West Gulf Dr $899K.

1 price change: 255 Hurricane Ln now $399K.

2 new sales: 809 Pyrula Ave listed at $424.9K, 0 Rue Bayou listed at $649,555.

2 closed sales: 5687 Baltusrol Ct $385K, 539 Sea Oats Dr $385K.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Lands End Village #1649 2/2 $1.349M, Lands End Village #1663 2/2 $1.395M.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas # 3233 2/2 $520K, Gulf Beach Villas #2127 2/2 $885K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 11551 Paige Ct 5/5/2 listed at $6.495M.

2 closed sales: 42 Oster Ct 2/2.5 $1M, 11541 Laika Ln 4/4 $2.15M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 16970 Captiva Dr now $4.25M.

No 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.

Enjoy your weekend!
Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s Not Black Friday Here – Bright Blue Sky & Sunshine

Happy day after Thanksgiving! The SanibelSusan Team hopes you had a good holiday. It’s pretty quiet in our office today, though the roadways and bike paths are busy as it is bright and sunny with temperatures in the low 80’s.

As the holiday approached, island traffic picked up significantly. It was back to looking like “season”. The rare overcast foggy morning, like Monday, brought out shoppers and more traffic directors at the 4-way stops. All good, as island businesses need activity.

Though there was no local Association of Realtors Zoom Caravan meeting this week (next meeting is Dec 3), there was plenty of activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The week’s MLS postings follow a couple of news items.

First an updated island inventory summary. It is shaping up to be a good year with an unbelievable bounce-back from the early pandemic months. With only 79 Sanibel homes for sale and over 300 sold this year, it will be interesting to see what happens over the winter. Not quite as extreme is the situation with Sanibel condos. There are under 100 for sale and nearly 200 sold to date.

Inventory numbers like that usually indicate a sellers’ market, but the sales this year have been a tad slanted regarding what products are selling. More mid-range homes and more high-end residential-type condos have sold, likely pandemic-driven and related to occupancy and safety. In the winter when the islands are busiest usually is when there are the most sales. This year that could be tempered because of inventory.

Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price $ # Avg Price $ # Avg Price $
SANIBEL
For sale 96 773,127 79 1,911,043 55 805,241
Under contract 46 794,145 47 1,406,424 9 412,495
Sold year-to-date 150 731,868 254 948,367 20 632,418
Sold 2019 127 694,392 211 949,790 15 372,200
Sold 2018 155 720,617 218 1,112,747 21 602,095
Sold 2017 140 728,793 186 1,004,236 32 327,228
CAPTIVA
For sale 28 1,432,571 29 4,486,999 2 6,472,500
Under contract 6 783,000 8 2,548,375 1 795,000
Sold year-to-date 39 825,706 22 2,905,545 3 3,150,000
Sold 2019 29 1,037,077 17 2,737,503 1 1,375,000
Sold 2018 27 797,532 25 2,127,352 0 N/A
Sold 2017 34 671,551 22 2,457,022 2 2,312,500

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.

Farmers Markets & Christmas Trees

Captiva Farmers Market reopened this week. Those are on Tuesdays through April 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 5400 Plantation Rd at the entrance of South Seas Resort.

Sanibel Farmers Market reopened a few weeks ago. It is Sundays through May 30 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sanibel City Hall, 800 Dunlop Rd. Local Roots also runs six other markets in SW Florida. More info about their start dates, hours of operation, and locations is on their website at www.LocalRoots.com.

Sanibel-Captiva Lions Christmas Tree Sale – begins tomorrow, Nov 28. All proceeds benefit local charities. Located next to Island Cinema in the Bailey’s Shopping Center, they offer fresh Michigan Fraser firs from 5 to 10’ plus wreaths and stands. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sunday, with island delivery and set-up available. On-line ordering also beings Nov 28 at www.SanCapLions.com.

City of Sanibel – COVID-19

On Tuesday, Acting Mayor Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19. Now it goes until December 1, 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 84. 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 11/22 – 3 WEEKS = 21 cases (that is seven more cases than last week)

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

U.S. Borders with Canada, Mexico Remain Closed Through Dec. 21

Posted Wed on FloridaRealtors®: “Don’t get hopes up for cross-border holiday travel. With the pandemic apparently escalating, the borders aren’t expected to open anytime soon.

“McLEAN, Va. – If you were hoping that the United States’ borders would reopen for holiday travel, don’t get your hopes up. The land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed through Dec. 21, Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced on Thursday.

““In order to continue to prevent the spread of COVID, the U.S., Mexico, & Canada will extend the restrictions on non-essential travel through Dec. 21,” he wrote on Twitter. “We are working closely with Mexico & Canada to keep essential trade & travel open while also protecting our citizens from the virus.

“Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair, wrote on Twitter that border-closure decisions “will continue to be based on the best public health advice available to keep Canadians safe.” Though these travel restrictions have been extended in monthly increments throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the borders are not expected to open anytime soon. The U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases of any country with more than 11 million, while Mexico and Canada have more than 1 million and 300,000, respectively.

““The pandemic seems to be escalating in both of our countries. That would seem to suggest that these measures are with us for a while,” Canadian ambassador to the U.S. Kirsten Hillman said Tuesday, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.

“Both U.S. land borders were closed to all but essential traffic in mid-March after the coronavirus pandemic hit, with government officials announcing multiple extensions as case counts continued to rise, especially in the U.S. The previous extension, announced in mid-October, was due to expire Nov. 21. Despite the closure of land borders, U.S. citizens can still travel by air.

“Canada has begun allowing extended family members who live in the U.S. to seek an exemption allowing them to travel north amid these restrictions, provided they follow that country’s COVID-19 requirements. Lawmakers have called on President Trump to do the same on the U.S. side.”

Copyright © 2020, USATODAY.com, USA TODAY, Jenna Ryu; contributing, Jayme Deerwester and David Oliver. All rights reserved.

County Commissioners Approve Toll Transponder Agreement

From this week’s “Island Reporter”, “On Nov 17, the Lee County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve an agreement to allow motorists to use E-ZPass transponders – widely used along the East Coast and beyond – to drive on Lee County toll roads.

“The E-ZPass toll network includes 18 states throughout the Northeast and Midwest. The agreement would allow people who already have those transponders to use them on Lee County toll bridges….

“The agreement that allows the use of E-ZPass in Lee County is with the Central Florida Expressway, which joined the E-ZPass group in 2018. The Central Florida Expressway would process transactions with no transaction fee charged to the County.

“The transponders will be accepted locally starting early next year. Local motorists can continue to use LeeWay and SunPass transponders. For more information about Lee County toll programs, visit www.leewayinfo.com.”

The Double-Edged Housing Boom

Another good article by Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, in the November-December 2020 “REALTOR®” magazine:

“Eye-popping home sales and prices pose longer-term problems.

“Remarkably, in the midst of the pandemic, the housing market is in a clear V-shaped recovery. Sales for both existing and new home sales in August hit their highest mark since 2006. The data popped out as round numbers: existing-home sales at an even 6 million and new-home sales at exactly 1 million on an annualized basis, up 10.5% and 43.2% from a year ago. Pending contracts also hit an all-time high.

“Buyer activity this winter is unlikely to chill: Mortgage applications for home purchases are up about 30% compared to a year ago. Due to the extraordinary demand home prices have reached an all-time high. The national median home price was … up 11.4% from a year earlier. The strong price run-up is partly due to a latent boom in the luxury market and to a jump in multiple offers for starter homes. While those situations result in multiple “losers”, buyers are persevering. They aim to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates.

“Such a frenzy of activity, reminiscent of 2006 raises questions about a bubble and the potential for a painful crash. The answer: There’s no comparison. Back in 2006, dubious adjustable-rate mortgages taxed many buyers’ budgets. Today, buyers are taking out 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. Fourteen years ago, there were 3.8 million homes listed for sale, and home builders were putting up about 2 million new units. Now, inventory is only about 1.5 million homes, and home builders are underproducing relative to historical averages.

“But let’s look at current trends through a different lens. Escalating home prices will soon cause damage of a different sort, shutting out first-time buyers. That’s why more supply is critical. Only when home prices rise roughly in line with income growth can we say that the market is in equilibrium. Perhaps as people continue to flee crowded cities, new construction will get a boost. Greater flexibility to work from anywhere and improved broadband access in rural areas could spur home buying in remote areas, a market trend to watch for in the years ahead.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity November 20-27, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Sanibel Moorings #441 2/2 $585K, Cottage Colony West #125 1/1 $609K, Cottage Colony West #119 1/1 $619K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #2A 3/2.5 $869.5K, Sanibel Arms West #E4 2/2 $889K, Sanibel Arms West #D2 2/2 $960K.

4 price changes: Spanish Cay #A4 2/2 now $430K, Loggerhead Cay #373 2/2 now $662.5K, White Sands #23 2/2 now $1.099M (our listing, yellow arrow, followed by view), Sundial #L205 3/2 now $1.395M.

4 new sales: Captains Walk #B4 2/2 listed at $395K, Seawind #A108 2/2.5 listed at $527K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-1 3/3 listed at $899K, Sundial #O405 2/2 listed at $1.25M.

6 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #D7 1/1 $315K, Mariner Pointe #952 1/1 $350K, Sandpebble #2B 2/2 $457K, Seawind #A103 2/2.5 $565K, Island Beach Club #320C 2/2 $829K, Plantation Village #322 3/3 $2.275M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 2985 Island Inn Rd 2/2 $649.5K, 1850 Farm Trl 3/2 $699K, 2464 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 $1.295M, 1366 Tahiti Dr 3/2.5 $1.4M, 4166 Dingman Dr 4/4 $2.2M, 950 Victoria Way 4/4 $2.3M.

2 price changes: 9277 Belding Dr 3/3 now $850K, 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $899K.

6 new sales: 6141 Henderson Rd 3/2 listed at $658.5K, 3251 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed at $819K, 3020 Turtle Gait Ln 3/2 listed at $849K, 6176 Henderson Rd 3/2 listed at $998K, 509 Lake Murex Cir 3/2.5 listed at $1.225M, 4381 West Gulf Dr 5/5.5 listed at $11.5M.

4 closed sales: 9248 Dimmick Dr 3/3 $675K, 1304 Par View Dr 3/3 $730K, 549 East Rocks Dr 3/2.5 $1.085M, 1520 Angel Dr 5/5.5 $1.4M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 6428 Pine Ave $305K, 1825 Long Point Ln $389K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 3013 Poinciana Cir listed at $239.9K.

2 closed sales: 1048 Fish Crow Rd $323K, 4995 Joewood Dr $2.38M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes or new sales.

3 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5218 1/2 $387.5K, Beach Villas #2522 1/1 $529K, Lands End Village #1608 3/3 $2.025M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 11431 Dickey Ln 3/2 $1.258M, 11551 Paige Ct 5/6 $6.495M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 listed at $2.189M, 11555 Wightman Ln 3/2 listed at $3.695M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 925 South Seas Plantation Rd $5.6M.

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