Summer Starts on Sunny Sanibel

It’s Susan, reporting another sunny Sanibel Friday. We enjoyed a few low humidity days here this week, with little rain, but that is expected to change beginning later today.

Real estate wise, it was quiet on the island again this week, though we are happy to have another new listing and look forward to perhaps more action with holiday visitors soon arriving for the 4th.

Below are info from our Association of Realtors® meeting yesterday, scoop on Sanibel/Captiva residential real estate inventory today, info about upcoming holiday events, and the activity this week posted in the islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Yesterday was the June Membership Breakfast Meeting at the islands Association of Realtors®. Largest in-person turnout that one of these meetings has had since pre-Covid. Speaker was Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors®, Dr. Lawrence Yun. Here are a few tidbits from his presentation:

  • National Association of Realtors® membership has increased from 1.4 million to 1.55 million with Florida having more Realtors® than any other state.
  • Yun is often asked if the housing bubble will pop. His answer is a definite “no”. Today unlike before the recession, people must qualify to get loans and there is no subprime lending.
  • Latest data shows that prices in the Cape Coral – Ft Myers area (including Sanibel & Captiva) are up 35% from a year ago.
  • With the economy out of control, he concurred that the Feds are not doing their job. He also said that mortgage rates and the Fed Funds Rate are not a one-to-one relationship, they do not mirror each other.
  • With prices of so many things up, gas, air travel, food, etc., it noted that one thing not up is mass transit use with crime being the biggest reason people are not using metro systems.
  • He likened real estate price increases to West Texas crude oil prices. Explained how the U.S. is not drilling more so an oil price reduction is not likely, while Putin continues to make huge profits selling to China, India, & smugglers.
  • Looking at payroll and jobs, nationally jobs are almost back to where they were pre-pandemic. Here in Florida, there are 3.3% more jobs than there were in March 2020. States with the strongest increase in percentage of new jobs are Utah and Idaho.
  • Here in the local area, there were 150K jobs in 2000, that number has doubled to more than 300,000.
  • Considering those now working remotely, before Covid about 9% of full-time workers worked from home. That number now is closer to 21%. Of course, “working from home” benefits Florida. Who wouldn’t want to work where the weather is nice and there is no income tax?
  • Regarding the future, he expects that 4th quarter sales will be down 15% from last year. Cash sales will continue to be king, while lower inventory than 2000, yet sound underwriting standards likely will result in prices remaining where they are or increasing.

Island Sales Stats

To put the Sanibel & Captiva Island sales in perspective. Below are the statistics from the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listings Service as of today (June 24, 2022).

 

 

Status

SANIBEL
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 22 1,236,495 54 26 1,928,307 31 10 1,523,160 267
Under contract 17 1,109,256 41 20 1,648,000 15 2 547,000 56
Sold to-date 2022 89 1,146,181 39 120 1,696,216 62 20 604,687 244
Sold 2021 287 875,127 113 355 1,341,881 89 69 698,862 442
Sold 2020 193 733,136 174 289 950,426 161 23 606,233 393

 

 

 

Status

CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 9 1,594,111 57 9 6,091,973 76  1 15,500,000 90
Under contract 2 911,750 18 3 4,948,333 42  0 N/A N/A
Sold to-date 2022 25 1,513,121 54 18 5,847,527 140  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

Scoop on July 4th Happenings

30th Annual Sanibel Parade – 30th year for this event which began as the idea of island Realtor® Don Bissell. As always, the parade will form on Island Inn Rd which usually is closed to through vehicular traffic. Periwinkle Way will be closed along the parade route from 9 a.m. until noon (Tarpon Bay Rd to Casa Ybel Rd). Parade begins at 9:30. Get your spot early!

Post Parade Fun at Jerry’s – immediately following the parade, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., a celebration at Jerry’s Foods parking lot includes bounce house, water games, snow cones, face painting, & local Boy Scouts fundraiser (handing out hot dogs & water).

42nd Annual Road Rally – Beginning a noon in The Timbers restaurant parking lot, this scavenger hunt is benefitting Community Housing & Resources. The after-party and awards presentations will be at The Sanibel Grill.

Fireworks – begin at 9 p.m. from the beach at the end of Bailey Rd. Best viewing on the causeway. Bailey Rd will be closed to traffic all day.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 17‑24, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Seawind #105 2/2.5 $899K, Sundial #D305 1/1 $950K, Sundial #N301 2/2 $1.328M, Sundial #H406 2/2 $1.329M.

No price changes.

4 new sales: Sanibel Arms West #B8 2/2 listed at $875K, Sandalfoot #1A3 2/2 listed at $1.175M, Pointe Santo #C26 2/2 listed at $1.095M, Gulfside Place #210 2/2 listed at $1.499M.

3 closed sales: Seawind #106 2/2.5 $925K, Sanddollar #B301 2/2 $1.699M, Gulfside Place #101 3/3 $2.495M.

HOMES

No new listings.

4 price changes: 446 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 now $920K, 1835 Farm Trl 3/2 now $949K, 1313 Seaspray Ln 3/3 now $1.795M, 931 S Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 now $1.895M (our listing).

Dock with lift at 931 South Yachtsman Dr

1 new sale: 458 Casa Ybel Rd 3/2.5 $1.25M.

3 closed sales: 496 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $950K, 1985 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 $1.28M, 5075 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 $4.1M.

LOTS

Looking from 1084 South Yachtsman Dr to marina, bay, causeway

1 new listing: 1084 S Yachtsman Dr $699K (our listing).

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Marina Villas #902 2/2 $1.375M.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: Beach Villas #2635 3/3 $1.5M, Gulf Beach Villas #2027 3/2 $1.55M.

HOMES

Nothing to report.

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, enjoy summer! (Our ad from today’s “Island Sun” below.)

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

June on Sanibel & Captiva – More Inventory & Other News

It’s Susan, reporting another sunny Sanibel Friday. Lee County schools are out, family vacations are beginning, and plenty of spring/summertime fun events are being announced.

Luckily, the heavy rains last weekend, didn’t cause much long-term flooding and it resulted in some terrific shelling for those enthusiasts. Now that the ground is saturated, islanders will be keeping a close eye on future rainy events. Meanwhile, the Anchor Dr bunnies are loving the juicy vegetation at my house. There were two munching in my yard this morning as I headed out to work. I love those little guys!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

Some good news at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday. As incoming Association Prez, Realtor® Greg Demaras mentioned in his opening remarks, there has been 100% increase in Sanibel home listings compared to ten days ago when there were only 11 homes for sale. (Actually, today the number of Sanibel homes available according to the islands MLS is up to 26. More inventory is becoming available.)

The other percentage mentioned was that the number of properties open for Caravan viewing was up 400% from the last meeting two weeks ago, when there was only one available to see. These may be subtle market changes, yet still worth watching.

One of the properties open for Caravan viewing was our new listing on South Yachtsman Dr. The action posted in the island Multiple Listing Service (MLS) since last Friday follows a couple of news items below.

2022 SCIS Designation Classes

Also. yesterday morning, I taught the 2022 Resort & Second-Home Market module for the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist (SCIS) designation.

My 10th year teaching that class and it’s always fun. The 12 attendees this year included nine taking the classes or the first time and three Realtors® working on their renewal.

They all tolerated my insistence that the class photo be taken with them wearing funny resort-wear props.

Wishing them much success in their resort & 2nd home market business.

 

Governor DeSantis Vetoes SB 2508

Posted Wed, Jun 8, 2022 by Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF):

“Today, in a move that is a significant win for Florida’s environment—Governor DeSantis exercised his executive power to veto Senate Bill 2508. This bill would have undermined the extensive work by SCCF and our partners to base the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) on sound science and an equitable distribution of water. It would have had a chilling effect on water management decisions related to discharges from Lake Okeechobee, perpetuating the harmful “hold and dump” practices that currently allow for high-volume discharges to our coastal communities during the wet season. In addition, the bill would have accelerated the destruction of wetlands by allowing private reviewers to process expedited dredge and fill permits for utilities, resulting in further deterioration of water quality. Furthermore, it would have negatively impacted the Florida Forever land acquisition program by allowing the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to compete with the Department of Environmental Protection for state funding.

“We thank Governor DeSantis for demonstrating great political courage in vetoing this harmful bill. Our coastal communities in Southwest Florida have been devastated by declining water quality and harmful algal blooms for far too long. The red tide bloom in 2018 resulted in more the 425 tons of dead sea life being removed from the beaches of Sanibel, and more than $47 million in economic losses.  Scientists with SCCF and the University of Florida’s Center for Coastal Solutions recently published data linking pollution from stormwater runoff and harmful algal blooms. We now know that preventing harmful nutrients from reaching the coast is one way to reduce the extent and severity of red tide events in the future.  This is not only critical for the ecology of our coastal waters, but it is also essential for protecting the quality of life of our residents, and Florida’s economy.

“SCCF remains engaged in the LOSOM process with the Army Corps, South Florida Water Management District, and our environmental partners to eliminate the harmful discharges that contribute to harmful algal blooms.  With extensive modeling we have demonstrated that an equitable distribution of water can meet the needs of all stakeholders without any being sacrificed.  By vetoing 2508, Governor DeSantis has confirmed that he is listening to stakeholders, and will not let politics take priority over sound science.

“We sincerely thank all of you who spoke out against this harmful bill.”

Housing Market Is Strong – But Time to Sell?

Posted Mon, Jun 6, 2022 on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to Daily Commercial, by Don Magruder. He is the CEO of Ro-Mac Lumber & Supply Inc., and he is also the host of the “Around the House” Show which can be seen at AroundtheHouse.TV. More good news here about Florida.

“Housing remained resilient – Fla. more than many states – but signs suggest a slowdown in price increases. Still, investors moving away from stocks may be a wild card.

“NEW YORK – The Florida and national housing market remain very strong by every metric, but the overall health of the United States’ economy, inflation worries, interest rate hikes, and the downward spiral of many investment markets are starting to create some buts in the housing forecast long-term.

“The overall economy will affect housing especially regarding increased interest rates, but through the first quarter of 2022, housing has been very resilient.

“In March, per the United States Census Bureau, United States housing starts hit an annual seasonal rate of 1,873,000 which was 0.4% higher than February, and 6.7% above the previous year.

“Within those numbers, single-family homes cooled by almost 5%, but multi-family housing bolstered the sector to an increase. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, multi-family housing projects have been delayed, but with the current rental demand, most expect multi-family housing to grow.

“The dirty secret about these numbers is that starts would have been higher if not for supply chain woes. Housing starts and production are being suppressed because of serious supply chain issues throughout the country.

“The Monthly New Residential Sales report from the Census Bureau tells a different story, which may suggest interest rates and the economy may be slowing new home sales. Sales were 763,000 units which is 12.6% below the previous year, but the median price rose to $436,700 with a 6.4-month supply at current sales volume.

“The buyers remain in the market, but many are being priced out by higher interest rates and soaring prices for homes. This may be an inflection point in which home sellers will have to start reducing the prices to attract buyers since the low interest rate environment is going away.

“Some point to the fact that a late winter weather surge could have hampered sales in March and getting buyers back in the market may soon become a priority for sellers. In short, housing prices coupled with higher interest rates are too much for many buyers.

“Florida’s housing numbers are somewhat robust as compared to the national housing markets. Florida Realtors® reports that first quarter sales of housing were down 2.6% compared to the previous year, but housing inventories across the state were down to 1 month or a 10.2% drop as compared to the previous year.

This indicates sales were subdued because there were simply not enough houses in the market for sale. Additionally, the median sales price jumped 21.3% from the previous year to $385,000 while new listings for the quarter were flat from the year before.

“Here is another key fact; homes on the market were down to 53 days as compared to 64 days a year ago. The Florida housing market remains red hot, and builders simply cannot build enough units timely with all the supply chain disruptions.

“Two other big facts about Florida’s housing market that cannot be ignored are the percentage of cash sales for new homes and the rate of foreclosures. For the first quarter, cash buyers made up 33.5% of all the homes sold while foreclosures across the state were down 34.8% to a measly 362 units, which is nothing for a state of 23 million people. It seems money is moving out of Wall Street and other investments to real estate, and that most homes are in good shape financially.

“With all these first quarter numbers and economic data, where does the housing market go the rest of 2022? First, the Florida market will probably be one of the most robust markets in the country, but all markets, including Florida’s, will start seeing some capitulations in housing prices.

“Low interest rates have shielded sellers for some time, and with a forecasted rise in interest rates in June and July of half points on top of the May half point increase, something has got to give on pricing.

“What about Wall Street investors? Here is the big but: Do large amounts of money flow out of riskier investments on Wall Street and cryptocurrency find a safe haven in real estate? That is a possibility as builders and investors build rental housing for a population dealing with a lack of housing.

“Unlike some of the funny money investments on Wall Street, housing does provide one huge advantage as a tangible investment that delivers real value like a place to live and a nice tax advantage, plus there is a genuine need for more housing in America.

“It appears housing will cool some in other parts of the country, which should help ease supply chain disruptions. Additionally, pricing overall will moderate, probably knocking out the over-exuberance; but in Florida, unless the economic conditions deteriorate significantly, expect housing to remain strong.

If you are a home seller, the environment suggests you sell sooner rather than later.”

Sea Turtle Update

Posted Tues, Jun 7, 2022 by SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation). All sea turtle research and monitoring is conducted by trained individuals operating under Marine Turtle Permit #047:

“As of today, 296 loggerhead and 3 green turtle nests have been laid on Sanibel and Captiva Islands! Fortunately, the impacts of last weekend’s storm on our nests were minimal and we only lost 5 on both islands to storm surge.

“Sea turtles have a nesting strategy that accommodates for natural events such as storms. Each nesting female turtle deposits several nests throughout the duration of the nesting season – essentially hedging her bets to make sure that even if a storm hits at some point during the nesting season, there is a high probability that at least a few of the nests will incubate successfully.

“If you see a new nest on the beach that hasn’t been marked yet, please keep your distance. While well intentioned, marking it with beach objects or walking on the tracks makes it much more difficult for our staff and volunteers to interpret the field signs. To help our sea turtles, please remember to turn off all white lights visible from the beach (including flashlights), fill in holes at the end of the day, and remove furniture from the beach at night.”

Volunteers Needed for Beach Bucket Program!

Coastal Watch has partnered with the City of Sanibel and Bailey’s General Store to install Beach Bucket Stations at a few Sanibel beach access points. The project objective is to provide beachgoers with a vessel to collect trash as they enjoy the beach. The stations will be located at Lighthouse Beach, Tarpon Bay Beach, and Bowman’s Beach. They are looking for volunteers that frequently visit these areas or live close by, who are willing to check on the stations and make sure all buckets are accounted for and in good condition. If interested email coastalwatch@sccf.org.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

Join Dave, Lisa, and I as we wish our long-time teammate, Elise, well in her new position beginning Monday at Florida Gulf Coast University. We have worked together so long; she is like family.

Our loss is FGCU’s gain. Plus, she sure will enjoy her commute going from hours to just minutes. Best wishes on your new adventures, Elise!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 3-10, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sandalfoot #1A3 2/2 $1.175M, Sundial #F403 2/2 $1.325M, Sanibel Surfside #122 2/2 $1.54M.

3 price changes: Sanibel Arms West #B8 2/2 now $875K, Gulf Beach #107 2/2 now $999K, Sanctuary Golf Villages #5-2 3/3 now $1.198M

4 new sales: Seawind #110 2/2.5 listed at $895K; Tarpon Beach #105 2/2 listed at $1,297,555; Pine Cove #101 3/2 listed at $1.65M, Gulfside Place #101 3/3 listed at $2.495M

1 closed sale: Sundial #B206 2/2 $1.3M.

HOMES

8 new listings: 1236 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $929K, 1031 Bird Watch Way 3/2 $950K, 1835 Farm Trl 3/2 $993K, 4052 Coquina Dr 3/2 $1.25M, 9409 Moonlight Dr 3/2.5 $1.282M, 671 Durion Ct 3/2 $1.395M, 585 Chert Ct 3/2 $1.549M, 437 Lake Murex Cir 5/3 $2.199M.

2 price changes: 446 Lake Murex 2/2 now $934K, 947 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 now $1.456M.

1 new sale: 4612 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 listed at $1.495M.

2 closed sales: 4577 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 $771K, 1196 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $875K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1994 Wild Lime Dr $350K.

1 price change: 3005 Turtle Gait Ln now $995K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 3938 West Gulf Dr $853,750.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: Marina Villas #790 2/2 $10925M, Lands End Village #1610 3/3 $3.6M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 $4.125M.

1 price change: 11517 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4.5 now $4.995M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 15261 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 $10.25M.

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

Before Most Storms is a Spectacular Sunset!

June 1 was the official first day of Florida hurricane season. Right on time, the Pacific storm that passed the Yucatan this week, now is into the gulf and forecast to dump heavy rain on SW FL beginning today and continuing into tomorrow. After that, island weather likely will return to typical “rainy season” with off-and-on tropical showers possible most afternoons and evenings.

From now through fall, the islands enjoy many bright sunny days and excellent shelling (particularly after a summer storm), but this time of the year it is especially smart to keep an eye on the weather. It also pays to stock up on hurricane supplies during tax-free time, which is now through Jun 10. Qualifying disaster preparedness supplies include such items as generators, tarps, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, flashlights, lanterns, batteries, weather radios, and for pets, portable kennels, beds, leashes, collars, and muzzles (some price limits apply).

In the world of island real estate, after a couple of news items below is the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service since last Friday. On Jun 1, the May renters departed from our new canal-front listing in Sanibel Estates so Jim Anderson, JMA Photography, our long-time photographer was able to do his magic before the storm arrived.

931 South Yachtsman Dr in Sanibel Estates

There was no local Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting this week, but this morning I attended the Professional Development Committee meeting where we were busy finalizing 2022 classes and speaker schedules. I am also putting the finishing touches on the Resort & 2nd-Home Market class that I teach for the Association next week as one of the modules for the SCIS (Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist) designation.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands 2022 Real Estate Sales

Not totally unexpected is how quickly island sales have slowed. Even with a holiday weekend, the islands were quiet this week. Traffic was slim to none, with reported real estate sales about the same. It is another story about how busy it was on the causeway beaches, particularly on Sunday. There was no room for even a bird to light. Lots of people appeared to be enjoying the water and weather, but vehicles were parked within inches of each other, and jet skiers were zooming close to shore. Lee County certainly has their hands full monitoring those beaches.

Below is an update of Sanibel/Captiva inventory today, compared to sales year-to-date and last year. (Info from Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service as of Jun 3, 2022. For sale & under contract average prices are based on asking prices.)

 

 

Status

SANIBEL
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 20 1,288,307 75 19 2,175,836 37 8 1,792,200 311
Under contract 16 1,207,993 13 25 1,764,920 22 4 579,638 116
Sold to-date 2022 79 1,120,191 41 109 1,714,678 65 18 607,500 245
Sold 2021 287 875,127 113 355 1,341,881 89 69 698,862 442
Sold 2020 193 733,136 174 289 950,426 161 23 606,233 393

 

 

 

Status

CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 7 1,570,428 48 7 5,922,537 46  1 15,500,000 69
Under contract 9 1,771,944 37 4 6,523,750 42  0 N/A N/A
Sold to-date 2022 19 1,346,343 44 16 5,573,906 152  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

Florida Realtors® 2022 Budget Victories

This week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the $109.9 billion 2022-23 state budget into law which includes four Realtor® legislative priorities from the 2022 session.

First, it solidifies the $100 million allocated for the new Hometown Heroes Housing Program, meaning that July1, down payment and closing cost assistance will be available for eligible hometown heroes such as nurses, teachers, firefighters, law enforcement offices, and other critical front-line workers.

The budget signing also means that $262 million will be available at the start of the new fiscal year for the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) and State Apartment Incentive Loan programs (SAIL). These existing affordable-housing programs have been a long-standing priority for Florida Realtors® as they provide home ownership and rental assistance to low-income Floridians.

On the environmental side, the budget signing locks in more than $1.6 billion for water quality and other related projects including:

  • $500+million for Everglades Restoration
  • $558+million for target water quality improvements
  • $75 million for springs restoration
  • $50 million for Florida beaches
  • $20 million for Biscayne Bay
  • $125 million for the Wastewater Grant Program
  • $500+million for the Resilient Florida Program.

The budget also includes $500K to help the Department of Business and Professional Regulations combat unlicensed real estate activity.

Florida Real Estate Market Shows Signs of Cooling

Below is a transcript of the Market Update video posted May 19 on Florida Realtors® by Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor:

“The red-hot resale market for housing in Florida finally showed some legitimate signs of cooling in April, based on the latest monthly housing statistics from Florida Realtors. Let’s start by looking at closed sales of existing single-family homes, which were down over 15% compared to April of last year. That’s a significantly larger decline than we saw in March, when closings were only down a little over 6% year-over-year. “What happened in April?” you ask? Well, it’s not so much what happened in April so much as what was happening in February and March. Remember, most home sales that close each month, particularly the majority that are purchased with mortgage financing, went under contract one or two months prior to closing. So, the closed sale statistics reported each month are always impacted by market conditions from one or two months prior, as well. And what was going on in February and March when so many of April’s closings were going under contract? The answer, of course, is a rapid rise in mortgage rates.

“At the beginning of every week, Freddie Mac surveys mortgage lenders across the U.S. and reports the average national rate for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage on Thursday. For most weeks in 2021, they reported an average rate between 2.8 and 3.2%. These consistently low rates were essentially rocket fuel for the housing market and led to one of the best years for home sales of all time. But mortgage rates started rising in earnest in 2022. At the beginning of February, Freddie reported an average rate of about 3.6%–a little higher than the 3.2% rate it reported at the beginning of January. But by the beginning of March, the average rate had reached 3.8%, and by April, it was up almost a full percentage point further, to 4.7%. It was this huge increase during March that really had a significant impact on closings in April.

“Our new pending sales statistic, which is simply a count of how many homes went under contract each month, is typically a good leading indicator of closed sales a month or two down the road. This statistic has been showing double-digit year-over-year percent declines since February, so it’s not just the theory that rising rates dampen housing demand that has led us to expect lower levels of closings this spring, it’s been present in the numbers, as well. New pending sales are not a perfect forecaster of future closed sales, signed contracts do not always guarantee a successful closed sale, but they are one of the better ones. And with mortgage rates now consistently above 5%, it’s not surprising that new pending sales of single-family homes were down almost 14% in April. So, we might expect closings to be weak on a year-over-year basis over the next month or two, as well.

“Weak” is a relative term here, obviously. As I said earlier, 2021 was characterized by near-record low mortgage rates that allowed for a huge surge in homebuying demand. So, it’s simply unreasonable for us to expect that the market will perform just as well this year now that we are in a higher interest rate environment. The mortgage rates on home sales that closed this April are much more akin to what rates were at in 2018. And compared to April 2018, the number of single-family closings in April of this year was up 11%. April closings were also 4% higher than they were in 2019, when rates were on the way down. So, it all depends on your perspective. Closed sales are performing at about the level they were leading up into the pandemic, despite higher mortgage rates, low supply, and much, much higher sale prices.

“The median sale price for closed existing single-family homes finally eclipsed the $400,000 mark in April. It came in at $410,000, which is almost 22% higher than it was one year ago. While that’s bad news for prospective buyers, once again we need to remind ourselves that many home sales that closed in April actually had their prices determined when they went under contract a month or two earlier, just as rates were really starting to take off. In the longer run, price growth should start to moderate in response to these higher rates, so this is an important statistic to keep your eye on over the next few months as an increasing share of sellers will inevitably have to start adjusting their expectations to a degree.

“If you’re in the real estate business, though, the good news is that the lower level of sales in April was mostly offset by this year’s higher sale prices, although not completely. The statewide dollar volume of closed existing single-family home sales in April was down 4.5% compared to a year ago. Year-to-date, however, single-family dollar volume is still up 6.4%.

“Although we’re seeing fewer sales relative to last year, the number of existing homes being listed for resale this year has remained relatively consistent in 2022 compared to recent years. There were more new listings of single-family homes this April than in April of either 2018, 2019, or 2020, and they were only down by less than 2% compared to April of 2021. Year-to-date, new listings are down only 0.5% compared to a year ago. This has allowed inventory levels to finally start creeping up a little bit. As of the end of April, the statewide inventory of existing single-family homes for sale was up close to 7% year-over-year. That’s a big deal since it represents the first year-over-year increase in Florida’s single-family inventory since June of 2019. Granted, we still have over 60% fewer single-family listings than we did at this time two years ago, but we’ll take any victory on inventory that we can get at this point. It’s still a long road back to a balanced market.

“Now that we’ve covered the resale market for single-family homes, let’s look at the stats for homes in the condo and townhouse category. If you regularly watch our videos here, you know that annual condo and townhouse sales were up significantly in 2021. Single-family sales were up by almost 13%, but that was nothing compared to condos and townhouses’ increase of over 34%. The big reason why that happened is that our single-family inventory was mostly depleted during the second half of 2020. So, when 2021 came around, relative to single-family homes, we had a fairly abundant amount of condo and townhouse inventory. With housing demand as hot as ever and home prices rapidly rising, condo and townhouse sales went through the roof.

“By the beginning of 2022, though, condo and townhouse inventory levels were largely depleted, as well. As of the end of April, we’re at 1.3 months supply of inventory for this property type category, not much more than the 1.1 months supply of single-family inventory. As a result, condo and townhouse sales are constrained this year in a way they were not one year ago, so the decline in sales has been more severe than on the single-family side. Closed sales in April were down almost 21%, while new pending sales were down almost 24%. The levels of closings and new contracts, however, remain above where they were at this time in 2019, the last normal year for our housing market ahead of the pandemic.

“The median sale price for condos and townhouses in April was $310,000, a year-over-year increase of 24%. This year’s higher price point led to a decline in dollar volume of only about 8% relative to a year ago when condo and townhouse sales were at their hottest.

“Many of the factors impacting Florida’s housing market right now are macroeconomic factors, in other words, phenomena that are broadly impacting the housing market nationally, not just here in Florida. Rising interest rates and high inflation are two prime examples. But on a state-specific basis, Florida currently has some great things going for it that continue to make our state an attractive destination for new residents, investors, and second-home buyers. Our lack of income tax, access to beautiful beaches, and warm, sunny weather have always been a great asset, but they’ve become even more attractive in today’s work-from-anywhere world.

“Moreover, Florida’s economy has seen one of the strongest recoveries of any state over the past two years. But just as all states are different, so are all the markets within our state….”

How Did Sanibel Home & Condo Sales Compare in April 2022?

Since it also is important to analyze local market statistics, not just understand what is happening at the state-level, below is the info collected by Florida Realtors® (SunStats) for April sales on Sanibel.

Single-family homes – comparing April 2022 with April 2021, the number of home sales was down 68.1% (from 47 sales to 15). Median sale price, however, was up 32.1%, from $1,050,000 to $1,387,500.

Condos – also comparing April 2022 to 2021, the number of condo sales was down 55% (from 40 to 18), while median sale price was up 103.9%, from $675,000 to $1,376,500.

In April 2022, 73.3% of the single-family home sales and 83.3% of the condo sales were cash.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 27 – June 3, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Tarpon Beach #105 2/2 $1,297,555.

1 price change: Gulfside Place #101 3/3 now $2.495M.

1 new sale: Sanibel Arms #G8 2/2 listed at $1.295M.

5 closed sales: Coquina Beach #5A 2/2 $779K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #5-3 2/2.5 $859K, Island Beach Club #P4E 2/2 $1.749M, Somerset #A301 3/2.5 $3M, Sedgemoor #101 3/3.5 $3.895M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 647 Rabbit Rd 3/2 $819K, 446 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 $949K, 947 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $1.5459M, 839 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.995M, 931 S. Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 $1.995M (our listing).

931 S Yachtsman Dr

3 price changes: 1012/1014 East Gulf Dr 4/2 duplex now $1.049M, 5802 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3.5 now $1.39M, 2729 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.998M.

No new sales.

10 closed sales: 778 Cardium St 3/3 $853K, 1667 Sabal Sands Rd 3/3 $1.05M, 3910 Coquina Dr 3/2 $1.299M, 750 Oliva St 3/2 $1.425M, 788 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $2.1M, 746 Windlass Way 4/3 $2.15M, 489 Sawgrass Pl 5/5 $2.183M, 1679 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 $2.495M, 474 Lagoon Dr 3/3.5 $2.5M, 6176 Henderson Rd 4/3 $2.8M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2235 4/3 listed at $1.979M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16151 Captiva Dr 7/7.5 $13.875M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 11524 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 listed at $3.995M.

1 closed sale: 16989 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 $5.823M.

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 dry this weekend & enjoy your week!

Til mext Friday… Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s Graduation Weekend for Lee County High School Seniors!

Another Friday has arrived, again without much rain this week until a front from the Caribbean quickly passed through last night, waking many in the wee hours of this morning. Good thing I did a quick drive by one evening on the way home to see my favorite Apple Blossom Cassia tree (at Sanibel Moorings). Betcha the raindrops damaged its splendor.

Forecasters say this weekend will bring more evidence that the rainy season has begun. We hate to see the sparkling clear waters surrounding the islands get stirred up, but that typically is what happens during summer storm season.

Today, SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) issued its weekly water quality report, which shows good conditions now, probably contributing to great fishing with 54 catches last Saturday at the “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament.

SCCF photo of Lighthouse beach

There was no Association of Realtors® meeting yesterday, while here in the office, almost all our listings are sold. One more is scheduled to close early next week. After a couple of news items below is all the action posted in the island Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

First, this weekend is graduation for Lee County high school seniors.

Best wishes to teammate Elise’s son Ryan who gets his diploma on Saturday… and is heading next to Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). Congratulations, Ryan (and family!.

Sanibel City Council Scoop

City Council held its regular meeting on May 3. A couple of their key decisions were:

  • Traditional fourth of July fireworks display was approved. This will be the first since 2019.
  • Road resurfacing project to be completed this summer on Sanibel-Captiva Rd between Tarpon Bay and Rabbit Rd.
  • Share-use path system-wide repairs approved, to be complete by Nov.

Sellers Feel Shame if They Don’t Get Bids

Posted last Friday (May 13, 2022) on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to Realtor.com (May 12): “Some sellers hear about today’s bidding wars and pre-emptively overprice their home, only to feel shame – “What’s wrong with my house?” – if no bids come in.

“CHICAGO – Homes are selling within days or even hours – except for the homes that aren’t. When that happens, those homes’ owners say they often feel embarrassed and angry and wonder what could be wrong with their house.

“In the current seller’s market means, many homes end up in bidding wars. Fierce competition is the talk of the town and the topic of many media stories since 87% of March home sales were listings on the market for less than a month. Half of properties typically stayed on the market for only 17 days, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

“But home sellers with different experiences say their egos were bruised. Jessica Clark in Lincoln, Neb., says she and her husband were trying to sell their home in late 2020, which initially looked promising for a quick sale. They had constant buyer tours – but they received no offers. “We felt defeated and so worried,” she says. Their house lingered on the market for more than a month, while other homes were selling within days. Finally, they received an offer below the asking price, even though they heard everything else was selling for way above asking price. “It wasn’t the best,” she told realtor.com. “But we felt forced to accept.”

“Sellers whose homes linger on the market may need to have a heart-to-heart talk with their real estate agent about the next steps to renew interest. Could their house be priced too high? More sellers are having to drop their asking prices. Also, discuss what is turning off buyers. Are repairs needed? A real estate agent could suggest home staging, decluttering, or even minor renovation to help boost interest.

““A hot market leads people to believe that, because the house down the street had a bidding war and fast sale, they will follow suit,” says Laurie Leinwand, a licensed professional counselor of Three Steps Forward. “When reality falls short, there’s disappointment. Your objective is to sell. Let go of the timeframe. It will happen when it’s supposed to. If it takes a little longer, that’s OK.””

What Locals Are Saying

Here on Sanibel and Captiva, there have been similar discussions – same subject as above. A couple of Realtors® at our Caravan Meeting last week said, “with so little for sale here, if listings aren’t selling, they either are overpriced or in need of help.” That pretty much agrees with the above article.

Below is a quick summary of how long it has been taking island properties to sell (days-on-market). Note DOM (days-on-market) are the number of days from when a listing appears in the MLS until it either goes under contract or closed. Amounts shown are averages. Also, a “pending” contract has no contingencies, is just awaiting (or pending) closing.

Hard to believe there are just nine Sanibel homes for sale today! That’s a new record low and compares to 112 homes already sold/under contract year-to-date.

Status Sanibel Captiva
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
# DOM # DOM # DOM # DOM # DOM # DOM
For sale 17 79 9 56 8 297 7 34 8 60 1 55
Under contingent contract 11 18 13 15 4 116 6 43 2 99 0 N/A
Under pending contract 8 20 25 24 0 N/A 2 12 3 141 0 N/A
Sold 2022 thru 5/20 73 42 94 70 18 245 15 44 13 142 0 N/A
Sold 2021 287 113 355 89 69 442 64 145 44 261 2 731
Sold 2020 193 174 289 161 23 393 47 134 27 315 4 448

Islands Night Tickets

Islands Night at Hammond Stadium has been happening since 1993. This year, 30 years after introducing this local celebration, Bailey’s General Store has turned over management and promotion of the event to the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce. 2022 Islands Night will be Wed, June 1, when the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels meet the Tampa Tarpons for an evening of baseball, including a pre-game parade, and islander camaraderie. Gates open at 6 p.m., the parade starts at 6:15, and game time is 7 p.m. Free tickets are available at the Chamber visitor center, Huxters Market & Deli, and any retailers at Bailey’s Shopping Center. Sponsorships also are available, find more details under the Calendar of Events at www.Sanibel-Captiva.org.

Shoreline Stabilization Project Begins on Woodring

This week, installation of a living shoreline began on Woodring Rd. This project is scheduled to complete in 90 days, weather permitting. For years, the area has been prone to erosion during storms and high winds. The living shoreline will help reduce erosion while providing habitat benefits for fish and wildlife. These shorelines incorporate the use of structural and organic materials such as wetland plants, oysters and sand, with limited use of rock and concrete. The project funding is by a grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Resilience Implementation Program.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity May 13 – 20, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Seawind #A106 2/2.5 $899K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #3-5 2/2.5 $1.299M.

1 price change: Sanibel Surfside #116 2/2 now $1.495M.

5 new sales: Pelicans Roost #302 2/2 listed at $1.389M, Sanddollar #B301 2/2 listed at $1.699M, White Pelican #124 2/2 listed at $1.699M, Atrium #301 3/3 listed at $1.949M, Somerset #A301 3/2.5 listed at $3.25M.

2 closed sales: Captains Walk #D5 2/1 $569K, Sanibel Arms West #H7 2/2 $890K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1270 Par View Dr 3/2 $1.699M.

No price changes.

6 new sales: 1752 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $899K, 2010 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 listed at $1.1M, 1985 Wild Lime Dr 3/2 listed at $1.299M, 4202 Old Banyan Way 3/2.5 listed at $1.511M, 4640 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 listed at $2.495M, 1558 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3.5 listed at $4.35M

4 closed sales: 1072 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $939K, 1560 Royal Poinciana Dr 3/2 $1.475M, 1311 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $1.475M, 824 Birdie View Pt 3/3 $1.75M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Tennis Villas #3113 1/1 $569K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11505 Gore Ln 5/5 $3.89M.

1 price change: 11529 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 now $4,298,765.

1 new sale: 16221 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 listed at $7.25M.

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.

Until next Friday, enjoy!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s Flamboyant May – Colorful for Mothers Day on the Islands

May continues to prove itself as one of the best months to be on Sanibel & Captiva Islands. Traffic is a breeze. Sunny days usually include a breeze. Occasional evening showers begin, also with a breeze. Funny how when the rainy season starts here, most showers stay inland. That’s when we locals joke that rain can’t afford the bridge toll.

Sanibel got a couple of inches of accumulation earlier in the week which has greened things up and contributed to local color. As typical for May, plenty of springtime flowering vegetation has popped. As I head home from the office each evening, it is fun to admire the Royal Poinciana trees (aka flamboyant) trees busting with orange blooms, occasional purple jacaranda, plus many colorful frangipanis (aka plumeria). My gardenia bushes have been exploding for a couple of weeks and yesterday I spotted a beautiful blooming magnolia on East Gulf Dr.

Real Estate Scoop

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® – It was with mixed emotions last Friday afternoon when I attended a surprise going-away get-together for our Association of Realtors® Director of Education who has now moved to Jacksonville to be closer to family. Best of luck, Megan Rose. Our loss is Jax’s gain. It was so easy to write her a letter of recommendation.

There is not much new real estate activity to report this week on the islands, though we had another nice closing Monday and I met with a prospective seller this morning. Prices continue to be mind-boggling. Inventory remains soooo low.

With another month in the books, below is a summary of island inventory as of today (May 6, 2022) (info from the islands MLS). Also, after a couple of news items are the details of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service (MLS) since last Friday.

 

 

Status

SANIBEL
Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 14 1,452,428 87 14 2,370,857 40 9 1,670,733 271
Under contract 16 1,154,243 19 36 1,767,847 20 8 635,194 213
Sold to-date 2022 70 1,072,973 43 86 1,734,720 75 14 604,357 215
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 5 1,967,800 31 7 5,848,428 54  1 15,500,000 41
Under contract 8 1,746,062 35 5 7,639,000 121  0 N/A N/A
Sold to-date 2022 15 1,355,701 44 13 5.099,038 142  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

 

2022 National Association of Realtors® Legislative Meetings

This annual event sponsored by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) is held each May near Washington DC. This year, the meetings and trade expo were under one roof, at a new location, the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, MD. These meetings are where NAR members take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy, and the association with Capitol Hill visits, issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, and the industry trade show.

NAR is American’s largest trade association with over 1.5 million members advocating and protecting the property rights of buyers and sellers in the U.S. and around the world. NAR began 112 years go and today includes 1,200+local and state/territory associations serving Realtors® and their communities. More than 200,000 members hold subject-matter expertise designations and certifications.

Though I did not personally attend the meetings, I followed several via the internet and was especially touched when on Tuesday I read a Facebook post by Marcia Franks, island client/friend from the Nashville area, where she is a Tennessee Real Estate Commissioner and broker/owner of Franklin Realtors Inc. Marcia also is the most recent Past President (2021) of ARELLO which is the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials. Her post said:

“My National Association of REALTORS Global Business & Alliances Committee meeting was very emotional this morning. The VP and Committee member of the Ukrainian Real Estate Association spoke to us about their country and the need for help. It was so heartbreaking. They drove 4 days from their cities to Poland, 8 hours in immigration, flew to Warsaw then to Chicago and finally Washington to speak to us. They go back in 2 days to their homes and family. The man’s military post in his town is in a trench and the woman and her children are living in a basement of a church because her home was bombed. Our committee is asking NAR to start a Global Relief Foundation. We in AMERICA are so blessed! ”

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun Predicts Uncertainty for the Housing Market

My favorite economist also spoke at the National Association of Realtors® event this week:

“NATIONAL HARBOR, MD (May 4, 2022) – Two years after enduring the devastating financial impacts of COVID-19, the U.S. economy has made an impressive comeback, in large part due to a booming housing market. However, as National Association of Realtors® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun explained today, there are significant questions regarding the sector’s direction over the coming months.

““Housing kept the economy afloat as home prices rose and buyer demand intensified,” said Yun to 9,000 Realtors® and industry experts in attendance at the 2022 Realtors® Legislative Meetings during the event’s Residential Economic Issues and Trends Forum. “However, this year has already thrown some curveballs, including record-low inventory and unyielding inflation.”

“While housing supply appears to be on the upswing as builders increasingly construct new homes, Yun says inflation will persist and in turn cause strain for would-be buyers. Additionally, other external economic factors will negatively impact the market, both indirectly and directly, he said. “The Russia-Ukraine war and escalating fuel prices have contributed to further housing unaffordability for buyers.”

“Yun explained that a more immediate impact for home seekers has been the rapid increase of mortgage rates, along with other anti-inflationary actions from the Federal Reserve. “Mortgages now compared to just a few months ago are costing more money for home buyers,” he said. “For a median-priced home, the price difference is $300 to $400 more per month, which is a hefty toll for a working family.”

“NAR calculates purchasing a home is now 55% more expensive than a year ago. These rising mortgage rates and prices hurt affordability, and although wages are improving, Yun says they are “wiped away” due to inflation.

“Wages have risen by 6% from one year ago and that’s good news,” he continued. “But inflation is at 8.5%.”

“He estimates inflation will remain elevated for the next several months and that the market will see further monetary policy tightening through a series of rate hikes. Citing a five-month decline in pending home sales, as well as a drop in newly constructed single-family sales, Yun predicts the higher mortgage rates will slow the housing market.”

Fundraiser to Benefit Sanibel School

The Sanibel School Fund’s 20th annual Blue Ribbon Classic Golf Tournament will be followed by a dinner party on May 14 at the Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way. The community is invited to take part in an evening of fun and philanthropy including a cocktail hour starting at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., deejay and dancing, and raffle and live auction at 8 p.m.

Proceeds from the golf tournament and after-party support The Sanibel School’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program. Tickets to the event are $100 per person. More info about the event, for tickets, and learn about bidding auction items without attending, go to https://sanibelschoolfund.betterworld.org/

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 29 – May 6, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Sundial #G401 2/2 listed at $1.274M, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #6 3/3 listed at $1.398M.

4 closed sales: Sandalfoot #5A2 2/2 $1.05M, Shell Island Beach Club #5C 2/2 $1.279M, Lighthouse Point #227 3/2 listed at $1.395M (our listing), Pine Cove #A 2/2 $1.549M.

View from Lighthouse Point #227

HOMES

3 new listings: 1752 Serenity Ln 3/2 $899K, 6471 Pine Ave 2/2 $949K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 $950K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 750 Oliva St 3/2 listed at $1.495M, 1710 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/2 listed at $2.195M, 1690 Sabal Palm Dr 5/3 listed at $3.177M.

7 closed sales: 430 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 $1.155M, 244 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $1.255M, 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $1.34M, 1194 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $1.3875M, 1305 Par View Dr 3/4 $1.7M, 4322 West Gulf Dr 4/3.5 $2.975M, 1349 Bay Dr 4/4 $5.825M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 3938 West Gulf Dr listed at $899K.

1 closed sale: 2356 Wulfert Rd $260K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Homes #3 3/2 $3.495M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Bayside Villas #4214 1/2 listed at $605K, Bayside Villas #5110 1/2 listed at $673.5K, Gulf Beach Villas #2001 2/2 listed at $1.15M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15160 Captiva Dr 6/6.5 $5.249M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 1114 Schefflera Ct 4/3.5 listed at $3.6M.

1 closed sale: 15009 Binder Dr 4/5.5 $7.5M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday… best wishes to all the Moms… may your May be special.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel/Captiva Springtime Wonderfulness Is Now

Though the islands continue to need rain (heard on the local news that SW FL is about 5” behind normal accumulation), traffic now is nearly perfect with very few waits anywhere. Midweek, I did a quick drive-around to some of the island resorts and beach accesses. Plenty of parking everywhere and several hotels/condos had few cars.

Back when I used to vacation on Sanibel, we always said the best months are May and October – schools still in session, weather not too hot or too cold, and traffic light, with not as many visitors here then. It surprised me to see such a drastic change in occupancy post-Easter as last year after “season” during the pandemic, occupancy stayed quite high. I guess folks are traveling again – and not just to Sanibel and Captiva.

New Island Businesses

Sometimes social media is ahead of the curve on scoop. two new Sanibel businesses were mentioned on Facebook this week:

  • Island Seafood Market Sanibel recently opened at 2330 Palm Ridge Rd. Hours are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed Sundays). They advertise that they are family owned and operated, specializing in local seafood. They own their boats and catch their fish!
  • JRods Surf, Fish & Style is officially opening May 1 at 630 Tarpon Bay Rd. They already are selling merchandise through their website ShopJRods.com

1st Sea Turtle Nesting of 2022 Season

Following up on last week’s post by SCCF that the 2022 sea turtle nesting season has begun (April through October), the first loggerhead turtle nest was spotted and staked Wednesday morning (April 27), the same day that the first nest was discovered last year. Don’t forget to keep the beaches clean and unlit after dark. More tips at http://www.SanCapLifesavers.org

Historical Museum & Village Switches to Summer Hours

Sanibel’s museum and village at 950 Dunlop Rd changes to off-season summer hours on May 3. Those are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The museum also will close on August 1 and reopen October 18, going back then to their regular in-season hours which are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guided tours are at 10:30 a.m., depending on docent availability. For more info, visit http://sanibelmuseum.org

Summer Fees for Wildlife Drive

At the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, admission fees for Wildlife Drive remain the same after season ends. The $10 vehicle fee, however, is good for three days starting May 1 and running through September. Show receipt at entrance booth when returning. Daily fees for bikers and walkers remain $1 each visit for visitors age 16+.

Real Estate Scoop

April Association of Realtors® Breakfast Meeting – Yesterday was the monthly breakfast meeting of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®. Speaker was J.P. Fraites, Florida Realtors® Public Policy Rep. He provided highlights from the 2022 Florida legislative session which ended last month and produced the largest state budget ever (well over $100 billion). He highlighted several items including great strides in affordable housing (particularly for first responders, teachers, and medical workers) and, of particular interest to islanders, a record $1.6 billion for various water quality initiatives.

He also mentioned how Gov DeSantis has called a special session for May 23-27, bringing lawmakers back to the Capitol that week to address problems in the property-insurance system. Though there were changes to Florida insurance law in 2021 including limiting fees of attorneys who represent homeowners in lawsuits against insurers and a reduction to two years to file claims, the House and Senate were unable to agree on another bill.

Other unfinished issues included proposals to change building codes, like putting additional inspection requirements on condominium buildings. Like insurance, that likely will come up again in 2023.

Association of Realtors® Summer Schedule – During the summer, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® weekly Caravan Meetings change to bi-weekly. That usually doesn’t occur until June, but with so few new listings this year, that schedule will begin now. The next caravans will be May 12 and 26, with the monthly Membership breakfast meeting also on May 26.

Only one new listing was announced at the meeting, an off-island listing. According to the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service (MLS), today the islands together have just 20 condo, 20 homes, and 11 residential lots for sale – just 51 properties. That is compared to 185 closed and 75 pending sales year-to-date.

After a couple of news items below is the action posted in the local MLS since last Friday.

What Are Novice Sellers’ Top 3 Mistakes?

This article from the May 2022 issue of “Florida Realtor®” magazine:

“With soaring home prices and high demand, homeowners find it a great time to sell. But some sellers – particularly first-timers – may be so caught up in the “hot housing market” headlines that it clouds their expectations.

“Real estate professionals shared with realtor.com some of the mistakes of rookie home sellers in the current market:

  • Unrealistic price expectations: It’s a seller’s market, but that doesn’t mean a sky-is-the-limit pricing strategy will work. “First-time sellers often erroneously believe that the list price means the desired purchase price,” says Lindsay Reishman, founding partner at the Reishman Group in Washington, D.C. “In fact, the list price simply indicates an approximate appropriate price, and its purpose is to drive interest to the property.”
  • Accepting the highest offer: Some buyers make giant bids to beat out the competition, but those offers can fall apart. Real estate pros say some sellers become so focused on the highest number that they overlook a bid’s reliability. Home offers can fall apart for a number of reasons, including financing, appraisals or inspections. “In this market, it’s not uncommon for a buyer to submit an offer for a home sight unseen,” says Deborah Ann Spence, a broker at Fierce Real Estate Corp, in Bala Cynwyd, PA. “Then, if the buyer doesn’t like what he eventually does see, the offer can be withdrawn, and the property is likely to lose traction.”
  • Trying to FSBO: “For sale by owner” may tempt homeowners who believe a seller’s market offers them an opportunity to DIY their home sale. However, the FISBO route could limit the home’s exposure to larger pools of buyers since FSBOs can’t be listed on the multiple listing service. And even if the home bets buyers’ attention, a real estate agent is critical to navigate the process, help with paperwork and sort through multiple offers.”

Calmer Market Ahead

This week, the spring 2022 issue of “Realtor” magazine also arrived. Here’s the article by Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors® Chief Economist:

“The past two years have been quite exceptional for real estate. Home sales boomed. Home prices rose at the fastest rate in modern times. However, such a strong housing market created growing pains. Inventory shrank to its lowest count ever. Even through the recent winter months, the inventory that has made it onto the market has typically attracted multiple bidders – and increasingly, investors offering cash. Twenty-two percent of recent transactions were investor purchases, up from 15% a year ago, and 27% of transactions were cash-only deals, up from 19% a year ago. That’s putting a strain on first-time buyers. Moreover, mortgage rates are notably higher as the Federal Reserve moves from a quantitative easing monetary policy, quickly buying up mortgages, to what is in essence a quantitative squeezing that does the opposite. With all this in mind, what’s ahead?

“Let’s begin with the jobs picture. Although the unemployment rate is back to normal at 4%, the economy is still short by nearly 3 million jobs compared to before the pandemic. But that hasn’t held back housing sales. Existing-home sales reached 6.12 million in 2021, the best since 2006. The median home price reached an all-time high of $347,100 a one-year gain of 16.9%.

“A few states actually have more jobs now than before the COVID-19 days. They are Utah, Idaho, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, and Montana in order of performance. Those are also the states experiencing extra strong real estate activity, both in residential and commercial markets. Jobs are important.

“What now, given the diminishing pandemic – fingers crossed – and rising mortgage rates? Office workers will need to get back to the office. Maybe the new work model will be some form of hybrid, with a few days each week spent in the office. This still means locational choices do not have to be inherently dependent on big-city-downtowns. It’s fine to live farther from the city, given less time spent on the commute. Higher mortgage rates, though, will lock out some would-be buyers. In very high-cost areas, the increase means about $500 more in monthly mortgage payments for the typical borrower. Consequently, home sales will come down 2% to 4% in 2022. If inflation remains stubbornly high and the Fed is forced to be even more aggressive, then home sales could fall by as much as 10%.

“Prices will keep rising, though, since getting to a balanced market will take time. The turnaround may occur by the middle of the year. Expect calmer home price gains of 3% to 6% per year in 2022 and 2023.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity

April 22-29, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sanctuary Golf Villages I #6 3/3 $1.398M.

1 price change: White Pelican #124 2/2 now $1.699M.

2 new sales: Breakers West #A4 2/2 listed at $849K, Nutmeg Village #211 2/2 listed at $1.15M.

4 closed sales: Sundial #I307 1/1 $595K, Mariner Pointe #733 2/2 $65K, Sand Pointe #131 2/2 $1.325M, Pine Cove #201 3/2 $1.899M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 750 Oliva St 3/2 $1.495M, 2474 Wulfert Rd 3/3/2 $2.195M, 2658 Coconut Dr 3/2 $2.495M, 1690 Sabal Palm Dr 5/3 $3.177M, 1520 Angel Dr 4/3.5 $3.995M.

No price changes.

7 new sales: 778 Cardium St 3/3 listed at $849K, 600 Boulder Dr 3/2 listed at $935K, 9076 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $985K, 1202 Sand Castle Rd 4/2.5 listed at $1.25M, 3910 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed at $1.299M, 746 Windlass Way 4/3 listed at $2.275M, 2658 Coconut Dr 3/2 listed at $2.495M.

1 closed sale: 1600 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $1.4M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 2462 Wulfert Rd $348K.

1 price change: 1321 Seaspray Ln now $995K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Gulf Beach Villas #2003 1/1 $925K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Gulf Beach Villas #2027 3/2 listed at $1.595M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 15261 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 listed at $11.25M.

1 closed sale: 15867 Captiva Dr 7/6 $11M.

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.

Once the rainy season begins, the clear aqua-looking water disappears, but it’s still looking pretty now. Happy Friday!

Until next week, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

Water Looking Good – Sanibel & Captiva Islands

And just like that, SanibelSusan now reports that the timeframe typically referred to as “high season” on the islands is over! This week, sunny breezy days have made for great spring vacations for many visitors while some snowbirds already are packing up to head north for the summer.

Water Around the Islands

Whenever I receive the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) weekly water quality update, it makes me also want to check out some of my favorite island spots for water watching. This morning SCCF posted the aerial photo below and reported that satellite imagery this week detected no red tide blooms on the SW Florida coast. Their report also said that on Monday, Lee County Environmental Lab reported some blue-green algae filaments up in the Caloosahatchee River and upstream of the Franklin Locks.

Before the summer rainy season begins usually is when gulf and bay waters here are clearest, sometimes in that sparkly blue-green color more often seen in the Caribbean. I did an island drive-around today, taking a few water photos. Here are some favorites.

End of Dixie Beach Blvd overlooking Pine Island Sound

End of Bailey Rd overlooking San Carlos Bay

Road to Lighthouse

From McCarthy’s Marina overlooking Pine Island Sound

From Green Flash to Roosevelt Channel

End of Henderson overlooking Dinkins Bayou

Sanctuary Rd bridge over bayou

Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins

Posted on-line Wednesday by SCCF: “April 15 marked the first day of the 2022 sea turtle nesting season! Volunteers have been eager to get back on the beaches again after a successful season last year. This season, SCCF has 85 active volunteers who are committed to patrolling the beaches every day from April through October. Volunteers and staff survey the beaches along Sanibel, Captiva, and Causeway Island B at first light have not found any turtle activity.

“The first several patrols have not seen any telltale sea turtle crawls in sand, but that is not unusual this early in the season. The record for the earliest nest laid was by a loggerhead (Caretta caretta) on April 15, 2020. Even without any activity to report, the volunteers were all smiles as they donned their white sea turtle shirts once again.

“Now that nesting season has officially started, please remember that everyone can make a difference by taking little steps to help make our beaches turtle-friendly! Please take your beach equipment and furniture off the beach by 9 p.m., fill in holes your party may have dug, avoid using white lights visible from the beach (including interior lights) and flashlights on the beach, and properly dispose of all trash. For more tips, go to http://www.SanCapLifesavers.org

SanibelSusan Realty Scoop

Here in the office, it was nice to have visits from several clients back in town after long pandemic-related delays. We hope they will be back more often now that some travel restrictions lifted.

As the team and I continue to commiserate about so few properties being available for sale, it has been an interesting twist to work with clients’ children. I guess that’s what happens when you get to be my age. Listings more often come from former buyers now looking to move to retirement communities or closer to families, while their children now are looking to purchase and with parameters different from those their parents had.

More than once recently I have met with that next generation asking for advice – sometimes because they are thinking of selling or buying back in their home state and some wanting to purchase an investment property here. Some want to know why they even need a Realtor® in a hot market. Others simply want to know how to find a good Realtor®. Below are SanibelSusan tips when shopping for real estate help.

After that is the action since last Friday reported in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. Today, there are 39 residential properties for sale on Sanibel (16 condos, 14 homes, and nine lots). On Captiva, there are 14 (five condos, eight homes, one lot).

Susan’s Tips On Hiring a Realtor®

It really doesn’t matter if you are looking to buy or sell, you always want the best representative working for you. And guess what? That person is not just someone with a real estate license, but one who also is a Realtor®. The best Realtor® may not be the one with the flashy social media, billboard, TV and radio advertising. Here are a couple of tips that I recently shared.

Why hire a Realtor® – All real estate licensees are not the same, only those who are members of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) are Realtors®. They subscribe to a strict code of ethics and have access to advanced educational opportunities and training in their real estate specialties. Realtors® are committed to fairly treating all parties to a transaction. A full-time Realtor® that also lives in the geographic area they service likely has the best grasp of what is happening in that local marketplace. They will know the prices, terms, and condition of competing properties and recent sales. You want an expert in the local business to guide you through the buying and selling process.

Get recommendations – It doesn’t matter whether you are purchasing or listing, ask for recommendations from family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors IN THE TOWN or AREA where you are buying/selling. Ask if they recently worked with a Realtor® they like. This is not asking for the name of a Realtor® they know – or their family member or friend who also may have a real estate license. You want a recommendation from someone who RECENTLY worked with an agent in that area and had a great experience. Someone who has not bought or sold in decades is not the person to ask. The Realtors® in your area with the best recommendations are the ones you should contact. Try to get three recommendations. If you can’t get recommendations, sleuth them out yourself.

Get experience – Though the Realtor® designation is national, real estate licenses vary state to state (& country to country). Usually, a sales associate has less education than a broker who can open a real estate office in that state. Sometimes though, a new associate has more time to devote to you than a busy top producer. Find out who has generated the most sales in the community where you are buying or selling.

Get credentials – Go to Realtor.com and click on the tab to “Find a Realtor®”. In addition to specifying your geographic area or town, click “Add Credentials”. The first credential you want to check is C2EX. A C2EX Realtor® has received the commitment to excellence endorsement from NAR. There are over 1.5 million Realtors® in the U.S., only the top 100,000+ have earned this endorsement. C2EX is not a class or designation, but recognition by NAR as committed to practicing real estate at the highest professional standard in the industry. Next consider what type of property you are buying or selling. If it is in a resort or 2nd home market, like Sanibel & Captiva Islands, you may want to work with someone who holds the RSPS (Resort & Second-Home Specialist) designation. If you are listing a property in an area that appeals to foreign buyers, consider someone with the TRC (Transnational Referral Certified) designation. These Realtors® belong to a consortium of real estate organizations in many countries, providing additional exposure to their listings. The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® also has their own certification that is specific to these islands. Though not on the list of credentials on Realtor.com, you might consider an agent that specializes in your area. Here, those are an SCIS (Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist).

Response time – Once you have some names and cell phone numbers, call these Realtors®. If they answer immediately, it is a good sign. I have mixed feelings about leaving a cell phone message as when I am working with a buyer or a seller, I give them my undivided attention and don’t answer my cell phone unless it is an emergency. If you get their voice mail and it’s full, you probably don’t want to work with them. This may be someone too busy to handle the business they already have. If I don’t reach a Realtor® first-try on their cell, I send them a text or an email. Expect them to reply within a few hours. If not, move on.

Meeting – If you are going to list your property, set up an appointment with each Realtor® to come and see the property and tell you why you should work with them. If they are on time or early, that’s likely how they will react to a buyer wanting to view your property. If they also present themselves well and are organized, that is likely how they also will present your property. If you have already prepared a list of the salient features that your property has (or if you are buying, a list of your requirements), your Realtor® will have a better understanding of the job. Having info ready about recent improvements or deficiencies, operating costs, occupancy and showing obligations will help your Realtor®. Find out what the Realtor® knows about the details of any recent sales in the area. A smart Realtor® will have done their homework before meeting with you.

Samples – If you are buying, you want to know what the local sales contract has in it. What is required to make a winning bid in the market in that area. If you are selling, you also want to know about the offers expected, how multiple offers are handled, what your obligations are as the property owners. On either side of the transaction, ask about required disclosures, inspections, closing costs, etc. Hard copy samples of marketing materials, contractual documents, and closing statements, help buyers and sellers determine who will work best with them. Find out what your candidate is willing to do in advance. In today’s hot island market, it is important to have professional photography including aerials and streaming videos done in advance, so that the minute the listing hits the Multiple Listing Services, it is shown “best”. First impressions get properties sold. At SanibelSusan Realty, we already have had five listings sell this year sight-unseen, because of advance professional photography. In addition to the Multiple Listing Services, find out where else on the internet, your property will be posted.

Pay the going rate – As a seller, I’m sure you have heard that real estate commissions are negotiable. Ask what the agency charges, what that pays, and what you likely will net when your property sells. In Florida for example, closing costs vary from county to county. In Lee County, for example, the seller pays for the title insurance and to record to the deed (a total of about 1% of the sale price). In Collier County, it’s the opposite, the buyer pays.

Don’t haggle – Much of the real estate commission a seller pays is used to incentivize other agents to bring buyers, and photography, advertising including online marketing, broker contribution, and taxes. Professional agents that make a living selling real estate typically do not discount their services. During my 30 years selling real estate on Sanibel & Captiva, I have watched average commissions slowly go down from 10% to 6%. Do we occasionally offer a 5% commission for a sale within 30 days or for a high-end property? Yes. But my advice, is don’t haggle. Once you have found the right person to work for you, you will find that they are worth every penny. You certainly don’t want someone negotiating on your behalf that is willing to give away their own income. SanibelSusan Realty has never given up a commission when negotiating a sale. That’s the tough line you want used in negotiating for you too.

Get most exposure – Don’t get caught up in the promise of someone telling you that they already have a buyer for your property, or someone in their office does. That may be true, but if you are looking for top dollar in today’s market, you want the broadest professional exposure fast. Real estate statistics show that sale prices of properties listed with Realtors® far exceed those sold off-market or before hitting the open market.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 15-22, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #B8 2/2 $895K, Sanibel Surfside #116 2/2 $1.699M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Coquina Beach #5A 2/2 listed at $779K, Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 listed at $875K, Sanibel Arms West #H7 2/2 listed at $889K.

5 closed sales: Tennisplace #D33 1/1 $433K, Loggerhead Cay #201 2/2 $900K, Pelicans Roost #202 2/2 $1.31M, Sundial #Q302 3/2 $1.428M, Kings Crown #117 2/2 $1.8M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 600 Boulder Dr 3/2 listed at $935K, 1382 Tahiti Dr 3/2 $1.15M, 1202 Sand Castle Rd 4/2.5 $1.25M, 3910 Coquina Dr 3/2 $1.299M, 1318 Seaspray Ln 5/3.5 $4.65M.

2 price changes: 9405 Beverly Ln 3/2 now $1.395M, 1558 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/3.5 now $4.35M.

6 new sales: 469 Lake Murex 3/2 listed at $895K, 1667 Sabal Sands Rd 3/3 listed at $1.05M, 1311 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $1.445M, 479 Las Tiendas Ln 4/3 listed at $1.68M, 746 Windlass Way 4/3 listed at $2.275M, 6176 Henderson Rd 4/3 listed at $2.995M.

2 closed sales: 707 Durion Ct 2/2 $988K, 606 Boulder Dr 3/2 $1.248M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 451 Sawgrass Pl listed at $949K.

1 closed sale: 2348 Wulfert Rd $325K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Marina Villas #709 2/2 listed at $1.145M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $4.995M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 15759 Captiva Dr 1/1 $11M.

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

P.S. One of my favorite island signs below.

Easter Blessings & Springtime 2022

As high season winds down on the islands, it’s great to have another week when the islands are busy with families visiting for the Easter holidays. Some were here this week, some arrive tomorrow, plus local schools are off today and Monday.

Here in the office, it still is quiet. We are thankful for another closing this week, an inspection contingency ending soon on another listing, plus a couple of other listings without contingencies just awaiting closings.

Below are a couple of news items, followed by more details on the island real estate action since last Friday.

We continue to market for new listings. As of today, according to the Sanibel & Capti a Islands Multiple Listing Service, Sanibel has just 41 properties for sale (16 condos, 15 homes, and 10 lots), while Captiva has 14 (6 condos, 7 homes, 1 lot). Many prospective buyers are watching the market carefully, several have us on the lookout for a property that matches their needs. Next is an interesting article geared toward those waiting.

Waiting on the Housing Market to Crash? Don’t, Experts Say

Here’s How Today’s Market Is Different From the Great Recession Housing Bubble

Posted on April 6, 2022 by Jon Reed with NextAdvisor in partnership with TIME:

“Home prices are higher than they’ve ever been, and they show no signs of stopping. The median U.S. home listing price was $405,000 in March 2022, the first time it’s broken the $400,000 price threshold, according to date from Realtor.com. That is an increase of 26.5% over two years.

“Homebuyers might see similarities between what’s happening today and the 2006 housing market where home prices became increasingly unaffordable until the bubble burst, helping trigger the worldwide financial crisis we came to call the Great Recession.

“Stressed-out buyers might be thinking these high prices are a bubble just waiting to pop again. In fact, 77% of homebuyers believe there’s a bubble where they live, according to a recent Redfin survey.

“Today’s market differs significantly from what happened 15 years ago, when high home prices were instead driven by loose lending practices and rampant investor speculation in the market.

“Waiting for the market to crash might not yield the result buyers hope for, experts say. “There’s not really any room there to be a bubble right now. It’s not like people have borrowed too much and it’s not like homes are overvalued,” says Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin.

“There are a lot of reasons why it seems like we are in a bubble, but at its heart, the issue is simple; supply and demand are driving up prices. “It’s just that there aren’t enough homes for everybody that wants one,” says Fairweather.

Here’s what is different about today’s market, what’s behind the record-high prices, and what buyers can do to navigate the process.

“Things Have Changed Since 2006 – The current market and that of the mid-2000’s share some similarities. Namely, housing prices were up and often unaffordable for buyers. The causes are different, experts say.

“The previous bubble came after a period in which lenders were more lax about writing loans and more people were in the housing market as an investment rather than to buy a home to live in. “Mortgage underwriting was considerably more loose back in 2006,” says Robert Dietz, chief economist at the National Association of Home Builders. “It was easier to get a mortgage to speculate in the housing market. That is not the case today.”

“Different home loans, such as adjustable-rate mortgages with big “balloon payments” due at the end of the term, meant people got into homes thinking they could afford the payments, finding out later that their payments grew dramatically to unaffordable levels, Fairweather says. “There was a lot of financial engineering, there was a lot of predatory lending, there was a lot of bad borrowing on people not having a lot of equity, not having as much of a cushion, that led to the housing bubble,” she said.

“Those types of loans are far less common today, and there is more oversight of home lending in the wake of the crisis of the late 2000’s, experts say. Today most borrowers get 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, which don’t come with the risk of payments suddenly rising dramatically as rates increase, Fairweather said. “If you own a home, you’re still paying what you paid when you got your fixed-rate mortgage.”

“There Aren’t Enough Homes – There are two major ways homes enter the market: Somebody builds a new one or somebody sells an old one. Both of those pipelines are out of whack. “Today it’s really just about lack of supply,” Dietz says.

“Builders Are Struggling to Catch Up – The limited supply of new homes is due to factors both old and new, Dietz says. For the last decade, builders haven’t put up houses at the rate they needed in order to handle today’s demand, which he says has probably created a deficit of a least a million homes. At the same time, costs have gone up since the pandemic. Deitz blames the constraints in the market to what he calls the “five L’s”:

  • Labor: Builders are having a hard time finding skilled workers, particularly in hot markets such as Texas.
  • Lots: There’s about a year’s supply of lots available, when the market needs two to three years.
  • Lending: Homebuilders, especially the smaller companies, face a tighter market for borrowing the money needed to build.
  • Lumber & building materials: Lumber prices were about $350 per thousand board feet in January 2020. That’s about $1,300 now, Dietz says. On top of lumber, there are shortages and delays in things like garage doors and microwaves.
  • Laws & regulations: Issues like zoning can limit how many homes can be built in a certain amount of space.

“The tight housing market means new construction is even more important for buyers trying to get a home. While new homes typically account for less than one in 10 sales, that figure is now about one in three, Deitz says. Supply chain issues also mean new homes take longer to build – from a typical time of about six and aa half months to now about eight months.

“When you add all those together, it’s just gotten a lot harder to build homes,” he says.

“Fewer People Are Selling – Existing homes make up most of the market, but the supply of those is down also. Some of that has to do with the affordability issues affecting buyers. A survey by Discover Home Loans found 79% of homeowners would rather renovate their homes than move.

“High home prices might seem to encourage people to sell their homes and cash in, but most of those people would have to buy another home and pay those high costs. “If they try to buy again, they’ll be facing a really tough market as a buyer,” Fairweather says. “The only people who are really in a good position to sell and buy again are people who are downsizing or moving to a more affordable area.”

“There Are More Buyers – The supply constraints mean there aren’t as many homes for people to compete for, but those open houses are also busier than ever. That’s because more people are deciding homeownership is right for them at the moment.

“There’s a lot of demand for homes right now,” Fairweather says. “A lot of people are looking.” Part of that is that millennials are entering their prime homebuying years, experts say. Many members of this big generation are in their 30’s, often married with children. “We are seeing a big push from millennials to buy a home,” Fairweather says. “That’s been years in the marking.”

“The pandemic has also made remote and hybrid work a possibility for many. That means you don’t have to live close to an office and you might need more space than you can find in an apartment. Remote work means owning a home is a possibility for more people, Fairweather says, adding to demand.

When Will the Housing Market Calm Down? It will likely take a while before the inventory of available homes matches up with demand. Experts surveyed by Zillow predicted it’ll be two years before monthly inventory returns to pre-pandemic norms. They estimated it could be 2024 or 2025 before the portion of first-time buyers again reaches the 45% seen in 2019.

“Rising mortgage rates – they’ve gone from near 3.3% at the start of the year to near 5% in just three months – will likely take some buyers out of the market and slow the rise in home prices. “It should weaken demand, but there’s so much demand it’s hard to say how much it will really impact things like sales and home prices,” Fairweather says.

“Higher mortgage rates might not directly lead to lower prices – supply and demand will still be the big factors – but it could make life a little easier for buyers, Dietz says. “The bidding wars are going to cool off.”

“The factors driving up prices aren’t likely to subside anytime soon, Dietz says. “I don’t think buyers should be betting on any really significant price declines. If anything, as interest rates move higher, the cost of buy a home is going to go up.”

What Can Homebuyers Do In this Market – As Redfin’s survey found, many buyers think the market is in a bubble right now, and they might be tempted to wait for it to burst, some economic cataclysm that suddenly makes a house affordable. Experts caution against hoping for that.

“I think you want to be strategic and you want to be patient,” Dietz says. “Patient is different from waiting for a crash. Buyers will have to look harder and widen their search, he says. There are ways to get creative: if you work is hybrid and you only have to go to an office two or three times a week, reconsider your commute and think about it on a weekly basis rather than as a daily burden. That means you could look farther away from work where housing is sometimes cheaper.

“You can also consider other options, Dietz says. One is to look at new construction if you haven’t already. Keep in mind there is a longer lag time than usual, but it could be easier than competing for scarce existing homes with the mob of other potential buyers (and investors and flippers with cash offers). There are also options other than the single-family home, such as townhouses.

“Any slowdown caused by higher mortgage rates will make the market a little easier for buyers who are patient, Fairweather says. “By the end of summer there should be more homes on the market as not as many buyers will be taking them off the market,” she says.

“The market could be in for a shift this year as it copes with higher mortgage rates, Fairweather says. You may want to slow down and consider your options. “I don’t think it’s wise to try to rush the market now because right now the market is adjusting,” she says.

Should Fourth of July Fireworks Return to Sanibel?

The below article from the latest Santiva Chronicle asks for opinions on this:

“Fireworks on the Fourth of July have been a part of the day’s festivities since nearly as far back as the country’s beginning. But the pandemic canceled that tradition and the return of fireworks this year on Sanibel is up in the air.

“In a hearty discussion among City Council members last week, many of them indicated it might be time to discontinue the 30-minute fireworks show on the Fourth. Fireworks are prohibited on the island, for good reason, with this one traditional exception.

“They are detonated at the end of Bailey Road, near San Carlos Bay. Concern was raised over the heavy metals and chemicals found in fireworks polluting the water. Plus, the loud booms scare wildlife. But our environmental experts have said they support the detonation location and see it as a trade-off for 30 minutes of human enjoyment as we celebrate the freedom of our country.

“Is it time to bring back the fireworks on Sanibel? Now is the time to voice your opinion. Council members will be discussing the fate of the island’s fireworks show in their May 3 meeting. Contact Sanibel City Council….”

Heavy Traffic Advisory

Sanibel Police Chief Bill Dalton issued a “Heavy Traffic Advisory” for this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, April 16 & 17, 2022. Heavy traffic is anticipated along Periwinkle Way to Tarpon Bay Rd due to several island events taking place.

Saturday – 6 to 10 p.m. – SCCF’s 9th Annual Beer in the Bushes Event, 1300 Periwinkle Way.

Sunday – 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Sanibel Farmer’s Market at City Hall, 800 Dunlop Rd.

Sunday – 9 a.m. & 11 a.m. – Easter Services at The Sanibel Community Church, 1740 Periwinkle Way. (There also is a 6:30 a.m. sunrise service on Causeway Island A.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 8-15, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #H7 2/2 $889K, Nutmeg Village #211 2/2 $1.15M, Somerset #A301 3/2.5 $3.465M.

3 price changes: Pointe Santo #B44 2/2 now $1.4M, Gulfside Place #117 2/2 now $1.695M, White Pelican #124 2/2 now $1.789M.

1 new sale: Colonnades #10 1/1 listed at $449K.

4 closed sales: Blind Pass #D204 3/2 $815K (our listing), Cyprina Beach #8 2/2.5 $1.43M, Compass Point #192 3/2 $1.81M, Junonia #301 4/2 $2.45M.

Blind Pass condos

HOMES

3 new listings: 778 Cardium St 3/3 $849K, 1667 Sabal Sands Rd 3/3 $1.05M, 5075 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 $4.49M.

2 price changes: 1311 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $1.445M, 660 Anchor Dr 6/4 now $2.895M.

No new sales.

4 closed sales: 320 Palm Lake Dr 2/2 $900K, 3015 Singing Wind Dr 2/2 $975K, 3822 Coquina Dr 4/3.5 $1.6M, 2451 Blind Pass Ct 4/4.5 $2.901M.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 5642 Baltusrol Ct now $399.9K, 5648 Baltusrol Ct now $399.9K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 544 Lake Murex Cir $650K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3128 1/1 $549K, Beach Villas #2633 2/2 $1.399M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1114 Schefflera Ct 4/3.5 $3.6M, 11529 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4 $4.495M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 17201 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 listed at $5.65M, 15009 Binder Dr 4/5.5 listed at $7.5M.

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.

Happy Easter,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Superb Sanibel Springtime

SanibelSusan reporting that another week has flown by with a few rumblings about the additional visitors here because of Lee County Schools on break.

For the most part those folks enjoyed wonderful breezy sunny weather. A cool front that arrived yesterday briefly turned sunshine to clouds, but more spectacular weather is expected over the weekend.

It’s a gorgeous Friday afternoon with highs forecast to only be in the low to mid 70’s until Monday when temperatures again reach into the 80’s. Springtime in Florida is superb.

Real Estate Scoop

At SanibelSusan Realty, another listing is under contract and a few more action items accomplished for upcoming closings.

At the local Association of Realtors® monthly breakfast meeting yesterday, there were no new listings or price reductions announced and no properties open for Caravan viewing. This is the fourth week in a row without any listings to see.

The article below is a good summation of the market in Southwest Florida. If you are thinking of selling, it is to your benefit to list now, before the annual snowbirds start heading home. If you are a buyer, don’t think that waiting for the market to normalize will happen anytime soon.

See below the news for the action reported in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

The Pulse of Southwest Florida Real Estate

I received an email this week from local attorneys Henderson Franklin who sponsored the 2022 Market Trends event which took place on March 16 with speakers Randy and Justin Thibault from Land Solutions, Inc. and Denny Grimes from Keller Williams Realty. Here are some tidbits from that article with a recap of 2022 Market Trends by Alessandro Secino:

“The presentation discussed the current conditions of the real estate market in Southwest Florida and provided a future forecast about what the market may look like in the coming year. The presentation also focused on the primary areas of the real estate sector: residential development, resale properties, and the commercial market.

“Overall, the end of 2021 was a continuation of the rapid growth that comprised 2020 and 2021, as waves of new residents and businesses enter the market. All sectors of the market are currently seeing growth, but nowhere is this more evident than with residential development and resale, as low inventory coupled with high demand has prompted dramatic price increases across the three counties of Lee, Collier and Charlotte. The ultimate question, however, will be whether this will continue or will the market begin to decline as prices continue to creep up higher.

Residential Development – In 2021, Southwest Florida saw a 47% increase in new single-family residential permits issued amongst the three counties, with Lee County seeing the highest increase of 59%. Total residential permits increased 39% percent to approximately 25,000 permits. These percentage increases, while dramatic, still pale in comparison to the number of permits issued in 2005, which numbered around 44,000 permits prior to the crash in 2008. Similarly, multi-family residential permits increased by 19% over the last year.

“These numbers illustrate that low resale inventory is driving up the prices, leading buyers to seek new construction and rental properties. Presently, the current inventory of resale properties cannot match the demand of new homebuyers entering the market, leading to homes rising in value by as much as 77% in some areas over the last year.

“As a result, new buyers who cannot find already built homes or are priced out of the market are now turning to rental properties until inventory becomes available or prices soften. The same is true for sellers who took advantage of increased home values are renting until prices come back down.

“With resale inventory so low, it begs the question of where is all this new development going? Most of the new development is taking place inland from the coastal communities. The two leading developments in terms of total permits issued are Ave Maria and Babcock Ranch, which account for a combined 1400 new permits in 2021.

“In many respects, the theme for 2021 was rising prices. This is especially true for the real estate market in Southwest Florida. These dramatic price increases led to shifting behaviors from buyers and sellers, but until either supply increases or demand lessens, prices are going to continue to rise.

Resale Market – The resale market in Southwest Florida is what presenter Danny Grimes calls “the greatest market of all time,” and for a good reason. 2021 saw a record number of homes sales in Lee County with over 19,000 homes sold, an increase of 16% over the previous year.

“In addition, home prices have similarly increased; from January 2020-January 2022 in Charlotte County, median sales prices increased by 50% from $240,000 to $360,000. The areas within Southwest Florida are also areas with the best location such as Captiva, Boca Grande, and in the Park Shore Drive/ 5th Avenue area in Naples.

“While the market in Southwest Florida is seeing unprecedented numbers of sales, there are not enough properties to meet the demand of buyers. Currently, inventory levels are down between 20 and 30% amongst the three counties, which is not necessarily a bad thing, as high inventory and high prices are conditions that may lead to a bubble and subsequent crash. If there is a true downside to the current market, it is that there are no properties in Southwest Florida under $100,000. Even vacant properties in Lehigh Acres, an area considered most affordable within the region, have seen a 90% increase in vacant land values.

“Almost every person involved in the real estate industry in Southwest Florida is trying to determine when will this market will begin to decline again? There is no predictable answer to this question, however we will begin to see the signs of this when properties are going up for sale and not being purchased or sitting on the market for longer periods of time.

Commercial Property – Commercial sales volume over the last year has nearly doubled, with an over 87% increase, which surprisingly enough is mostly attributable to retail sales. In 2020, investors were fleeing retail assets with COVID shifting commerce electronically, however 2021 saw current retail properties shifting from retail spaces selling goods, to a more service-based retail user such as car washes, gas stations, and convenience stores. With these new users, we are seeing existing retail spaces being revitalized by new companies such as Sprouts who are acquiring properties within existing shopping centers.

“Despite the increase in retail, industrial properties are also in high demand despite only accounting for 19% of the 87% increase in sales volume. Rental rates for industrial properties are up almost 10% in the last year along with increases in construction of industrial spaces.

“Finally, office spaces (much like retail) saw investors moving away from those assets due to the work-from-home shift COVID brought on. However, office space properties accounted for 26% of the overall growth in sales volume over the last year. Presenter Justin Thibault likened this increase in office space sales going from a pandemic to an endemic stage, where workers are heading back to the office in more hybrid models. In a sense we are learning to live with more hybrid work models, and office space properties are increasing as a result.

Overall, the commercial market — which was perhaps on the shakiest footing as a result of COVID — has begun to rebound and grow. As we see larger companies like Amazon move into the area, the demands for commercial properties should also increase. Charlotte County may very well be the beneficiary of this new investment as there is room to build industrial properties within proximity to the airport in Punta Gorda.

Take-Away – The Market Trends report focused largely on current market conditions, which is not surprising considering the increases in growth throughout all sectors of the Southwest Florida real estate market. With that said, it is difficult to ascertain what the future may hold, as it appears the current growth is not showing signs of slowing down. As we enter a post-COVID economy and already experiencing rising inflation and global turmoil, it will be interesting to see if we begin to see a slowdown in the real estate market here in Southwest Florida.”

Will Ukraine War Impact Florida Real Estate?

Posted March 15 on FloridaRealtors and sourced to 2022 Media Group, by Derek Gilliam.

“On the one hand, Fla. is the No. 1 state for Russian RE investing – 29% of all U.S. purchases. On the other, Russian buyers make up only 0.8% of all foreign purchases.

“NAPLES, Fla. – Over the past six years, Russian buyers of U.S. real estate have preferred the sunny coasts of Florida over property in any other state in the nation. Wealthy Russians have reportedly bought so many luxury condo properties in the north Miami city of Sunny Isles Beach that some have termed it “Little Moscow.” “They love to be here, and they like to spend their money and enjoy their life,” Lana Bell, a South Florida real estate agent told NewsNation.com.

“But it’s not just the wealthy Russian elites seeking Florida sunshine. Across the state from Warm Mineral Springs in North Port all the way up to small town of Steinhatchee near the Panhandle, Russians and Eastern Europeans have established communities, according to population data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

“Over the past six years, 29% of Russian real estate transactions in the United States occurred in Florida, the most in the nation, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). But even as countries across the world impose sanctions on Russia for invading and waging a brutal war against its neighbor Ukraine, the impact to U.S. home or property prices is not expected to be meaningful, even without any Russian purchases of Florida real estate.

““Russia has little direct impact on the U.S. real estate market as it accounted for less than 1% (0.8%) of all foreign buyers who purchased U.S. residential property from April 2015 through March 2021, according to data from NAR’s survey of foreign buyer transactions of its members,” covering about 5,000 respondents, the report said. Any effect from the loss of Russian purchases would tend to be at the high end, as the NAR’s report notes that Russian buyers buy more luxury properties than the average Florida buyer.

“Still, with the transition of the pandemic to a different phase, the loss of Russian buyers could be offset by the resumption of purchases by people from other countries, as well as within the U.S. Craig Cerreta, the managing broker for Premier Sotheby’s International Realty’s Sarasota office, said the pandemic caused a near shutdown of foreign buyers, but that the segment has been bouncing back in recent months.

“During the COVID pandemic, real estate prices have drastically increased in Florida as migration brought new residents to the state, with people retiring early or enjoying the ability to work remotely.

Tight supply – Historically, Cerreta said, Canadians, followed by residents of the United Kingdom, have accounted for the majority of international real estate transactions in the Sarasota market. “There is no question that they (Russian purchasers) are small” locally, he said. “But they are typically high-end buyers.”

“The NAR data says that the average Russian real estate transaction was about $650,000. The average for all international buyers was about $480,000. But, with the demand seen for Florida properties, combined with historically low number of properties for sale, any loss of Russian purchases are being more than made up from demand from other buyers, Cerreta said. Cerreta recently sold a home he owned in the Sarasota area. During the open house, more than 170 people viewed the residence and 21 people made an offer. Three of the offers came from people in California, something that surprised the longtime real estate agent, as Californians have historically not been a large market for the west coast of Florida.

“Any loss of demand from Russian buyers for luxury properties or other property types won’t be felt in the Sarasota market, he said. In February, 72% of all real estate sales in the Sarasota market closed at or above the list price compared to 43% at or above list price in February 2021, Cerreta said. “There’s not enough inventory to meet demand,” he said of the Sarasota market.

“Sergei Sokolov, a Realtor with Sarasota’s Michael Saunders & Co., was born in Ukraine but moved to the United States when he was 5 years old. The now-47-year-old real estate professional, fluent in Russian and Ukrainian, said Russian speakers often want a Realtor who speaks their language. The first house he sold in Sarasota in 2004 was to a Russian speaker, and he does about three or four transactions a year. Sokolov specializes in entry level homes typically in the $350,000 to $400,000 price range, with the majority of his Russian-speaking buyers already living in the U.S. or Canada and unlikely to be impacted by the Russian-Ukrainian war. “I don’t expect there to be much of an impact on my business,” he said. “There’s just a lot more demand than there is supply.”

Varied buyers – The next closest U.S. state for Russian buyers was Georgia with 16% of all Russian purchases of U.S. real estate, roughly 13 percentage points behind Florida. New York (13%), California (8%) and Illinois (5%) rounded out the top five states for total transactions from Russian buyers. The NAR report said that even in Florida, purchases of real estate made by Russians accounted for just 0.2% of the Sunshine State’s real estate transactions from July 2020 to June 2021. Those numbers may be skewed as the pandemic caused many governments to restrict travel to other countries.

“A 2020 profile on international residential transactions in Florida conducted by the NAR with Florida Realtors, the largest trade organization in the state, concluded that foreign buyers accounted for $15.6 billion in real estate transactions from August 2019 to July 2020 – about 11% of the state’s sales. The total transaction volume for Florida real estate in that time period was $137 billion dollars.

“However, in that report that largely accounted for sales just prior to the pandemic, Russia did not rank among the top 15 counties for any Florida metro besides Miami. The Miami metro market, the largest in Florida, had just 2% of home sales go to Russian buyers.

“The largest group of foreign buyers by transaction volume came from Latin America and the Caribbean with about 37% of the total value of homes purchased by international citizens. Canadian buyers had the most transactions at 21% followed by Brazil (7%), Argentina (6%), Venezuela (5%), Columbia (5%) and the United Kingdom (5%).

“The metro area of Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach had the lion’s share of foreign buyers with 47.3% of all purchases. The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro accounted for 11%; Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford had 9.7%, North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton had 6.9% and Cape Coral-Fort Myers came in at 4.7%.

Larger economic issues – While Russians account for a tiny fraction of all real estate purchases in Florida, the real impact of the conflict may be felt at the gas pump as international buyers cut ties with Russian energy. President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian oil earlier this week.

“Chris Jones, president of Florida Economic Advisors and a University of South Florida faculty member at USF in the economics department, agreed with the real estate experts that the reduction in demand from Russian buyers for U.S. real estate won’t shift home prices in Florida. However, the impact of rising gas prices could be dangerous for the U.S. economy, he said. He anticipates that gas prices will increase at least another 50 cents before the end of May, with peak price per gallon of gasoline surpassing $5 per gallon this year. As people pay more at the pump, they have less money to spend on goods and services that drive the economy, which he believes will lead to a decrease in the nation’s economic output. He said he fears that the American economy could be headed toward “stagflation” because of the rising gas prices. Stagflation happens when an economy has rising inflation at the same time as slowing economic output. “We’re already halfway there,” he said, pointing to rising inflation.

“Rising gas prices will also have an impact by raising prices on nearly all goods and services which could then cause fewer people to be able to afford to purchase residential property. Less demand, caused largely by rising gas prices, would then impact Florida’s real estate market.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 18-25, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Pine Cove #201 3/2 $1.899M.

2 price changes: Island Beach Club #210C 2/2 now $1.395M, Junonia #301 4/2 now $2.4M.

2 new sales: Shell Island Beach Club #5C 2/2 listed at $1.279M, Lighthouse Point #227 3/2 listed at $1.395M (our listing).

 

7 closed sales: Sundial #I402 1/1 $650K, Sandalfoot #5B1 1/1 $759K, Loggerhead Cay #242 2/2 $765K, Lighthouse Point #112 3/2 $830K, Sanibel Inn #1E 2/2 $850K, Loggerhead Cay #584 2/2 $875K, Sand Pointe #218 2/2 $1.1M.

HOMES

6 new listings: 4577 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 $749K, 1600 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $1.2M, 1190 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $1.35M, 9405 Beverly Ln 3/2 $1.485M, 1311 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $1.495M, 6176 Henderson Rd 4/3 $2.995M.

No price changes.

5 new sales: 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/3 listed at $968.5K, 661 Anchor Dr 3/2 listed at $1.295M, 1243 Sand Castle Rd 4/4 listed at $1.745M, 1543 San Carlos Bay Dr 4/4 listed at $2.499M, 2451 Blind Pass Ct 4/4.5 listed at $2.895M.

4 closed sales: 1230 Anhinga Ln 4/2 duplex $699K, 5289 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $945K, 402 Tiree Cir 3/2 $1.15M, 645 Oliva St 3/3 $1.301M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: 2829 Wulfert Rd $320K, 1340 Eagle Run Dr $515K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Marina Villas #709 2/2 now $1.145M.

3 new sales: Tennis Villas #3128 1/1 listed at $549K, Beach Villas #2635 3/3 listed at $1.6M, Lands End Village #1628 3/4 listed at $3.5M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 16280 Captiva Dr 6/6 listed at $8.9M, 15867 Captiva Dr 7/6 listed at $11.7M.

3 closed sales: 30 Urchin Ct 3/2 $1.253M, 57 Sandpiper Ct 2/2 $1.325M, 16611 Captiva Dr 6/6 $7.1M.

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.

Though Sanibel’s spring weather is superb, the islands need rain. Fingers crossed that we get some soon!

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

85th Annual Shell Show Friday on Sunny Sanibel

 

It’s another happy sunny Sanibel Friday.

The 85th Annual Shell Festival at The Community House was busy again today.

It is open again tomorrow (Sat) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It features more than 60 exhibitors with specimen shells plus shell art, sculpture, mixed media, jewelry, and creative crafts.

 

SanibelSusan Realty Scoop

Here in the office, the team and I have tied up loose ends for upcoming closings, arranged for weekend showings, and again commiserated that we need more listings.

At the Thursday morning local Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday, there were no new listings announced, no price reductions, and no properties open for viewing. Under the category of “Buyer Wants”, which is when attendees may ask the audience for a property with specific criteria, the resounding answer again was “we need everything.” Buyers continue to be plentiful. Sellers are hard to find.

Next week, the team looks forward to another successful closing and we have our fingers crossed that we make more sales over the weekend. It’s not like buyers have many choices. As of this afternoon, on Sanibel our Multiple Listing Service (MLS) shows 15 condos, 12 homes, and 15 lots for sale. On Captiva, just four condos and seven homes.

Combating the Naysayers

With the world seemingly relying so much on the internet these days, I found the below excerpts from an article published in the Winter 2022 “Realtor” magazine, to be right on. The author is Realtor® Brian Copeland, founder and broker-owner of Doorbell Real Estate in Nashville, TN.

“A 2017 book by Tom Nichols, “The Death of Expertise”, explains how the digital revolution has helped foster a culture of skepticism. Today, everyone has their own truths, and thanks to the internet, we can find sources to back up those “truths,” no matter what they are.

“I’ve been thinking about our culture’s hostility to established knowledge as I fight to defend my own career and the careers of my colleagues, the nation’s 1.5 million Realtors®. I spent months studying to become a real estate agent. In the years since I’ve been able to apply that knowledge and the extensive real-life experience gained along the way to help people navigate a significant variety of complex and technical aspects associated with selling or buying a home.

“And yet frivolous lawsuits and ludicrous accusations swirl around the media from people trying to make a buck off blatantly misleading claims that real estate agents are no longer valuable in the internet-age. Of course, most people who have bought or sold a house remember having a real estate agent by their side every step of the process. Most likely, they had a Realtor® – a member of the National Association of Realtors® – guiding them through everything from price negotiations and lender applications to open houses and final inspection walkthroughs. Most people would prefer to not figure all of that out on their own in the midst of the most complex and consequential financial transaction of their lives.

“Of course, it’s undeniable that the volumes of information made available by the internet have changed the homebuying and home-selling process. What’s also undeniable although less intuitive, is that these transformations have made real estate professionals even more critical. Research shows 88% of those who start their homebuying search online ultimately use a real estate agent as the process moves forward. Just because I have a wealth of medical knowledge at my fingertips doesn’t mean I can diagnose and treat my medical condition. Just because I can buy and sell GameStop stock commission-free on Robinhood doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to lay down my retirement fund without any expert advice.

“The same holds true in the purchase or sale of real estate. Anyone can stake a “for sale by owner” sign in their yard, but it takes more than a quick online search to determine a competitive asking price for your home. And if you don’t want it to sit idly on the market for months, how will you advertise it to buyers?

“Or, if you’re a buyer in today’s hot market with houses selling in a matter of days, do you really expect your offer to stand out compared with those prepared by professionals with local market knowledge? Would you know how to write an offer or ensure that all state and local property transfer laws are being followed? By buying a home, you’re essentially entering a contract on one of the most complicated purchases you’ll ever make. Compare that to what is likely your second most expensive purchase, a car, and you’ll recognize that there’s a lot more to it than kicking the tires, a bit of haggling, and a simple loan application….”

Adding SanibelSusan’s 2-cents: I did not acquire my skills and expertise from watching HGTV. I earned my knowledge over 33 years as a Realtor®, by helping hundreds of friends, neighbors, community members, and island-lovers buy and sell property. My team and I are experts, just as a teacher is to students or a doctor is to patients.

My teammate son David has been a Realtor® for ten years, his wife Lisa for 15 years, and our assistant Elise has been licensed for 19 years. We have worked together on every SanibelSusan transaction since long-before we opened our own office in 2004. On the islands, we have successfully closed 559 sales.

Why a Mortgage Rate Drop? Probably Due to Russia

Posted online yesterday at FloridaRealtors® and sourced to “How Russia Invading Ukraine Could Impact U.S. Interest Rates”, The Mortgage Reports (Mar 1, 2022):

“Analysts still expect mortgage rate increases this year due to Fed actions, but investors flock to bonds when they get jittery – and that often lowers mortgage rates.

“NEW YORK – U.S. mortgage rates have risen this year and are expected to continue doing so, but the conflict between Russia and Ukraine could throw a wild card into those projections.

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage climbed by 37 basis points over the first two full weeks of February, according to Freddie Mac. But last week, as Russia invaded Ukraine, rates dropped to 3.89% for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, and down to 3.76% this week.

““When global investors sense increased uncertainty, there is a ‘flight to safety’ in the U.S. Treasury bonds, which causes their prices to go up, and their yield to go down,” says Odeta Kushi, deputy chief economist at First American. “Consequently, amidst heightened uncertainty due to the worsening events in Ukraine, there is a possibility that investors flocked to U.S. Treasury bonds, which may result in a temporary, short-term decline in mortgage rates.”

“The Federal Reserve announced it would be raising its funds rate multiple times this year and says it will address this more at its next meeting, March 15 and 16.

“However, the Fed also didn’t consider the Russia-Ukraine conflict before announcing moves planned for this year. As a result, the Fed could change how aggressive it is with rates, according to The Mortgage Reports.

The Fed’s key rate does not directly affect mortgage rates, but it can influence them.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity February 25-March 4, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Mariner Pointe #323 2/2.5 $649K, Kings Crown #117 2/2 $1.65M.

1 price change: Junonia #301 4/2 now $2.65M.

2 new sales: Mariner Pointe #733 2/2 listed at $699,999; Pelicans Roost #202 2/2 listed at $1.295M.

4 closed sales: Sundial #G104 2/2 $845K, Sand Pointe #222 2/2 $1.125M, Pelicans Roost #104 2/2 $1.299M, Compass Point #141 3/2 $1.407M.

HOMES

8 new listings: 1072 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $949K, 5307 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $968.5K, 917 Pepper Tree Pl 4/3 $1.399M, 1194 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $1.425M, 1174 Harbor Cottage Ct 3/3 half-duplex $1.45M, 1243 Sand Castle Rd 4/4 $1.895M, 5817 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/3 $1.993M, 488 Lighthouse Way 4/4 $5.995M.

1 price change: 3324 Saint Kilda Rd 4/4 now $3.5M.

10 new sales: 1196 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $899K, 3015 Singing Wind Dr 2/2 listed at $959K, 430 Lake Murex Cir 2/2 listed at $1.149M, 824 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed at $1.725M, 911 S. Yachtsman Dr 3/3 listed at $2.485M, 885 Limpet Dr 4/3 listed at $3.25M, 4322 West Gulf Dr 4/3.5 listed at $3.295M, 543 East Gulf Dr 2/2 listed at $3.5M, 444 Lighthouse Way 5/4.5 listed at $3.595M, 1349 Bay Dr 4/4 listed at $6.395M.

7 closed sales: 567 Rabbit Rd 2/2 $795K, 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $939K, 1133 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $1M, 697 Birdie View Pt 3/2 $1.495M, 4737 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 $1.62M, 857 Birdie View Pt 3/2.5 $1.745M, 1360 Eagle Run Dr 5/3.5 $2.325M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 5085 Joewood Dr $4.25M; West Gulf Dr $5.995M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 1836 Ardsley Way listed at $625,555.

1 closed sale: 1332 Eagle Run Dr $488K.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Bayside Villas #4122 1/2 $595K, Beach Villas #2633 2/2 $1.399M.

No price changes or new sales.

2 closed sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2236 2/2 $1.325M, Beach Homes #20 3/3 $4.25M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16221-16217 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 $7.25M.

No price changes or new sales.

3 closed sales: 14865 Mango Ct 2/2 $1.25M, 16813 Captiva Dr 3/3 $3.5M, 11548 Wightman Ln 4/4.5 $7.3M.

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.

It’s expected to be a sunny and in the low-80’s for at least the next week here. Gotta love winters in paradise.

With it being so dry, gulf and bay waters are settling into the bright teal color that so many of us love.

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan