First Fall Friday on Sunny Sanibel

There has been chatter this week that the run-off from recent rains has darkened the baywaters. Took this pix today at 11 a.m. overlooking San Carlos Bay. It’s a bit darker from the tannin run-offs, but there have been no releases from Lake O. The Army Corps of Engineers says there will be no releases into the Caloosahatchee River for now.

Good news today from sunny Sanibel Island. The flooding from Tropical Storm Sally has mostly disappeared. The rain that flooded the area the weekend of September 12 dropped more than 24”, culminating an already rainy week. It was a record according to a report this week by Sanibel’s Director of Community Services who categorized it as a 100-year event. Sanibel’s weirs, designed to deal with flooding, were opened that weekend when 12.1” of rain fell in one day on already soggy ground.

An added surprise from this week’s change in weather pattern was low humidity, breezy sunny days, and little rain – nice weather for the many shellers collecting the bounty that came in from the recent storms.

A few showers are expected off-and-on over the weekend, but next week, little-to-no-rain again is expected with more sunny days and low 80-degree temperatures forecast. Fall is arriving in the Sunshine State.

High tide at Sanibel Marina this morning.

Outside dining at Gramma Dot’s.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

It has been a quiet week at SanibelSusan Realty. About all I can say about the Zoom class, that I taught Tuesday at the Association of Realtors®, is that I am glad it is over. It sure is hard to teach to an empty room and keep attendees engaged. With renewed respect for teachers and instructors dealing with today’s challenges, I appreciate the Realtors® that attended my session.

Below are a couple of news items followed by the activity since last Friday in the Sanibel Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

Status of Sanibel’s Residential Market

Based on recent action (more than usual for September), it is a good time to compare island real estate sales last year to the unusual-ness of 2020.

The tables below show by month and property type, the number of closed sales and average sale prices. Naturally, a closing occurs several weeks and sometimes a month or so after a contract is written so look at these statistics being mindful that contracts written this month, probably will not close until October, November, maybe even December.

The first tables for Sanibel homes show how strong this year began, followed by a big slump in May. That reflects the few new sales in the preceding months (late February, March, & April) which typically are “high” season and have strong sales – not so this year.

Since June, the number of closed home sales each month has exceeded the same month in 2019. Year-to-date numbers are strong. Home prices overall are down a little but holding steady. Already, this year, more homes have sold and closed, than in all of last year.

Closed Sanibel Home Sales by Month (# Sales & Average Sold Price $)
January February March April May
2020 15 848,755 18 1,095,708 25 1,171,820 30 1,097,441 9 732,388
2019 9 1,057,222 11 1,504,590 18 947,923 31 848,458 40 1,010,454

 

Closed Sanibel Home Sales by Month (# Sales & Average Sold Price $)
June July August September to 24 Year-to-Date
2020 14 716,460 39 804,765 21 959,805 20 961,160 191 953,193
2019 14 797,692 25 871,282 9 819,222 10 978,170 167 957,429

Comparing these Sanibel homes sales to current inventory, it really is astounding that even with the pandemic, 191 have sold/closed. Compare that to there just being 82 homes available for sale now. Average asking price is $1,838,648.

Another 59 homes are under contract, average asking price of those is $985,760. That large number of sales compared to inventory, indicates a sellers’ market, particularly in the median price range.

Looking at the same statistics for Sanibel condos, the picture is not as bright. Condos are moving more slowly, yet still ahead of 2019 overall. Those moving best are higher-end units mostly in residential communities. Income-producing condos have not seen a bounce-back. Investors may be wary of future rental projections, but I bet that changes in the upcoming months.

Today, there are 106 Sanibel condos for sale, which is about a year’s worth of inventory. Average asking price is $790,741. There are 27 units under contract, with an average asking price of $850,525.

Closed Sanibel Condo Sales by Month (# Sales & Average Sold Price $)
January February March April May
2020 11 650,060 16 621,093 19 880,947 16 670,150 9 901,000
2019 6 626,875 9 622,944 16 586,312 16 744,203 20 792,350

 

Closed Sanibel Condo Sales by Month (# Sales & Average Sold Price $)
June July August September to 24 Year-to-Date
2020 6 622,666 14 598,642 10 792,622 13 724,769 114 720,375
2019 10 650,350 8 414,500 9 793,555 5 568,800 99 669,782

Year-to-date, nearly twice as many homes have sold as condos. Even more of a disparity between homes and condos was evident during the summer (June 20-September 20, 2020). During that time, 88 Sanibel homes sold and closed, compared to 22 Sanibel condos. That trend continued this week too. Lower-priced Sanibel homes are selling like hotcakes, condos not so much.

Great Places Where Beginning Birders Can Get Their Wings

A special to USA Today this week posted an article that began with “While most of us have stuck close to home this year, bird watching has taken flight. The outdoor activity, which naturally encourages social distancing, has soared in popularity… wildlife refuges and parks make it easy to see a wide variety of flyers and shares some prime locations:”

First on the list is J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

But this week it did not require a ride through the refuge to see my favorite roseate spoonbill. Many were spotted sloshing along the bike path in a few areas where the water has yet to recede.

City of Sanibel

Again, this week, Sanibel Mayor Ruane extended the declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until September 29, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.)

Per the Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 49.

In other City Business, City Council will meet on September 29 at 5:01 p.m. for the final budget hearing for tax year 2020. That is when the debt service ad valorem millage rates for the tax year are adopted. That means the 2020 tax bills should come out on time, later next month.

COVID Personal Protective Equipment Kits

The City of Sanibel has received an allotment of COVID Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from Lee County, and has partnered with FISH OF SANCAP, CHR, The Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva, and the Sanibel Community Association (SCA) to distribute these items on Wednesday September 30 and Thursday October 1st from 11 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at The Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way, with drive-thru contactless pick up. Kits are FREE to individuals and households that live or work on Sanibel. They include disposable masks, reusable cloth masks, and a bottle of sanitizer. (To help in the distribution, contact FISH at 239-472-4775.)

Openings & Fall Scoop

Sanibel Farmers Market – begins October 4 and runs through May 30, 2021 every Sunday (including Easter) from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., on City Hall grounds. Parking available in lots at City Hall, Sanibel Library, BIG ARTS, & Schoolhouse Theater. Handicap parking & designated areas for bicycles at City Hall, but no pets allowed.

“B” Beach Parking Permit Sales to Resume – Following up on the suspension of the sale of “B” parking permits when beaches were closed, the City announced plans to start reselling all stickers at their normal schedule of November 1. The City offers five different parking permits. The resident “A” sticker is $12/year for taxpayers and property owners. Restricted “B” permits, for nonresidents, are $124.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 18-25, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Sandpebble #2B 2/2 $480K, Mariner Pointe #1043 2/2 $490K, Sandpiper Beach #401 2/2 $789K, Sanibel Surfside #123 2/2 $935K, Sanibel Surfside #124 2/2 $1.05M.

2 price changes: Pointe Santo #A1 2/2 now $875K, Sanddollar #A101 2/2 now $1.15M.

6 new sales: Donax Village #10 1/2 listed at $358K, Sundial #I405 1/1 listed at $419K, Lighthouse Point #229 3/2 listed at $712K (our listing), Pointe Santo #D32 2/2 listed at $749K, Blue Gulf 201 3/2 listed at $1.199M, Sunward #201 3/2 listed at $1.259M

9 closed sales: Spanish Cay #A3 1/1 $280K, Casa Blanca #4 1/1 $337K, Seashells #36 2/2 $365K, Cottage Colony West #134 1/1 $575K, Sunset South #2D 2/2 $675K, Sanibel Surfside #126 2/2 $750K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #5-4 3/3 $760K, Shell Island Beach Club #7C 2/2 $760K, Sanibel Moorings #522 3/2 $1.25M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 916 Almas Ct 3/3.5 $1.39M.

1 price change: 555 Rabbit Rd 3/2 now $599K.

17 new sales: 1403 Sandpiper Cir 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $490K; 9455 Beverly Ln 2/2 listed at $524K; 1410 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $645,750; 1031 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $695K; 934 Cormorant Cir 3/2 listed at $729K; 1296 Par View Dr 3/3 listed at $749K; 9393 Peaceful Dr 3/2.5 listed at $799K; 702 Durion Ct 3/2 listed at $819.9K; 1430 Sanderling Cir 4/3.5 listed at $899K; 1081 Captains Walk St 4/2.5 listed at $995K; 1259 Par View Dr 3/4 listed at $1.175M; 490/460 Old Trail Rd 3/2.5 listed at $699.9K; 1073 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $795K; 1777 Serenity Ln 5/4.5 listed at $919K; 6041 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/1 listed at $949K; 1259 Par View Dr 3/4 listed at $1.175M, 2343 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 listed at $1.42M.

8 closed sales: 9214 Kincaid Ct 2/2 $355K, 560 Piedmont Rd 3/2 $450K, 454 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $610K, 9106 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $700K, 345 Cowry Ct 3/4.5 $722.5K, 940 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $935K, 1329 Eagle Run Dr $1.28M, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 $2,754,333.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1303 Par View Dr now $310K.

1 new sale: 2501 Tropical Way listed at $695K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #5134 1/2 $399K.

No price changes.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 $390K.

HOMES & LOTS

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

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

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

Until next Friday, enjoy your fall! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Island Real Estate Selling During the Pandemic

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

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

Redfish Pass at the tip of Captiva earlier this week.

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

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate Scoop

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

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

Island Sales from February 14 to August 14

 

Year

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

SANIBEL

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

CAPTIVA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Status

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

SANIBEL

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

CAPTIVA

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

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

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

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

Tidbits from NAR Economist Dr. Lawrence Yun

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

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

Here are a few of my notes from his presentation.

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

Openings/Closings/Rescheduling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings.

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

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

No closed sale.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings

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

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

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

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

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

Susan Andrews aka Sanibel Susan

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

Another Summery Friday on Sanibel

Happy Friday from the SanibelSusan Team. Typical sunny summer weather continues with occasional showers. Essentially no impact was felt here from Tropical Storm (later Hurricane) Isaias passing by the East Coast last weekend. With Atlantic and Gulf waters now very warm, even for summer, you can be sure we will continue to watch the weather channel right through hurricane season. Because of that warm water, more activity than normal is expected.

Yesterday afternoon while checking a couple of properties I snapped the following photos will my cell. From the bay to the gulf, even with recent occasional showers, waters are clear and bright.

Regarding COVID-19

On Monday, Mayor Ruane extended Sanibel’s declared State of Emergency in response to COVID-19, until August 11, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute the maximum time for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days, so it must be updated weekly while there are emergency conditions.)

Florida Department of Health (DOH) reports a total of 38 COVID-19 cases on Sanibel, five on Captiva.

On a positive note, DOH on-line reports that Lee County test results from Wednesday showed a lower percentage of positive test results. On August 5, it reports the county had 2,187 negative tests, 136 positive, or 5.9% positive. We all hope that downward trend continues.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

All of us are back at work this week, wearing masks and happy to say that office visitors are wearing them too. We had a few of those this week, some folks thinking of buying, others, Realtors® comparing notes on the market and picking up/returning keys.

Island inventory remains low as we roll into what are traditionally the slowest months of the year (Aug, Sep, Oct), but we know this year certainly is not like the norm. Since last Friday, the islands Multiple Listing Service reports 20 new Sanibel sales (8 condos/12 homes) and both a condo and a home sale on Captiva. The complete weekly update of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week is after a couple of news items below.

The annual Association of Realtors SCIS designation classes (Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist) have been rescheduled for September 15-October 2, so I am updating the segment I teach on the Resort and 2nd-Home Market. I have been teaching this class for eight years, but this will be my first using Zoom. Wish me luck.

Four Florida Beaches Make List of USA’s Most Charming Beach Towns

Posted Monday, August 3, by SouthFloridaReporter.com:

“The TravelMag results are out with Destin, Key West, Sanibel Island, and St Augustine, making the list of the Most Charming Beach Towns in the USA.  Florida had more beaches on the list than any other state.

“Waves lap 88,633 miles (142,641 km) of United States shoreline from the Arctic Ocean in the northwest, and the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean from west to east (according to the US Census Bureau). And all along these twists and turns of land, around the bays and inlets, estuaries and peninsulas, there are signs of human existence, from mighty cities like New York and Los Angeles, to remote towns and peaceful beaches. In all, 23 of the 50 States meet an ocean at some point, while an additional seven states have shoreline beach towns along one of the Great Lakes.

“Therefore, we decided to ask a broad array of writers, travel bloggers, photographers and other in-the-know professionals to pick the five beach towns they consider to be the most charming in the United States. To be eligible for inclusion, a town or city had to have a population of fewer than 30,000 people. After totting up the votes, we now present to you, in alphabetical order, the 30 beach towns our survey deemed the USA’s most charming.… [See the entire list HERE]….”

Below is what it had to say about Sanibel:

Sanibel Island, FL

Located off the southwest coast of Florida, the barrier island of Sanibel is known for its shells. Beachcombers can pick their way along the long expanses of coarse sand, like those at Bowman’s Beach, looking for their own specimens. Alternatively, see the grand collection at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. Sanibel Island’s human story is largely one of first conquering the elements, by controlling the wetlands and building a causeway from the mainland. In recent decades however, the focus has shifted more towards long-term goals through conservation and protection of these delicate environments, with much of the island dedicated to wildlife refuges, particularly JN Ding Darling, where you might be lucky to see roseate spoonbills, mangrove cuckoos, pelicans, alligators, turtles and even a bobcat.”

‘Ding’ Darling Free Lecture Series Moving to Community House for 2021

From the August 6, “Santiva Chronicle” on-line :

“The upcoming season’s “Ding” Darling Friday Lecture Series will evolve with the times and persisting distance protocols by moving to the larger venue of the Sanibel Community House at 2173 Periwinkle Way. The free lectures will occur on five select days throughout the season with one 10 a.m. lecture per day.

“The 17th annual “Ding” Darling Friday Lecture Series, which runs Jan.29 through March 19, 2021, features photographers Clyde and Niki Butcher, Feather Thief author Kirk W. Johnson, and eminent authorities on water conservation, eagles, owls, and woodpeckers.

““The uncertainties of COVID-19 challenged us to experiment with a new lecture series format so we could accommodate high-quality lecturers but still abide by new distancing guidelines,” said Ann-Marie Wildman, “Ding” Darling’s Nature Store manager and lecture series organizer. “We would be very limited on how many we could seat at our usual venue in the “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center auditorium, but the Community House gives us more latitude. So, we’ve decided on fewer lectures with topnotch speakers.”

“…Visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/lecture-and-film-series for further information on lecturers. Seating for the free lectures is limited and available on a first-come basis. About 200 seats will be available. Face masks will be required. DDWS will be filming most lectures and broadcasting them on Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/dingdarling….”

Salt Pulping on Wood Pilings

Teammate Dave had to put me in my place last week when we were discussing some piling damage at a home we viewed. From the archives he pulled out a summary provided January 12, 1996 by Max Anderson, Sanibel’s Building Official at the time. If you need a reminder too, here is that info:

“There have been several instances of a strange looking fuzzy decay and deterioration on wood pilings on Sanibel. There seemed to be no answer as to why this was happening and what to do to correct the problem.

“Samples were taken from some pilings where this occurred and sent to Dr. Terry Amburgey at Mississippi State University. He is a recognized expert on wood products. He indicates this problem is called salt water pulping and caused by salt water being absorbed up into the piling. This happens because, in his opinion, the piling is not dried or aged properly prior to use.

“To stop the action of the salt water, the water column in the piling must be blocked, some important facts and best possible suggestions to correct the problem are as follows:

  1. The chromated copper arsenate (C.C.A.) pressure treatment is the most common method used. This is a waterborne treatment and drying prior to use of the wood piling is critical.
  2. When driven into a salt water environment the natural air drying above grade causes the salty water to be sucked or drawn up into the wood.
  3. It is necessary to block this water column action to stop this salt water pulping.
  4. A suggested method to break this water column is to drill a ½-inch diameter hold in one face of the piling near the base at an angle downward into the center. Move to each of the other 3 faces of the piling moving up about 12” and drill similar holes. Pour these holes full of a water preservative generally available at a hardware store. Go back several times over a couple of weeks refilling the drilled holes. The preservative will be drawn into and absorbed by the piling. Then seal the hole.
  5. Brush off existing fuzz and deteriorating wood from the face of the piling and coat with the water preservative.
  6. This treatment as suggested should break the water column drawing the salt water into the column.

“This is a treatment which is recommended by Dr. Amburgey and has not been tested, but in his opinion should correct the problem of salt water pulping. The Sanibel Building Department would like for people using this system to report back in approximately one year as a test program.”

Salt Damage to Wood

Since I wondered if there were more recent articles on the subject, here is an interesting one I found from the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory (#06-2011-001):

“Many types of deterioration can affect wood in service. One potential problem facing dock owners is the occasional development of “fuzzy wood” caused by salt uptake into the wood. This salt damage – also referred to as “salt kill” or salt defibration – is sometimes seen in wood that is chronically exposed to salt, such as marine pilings, bridge decks where salt is used as a de-icer, utility poles that are splashed with road salt, or wood associated with salt storage.

Wood in this instance acts like a bundle of straws, wicking salt water into the wood structure. As the wood surface is exposed to heat and drying (as from direct sunlight), the water evaporates and salt crystals form in the wood cells. Over time, the physical forces exerted by the salt crystals push the fibers of the wood apart, causing the “fuzzy” appearance. This phenomenon is often seen in extreme environments, both hot and cold. Past research at FPL has shown that salt damage can accumulate in as little as 5 years of repeated wetting and drying cycles. Salt damage can be observed on untreated wood or wood treated with waterborne preservatives, such as CCA (copper chromated arsenate) and ACQ (alkaline copper quat). It does not usually occur on wood treated with oily preservatives, such as creosote, because the oil forms a barrier to the sale movement.

“Although salt damage may be unsightly, the fuzzy wood need not be cause for alarm. The gradual sloughing off of the wood surface proceeds slowly, and the wood beneath the affected area remains sound. Salt damage has been observed on poles and pilings that are still in service after 25-30 years. Paints, coatings, or barriers have been suggested to prevent the movement of water from the wood surface, but it’s not clear how effective these treatments might be….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 31-August 7, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

4 price changes: Sanibel Arms #C7 1/1 now $356K, Sandalfoot #3C1 2/2 now $639.9K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #2B 3/3.5 now $759K, Heron at The Sanctuary II #3A 3/2.5 now $799K.

8 new sales: Casa Blanca #4 1/1 listed at $357K, Blind Pass #E205 2/2.5 listed at $405K, Sunset South #A11 2/2 listed at $549K, Cottage Colony West #134 1/1 listed at $614.5K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #5-4 3/3 listed at $790K, Sanibel Surfside #126 2/2 listed at $799K, Seawind II #2 2/2.5 listed at $799.9K, Sundial #K402 2/2 listed at $1,149,900.

3 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #A7 1/1 $338K, Sanibel Shores #A2 2/2 $459K, Sandalfoot #1C1 2/2 $775K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 537 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 $1.095M.

6 price changes: 9247 Dimmick Dr 3/2 now $580K, 9128 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $699K, 1296 Par View Dr 3/3 now $749K, 1777 Serenity Ln 5/4.5 now $919K, 4629 Rue Bayou 5/3 now $1.195M, 2411 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 now $2,494,900.

12 new sales: 454 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $630K, 4339 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 listed at $695K, 9106 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $749K, 3117 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed at $793K, 5422 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 listed at $799K, 1752 Jewel Box Dr 2/2 listed at $859K, 1406 Causey Ct 3/2.5 listed at $895K, 401 Lagoon Dr 4/4 listed at $899K, 776 Conch Ct 3/2 listed at $899K, 1437 Causey Ct 3/2.5 listed at $925K, 940 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 listed at $948K, 5089 Joewood Dr 6/5 listed at $3.495M.

7 closed sales: 1356 Jamaica Dr 2/1.5 $515K, 1973 Wild Lime Dr 4/3 $554K, 5834 Pine Tree Dr 2/2 $675K, 701 Nerita St 3/2 $675K, 2100 Sunset Cir 3/2 $698K, 2284 Troon Ct 4/4.5 $1.7M, 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/4/3 $2.895M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 5847 Pine Tree Dr $300K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5114 1/2 listed at $380K.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5104 1/2 $385K.

HOMES

No new listings

1 price change: 11555 Wightman Ln 3/2 now $3.695M.

1 new sale: 11514 Wightman Ln 5/5 listed at $1.895M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

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

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

Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”. Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Wrapping Up July on Sunny Sanibel Island

It has been another quiet week on sunny Sanibel. One with beautiful summer weather – typical for the days before a tropical event. Teammate Dave remarked this morning about how bright sunset was last night. Saharan dust is orange and red, so sunsets through the dust haze are often bright and brilliant.
Something else that is pretty spectacular this time of the year is the night-blooming cereus. These desert-type cactus bloom once a year in the summer when the temperature drops at night. Their large flowers are showy and a contrast to their typically unexciting appearance.
There is a large group of them on trees on the north side of Periwinkle Way. I have enjoyed them for many years, just catching the tail-end of their blooms as I head to the office in the morning.
The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing service is after a couple of news items below.

Watching the Weather

You can bet that many have been doing plenty of weather watching this week. The early afternoon forecast looks like Hurricane Isaias will skim past the east coast of Florida, so that is a relief. Southwest Florida looks to be totally out of the cone. But, we also know that it pays to stay tuned. Hurricanes have changed path before. On a more positive note, several east coast residents are coming here to enjoy the weekend. Their business will be welcome.

Island Openings/Closings

Sanibel Mayor Ruane has extended the declared state of emergency in response to COVID-19 until August 4. As of yesterday, the Florida Department of Health announced one new confirmed COVID-19 positive tests on Sanibel bringing the total cases since March 26 to 35. The City’s home page (www.MySanibel.com) has direct access to these daily reports.
Re-openings:
  • Sanibel Community House has announced August events (with masks and social distancing required): Thursdays at 1 p.m. open forum on “Leading Life Currently”; Kids Cooking Camp M-F August 3 to 7 from 10 a.m. until noon (private lessons also available); Camp to Go Shell Critter Kits & Camp to Go Art Kits available for purchase or to ship; Lee Health Blood Mobile Thurs August 20 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Community House Rib Night Social Fri August 21 beginning at 6 p.m. More info at www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net and 239-472-2155.
  • Sanibel Historical Village already has been closed for four months and usually is closed during the off-season August 1 through mid-October. They updated their membership this week and advise that current plans are to reopen with new safety precautions on October 20.
  • Beginning Mon, August 3, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will resume charging Wildlife Drive admission fees which have been waived since March 23 to avoid unsafe interaction during the pandemic. Now with safety protocols, the daily vehicular fees will return to $5 and entry fees for pedestrians and cyclists over age 15 again is $1. Although the Visitor & Education Center will remain closed until announced, its “America’s Best Restroom” will reopen to the public daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. also starting August 3. The Nature Store inside the visitor center is offering free curbside delivery for orders placed on www.ShopDingDarling.com during the physical store closure. Call 239-472-1100 Ext 241 or visit the website to lean more.
  • Tarpon Bay Explorers’ narrated tram tours of Wildlife Drive will resume on August 4 and will run every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 8:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. until further notice. Visitors also may purchase annual and federal passes from the Wildlife Drive fee booth Saturday through Thursday and at the Tarpon Bay Explorers’ gift store on Fridays. Call 239-472-1351 or 239-472-8900 for latest info.

Taken about noon today at Tarpon Bay Explorers

A couple of long-time island retail establishments are closing:
  • Owners of The Sporty Seahorse Shop at 362 Periwinkle Way are retiring, after 30 years on Sanibel’s east end. According to their ad in today’s “Island Sun”, starting August 1 all merchandise is 40% off.
  • C. Turtles Hip Boutique at 1985 Periwinkle in Tahitian Gardens closed yesterday after 24 years in business. We still miss Susie as our neighbor at her former location in Sanibel Square.

The Return of McMansions? They Answer Pandemic Buyers’ Needs

Posted yesterday on-line at FloridaRealtors® and sourced to Realty Biz News (07/27/2020) Wheatley, Mike
“NEW YORK – As the pandemic compels people to spend more time indoors, experts say home buyers are increasingly searching for larger spaces with so-called McMansions apparently back in fashion, says Sonia Hirt, dean of the University of Georgia College of Environment and Design. “The suburban home that was so stereotypical and boring suddenly proved itself to have benefits we’ve completely forgotten about,” Hirt says.
“A recent report by the National Association of Realtors® found that the median size of an existing home was 2,060 square feet prior to the coronavirus pandemic. For new homes, however, the median size was 2,291 feet, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Architects say they expect those medians to increase in the next year.
““It’s being driven by people looking for the right combination of functionality and price,” says Ken Perlman, managing principal at John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Families want more room to accommodate adult relatives who might have moved in due to the pandemic. College students and young adults also opted to move back home due to stay-at-home measures and the economic situation.
““We’re going to see another bump in multigenerational living,” says Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United. “By combining resources, they can afford a bigger house or a more comfortable lifestyle.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 24-31, 2020

Sanibel
CONDOS
2 new listings: Sundial #J107 2/2 $729K, Pointe Santo #A31 2/2 $949K.
2 price changesMariner Pointe #522 2/2 now $484.9K (our listing), Seawind II #2 2/2.5 now $799.9K, Sanddollar #B104 2/2 now $1.05M.
1 new sale: Shell Island Beach Club #7C listed at $799K.
4 closed sales: Sanibel Arms West #B2 2/2 $490K, Mariner Pointe #542 2/2 $565K, Sanibel Surfside #132 2/2 $840K, Island Beach Club #340E 2/2 $1.06M.

View from Mariner Pointe #522

HOMES
2 new listings: 981 Main St 4/2.5 $699.9K, 1035 S Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 $1.099M.
2 price changes: 1752 Jewel Box Dr 2/2 now $859K; 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 now $875K.
2 new sales: 9036 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $624,999; 1271 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed at $925K.
9 closed sales: 9465 Calla Ct 3/2 $475K; 1361 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $509,600; 954 Donax St 3/3 $510K; 433 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $550K; 5056 Joewood Dr 3/2 $800K; 1199 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $950K; 2385 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1M; 2477 Wulfert 3/4 $1.1M;  2154 Starfish Ln 3/3 $1.31M..
LOTS
No new listings.
1 price change: 2297 Wulfert Rd now $187K.
2 new sales: 2462 Wulfert Rd listed at $229K, 1912 Par View Dr listed at $284,999.
1 closed sale: 6419 Pine Ave $785K.
Captiva
CONDOS
2 new listings: Beach Villas #2418 2/2 $759K, Lands End Village #1659 2/2 $975K.
No price changes.
2 new sales: Bayside Villas #5304 3/3 listed at $667.5K, Captiva Shores #C6 2/2 listed at $1.019M.
No closed sales.
HOMES
No new listings, price changes, new, or closed sales.
LOTS
No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Below is our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.
Here’s hoping your weekend weather also is storm free. Until next week…
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s A Tropical Kinda Friday!

SanibelSusan here reporting another happy Friday! (Those are especially nice on weeks with closings.) There have been bright blue skies here so-far today, after a soggy Thursday afternoon. Now that the rainy season has settled in and the first of the tropical storms have developed in the gulf, showers have become more frequent and sometimes heavy.

Sanibel Square lost electricity for a short time yesterday. (A notice from the City said that 2000 island customers were affected.) Lee County Electric Coop (LCEC) continues to respond quickly. Go to http://www.lcec.net to download their “Smart Hub” app to report outages and to access your account. LCEC’s outage management map is a good resource too.

A plus with these showers is the islands are back to their lush tropical summer look, vegetation is a brilliant green and growing like crazy. Here are a few photos of the things blooming in my yard today. The gardenia bush is flowering for the third time this year – that’s a first.

These recent rains also have resulted in a lot of skeeters! There are almost enough to help carry in the mail. Though Lee County Mosquito Control (LCMC) has been working hard to keep them in check, population now is expanding faster than the island marsh bunnies – and that is booming. (Seriously, LCMC does a great job keeping those pesky biters in check during “mosquito season”, May through October. Mosquito activity increases, particularly after heavy rains that produce large areas of standing water. With the islands, mangroves, wetlands, and salt marshes, Sanibel is a prime breeding ground, so contact LCMC if you have a large number in your island neighborhood.)

At SanibelSusan Realty

Once again, our listings got some action this week. No offers, but some inquiries and showings. The activity posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. Plenty of real estate sales are occurring here. If you are interested in an updated Sanibel/Captiva inventory list, contact The SanibelSusan Team. We are happy to mail or email you one anytime.

Much of the local news, probably like where you are, is about COVID-19 and when schools will begin. Lee County’s School Board met yesterday and have decided to delay the opening here from August 10 to August 31.

The “Real Estate” State of the State

Below is the June 2020 – Florida Housing Report from Dr. Brad O’Connor, Florida Realtors Chief Economist:

“The June 2020 statistics from Florida Realtors have just been released, and they erase any remaining doubts that Florida’s housing market is in the midst of a large-scale recovery. This isn’t to say that every segment of the market is performing well, but on the whole, things are looking better than they have in several months.

“Let’s start by looking at the statewide statistics for existing single-family home sales. For the first time since March, closed sales were up year-over-year, rising by 1.3%. Remember in April and May, closings were down about 21 and 36%, respectively. But thanks to this nice recovery in June, plus the unusually strong sales growth we had ahead of the pandemic in January and February, here at the mid-point of 2020, closings are only down a little over 7% for the year compared to the first half of 2019. At our current trajectory, in fact, it’s possible that we may end the year with more closed single-family home sales statewide than we had last year.

“Of course, if you’ve been following the numbers with us over the past couple of months, you likely saw all of this coming. After all, new pending sales of single-family homes were up 2.3% in May. And if we assume new pending sales trends will continue to provide reliable forecasts of closings in the months to come, then based on the latest numbers from June, we can expect a very good summer. Why? Because in June, statewide new pending sales of single-family homes were up over 23%, year-over-year.

“Several factors are playing into this renewed demand for housing, but by far, the most important factors are record-low mortgage interest rates and the release of all the pent-up demand from our derailed spring buying season. Of course, we can’t expect this supercharged level of sales growth to last forever, since at some point, we will burn through all of this pent-up demand. But interest rates are not expected to rise any time soon, and they still have some room to go lower, so we have every reason to be optimistic about sales over the coming months, barring additional negative shocks to the economy.

“Over in the condo and townhouse category, existing home sales continue to lag those from the single-family category, but they still show significant improvement. Closed sales in this category were down nearly 11% year-over-year in June, but keep in mind, they were down over 50% in May. Still, the best signal that condos and townhouses are making a comeback comes from probably the most surprising number we saw this month, which is the nearly 20% increase in new contracts compared to the same month last year.

“Over on the supply side of the market, inventory remains scarce and one of our most immediate areas of concern, particularly in the single-family home category. As of the end of June, there were over 27 percent fewer single-family homes listed for sale in Florida’s MLSs than at this time a year ago. Looking at it another way, in three months’ time, we have gone from nearly 84,000 statewide single-family listings at the end of March to under 66,000 listings here at the mid-point of 2020. Fortunately, the condo and townhouse category has fared better, with inventory being down only about 6% compared to a year ago.

“The one positive aspect of this reduction in the supply of available housing is that it counteracted the temporary drop in home sales activity we saw in the first couple months in the pandemic, thereby keeping home values relatively stable. But now that demand has come roaring back, we are starting to see rising prices again. The median sale price for closed single-family home sales in June was $282,000, a 4.4% increase from a year ago. Over in the condo and townhouse category, the median sale price was up 7.7%, to $210,000. As we continue on through 2020, our biggest concern remains the inventory shortage, which could eventually put a cap on the number of possible transactions. But home values should remain stable.

“Now, I’ve covered the state as a whole, but every local market has its own trends….”

The Market on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

Looking more specifically at the island market, the below graphic provides the statistics through 2020’s 2nd quarter, provided by the islands Association of Realtors®.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

The local Association of Realtors® office remains closed for meetings including caravans, but members are looking forward to our first “virtual” membership meeting on August 13 where the guest speaker is Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist and Senior Vice president of Research at the National Association of Realtors®.

He will discuss today’s economic climate, current housing trends, the outlook on resort and 2nd home markets like ours, and his projections for the end of 2020 and beyond. (You may remember from my past blogs that I am a huge fan of his conservative outlooks. If anyone has a question that you would like me to pose to him, just let me know.)

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 17-24, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sunset South #2D 2/2 $675K, Villas of Sanibel #B202 3/2 $1.895M.

4 price changes: Casa Blanca #4 1/1 now $357K, Signal Inn #14 2/2 now $699K, Atrium #103 2/2 now $1.225M, Sunward #201 3/2 now $1.259M.

5 new sales: Colonnades #C3 1/1 listed at $245K, Pointe Santo #D21 2/2 listed at $549K, Kings Crown #306 2/2 listed at $838K, Somerset #C302 3/2 listed at $1.65M, High Tide #A301 3/2 listed at $1.989M.

3 closed sales: Captains Walk #C3 1/1 $250K, Island Beach Club #320B 2/2 $649K, Heron at The Sanctuary #3B 3/2.5 $775K.

HOMES

5 new listings: 315 East Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex $599K, 756 Windlass Way 4/3 $869K, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr #1A (Moonshadows) 3/3 half-duplex $889K, 1259 Par View Dr 3/4 $1.175M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 4/4 $4.65M.

3 price changes: 799 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex now $580K, 690 Durion Ct 3/2 now $695K, 1081 Captains Walk St 4/2.5 now $995K.

10 new sales: 560 Piedmont Rd 3/2 listed at $460K, 1890 Farm Trl 3/2 listed at $549.4K, 9247 Dimmick Dr 3/2 listed at $590K, 1567 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed at $595K, 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $677K, 5304 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/3 listed at $770K, 9024 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 listed at $819K, 2439 Harbour Ln 3/3 listed at $1.089M, 1329 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 listed at $1.375M, 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 listed at $2.995M.

9 closed sales: 1593 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $583.5K, 1021 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $658K, 1807 Serenity Ln 3/2 $700K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 $725K, 5659 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 $750K, 901 S.Yachtsman Dr 2/2 $760K (our listing), 1430 Causey Ct 3/2 $865K, 5855 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $900K, 6071 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 5/4.5 $1.4M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 6411 Pine Ave $290K, 6053 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $922K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #2522 1/1 $529K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Tennis Villas #3213 1/1 listed at $354.9K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 11515 Gore Ln 5/4.5 now $2.395M, 1124 Longifolia Ct 4/5 now $2.938M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

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

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

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

When It Rains on The Islands, Just Wait a Few Minutes

It has been another week of typical July weather on Sanibel and Captiva Islands – bright blue skies with big white puffy popcorn clouds often rolling in, bringing along a quick shower and resulting in some terrific sunsets. I took a quick detour on my way back to the office about 1 p.m. this afternoon trying to capture a photo of those clouds. My quick trip up Bailey Road was not fast enough, so I tried Dixie Beach Blvd. You can see from the photos below that it was already raining off island with waves forming on San Carlos Bay and Pine Island Sound. Now the rains have stopped, with both islands first getting a good dousing.

From the lot at the end of Dixie Beach looking toward Woodring Rd

Already raining across Pine Island Sound.

A few little white caps on San Carlos Bay

New real estate action was down a little this week following the departure of holiday visitors, but overall, closed sales are doing well. Below is a summary comparison of island sales (from January through today) over the last three years. Current inventory also is shown.

For those who can work from home or want to spend more time here, there is plenty of inventory and lenders are offering some of the best programs in decades. Prudent buyers also will note that prices again are creeping up.

Residential Property – Condos, Homes, & Lots
Sanibel Captiva Total Both Islands
Sold/Closed from 1/1 to 7/17 # Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
2020 214 879,346 32 2,024,593 246 1,028,321
2019 227 841,871 22 1,856,533 249 931,522
2018 272 1,011,547 29 1,430,385 301 1,051,900
For Sale Now 316 1,156,219 86 2,610,933 401 1,469,652

Looking more carefully at sales to-date this year, here are answers to some questions often posed to Realtors®. (My answers are based on the island Multiple Listing Service.)

What is the cost of a 2-bedroom condo on the gulf? On Sanibel, today there are 55 for sale, average asking price $815,576. On Captiva, seven are for sale, average asking price $1,285,214.

What if I need 3 bedrooms? Expect to pay a lot more. On Sanibel, 16 are for sale, average asking price $1,634,125. On Captiva, six are for sale, average asking price $2,456,500.

How much do properties sell off their asking price? Looking at those same property types and sales this year, 33 Sanibel 2-bedroom gulf condos sold in prices ranging from $508,000 to $1,200,000 (a huge spread). Average sale price compared to average list price = 94%. On Captiva, there were just four gulf-side 2-bedroom condo sales. Prices ranged from $674,500 to $1,480,000. There, average sale price compared to list price is 96%.

What is the cost of a single-family 3-bedroom home with pool near-the-beach? That is the most popular island property. On Sanibel, 14 are for sale, average asking price $855,278. Year-to-date, 13 have sold at prices ranging from $447,000 to $1,167,500. Average sale price $875,657 is 94% of the average asking price. On Captiva, four are available, average asking price $1,818,500. Year-to-date, just two have sold. Average sale price of $1,862,500 is 94% of average list price.

Below are a few news items followed by the activity this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. You will notice that there was just one new Sanibel condo sale, while there were eight home sales. Closings were similarly split this week with no Sanibel condo closings, but 11 Sanibel homes closed. Usually condo buyers are here now… hopefully they are coming soon!

City of Sanibel

On Tuesday, Sanibel City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting. One item discussed was the City budget and the expected 2020 millage rate.

As reported in today’s “Island Sun”:  “Despite COVID-19, island property values are projected to have risen this year, although by less than one percent, and the City is projected to have the lowest tax rate since 2007.”

There was no change in the Mayor’s State of Emergency Proclamation Due to COVID-19, other than extending it until July 21.

Great News from Turtle Patrol

Posted Wed on SCCF’s (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) FaceBook page:

“Captiva has broken its record for the most loggerhead sea turtle nests ever documented! With 231 nests, the island is well ahead of last year’s record of 193 loggerhead nests.

“On Sanibel, we are up to 585 loggerhead nests with a couple weeks of nesting still to go. The previous record on Sanibel was set in 2017 for loggerheads, with 649 nests.

“We are now tracking three loggerheads that nested on our beaches this summer. Last week, our team tagged a loggerhead named Periwinkle…. Pepper, Junonia, and Periwinkle received satellite transmitters this nesting season to learn more about the inter-nesting movements, migratory pathways, and foraging grounds of loggerheads nesting on our beaches. Click here to track these turtles! https://www.trackturtles.com/

Why We Love It Here

Here are a few reminders of why so many love Sanibel and Captiva:

Tops in Nation – Widely recognized & consistently ranged as one of the country’s top destinations for beach combing, shelling, kayaking, bird watching, and biking. Family Fun magazine has rated Sanibel a top overall family attraction.

Popular Winter Destination – The American Society of Travel Agents has ranked the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva in their top ten most popular winter destinations. The Weather Channel also has ranked the islands in its top five winter escapes, along with Key West, Kahului (in Maui), Honolulu, and Miami.

Sanibel Shell Festival – Beaches are ranked some of the best in the world for shelling. More varieties can be found here than anywhere else in North America. Shelling posture is so common, that it has a name – The Sanibel Stoop. It also is no wonder that the Sanibel Shell Festival will celebrate its 84th year in 2021. Among the rare shells collected here are the brown speckled junonia, sculpted lion’s paw, coveted golden olive, golden tulip, and Scotch bonnet. Live shelling is banned, but shell seekers are encouraged to pick up abandoned treasures that wash up on shore.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge – Occupying more than half of Sanibel, the national wildlife refuge was named for Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jay Norwood Darling, who also was the first environmentalist to hold a presidential cabinet post (Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration).

Boating – There are plenty of opportunities on the islands and surrounding waterways for water enthusiasts, from easy kayaking to serious tarpon fishing. Boat straight across the state from Fort Myers/Sanibel to Palm Beach via the Caloosahatchee River and Okeechobee Waterway, both part of the intra-coastal waterway.

Creativity Abounds Here – From authors to artists to musicians & more – Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the wife of America’s famous aviator, wrote her best-selling book, “A Gift from the Sea,” without identifying it as Captiva Island.

Gladiolus Capital – Some of Lee County’s original settlers were flower growers from the Benelux region of Europe. At one time their horticultural efforts made nearby Fort Myers the “Gladiolus Capital of the World.”

Update on The Wildlife Refuge

From the July 16, 2020, “’Ding’ on The Wing”, News from the ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Society:

Tarpon Bay Explorers has restructured its Sealife and Nature Cruises schedule. Currently, the tours depart every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday at 11, 1:30, and 6. Keep current on developments via our COVID-19 web page.  In the meantime, we urge you to #StayHome as much as possible, get out in nature when you can, and maintain social distance and mask guidelines when you must go out.”

At the Refuge store, their special edition Sanibel Shells masks are in stock and more Roseate Spoonbill masks are expected to arrive soon. Easy to order at ShopDingDarling.com.

Realtor.com’s Website Has ‘Record-Level’ Buyer Interest

Posted July 10 on FloridaRealtors® on line:

“The site created a Housing Market Recovery Index just a few weeks ago to gauge the market’s return to “normal,” and real estate is already close to pre-pandemic levels.

“Realtor.com says its monthly website traffic hit an all-time high of 86 million unique users in June 2020, breaking May’s record of 85 million unique users. It also broke its daily record on June 25 when 7 million unique users visited the site.

“Realtor.com created a new Housing Market Recovery Index in early June to gauge how fast the pandemic-slowed real estate market returned to “normal.” The index considers a score of 100 to represent the real estate market on Feb. 1, 2020 – before the pandemic hit – and any current metro score below 100 represents its relative weakness compared to the pre-pandemic market.

“In many metro areas, however, the index has returned to something close to normal; in some areas, it’s even improved.

“In the four Florida metro areas realtor.com includes in its Index, one has already passed the Feb. 1 baseline – Jacksonville with an index of 100.4 – and the other three are only slightly below for the week ending July 4.

Nationwide, the index number reached 97.8, which is the largest weekly increase since the index was introduced. The week’s 2.1-point increase week-to-week brings the index just 2.2 points below the pre-COVID baseline. However, supply remains the biggest factor that will slow a recovery, realtor.com analysts say. Total listings on realtor.com are down 31% year-to-year.

“All-time low mortgage rates and easing job losses have boosted buyer confidence back to pre-pandemic levels,” says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com. “With supply at record lows, the backlog of demand portends increased competition and a seller’s market in the weeks ahead. While buyers are back, growth in home sales this summer will be constrained by the slow return of sellers and the limited amount of homes hitting the market.

“Nationwide, listings spent three days less on the market year-to-year the week of July 4. Asking prices on realtor.com were up 6.2%, and the number of new listings were down 4%. Out of the 50 metros included in the Index, the Boston area ranked first with a score of 119.9; the Milwaukee metro area ranked last with a score of 85.8.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 10-17, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Spanish Cay #F4 2/2 listed at $399,999; Kimball Lodge #263 1/1.5 $525K; Loggerhead Cay #542 2/2 $699K; Sundial #T201 2/2 $830K; Surfside 12 #A4 3/2 $849K.

4 price changes: Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 now $419K, Sundial #C301 1/1 now $460K, Mariner Pointe #421 2/2 now $589K, Kings Crown #306 2/2 now $838K.

1 new sale: Sanibel Surfside #126 2/2 listed at $799K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1304 Par View Dr 3/3 $775K.

1 price change: 1720 Dixie Beach Blvd 3/3 now $995K.

8 new sales: 9426 Beverly Ln 3/2 listed at $575K, 1827 Middle Gulf Dr 2/2 listed at $589K; 6033 Dinkins Lake Rd 3/3.5 listed at $698.5K; 1515 Angel Dr 3/2 listed at $849,948; 1358 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 listed at $995K; 1010 Kings Crown Dr 3/3 listed at $997K; 3706 West Gulf Dr 4/3 listed at $1.325M; 3615 West Gulf Dr 3/2 listed at $2.995M.

11 closed sales: 1695 Serenity Ln 3/2 $514K, 3947 Coquina Dr 2/2 $550K, 990/992 Greenwood Ct N 3/2.5 duplex $640K, 9418 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $655K, 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 $680K, 1285 Par View Dr 4/2.5 $700K, 1220 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $775K, 676 Emeril Ct 3/2 $830K, 847 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $850K, 1230 Bay Dr 3/2 $1.45M, 2460 Harbour Ln 3/3 $1.75M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 0 Island Inn Rd now $599,555.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

2 price changes: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 now $399K, Beach Homes #30 4/4.5 now $3.65M.

2 new sales: Tennis Villas #3114 1/1 listed at $329K, Beach Homes #21 3/3 listed at $3,000,050.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 11520 Wightman Ln 3/2 $2.589M.

1 price change: 16500 Captiva Dr 6/6/2 now $6.389M.

1 new sale: 11547 Laika Ln 4/4 listed at $1.995M.

2 closed sales: 11520 Wightman Ln 3/2 $2.5M, 16221-16217 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 $3.6M.

LOTS

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

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

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

Until next week, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

City of Sanibel Status as of July 7, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

Huge Spike in Internet Viewings in June

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

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

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

Protect Your Meetings from Unwanted Visitors

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

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

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

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

9 Ways to Prepare for a Virtual Showing

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

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

Openings/Closings/Reopenings

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

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

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

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

No new sales.

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

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

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

LOTS

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

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

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

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

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Happy Birthday, America!

Happy birthday, America, and best wishes from SanibelSusan for a safe and happy July 4th. My team is off today for the long weekend, but I am in the office doing what I like best. I’ll be here tomorrow too, working with buyers.
Undoubtedly you have heard the news that COVID-19 cases in Florida, Lee County, and on Sanibel have increased. Reports are so conflicting, and the news so biased that it is hard to know what to believe. Unfortunately, most of us know someone who has had this illness and though the majority seem to be following recommended precautions, we keep hearing that it only takes “one” unknowing person to pass it on.
My Realtor® friend from Cape Coral who was hospitalized with it for many days, acknowledging she had simply let her guard down. Thankfully she came home this week but is struggling through a tough recovery. Hearing from her was enough to keep me from attending the special Sanibel City Council meeting on Tuesday. The state of emergency proclamation was expiring that day, so the meeting was called to discuss what further steps might be necessary to combat the virus.
At that meeting, the City extended the proclamation through the holiday weekend and voted to make face coverings mandatory in public places where social distancing is not possible. There are some exceptions, but masks are required inside businesses (except when eating). Read the full explanation on www.MySanibel.com.
The other emergency measure that passed was to reclose the City “pay” public beach parking lots from today through Monday. The goal here is to stop congestion on the beaches. Since the parking lots reopened a few weeks ago, particularly on weekends, the beaches have been packed. With the holiday weekend, many beaches in Florida closed, and island accommodations reporting reservations at capacity, it was considered a smart precaution to try to limit the number of beachgoers.
Yesterday, Traders restaurant (a personal favorite) posted this message: “Due to the escalation of COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, beginning today, Traders is closed for the July 4th holiday week. We will reopen Tuesday, July 14th. We apologize for an inconvenience. Stay safe + stay healthy!”
At SanibelSusan Realty
In the office, while wearing masks and practicing social distancing, we again had good action this week. Unusually busy for this time of year and we are grateful. The months certainly are flying by. Hard to believe 2020 is half over.
With no Sanibel parade or fireworks tomorrow, I did a little sleuthing today through old photos. Dick and I helped with the very first July 4th parade back in the early 90’s. That was when a picnic on the grounds of City Hall followed the parade. Who remembers the Quarterdeck Restaurant? One of the first parade organizational meetings was there. When we were at VIP and later, we marched in the parade and had our own SanibelSusan Team parade entry for many years. We still decorate the office – though not so much this year.
After moving to Sanibel Square, we found our location to be the perfect spot for parade watching. We have enjoyed hosting family, friends, and clients here on the morning of July 4th for many years. Will miss that tomorrow. But, if you are a Facebook follower, I plan to post some “through-the-years” parade photos. Fun times.
To wrap up the first half of the year, below is a quick summary from the Sanibel-Captiva Multiple Listing Service of island inventory today and the sales action in 2020 as compared to the same time frame the last few years. These years have been unusual. The after effects of Hurricane Irma in 2017 affected early 2018, then Florida’s red tide in late 2018 affected 2019. Then to top things off, there is the pandemic this year. It still looks like it is helping our market, but those affects may not be fully realized until later. In the meantime, we continue to welcome new business and look forward to more sales.
Sanibel
Condos
Homes
Lots
#
Price
#
Price
#
Price
For sale
121
820,687
140
1,622,010
62
807,230
Under contract
17
645,905
53
912,249
4
688,000
Sold 1/1-7/3/2020
79
729,538
112
1,003,973
4
849,666
Sold 1/1-7/3/2019
79
679,753
126
979,358
9
451,222
Sold 1/1-7/3/2018
96
743,571
158
1,214,613
9
478,555
Sold 1/1-7/3/2017
84
761,089
125
982,513
21
331,158
Captiva
Condos
Homes
Lots
#
Price
#
Price
#
Price
For sale
38
1,168,509
42
3,990.285
3
3,563,000
Under contract
3
770,000
5
2,678,600
0
N/A
Sold 1/1-7/3/2020
15
882,666
11
3,429,272
2
1,925,000
Sold 1/1-7/3/2019
14
1,201,857
8
3,002,187
0
N/A
Sold 1/1-7/3/2018
17
912,933
12
2,163,442
0
N/A
Sold 1/1-7/3/2017
20
698,450
15
2,668,466
2
2,312,500
The activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service is shown below, followed by our ad from today’s “Island Sun”.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 26-July 3, 2020
Sanibel
CONDOS
2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #212 2/2 $589,985; Sand Pointe #116 2/2 $899K.
2 price changes: Mariner Pointe #813 2/2 now $579K, Sand Pointe #227 2/2 now $729K.
4 new sales: Sanibel Arms #A7 1/1 listed at $359K, Seashells #36 2/2 listed at $380K, Sundial #T301 2/2 listed at $845K, Loggerhead Cay #514 2/2 listed at $995K.
3 closed sales: Casa Blanca #6 1/1 $325K, Seawind #107 2/2.5 $500K, Loggerhead Cay #191 2/2 $740K.
HOMES
4 new listings2985 Island Inn Rd 2/2 $599K (our listing), 721 Durion Ct 3/3 $649K, 1610 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $724.9K, 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 $1.789M.

2985 Island Inn Rd

7 price changes: 4044 Coquina Dr 2/2 now $529K; 9455 Beverly Ln 2/2 now $529.9K; 3131 Twin Lakes Ln 2/2 now $789,031; 3751 Coquina Dr 3/2 now $859K; 1430 Sanderling Cir 4/3.5 now $899K; 790 Beach Rd 4/3.5 now $1.399M; 4577 Waters Edge Ln 4/3 now $3.049M.
9 new sales: 9465 Calla Ct 3/2 listed at $499K, 1361 Tahiti Dr 2/2 listed at $535K, 433 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $569K, 1813 Farm Tr 3/2 listed at $629K, 5659 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 2/2 listed at $790K, 2417 Wulfert Rd 3/3 listed at $944.5K, 3850 Coquina Dr 3/3 listed at $1.048M, 5419 Osprey Ct 3/3.5 listed at $1.095M, 2284 Troon Ct 4/4.5 listed at $1.799M.
8 closed sales: 499 Peachtree Rd 2/2 $450K, 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 $626K, 1826 Ardsley Way 4/3 $626.5K, 987 Sand Castle Rd 4/3.5 $650K, 3323 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 $760K, 5757 Pine Tree Dr 3/2.5 $775K, 1271 Par View Dr 3/3 $860K, 5044 Joewood Dr 4/4.5 $1.85M.
LOTS
No new listings.
1 price change: 2486 Wulfert Rd now $129K.
No new or closed sales.
Captiva
CONDOS
1 new listing: Beach Villas #2422 1/1 $545K.
No price changes:
1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5234 1/2 listed at $510K.
2 closed sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2227 1/1 $510K, Lands End Village #1651 2/2 $1.14M.
HOMES
1 new listing: 16596 Captiva Dr 7/8.5 $10.5M.
2 price changes: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 now $2.395M, 17101 Captiva Dr 7/6.5 now $2.695M.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 13500 Palmflower Ln 4/4 $2.4M.
LOTS
No new listings, price changes, new or closed sales.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Enjoy your holiday! Stay safe & be well!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Gearing Up For Fathers’ Day Weekend 2020

Though today is not a bright and sunny Friday, it again is a welcomed weekend on Sanibel.

With off-&-on summer showers yesterday too, our long-time photographer, Jim Anderson, had a challenge filming our two new listings.

Though he prepares his streaming videos using aerials captured by drone (rather than from plane or helicopter, like years ago), for him to feature a property at its best, he sometimes must return to photograph the outside after weather clears.

As they say on the islands, from June through September, “if it starts to rain, just wait a few minutes, and it likely will change.” That is just way of life in a tropical paradise.

Sea Turtle Nest Update

Following up on my post last week about the island sea turtle nests lost from high tides and surf from Tropical Storm Cristobal, this week, SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) volunteers report the first hatchlings of the season and that the islands now have over 460 recorded turtle nests.

I also saw on social media a posting by Periwinkle Park where they are following the leatherback turtle, named Juniper. Already this season, she has made three nests on Sanibel and Captiva. It is amazing how far these turtles swim.

You can see Juniper’s recent route from south of Naples to north of Sarasota and all the stops in between on the map here, from www.trackturtles.com. It is fun to follow her.

At SanibelSusan Realty

In the office, we had a busy week including some positive inquiries/showings. In addition to the two new listings, we got a nice price reduction on another listing and managed follow-up events for listings that are under contract progressing toward closings, i.e. inspections, repairs, appraiser visits, insurance info, etc.

All-in-all, I think it is safe to say that island real estate business is busier than it typically is in June – making up for those weeks that were lost during the pandemic – and likely because of the pandemic and other recent events.

The report below, with the islands Multiple Listing activity since last Friday, shows that two Sanibel condos, 12 Sanibel homes, and a Captiva condo have gone under contract over the last seven days. That is a lot for mid-June.

Comparing that number of sales to the same time last year, just one island condo and one home sold then.

Covid-19 Precautions

If you have followed the news, you undoubtedly have noticed that the number of virus cases in Florida has increased dramatically over the last week. Today, the state total is close to 90,000, the Lee County total is 3,475, and the Sanibel total is up to 13. The percentage of Florida positive tests has increased to 10% in just two weeks, after many weeks holding steady at 3%.

Honestly, it is no surprise. I drove home at noon to grab a quick lunch and Periwinkle Place shopping center is as packed with cars as I have ever seen it. The bike paths likewise had many riders, big and small, with people coming and going in both directions. There was a crowd outside Whitney’s Bait & Tackle too, but I didn’t see a single mask driving either direction.

Though our office practices social distancing and we wear masks in public places, not everyone is doing that. (We have a basket of new masks for anyone coming in that needs one, thanks to my sewing sister.)

At Sanibel Square, next door at Island Therapy, patients and staff must wear masks, while across the parking lot at Sanibel Beauty Salon, their staff is wearing masks and they keep their entry door locked to be sure patrons are protected.

The island continues to get busier and busier, with more businesses reopening, more vacationers arriving. Of course, businesses need the business and we want vacationers to enjoy their visit. We just hope they are careful. These words from a social media post today are worth repeating:

“I wear my mask while in public for three reasons:

  1. Humility: I don’t know if I have COVID as it is clear that people can spread the disease before they have symptoms.
  2. Kindness: I don’t know if the person I am near has a kid battling cancer, or cares for their elderly Mom. While I might be fine, they might not.
  3. Community: I want my community to thrive, businesses to stay open, employees to stay healthy. Keeping a lid on COVID helps us all!”

Please, let’s flatten the curve!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 12-19, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial #F106 1/1 $440K, Lighthouse Point #117 3/2 $549K (our listing), Island Beach Club #340E 2/2 $1.149M, Junonia #103 3/2 $1.295M.

Patio at Lighthouse Point 117

5 price changes: Coquina Beach #2B 2/2 now $499K, Sunset South #A11 2/2 now $549K, Sandalfoot #2D2 2/2 now $659K (our listing), Sandpiper Beach #205 2/2 now $835K, Sandals #A 3/3.5 now $1.85M.

View at Sandalfoot #2D2

3 new sales: Blind Pass #E202 2/2 listed at $429K, Sundial #B406 2/2 listed at $799K, By-The-Sea #B301 2/2 listed at $1.595M.

2 closed sales: Blind Pass #B205 2/2.5 $415K, Villas Sanibel #2H 2/2 $684K.

HOMES

6 new listings: 9465 Calla Ct 3/2 $545K; 4044 Coquina Dr 2/2 $549K; 1593 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $589K; 1142 Shell Basket Ln 3/2 $644,444; 1015 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 $674K (our listing); 6457 Pine Ave 3/2 $697.5K.

1015 Fish Crow

7 price changes: 4606 Brainard Bayou Rd 2/2 now $469.9K, 9426 Beverly Ln 3/2 now $575K, 1567 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 now $635K, 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 now $740K, 5422 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 now $799K, 3706 West Gulf Dr 4/3 now $1.325M, 2964 Wulfert Rd 5/5.5 now $2.998M

12 new sales: 9214 Kincaid Ct 2/2 listed at $380K; 1476 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $695K; 1978 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed at $699.9K; 1807 Serenity Ln 3/2 listed at $725K; 5834 Pine Tree Dr 2/2 listed at $739,555; 3323 Twin Lakes Ln 3/3 listed at $784.9K; 676 Emeril Ct 3/2 listed at $850K; 938 Pecten Ct 3/2.5 listed at $899K; 847 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 listed at $899K; 1199 Par View Dr 3/2.5 listed at $999K; 4775 Rue Helene 4/3 listed at $1.499M; 1230 Bay Dr 3/2 listed at $1.619M.

3 closed sales: 1677 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 $380K, 550 Leather Fern Pl 3/2 $600K, 478 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 $760K.

LOTS

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

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5104 1/2 listed at $400K.

1 closed sale: Captiva Hide-A-Way #1B 2/2 $837.5K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 11559 Laika Ln 3/3 $7.7M, 16660 Captiva Dr 5/6.5 $18M.

2 price changes: 14865 Mango Ct 2/2 now $1.195M, 16801 Captiva Dr 5/5 now $2.25M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

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

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

Below is our fun ad from this week’s “Island Sun”. Happy Fathers’ Day!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

A Sunny Sanibel Friday!

Following lots of showers last weekend when Tropical Storm Cristobal passed out in the gulf, this week Sanibel and Captiva Islands returned to a more typical summer rain pattern. That includes sunshine and blue skies most days, with the occasional late afternoon or evening thunderstorm. The lack of island precipitation, over an unusually dry winter, has changed dramatically.

More than half the year’s rain accumulation to-date in Lee County was received in May (5.42”). It will be interesting to see the June numbers, as probably more than that fell just this week. Lawns are green, tropical vegetation is growing like crazy, and the baby bunnies at my house are having a field day with all the juicy new sprouts.

SCCF’s Turtle Nest Update – Post-Cristobal

 

Posted Wednesday by Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF):

“Turtle Update: Our team has completed the beach assessment ~ we lost 29 loggerhead nests to the high tides and surf of Tropical Storm Cristobal last weekend.

“Many more nests were washed over, but that’s not necessarily a death sentence and can actually help keep eggs cooler.

“The rough seas didn’t deter Juniper, a rare leatherback sea turtle, though. She returned to our shores on Saturday and nested again on Captiva!

“The total count of nests that have been laid is now at 401 for Sanibel and Captiva….”

At SanibelSusan Realty

In the office, things are starting to get back to normal. Even with few island offices physically open, local agents are heeding CDC precautions, properties are being shown, and real estate is moving. We continue to hear that the pandemic and city unrest are making the islands more desirable. Periwinkle Way was busy this afternoon and though some vacation rental bookings have been canceled, others are getting new bookings. The rising number of virus cases in many states has caused some to postpone their trip to Florida.

The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week is after a couple of news items below. First a summary of island inventory today.

Condos Homes Lots
Status # Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
SANIBEL
For sale 122 815,840 147 1,607,858 65 794,611
Under contract 16 619,894 40 851,991 4 688,000
Sold 2020 thru 6/12 72 738,410 99 1,038,885 4 849,666
Sold 2019 thru 6/12 72 693,020 113 998,367 6 502,666
CAPTIVA
For sale 36 1,058,495 39 3,380,564 3 3,563,000
Under contract 5 969,400 6 2,681,333 0 N/A
Sold 2020 thru 6/12 11 916,181 10 3,532,200 2 1,925,000
Sold 2019 thru 6/12 12 1,307,375 7 2,623,928 0 N/A

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.

Instant Reaction to Federal Reserve Announcement  – June 10, 2020

Below is the National Association of Realtors® Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the Fed’s Announcement this week:

“The Federal Reserve’s view that a rate hike will not occur for three years is a signal to the market to expect an all-in accommodative monetary policy. It is also very likely that the Fed will be aggressively purchasing mortgage-backed securities behind the scenes. That means mortgage rates will be at or near 3% and near record-lows for an extended period of time. Consumer price inflation is not an issue, even with so much money printing. It’s the right policy at the right time. If inflation, for an unexpected reason, should pop up, then mortgage rates will rise independent of the Fed as lenders need to compensate for the loss of purchasing power of the dollar, which happened during the 1970’s.”

What’s Happening In Florida

As the first full week of Florida’s Phase 2 reopening wraps up, the big activity out of the Governor’s office this week was about education. Yesterday he released a list of recommendations that local schools should consider as they deliberate over their summer/fall planning. How and when schools reopen is purely a local decision though.

As of today, 55 Florida county vacation rental reopening plans have been approved, meaning owners and property managers in 82% of Florida counties can reopen their vacation rentals. Some of the new additions to the approved list include Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach.

There were no new executive orders this week.

National Association of Realtors® Asks White House for More COVID-19 Relief

NAR sent a letter to the White House this week, urging further relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter included a number of provisions to help REALTORS® and real estate remain a strong force in our economy. The proposals included:

  • Reforms to the PPP program (some of which were subsequently addressed in the “PPP Flexibility Act,” which passed this week and is expected to be signed by the President).
  • A reduction in the minimum loan amount for financial relief under the Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program to allow more small businesses and non-profits to access yet another avenue of financial assistance that may better fit their business needs.
  • Support for liability protections for businesses that reopen following federal and state guidelines.
  • Housing relief for renters including emergency rental assistance, as well as relief for rental housing providers.
  • Expansion of forbearance and unemployment assistance.
  • Reforms to the opportunity zones program to encourage investment.
  • Elimination of the marriage penalty in the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction.
  • Support for remote notarization legislation.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 5-12, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Mariner Pointe #1083 2/2 $495K, Sanibel Arms West #K6 2/2 $579K, Loggerhead Cay #274 2/2 $699K, Sanddollar #C101 2/2 $999K, Royale Tern #204 3/3.5 $2.35M.

4 price changes: Colonnades #3 1/1 now $263K, Colonnades #13 1/1 now $299K, Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 now $428K, Compass Point #222 2/2 now $619K.

5 new sales: Sundial #H208 1/1 listed at $485K, Mariner Pointe #542 2/2 listed at $590K, Island Beach Club #320B 2/2 listed at $685K, Villa Sanibel #2H 2/2 listed at $717,007; Tantara #203 3/2 listed at $1.095M.

1 closed sale: Loggerhead Cay #461 2/2 $508K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 9214 Kincaid Ct 2/2 $380K, 9455 Beverly Ln 2/2 $534.9K.

10 price changes: 1667 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 now $425K; 1890 Farm Trl 3/2 now $549.4K; 1559 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $677K; 9024 Mockingbird Ln 3/2 now $819K; 2417 Wulfert Rd 3/3 now $944.5K; 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 now $949K; 2439 Harbour Ln 3/3 now $1.089K; 6101 Starling Way 3/3.5 now $1,148,990; 1175 Bird Ln 4/3/2 now $3.25M; 1349 Bay Dr 4/4 now $7.895M.

10 new sales: 968 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex listed at $399K (our listing); 3001 Singing Wind Dr 2/2 listed at $472K, 1356 Jamaica Dr 2/1.5 listed at $549K; 990/992 Greenwood Ct N 3/2.5 duplex listed at $700K; 2100 Sunset Cir 3/2 listed at $729,555; 1223 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $749K; 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 listed at $750K; 1606 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 listed at $899.9K; 1430 Causey Ct 3/2 listed at $949K; 2385 Wulfert Rd 4/5 listed at $999.9K.

1 closed sale: 836 Donax St 3/2 $510K.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 5847 Pine Tree Dr listed at $339K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Bayside Villas #4204 1/2 $389K.

1 price change: Bayside Villas #5304 3/3 now $667.5K.

No new or closed sales.

HOMES & LOTS

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

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibleSusan

Blind pass 2020-05-30