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

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

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

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

SCCF photo of Lighthouse beach

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

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

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

Sanibel City Council Scoop

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

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

Sellers Feel Shame if They Don’t Get Bids

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Locals Are Saying

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

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

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

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

Islands Night Tickets

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

Shoreline Stabilization Project Begins on Woodring

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

No price changes.

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

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES

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

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

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

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, enjoy!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel/Captiva Springtime Wonderfulness Is Now

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

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

New Island Businesses

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

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

1st Sea Turtle Nesting of 2022 Season

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

Historical Museum & Village Switches to Summer Hours

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

Summer Fees for Wildlife Drive

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

Real Estate Scoop

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Are Novice Sellers’ Top 3 Mistakes?

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

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

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

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

Calmer Market Ahead

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity

April 22-29, 2022

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

No price changes.

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

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

LOTS

1 new listing: 2462 Wulfert Rd $348K.

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

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

No price changes.

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

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

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Until next week, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

Easter Blessings & Springtime 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Should Fourth of July Fireworks Return to Sanibel?

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

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

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

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

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

Heavy Traffic Advisory

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

Blind Pass condos

HOMES

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

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

No new sales.

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

LOTS

No new listings.

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

No new sales.

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

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

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

HOMES

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

No price changes.

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

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Happy Easter,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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

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

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

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

Real Estate Scoop

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

Their final take-away slide had the following advice:

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

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

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

Final Car Show of the Season

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

Community Chorus Spring Concert

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

SCCF’s “Beer in the Bushes”

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

Real Estate Trends to Watch This Spring

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

No price changes.

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

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

LOTS

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

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 2310 Wulfert Rd $290K.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

No price changes or new sales.

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

HOMES

No new listings.

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

No new sales.

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

LOTS

1 new listing: 15819 Captiva Dr $15.5M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

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

Until next Friday,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Superb Sanibel Springtime

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

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

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

Real Estate Scoop

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

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

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

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

The Pulse of Southwest Florida Real Estate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will Ukraine War Impact Florida Real Estate?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

 

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

HOMES

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

No price changes.

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

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

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

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

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

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

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

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

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

Woohoo, More Sanibel Closings, Listings, & Sales!

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

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

SanibelSusan Realty 

Blind Pass condos

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

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

View from Lighthouse Point #227

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

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

Island Inventory

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

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

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

 

 

Status

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

 

 

 

Status

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

Americans Moving to Sun Belt States

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seawall Approved at Spanish Cay

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Buyers Are Back

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

Bridge over Clam Bayou heading to Bowman’s Beach

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

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

Bowman’s Beach

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

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

Captiva

CONDOS

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

No price changes.

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

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

HOMES

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

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s Gonna Be a Rare Chilly Florida Weekend

This week the downward effects of cold fronts up north brought some chilly weather to the islands. Most locals turned their heat on for the first time in many months. With daytime highs in the 60’s to low 70’s, an even chillier weekend is forecast. While northern states are slated for lots of snow, temperatures here both Saturday and Sunday are expected to go only into the mid-50’s, with freeze warnings in some of SW Florida. Certainly not bikini weather, though most vacationers make the best of it, while we locals continue to enjoy wearing our once-a-year clothes. On a positive note, there were a couple of evenings with nice sunsets again this week. All now after 6 p.m. Hooray!

At SanibelSusan Realty

After posting our blog last week, The SanibelSusan Team had a busy real estate weekend. Teammate Dave and I both fielded inquiries and offers. Wed, we received a new condo listing which already is generating interest with showings scheduled before guest check-in tomorrow. Thank goodness, our photographer, Jim Anderson, fit us into his busy schedule with him filming it this morning. Fingers crossed that he will Photoshop the sky which today looks like I remember it in New England when it was about to snow.

Tues, we had a nice closing this (the results of a multi-year group effort Lisa, Dave, Susan). Two more closings are in the works for next week. Phones are ringing with prospective buyers, many worried, as we are, about the limited inventory. We also are meeting with prospective Sellers next week hopefully to boost that inventory.

The details on activity since last Friday, in the island MLS, are after a couple of news items below.

Florida Realtors® Update – What’s Changing for Florida Real Estate?

Posted Jan 21 on Florida Realtors® by Marla Martin:

“2022 RE Trends panel: Big and small biz relocations, plus the here-to-stay wave of untethered remote workers, will impact Fla.’s markets for years to come.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – After almost two pandemic years, changes created to deal with COVID-19 have created major shifts that affect Florida’s real estate markets, according to a panel of site developers, Realtors® and economic development experts who spoke to more than 300 Realtors during the 2022 Florida Real Estate Trends summit Thursday.

““Prior to COVID, we saw a lot of Wall Street firms testing the waters with CEOs looking at homes,” said Kelly Smallridge, president and CEO of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County. “Now, these CEOs are signing seven- to 10-year commercial leases, they’re legally domiciling and, most importantly, they’re buying homes and putting their kids in private schools. We now have zero slots open for any private school in Palm Beach County.”

“The Real Estate Trends event was part of this year’s Florida Realtors®’ Mid-Winter Business Meetings at the Renaissance SeaWorld Orlando. In addition to Smallridge, other panelists included: Deanna Armel, broker-owner, Armel Real Estate; John Boyd, principal, The Boyd Company; and Melanie Schmees, director of business and economic research, Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce. Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor and Dr. Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographic and behavioral insights at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) also shared their insights on the 2022 outlook.

Kelly Smallridge, president and CEO, Business Development Board of Palm Beach County – Unfortunately, the misconception that Florida schools lag and the state’s educated workforce is lacking still lingers among many executives inquiring about relocating their businesses, Smallridge said, and that is “absolutely not the case.” Once they’re in Florida, check out the schools and have their children tested for placement, their perception quickly changes, she said. “The average salary in Palm Beach County is $61,000, while the average salary of the people coming in now is $1 million,” she added – another boon to local businesses and area development.

Many of the business executives interested in moving to Florida want to look at homes first, she said, and may not mention a possible relocation. “When you’re taking a buyer around to see homes, see if they also have any interest in bringing a business here,” Smallridge advised brokers and real estate agents. “You can offer them information to connect with local chambers of commerce or economic development officials. We help them understand all the logistics of what it takes to get them up and running. So, we’re really part of your team. Together, we can land not only the home but the company as well.”

“Melanie Schmees, director of business and economic research, Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce – Like real estate, economic development often involves referrals and regional cooperation, said Schmees. “Naples is a unique market,” she explained. “Right now, we have a 1% industrial vacancy rate; sometimes, we need to direct those interested to other areas near us like Fort Myers. The whole region benefits.” One factor important for ongoing business relocations and continued economic development in Florida will be the consideration of employees’ needs and how they can manage new lives here. “We need to create an environment that works for the workers, not only the business executives,” Schmees said. “Often, their workers are concerned that they can’t make the move. They’re worried they can’t find housing or figure out their cost of living.”

“Deanna Armel, broker-owner Armel Real Estate – “Florida in general is a draw for business and for out-of-state buyers,” she said. “There’s no state income tax, our weather, beaches, and in Orlando, our theme parks. Since COVID (the start of the pandemic), home preferences have changed. People want an office, a pool, flex space and a yard.” According to Armel, the influx of major business relocations and wealthy buyers who can pay cash – like many California residents moving to Florida after selling their homes – has made an impact on the housing market, particularly in the luxury-home sector. “I call it monopoly money,” she said. “Cash is great, but it’s really hurting our buyers who need financing, our veterans, our workers and first-time homebuyers. The competition is unbelievable, especially in new construction. New construction, turn-key, luxury homes: That’s what California buyers want.”

“John Boyd, principal, The Boyd Company – Before the pandemic, about 10% of employees worked remotely, said Boyd. “Today, over half of the workforce works remotely, at least on a hybrid basis, and this change is here to stay. It saves businesses too much in terms of office space, operations and so on. It’s also a great recruiting tool – people like the flexibility.” He noted that economic development is now a “people first operation.” And that, he said, “has established a new class of economic development workers – the residential real estate agent.”

Brightline, the private high-speed rail system running from Miami to West Palm Beach with an expansion in the works to Orlando, is a positive for marketing Florida for economic development, the panelists said. “I think we’ll see a lot of exciting development projects along those Brightline lines, with the ability to connect between Central Florida and South Florida,” Boyd said. Another plus for Florida? “Our state is a magnet for global talent, experience and skill sets,” he added. “Having no state income also attracts industry and development. Business and money tend to go where it feels welcome.””

Loans for Condos? New Rules Start to Have an Effect

Posted on-line Jan 24 at Florida Realtors®, the below article is sourced to the “Daily Breeze” and mortgage broker Jeff Lazerson:

“Fannie’s tighter loan requirements post-Surfside collapse started Jan. 1; Freddie’s start Feb. 28. In the meantime, the list of no-loan condo projects will likely keep growing.

“HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. – A nightmare scenario looms for condo buyers applying for certain types of federally backed mortgages. If you are selling or are looking to buy an attached condominium in a community with five or more attached units, conventional financing from mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may soon become elusive.

“Beginning Jan. 1 for Fannie and starting Feb. 28 for Freddie, the mortgage giants are putting the screws to a required HOA questionnaire. New questions ask applicants about the structural integrity of the community and whether any code violations are anticipated.

“No doubt, Fannie and Freddie’s updated lender mandates are in response to the Florida condo tower that killed 98 people last June 24. Years of deferred maintenance at the Champlain Towers in Surfside caused the 12-story building to collapse.

“Answering the agencies thoroughly and completely could force lenders to decline a mortgage application. (Remember: Mortgage lenders fund a loan, and then may sell it to Fannie or Freddie).

““Yes, lenders are declining projects even for a simple special assessment for repairs now. Things are just trickling in right now because the guidance started Jan. 1,” said one condo project approval expert, who asked to remain unnamed because he’s not the media spokesman for his company. “Soon enough we’ll see the effects hit all the condo market. I’ve only seen it affect projects with major issues at this point; meaning (the project) has code violations and millions of dollars of repairs underway.”

“Answering these questions honestly or possibly with a guess could bring liability in the form of future lawsuits against HOA stakeholders, such as the property management company, board members, inspectors, engineers and the association.

“If the questionnaire isn’t completely answered because the answers are unknown or undetermined, it might mean the purchase or refinance gets torpedoed.

“Here is a sprinkling of questions included in Fannie Mae’s Form 1076 condominium project questionnaire (posted December 2021 and updated to eight from five pages):

Question: Is the HOA aware of any deficiencies related to the safety, soundness, structural integrity or habitability of the project’s building(s)?

My take: If management didn’t know about any deficiencies, for example, and answered as such, should they have reasonably known these calamities could come up later?

Question: Is it anticipated the project will, in the future, have such violations (zoning ordinances, codes, etc., which are related to safety, soundness, structural integrity or habitability)?

My take: For the love of peace, how could one possibly determine if yet-to-be-written, jurisdictional codes trigger new violations in the condo complex?

“These dubious questions could be akin to a winning lottery ticket for any attorney who lives in the world of HOA litigation.

“Why is this so problematic? The nation has a huge community of really old condos and many of them are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages. The U.S. has as many as 156,000 condo associations and cooperatives housing between 27 million and 32 million Americans, according to the Community Associations Institute (CAI).

““Seventy percent of all condo loans in the U.S. are Fannie or Freddie (backed),” said Dawn Bauman, senior vice president of government affairs at CAI. “Sixty to 70% of all condo complexes are more than 30 years old.”

Fannie Mae has a published list of 82 “unavailable” California condo-projects, including the Marina City Club in Marina Del Rey, which has $80 million to $140 million in needed repairs according to a report last year. That a 10-acre complex is one of nearly 1,000 “unavailable” condo projects nationwide. To Fannie Mae, unavailable means a property is ineligible for purchase by the agency.

“One mortgage executive told me Fannie is making the rounds, emphasizing these new condo questions during lender visits. So don’t be surprised if that unavailable list explodes as Fannie collects more intel.

“To be fair, Fannie and Freddie need to dig more deeply to assess and consider condo structural risk before purchasing those mortgages from lenders. The mortgage giants also may disqualify a condo community for other reasons, such as a lack of budget reserves.

“If your loan is denied over the Fan or Fred HOA certification answers, you may be able to get funded on what the industry calls a non-warrantable loan. You should expect to pay perhaps one-half to one point higher in rate than conventional financing. You also might have to provide a larger down payment or have more remaining equity compared with Fannie-type requirements.

“But buyer beware: Non-qualified mortgage lenders that offer the exotic non-warrantable condo mortgages are not a loan approval shoo-in, either.

“For example, California-based LendSure has a condo guidance checklist to help determine investor risks. The common three items it looks at are investor concentration (how many rentals are in the complex), single investor (does one person or entity own a bunch of the units), and litigation against the condo complex, according to Joe Lydon, co-founder, and managing director of LendSure.

“Why so much deferred maintenance? Unit owners are often resistant to increased HOA fees or special assessments for repairs and updates.

“Condo complex building inspections can run $15,000 to $50,000 depending on the number of units, according to Bauman.

““Community Associations Institute is lobbying for laws mandating reserve studies and building inspections,” said Bauman. CAI is also asking Fan and Fred to give HOAs more time to be able to address so many of the new HOA questions. “Five years to ramp-up the requisite building inspections.””

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

7 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #351 2/2 $824K; Lighthouse Point #112 3/2 $864K; Sanibel Moorings #1332 2/2 $874,999; Sanibel Moorings #122 2/2 $1.2M (our listing); Shell Island Beach Club #A5 2/2 $1.2M; Pointe Santo A2 2/2 $1.35M; Sedgemoor #101 3/3.5 $3.995M.

Boardwalk to beach at Sanibel Moorings

1 price change: Gulfside Place #210 2/2 now $1.549M.

6 new sales: Sundial #I402 1/1 listed at $659K, Mariner Pointe #421 2/2.5 listed at $739.9K, Sunset South #11C 2/2 listed at $1.095M, Sand Pointe #218 2/2 listed at $1.099M, Sundial #M303 2/2 listed at $1.249M (our listing), Pointe Santo #A2 2/2 listed at $1.35M.

To beach from Sundial East

 

2 closed sales: Nutmeg Village #308 2/2 $1.225M, Gulfside Place 124 2/2 $1.45M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 645 Oliva St 3/3 $1.1M, 593 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 $1.395M, 5802 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3.5 $1.495M, 4717 Rue Belle Mer 3/3 $4.95M.

No price changes.

5 new sales: 2030 Sunrise Cir 3/3 listed at $1.625M, 489 Sawgrass Pl 5/5 listed at $2.15M, 1266 Par View Dr 4/4 listed at $2.295M, 435 Bella Vista Way E 3/3 listed at $5.2M, 3767 West Gulf Dr 4/4.5 listed at $7.5M.

3 closed sales: 6429 Pine Ave 3/2 $869K, 1943 Sanibel Bayous Rd 3/3 $1.125M, 2379 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 $2.495M (our buyer).

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #706 2/2 $950K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 14865 Mango Ct 2/2 listed at $1.295M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Until next Friday. Stay warm! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Florida Realtors® Mid-Winter Business Meetings

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

No new sales.

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

HOMES

No new listings.

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

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

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

LOTS

1 new listing: 845 Pyrula Ave 525K.

No price changes or new sales.

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

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

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

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

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

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

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

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

It’s Almost 2022 on Sunny Sanibel

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Status

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

New Year Weekend Happenings

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

New Lending Rules Threaten Some Condo Sales

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Updated Captiva Land Development Code & Regulations

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

“CAPTIVA COMMUNITY PANEL

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

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

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

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

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

Beach Furniture and Equipment

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

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

Outdoor Lighting

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

“Captiva Drive Landscaping

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

“Signs on Captiva

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

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

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

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

“DON’T FORGET

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

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

Parking: Parking on all Captiva streets is prohibited.

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

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

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

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

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

“2021 CAPTIVA COMMUNITY PANEL

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

No price changes.

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

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

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

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

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

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

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

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

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

The SanibelSusan Team is Grateful! Another Listing Sold Christmas Eve Morning!

After a couple of breezy days earlier in the week, the cool front now has passed through Florida. It caused more winter-like temperatures with lows into the 60’s both Tues and Wed nights, while daytime temps barely got into the 70’s. Low humidity too, which is a welcome change.

The forecasters say that today through Christmas and the days after, island temperatures again will reach into the 80’s. I just drove up Periwinkle and my car says it’s 75 degrees at 1 p.m. Christmas Eve. Great weather for a tropical holiday! Guess, we can save our holiday sweaters for another year.

This week and next, there are no Realtor® meetings/caravans scheduled, but teammate Dave held another Open House at our Sealoft Village listing just before it went under contract Tues. It was a busy week for all of our listings, with a nice closing on Monday and multiple offers on the others.

By this morning all of them are under contract. One condo sold by a Sanibel Realtor®, another by one from Ft. Myers, while I was the lucky one to put our last listing under contract. What a great Christmas Eve Day! We are thankful

It looks like this sale surge will continue into 2022. Supply and demand are in control with demand high and supply so limited. The SanibelSusan Team doesn’t see that changing anytime soon. Prospective buyers on the sidelines waiting for the market to normalize, may find that this is the new normal. We just hope we can find enough new listings to satisfy their needs.

The week’s details about the action in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follow a couple of news items below. First another update of island inventory today based on data from the islands MLS.

On Sanibel, just 53 properties (including condos, homes, & lots) are for sale,15 on Captiva. Year-to-date, 695 Sanibel properties have sold/closed, 106 on Captiva, plus another 69 are under contract on Sanibel, 7 on Captiva. Never, ever has the market been like this!

 

 

 

Status

SANIBEL CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $
For sale 16 1,103,050 18 2,644.111 19 630,210 4 2,684,750 11 6,247,545 0 N/A
Under contract 26 1,011,144 36 1,691,027 7 676,840 6 913,000 1 3,595,000 0 N/A
Sold to 12/24/21 281 867,274 346 1,340,276 68 703,830 61 1,164,014 43 2,914,067 2 2,950,000
Sold 2020 192 733,876 290 954,718 23 606,233 47 821,713 27 2,923,148 4 2,537,500
Sold 2005 232 758,507 260 1,028,584 68 496,726 45 863,642 31 2,309,758 0 N/A

Shell Museum Announces New Classes

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum recently announced a new 2022 class lineup for adults. Taught by museum Curator and Science Director Dr Jose H. Leal, senior marine biologist Rebecca Mensch, and professor of drawing with Florida Gulf Coast university Ehren Gerhard, the spring lineup includes:

  • Feb 10 – Fantastic Shells & Where to Find Them
  • Mar 2 – San Carlos Bay – Bunche Beach Marine Biology & Field Lab
  • Mar 17 – Biodiversity & Taxonomy of Molusks
  • Mar 31 – Drawing & Illustrating Shells
  • Apr 13 – Shell Morphology: Understanding Shell Descriptions

Also, on the 4th Tues of each month January through June, beginning at 5:30 p.m. after the museum, closes, they are offering “After Hours in the Aquariums” which will enable participants to experience the aquariums and marine life of the Living Gallery in an interactive program. Program tickets will include admission, tour, snacks, choice of beverage, and one museum pass redeemable for a future visit. Maximum capacity per event is 15 attendees, registration required at www.ShelMuseum.org/after-hours. Or for the classes, register at www.ShellMuseum.org/classes.

Living Shoreline Structure Completed on Woodring Rd

In their Wed, e-mail update, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) posted a link to this article:

“Mangrove wetland habitats lining Southwest Florida’s coastlines are highly effective in diminishing wave action and damage from high winds. They also trap pollutants and provide crucial habitat for a host of sea life, including the endangered small-tooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata). When biologists notice areas of mangrove-covered shorelines disappearing from erosion, it is a cause for serious concern.

“Nearly 18 months ago, a Dutch marine biologist contacted SCCF about designing, funding, and installing a pilot project on Sanibel to protect mangroves threatened by erosion. This project, completely funded by the Dutch government, will provide an alternative to concrete and riprap, which often lead to additional mangrove loss.

“The Netherlands-based company, BESE Products, uses a biodegradable habitat restoration structure made from the production waste of potato chips and french fries. The waste is collected in the Netherlands and sent to Germany, where it is manufactured into a 3D lattice that helps deposit sediment and can protect mangrove seedlings along high-energy shorelines, such as those along Woodring Road. The goal of this project is to protect the mangroves along Woodring Road, a stretch of Sanibel’s shoreline that has been gradually disappearing over the past few decades.

“SCCF Coastal Watch volunteers spent several hours helping prepare these elements for installation. Hundreds of biodegradable sheets needed to be snapped together to form the completed structures. Volunteers also attached thousands of oyster shells to the structures to promote oyster attachment and growth. Volunteers handily completed this tedious task.

“On installation day, Dec. 20, the BESE structures were placed with rebar just off the shoreline along Woodring Road. With the assistance of 15 volunteers planting mangroves, hammering rebar, and transporting the material to the project site, the installation was completed in two hours. The newly installed temporary structures will allow a surface for oysters to start forming a reef and protect the mangroves from high wave action. The BESE structures are expected to last up to five years and leave behind an established oyster and mangrove habitat. If successful, this will be a positive alternative for future restoration projects.”

Florida. Grand Jury Recommends More Condo Inspections

Posted last weekend by Florida Realtors® and sourced to The Associated Press:

“A Grand Jury tasked with recommending Fla. condo law changes in the wake of the Surfside collapse wants more inspections, less corrosion and faster reporting.

“MIAMI (AP) – A Florida grand jury issued a lengthy list of recommendations Wednesday aimed at preventing another condominium collapse like the one that killed 98 people in June, including earlier and more frequent inspections, and better waterproofing.

“In its report on the Surfside collapse, the Miami-Dade County Grand Jury called on state and local officials to require condominium towers to have an initial recertification inspection by an engineer between 10 and 15 years after their construction and every 10 years thereafter. Currently, Miami-Dade and neighboring Broward County require inspections at 40 years. Other Florida counties have no requirement.

“Champlain Towers South, built in 1981, collapsed June 24 as its 40-year recertification was due. No cause of the collapse has been determined, but records show the building had significant structural damage in its underground parking garage. An engineer had already concluded that $15 million of repairs would be required to bring it up to code. Some of the damage at the oceanside building is believed to have come from saltwater in the air.

“The grand jury report laments that the state repealed a requirement imposed in 2008 requiring that all condo towers bigger than three stories be inspected every five years. The requirement was repealed two years after it was imposed because it was deemed too costly. “In hindsight, it would appear the Legislature’s repeal of that statute was a huge mistake!” the report says.

“Other recommendations include:

  • Requiring that condo towers be repainted and waterproofed every 10 years to prevent corrosion.
  • Having local governments increase the size of their building departments, including by hiring more inspectors.
  • Suspending for at least a year the licenses of engineers and architects who submit false or misleading recertification reports and barring their employers from doing such inspections for the same period. Requiring that a second offense result in a license revocation.
  • Requiring architects and engineers who find severe structural damage during an inspection to report it to local officials within 24 hours and not just to the condo board.
  • Requiring condo board owners to take courses on their role in overseeing building maintenance and effectively managing a building’s finances.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 17-24, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sanibel Moorings #1132 2/2 $799K, Heron at The Sanctuary III #1B 3/2.5 $875K, Sand Pointe #218 2/2 $1.099M, Pointe Santo #D37 2/2 $1.395M.

1 price change: Gulfside Place #210 2/2 now $1.5999M.

7 new sales: Duggers #1 1/1 listed at $475K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #A101 2/2 listed at $665K, Donax Village #7 2/2 listed at $699K (our listing), Donax Village #9 2/2 listed at $750K, Sanibel Surfside #213 2/2 listed at $899K, Sealoft Village #109 2/2 listed at $899K (our listing), Tarpon Beach #106 2/2 listed at $1.095M.

2 closed sales: Donax Village #10 1 /2 $555.5K, Atrium #106 2/2 $1.71M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 543 East Gulf Dr 2/2 $3.5M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 644 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 listed at $869K, 3702 Coquina Dr 2/2 listed at $899K, 857 Birdie View Pt 3/2.5 listed at $1.795M.

3 closed sales: 719 Durion Ct 3/2 $995K, 375 East Gulf Dr 5/5 $2.9M (our listing), 1320 Seaspray Ln 3/4.5 $3.765M.

Resort-like pool at 375 East Gulf Dr

LOTS

No new listings, price changes.

1 new sale: 860 Lindgren Blvd listed at $1.2M (our listing & sale).

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #2635 3/3 $1.6M.

No price changes, new or closed.

HOMES & LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

The team and I wish you a wonderful Christmas and safe/healthy 2022. Though the office will be closed tomorrow and New Year’s Day, we will be on our electronic devices and look forward to another successful year. We appreciate our readers and look forward to their business!

Happy holidays!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan