Counting Down to Labor Day at SanibelSusan Realty

Thanks to friends Doris & Hans for this photo of Roseate Spoonbills. Love that pink!

It has been seven quiet days on the islands with little affects noticed here when Hurricane Ida passed out in the Gulf last weekend. Now our thoughts are with those from Louisiana into New England that have been ravaged by that far-reaching storm.

Here the haze-causing Saharan dust still is noticeable when crossing the causeway. The news says it has caused some discomfort to those with allergies, but it has worked in keeping tropical storms away from SW FL. So far, 2021 has been a lucky one for us at least as far as hurricanes are concerned.

Our first “cold front” arrived yesterday. With heavy rain much of that day and again this morning, the daytime temperatures got down into the mid-70’s. High temperatures only the mid-80’s are expected for the next seven to ten days. Maybe fall is arriving early!

SanibelSusan Realty

Teammate Dave and I have been covering the office this week. We had closings both Monday and Tuesday; then on Wednesday, Dave put his Estero listing under contract. Another of our Sanibel listings is scheduled to close after the holiday too. We like weeks like these, particularly in the off-season! The team and I continue to look for new listings as there still Is little inventory.

After a couple of news items below is the week’s report of the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. First, a summary of Sanibel and Captiva residential inventory today (Sep 3, 2021) with data from islands MLS. Though, September is usually the slowest month, it sure would be great for more properties to become available. We have buyers and colleagues do too!

 

 

Status

SANIBEL CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $
For sale 15 905,793 23 2,926,654 16 587,875 3 1,496,666 12 5,827,249 0 N/A
Under contract 25 795,556 40 1,553,047 8 478,929 6 2,211,500 3 2,479,666 0 N/A
Sold 2021 to-date 215 870,579 274 1,310,921 59 747,110 43 1,046,916 35 2,807,868 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

Temporary Closings

As in past Septembers, several island restaurants are taking time off, some for vacations, some for deep-cleans and annual maintenance. Here are the ones we have heard about:

  • Bleu Rendez-Vous Bistro – closed thru Sep 30, reopens Oct 1.
  • Blue Giraffe at Periwinkle Place – closed Sep 7-20, reopens Sep 21.
  • Blue Giraffe 2 at Beachview Estates – closed Sep 5-20, reopens Sep 21.
  • Mad Hatter – closed Sep 6-30, reopens Oct 1.
  • Paper Fig Kitchen – closed Sep 6-13, reopens Sep 14.
  • Rosie’s Café & Grill – closed Sep 6-13, reopens Sep 14.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – closed thru Sep 29, reopens Sep 30.
  • Spoondrift Island Bowls – closed thru Sep 6, reopens Sep 7.
  • Sweet Melissa’s Café – closed Sep 5-20, reopens Sep 21.
  • Traders – closed Sep 11 thru Oct 5, reopens Oct 6.
  • Traders 2 (T2) – closed Sep 4 thru Oct 4, reopens Oct 5.
  • Traditions on the Beach – closed Sep 5-23, reopens Sep 24.

CROW Visitor Education Center will be closed Sep 6 thru 10 for fall cleaning. They will reopen Sep 13 and are offering some new presentations. Tours are available Monday thru Friday at 11 a.m. with masks required. Each tour is limited to eight people (over the age of 13) and advance registration is required. More info at http://www.CROWClinic.org.

J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge – Wildlife Drive, Bailey Tract, and Tarpon Bay Explorers will be open on Labor Day, while the Visitor & Education Center, the Nature Store, and all administrative offices will be closed Monday. Reminder: The Visitor & Education Center and Refuge Nature Store currently are closed every Friday and Sunday because of staff shortages due to the pandemic. Wildlife Drive closes every Friday throughout the year. Restrooms remain open.

COVID-19 Update

Florida continues to report a record-number of COVID-19 cases. Locally, the Lee Health System is maxed out with a temporary suspension of elective hospital procedures that require an overnight stay. They also have temporary restrictions on hospital visitations. On a more positive note, Lee Health is making its Lee Telehealth service free until further notice. It connects patients with a physician or advanced provider and is available 24/7. The COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment offered locally also is beginning to show good results and is expected to keep the number of hospitalizations down.

According to Lee Health’s website, quarantine is recommended for those who have a known or suspected exposure to COVID-19. During quarantine, you should stay home, away from other people, except for medical care or basic necessities. If you must take care of a family member, they also must quarantine. Quarantine lasts for 14 days – this allows enough time to develop an infection from exposure. Sometimes you may be requested to test during this time, BUT a negative test at any point does not end quarantine sooner,

Isolation is recommended for those who have a suspected COVID infection or receive a 1st positive test for COVID. You should stay away from people except for medical care or basic necessities. If a family member must take care of you, they will need to quarantine after you are well (or after their last exposure to you while you are on isolation.)  Isolation lasts for at least 10 days. These 10 days begin with your first symptom or positive test (if asymptomatic). This means if you become sick while on quarantine, your 10 days starts at that time – not at the beginning of the quarantine. If you improve and have no fever at the end of the 10 days, isolation may stop. Repeat testing is not recommended.

Here is their COVID-19 update from yesterday, Sept 2, 2021:

“As of today, Lee Health has:

– 596 COVID-19 patients isolated in our hospitals (inpatient).

– Of these patients, 12 of them are children being treated at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

– Yesterday, we had 60 new COVID-19 hospital admissions and 64 COVID-19 discharges.

– 50% of our ventilators and 3% of our ICU rooms are available for use. We have 86 COVID-19 patients on ventilators and 113 in the intensive care unit.

– This morning, census was at 101% of staffed operational bed capacity.

“OTHER UPDATES:

“For just the second time in the last month, Lee Health has discharged more COVID-19 patients than we’ve admitted over the last 24 hours, and this is the fewest number of COVID-19 patients we are treating since August 20. We hope that this slight downturn will accelerate and continue over the next few weeks.

“While this is promising, we are still not out of the woods. Lee Health hospitals are still at capacity, and we are seeing more patients than ever. This is why it remains as important as ever to get vaccinated if you haven’t already. Widespread vaccination in our community can help prevent another surge like the one we are currently experiencing, especially as we move closer to our seasonal months.

“Lee Health offers COVID-19 vaccines for anyone 12 and older at its walk-in Community Vaccination Clinic, located inside Gulf Coast Medical Center. It’s open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and there is no cost for the vaccine.”

Nearly 1000 People Moving to Florida Every Day

A Fox 4 post by Cindy Preszler this week says: “We never have to deal with ice or snow. Extreme cold is foreign to us. This is SWFL. The weather is one of the reasons so many people are moving to our state, there are other reasons too but you just can’t beat this stuff.

“The latest stats from snntv.com indicate that nearly 1000 people move here every day and many are coming from northern states like New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. According to move.org, Florida was the most moved to state in 2020.

“And why not? Chick out the weather/climate stats for Fort Myers. The average annual high is 85, and the low is 65… not too hot, not too cool.

“July and August are the hottest months with an average high of 92… it’s rare to see temps in the upper 90’s. Ad when most folks are shivering in January, highs are typically in the 70’s down here.

“Our wettest month is August with almost ten and a half inches on average. But in February and November… oh it’s so beautiful… not even two inches typically falls.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 27-September 3, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Breakers West #C2 2/2 $749K, Breakers West #C4 2/2 $749K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Blind Pass #C110 2/2 listed at $539K, Sundial #C308 1/1 listed at $575K.

View from Gulf Beach #106

6 closed sales: Sundial #I103 1/1 $500K, Mariner Pointe #712 2/2.5 $620K, Mariner Pointe #631 2/2 $685K,  Gulf Beach #106 2/2 $893K (our listing), Sanddollar #C101 2/2 $1.15M, Somerset #D202 3/2 $1.7M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 719 Durion Ct 3/2 $1.025M, 5880 San-Cap Rd 3/2 listed at $1.35M, 2480 Harbour Ln 3/3.5 listed at $1.9645M.

2 price changes: 4771 Tradewinds Dr 3/3 now $2.99M, 1146 Golden Olive 5/4 now $2,999,999.

2 new sales: 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 listed at $1.799M, 4949 Joewood Dr 5/5 listed at $4.295M

3 closed sales: 1702 Bunting Ln 4/3 $749.5K, 565 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $899K, 2367 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $1.85M (our sale).

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS, 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.

Enjoy your weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Happy Mothers Day Sanibel Style – Mama Osprey Feeding Her Chicks

Happy Friday, it is Susan reporting another beautiful Friday on sunny Sanibel with more perfect weather expected over the Mothers’ Day weekend. The SanibelSusan Team hopes your weekend also is a sunny one. Here is a sweet photo compilation from our pal Scott of the osprey nest at his island home. If you saw the three chicks in the photos he shared last week, look how big they are getting as their mama feeds them. Thanks for sharing, Scott!

At SanibelSusan Realty

Here at the office, the team and I are working through action items with a couple of listings under contract and coordinating showings at our remaining condo listing which already has two lined up for tomorrow during the brief 2-hour turn-over window.

This week, I also received several calls from owners thinking of selling, but unfortunately, if they do not have somewhere to go, finding alternative housing on-island now is as tough as finding rentals for next winter. Here is a colorful photo taken this morning during a spin through Sanibel’s Seagull Estates – we usually call this tree a Royal Poinciana but the pix illustrates why it is called a Flamboyant tree in the Caribbean. We always know it is May when these trees burst into bloom!

Wednesday, I showed a special property. With just 12 homes for sale on Captiva, it was fun to show the spectacular “Pink House” which is the first property after the Santiva bridge going onto Captiva. I had not been inside since before it sold in 2014. Today, it is even more stunning. With sunrise views out the back overlooking Blind Pass Bay to Roosevelt Channel and sunset views over the gulf out the front, plus the beach land across the street. The charming interior spans four levels (with elevator) and features jaw-dropping views from every floor, nearly every room. Beyond the interior living spaces are a waterside open deck, screened porch, new dock with lift and boat, spacious garage and storage spaces, whole-house generator, plus expansive outdoor entertainment area and pool. Big thanks to Royal Shell listing agent, Realtor® Trevor Nette, for making it easy to show. With six bedrooms, four and a half baths, it certainly is big enough.

Yesterday, working with another client, I showed a Sanibel home that had only been on the market for a few hours. It already had an offer over asking price and two other lookers. It certainly is challenging when there are not enough listings for the demand. No one wants to get into a bidding war, but until things change – will they ever? – if buyers see something they like, they should grab it as who knows when, or if, another opportunity will come along.

Yesterday I also attended a Zoom class. First time offered by Florida Realtors® and by popular instructor and Realtor® friend, Patti Ketcham from Tallahassee, this class covered Florida’s two trust funds that are part of Florida’s Affordable Housing Act.

Passed in 1992, at the urging of Florida’s builders and Realtors®, this Act raised the state’s documentary tax stamp on deeds by ten cents per $100 of the property value. The funds were directed to two trust funds – one for local governments and one for the state – SHIP and SAIL.

  • SHIP (State Housing Initiative Partnership) primarily funds the production and preservation of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households.
  • SAIL (State Apartment Incentive Loan) program provides funding for the construction and rehabilitation of multifamily rental housing.

Particularly with today’s real estate boom in Florida and lack of affordable housing, Patti urged the 200+ class attendees to get involved and her class explained how to do it. (To further toot, Patti’s horn, she also is an appointed Florida Real Estate Commissioner, presiding as their chair in 2020. She has been Florida Realtors® Educator of the Year and is the recipient of such fun feedback comments as “she’s such as great instructor I would sit in her class for 8 hours discussing dandruff, yard weeds, fungus, fingernails, factory smog, or spelling.”) She definitely is inspiring!

The action reported since last week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below.

Florida Realtors® Fight for Environment

Posted Wed, May 5 on FloridaRealtors® on-line: “In July, Realtors across Fla. will clean the state’s beaches, rivers and waterways – a hands-on approach that complements legislative efforts to protect the environment.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – If there is one thing Realtors® in Florida understand well, it is the timeless allure of a beautiful home on the shores of a sandy beach or the banks of crystal-clear natural springs. It’s that allure that makes Florida so attractive to out-of-state buyers who dream of spending weekends sunning on some of the best beaches in the world, paddle-boarding a nearby river or hiking along a pristine freshwater spring hoping to spy a manatee or two.

“While Florida Realtors®’ members understand that although Florida must continue to develop its communities and the industries that support them, it also understands that it cannot be growth at any cost. In its more than 100-year history, Florida Realtors has been a leading voice to protect our state’s waterways. In the past decade alone, Florida Realtors PAC-supported lawmakers have allocated billions of dollars toward environmental projects that renourish beaches, clean springs, preserve the Everglades and fight the negative impacts of red tide.

““Florida Realtors has made it a top priority to advocate for preserving and protecting Florida’s water resources. Florida’s a destination to live, work and play because of our beautiful waterways and beachlines,” says Florida Realtors 2021 President Cheryl Lambert. “We’ve conducted studies tying home values to water quality, urged lawmakers to prioritize funding, and launched Florida waters’ largest statewide clean-up event in 2020.”

“It’s not just political lip service. Realtors know that, sometimes, the best way to make something happen is to get your hands dirty and do it yourself. This July, for the second year in a row, Realtors will fan out across their communities, descending upon lakes, rivers, springs and beaches around the state with a singular goal: to clean and protect precious and vital waterways.

“The event, Florida Realtors Clean Up Florida Waters, is organized by local Realtor associations, Florida Realtors district vice presidents, local Realtor organizations’ Young Professional Networks as well as individual brokerages and Realtor members.”

Sanibel’s COVID-19 State of Emergency Ends

Following action this week by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to suspend all local COVID-19 emergency mandates, Sanibel’s State of Emergency was not extended and expired at midnight Tues, May 4. With that expiration, the Sanibel’s Covid-related restrictions including the City-wide face-covering mandate also expired. City businesses retain the authority to regulate mask requirements within their establishments. Additionally, Sanibel City Council took the following actions related to Covid-19:

  • The temporary outdoor dining approved during the Statement of Emergency will be allowed to continue while City Council considers legislation to permanently allow outdoor dining (which was temporarily permitted during the pandemic).
  • City buildings, including Sanibel City Hall offices will be open to the public, at this time face coverings will continue to be required inside all City buildings, including the Recreation Center.
  • Covid-related restrictions on Special Events implemented by Sanibel City Council are lifted.
  • Sanibel City Hall Council Chambers public seating is increased to 50% capacity.
  • The Sanibel Farmers Market will determine their own face covering policies.

The number of Sanibel Covid-19 cases reported from March 26, 2020 through May 4, 2021 is 256. Captiva’s cases total 12.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity April 30-May 7, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Captains Walk #B2 1/1 $299,999; Spanish Cay #D6 2/2 $569K; Pointe Santo #B25 2/2 $829K; Pointe Santo #C3 3/2 $1.099M.

1 price change: Pointe Santo #C43 3/2 now $1.05M (our listing).

View from Pointe Santo #C43

8 new sales: Kimball Lodge #264 1/1.5 listed at $570K, Loggerhead Cay #261 2/2 listed at $714.5K, Pointe Santo #A1 2/2 listed at $889K, Loggerhead Cay #523 2/2 listed at $945K, Sanibel Surfside #115 2/2 listed at $1.05M, Sunset South #4D 2/2 listed at $1.05M, Cyprina Beach #3 3/3 listed at $1.6M, Pointe Santo #A47 3/2 listed at $1.995M.

8 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #242 1/1 $405K, Blind Pass #E101 2/2 $480K, Loggerhead Cay #373 2/2 $660K, Pointe Santo #E2 2/2 $920K, Sanibel Arms West #D6 2/2 $940K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #1-5 $950K, Tarpon Beach #206 2/2 $995K, Compass Point #102 2/2 $1.275M.

HOMES

12 new listings: 9214 Kincaid Ct 2/2 $695K, 1585 Serenity Ln 3/3 $749K, 223 Southwinds Dr 3/2 $815K, 1371 Tahiti Dr 2/2 $839K, 4598 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $849K, 770 Donax St 2/2 $850K, 750 Nerita St 3/2 $899K, 915 Palm St 3/2 $995K, 221 Robinwood Cir 3/2 $999K, 1362 Tahiti Dr 4/3 $1.295M, 939 Beach Rd 3/2.5 $1.65M, 4949 Joewood Dr 5/5 $4.395M.

2 price changes: 486 Surf Sound Ct 3/3.5 now $1.2M, 930 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 now $1.695M.

10 new sales: 966 Fitzhugh St 2/1 listed at $589K, 604 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 listed at $949.9K, 1747 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 listed at $999K, 2755 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 listed at $1.098M, 820 Angel Wing Dr 3/2 listed at $1.45M, 3385 Twin Lakes Ln 5/5 listed at $1.695M, 6418 Pine Ave 3/3 listed at $1.789M, 1460 Middle Gulf Dr 4/4.5 listed at $1.799M, 2857 Wulfert Rd 4/5 listed at $1.895M, 1020 Bayview Dr 5/5.5 listed at $4.595M.

13 closed sales: 1339 Tahiti Dr 3/2 $485K, 1606 Bunting Ln 3/2 $649K, 2985 Island Inn Rd 2/2 $649K, 2010 Wild Lime Dr 4/4 $759K, 567 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $1.05M, 1341 Eagle Run Dr 3/2.5 $1.058M, 1890 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $1.135M, 446 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 $1.178M, 542 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 $1.225M, 1133 Buttonwood Ln 3/2.5 $1.31M, 1275 Par View Dr 3/2 $1.38M, 1266 Isabel Dr 3/3 $2.775M, 4955 Joewood Dr 6/4.5 $3.05M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

6 new sales: 2310 Wulfert Rd listed at $299K, 5642 Baltusrol Ct listed at $327.5K, 5648 Baltusrol Ct listed at $328.5K, 255 Hurricane Ln listed at $368K, 6505 Pine Ave listed at $759K, 6519 Pine Ave listed at $779K.

2 closed sales: 1292 Par View Dr $345K, 3941 West Gulf Dr $3.5M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Lands End Village #1629 2/2 listed at $1.3745M, Lands End Village #1635 2/2 $1.429M.

3 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4124 1/2 $410K, Captiva Shores #1B 3/2.5 $1.67M, Beach Homes #18 4/3 $3.05M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16280 Captiva Dr 6/6 $8.9M.

2 price changes: 15138 Wiles Dr 6/5.5 now $6.495M, 11559 Laika Ln 3/3 now $6.9M.

1 new sale: 15133 Captiva Dr 3/3 listed at $2.995M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 16685 Captiva Dr $2M.

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 Mothers’ Day weekend! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Spring 2021 Has Sprung! Island Real Estate Is Hot!

It’s another sunny Sanibel Friday afternoon. Record high temperatures were expected today, with it already creeping into the 90’s yesterday in some of SW FL. Forecasters say that similar beach-like weather is expected for at least another seven days, with no chance of rain (though it’s needed).

Local waterways, beaches, and shared-use paths continue to be busy, while road traffic seemed a tad lighter this week, likely because local schools are back in session. Just two more weeks of “high season” remain, with some snowbirds already planning their annual trek north.

As inventory continues to dwindle, The SanibelSusan Team and I continue to beat the bushes looking for new listings. Teammate Dave and I previewed a terrific near-beach home yesterday that may be on the market soon. A complete interior remodel by one of our recommended contractors is just finishing up. (Here’s a hint, it’s near the body of water shown below and where there is some of the best shelling in the world.)

Our condo listings had showings last Saturday during guest turn-over and I was out showing on Captiva yesterday, while in the office, we continue to prepare for several upcoming closings.

The action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service is after a few news items below.

Sanibel Real Estate Inventory

Sometimes it is revealing to look at inventory with a price comparison. Below, by dollar increment, are the number of Sanibel properties available for sale (condos, homes, and lots), compared to the number under contract, and the number closed/sold year-to-date, as of today, March 26.

In snapshot terms, there currently are just 124 residential properties for sale on Sanibel (53 condos, 38 homes, 33 lots), while 167 are under contract, and 172 have already sold/closed this year – and that does not include the many closing occurring next week. The last day of the month is always the busiest day for closings, with March 31st often the busiest of the year!

 

SANIBEL

CONDOS HOMES LOTS
For Sale Under Contract Sold 2021 For Sale Under Contract Sold 2021 For Sale Under Contract Sold 2021
$100-200K 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4
$200K-300K 0 0 1 0 0 0 5 2 8
$300K-400K 2 3 4 0 0 0 10 6 5
$400K-500K 4 6 12 0 1 5 2 4 2
$500K-600K 9 11 12 1 7 9 2 1 1
$600K-700K 4 10 4 2 7 9 1 0 1
$700K-800K 5 4 7 0 15 7 3 0 0
$800K-900K 8 6 7 5 5 14 3 1 0
$900K-1M 9 8 6 3 5 5 2 0 0
$1M-1.5M 11 4 10 3 25 10 2 1 1
$1.5M-2M 1 4 3 11 16 9 0 0 1
$2M-3M 0 3 1 4 3 7 1 0 2
$3M-4M 0 0 0 2 3 2 2 2 0
$4M-5M 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0
$5M-6M 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0
$6M-7M 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
$7M-8M 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0
$8M+ 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0
TOTAL 53 59 67 38 89 80 33 19 25

Prospective sellers who may be wondering if they need a Realtor® in a market like this, the answer is “yes”. Most of Realtors® have buyers looking for a particular property in a certain location or with special requirements. Now that “season” is almost over, it becomes even more important to have the broadest exposure to the most prospective purchasers.

That means with the property offered in the islands Multiple Listing Service so that it is exposed to Realtors® everywhere, syndicated through worldwide real estate databases, and with local boots on the ground (in our case flip flops) to ensure that every step of the transaction is accomplished successfully so that owners get top dollar.

Pandemic Update

“Pop-Up Site” – Congratulations to FISH of Sanibel-Captiva (Friends in Service Here) for their action. They sent a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis and elected officials addressing the need for COVID-19 vaccines on Sanibel. It stressed the complications that island seniors face, particularly those with technological challenges in vaccination scheduling and logistical hurdles of vaccination sites often long distances away. Many seniors FISH identified as high priority due to age, medical conditions, or transportation limitations. FISH initiatives resulted in the Department of Health providing 250 doses which we used Tuesday during a “pop up” vaccination site at the Sanibel Community House. That day, islander seniors, scheduled by FISH, went by appointment to receive their one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccinations. As FISH says, “it takes a village”. They were assisted by island partners from the Community House, Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva, City of Sanibel Police Department, Sanibel Fire Department, parish nurses, medical offices, pharmacies, City officials, and FISH volunteers.

Those 50 & Over Now Eligible – This week with the state announcing that the vaccine now is available to anyone over 50, two SanibelSusan teammates now have received their first vaccines. In addition to the various pharmacies, big box stores, and medical facilities offering appointments, the vaccination site near the old SW FL regional airport continues to take appointments when doses are available. Contact them on-line at http://www.MyVaccine.FL.gov or by phone at 239-356-2006.

Those 18 & Over Soon Eligible – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is lowering the COVID-19 vaccination age to 40 starting Monday and to EVERYONE 18 AND UP starting April 5.

Sanibel’s State of Emergency – My apologies for not including an update on Sanibel’s state of emergency last week. Below is the Tuesday update from http://www.MySanibel.com:

The City declared State of Emergency, issued in response to COVID-19, has been extended by Mayor Holly D. Smith until March 30, 2021, unless further extended. Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven (7) days and thus must be updated weekly as long as the emergency conditions are present.

“Additionally, the City of Sanibel face covering mandate is reaffirmed to be consistent with the Governor’s Order 20-244. The face covering mandate is reaffirmed and shall remain in force and effect throughout the duration of this 7-day state of local emergency.

“To avoid the spread of COVID-19, social distancing is encouraged, and group gatherings should be avoided.”

Florida’s Housing Market: More Sales, Higher Median Prices

In an article posted on-line this week, Florida Realtors®, Marla Martin said:

“Florida Realtors’ data: Single-family home sales rose 15.7% year-over-year, median sales price up 16.6%; condo sales up 28.7%, median price up 16.6%. Chief Economist O’Connor: Fewer new listings and a tight inventory means a strong seller’s market.

“FEBRUARY HOME PRICES SOAR AS INVENTORY SHRINKS – The statewide inventory of active single-family home listings, which Florida Realtors has been tracking since January 2008, is currently at an all-time low. And the scarcity of inventory and high demand for existing homes continues to drive home prices higher.

“ORLANDO, Fla. – Amid increased COVID-19 vaccinations and hopeful signs for the future, Florida’s housing market in February reported more closed sales, higher median prices, more new pending sales and increased pending inventory in February 2021 compared to a year ago, according to Florida Realtors® latest housing data. Single-family existing home sales rose 15.7 % compared to February 2020.

““Florida’s housing market continued its momentum in February, but higher interest rates could be a factor going forward,” says 2021 Florida Realtors President Cheryl Lambert, broker-owner with Only Way Realty Citrus in Inverness. “While rising rates could potentially slow the pace of home sales, rates remain relatively low by historical standards. Record-low inventory is continuing to put pressure on home prices to rise and creates challenges for buyers. However, new pending sales rose 10.9% for single-family existing homes last month compared to February 2020, while new pending sales for condo-townhouse units increased 35.4% year-over-year.”

“Closed sales of single-family homes statewide in February totaled 23,947, up 15.7% year-over-year, while existing condo-townhouse sales totaled 11,379, up 28.7% over February 2020. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

“The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $314,900, up 16.6% from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Last month’s statewide median price for condo-townhouse units was $233,240, up 16.6% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

“Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor notes that Florida’s current housing market is a strong seller’s market, with fewer new listings and a very tight inventory (active listings), particularly for single-family existing homes. He says, “The statewide inventory of active single-family home listings, which Florida Realtors has been tracking since January 2008, is currently at an all-time low. At the end of February, single-family inventory was down 56.3% compared to a year ago. Most of this decline has been a result of our ultra-high rate of sales.

““However, so far in 2021, new listings of single-family homes have not kept up with their pace of 12 months ago. In February, they were down 4.9% year-over-year, which is an improvement over January, but still represents a move in the wrong direction. There’s a likelihood that much of this decline has been due to some sellers, who in normal times might have listed in January or February, instead listing ahead of 2021 in response to the unusually strong market in the second half of 2020. But there’s also the possibility that a small but increasing number of homeowners, who have been thinking of selling their current home and buying another one, are starting to get turned off by the lack of available inventory and the rising prices that have resulted from it.”

The condo-townhouse category shows a slightly different picture, O’Connor says.

““In February, closed sales in this category rose 28.7% year-over-year, which is consistent with the growth rates we’ve been seeing each month going back to September,” he says. “Some of this growth is likely being fueled by frustrated buyers who had their hearts set on a single-family home finally giving up and settling for an attached unit instead, but we’re also seeing high demand from folks with the typical condo- and townhouse-buyer profile, as well. And while inventory in this category is still high relative to what we’re seeing in the single-family home category, it was down 34.4% compared to a year ago.”

“On the supply side of the market, inventory (active listings) remained constrained in February. Single-family existing homes were at a very restricted 1.3-months’ supply while condo-townhouse inventory was at a 3.4-months’ supply.

“According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.81% in February 2021, significantly lower than the 3.47% averaged during the same month a year earlier….”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity March 19-26, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Spanish Cay #F8 2/2 $449K, Sundial #C303 2/2 $739K, Heron at The Sanctuary #3A 2/2.5 $839K, Sanddollar #B101 2/2 $1.125M, Cyprina Beach #2 3/3 $1.6M.

1 price change: Sundial #D408 1/1 now $509.9K.

7 new sales: Sundial #F206 1/1 listed at $479K, Blind Pass #E101 2/2 listed at $485K, Sanibel Arms West #B5 2/2 listed at $550K, Sanibel Arms West #H4 2/2 listed at $559K, Kimball Lodge #302 1/1 listed at $574K, Blind Pass #G104 3/2 listed at $699K, Sanddollar #C201 2/2 listed at $1.199M.

7 closed sales: Captains Walk #B3 1/1 $286.5K, Sundial #F108 1/1 $425K, Mariner Pointe #732 2/2 $545K, Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 $950K, Beachcomber #D101 2/2 $985K, Pointe Santo #C25 3/2 $1M, Sundial #T405 2/2 $1.193M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 1644 Bunting Ln 3/3 $643K, 3010 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.445M, 2857 Wulfert Rd 4/5 $1.895M.

2 price changes: 848 Birdie View Pt 4/3.5 now $2.049M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 4/4 now $4.295M.

12 new sales: 1942 Roseate Ln 2/2 listed at $524.5K, 3009 Singing Wind Dr 2/1.5 listed at $657K, 9446 Yucca Ct 3/2 listed at $739K, 613 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 listed at $978K, 1983 My Tern Ct 3/2.5 listed at $1.098M, 557 N. Yachtsman Dr 4/3 listed at $1.124M, 446 Surf Sound Ct 3/2 listed at $1.178M, 249 Violet Dr 4/2 listed at $1.2M, 6412 Pine Ave 3/2.5 listed at $1.589M, 837 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.895M, 3744 West Gulf Dr 4/4 listed at $1.939M, 5633 Baltusrol Ct 4/4.5 listed at $1.949M.

5 closed sales: 9254 Kincaid Ct 2/2 $486K, 799 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex $550K, 757 Windlass Way 3/2.5 $1.2M, 1355 Eagle Run Dr 4/4.5 $1.84M, 3009 Turtle Gait Ln 4/4.5 $2.595M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 2133 Starfish Ln $529K, 1084 S. Yachtsman Dr $699K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 9042 Mockingbird Ln listed at $395K, 000 West Gulf Dr listed at $3.795M.

3 closed sales: 247/255 Robinwood Cir $265K, 717 Birdie View Pt $370K, 5749 Sanibel-Captiva Rd $607K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

3 new sales: Marina Villas #708 2/2 listed at $765K, Gulf Beach Villas #2024 3/3 listed at $1.075M, Beach Homes #17 4/3 listed at $3.45M.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3118 1/1 $341.5K, Lands End Village #1651 2/2 $1.245M.

HOMES

No new listings.

2 price changes: 11530 Paige Ct 4/4/2 now $4.6M, 11559 Laika Ln 3/3 now $7.8M.

1 new sale: 11514 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5 listed at $2.349M

1 closed sale: 16813 Captiva Dr 3/3 $2.25M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale:: 16685 Captiva Dr listed at $2.45M.

No closed sales.

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

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

Until next Friday, enjoy spring! Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

.

Ready to Set New Records in 2021

Welcome to the 2nd Friday Sanibel/Captiva real estate update in 2021. With the holidays over and a home inspection this afternoon, we are wrapping up another productive week at SanibelSusan Realty – two more sales, more listings shown, more action items accomplished for both listings and upcoming closings, and a closing late today. The last time we had seven sales on the books in just the first week of the year was back in 2004 which was our record year, so we are crossing our fingers to break that record in 2021.

Traffic lessened last weekend when many holiday visitors departed. Unfortunately, coronavirus numbers are up and expected to go higher. Below are a couple of news items, including COVID update, followed by the action since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel & Captiva Island Association of Realtors®

Though still not meeting in person, our local Association of Realtors® held a Zoom meeting Wednesday with required attendance by our Board of Directors and members serving as 2021 Ombudsmen or on Grievance and Professional Standards Committees. That annual training updates the leadership team on recent changes regarding ethics and arbitration issues. Thanks to Marcia Tabak, Deputy General Counsel at Florida Realtors®, for hosting.

Thursday morning was a Zoom Caravan meeting for our entire membership. No new listings were open for caravan viewing, but both Jim Hall (VIP Realty Group) and I announced new sales. No price reductions were announced. My announcement of our new listing at Sandalfoot #3B3, was the only new listing mentioned.

The next Caravan meeting will follow our Annual Installation of Officers and Awards Ceremony at 8 a.m. Jan 17, also on Zoom.

With most of the year-end closings now posted on the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service, below is an update of the statistics. Shown are the recent sales action, compared to 2019, and inventory today. To say, more listings are needed is an understatement. Many Realtors® have buyers awaiting the perfect property that meets their requirements.

 

SANIBEL

Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
Available 86 820,012 63 2,036,258 45 816,216
Under Contract 27 709,322 53 1,346,665 17 783,177
Sold 2021 to-date 2 995,000 3 1,324,666 1 265,000
Sold 2020 192 733,876 288 951,487 23 606,233
Sold 2019 127 694,392 211 949,790 15 372,200

 

 

CAPTIVA

Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price # Avg Price # Avg Price
Available 20 1,622,849 32 3,713,937 3 5,131,666
Under Contract 8 787,375 8 787,375 0 N/A
Sold 2021 to-date 1 2,700,000 2 2,762,500 O N/A
Sold 2020 47 821,713 27 2,923,148 4 2,537,500
Sold 2019 29 1,037,077 17 2,737,503 1 1,375,000

Sanibel – COVID-19

On Tuesday, Sanibel Mayor Mick Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until January 12, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.)  The City face covering mandate remains in effect through the period.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through 9 a.m. January 7 is 157 cases. Twenty-one were reported just last week. This is just the number cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go. PLEASE stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.

Vaccination Rollout Update from Florida Department of Health & Lee County Government

FYI, as posted yesterday on http://www.MySanibel.com:

“Fort Myers, FL, Jan. 7, 2021 – Tidal Basin, the state’s call-center vendor for COVID-19 vaccinations for seniors and front-line medical workers, earlier this week captured more than 10,000 phone calls in 11 minutes when its new reservation line opened. The Florida Department of Health-Lee (FDOH) and Lee County today have announced that next Tuesday and Wednesday’s allocation of vaccinations at the current site will be used for those additional callers, most of whom now have been pre-registered by the vendor.

“The phone line for reservations is currently closed and remains closed; residents are asked to not dial the call center. The state and county will announce when additional vaccine doses are available and the line reopens. Visit  www.leegov.com/vaccine

“Tidal Basin will begin placing calls to schedule the pre-registered slots beginning this afternoon through Monday. Not every pre-registered individual will receive a scheduling call today. Shots will be administered between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 12 and 13.

“DOH-Lee anticipates administering about 4,000 doses during those two days at the current site, which is east of Interstate 75 off Daniels Parkway. It’s the site of the old airport terminal parking lot off Paul J. Doherty Parkway. The site has proved a successful solution to vaccinating thousands of people 65 and older without an unnecessary wait. Traffic to and from the site is flowing; parking is ample; people with appointments are not experiencing delays. Public transportation is available to the site.

“By close of business today, more than 11,000 individuals will have been vaccinated at Lee County sites. This total does not include medical workers vaccinated at separate sites by the Florida Department of Health-Lee or vaccinations issued by other entities such as Lee Health.

“FDOH-Lee and the county soon will announce information about the second dose of the vaccine and how scheduling will be handled.

“The state and county have requested that Tidal Basin stand up a help line or call center for pre-registered people who have questions. Details will be announced when they become available at www.leegov.com/vaccine .

“As COVID-19 vaccine distribution continues, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office advises to be aware of emerging fraud schemes, such as:

  • Calls asking to pay out of pocket to get the vaccine.
  • Calls asking to pay to put your name on a vaccine waiting list or to get early access.
  • Advertisements for vaccines through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online or from unsolicited/unknown sources.
  • Marketers offering to sell or ship doses of the vaccine for payment.
  • Requests from someone unknown to an individual asking for a social security number, bank account information or credit card information.

“Lee County residents who believe they have been the victim of COVID-19 fraud can report it to:

  • Lee County Sheriff’s Office fraud line – 258-3292
  • HHS-OIG Hotline: 1-800-HHS-TIPS or log on to hhs.gov
  • FBI Hotline: 1-800-CALL-FBI
  • CMS/Medicare Hotline: 1-800-MEDICARE

“Additional information: Complete information can be found at www.leegov.com/vaccine . People can visit Lee County Government Facebook and other social media channels (www.leegov.com/socialmedia ) or monitor Florida DOH’s Twitter @flhealthlee. The United Way 211 line for vaccine questions is staffed 24/7. Dial 211 or 239-433-3900. This is not a reservation or appointment phone line.”

2021 Resolution: Cut Risk – 15 Steps to Resolve Legal Issues

Posted on FloridaRealtors® this week, the below article is sourced to Gary M. Singer, “Sun Sentinel” (Fort Lauderdale, FL). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. It has some excellent points.

“Many legal troubles start with phrases like “I didn’t realize that …” or “I didn’t read that part of the document.” To lower risk and avoid trouble, ask questions, read contracts, do research, take notes, record with cellphone photos and take an extra day to think about things.

“FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – As another year starts, it’s once again time to discuss some lessons we’ve learned in dealing with real estate law issues. Therefore, I present to you, in no particular order, some best practices you can use when dealing with any legal matter.

  • Do not sign anything you have not read and understood.
  • Do not be afraid to ask questions, and do not feel you must accept the answers at face value.
  • If you have any doubt as to what you are told, do more research.
  • There are very few things that cannot wait one day while you think about it.
  • Whenever a situation seems like it might become a problem, take lots of notes and cell phone photos.
  • If you come to a meaningful agreement on a telephone call, send an email to the person you spoke with to confirm the details.
  • While confrontation can be uncomfortable, the best and least expensive way of resolving a dispute is speaking calmly to the responsible party about the issue.
  • If the branches from your neighbor’s tree hang over your property line, you can safely trim them back, at your expense, as long as you do not damage the tree’s health.
  • Consult with an estate planning professional to get your will done.
  • If you are buying a property with someone you are not married to, it is good to get a joint property ownership agreement prepared.
  • If you rent a home, you should read the landlord-tenant statute; it is relatively easy to read and acts as an instruction manual.
  • When buying a property in a condominium or homeowners association, you need to understand the rules and live by them. If this idea does not work for you, find a different property.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of insurance and the importance of shopping around for the best price.
  • Some have said that good fences make good neighbors, but I find it is more accurate to say that good people make good neighbors.
  • As hard as it can be to sift through the junk, it is essential to check your mail for important notices regularly.

“It has been a rough year. I hope these tips will help your new year be a better one.”

Wildlife Refuge Status Update

From today’s “Ding” on the Wing”: The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge has announced changes to scheduling due to the lingering effects of the pandemic. Until further notice, the Visitor & Education Center will be closed every Sunday.

Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the front desk and Refuge Nature Store will be open in the Center. All exhibits remain closed. The Center’s restrooms will stay open daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Wildlife Drive will continue with its seasonal schedule of Saturday to Thursday 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

recreation concession tours and rentals will operate according to their regular schedule.  Stay up-to-date on Refuge news and events at our COVID-19 page.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity January 1-8, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sanibel Moorings #242 1/1 $424.5K, Blind Pass #E207 2/2.5 $489K, Sanibel Arms West #F1 2/2 $949K, White Pelican #111 2/2 $1.2999M.

3 price changes: Blind Pass #E101 2/2 now $485K, Loggerhead Cay #274 2/2 now $669K, Sandpiper Beach #401 2/2 now $775K.

7 new sales: Sundial #I102 1/1 listed at $450K, Sanibel Arms West #H6 2/2 listed at $579K, Sanibel Moorings #441 2/2 listed at $585K, Loggerhead Cay #542 2/2 listed at $685K, Surfside 12 #A4 3/2 listed at $849K, Yacht Haven #4 3/2 listed at $895K, Sundial #L205 3/2 listed at $1.395M.

6 closed sales: Tennisplace #B24 2/2 $350K, Spanish Cay #F4 2/2 $390K, Blind Pass #G201 2/2 $520K, Sanibel Arms West #K7 2/2 $550K, Sanibel Moorings #932 2/2 $562K, Somerset #A101 3/2.5 $1.6M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 2620 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $799K, 1890 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 $1.2M, 1283 Isabel Dr 3/2 $1.925M.

4 price changes: 9254 Kincaid Ct 2/2 now $493K, 1560 Royal Poinciana Cir 3/2 now $899K, 837 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3.5 now $1.995M, 1761 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $2.095M.

11 new sales: 1684 Bunting Ln 2/2 listed at $514,555; 315 East Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex listed at $559K; 430 Old Trail Rd 3/2.5 listed at $629K; 610 Hideaway Ct 3/2 listed at $699K (our buyer); 566 Boulder Dr 3/2 listed at $739K; 1076 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 listed at $750K; 2010 Wild Lime Dr 4/4 listed at $759K; 2001/2003 Mitzi Ln 6/6 duplex listed at $859K; 1672 Hibiscus Dr 3/2 listed at $899K; 215 Hurricane Ln 3/3 listed at $1.089M; 815 Birdie View Pt 3/3 listed at $1.395M.

5 closed sales: 1667 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/1.5 $413K, 718 Durion Ct 3/2 $550K, 705 Rabbit Rd 3/3 $699K, 215 Hurricane Ln 3/3 $1.029M, 1718 Jewel Box Dr 4/4.5 $2.725M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 717 Birdie View Pt $399K.

1 price change: 1292 Par View Dr now $349.9K.

7 new sales: 1894 Farm Trl listed at $199K (our listing & buyer), 9436 Beverly Ln listed at $235K, 3354 Barra Cir listed at $365K, 602 Boulder Dr listed at $399K, 836 Limpet Dr listed at $1.345M, 1159 Golden Olive Ct listed at $1.599M, 1246 Seagrape Ln listed at $2.789M.

1 closed sale: 5627 Baltusrol Ct $265K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1628 4/4 $2.7M.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 11431 Dickey Ln 3/2 listed at $1,168,500.

3 closed sales: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 $1.975M, 11555 Wightman Ln 3/2 $3.55M, 15831 Captiva Dr 2/2.5 $5M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Until next Friday, stay safe,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Happy New Year & Happy 1st Friday 2021

Happy New Year 2021, with best wishes to all from The SanibelSusan Team.

It is just me (Susan) in the office this afternoon – albeit briefly after showing a few homes earlier. Gorgeous day to do that as was just mid-70’s when we started out at 10 a.m., then warming up to 78 degrees F about 2 p.m. Bright blue sky, lots of sunshine, and breezy – best kind of island day.

SanibelSusan Realty has had a good week. A listing sale closed Tues, Dave had a closing Thurs, we got a new listing, several action items were completed for other listings awaiting closings, and I have been writing offers this afternoon – which is why this is emailed a little later than usual – all good indicators that “season” is here.

As another indicator, what a difference a week makes! There was a huge traffic increase this week (compared to last week (Christmas)). The City announced Tuesday that 7,000 cars had crossed the causeway that morning. Wednesday, by midday, that day count already was up at 6,000. Those additional day-trippers make the roadways slow-going when heading off-island from about 3 p.m. until dark. If you need to travel then, remember to check the City traffic cams on www.MySanibel.com.

With several daytime runs by both teammate Elise and I between the office and the East end, and on-/off-island, we also could not help but notice the number of bikers. I do not remember the bike paths ever being this busy. The pickleball courts were packed most of the time too. Likely the wonderful weather brought visitors escaping the snowy north and doldrums of the pandemic. We just pray none of them brought more viruses.

Below are a couple of news items, including COVID update, followed by the action since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

Sanibel – COVID-19

On Tuesday, Sanibel Mayor Mick Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19 until January 5, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.)  The City face covering mandate remains in effect through the period.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 through 9 a.m. December 31 is 138 cases. Fifty-four of those cases are just since December 1. This is just the number cases for zip code residents. It does not include Captiva and the many workers and visitors that come and go. PLEASE stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.

How the Coronavirus Is Changing Buying & Selling Real Estate

The need to practice social distancing and restrict in-person contacts has accelerated both innovation and technology. Realtors® servicing Sanibel and Captiva, where both sellers and buyers often are in far-away places, have always provided different services than in a traditional geographical area where both parties are nearby. From the pandemic, there likely will be some long-lasting effects, like those below.

Competitive Buying – Purchasers that are out of town are more motivated to make sight-unseen offers. For those successful offerors, using the “as is” contract, the buyer may use the 15-day inspection/cancellation period to come and see the property, and/or have inspections performed. In the last few weeks, we have had two listings sell sight-unseen. Both received multiple offers with the sight-unseen buyers winning out, because they were willing to pay full price.

Streaming Videos & FaceTime Showings – Professional photography including drone aerials with streaming videos continue to get prospects interested in a property. After they become interested, virtual walk-throughs and Facetime showings by us or their Realtor® have become popular. We have had almost as many showings that way in the last few months as showings with the buyers there in-person.

Meetings – Though most now are more familiar with cleaning procedures and protocols for traditional showings in today’s more hygienic environment, more meetings are held virtually. These include listing presentations, discussions on making offers, even actual closings. Though SanibelSusan Realty has not again begun holding open houses, we are available to open our listings for showings or deliver keys and fliers to Realtors® not going to their offices. Whatever it takes to get them sold, while staying safe!

400 Rabbits Is Open

There have been many positive reports on social media this week about the soft opening and then the full opening yesterday of the all-new restaurant “400 Rabbits” which is in the shopping center on the San-Cap Rd end of Rabbit Rd. Mexican-inspired and with a tequila bar, this venture combines the culinary talents of Jeramie and Debra Campana, owners of Paper Fig Kitchen (in Tahitian Gardens) and James Beard Society award-winning chef Don Yamauchi and his wife Cleta.

What Real Estate Has to Be Grateful For in 2020

This was posted on FloridaRealtors® just before Christmas, by Melissa Dittmann Tracey:

“It’s hard to look at 2020 in a positive light, but the real estate industry was uniquely and unexpectedly a beacon of hope for a nation battered by the COVID-19 virus. Home sales boomed, mortgage rates repeatedly hit record lows and rising values bolstered homeowners’ equity.

“CHICAGO – No doubt, 2020 has been a uniquely challenging year. With unemployment still above pre-pandemic levels, the country coming to terms with longstanding racial inequities, Americans worrying about natural disasters, a contentious national election and the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, people are searching for reasons to feel gratitude as the year draws to a close.

“The housing market has emerged as an economic bright spot. While the nation continues to feel widespread effects from 2020’s turmoil, here are a few things the real estate industry can be grateful for this year.

Booming home sales

“Overall, real estate professionals have been busy – home buying activity is at its highest level since 2006. The housing market defied high unemployment and an economic recession, and it surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Existing-home sales in October were 27% higher than a year ago, new-home sales were 32% higher, and pending home sales or contract signings in September jumped 20.5% annually.

““This winter may be one of the best winters for sales activity,” says Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) chief economist. “It won’t match summer or spring sales numbers, but on a winter-to-winter comparison, this could be one of the best breakout years just based on the fact that pending contracts are at such a higher level.”

“Mortgage applications, up 20% year over year, reflect buyers in the pipeline, ready to buy. The downside: Buyers are in a frenzy to compete for the limited housing stock, and 72% of homes that sold in October were on the market for less than a month, NAR’s data shows.

Record low mortgage rates

“Homebuyers are locking in some of the lowest mortgage rates in recorded history. Last week, for the 15th time this year, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage set a record low, averaging 2.67%, according to Freddie Mac. Yun predicts that mortgage rates will stay low into 2021, averaging 3.1% for all of next year.

““These ultra-low mortgage rates significantly lower mortgage payments, making housing more affordable than a year earlier in many areas,” even with prices rising, writes Nadia Evangelou, a research economist, on NAR’s Economists’ Outlook blog. In the Washington, D.C., metro area, for example, home prices have jumped nearly 12% compared to a year earlier, Evangelou notes. However, the monthly payment on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is lower than a year ago, averaging $1,820.

Seller equity

“Home sellers got a financial boost from housing appreciation. The median existing-home price for all housing types was $313,000 in October – a 16% increase from a year ago. Sixty-five percent of 181 metro areas NAR recently tracked have reported double-digit price gains compared to a year ago.

“That means home owners who haven’t taken a financial hit from the pandemic feel richer. In the third quarter, 16.7 million residential properties in the U.S. – 28.3% overall – were considered “equity rich,” according to a report from ATTOM Data Solutions, a real estate research data firm. A property is considered equity rich when the property owner has at least 50% equity in the home.

““Homeowner equity in the third quarter added another pebble to the pile of markers showing that the U.S. housing market continues to defy the broad downturn in the economy this year,” says Todd Teta, chief product and technology officer for ATTOM Data Solutions. “Home prices keep rising, boosting the balance sheets of homeowners throughout most of the country. … The market is strong and homeowners remain in a position to benefit.”

Technology

“With people forced to keep their distance during the pandemic, technology became real estate pros’ ally in keeping transactions moving. Nick Bailey, chief customer officer at RE/MAX LLC, says that the average real estate transaction takes 181 steps from beginning to end, and technology has increasingly responded to those steps.

“During state shutdowns earlier this year, real estate professionals increasingly relied on virtual and 3D tours, videoconferencing, augmented reality, automation, artificial intelligence and remote online notarizations, says Jeb Griffin, NAR’s director of strategy and innovation.

““Technology is playing a more active role through the buying and selling cycle, and agents are playing an even bigger role to consumers who [have] less access to homes in person [due to the pandemic],” Griffin says.

The future now requires “taking the traditional way of doing business and augmenting it with new ways that will allow you to serve customers in a variety of ways – and on their terms,” adds Andy Ambrose, DocuSign practice lead director at DocuSign Notary.

New priorities

““The coronavirus without a doubt led homebuyers to reassess their housing situations and even reconsider home sizes and destinations,” says Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights for NAR. “Buyers sought housing with more rooms, more square footage, and more yard space, as they may have desired a home office or home gym. They also shopped for larger homes because extra space would allow households to better accommodate older adult relatives or young adults that are now living within the residence.”

Affirmation of a Realtor’s value

“As Americans reevaluated what they wanted from a home, they increasingly relied on real estate agents to guide them through purchase and sales transactions. According to NAR’s latest survey, 88% of buyers reported using an agent to purchase their home, and 89% of sellers used an agent to help with their sale.

““We are all in unknown territory with this pandemic, so it’s no surprise that more buyers than ever turned to agents to help them navigate through some of the uncertainties and one of the most complex, competitive markets any of us have ever seen,” says NAR’s immediate past president Vince Malta.

The sanctity of home

““Nothing feels more precious this year than the safety of our homes,” says Shannon McGahn, NAR’s chief advocacy officer, “and we believe all Americans should have equal opportunity to a home of their own.”” Source: National Association of Realtors®

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 25 – January 1, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sandalfoot #3B3 1/1 $549K (our listing).

View from Sandalfoot #3B3

1 price change: Sandals #A 3/3.5 now $1.835M.

6 new sales: Sundial #G406 1/1 listed at $519K, Mariner Pointe #421 2/2.5 listed at $579K, Pointe Santo #B3 2/2 listed at $699K, Sandy Bend #6 2/2 listed at $1,027,007; Sanibel Surfside #124 2/2 listed at $1.05M, Junonia #103 3/2 listed at $1.295M.

12 closed sales: Sanibel Arms #B1 1/1 $413K, Signal Inn #10 1/1 $485K, Loggerhead Cay #462 2/2 $550K, Compass Point #221 2/2 $615K, Lighthouse Point #111 2/2 $645K, Island Beach Club #220F 2/2 $710K, Sundial #T201 2/2 $750K, Gulf Beach #106 2/2 $775K (our buyer), Sundial #P203 2/2 $845K, Point Santo #D47 2/2 $920K, Sayana #103 2/2 $948.5K, Tarpon Beach #207 2/2 $899K (our listing).

HOMES

3 new listings: 784 Birdie View Pt 4/4 $1.795M, 5270 Indian Ct 6/6.5 $2.695M, 488 Lighthouse Way 4/4 $3.695M.

3 price changes: 1835 Ardsley Way 2/2 now $457K, 685 Sea Oats Dr 3/2/2 now $1.089M, 490 Sawgrass Pl 3/2.5 now $1.499M.

4 new sales: 799 Casa Ybel Rd 5/3 duplex listed at $570K, 1752 Jewel Box Dr 2/2 listed at $859K, 966 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 listed at $980K, 9441 Peaceful Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.395M.

7 closed sales: 1764 Bunting Ln 2/2 $515K, 731 Durion Ct 3/2 $737K, 836 Angel Wing Dr 3/2 $885K, 6176 Henderson Rd 3/2 $910K, 1308 Tahiti Dr 3/3 $907.5K, 1203 Kittiwake Cir 3/3 $985K, 769 Pyrula Ave 3/3.5 $1.335M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2314 2/2 listed at $779K, Marina Villas #808 2/2 listed at $779K.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #4106 1/2 $378K, Beach Villas $2334 3/3 $960K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15000 Binder Dr 3/2 now $1.298M.

No new sales.

2 closed sales: 15200 Captiva Dr 2/2 $954K, 11515 Gore Ln 5/4.5 $2.25M.

LOTS

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

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

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

Again, enjoy your 2021, while staying safe and well! Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Merry Christmas 2020!

Christmas Day 2020 at Sanibel Lighthouse 1:08 p.m.

What a different one it is. As we likely are all celebrating the season in new ways this year, I bet you too are looking forward to a safer, healthier, more productive 2021. I hope you are spending your day, like me and The SanibelSusan Team, the best you can under the circumstances.

As mentioned before, the pandemic has affected the islands real estate market, some ways great, some not-so-good. We have learned social-distancing skills and developed new marketing techniques while buyers and sellers have struggled to achieve their goals too – in this wonderful place that remains special regardless of what is happening worldwide.

It was so quiet this morning at my house, that I decided to take a spin around the East End, take a few photos, and then send this from the office. So here I am in Sanibel Square doing what I enjoy most. One of those things was getting a listing under contract yesterday. It is great to have a sale on Christmas Eve.

Another event was learning that a closing scheduled to occur on Monday, may now instead be the following week. Snafus with lenders, condo associations, and overnight mail with holidays are obstacles that make us so love cash sales with few contingencies – and appreciate our clients who continue to understand that as hard as we work to prevent any delays, stuff happens. This year, it seems to be all “new stuff”.

Below are some more photos taken about this afternoon. Though there have been sporadic recent reports of red tide, I did not see any evidence. There were plenty of people beach walking on both the bay and gulf side, also many folks at the fishing pier. Some bundled up as it is only mid-50’s and breezy, but there were a few brave kids wading in the water, plus the usual kiteboarders. The four photos below were from the beach access at the gulf end of Seagrape Lane.

Moving to the other end of Seagrape Lane, on San Carlos Bay, I watched a kiteboarder who was blown into the water struggle to get close to shore and get the kite airborne again. I waited until the rider was flying again was over the water, before departing. You can see the kite (teal color) in the center of the third photo below. (Moms worry about those kiteboarders.)

Moving on to the Sanibel Marina, it was pretty quiet there. No one in sight and Gramma Dot’s is closed until tomorrow. In the bottom picture, you can see how they spread out tables for outside dining.

If you also want to follow red tide reports, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) in their weekly email included a link to https://habforecast.gcoos.org/. That is NOAA’s Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System. Today it shows high readings on south of here at Vanderbilt Beach and the Naples Pier. It looks to be clear on both Sanibel and most of Captiva. Here is hoping this cool weather and northerly winds keep it away!

Below are a couple of other news items followed by the action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.

Holiday Celebrations Around the World

Late Monday, I attended an on-line Zoom meeting put on by Florida Realtors® Global Business Committee. My Naples pal, Paula Angelopoulos Urbinati chairs that committee this year, while Realtor® friend Christel Silver owner of Silver International Realty in Del Ray Beach is Vice Chair.

With presentations by Realtors® with personal and family connections in other countries, it was not surprising to hear that most holiday celebrations outside the U.S. also involved sharing a special meal(s) with family, gift giving, and music/caroling. It was surprising in some instances to learn how some celebrations differ. Here are just a few tidbits.

In Greece, Christmas celebrations officially last for 14 days, starting on Christmas Eve and ending on Epiphany (January 6) with the ‘Great Blessing of Water’.

In Barbados, celebrations begin December 1 with island residents painting their homes inside and out, often also purchasing all new furnishings to welcome the season with a clean slate.

In the Philippines, their celebrations are the longest in the world, beginning in early September, through the first Sunday in January which is the Feast of Three Kings. Another holiday custom in the Philippines is parents giving children a red envelope with cash inside.

In Cuba, Christmas was not celebrated for 30 years. That changed in 1998 when the Pope visited the country. In Cuba today, the celebration includes roasting a whole pig and gifts given for 12 days following Christmas.

In the United Kingdom, it was interesting to hear that stockings are not hung on mantels, but instead are placed at the foot of the beds. Sometimes pillowcases are used instead – ready for Father Christmas to fill them up. Advent calendars are popular, and everyone listens to the Queen’s speech on Christmas Day. She has been giving those since 1957, usually about 3 p.m. Christmas crackers also are popular in the UK. (I usually have them at my Christmas dinners too. Missing that this year.) This tradition goes back to the 1800’s with the cracker which pulls apart to make a “pop”, then opens to contain a paper crown (which must be worn during dinner), a silly joke, and a tiny toy. Christmas dinner in the UK most closely resembles many in the US including turkey (sometimes goose); roast beef; brussels sprouts (no Christmas dinner complete without those); mashed carrots and turnips (together); stuffing balls with sage, onion, chestnut; roasted potatoes (never mashed); Yorkshire pudding, peas; and cranberry sauce or bread sauce (which is a white sauce).Their Christmas desserts include mince pies, Christmas pudding aged for a month or two and with a silver coin inside, brandy butter to go on the pudding, and trifle.

In Hungary, many of their traditions are like those in Germany. Their holidays begin four Sundays before Christmas. Santa Claus Day is December 6. Children put their “clean” boots on their window sill at night with the “good” children receiving candy and those “naughty” ones getting sticks instead. Their trees go up on December 24, while their Christmas Day menus typically include codfish soup and stuffed cabbage. Their trees, which are decorated with colorfully wrapped candy and chocolate, stay up until January 6, though the candies particularly those on the bottom branches, reachable by children, disappear first. Like Germany, Christmas is celebrated on both December 25 and 26.

Israel’s Hannukah or “Festival of Lights” is an eight-day rededication ceremony with dates that change each year. It is not related to Christmas, but typically ends sometime before Christmas. Part of this celebration is adding lights to a menorah (candle holder). Every person in each family has their own, so if in a large family, it can mean many lights. Each menorah has nine candle holders so that one candle is lit each night with the ninth (or shamash) for the helper candle that is used to light the others. Common food at their celebrations include matza ball soup, potato latkes (pancakes), and jelly donuts. Children receive gifts all eight days of Hannukah with their traditions kept alive with gifts like dreidels, gelt (chocolate coins), and menorah.

In Africa, Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26 to January 1, observed by people of all faiths since it is not tied to any religion, but rather is to inspire blacks to be united, self-determined, accountable, financially invested, purposeful, creative, and full of faith. It is a celebration of life and a ritual to welcome the first harvests to the home. Each day of the seven days of Kwanzaa has special meaning, also with lighting of candles, in black, green, and red.

Sanibel – COVID-19

Florida Department of Health’s daily report says that Sanibel’s total number of COVID-19 cases from March 26 through December 24 at 9 a.m. is 128. This is just the cases for residents in our zip code. It does not include the many workers and visitors that come and go. PLEASE stay vigilant – continue social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, and avoid group gatherings.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity December 18 – 25, 2020

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Sundial #G406 1/1 $519K, Kimball Lodge #244 1/1.5 $550K, Sanibel Arms West #H6 2/2 $579K, Sanibel Arms West #I4 2/2 $579K, Pointe Santo #B26 2/2 $689K, Mariner Pointe #241 2/2.5 $690K.

2 price changes: Sanibel Arms #C5 2/2 now $475K, Surfside 12 #B1 3/2 now $999.5K.

2 new sales: Mariner Pointe #541 2/2 listed at $515K (our listing), Sundial #P203 2/2 listed at $899K.

5 closed sales: Captains Walk #B4 2/2 $380K, Coquina Beach #2B 2/2 $452.5K, Sanibel Arms West #M2 2/2 $525K, Coquina Beach #1D 2/2 $528.5K, Sundial #H203 2/2 $725K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 1480 Middle Gulf Dr 4/4.5.5 $1.65M.

1 price change: 5439 Osprey Ct 4/3 now $1.669M.

7 new sales: 3935 Coquina Dr 4/3 listed at $849,950; 916 Almas Ct 3/3.5 listed at $1.39M, 9441 Peaceful Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1,395M,  1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 listed at $1.599M, 5391 Shearwater Dr 3/3.5 listed at $1.795M, 2411 Blue Crab Ct 4/4.5 listed at $2.4949M, 1069 Bird Ln 4/3.5 listed at $4.495M.

7 closed sales: 4044 Coquina Dr 2/2 $485K, 1603 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 half-duplex $570K, 280 Southwinds Dr 3/3.5 $618K, 1610 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $675K, 580 Boulder Dr 3/2 $799K, 735 Sand Dollar Dr 3/3 $1.24M, 1237 Isabel Dr 5/6.5 $2.6M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 539 Sea Oats Dr $420K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 3945 West Gulf Dr listed at $2.999M.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Gulf Beach Villas #2127 2/2 $900K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Lands End Village #1628 4/4 listed at $2.749M.

1 closed sale: Captiva Hide-A-Way #2A 2/2 $880K.

HOMES

2 new listings: 15361 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 $2.795M, 11530 Paige Ct 4/5.5 $4.579M.

1 price change: 17201 Captiva Dr 5/4.5 now $5.65M.

1 new sale: 17101 Captiva Dr 7/6.5 listed at $2.695M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

1 new listing: 16685 Captiva Dr $2.45M.

No price changes, new, or closed sales.

Jensen’s on Captiva also went under contract this week (with contingencies). Asking price $13.995M, it includes 14 historic cottages, 35 boat slips, marina, fuel dock, fleet of rental boats, ships store & office.

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”.

You can be sure that I’ll be posting next Friday too – with a Happy New Year report! Meanwhile, enjoy your Christmas!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farmers Markets & Christmas Trees

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

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

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

City of Sanibel – COVID-19

On Tuesday, Acting Mayor Denham extended the island declared state of emergency due to COVID-19. Now it goes until December 1, 2020, unless further extended. (Per State Statute, the maximum duration for a Mayoral Declaration of Emergency is seven days and thus must be updated weekly as the emergency exists.)  The City face covering mandate remains in effect through the period.

From Florida Department of Health, Sanibel’s total accumulative number of COVID-19 cases since March 26 is 84. Cases are rapidly increasing here. NINE more cases in the last week.

Weeks-ending 3/29 through 5/31 – 2 months = 11 cases

Weeks-ending 6/7 through 8/30 – 2 months = 30 cases

Weeks-ending 9/6 through 11/1 – 2 months = 22 cases

Weeks-ending 11/8 through 11/22 – 3 WEEKS = 21 cases (that is seven more cases than last week)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

County Commissioners Approve Toll Transponder Agreement

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

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

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

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

The Double-Edged Housing Boom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

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

No price changes.

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

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

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes or new sales.

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

HOMES

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

No price changes.

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

No closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

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

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

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

Enjoy your weekend! Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

First Fall Friday on Sunny Sanibel

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

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

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

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

High tide at Sanibel Marina this morning.

Outside dining at Gramma Dot’s.

At SanibelSusan Realty Associates

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

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

Status of Sanibel’s Residential Market

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Great Places Where Beginning Birders Can Get Their Wings

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

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

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

City of Sanibel

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

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

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

COVID Personal Protective Equipment Kits

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

Openings & Fall Scoop

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings.

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

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

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

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

No price changes.

No new sales.

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

HOMES & LOTS

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

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

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

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

Island Real Estate Selling During the Pandemic

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

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

Redfish Pass at the tip of Captiva earlier this week.

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

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate Scoop

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

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

Island Sales from February 14 to August 14

 

Year

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

SANIBEL

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

CAPTIVA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Status

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

SANIBEL

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

CAPTIVA

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

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

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

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

Tidbits from NAR Economist Dr. Lawrence Yun

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

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

Here are a few of my notes from his presentation.

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

Openings/Closings/Rescheduling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

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

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings.

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

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

No closed sale.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

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

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings

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

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

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

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

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

Susan Andrews aka Sanibel Susan

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

Another Summery Friday on Sanibel

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

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

Regarding COVID-19

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

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

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

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

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

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

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

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

Posted Monday, August 3, by SouthFloridaReporter.com:

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

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

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

Below is what it had to say about Sanibel:

Sanibel Island, FL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Salt Pulping on Wood Pilings

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

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

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

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

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

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

Salt Damage to Wood

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

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

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

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

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

No new listings.

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

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

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

HOMES

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

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

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

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

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

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

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

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

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

HOMES

No new listings

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

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

No closed sales.

LOTS

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

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

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