It’s SanibelSusan reporting that “it’s official – Sanibel/Captiva weather finally flipped for a couple of days this week from summer-like to chilly.” Yesterday was our local Association of Realtors Monthly Membership meeting (followed by Caravan) at The Sanctuary Golf Community Clubhouse. Those meetings begin at 8 a.m. when it was down into the mid-50’s when I left my home (dressed in my winter flip flops and only jacket). It sure felt good.
Temperatures only made it up to 68 degrees later in the day before dipping down again last night, though not as low. The forecast for the next few days has temperatures back up into the high 70’s, with nights in the low 70’s. The next cool front is expected to arrive next Wednesday. We have our fingers crossed that it will be cool that weekend as island holiday events kick-off.\
Below are some real estate news and more info about those events, followed by the action with our listings and the Sanibel-Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service since last Friday. Just two Sanibel homes and one Captiva condo were sold during this time.
First, here’s the inquisitive white heron that was just checking out the recently-installed Christmas lights next to where I park my car at the office.
Upcoming Island Events
- 34th Annual Sanibel Luminary, Friday, Dec 7, begins with “A Sanibel 70’s Christmas” at the Historical Village from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. (I’ll be singing carols with the Sanibel Community Chorus at 4 p.m. as we stroll through the Village.) Then from 5:30 to 9 p.m. from one end of Periwinkle Way to the other, churches, shopping centers, and businesses will be open for holiday shopping, music, and good cheer. (At the Olde Sanibel Shoppes, Sanibel’s Island Brass will perform holiday favorites, while the Sanibel Community Church will feature their annual dramatic “Walk Through Bethlehem”. From the unveiling of the renovated Chamber of Commerce building to the Sea School, and Jerry’s, Bailey’s, Periwinkle Place and more, there always are so many things happening at once on Luminary night that it’s impossible to visit them all – not to mention the spectacular twinkling lights and holiday décor.
- 34th Annual Captiva Luminary, Saturday, Dec 8, similar to Sanibel’s event. The business and shopping areas of Captiva will be lined with lights and open for holiday fun, refreshments, and shopping.
- 6th Annual Captiva Holiday Stroll, at South Seas Island Resort, on both Friday and Saturday evenings from Dec 7 through 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. where there will be holiday treats; skating; live music; arts and crafts; entertainment including face painting, stilt walking, juggling and balloon artists; holiday movies; photos with Santa; and food and beverages. Tickets are $10 (for non-resort guests), children under 12 are free. Proceeds to benefit Captains for Clean Water.
- Captiva Christmas Carol Sing, at Chapel-By-The-Sea, Sunday, Dec 9 at 6 p.m. Seating both inside and on the sand under the holiday lights.
- BIG ARTS Holiday Concerts, Band concert is Saturday, Dec 8. Chorus concert is Wednesday, Dec 12. Both are at Schein Performance Hall beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 (children free) at www.bigarts.org.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®
Here are some highlights from the speakers at our membership meeting yesterday:
Kelly Sloan, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) Sea Turtle Coordinator/Biologist reported on how water quality this year has affected the turtle population. As of Nov 9, Southwest Florida from Collier to Pinellas Counties have documented 1,205 turtle strandings, most of these animals (1,051) were found dead. The previous average was 477, making the current number 2.5 times greater than the norm. Lee County had 293 strandings, the county previous 5-year average was 94. This year was the largest number of stranded turtles attributed to a single red tide event.
Sanibel Vice Mayor Mick Denham provided an update on what The City of Sanibel is doing regarding improving water quality. Guided by the City’s Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan, Sanibel has:
- Environmentally Sensitive Lands Conservation Program
- Established a fertilizer ordinance
- Golf Course Report Card Program
- Native plant protection and sod limitations
- Converted most of the island from septic to central sewer
- Reduction of impervious surfaces for single-family homes
- Implemented of NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems) to reduce stormwater runoff
- Beach and dune protection
- Mangrove protection through state regulation
- Constructing a water quality treatment park
- Upgrading the Donax Wastewater Reclamation Facility
Sanibel’s fertilizer ordinance was the first in the state. It requires that fertilizer nitrogen content must be 20% or less and at least 50% must be a slow release form. Phosphorus content must be 2% or less and no fertilizer can be used within 25’ of a body of water. Additionally, the fertilizer blackout period is during the rainy season (July through September).
The City recently sent letters to all 460-some mayors of every city in Florida asking them to similarly do their part to help improve water quality. Sanibel efforts to-date cost $120M. A new $20M project is in the works that will remove nitrogen out of reclaimed water.
Together we can all make a difference. Please pass the word that water quality affects real estate values. As water gets cleaner, property prices rise. We all need to do our part and stay involved.
The Makings of a Buyer’s Market
From “REALTOR®” magazine, November-December 2018 issue:
“Buyers are pulling back. Home prices have been rising too much relative to income for many would be buyers to keep pace. Since 2011, the U.S. median home prices have risen 55% while wages are up only 18%. Now, the Federal Reserve has become more aggressive against inflation; with several short-term interest rate increases over the past year and more likely on the horizon, mortgage rates are trending up. A monthly mortgage payment on a typical home today is $1,136 up from $639 in 2011. And confidence is down. Only 38% of consumers today strongly believe it’s a good time to buy, down from 43% last year, and the numbers are lower for renters who don’t have equity to tap for a down payment.
“It’s not all bad news, though. The reason for the Fed’s rate hikes is that the economy is roaring. Jobs openings are at a record high, and the number of people applying for unemployment checks is at historic lows. As long as the economy stays strong, home sales could head up – even as rates continue to rise.
“Mortgage rate increases don’t automatically push home sales down. In 1984, 1994, and 1999, interest rates rose about 2-percentage points in each year while home sales either stayed flat or continued up. An exception was 2008, when higher rates caused a large number of subprime loans to go sour and home sales dropped. Fortunately, subprime mortgages are gone and nearly all are locked in safely at fixed rates.
“With buyers stepping back a bit, inventory is no longer falling. New home construction is increasing and more homeowners are considering listing. A recent survey NAR conducted shows 50% of consumers strongly indicate it is a good time to sell, compared to only 28% just two years ago. Most home sellers will also be buyers. With inventory expected to grow, prices will stop rising so fast. That’s a healthy adjustment. Buyers can soon resume their search for the American dream.”
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity Nov 23-30, 2018
6 new listings: Sundial #J101 1/1 $499K, Loggerhead Cay #133 2/2 $949K, Sanibel Arms West #F8 2/2 $969K, Sanibel Moorings #522 3/2 $1.295M, By-The-Sea #C102 3/2 $1.624.9M, Somerset #B202 3/2.5 $2.1M.
3 price changes: Pointe Santo #B2 2/2 now $729K, Signal Inn #19 3/2 now $1.095M, White Pelican #133 3/3 now $1.85M.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: Blind Pass #G201 2/2 $468K.
6 new listings: 221 Robinwood Cir 3/2 $679K, 5260 Caloosa End Ln 3/2 $697K, 9052 Mockingbird Ln 3/2 $749K, 4339 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $795K, 698 Birdie View Pt 3/2 $839K, 335 Cowry Ct 3/3.5 $1.199M.
11 price changes: 9248 Kincaid Ct 2/1 now $399K, 531 Piedmont Rd 3/2 now $439.5K, 1325 Par View Dr 3/3 now $667.5K, 1740 Middle Gulf Dr 3/3 now $850K, 1225 Seagrape Ln 3/3 now $875K, 2479 Blind Pass Ct 3/2 now $950K, 920 Snowberry Ln 3/3.5 now $1.175M, 2640 Coconut Dr 2/2 now $1.375M, 2414 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.597M, 1743 Venus Dr 4/3.5 now $1.749M, 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/6/3 now $3.399.9M.
2 new sales: 1150 Seagrape Ln 3/2 listed at $1.279M, 4771 Tradewinds Dr 3/3 listed at $1,795,555.
2 closed sales: 1035 S Yachtsman Dr 5/4.5 $850K, 1238 Isabel Dr 5/3/2 $2.2M (our buyer).
No new listings.
3 price changes: 1820 Ardsley Way now $166.5K, 978 Main St now $194.9K, 2987 Wulfert Rd now $295K.
No new or closed sales.
2 new listings: Tennis Villas #3137 2/2 $445K, Beach Villas #2636 2/2 $759K.
No price changes.
1 new sale: Beach Homes #13 4/4.5 listed at $3.949M.
No closed sales.
No new listings.
4 price changes: 55 Sandpiper Ct 3/2 now $969K, 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 half-duplex now $2.495M, 16801 Captiva Dr 3/3.5 now $2.595M, 15819 Captiva Dr 5/4 now $10.9M.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 11534 Laika Ln 4/3.5 $1.61M.
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Until next Friday, when it’s December!
Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan