HOT HOT Real Estate & Other Island Scoop

SanibelSusan reporting another nice week for The SanibelSusan Team with terrific weather too – bright blue skies, no rain (saving that for this weekend), and lower temperatures. Fall weather in Florida certainly differs from that in my home state of Maine, but is especially nice, particularly this week.

Here in the office, our gulf-front listing at Sanibel Arms closed Tuesday, we completed some action items with other closings, and another big bulk postcard mailing went out advertising our new Lindgren Blvd canal-front listing.

Though there was no island Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting this week, this morning I attended a Brokers’ Roundtable where Association Officers and Board Members received input from local company leaders on two issues: “Coming Soon” listings and recent delays in Sanibel’s permitting process and Planning Department.

After a couple of news items below, are the details on the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

First a summary of the island residential inventory today (also from the Sanibel/Captiva MLS). Note that sales this year are in record numbers. It is the first time in my 30 years here that more properties have sold in nine months than in any other year (counting all 12 months). The first table shows both islands, followed by the individual island details. Included are units for sale today, those under contract, those sold/closed through today, total sales in all of 2020, total sales in all of 2005 (the most recent high sales year).  Note: Residential properties include condos, homes (single-family & half-duplex), and vacant lots.

 

 

Status

SANIBEL & CAPTIVA
All residential properties
# Avg $
For sale 82 1,939,593
Under contract 59 1,460,247
Sold 2021 to 10/8 679 1,160,251
Sold 2020 578 959,903
Year Most Sold 2005 636 923,976

 

 

 

Status

SANIBEL CAPTIVA
Condos Homes Lots Condos Homes Lots
# Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $ # Avg $
For sale 25 917,565 25 2,518,139 21 704,238 3 1,496,666 8 6,734,375 0 N/A
Under contract 13 751,100 30 1,592,948 5 476,376 7 1,846,571 4 3,323,499 0 N/A
Sold 2021 to 10/8 238 862,475 295 1,327,359 62 734,346 48 1,118,977 34 2,524,434 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
Yr Most Sold 2005 232 758,507 260 1,028,584 68 496,726 45 863,642 31 2,309,758 0 N/A

South Seas Island Resort Sells for $50.38 Million

South Seas Island Resort on the northern tip of Captiva Island recently sold for $50.38 million. The Timbers Company, Wheelock Street Capital and the Ronto Group teamed together to purchase the property from BRE/South Seas Resort Owner LLC, which is part of Blackstone investment management company. Blackstone had purchased the resort in 2006 for $23.4 million.

The 330-acre South Seas resort takes up about a third of the northern tip of Captiva. With over 430 units ranging from hotel guestrooms and suites, to condos, homes and cottages, there are ~20 swimming pools, a pool complex, beachfront golf, tennis, a full-service spa, and restaurants.

The new owner efforts begin with property spruce-ups including painting and landscaping. Over the next six months, the workforce that has been living on the property will be relocated to off-island housing. The new owners are expected to eventually tear down and redevelop the existing workforce housing. Resort workforce also is projected to grow by about 20% from the current number of about 220 employees.

Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) Terminal Expansion Project Begins

A recent news release from Lee County Port Authority announced that the Lee County Board of Port Commissioners authorized the construction and total budget for the Terminal Expansion Project at RSW. The $331-million project focuses on improving the airport’s efficiency by consolidating and streamlining security checkpoints, adding concession space, and providing passengers more amenities and options.

The project begins this month and construction is planned for three years. This expansion is the second largest public works project in Lee County history, only surpassed by the airport Midfield Terminal Complex construction completed in 2005.

Plans for the project include consolidating the Transportation Security Administration checkpoints into a new 16-lane configuration and providing additional seating, concession spaces and a business lounge. In total, more than 164,000 sq. ft. of space will be remodeled, and 117,000 sq. ft. of new walkways and concession space added.

RSW is an award-winning medium-hub airport that served nearly 6 million passengers in 2020 and had record-breaking traffic this summer. For more info, visit httP://www.flyclcpa.com/RSWTerminalExpansion.

Lee County COVID-19 Update

Posted on-line today: “A statement from Lee Health President & CEO Dr. Larry Antonucci on current COVID-19 trends: “For the first time since July 16, Lee Health is treating fewer than 100 COVID-19 patients in our hospitals, down from a peak of 690 on August 25. The previous peak was 372 in July of 2020….”

Protect Yourself from Wire Fraud

Florida Realtor® October magazine had some advice about protecting yourself from wire fraud. As it mentions, “Criminals comb through sites looking for pending property sales. Once identified they will find contact information for the parties involved in the transaction. It is easy to do through public websites and online searches. Then, they hack into an agent or title company email system, monitor communications, and when the time is right, send a fraudulent email that looks like it’s from a trusted advisor. That email will offer falsified wire transfer instructions to steal mortgage payoff funds, a down payment or closing costs.

“How Can You Avoid Being a Victim?

“1. Be Skeptical – Beware of any changes in wiring instructions like those that have you wire money to a company that is not the same name as the title company you’re using.

“2. Ask for Phone Calls – Ask for all wire transfer instructions to be delivered to you via phone with the number listed on the title company’s website. If you receive an email that details changes in the wire transfer instructions and that email contains a phone number, don’t call it.

“3. Verify All Communications – Call the title company immediately after you send any funds via wire transfer to verify it right away. This check-in will give you the confirmation that you sent the funds to the appropriate account and the confidence and peace of mind that the transaction wasn’t real estate fraud.

“4. Confirm the Details – Ask your bank to confirm the account number as well as the name listed on the account before sending a wire transfer.

5. Lean to Spot a Fraudulent Email – There are telltale signs that an email is a fraud. Look for misspellings, poor grammar and mistakes in the content. Many times, the property address is spelled incorrectly, dollar figures are missing dollar signs, and the return email address doesn’t match, or the company name is spelled incorrectly.

“If you are a victim of a wire fraud crime in Florida, call the Attorney General’s Fraud Hotline at (866) 966-7226. You also should file a complaint with the FBI. FBI Field Office locations are listed at fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices.”

Seller Property Disclosure

Good reminder in the October 2021 issue of “Florida Realtor®” magazine under the column “Advice from the Florida Realtors® Legal Hotline:

“Question: I represent an investor who is selling a home. He tells me that since he’s never lived in the property, he isn’t required to provide the buyer with a seller property disclosure statement. Is this true?

“Yes and no. A seller isn’t required to fill out a seller’s disclosure statement regardless of whether the seller occupied the property or not. However, pursuant to the Florida Supreme Court case Johnson vs. Davis, a seller is required to disclose know facts that materially affect the value of the property that are not known and readily observable to the buyer. That disclosure requirement exists whether the seller occupied the property or not.”

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

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Spanish Cay #F8 2/2 $479K, Villa Sanibel #1D 2/2 $799K, Oceans Reach #4C1 2/2 $899K, Nutmeg Village #109 2/2 $1.299M, Tarpon Beach #110 2/2 $1.4999M, Pointe Santo #E37 3/3 $1.699M.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Sundial #D304 1/1 listed at $579K, Sandpiper Beach #404 2/2 $929K.

4 closed sales: Captains Walk #B5 2/1 $390K, Beach Road Villas #101 2/2 $515K, Sanibel Arms #F3 1/1 $605K (our listing), Gulf Beach #207 2/2 $1.085M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 696 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $868K, 4239 Gulf Pines Dr 3/2 $949K.

No price changes.

5 new sales: 2539 Coconut Dr 2/2 $1.1M, 4221 Old banyan Way 3/2 $1.279M, 941 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 $1.35M, 5880 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $1.35M, 547 N. Yachtsman Dr 4/3 $1.399M.

5 closed sales: 754 Donax St 4/2 duplex $599K, 4760 Rue Helene 3/2 $1.35M, 528 Kinzie Island Ct 4/4 $1.88M, 5379 Shearwater Dr 4/3 $2.1M, 4601 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 $3.5M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 4767 Tradewinds Dr $2.395M.

1 price change: 845 Pyrula Ave now $500K.

1 new sale: Rue Bayou, lot 17 listed at $699K.

1 closed sale: 5398 Osprey Ct $280K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2626 1/1 listed at $684K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15261 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 now $10.995M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

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

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Fall Brings Farmers Market, Cooler Weather, & Real Estate Action With Vacation Homes HOT

Susan here, reporting another week of nice sunny island weather with lower humidity and little rain. On my street, the first snowbirds have returned, a predictor of what usually occurs in October as weather starts to turn up north too.

Teammate Dave who wears many hats including handling our off-island listings and sales, had a nice Estero listing close on Monday. We also received a new Sanibel listing Thursday. It’s a unique one – the last vacant near-beach canal-front lot in Shell Harbor. With long water view down the widest east-end canal toward sunrises, our professional photographer just filmed it, including aerial pictures.(View picture below.)

Last night, I attended the City Council meeting where the candidate who will be offered the City Manager position was selected to replace long-time Manager Judie Zimomra who retired this week. It always is inspiring to personally hear the results of the hard work done by these caring elected volunteers. They are a fine example of how islanders live in harmony, with smart citizens making thoughtful unanimous decisions to benefit all. Islanders are very lucky in so many ways.

Sanibel Farmers Market Begins Again

Going into its 14th season, Sanibel Farmers Market reopens this Sunday, October 3 and runs every Sunday through May 29 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., offering goodies from fresh fruit and vegetables, honey and cut flowers, to meats, seafood, prepared meals, cupcakes, bagels, fresh guacamole, native plants, and more.

New Sanibel vendors this year include Mangia Meatballs, Pickles & Olive Garden, Sage & Indigo Juices, Key Lime Pies, Simply Savory Dips, Ackermann Syrups, Courageous Seeds with kava chai, herbal teas, honey elixirs and cedar burning bundles, and Karina’s Kitchen with German food, plus Divine Tea for the month of October.

Local Roots, founded in 2008 by islanders Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura, started on Sanibel and is the owner of the ten most well-known farmers markets in Southwest Florida. It began here at Tahitian Gardens when it was open for just five weeks and with just 15 vendors. Now on the grounds of City Hall, it has about 50 vendors with parking nearby, at the Library, and at BIG ARTS. More info at http://BuyLocalLee.com

Other Openings/Re-openings

Now that October has rolled around, restaurants that took short breaks in September have reopened and ready for “season”. Exceptions are Traders 2 (T2) and Traders. They respectively re-open October 5 and 6.

The Fig East End – mid-October watch for the grand opening of The Fig East End in the former location of the East End Deli, across the street from Lighthouse Café. Owned by The Paper Fig (in Tahitian Gardens) and 400 Rabbits (on Rabbit Rd) folks, The Fig East End will offer “beach eats, market, and take along.” East-enders look forward to their opening.

Permitted Schedule for Irrigation

With the rainy season wrapping up, Island Water in their recent fall newsletter “IWA Pipeline” posted a reminder of the irrigation days/times allowed on the islands. On the allowed days, irrigation is permitted from 12 a.m. – 9 a.m. and/or 5 p.m. – 12 a.m. No watering is allowed any day between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The days permitted are:

  • Sanibel: Addresses ending in even number: Tuesdays & Fridays.
  • Sanibel: Addresses ending in odd number: Mondays & Thursdays.
  • Captiva: Addresses ending in even number: Thursdays & Sundays.
  • Captiva: Addresses ending in odd number: Wednesdays & Saturdays.

Please check your sprinkling system and help conserve water.

Vacation Homes Will Defy Any Market Slowdown

Posted Monday Sep 28 on FloridaRealtors® on-line: “While overall home sales show signs of cooling as prices rise and buyers step back, NAR Economist Yun doesn’t see that reflected in sales of vacation homes.

“CHICAGO – The vacation-home market has boomed over the past year and is not likely to slow any time soon, even as the rest of the housing market starts to cool, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), in an interview for The Escape Home, a newsletter for second-home owners.

“Even as companies bring employees back to the office, vacation homes will remain in demand, Yun said, though part of vacation homes’ rise in popularity has been attributed to the growth in remote work.

“Overall, home sales show some signs of cooling, with many first-time homebuyers getting priced out of the market, Yun says. The median existing-home price for all housing types was $359,900 in July, nearly an 18% increase from a year ago. Mortgage rates are also likely to increase, which could make buying even more expensive. NAR predicts that mortgage rates will rise to 3.5% by mid-2022, as the Federal Reserve likely begins to reduce its bond purchases before the end of 2021.

But vacation homes will remain a hot commodity. Rental prices for vacation homes will likely continue to rise too, Yun says. “One near-certain aspect of the post-pandemic economy, when it comes, is the flexible work schedule,” Yun told The Escape Home. “It is very hard to envision five days a week in the office. Therefore, vacation-home sales will continue to move higher this year, next year and for the foreseeable future.””

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® September Membership Meeting

NFIP Risk Rating 2.0 Affecting Flood Insurance – Yesterday, at the Association’s September membership meeting, affiliate business members David Arter with Private Client Insurance Services and Chris Heidrick with Heidrick & Company spoke about the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) changes that become effective today with the introduction of their new Risk Rating 2.0 system. Government reauthorization yesterday, means that NFIP is funded until December 3.

The new Risk Rating 2.0 methodology was created so FEMA could deliver flood insurance rates that are actuarially sound, more equitable, easier to understand, and better reflect a property flood risk. As the speakers described this new rating process, under it, each structure is rated individually, rather than having those side-by-side structures in a particular flood zone having the same rating/cost.

With Risk Rating 2.0, flood maps are not a major factor used for rating. Elevation certificates are no longer required because base flood elevation also is no longer a factor. Grandfathering goes away. Policies are easier to assume. The bad news is that premiums for Sanibel/Captiva properties will be significantly higher. Limits on premium increases, however, require that most rates not increase more than 18% per year.

New policies beginning today (October 1, 2021) will be subject to the new rating methodology. Also beginning today, existing policy holders eligible for renewal will be able to take advantage of immediate decreases in their premiums. All remaining policies renewing on or after April 1, 2022 will be subject to the new rating methodology.

As background, since the flood insurance program began, rates have largely been based on a property elevation within a flood map. Those flood maps have changed through the years. Under the new rating system consideration is taken into what it costs to rebuild a particular structure, more equitably premium costs now will be based on a home value and its unique flood risk.

In general terms, on Sanibel, pre-FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map) properties are those constructed before 1980. On Captiva, it is those built before 1985. The speakers recommended that with new listings, Realtors® get the Flood Declaration Page if that seller has flood insurance. With pre-FIRM properties, occupancy no longer matters, but premiums likely will be in the $4K-$5K range. They recommended continuing to ask for Elevation Certificates too, though the info those provide will only be helpful in rating piling homes.

Caravan Listing Announcements – Interestingly during the Caravan portion of the meeting, no new listings were open for viewing. I was happy to announce our two new listings and gladly thanked the agents who recently put two of our listings under contract.

All the action posted since last Friday in the island MLS is below.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 24 – October 1, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sandpiper Beach #404 2/2 $929K.

1 price change: Sundial #D304 1/1 now $579K.

1 new sale: Junonia #101 listed at $1.579M.

5 closed sales: Sanibel Inn #3532 2/2 $750K, Pointe Santo #B33 2/2 $841K, Oceans Reach #3A1 2/2 $870K, Tantara #102 2/2 $1.039M, Island Beach Club #330E 2/2 $1.225M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 4221 Old Banyan Way 3/2 $1.279M, 941 Kings Crown Dr 4/3 $1.35M, 1437 Causey Ct 3/2.5 $1.395M, 1585 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $1.5M, 2379 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 2.495M.

3 price changes: 1294 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $975K, 930 Kings Crown Dr 3/2 now $1.795M, 1349 Bay Dr 4/4 now $6.395M.

4 new sales: 328 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 listed at $899K, 1434 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $899K, 1294 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed at $949K, 4601 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 listed at $3.65M.

6 closed sales: 5802 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3.5 $981K, 3010 West Gulf Dr 3/2 $1.25M, 9464 Calla Ct 3/2.5 $1.45M, 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $1.475M, 509 Lagoon Dr 3/2 $1.65M, 518 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/3 $2.795M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 860 Lindgren Blvd $1.2M (our listing).

860 Lindgren Blvd & Shell Harbor  beach access with parking

1 price change: 0 Rue Bayou now $699K.

No new or closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #2626 1/1 $684K.

No price changes, new or closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: 14865 Captiva Dr 4/4 listed at $1.699M, 11559 Laika Ln 4/3.5 listed at $6.9M.

1 closed sale: 10 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 $1.395M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, be well, safe, & enjoy your fall!

Susan Andrews aka SanibelSusan

First Days of Fall 2021 on Sunny Sanibel

Susan here reporting another busy real estate week at SanibelSusan Realty with a home inspection last Saturday, a new listing, two new sales, and follow-up action items completed on other sales scheduled to close soon.

With inventory still soooo low, it remains challenging to find properties that match buyers wants/needs. That means new well-priced listings sell fast. We continue to sleuth out new ones as our list of potential buyers gets longer and longer.

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® had no Caravan Meeting yesterday, but below is an update of island inventory per their Multiple Listing Service (9/24/21).

 

 

SANIBEL

Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price $ # Avg Price $ # Avg Price $
For sale 19 856,855 23 2,830,195 18 583,888
Under contract 20 739,435 33 1,672,374 7 475,776
Sold/closed thru 9/23 229 864,406 290 1,308,341 61 746,795
Sold/closed last year 192 733,876 290 954,718 23 606,233

 

 

CAPTIVA

Condos Homes Lots
# Avg Price $ # Avg Price $ # Avg Price $
For sale 3 1,496,666 10 6,297,800 0 N/A
Under contract 6 2,040,333 2 2,347,499 0 N/A
Sold/closed thru 9/23 48 1,118,977 37 2,781,632 2 2,950,000
Sold/closed last year 47 821,713 27 2,923,148 4 2,537,500

Note: Prices of units “For sale” and “Under contract” are asking prices.

Next week is the Association monthly membership meeting with a presentation on the National Flood Insurance Program’s new Risk Rating 2.0. Expect to see an update next Friday on how this new risk rating methodology is expected to affect flood insurance. It will apply to any new policies written after Oct 1, plus renewals.

The complete action posted this week in the Sanibel/Captiva MLS follows a few news items.

National Public Lands Day at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

There will be no admission charge tomorrow (Saturday Sep 25) on Wildlife Drive (from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) in celebration of National Public Lands Day. The refuge staff also will be awarding a free one-day pass (good for a year) to any national wildlife refuge, national park, and other federal lands to visitors who collect a bag of trash at the refuge.

Tomorrow, visitors also are invited to the Welcome Table outside the Visitor & Education Center from 9.a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to tour the WoW (Wildlife on Wheels) mobile interactive experience and play fee games in the parking lot.

Interest Rates Rising? In November, Fed May Start Reversing Programs

Posted on-line yesterday at FloridaRealtors® and sourced to “Human Events”:

“The Federal Reserve hinted it may start reversing its pandemic stimulus programs come November – and it could raise interest rates next year. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Fed’s rate-setting committee revised its post meeting statement Wednesday to say that it may start to reduce or taper its $120 billion in monthly asset purchases as soon as its next meeting in early November.

““If progress continues broadly as expected the Committee judges that a moderation in the pace of asset purchases may soon be warranted,” the statement said. New estimates released at the end of the two-day meeting showed half of 18 officials expect to raise interest rates by the end of 2022.

“When the pandemic hit in March of 2020, the Fed cut its short-term benchmark rate to close to zero, and it has been purchasing at least $80 billion a month in Treasury and $40 billion a month in mortgage bonds since June of 2020 to provide additional stimulus.

“Per the Journal: Fed officials laid out a three-part test to raise interest rates one year ago that would require inflation to reach 2% and be on course to exceed that while the labor market returns to levels consistent with maximum employment.

“In December, they said they would buy bonds at the current pace until the economy had made “substantial further progress” toward their goals of reversing a shortfall, then of around 10 million jobs since the start of the pandemic and moving inflation back to their 2% goal over time. The Fed’s asset portfolio has doubled to $8.4 trillion from $4.2 trillion in February 2020.

“Rising vaccination rates and nearly $2.8 trillion in federal spending approved since December has produced a recovery like none in recent memory. Inflation has soared this year, with so-called core prices that exclude volatile food and energy categories up 3.6% in July from a year earlier, using the Fed’s preferred gauge. The gains largely reflect disrupted supply chains, shortages and a rebound in travel associated with the reopening of the economy.

“Wednesday’s projections show half of the officials expected interest rates would need to rise at least 1% from their current level by the end of 2023, and by another three-fourths of a percentage point in 2024.”

Florida-Owned Insurer: Losses and Policies Keep Growing

Also posted yesterday on FloridaRealtors® on-line and sourced to “News Service of Florida”: “Citizens Property Insurance expects to exceed more than 1M policies sometime in 2022 – and private insurers will rack up more than 1B in losses by the end of this year.

“TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s policy count will surpass 1 million next year as private market insurers continue to experience losses expected to reach nearly $1 billion by the end of 2021. Speaking to Citizens Board of Governors, Citizens President, CEO and Executive Director Barry Gilway on Wednesday warned that as Citizens’ policy count grows, so does the risk of assessments on all Florida insurance consumers. A fee could be added to all policies if a major storm or series of storms hits, and causes Citizens to exhaust its $6.4 billion surplus.

“Created as Florida’s insurer of last resort, Citizens is taking on more than 5,000 policies a week as private companies continue to shed policies in response to losses brought on by litigation, damage from Hurricanes Irma and Michael, more expensive reinsurance and other factors. “Citizens is considering all ideas to reduce exposure, and to continue to operate as efficiently as possible during this unprecedented growth period,” Gilway said.

“During committee meetings Tuesday, Citizens officials outlined a series of options to stem growth, including marketing and technology upgrades to the Florida Market Assistance Plan, which was created by the Florida Legislature to refer potential policyholders to private market coverages. Citizens officials are taking steps to reduce risk by increasing inspections on new business and exploring potential changes to Citizens Depopulation Choices and Property Insurance Clearinghouse programs. Such changes would require legislative consideration.

““At this point, everything is on the table as we try hard to support the development of a stronger private insurance market and stabilize the role of Citizens as the market of last resort,” said Gov. Nelson Telemaco, chairman of Citizens’ Exposure Reduction Committee.

“Since October 2019, Citizens has seen its policy count jump from 420,000 to more than 700,000. At this pace, company officials expect the policy count to exceed 760,000 by the end of 2021. Initial estimates call for Citizens’ policy count to reach 1.1 million to 1.3 million by year-end 2022.

Citizens’ policy count reached a peak of nearly 1.5 million in 2011 with nearly $520 billion in exposure. If the state was hit by a 1-in-a-100-year storm during that time, all Florida insurance consumers would have been on the hook for $24 billion in assessments, which would have been tacked onto their monthly premiums for years.”

Temporary Restaurant Closings

The list of temporary restaurant closings is getting shorter as some have reopened following annual vacations, deep cleans, fix-ups, etc. Most of the others reopen week. Below are the ones still closed.

  • Bleu Rendez-Vous Bistro – closed thru Sep 30, reopens Oct 1.
  • Island Pizza – closed thru Sep 29, reopens Sep 30.
  • Mad Hatter – closed thru Sep 30, reopens Oct 1.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – closed thru Sep 29, reopens Sep 30.
  • Traders – closed Sep 11 thru Oct 5, reopens Oct 6.
  • Traders 2 (T2) – closed thru Oct 4, reopens Oct 5.

Fall Weather on Sanibel

This week, with the first day of fall, there were plenty of social media jokes about how autumn weather on the Gulf Coast (Florida) is much the same as the rest of the year. That is not exactly true. Here the rainy season is letting up a little and the temperatures are dipping down a little lower at night. With a little luck, there will be a day in the not-too-distant future with daytime temperatures only in the 80’s, and nights into the 60’s. Meanwhile, the humidity is dropping a tad too. This afternoon, with plenty of sunshine, I stopped to get a couple of photos at the Nerita Street beach access.

The sky is blue with a few popcorn clouds, the water is clear (still no flows coming from Lake O, just run-off), but there was no one on the beach in either direction. That likely will change in the next few weeks as the early snowbirds start returning.

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

Sanibel

View from Mariner Pointe #1061

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial #C305 1/1 $549,945; Sundial #D304 1/1 $595K; Donax Village #9 2/2 $699K; Mariner Pointe #1061 2/2 $724K (our listing).

No price changes.

3 new sales: Blind Pass #A206 2/2 listed at $565K, Sanibel Arms #F3 1/1 listed at $599K (our listing), Sanibel Arms West #F6 2/2 listed at $1.049M.

3 closed sales: Breakers West #C3 2/2 $775K, Sanibel Arms West #C6 2/2 $915K, Island Beach Club #330B 2/2 $990K.

HOMES

No new listings or price changes.

6 new sales: 1025 S. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed at $820K; 5298 Umbrella Pool Rd 3/2.5 listed at $995K; 554 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed at $999,995; 682 Pyrula Ave 5/4.5 listed at $1.995M; 375 East Gulf Dr 5/5 listed at $2.9M (our listing); 1237 Isabel Dr 6/6.5 listed at $2.995M

6 closed sales: 1444 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex $479K; 1846 Ardsley Way 2/2 $701,498; 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $740K; 4506 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $819K; 5817 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/2 $1.09M; 2475 Tropical Way Ct 3/3.5 $2.34M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 554 Lake Murex Cir $699K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 470 Sawgrass Pl listed at $795K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Captiva Bay Villas #E 3/3.5 listed at $3.549M.

3 closed sales: Beach Villas #2414 2/2 $875K, Marina Villas #905 2/2 $875K, Seabreeze #1251 3/3 $1.9625M.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11559 Laika Ln 4/3.5 now $6.9M.

1 new sale: 11520 Murmond Ln 5/5 listed at $1,999,999.

2 closed sales: 10 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 $1.395M, 1072 South Seas Plantation Rd 3/3.5 $3.25M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Until next Friday, enjoy your fall!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Sanibel September Snapshots

Susan here reporting another week of little island traffic-wise though over the weekend near Lighthouse Beach, there were lots of boaters just offshore and plenty of beachgoers. Likewise, the causeway beaches were packed Saturday and Sunday. The pent-up demand to “get out” and enjoy post-summer weather continues here even though September usually is the “quiet” month. During the week, the beaches have been super empty probably also related to the area getting plenty of off-and-on showers.

My friend Kim, a manager at the West Wind Inn, occasionally posts a photo on social media when she’s working their pool bar. When I asked if I could use the one she posted Tues (Sep 14), she said “sure”. Enjoy.

(If you haven’t enjoyed a meal yet there or at the Inn’s Normandie Cafe, be sure and do it. Favored by many locals, as well as the late Willard Scott, many will miss seeing him there. Normadie is open daily from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., and again from 5 to 9 p.m.)

Island Real Estate

At the Sanibel & Captiva Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday which I attended via Zoom, only one property was open for viewing, no new sales or price reductions were announced, and just one “coming soon” listing was mentioned.

Our weekly report of the action posted with the island Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items below. Like the last few weeks, with low inventory, there have not been many sales. I worked both last weekend and will again tomorrow on a home that we hope to post next week as “under contract”. In this “hot market”, sometimes it takes working behind the scenes to create an ideal situation for buyers/sellers. We continue to sleuth for buyers waiting for a particular area or property. We heard from a couple of island owners this week, so some new listings are in the works.

State of the Southwest Florida Real Estate Market

An annual real estate event called Market Trends was held last Thursday at the Caloosa Convention Center in downtown Fort Myers. Attorneys Henderson Franklin were sponsors and posted the following recap of the presentation which focused on the 2021 real estate market in Southwest Florida in three major areas: the residential real estate market, new residential construction, and commercial real estate.

“Continuing the trend from the 2nd half of 2020, both the residential and commercial markets in Southwest Florida sustained their momentum. New homebuyers continue to flock to the region and developers are trying to keep up with demand.

Residential resale market – While we thought the market in 2020 was hot, the resale market in Southwest Florida in 2021 set unprecedented numbers we may never see again. The numbers for existing single-family homes sales continued to rise from 2020 to 2021. Charlotte County saw a 42% increase, Lee County a 44% increase, and Collier County a 65% increase in existing homes sold. The same goes for median sale prices, with Charlotte County seeing a 31% increase, Lee County a 29% increase, and Collier County a 38% increase compared to the previous year.

“With increases in sales and prices, some may begin to fear another market crash. However, the presenters believe we are on track for the market to correct itself rather than seeing a repeat of the previous market crash. The “irrational market” will be replaced by a rational one and we will likely be passing the peak of buyer frenzy that we saw through the height of the pandemic and the early parts of the year.

New construction market – The total number of new building permits for single-family and multi-family in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties has continued to increase. 2020 saw a total of 18,418 residential permits issued. The year-to-date total for residential permits issued in 2021 currently sits at 14,272, with the projected total by year’s end estimated to be 23,400 permits issued. The past 12 months have seen a double-digit percentage increase in new permits in all three counties. Lee County saw an 11% increase, Collier a 22% increase, and Charlotte with an astounding 50% increase.

“As was the case in 2020, individual communities continued to see astounding growth. The top three communities were Ave Maria, Babcock Ranch and Isles of Collier Preserve. To showcase that the residential market continues to grow, look no further than Babcock Ranch, which in 2020 saw 533 new building permits issued to various builders. It currently stands at 691 residential permits issued to various builders in 2021.

“While the big builders like Lennar, DR Horton, and Pulte continue to dominate the market, we have seen a comeback for the small builders, with over 6,000 permits issued to these builders. An interesting new trend taking place in Southwest Florida is the build-for-rent model. This model appears to be aimed at a younger generation looking for homes but wanting more financial flexibility. It will be interesting to see how this trend continues over the coming years.

“While at some stage the market will likely level off, demand in the residential market looks set to continue in 2021 and the foreseeable future in Southwest Florida. As homebuyers continue to move into the region, developers look to continue buying up land and building single-family and multi-family units.

Commercial real estate – While certain sectors continue to be affected by the pandemic, especially with the emergence of the delta variant, the Southwest Florida commercial real estate market as a whole continues to thrive in 2021. Through the height of the lockdown in 2020, commercial sale volume still hit $150 million. Through Q2 of 2021, commercial sales have hit upwards of $560 million, with an astounding 275% increase over 2020. The retail market makes up nearly 50% of the total sales volume in 2021, at approximately $259 million in sales.

“The industrial market has seen an increase in rent and occupancies, with over 2.2 million square feet of industrial space coming into the market. So why such large quantities of space? This increase is due in large part to large-scale distribution centers moving into the region. With e-commerce taking over, fulfillment centers for companies like Uline and Amazon are becoming ever-present in Southwest Florida.

“As we experience a consumer spending rebound, Lee, Charlotte and Collier County all saw increases in rent and occupancy over the last year in the retail market, with goods and services driving the market forward. However, labor shortages due to the pandemic will impact how well this market performs.

“The office market over the last year is stable but an odd one. Rents and occupancies are all up but at times space is economically occupied but physically vacant. This is in large part due to the pandemic and employees working from home, as well as tenants waiting to see how things play out before renewing leases. We have not seen the “great migration” back to the office that we thought. Most new deliveries in the market are now including amenities to try and entice the workforce back into the office. So with these issues, what sector has caused the increase in rent and occupancies? The medical office sector has led the way in this regard. Regional medical groups have taken advantage of the market and have grabbed good land positions in the region.

Take-Away – The Market Trends report this fall showcased how the real estate market in Southwest Florida has continued to thrive thus far in 2021. Both residential and commercial sectors have seen exponential growth. It will be interesting to see how both finish out the year, what their outlook will be heading into 2022, and what impact the pandemic will have on the market going forward.”

Island Hopper Songwriter Fest

Marking its seventh year, the Island Hopper Songwriter Fest begins today and runs through Sept 26. This free 10-day festival – except for a few ticketed events – features singer-songwriters. Today through Sunday (Sept 17) it will be on Captiva, then moves to historic downtown Fort Meyers (Sept 20-23), followed by Fort Myers Beach (Sept 24-26). During the first three days on Captiva, venues include poolside at “Tween Waters, Keylime Bistro, RC Otter’s, Doc Ford’s, Mucky Duck, Sunset Beach (at South Seas), and Green Flash.

The Island Hopper Songwriter Fest is the largest in Southwest FL. This year, over 60 singer-songwriters will preform more than 100 shows. For more info, go to https://www.island-hopper.fortmyers-sanibel.com.

Events Postponed & Temporary Closings

‘Ding’ Darling Day – Due to federal restrictions regarding the coronavirus, the 33rd Annual ‘Ding’ Darling Day at Lakes Park in Fort Myers scheduled on Sunday, Oct 10, has been postponed until spring 2022. Watch www.dingdarlingday.com for the new date and more details. The ‘Ding’ Darling Day Amateur Nature Photography Contest has been extended to Oct 15. Winners will be announced Nov 15. For more info on that, contact Sierra at 239-472-1100 Ext 4.

Restaurants – Below is an updated list of the island restaurants that are closed temporarily for annual vacations, deep cleans and fix-ups, etc. Lighthouse Cafe & Schnapper’s were added to the list this week.

  • Bleu Rendez-Vous Bistro – closed thru Sep 30, reopens Oct 1.
  • Blue Giraffe at Periwinkle Place – closed thru Sep 20, reopens Sep 21.
  • Blue Giraffe 2 at Beachview Estates – closed thru Sep 20, reopens Sep 21.
  • Island Pizza – closed thru Sep 29, reopens Sep 30.
  • Lighthouse Café – closed thru Sep 23, reopens Sep 24.
  • Mad Hatter – closed thru Sep 30, reopens Oct 1.
  • Over Easy Café – closed thru Sep 23, reopens Sep 24.
  • The Sandbar Steak & Seafood – closed thru Sep 29, reopens Sep 30.
  • Schnapper’s Hots – closed thru Sep 20, reopens Sep 21.
  • Sweet Melissa’s Café – closed thru Sep 20, reopens Sep 21.
  • Traders – closed Sep 11 thru Oct 5, reopens Oct 6.
  • Traders 2 (T2) – closed thru Oct 4, reopens Oct 5.
  • Traditions on the Beach – closed thru Sep 23, reopens Sep 24.

Sanibel Vaccinations

An article in today’s “Island Sun” by Wendy McMullen describes how Sanibel City Council has been walking on a tightrope trying to get City staff vaccinated. It says,

“Now, it’s attempting to sweeten the pill by offering a $500 incentive for all city staff who have a vaccination certificate.

“Florida businesses and governments that require proof of vaccinations face a $5,000 fine. The federal government has required vaccination or weekly testing. Vaccine passports are banned by the state.

“Sanibel City Council got around the various mandates and restrictions by offering a substantial inducement to city staff who voluntarily provide proof of vaccination before Oct 30 of this year. The $500 incentive has been ratified by the Association of Municipal Employees.

“City Manager Judie Zimomra reported that 78 city employees had been fully vaccinated, six had one vaccination, 43 were unvaccinated and 38 did not respond.

“Those figures are much lower than vaccinations among Sanibel residents, which are around 97%, but similar to those in Lee County. Councilmember Dr. Scott Crater said that the number of people vaccinated in Lee County is lower than in the neighboring counties of Charlotte and Collier, and lower than in Broward County on the east coast. Lee County was averaging 10 deaths a day from COVID-19.

“Dr. Crater provided information about the 10 vaccinations that children must have before they attend school and the diseases that have been all but eradicated as a result.

“Planning Commission Chairman Roger Grogman said that employers can require drug tests for safety reasons and COVID presents the same safety issues. “Safety, safety, safety. Not safety for you, but safety for everyone around,” he said, speaking in public comment.

“Applicants for city jobs are required to be tested at the time they are hired but vaccination is not required. Zimomra estimated that it would reduce the pool of applicants by between 25 and 30%.

“A suggestion from Councilmember Mike Miller that unvaccinated city employees get tested weekly was considered impractical. City council decided that it would encourage city staff to get vaccinated, track vaccinations, require K95 or N95 masks for the unvaccinated and reward those that are vaccinated now or who get vaccinated. The decision was unanimous.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 10-17, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sundial #R402 2/2 $1.249M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Blind Pass #C201 2/2 listed at $590K, Seashells #16 2/2 listed at $599.9K, Mariner Pointe #231 2/2 listed at $674.9K.

7 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #211 1/1 $525K, Mariner Pointe #323 2/2.5 $533K, Sanibel Inn #3514 2/2 $665K, Sanibel Inn #3513 2/2 $690K, Breakers West #A5 2/2 $725K, Loggerhead Cay #282 $685K, Sundial #E104 2/2 $1.299M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 700 Birdie View Pt 3/2 $985K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 535 Birdsong Pl 3/2 listed at $695,555; 4771 Tradewinds Dr 3/3 listed at $2.99M.

7 closed sales: 1536 Bunting Ln 3/2 $775K, 1270 Par View Dr 3/2 $859K, 5268 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 $950K, 1319 Par View Dr 3/2.5 $1.15M, 1350 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $1.199M, 743 Durion Ct 3/2 $1.31M, 4949 Joewood Dr 5/5 $4.075M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1219 Par View Dr $449K.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 6141 Starling Way $800K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

3 new sales: Tennis Villas #3210 1/1 listed at $499,999; Beach Villas #2638 3/3 listed at $1.349M, Captiva Shores #8A 3/2.5 listed at $1.795M.

2 closed sales: Beach Homes #25 3/2 $1.881M, Beach Homes #33 4/3 $3.1M.

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.

Until next Friday! Happy weekend!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Photo below taken Sep 2018, during our Realtor Continuing Education class on the water. These are the fish houses of North Captiva. September clouds always great!

Sunny Sanibel September Scoop

Even with the Monday holiday, it has been a quiet September week on sunny Sanibel. The causeway was packed over the long weekend, but Sanibel beaches were not overly busy.

Though the great summer-like weather continues with little traffic, there are a few visitor rumblings about the many temporary restaurant closings. That list has been updated and provided below.

Meanwhile, like me, some of my local pals are not out socializing much, but instead limiting their travels to home, work, necessary shopping, and doctoring. We are anxious for COVID-19 numbers to get under control. It is sad that this week, Lee Health had their highest number of pandemic deaths, as many as 18 a day. The number of unvaccinated cases reported is staggering and hospitalizations now include many children. With the politics about mask wearing and CDC precautions all over the news, it is scary to realize that this pandemic is getting worse – not better. We hope that you and yours remain safe and healthy.

Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate

In the world of island real estate, there was no Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting this week, At the late-August membership meeting, where two local rental managers spoke (Fran Peters with Island Vacations and Sharon Michie with Cottages to Castles), it was interesting to hear how 2021 has set records for both rental income and bookings. Even with cancellations and without foreign visitors, the islands have persevered as a much-desired vacation destination. Both companies were booked until late August. Rental prices continue to rise as the pent-up demand for island vacations goes up.

They also reported that accommodations are fully reserved for the upcoming winter season. Like we have seen in sales, many property owners now are using their condos and homes more themselves, further limiting rental availability. Those companies with accommodations have wait lists of vacationers wanting extended winter stays.

It will be interesting to see what happens with reservations over the next few weeks. There likely will be more COVID-related cancellations, but I bet those timeslots quickly will be scooped up by others anxious to come.

Regarding real estate sales, according to the Sanibel/Captiva Multiple Listing Service (MLS) today, there are just 15 Sanibel condos for sale, 5 on Captiva. Looking at homes, there are 26 on Sanibel and 12 on Captiva.

After a few news items below is the action posted in the MLS since last Friday.

Sanibel Causeway Toll Collection

Posted this week on the Lee Government website: Lee County has moved to an all-electronic process for toll collection. To avoid administrative fees that will be reinstated beginning October 1, 2021, they suggest residents sign up for a LeeWay transponder or use a compatible transponder such as SunPass or E-ZPass. Residents can sign-up to receive a transponder to avoid these extra fees being reinstated Motorists with compatible transponders will continue to pay the same prices. Motorists using pay-by-plate will be charged a $3 administrative fee per toll. This fee covers the manual costs of identifying motorists and billing them by mail. Visit leegov.com/tolls for more information.

Sanibel Farmers Market Beginning Soon

Get ready, the Sanibel Farmers Market opens for its 14th season on Sunday October 3 at City Hall. Open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on every Sunday (including Easter) through May 29, please check their website at http://www.BuyLocalLee.com for info on all their markets in SW FL and their required COVID-19 precautions.

Revised List of Temporary Restaurant Closings

As in past Septembers, several restaurants are taking time off, some for vacations, some for deep-cleans and annual maintenance. Here is an updated list as of this week:

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

Scoop from SCCF

Nature lovers, be sure and check the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s Wednesday reports for weekly updates. Here are a couple of tidbits from their report this week:

Nesting Turtles Update – SCCF sea turtle monitors last observed a new sea turtle nest on August 22, which turned out to be a rare green sea turtle nest. While this nest comes later than usual, green nests were documented at later dates in August in three previous years. Overall, while Hurricane Ida impacted 106 nests, 171 still are incubating on our beaches.

World Shorebirds Day – On September 7, SCCF staff and 10 volunteers divided into small groups to cover the East End of Sanibel for shorebird counts as part of World Shorebirds Day. A total of 1,532 individuals of 25 species of birds were counted. To see the detailed list of sightings, visit https://ebird.org/checklist/S94363237

SCCF Launches Weekly Water Conditions Update on Fridays – Have you checked out SCCF’s Weekly Water Conditions Update which can be emailed to you each Friday? (sign up at http://sccf.org/our-work/join-our-mailing-list). It provides a comprehensive understanding of the water quality surrounding the islands. A visual, virtual tour of the waters surrounding Sanibel Lighthouse Beach Park is included with a link to SCCF’s site https://aerialwq.sccf.org/lighthouse/virtualtour/ where beachgoers can see the water’s color and clarity. Also included in the e-newsletter are the status of flows from Lake Okeechobee, red tide and harmful algal blooms in the region, and a real-time look at water quality data throughout the Caloosahatchee estuary through SCCF”s River, Estuary, and Coastal Observing Network (RECON) monitoring system at eight sites (http://recon.sccf.org/).

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity September 3-10, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sandalfoot #5B1 1/1 $769.5K.

No price changes.

2 new sales: Beach Road Villas #101 2/2 listed at $495K, Blind Pass #A102 2/2 listed at $630K.

4 closed sales: Sundial #I202 1/1 $532K, Sundial #J301 1/1 $610.5K, Sanibel Arms West #K3 2/2 $680K, Sanibel Moorings #512 2/2 $1.15M (our listing).

HOMES

3 new listings: 1245 Par View Dr 3.2.5 $1.575M, 2030 Sunrise Cir 3/3 $1.625M, 1278 Sand Castle Rd 4/3 $1.65M.

2 price changes: 535 Birdsong Pl 3/2 now $695,555; 727 Periwinkle Way 3/3 now $2.1M.

1 new sale: 720 Elinor Way 3/2 listed at $939.9K.

2 closed sales: 1360 Jamaica Dr 3/3 $1.349M, 812 Birdie View Pt 3/3.5 $1.55M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 5642/5648 Baltusrol Ct $738K

1 price change: 3308 Saint Kilda Rd now $595K.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 255 Hurricane Ln $370K.

Captiva

CONDOS

1 new listing: Beach Villas #2638 3/2 $1.349M.

No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.

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.

Stay well & be safe,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Market Outlook – Here, There, Everywhere

Another Friday and SanibelSusan here with another island real estate report. First a photo of what it looks like here on a sunny Sanibel afternoon.

This week, the Saharan dust covering much of Florida has kept rain away from the islands. There have been a few showers, but nothing like usual peak storm season. Driving across the causeway, the hazy view over the water reminded me of growing up on the Maine seashore and how it looked before morning fog burned off. Now, that dust is moving away from Florida, so weather likely will return to a more typical September weather-pattern with daytime temps expected to be in the low- to mid-80’s with chance of afternoon thunderstorms. Now through the weekend, we also may see some wind from Hurricane Ida passing out in the Gulf, no real concern for SW Florida though.

Florida Realtors® Annual Convention

I sure hated to miss this event in-person again this year, but thankfully with new Covid-protocols still was able to participate electronically. Florida Realtors 2021 Convention and Trade Expo is being held August 24-28 at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando.

Yesterday, in between classes, was the Annual Awards luncheon. It was great to hear that some friends were acknowledged and rewarded: Congratulations to 2021 Realtor® of the Year – Florida Realtors® 2020 President Barry Grooms from Bradenton, 2021 Humanitarian of the Year – Steven David from Broward, Palm Beaches, and St Lucie Realtors®, and to our 2021 District 5 VP – Ursula Weinkauff from Bonita Springs. They all excelled in a challenging year as they have for many years.

Today, our local Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Director of Education, Megan Rose, is sitting on the Florida Realtors® Audition Panel for the Professional Development Committee, evaluating candidates looking to teach state-approved classes. I sure enjoyed doing that for many years and know Megan will do a great job representing us. She will have a long tiring but fulfilling day. It is great process to ensure that Florida’s teachers are top-notch.

Tonight is the annual in-person Florida Realtors® 2021 PAC live auction. You-know-who has been bidding electronically all week on silent auction items. Tomorrow, the event wraps up with a Candidate Forum, Member Update, and the individual District meetings, followed by the Board of Directors Meeting.

At the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

There was no caravan meeting this week for the islands Association of Realtors®, but some real estate activity still was posted in the local Multiple Listing Service. The action follows a coupe of news items below.

At SanibelSusan Realty

Happily, The SanibelSusan Team has two closings before the end of the month, so Dave and I will be busy with those over the weekend and early next week. We both remarked this morning about how little traffic is on the island now. At quitting time last night, I went home the back way (west on Periwinkle to Tarpon Bay Rd north to Gulf Dr to the east end to Periwinkle) and didn’t pass a single car going in either direction until I got to just before the turn-off to my street. Even then, only saw one work truck heading off-island. Dave said it was little later when he left Lighthouse Beach, to head off island. He also didn’t see other vehicles. Where is everyone? September usually is the quietest month on the islands, appears that late-August is getting ready.

The Market Outlook – Nationally & More

Tuesday, I attended a Zoom presentation given at the National Association Leadership Summit in Chicago by NAR’s Chief Economist and Senior VP of Research, Lawrence Yun. As a long-time fan, it was interesting to hear his take on the pandemic, today’s housing shortage, and what he thinks the real estate future will bring.

He prefaced his speech saying that 99% of the country is experiencing a double-digit price change in their median priced home.

Then, he began with “when does this pandemic end?” He reiterated that though it has been over 100 years since the Spanish flu pandemic, through history pandemics have been a common phenomenon, a human experience. One that will not be done and over when this pandemic subsides. The Delta variant being a good example of that.

Looking at today’s statistics compared to recent history, one of his first slides showed that for the first time in decades, in the U.S., birth and death rates are equal. He referred to past forecasters who said that when the baby boomer generation starts dying out, U.S. population will decrease. That is looking to be true, though this data does not include those immigrating here and coming across borders illegally.

He then described how today’s housing shortage is a different kind from recent history when there were not enough actual homes for the housing demand. Today, rental prices are skyrocketing and expected to soar even higher. He gave examples where rental properties are getting multiple offers. Today, there is a historic shortage of rental vacancies, while the number of rental households is at an all-time high (mostly because those renters can’t compete with the offers from today’s buyers).

Existing homes sales (which traditionally are 90% of that market) are still above pre-pandemic levels, but not as frenzied as they were a few months ago. Newly-constructed-home sales (usually 10% of the market), now are just matching pre-pandemic levels.

Though interest rates still are historically low (less than 3%), mortgage applications from those looking to buy are below pre-pandemic levels. Why is this? It is because all-cash sales are elevated. Cash is king with cash sales ruling the market, essentially everywhere.

With most median home prices up over 20% in the last year, rental demand has gone up as most 1st-time buyers now are priced out of the market. Monthly mortgage payments are rising even at time when interest rates are at their lowest.

Though mortgage debt is at a record high, the record high property valuations should overwhelm any risk, so he says there is no worry of the market being over leveraged.

Comparing geographic areas, it was interesting to see where local market homeowner wealth gained over the last year. The highest equity gain was in the San Francisco Bay area where the average property increase was $160K. Unfortunately, this appreciation is not enjoyed across the population, as only 45% of San Francisco residents own. Like anywhere, homeownership rates vary across geographic areas, age groups, ethnicity, etc.

In comparing home occupant wealth, his slides showed how the average renter has a nest egg of only about $8K while the average property owner has $297K.

He made a point of mentioning of how the news media using old data does not help us understand the market – and how you cannot always believe what you hear. Particularly, considering the 2020 census numbers, that data does not reflect where people live and work today with so many fleeing cities to work in the suburbs or more preferred areas.

He had a slide showing the metro areas with the most net migration gains since the first of the year, and interestingly most of those are in vacation areas. For example, the places with the highest population increase year-to-date include Barnstable, MA (Cape Cod), Portland (ME), Myrtle Beach (SC), Asheville and Wilmington (NC), Huntsville (AL), Jacksonville (FL), and others. Another tidbit he mentioned was that Huntsville has the highest number of PhD’s in the nation. (Who knew?)

What will these vacation areas show for 2021? He said they all are experiencing a sizeable jump in sales, which is exactly what has happened here on Sanibel and Captiva.

What will the future bring? He said that housing demand should be compared to where people with jobs are doing their jobs.

As inflation increases the Fed will be forced sooner to make changes. When that happens, he expects that negative effects will occur from the Federal Reserve, who provides monetary policy, gradually increasing mortgage rates. He sees a tapering of purchases of mortgage-backed securities later this year, short-term rates rising next year, and an inevitable increase in G-fees to cover Congress’s infrastructure package. (A G-fee is the gurantee-fee to cover projected credit losses from borrower defaults over the life of loans, admin costs, and a return on capital.)

A positive effect will come from more first-time buyers qualifying for a mortgage as they have demonstrated financial capability from renting longer. (Big data also will help show their payment capability, with so many creating a financial trail through their use of Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc.)

Inflation already is popping out and is not going to go away. He predicts high inflation will continue. Already many of us are seeing price increases in used cars, gas, airfares, appliances, and the like.

The Government says rents are rising at 1.9% annually, but he provided info from national rental organizations showing that increases are more like 6, 7, and 8%, probably an indication that the Government also is under estimating inflation.

As the pandemic wanes, sales to foreign buyers and immigrants will pick up.

In the commercial arena, office space usage is shaky, particularly in downtown areas where many cities, like New York and Chicago, have high vacancies.

Industrial spaces, on the other hand, are booming. Retail spaces are coming back as buying improves, while apartment spaces also are coming back strong.

In his wrap-up, he likened the economy internationally to the winners of the Olympic gold medals, showing how through history those with the most medals were the most economically strong. We might have received the most medals in the Olympics this year, but China is a close second. Followed by Japan, before Great Britain. There is a message in that. Stay tuned.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 20-27, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Blind Pass #A102 2/2 $630K, Sanibel Arms West #E3 2/2 $965K, Gulfside Place #210 2/2 $1.495M.

No price changes.

3 new sales: Sanibel Moorings #211 1/1 listed at $525K, Breakers West #C3 2/2 listed at $749K, Gulf Beach #207 2/2 listed at $1.1M.

3 closed sales: Sanibel Moorings #921 1/1 $435K, Sanibel Inn #3511 2/2 $695.1K, Kings Crown #102 2/2 $1.55M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 4771 Tradewinds Dr 3/3 $3.35M.

2 price changes: 1025 S. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed at $820K, 5747 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $1.799M.

8 new sales: 837 Casa Ybel Rd 2/2 duplex listed at $599.9K, 5802 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/3.5 listed at $899K, 4760 Rue Helene 3/2 listed at $1.325M, 4954 Joewood Dr 3/2 listed at $1.599M, 5379 Shearwater Dr 4/3 listed at $2.149M, 2475 Tropical Way Ct 3/3.5 listed at $2.295M, 856 Limpet Dr 4/2.5 listed at $2.358M, 4014 West Gulf Dr 4/4 listed at $3.849M.

1 closed sale: 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 $1.55M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 5642 Baltusrol Ct now $369K.

1 new sale: 1272 Par View Dr listed at $459K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3127 1/1 $385K, Captiva Hide-a-Way #1D 2/2 $1.032M.

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.

Until next Friday,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Late Summertime Happenings on Sanibel & Captiva

It is finally that time of the year when things slow down on the islands, though it was a long-time coming this year. Even during the “off” season, the islands have been busier than usual this summer. But now that schools are back in session and COVID cases are at record-highs, it makes sense that traffic and occupancy have eased up.

I took a quick spin through the islands early this afternoon, drove all the way through Captiva’s South Seas Plantation, out to tip at Lands End. I was surprised to see very few people or vehicles, though passed quite a few contractor vehicles doing deliveries and updates at properties. Below are some Captiva photos taken during that ride.

Boat launch at South Seas Harbor looking toward the Lady Chadwick.

Looking toward Harborside Bar & Grill.

At Lands End looking across Redfish Pass to North Captiva Island

From the road into Lands End looking back toward South Seas amenity area (rain in the distance on the mainland)

Island Real Estate Happenings

Real estate inventory on both islands remains at record lows. It will be interesting when fall arrives to see what happens to the market as snowbirds and prospective buyers start thinking about spending their winter in the sun. Few rental companies have vacancies then and most Realtors® have anxious visitors looking to come. Thanks to supply and demand, prices in the foreseeable future, for both buying and renting real estate here, will continue to go up.

Meanwhile, at SanibelSusan Realty, we are finishing up action items on closings scheduled to occur in a few weeks, continuing to market our new listing that is not under contract yet, and beating the bushes looking for owners wanting to take advantage of this unique sellers’ opportunity.

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

Today (August 20, 2021) on Sanibel, there are 13 condos, 27 homes, and 17 lots for sale.

On Captiva, there are three condos and 12 homes.

Causeway Island Update

Plenty of social media postings about the changes on the causeway islands have not been positive, mostly because the public is not aware of what is happening there. Here is an update:

The Lee County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to award engineering contracts for engineering services for enhancements to both Islands A and B and construction services for the stabilization of Island B. (Island A is the one closest to the high bridge and the mainland. Island B is closest to Sanibel.)

These contracts are part of a larger project on the causeway islands. Plans approved by the Board in December call for the shoring-up of erosion-prone areas of Islands A and B which are part of the Sanibel Causeway. Beach sand also will be added along parts of these islands. In addition, enhancements will be made to upland portions of both islands, including the creation of structured parking, new restrooms on Island A, additional picnic pavilions, pathways, and landscaping, and other park amenities.

In July, in preparation for the project, Lee County Crews removed Australian pines, an invasive exotic species. They will be replaced with native trees.

Local COVID News

Unfortunately, Lee Health Hospitals posted yesterday that it was their highest day of COVID fatalities. Traveling nurses arrived this week to assist in their patient overload.

Sanibel remains proactive regarding COVID. It makes me feel better just to drive by the signage by the Chamber that continues to flash “Welcome to Sanibel”, “Please Wear Mask”, Please Get Vaxxed”.

This morning the City Manager posted the following message on the City website: “City of Sanibel Recreation Center to Remain Closed Saturday, August 21, 2021 All Programs Cancelled. Last evening, Thursday, August 19, the City of Sanibel was advised that a participant who utilized the Sanibel Recreation Center yesterday had tested positive for COVID. Today, Friday, August 20, the City of Sanibel Recreation Center, 3380 Sanibel-Captiva Rd, is closed for all programs and services while the facility is disinfected. Currently City staff continue to contact trace all persons who were at the facility yesterday. The City of Sanibel Recreation Center will remain closed tomorrow, Saturday, August 21. The sole program scheduled for the Recreation Tomorrow, Tiny Tots Basketball, is also cancelled.”

Temporary Closure of Ding Darling Visitor & Education Center

From this week’s, “Ding on The Wing”: “Starting this week and running through September, the Refuge Visitor and Education Center will be closed both Friday and Sunday each week, due to volunteer dropout over COVID-19 concerns. The Center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and Saturday.

37th Sanibel & Captiva Luminaries Scheduled

As posted in the “Island Sun”, the island Chamber of Commerce has received approval from The City to celebrate Luminary 2021 in traditional fashion on December 3 and 4. The Sanibel celebration will be Friday and the Captiva Saturday. Besides candle-lined walkways and shared-use paths, the festivities bring live music, decorations, sidewalk sales, and complimentary refreshments.

The golf-cart parade also will return to Captiva’s celebration (time to be announced). If you haven’t attended an island luminary, plan to do it this year. It is special.

I couldn’t help but think about Captiva’s luminary as I drove along the Tween Waters stretch this afternoon. Those who have been here for the holidays likely remember that a Santa will be climbing that tall palm tree for Christmas. My photo from today is shown above, while below it, a photo of Santa from years.

Sanibel Household Chemical Waste Collection Event

A City notice received this week says, Sanibel residents may dispose of household chemical waste such as left-over paint, cleaners, herbicides, pesticides, auto fluids, and pool chemicals on Wed, Sept 1. The collection event hosted in partnership with Lee County Solid Waste will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sanibel Library at 770 Dunlop Rd with drop-off an easy drive-through at no charge. This event is for residents only, businesses that need disposal should call for an appointment for the monthly business collection held at the county’s permanent Household Chemical Waste drop-off location at 6441 Topaz Ct which is off Metro Parkway in Fort Myers.

The following items are NOT chemical waste but may be set out with your regular household garbage: small-engine equipment such as pressure washers, lawnmowers, weed eaters; small electronic parts such as routers, mice, keypads; tires; small appliances; empty paint cans/dried paint; empty auto fluid containers.

Hot Housing Market Drives Home Fix-Ups

Posted August 13, 2021, on FloridaRealtors®:

“Remodeling hit a high during lockdowns when homeowners had time and an increased frustration with their living space. Now, rising home equity entices them.

“NEW YORK – More homeowners plan to renovate their homes this year. The remodel trend took off during pandemic lockdowns when homeowners had little else to do and a general frustration with a home when they had to spend 24 hours a day within it.

“Now, owners are spiffing up their home because they can afford to do so, thanks to higher home prices and their home’s increased equity, according to Bank of America’s “2021 Homebuyer Insights Report: Home Improvement and Equity Spotlight.”

“As home prices surge, more homeowners are tapping HELOCs (Home Equity Lines of Credit) to make significant home improvements. Gen X homeowners (ages 44 to 56) are the most likely to report using HELOCs for home improvements. “Greater reliance on the home as both a workspace and a family center has led many owners to tailor their homes to their needs,” the report says.

“Most respondents don’t focus too heavily on increasing their home’s value, however. The majority said they’re viewing home improvements as a way to bring greater enjoyment to their living space (67%). Only 33% said they’re undertaking updates to increase their home’s value (33%). “Traditionally, home improvement projects have been measured through the lens of return on investment (ROI), but we’re seeing that the emotional connection to one’s home is just as important,” says Ann Thompson, specialty lending executive at Bank of America.

Remodeling trends

“Greater modernization: Many homeowners want to bring their homes up to date, or they need to replace dated areas of the homes. The median age of the U.S. owner-occupied housing stock is 39 years, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

“Fixer-uppers are OK again: About 42% of younger homebuyers say they would prefer to buy a fixer-upper and improve it over time than to purchase a home that’s move-in ready.

“DIY is trending: Many homeowners are taking a do-it-yourself approach to some of their smaller house projects, such as painting or upgrading hardware and fixtures, with 50% saying they learned how from watching videos. Nearly 40% say they’re inspired by TV shows such as HGTV to do more DIY projects in their home. Younger adults are the most likely to do DIY, with almost 75% of younger homeowners (ages 18 to 43) say they’ve completed DIY work around their house.

“Sustainability is important: Younger generations tend to value sustainability features more than older generations. Half of younger generations want to add solar panels (51%) and energy-efficient appliances (48%) – only one-third of older generations want to add solar panels (33%) and energy-efficient appliances (36%).”

Source: “2021 Homebuyer Insights Report: Home Improvement and Equity Spotlight,” Bank of America (2021) © Copyright 2021 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

To Market or Not, Should Not Be the Question

With Florida real estate in increased demand from domestic buyers, sale prices high, and inventory limited, some agents have had success with “pocket listings”, a process that allows an agent to quietly market a property on a one-to-one basis to individual buyers and colleagues, before (or without) posting it on the Multiple Listing Service.

Some sellers and agents think pocket listings offer advantages in certain situations, like giving a seller time to prepare for marketing and the agent to perform some limited targeted outreach before notifying the masses. I have found that this can influence price, time on market, and the best deal for a seller/buyer.

Some sellers with concerns about privacy and COVID, have preferred this process even if it results in a less profitable sale. Many agents, like me, however, view pocket listings as a disservice to sellers.

For example, prospective pocket-listing buyers know they are the only ones submitting an offer, making them not as motivated to make one that is competitive. By limiting the pool of prospective buyers, sellers can be losing money.

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) recently took a clearer stance on the gray area of pocket listings. Realtors® now are required to list a property in the applicable MLS within 24 hours of launching any mass marketing. This puts the selling agent in a difficult position with only limited marketing allowed. The minute that marketing is expanded, by social media post or group email, that agent is “on the clock” and has only 24 hours to get it posted in the MLS.

What seller doesn’t want his property exposed to the most potential purchasers? Not to mention making the entire transaction transparent with everyone held accountable. According to Redfin, pocket listings increased from 2.4% to 4% of the market from November 2019 to March 2021. Maybe that jump is strictly COVID related, but I doubt it.

Pocket listings should be limited to exceptional unique cases. In my experience, the most exposure brings the best offers – which is what most sellers want. That means a traditional listing – not a pocket listing. The SanibelSusan Team does not take pocket listings.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity August 13-20, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sanibel Arms West #F6 2/2 $1.049M, Gulf Beach #207 2/2 $1.1M.

No price changes.

7 new sales: Sundial #H410 1/1 listed at $429K, Cottage Colony West #101 1/1 listed at $575K, Sanibel Inn #3514 2/2 listed at $699K, Sandalfoot #2D3 2/2 listed at $789.5K, Pointe Santo #B33 2/2 listed at $839K, Tantara #102 2/2 listed at $1.139M, Sundial #E104 2/2 listed at $1.299M.

3 closed sales: Coquina Beach #2B 2/2 $585K; Sanibel Arms West #D2 2/2 $915,799; Tarpon Beach #305 2/2 $1M.

HOMES

3 new listings: 4954 Joewood Dr 3/2 $1.599M, 2475 Tropical Way Ct 3/3.5 $2.295M, 885 Limpet Dr 3/3 $2.395M.

1 price change: 535 Birdsong Pl 3/2 now $711,555.

5 new sales: 754 Donax St 4/2 duplex listed at $599K, 5817 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/2 listed at $1.19M, 1360 Jamaica Dr 3/3 listed at $1.349M, 518 N. Yachtsman Dr 3/3 listed at $2.795M, 544 Lighthouse Way 4/5.5 listed at $4.25M.

5 closed sales: 486 Surf Sound Ct 3/3.5 $1.19M, 734 Anchor Dr 3/2 $1.55M, 6418 Pine Ave 3/3 $1.7M, 5270 Indian Ct 6/6.5 $2.05M, 545 Lighthouse Way 3/3.5 $3.25M.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: 0 Dixie Beach Blvd $150K, 000 West Gulf Dr $3.5M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Lands End Village #1633 2/2 listed at $1.599M, Seabreeze #1251 3/3 listed at $2.05M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15867 Captiva Dr 7/6 now $11.7M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

It’s even quiet at the beach. This is in front of Kings Crown on Sanibel.

Until next Friday,

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Hooray, The Sun is Out Again Today!

Lee County Schools begin their fall session Tuesday (August 10), while the last day of the school year will be later than usual next spring, on Thursday, June 2. This week local families fitting in last-minute beach visits probably haven’t been happy about all the rain. It came down in torrents on Monday (over a foot measured in some parts of SW Florida) and again Tuesday. Both Wednesday and Thursday had off-&-on rain too. To say island vegetation is green and growing fast is an understatement. It definitely has been tropical.
Today, the weather is bright and sunny, though expected to revert later to the typical summer schedule of an afternoon/evening shower.

Island Real Estate

There has not been a lot of new real estate action this week, probably weather and summer-time related, but likely because inventory continues to be low. At the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® biweekly caravan meeting yesterday just two new listings were on tour. After a few news items below is the action posted in the local Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.
 
In summary, today on Sanibel there are 13 condos for sale, five on Captiva. With homes, 31 are available on Sanibel, 13 on Captiva. Just 17 residential lots for sale on Sanibel, none on Captiva.
 

The Sanibel School

The Sanibel School is accepting new students and does not require that they live on-island. With an “A” rating and designated a School of Excellence by the Florida Department of Education, the K-8 campus provides an exceptional learning environment for its students, and the array of programs available is comparable with even the largest schools in the district. For more about enrollment and the waiver process, or to set up a tour, call registrar Donna Marks at 239-472-1617 or email donnamm@leeschools.net.
 

Sanibel Causeway Toll Facility Maintenance Work

Sanibel received notice this week from Lee County of scheduled preventative maintenance work at the Sanibel Toll Facility. Work will be performed beginning Monday, August 23, between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is expected to continue until September 3. No work will be done during Labor Day weekend.
 
The County urges motorists to use caution. Intermittent lane closures will be necessary in the work areas. At least two lanes will always remain open. (The Sanibel Causeway Toll Facility and Bridges are owned and operated by the Lee County Board of County Commissioners.)
 

TRIM Notices Coming Soon

Usually, mid-August is when the Lee County Property Appraiser’s office mails out annual TRIM notices to property owners. TRIM stands for “Truth in Millage” and is the official notice, required by state law, of the proposed property taxes.
 
A TRIM Notice is not the tax bill, but an estimate of the expected taxes based on the proposed millage rates for that year. It considers the property value as of January 1 of the year and any applicable exemptions applicable to the property, such as a homestead exemption.
 
The TRIM notice is important as it is it provides a 25-day window for an owner to contest the taxable value of their property. Each year, the Property Appraiser’s Office uses available information to assess the value of the property. Here on the islands, the Appraiser’s Office has access to our Multiple Listing System information.
 
In a hot market, property values are destined to go up. When you get your TRIM notice, if you think you have grounds to contest the value, please let us know if we can provide comparable sales info.
 

City of Sanibel Budget

Sanibel’s draft budget for the next fiscal year – October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 was prepared with an operating millage rate of 1.8922 which is the same rate that was assessed to taxpayers last year. The City Finance Director recently advised City Council that the 2021 budget was prepared when the effects of the pandemic on economy were unknown. Since then, better-than-expected revenues and expense-saving initiatives in preceding years have put the City in a good economic position heading into this budget cycle. The 2022 draft budget is 12.1% higher than the adopted budget for fiscal year 2021.
 
According to an article posted in today’s “Island Sun”, the City’s taxable property value for fiscal year 2022 has been assessed by the Lee County Property Appraiser at $5,615,472,773 which is a 3.74% higher than last year which was an all-time historical high.
 
The City millage rate has decreased approximately 10% since 2013 to reach the 1.8922 rate proposed.
 
The first public hearing on the budget will be held Monday September 13 and the final hearing will be Monday, September 27, both at 5:01 p.m. in MacKenzie Hall at 800 Dunlop Rd.
 

Tarpon Bay Brings Back Breakfast Cruise & Touch Tank

As posted this week in “News from “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society: “For the first time since pandemic lockdown, Tarpon Bay Explorers, the Refuge recreation concession, has resumed its Breakfast Cruises and Touch Tank sessions. The morning cruises which run Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m., tour around Tarpon Bay in pursuit of wildlife such as birds, manatees, and dolphins. Participants enjoy a continental-style breakfast during the cruise, including freshly made doughnuts from Bailey’s General Store with coffee, tea, or orange juice. The last half hour is spent at the Touch Tank where guests get a hands-on experience to learn about the wildlife that lives beneath bay waters.”
 

Captiva Beach Renourishment Project Update

Those visiting Captiva might want to take note of the following parking lot closures from the island beach re-nourishment project underway. Designed to last about eight to ten years, the re-nourishment project is expected to provide the necessary maintenance to counteract long-term critical erosion of Captiva’s beaches, properties, and shorelines.
 
Alison Hagerup Beach Park – 14790 Captiva Dr
·        Sep 3 to 10 – full closure
·        Sep 11 to Oct 7 – partial closure
·        Oct 8 to 22 – full closure
 
Turner Beach – 17200 Captiva Dr
·        Aug 6 to 18 – full closure
·        Aug 18 to Sep 2 – partial closure
·        Sep 3 to 10 – full closure.
 

Sanibel Recreation Center

The Rec Center was closed this week and will remain closed through Sunday (August 8) to complete annual maintenance projects. It reopens Monday August 9.
Daily, weekly, semi-annual, and annual memberships are available. Beach parking permits are purchased at the Rec Center too.
 

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 30 – August 6, 2021

Sanibel
CONDOS
1 new listing: Tantara #102 2/2 $1.139M.
 No price changes.
2 new sales: Oceans Reach #3A1 2/2 listed at $894.9K, Island Beach Club #330B 2/2 listed at $989K.
2 closed sales: Spanish Cay #F2 1/1 $325K, Nutmeg Village #313 2/2 $1.295M.
 
HOMES
6 new listings: 1846 Ardsley Way 2/2 $700K; 535 Birdsong Pl 3/2 $721,555; 556 Sea Oats Dr 3/2 $1.075M; 743 Durion Ct 3/2 $1.299M; 509 Lagoon Dr 3/2 $1.795M; 1266 Par View Dr 4/4 $2.295M.
5 price changes: 1025 S. Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $850K, 565 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 now $899K, 5817 San-Cap Rd 4/2 now $1.19M, 5379 Shearwater Dr 4/3 now $2.149M, 737 Periwinkle Way 3/3 now $2.2M.  
6 new sales: 1444 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 listed at $489K, 5308 Ladyfinger Lake 3/3 listed at $779K, 4506 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 listed at $819K, 460 Sawgrass Pl 2/1 listed at $849K, 1866 Farm Tr 3/3 listed at $890K, 5786 San-Cap Rd 2/2 listed at $1.029M.  
9 closed sales: 1717 Atlanta Plaza Dr 2/2 $550K, 9431 Moonlight Dr 3/2 $850K, 540 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $975K, 221 Robinwood Cir 3/2 $980K, 633 Lake Murex Cir 3/3 $1M, 4516 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2.5 $1.005M, 539 N Yachtsman Dr 4/3.5 $1.3M, 5809 San-Cap Rd 3/2 $1.351M, 1001 Schooner Pl 3/2.5 $1.6M.
LOTS
3 new listings: 1272 Par View $459K, 845 Pyrula Ave $515K, 638 Lake Murex Cir $565K.
No price changes or new sales.
1 closed sale: 5116 Sea Bell Rd $210K.
Captiva
CONDOS
No new listings or price changes.
1 new sale: Captiva-Hideaway #D 2/2 listed at $1.075M.
No closed sales.
HOMES
1 new sale: 10 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 $1.395M.
No price changes, new sales, or closed sales.
 
LOTS
Nothing to report.
This representation is based in part on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Multiple Listing Service. Neither the association nor its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by the association or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.  The information provided represents the general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.
Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

Island Beaches Are Busy & The Real Estate Market Stays HOT!

It was another busy real estate week at SanibelSusan Realty. We got another new gulf-front condo listing, had a nice gulf-front condo closing, and showings and offers at our only two listings. One now is under contract while the other in negotiations. So, if you are wondering, the market still is HOT and the SanibelSusan team continues to look for more listings – since as soon as we get them, they sell!

The full details on the real estate activity here and the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service are after a couple of news items below.

Island Weather

Teammate Dave took this one Wed near West Rocks

Weather-wise, it has been another week of beautiful bright summer days, followed by some evening showers in inland Lee County.

I took a spin at noon today to check out beach parking since social media lately has been full of comments about lots often being full. That certainly was the case at Lighthouse Beach where the gulf was busy with swimmers, beachgoers, shellers, fishermen, and boaters. There were nine vehicles lined up looking for spots at their main parking lot with the fishing pier lot also full.

Check out the water photo below. It continues to sparkle in those Caribbean-blue-tones. Fingers crossed that it continues!

Taken at noon today near the Lighthouse

Lee County Begins Causeway Islands Project  

There was lots of social media chatter this week about the Australian pines coming down on the causeway islands. Here’s the full report by Wendy McMullen that was posted on the front page of today’s “Island Sun”:

“Trees are already coming down on the Sanibel Causeway islands in preparation for an $8.5 million plan to enhance the amenities and control erosion on the islands. The trees being removed – such as the Australian pines – are non-native and considered exotic and invasive. They will be replaced eventually with native trees.

“Among the improvements envisioned for the islands are structured parking (it is not known if this will involve paid parking of some sort), pavilions, pathways, additional restrooms, landscaping, T-groins and erosion control structures.

“On Island A, the furthest from Sanibel, picnic and recreational vehicle parking areas will be added at the northern end along a more formalized event space. There will also be a paddle-craft loading and unloading area, restrooms and an equipment storage area, along with parking for 83 vehicles on the southern end. Island B will have parking for another 213 vehicles.

“Both islands will have erosion control structures designed to keep bay waters from covering the road in storm conditions. This will include two rock groins and renourishment of the beaches. The causeway road itself will not be elevated.

“Work is already starting on erosion control structures and the design of the upland structures. Building the amenities will begin in spring 2022 and continue until the summer of 2024.

“The project will be funded using tourist development taxes and state funds. Lee County plans a public meeting later this summer or fall. Announcements about its time, date, location and how to participate will be forthcoming.”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® July Membership Meeting

Yesterday at the July Membership Meeting of the local association of Realtors®, the speaker was Tim Moore, from Sanibel’s Planning Department Code Enforcement. He provided handouts and info on the island’s Dwelling Rental License and Registration process. This is required for every Sanibel property that rents.

Begun in October 2019, the forms for this process are on-line at www.MySanibel.com (under Planning Dept forms). Approximately 2,200 properties already are licensed. Form completion is required for an initial license and registration, annual license and registration renewal, and for any revision to the license and registration.

The first step in the process is applying for a Business Tax Receipt (formerly occupational license) at the City Finance Department. The 2nd step is completing and submitting the Dwelling Rental License and Registration form.

The type of rental dwelling could be:

  • Limited Rental, for properties rented via written lease for longer than 6 months (so exempt from Florida Sales Tax), this includes annual rentals;
  • Limited Rental, or those limited by City Code to 28 consecutive days per occupancy;
  • Unlimited Rental, rentals not limited by City Code to a minimum number of days.

Once a Dwelling Rental License (DRL) number is issued, it must appear in all advertising, as must the minimum rental period if not in a resort district.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 16-23, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Sanibel Moorings #512 2/2 $1.195M (our listing), Island Beach Club #330E 2/2 $1.295M.

Sanibel Moorings #512

1 price change: Tarpon Beach #305 2/2 now $1.1M.

6 new sales: Sundial #I103 1/1 listed at $499K, Sundial #J301 1/1 listed at $605K, Mariner Pointe #631 2/2 listed at $695K, Breakers West #A5 2/2 listed at $749K, Gulf Beach #106 2/2 listed at $899K (our listing), Sanddollar #C101 2/2 listed at $1.21M.

View from Gulf Beach #106

3 closed sales: Tarpon Beach #102 2/2 $1.125M, Gulfside Place #124 2/2 $1.385M, Gulfside Place #115 2/2 $1.995M (our listing).

 

Gulfside Place #115

HOMES

6 new listings: 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 $799K, 460 Sawgrass Pl 2/1 $849K, 565 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $939K, 5817 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 4/2 $1.25M, 9464 Calla Ct 3/2.5 $1.45M, 1304 Seaspray Ln 3/2.5 $4.695M.

No price changes.

4 new sales: 754 Donax St 4/2 duplex listed at $599K, 1702 Bunting Ln 4/3 listed at $749K, 1270 Par View Dr 3/2 listed at $859K, 5268 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 listed at $999K.

5 closed sales: 1612 Serenity Ln 3/2 $672K, 4505 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/3 $675K, 1376 Jamaica Dr 2/2 $750K, 1426 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $1.15M, 1218 Ferry Rd 3/2 $1.231M.

LOTS

2 new listings: 3308 Saint Kilda Rd $582K, 470 Sawgrass Pl $795K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 2133 Starfish Ln listed at $529K.

No closed sales.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Lands End Village #1633 2/2 $1.599M, Beach Homes #33 4/3 $3.2M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Villas #2414 2/2 listed at $875K.

No closed sales.

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.

Until next Friday, Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

(a couple more photos below taken today on way to the Lighthouse)

Summertime & The Market Still is HOT!

Welcome to another Friday real estate update. The Sanibel & Captiva Islands market remains “hot” with the below summary showing the status of inventory today, sales year-to-date, sales last year, and for comparison, sales in the peak price year, 2006. (Note info based on The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service. Prices “for sale” and “under contract” are asking prices.)

The SanibelSusan Team is thankful that of the 69 Sanibel properties under contract, four are our transactions, but we need listings. Plenty of buyers are ready, in the wings. We get inquiries every week from colleagues looking for properties coming on the market, while we personally have condo buyers waiting for availability at Blind Pass, Gulfside Place, Sand Point, and Sandalfoot, as well as several others wanting a variety of properties, including east-end home, canal-front property, near-beach home, large Captiva home with rental income. We have a few lot buyers too, so if you are thinking of selling, please give us a call. The seller’s market will continue until inventory improves.

It also appears that our summer visitor traffic remains high. Yesterday, the City issued their first summer high-traffic notice, after 5,500 vehicles had crossed the causeway before noon. That much oncoming traffic typically results in late afternoon slowdowns. When in doubt, check Sanibel’s traffic cams at https://www.mysanibel.com/Live-Street-Cams.

CONDOS HOMES LOTS
SANIBEL # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 18 819,044 152 29 2,449,893 124 14 558,414 334
Under contract 19 825,973 44 40 1,388,435 70 10 754,279 290
Closed 2021 to 7/16 190 864,843 143 238 1,309,063 100 55 723,627 479
Closed 2020 192 733,876 174 290 954,718 161 23 606,233 393
Closed 2006 143 866,972 147 156 1,143,682 186 18 523,917 158

 

CONDOS HOMES LOTS
CAPTIVA # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM # Avg $ DOM
For sale 6 1,339,000 127 12 5,910,583 258 0 N/A N/A
Under contract 5 2,569,400 123 1 2,695,000 302 1 4,250.000 1,287
Closed 2021 to 7/16 39 1,006,830 184 35 2,807,868 270 1 2,000,000 129
Closed 2020 47 821,713 134 27 2,923,148 315 4 2.537,500 448
Closed 2006 21 1,362,476 180 10 2,307,375 334 4 2,218,750 432

After a couple of news items below, see the details about the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

Summer of the Speed Buyer

From NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, as posted in the July-August 2021 “Realtor” magazine:

“The housing shortfall is driving up prices, but a crash is unlikely.

“Remember when it could take years to sell a home? MLS’s were flooded with distressed properties. In Miami, it was up to six years, according to news accounts in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

“Today, of course, it’s the opposite story. It’s generally taking just a couple of weeks, and sometimes days, to find a buyer. From listing to contract, homes typically sold in 17 days in April, the fastest rate ever. In most markets, home buyers can’t risk leisurely weighing several listings before committing to likely the most expensive purchase of their life. Rushed decisions can easily lead to buyer misgivings – about overspending for the home, its size, or having insufficient reserves for upkeep. Still, most buyers come to see they made the right decision in these competitive times. Seeing price, and hence their wealth, rising helps.

“Could it all crash as happened from 2008 to 2010? Not likely. The current housing cycle is fundamentally different. We thankfully don’t have risky subprime mortgages that overstretched buyers’ budgets. The gatekeepers at banks, mortgage brokers, and government regulators demand that loan-to-value ratios, debt-to-income rations, and income documentation meet guidelines before a mortgage is approved. To be sure, even with soundly written mortgages, we know some defaults can occur.

“A second major difference is supply. Leaking up to the housing bubble heyday, builders overbuilt. By my calculations, America had 2.1 million surplus housing units by 2006. Following the crash, underproduction steadily chipped away at the surplus, such that inventory normalized by 2011. Continuing underproduction led to the housing shortage. By 2015, the shortfall was 2 million homes. By the end of 2020, it totaled 4.8 million homes. The lack of inventory is why home prices are in no danger of falling sharply.

“Homebuilding activity in 2021 will be slightly above historical norms. But it will take at least a few years to correct the massive shortage. In the meantime, we expect the national median home price to rise 9% this year and another 3% in 2022. Hyper-speed homebuying should taper off by year’s end as supply improves and affordability challenges persist.”

Elsa Washes Away 45 Sea Turtle Nests on Sanibel

SCCF photo

From SCCF’s Wednesday update:

“Tropical Storm Elsa’s strong southern winds caused 125 sea turtle nests on Sanibel and Captiva to lose their marking stakes and protective screens. Sea turtle staff members have been working diligently over the last week to confirm whether the eggs washed away, too, or if they are still buried in the sand.

“Using highly accurate coordinates collected with a Trimble device, SCCF staff and volunteers were able to confirm that 40 of the 85 nests that lost their stakes on Sanibel survived the extreme tidal action. However, 45 nests were completely washed-out on Sanibel, reports SCCF Coastal Wildlife Director Kelly Sloan. The assessment on Captiva is still underway.

“Please remember that sea turtles have a nesting strategy that accommodates natural storm events. Female sea turtles deposit several nests throughout the nesting season, essentially hedging their bets to make sure that even if a hurricane or tropical storm hits during nesting season, there is a high probability at least a few of the nests will incubate successfully. For instance, in early June 2020, TS Cristobal washed away 29 nests and, in September, TS Sally washed away 17 nests on Sanibel and Captiva. Yet, there were still a record-breaking 924 nests last year.”

CEPD Provides Updated Start Date for Project

From the July 14, 2021 “Island Reporter”:

“On July 8, the Captiva Erosion Prevention District reported that the beach re-nourishment project’s start was being coordinated with its contractor, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, and the resource agencies. Following recent and ongoing planning discussions, construction is now projected to start no earlier than August 26, pending all notice-to-proceed approvals from the agencies….

“Barring any unforeseen delays, the project is estimated to take approximately 35 days to place the contracted 600,000 cubic yards once construction is underway….

“Construction for the beach re-nourishment will first move south near 16141 Captiva Dr to Turner Beach, and then north to fill in the remainder of the island in a similar manner. The beach fill will be placed along 4.85 miles of shoreline and the rehabilitation of existing dunes between Redfish Pass and Blind Pass.

“Designed to last beyond eight to 10 years, the project will provide the necessary maintenance to counteract long-term critical erosion of Captiva’s beaches, properties and shorelines. The project plans, design specifications, cost estimates and tentative cost apportionments are on file and available for public review at the CEPD’s office, at 11513 Andy Rosse Lane, Unit 4, Captiva (phone 239-472-2472).”

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity July 9-16, 2021

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial #I103 1/1 $499K, Mariner Pointe #631 2/2 $695K, Sanibel Surfside #213 2/2 $920K, Tarpon Beach #305 2/2 $1.25M.

No price changes.

4 new sales: Spanish Cay #F7 1/1 listed at $395K, Mariner Pointe #323 2/2.5 listed at $549K, Loggerhead Cay #282 2/2 listed at $695K, Sanibel Arms West #C6 2/2 listed at $955K, Gulfside Place #225 2/2 listed at $1.595M.

3 closed sales: Pointe Santo #D24 2/2 $755K, Sanibel Surfside #115 2/2 $1.04M, Sundial #A205 2/2 $1.285M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1702 Bunting Ln 4/3 $749K, 545 Lighthouse Way 3/3.5 $3.395M.

2 price changes: 5268 Ladyfinger Lake Rd 3/2 now $999K, 1077 Bird Ln 3/3.5 now $5.699M.

No new sales.

4 closed sales: 974 Greenwood Ct S 3/2.5 half-duplex $522K, 5161 Sanibel-Captiva Rd 3/2 $585K, 2011 Mitzi Ln 2/1 $642.5K, 1306 Seaspray Ln 4/4 $3.8M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 0 Dixie Beach Blvd listed at $399,555.

2 closed sales: 2095 Wild Lime Dr $260K, 1028 Bayview Dr $2.08M.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Beach Homes #25 3/2 listed at $2.095M, Beach Homes #6 3/3 listed at $2.879M.

No closed sales.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 11540 Laika Ln 2/2.5 $1.49M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

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

Happy Friday! Will post again next week at this time.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan