It’s Susan, reporting another sunny Sanibel Friday. Lee County schools are out, family vacations are beginning, and plenty of spring/summertime fun events are being announced.
Luckily, the heavy rains last weekend, didn’t cause much long-term flooding and it resulted in some terrific shelling for those enthusiasts. Now that the ground is saturated, islanders will be keeping a close eye on future rainy events. Meanwhile, the Anchor Dr bunnies are loving the juicy vegetation at my house. There were two munching in my yard this morning as I headed out to work. I love those little guys!
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®
Some good news at the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday. As incoming Association Prez, Realtor® Greg Demaras mentioned in his opening remarks, there has been 100% increase in Sanibel home listings compared to ten days ago when there were only 11 homes for sale. (Actually, today the number of Sanibel homes available according to the islands MLS is up to 26. More inventory is becoming available.)
The other percentage mentioned was that the number of properties open for Caravan viewing was up 400% from the last meeting two weeks ago, when there was only one available to see. These may be subtle market changes, yet still worth watching.
One of the properties open for Caravan viewing was our new listing on South Yachtsman Dr. The action posted in the island Multiple Listing Service (MLS) since last Friday follows a couple of news items below.
2022 SCIS Designation Classes
Also. yesterday morning, I taught the 2022 Resort & Second-Home Market module for the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Specialist (SCIS) designation.
My 10th year teaching that class and it’s always fun. The 12 attendees this year included nine taking the classes or the first time and three Realtors® working on their renewal.
They all tolerated my insistence that the class photo be taken with them wearing funny resort-wear props.
Wishing them much success in their resort & 2nd home market business.
Governor DeSantis Vetoes SB 2508
Posted Wed, Jun 8, 2022 by Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF):
“Today, in a move that is a significant win for Florida’s environment—Governor DeSantis exercised his executive power to veto Senate Bill 2508. This bill would have undermined the extensive work by SCCF and our partners to base the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) on sound science and an equitable distribution of water. It would have had a chilling effect on water management decisions related to discharges from Lake Okeechobee, perpetuating the harmful “hold and dump” practices that currently allow for high-volume discharges to our coastal communities during the wet season. In addition, the bill would have accelerated the destruction of wetlands by allowing private reviewers to process expedited dredge and fill permits for utilities, resulting in further deterioration of water quality. Furthermore, it would have negatively impacted the Florida Forever land acquisition program by allowing the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to compete with the Department of Environmental Protection for state funding.
“We thank Governor DeSantis for demonstrating great political courage in vetoing this harmful bill. Our coastal communities in Southwest Florida have been devastated by declining water quality and harmful algal blooms for far too long. The red tide bloom in 2018 resulted in more the 425 tons of dead sea life being removed from the beaches of Sanibel, and more than $47 million in economic losses. Scientists with SCCF and the University of Florida’s Center for Coastal Solutions recently published data linking pollution from stormwater runoff and harmful algal blooms. We now know that preventing harmful nutrients from reaching the coast is one way to reduce the extent and severity of red tide events in the future. This is not only critical for the ecology of our coastal waters, but it is also essential for protecting the quality of life of our residents, and Florida’s economy.
“SCCF remains engaged in the LOSOM process with the Army Corps, South Florida Water Management District, and our environmental partners to eliminate the harmful discharges that contribute to harmful algal blooms. With extensive modeling we have demonstrated that an equitable distribution of water can meet the needs of all stakeholders without any being sacrificed. By vetoing 2508, Governor DeSantis has confirmed that he is listening to stakeholders, and will not let politics take priority over sound science.
“We sincerely thank all of you who spoke out against this harmful bill.”
Housing Market Is Strong – But Time to Sell?
Posted Mon, Jun 6, 2022 on FloridaRealtors® and sourced to Daily Commercial, by Don Magruder. He is the CEO of Ro-Mac Lumber & Supply Inc., and he is also the host of the “Around the House” Show which can be seen at AroundtheHouse.TV. More good news here about Florida.
“Housing remained resilient – Fla. more than many states – but signs suggest a slowdown in price increases. Still, investors moving away from stocks may be a wild card.
“NEW YORK – The Florida and national housing market remain very strong by every metric, but the overall health of the United States’ economy, inflation worries, interest rate hikes, and the downward spiral of many investment markets are starting to create some buts in the housing forecast long-term.
“The overall economy will affect housing especially regarding increased interest rates, but through the first quarter of 2022, housing has been very resilient.
“In March, per the United States Census Bureau, United States housing starts hit an annual seasonal rate of 1,873,000 which was 0.4% higher than February, and 6.7% above the previous year.
“Within those numbers, single-family homes cooled by almost 5%, but multi-family housing bolstered the sector to an increase. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, multi-family housing projects have been delayed, but with the current rental demand, most expect multi-family housing to grow.
“The dirty secret about these numbers is that starts would have been higher if not for supply chain woes. Housing starts and production are being suppressed because of serious supply chain issues throughout the country.
“The Monthly New Residential Sales report from the Census Bureau tells a different story, which may suggest interest rates and the economy may be slowing new home sales. Sales were 763,000 units which is 12.6% below the previous year, but the median price rose to $436,700 with a 6.4-month supply at current sales volume.
“The buyers remain in the market, but many are being priced out by higher interest rates and soaring prices for homes. This may be an inflection point in which home sellers will have to start reducing the prices to attract buyers since the low interest rate environment is going away.
“Some point to the fact that a late winter weather surge could have hampered sales in March and getting buyers back in the market may soon become a priority for sellers. In short, housing prices coupled with higher interest rates are too much for many buyers.
“Florida’s housing numbers are somewhat robust as compared to the national housing markets. Florida Realtors® reports that first quarter sales of housing were down 2.6% compared to the previous year, but housing inventories across the state were down to 1 month or a 10.2% drop as compared to the previous year.
This indicates sales were subdued because there were simply not enough houses in the market for sale. Additionally, the median sales price jumped 21.3% from the previous year to $385,000 while new listings for the quarter were flat from the year before.
“Here is another key fact; homes on the market were down to 53 days as compared to 64 days a year ago. The Florida housing market remains red hot, and builders simply cannot build enough units timely with all the supply chain disruptions.
“Two other big facts about Florida’s housing market that cannot be ignored are the percentage of cash sales for new homes and the rate of foreclosures. For the first quarter, cash buyers made up 33.5% of all the homes sold while foreclosures across the state were down 34.8% to a measly 362 units, which is nothing for a state of 23 million people. It seems money is moving out of Wall Street and other investments to real estate, and that most homes are in good shape financially.
“With all these first quarter numbers and economic data, where does the housing market go the rest of 2022? First, the Florida market will probably be one of the most robust markets in the country, but all markets, including Florida’s, will start seeing some capitulations in housing prices.
“Low interest rates have shielded sellers for some time, and with a forecasted rise in interest rates in June and July of half points on top of the May half point increase, something has got to give on pricing.
“What about Wall Street investors? Here is the big but: Do large amounts of money flow out of riskier investments on Wall Street and cryptocurrency find a safe haven in real estate? That is a possibility as builders and investors build rental housing for a population dealing with a lack of housing.
“Unlike some of the funny money investments on Wall Street, housing does provide one huge advantage as a tangible investment that delivers real value like a place to live and a nice tax advantage, plus there is a genuine need for more housing in America.
“It appears housing will cool some in other parts of the country, which should help ease supply chain disruptions. Additionally, pricing overall will moderate, probably knocking out the over-exuberance; but in Florida, unless the economic conditions deteriorate significantly, expect housing to remain strong.
If you are a home seller, the environment suggests you sell sooner rather than later.”
Sea Turtle Update
Posted Tues, Jun 7, 2022 by SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation). All sea turtle research and monitoring is conducted by trained individuals operating under Marine Turtle Permit #047:
“As of today, 296 loggerhead and 3 green turtle nests have been laid on Sanibel and Captiva Islands! Fortunately, the impacts of last weekend’s storm on our nests were minimal and we only lost 5 on both islands to storm surge.
“Sea turtles have a nesting strategy that accommodates for natural events such as storms. Each nesting female turtle deposits several nests throughout the duration of the nesting season – essentially hedging her bets to make sure that even if a storm hits at some point during the nesting season, there is a high probability that at least a few of the nests will incubate successfully.
“If you see a new nest on the beach that hasn’t been marked yet, please keep your distance. While well intentioned, marking it with beach objects or walking on the tracks makes it much more difficult for our staff and volunteers to interpret the field signs. To help our sea turtles, please remember to turn off all white lights visible from the beach (including flashlights), fill in holes at the end of the day, and remove furniture from the beach at night.”
Volunteers Needed for Beach Bucket Program!
Coastal Watch has partnered with the City of Sanibel and Bailey’s General Store to install Beach Bucket Stations at a few Sanibel beach access points. The project objective is to provide beachgoers with a vessel to collect trash as they enjoy the beach. The stations will be located at Lighthouse Beach, Tarpon Bay Beach, and Bowman’s Beach. They are looking for volunteers that frequently visit these areas or live close by, who are willing to check on the stations and make sure all buckets are accounted for and in good condition. If interested email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At SanibelSusan Realty Associates
Join Dave, Lisa, and I as we wish our long-time teammate, Elise, well in her new position beginning Monday at Florida Gulf Coast University. We have worked together so long; she is like family.
Our loss is FGCU’s gain. Plus, she sure will enjoy her commute going from hours to just minutes. Best wishes on your new adventures, Elise!
Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service Activity June 3-10, 2022
3 new listings: Sandalfoot #1A3 2/2 $1.175M, Sundial #F403 2/2 $1.325M, Sanibel Surfside #122 2/2 $1.54M.
3 price changes: Sanibel Arms West #B8 2/2 now $875K, Gulf Beach #107 2/2 now $999K, Sanctuary Golf Villages #5-2 3/3 now $1.198M
4 new sales: Seawind #110 2/2.5 listed at $895K; Tarpon Beach #105 2/2 listed at $1,297,555; Pine Cove #101 3/2 listed at $1.65M, Gulfside Place #101 3/3 listed at $2.495M
1 closed sale: Sundial #B206 2/2 $1.3M.
8 new listings: 1236 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $929K, 1031 Bird Watch Way 3/2 $950K, 1835 Farm Trl 3/2 $993K, 4052 Coquina Dr 3/2 $1.25M, 9409 Moonlight Dr 3/2.5 $1.282M, 671 Durion Ct 3/2 $1.395M, 585 Chert Ct 3/2 $1.549M, 437 Lake Murex Cir 5/3 $2.199M.
2 price changes: 446 Lake Murex 2/2 now $934K, 947 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 now $1.456M.
1 new sale: 4612 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 listed at $1.495M.
2 closed sales: 4577 Brainard Bayou Rd 3/2 $771K, 1196 Sand Castle Rd 2/2 $875K.
1 new listing: 1994 Wild Lime Dr $350K.
1 price change: 3005 Turtle Gait Ln now $995K.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 3938 West Gulf Dr $853,750.
No new listings, price changes, or new sales.
2 closed sales: Marina Villas #790 2/2 $10925M, Lands End Village #1610 3/3 $3.6M.
1 new listing: 16163 Captiva Dr 3/2 $4.125M.
1 price change: 11517 Andy Rosse Ln 4/4.5 now $4.995M.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 15261 Captiva Dr 4/4.5 $10.25M.
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