Mid-May Royal Poinciana Beauty & Island Real Estate Happenings


Beach a

It is finally safe to say that the islands are back to off-season normal. The locals no longer need to share roadways/restaurants and the weather is beautiful with the first tell-tale indications of the rainy season evidenced this week by a few late day passing showers.

SANSLogoSanibelSusan showed a few homes on Monday and the team and I have otherwise been working on getting some listings sold and under-contract properties to the closing table. Also put a charming home under contract.

Three of our Sellers agreed to price reductions this week. We often see those this time of the year, when there is a post-season lull before summer vacationers start arriving.

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

Inventory Shortages Keeping Home Sales Low

realtor logoThe NAR (National Association of Realtors) annual legislative meetings are finishing up today at the nation’s capitol. Several representatives from our Sanibel/Captiva Islands Association are there, pressuring for reform in those issues affecting us most. Below is an article that was posted today on “Realtor®Mag” about NAR’s Chief Economist’s predictions while at these meetings.

“Home sales will pick up to a solid 5.3 million this year and are expected to hit 5.5 million next year, but until inventory constraints improve, the country’s large pent-up demand for home sales can’t be met, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said at the 2015 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C.

“Overall, the economy is on a steady growth track, with solid job formation, continuing low interest rates, and the large millennial generation entering its peak household-formation years. But with buyers having to compete for a limited selection of properties in many markets across the country, home prices are rising fast, making it hard for many first-time buyers to get into the market.

“Yun’s concerned that, as a result of these conditions, many households risk missing out on the wealth-building effect of home ownership at a time of low interest rates and strong price appreciation. “Young people are in a position to leave their parents’ home because job growth is picking up, but the lack of inventory and rising prices is making that hard,” he said.

“For lawmakers, there are important policy implications, because home ownership is the path most people take to building wealth. As more households find their options limited to renting, inequality—already rising across the country—will worsen. “Without home ownership, many people will not be able to enter the middle class,” he said.

“Despite the need for more inventory, builders are concentrating on the multifamily rental market right now, because that’s where the demand is, said Robert Dietz, vice president for tax and market analysis for the National Association of Home Builders. Dietz, speaking at the same forum on residential issues and trends, said the renter population has been the big growth story in real estate since the economic recovery began several years ago.

“There’s plenty of interest among builders to fill the need for more single-family homes, too, but small builders, who historically have been responsible for building two-thirds of new homes each year, can’t get the acquisition and development financing they need to get back into the market. Lenders want them to have buyers already lined up before they give them financing, Dietz said, making it hard for builders to get inventory in the market for buyers to look at. Also keeping housing starts down are a lack of skilled labor and a shortage of developed lots, he said. Prices of building materials are on the rise, too.

“Yun is forecasting 1.1 million housing starts this year, rising to 1.4 million next year. Prices are on track to rise 6% this year and then ease to a sustainable 4% next year, as more homes come on the market. He predicts long-term mortgage rates will stay at a low 4% this year, rising to 5.2% next year. Yun said interest rates will continue to rise, but he doesn’t expect big jumps in the years ahead because inflation remains in check and energy prices aren’t expected to go up to any significant degree in the years ahead.”

Realtor.com® Rolls Out a New Look

realtor.comHere is more coverage from the 2015 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo:

“Realtor.com® has unveiled a new look to its website and mobile platforms and launched a new advertising campaign that aims to position its brand as the best – “and truest” – provider of real estate information.

“The campaign marks the biggest marketing initiative in realtor.com®’s nearly 20-year history and comes at a time of increased competition in the real estate website arena, according to a news release.

“Its new graphic identity includes a two-tone logotype that highlights the “real” in realtor.com® in red letters and is intended to communicate that while competitors may feature conflicting or inaccurate information, “realtor.com® stands for what is real in real estate by delivering fresh and accurate listings,” according to the news release.

“”Serving buyers, sellers, and renters of properties with the best information and tools anytime, anywhere and communicating the value brokers and agents provide as trusted guides through the process is our utmost priority,” says Ryan O’Hara, chief executive officer of Move Inc., which operates realtor.com®. “This is what we mean by what’s real in real estate – and what sets us apart.”

“The campaign also highlights that message in new TV spots and web videos that feature actress Elizabeth Banks, who has been part of “The Hunger Games” franchise. The new ads will debut May 18 and run on major broadcast networks and cable channels.

“The new tagline in the campaign is “real estate in real time.” The new ads are also aimed at trying to appeal to a wide consumer base, from Millennials looking for affordable homes to young couples looking for more space and families seeking bigger, longer-term homes.”

REALTORS® Expand Influence Across The Globe

Miamo Assoc of RealtorMore info from the DC legislative meetings was posted yesterday in “DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS”. Our Miami colleagues are very excited about the event they are hosting in November which this year will be in partnership with NAR’s annual conferences in San Diego.

“The National Association of REALTORS® is expanding its presence across the world in an effort to educate more practitioners living in other countries as real estate increasingly becomes a global business.

“More international real estate conferences and summits will be held in the U.S. and abroad this year to connect American REALTORS® with those overseas, NAR’s Global Business & Alliances Committee announced during the 2015 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. Here are a few of the biggest ones:

“The first-ever International REALTOR® Conference will be held July 27 to 30 in Manila, Philippines, with the event’s main goal being to help REALTORS® in all corners of the globe conform to the Code of Ethics. “The REALTOR® brand is no longer an American brand,” said Shonee Henry, GBAC’s regional coordinator to Asia Pacific. “It’s now a global brand.”

“Tony Hanna, president of the Association of Professional Real Estate Agents of Mexico, announced a new initiative of the organization called AMPI USA. It’s aimed at teaching REALTORS® in the U.S. how to do business in Mexico. Courses on the topic will be offered at the AMPI International Real Estate Summit in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, which will be held June 24 to 28.

“In November, the Miami Association of REALTORS® will be holding its 21st annual International Real Estate Congress, a popular networking event that brings foreign investors and developers together with real estate professionals in a world-class city. But for the first time in its history, part of it will be held in the host city of NAR’s REALTORS® Conference & Expo, which is San Diego this year, so those already planning to attend NAR’s event can experience IREC as well. MAR has partnered with the San Diego Association of REALTORS® to host the second leg of the event Nov. 10 and 11 just before the kickoff of NAR’s conference on Nov. 13. The first leg of IREC will be held in Miami Nov. 8 and 9.

“Several delegates from NAR’s partnering organizations in foreign countries also were on hand to explain how NAR has helped them expand the REALTOR® brand at home.

Greece: The Greek economy is only now entering recovery mode, said Nikos Manomenidis, president of the Central European Real Estate Associations Network. That’s ushering in expanded opportunities for practitioners there, which has prompted a move to strengthen real estate standards there. Greek real estate organizations are now in the process of establishing the country’s first MLS, and they are adopting NAR’s Code of Ethics.

Canada: An astounding 72% of REALTORS® in Canada don’t collect referral fees, said Pauline Aunger, president of the Canadian Real Estate Association. That’s a lot of money being left on the table, particularly for the 10% of Canadian REALTORS® who work with international buyers and sellers, she said. CREA is working with NAR to teach its members how to establish and use referral fees, and CREA has also partnered with NAR to create the country’s first course for the Certified International Property Specialist designation.

Romania: In the 10 years since he first attended an NAR convention, Dan Negulescu, president of the Romanian Association of Real Estate Agencies, has helped build the country’s “mini NAR.” The organization has launched Romania’s first MLS, established commission structures, and adopted the Code of Ethics.

Taiwan: Michael Tseng, vice president of the Taipei Association of Real Estate Brokers, was the first Certified Commercial Investment Member designee in his country. Since then, he has launched several CCIM  initiatives, eventually making courses for the designation part of standard curriculum at Taiwanese universities. Higher-ed institutions in the country now also provide coursework for students to get their real estate license.

Jamaica: Five years ago, Jamaican REALTORS® launched their first MLS, and that’s a big reason why the nation has become the most popular in the Caribbean for U.S. buyers looking to purchase a second home, said Howard Johnson, past president of the REALTORS® Association of Jamaica. The country now has 700 REALTORS®, which represents 60% of all real estate practitioners in Jamaica, and they are hosting several trade missions a year from American associations.”

Governor Scott Signs Florida Bill on Drone Use

Florida Realtors logoThis was posted today on FloridaRealtors®:

“While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not yet authorized drone use for most real estate functions in Florida, a bill (SB 766) passed by the Florida Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott yesterday creates new rules for drone use once the FAA does so.

“In general, the Florida bill provides privacy protections for residents fearful that a drone will be allowed to fly across their private property and take pictures.

“However, the bill provides some protections for the state’s Realtors by including “limited exceptions.”

“According to a Senate committee’s bill analysis, “A person or entity engaged in a business or profession licensed by the state may use a drone to perform reasonable tasks within the scope of his or her license.” In addition to the exception for state licensees, the bill allows drone use by tax collectors for assessing property for ad valorem taxes and pictures taken by an electric, water or natural gas utility.

“Outside those exceptions however, the bill bans “a person, a state agency or a political subdivision from using a drone to capture an image of privately owned real property … with the intent to conduct surveillance without … written consent if a reasonable expectation of privacy exists.”

Captiva Yacht Club Junior Sailing Camp

Captiva yacht clubCaptiva Island Yacht Club uses the U.S. Sailing Association’s curriculum at their Junior Sailing Camp for kids ages 8 to 15 and at all experience levels. Membership in the yacht club is not a requirement. Two sessions are scheduled this summer (June 15 to 26 and July 13 to 24). Camp will be held at the yacht club, located next to ‘Tween Waters Inn. For additional info, email: accounting@CaptivaYC.net.

22nd Annual Sam Bailey’s Islands Night

Island night LogoIt is a month away, but islanders already are looking forward to this year’s “Islands Night” at the Lee County Sports Complex.

Beginning with a parade, “Islands Night” is a local tradition of hometown camaraderie begun by islander Sam Bailey over 20 years ago.

On Wednesday, June 17, at the Sports Complex, the gates open at 5:30 p.m., with parade at 6:15, followed by a baseball game – Fort Myers Miracle versus Daytona Tortugas at 7:05. Tickets are free. It is where islanders celebrate the end of another “busy” season.

Royal Poinciana in Full Bloom

On my travels this week, I stopped a couple of times to snap photos of the beautiful Royal Poinciana trees that are in gorgeous full bloom this year. Some Mays, with the onset of the rainy season, their color is short-lived – not so this year. Below are a couple of photos of the brilliant orange canopies.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity May 8-15 

Sanibel

CONDOS

5 new listings: Tennisplace #E31 2/1.5 $369K, Sundial #F308 1/1 $385K, Sandpebble #1F 2/2 $399.9K, Lighthouse Point #131 2/2 $599K, Cottage Colony West #110 1/1 $639K.

3 price changes: Spanish Cay #F2 1/1 now $250K (our listing), Mariner Pointe #332 2/2 now $480K (our listing), Sanibel Arms #E8 2/2 now $497.4K.

1 new sale: Sundial #A301 2/2 listed for $869.9K.

4 closed sales: Sundial #F306 1/1 $345K, Sanibel Moorings #1622 2/2 $415K, Mariner Pointe #421 2/2.5 $515K, Dosinia #2B 3/2 $1.275M.

HOMES

2 new listings: 1658 Sabal Palms Dr 2/2 $850K, 1004 Fish Crow Rd 4/3 $925K.

6 price changes: 9477 Peaceful Dr 3/2 now $474.9K (our listing), 9106 Mockingbird Dr 2/2 now $499K, 1774 Bunting Ln 3/2 now $539K, 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $549K, 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now $645K.

3 new sales: 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 listed for $595K (short sale), Moonshadows #1A 3/3 listed for $899K, 375 East Gulf Dr 3/3 listed for $1.395M (our buyer).

5 closed sales: 475 Sea Walk Ct 3/2 $510K, 1445 Causey Ct 3/2 $790K, 6195 Henderson Rd 2/2 $1.15M, 5235 Indian Ct 4/3.5 $1.535M, 4627 Rue Belle Mer 3/2 $2.875M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 $275K.

HOMES

1 new listing: 16500 Captiva Dr 5/5 $5.8M.

2 price changes: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 half-duplex now $2.099M, 11530 Paige Ct 4/5.5 now $3.98M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Happy weekend!

Early May Happenings on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It’s SanibelSusan reporting that for early May, there is a surprising amount of real estate activity on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. This week, The SanibelSusan Team had a nice closing on Tuesday, fielded a few inquiries, had a handful of showings, fulfilled several action items on upcoming closings – including attending two home inspections, and even got to work on a couple of offers.

After a couple of news items below is the action posted since last Friday in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service.

How about all those closings? It is amazing that there were not only 13 Sanibel home closings, but also 13 new sales over the last few days. Similarly with Sanibel condos, there were seven closings and six new sales. Today there are just 97 Sanibel condos for sale. Near-beach homes remain the favored product, but it is the first time since before Hurricane Charlie in 2004, that I remember condo inventory being under 100.

I bet it’s going to be a busy summer too!

Sanibel on “Today Show”

NBC Today LogoThe talk of the islands this week was the segment slated to be on The Today Show yesterday. Sanibel was declared the best family-friendly spot in the U.S. and the top tourist town on NBC’s Today Show. My blog mentioned the results of “FamilyFun” magazine’s survey that put Sanibel No. 1 back in March. Then the results appeared in the April issue of the magazine. The FamilyFun list went to the next level when it was aired yesterday morning on “Today” in a segment hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. If you are wondering about the complete list of the top ten, they are:

  • Sanibel
  • Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Washington
  • Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, Washington
  • Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Omaha, NE
  • Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, IN
  • Gatlinburg, TN
  • Savannah, GA
  • St. Augustine, FL
  • Mackinac Island State Park, Mackinac Island, MI
  • St. Louis, MO, Zoo.

Maybe that publicity will ensure a busy summer. If you missed it, here is the video:

http://www.today.com/video/4-family-friendly-travel-destinations-for-the-summer-441449027688 

Workshop on Island Traffic

Sanibelcityseal logoWith all these accolades come more people, so it was good to read in the “Santiva Chronicle” that Sanibel City Council will hold a workshop at 9 a.m. Monday, June 1, at City Hall to address the island’s traffic, considered by most to be the major issue facing Sanibel.

“Mayor Kevin Ruane presented a brief outline he has prepared to take on traffic problems at the regular monthly meeting of the City Council, Tuesday, May 5, at City Hall and it will be used as a basis at the workshop. “Traffic management is an issue,” Ruane said. “It is important enough to revisit this subject once again.” Ruane included in Tuesday’s meeting agenda 50 documents involving various aspects of traffic dating back to 1988. It amounted to 2,671 pages. “There is some good data here, and there is some that is outdated,” Ruane said. “We have just put this list together and I or no one else has had time to read all 2,000 pages. But this data provides a good starting point. “We will go over expectations,” Ruane said. “We won’t promote false expectations about what we can and cannot do.” “This is a good starting point,” Vice-Mayor Mick Denham said. “The process you have defined is a great idea.” “I appreciate your remarks over expectations,” Councilman Chauncey Goss said. “There is no silver bullet on this island when it comes to traffic and nobody should be led to believe there is.”

“I support this session (workshop) if it doesn’t turn into a gripe session,” Councilman Jim Jennings said. “I understand some of that is necessary.”

“The June 1 workshop will be held just ahead of the monthly council meeting on June 2. The council cannot vote on anything at the workshop. “We can’t vote, but we can frame in what I hope is a free-flowing type of workshop,” Ruane said. Following the workshop, the council also will hold a joint workshop with the Planning Commission on June 9.”

Upcoming Events

Sanibel school ribbonMay 16 – Sanibel School Fund Blue Ribbon Classic at the Sanctuary Golf Club begins at 11:30 a.m. with 12:30 p.m. shotgun start. Proceeds pay for a language arts instructor, software, technology and sound equipment and musical instruments, and upgrades in classrooms that give students an advantage at the nationally acclaimed school. The Sanibel School serves approximately 375 students in kindergarten through 8th grade on Sanibel and Captiva. It has been awarded a Blue Ribbon through the U.S. Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon School program, which recognizes educational institutions where students achieve overall academic excellence or for success in closing academic gaps. The school has earned an “A” rating from the Department of Education for the past dozen years.

ride of silence logoMay 20 – Ride of Silence is a worldwide event that takes place each year at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of May to honor bicyclists who have been in accidents & to raise awareness on sharing the road. Hosted by Matzaluna Italian Restaurant, riders are encouraged to arrive for a short educational program at 6:15 p.m. The ride begins at 7 p.m., crosses over the first two bridges of the causeway, around the turn-around under the main span, returning to Matzaluna.

As Luxury Market Soars, A Moment for Concern

realtor logoThis article was posted in late April on Realtor®Mag Blogs under “Speaking of Real Estate””

“Exceptional growth has been the storyline of the luxury real estate market the past few years. No other price segment has rebounded from the housing crash with as much gusto as that of million-dollar-plus homes, which are selling at twice the historical average. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, home sales above $1 million in 2014 grew nearly 9% over 2013 — more than double any other price point. And the conservative expectation is that luxury sales will at least repeat that performance this year. Nearly every major city — if not all of them — shattered its record for most expensive residential sale in the last year, and each one has a listing today that, if purchased at asking price, would break it again.

“There’s no doubt the industry has a lot to celebrate because of the roaring success on the top end of sales. But underneath that fanfare appears to be a little bit of nervousness that only a few will openly — or even hesitantly — admit. Is the upward trajectory of high-end sales and prices rising too fast?

“At the Asian Real Estate Association of America’s Global & Luxury Summit in Chicago this week, the theme was clearly that real estate professionals should jump on the opportunities presented by the soaring luxury market. The conference was mostly tips for how to enter the high end of your local market and serve wealthy buyers’ needs, as well as the outlook for luxury sales going forward. It was on this latter point that a few glimmers of concern shown through at various sessions.

“During a presentation by top luxury producers around the county, the panel was asked by an audience member where they thought the luxury market was going in the future. Craig Hogan, director of Coldwell Banker Previews International in Chicago, answered this way: “We want to see the luxury market go up, but we don’t want to see it go up so fast that then it drops. We hope it keeps doing what it’s doing without a bunch of spikes.”

“On the same panel, Robert Canberg, a salesperson with Nest Seekers International in the Hamptons on Long Island, said his tony area’s average sales price last quarter was around $2 million, up more than 30% year-over-year. Another panelist, Ivan Sher, partner-broker with the Shapiro & Sher Group in Las Vegas, said the number of home sales above $1 million in the city was 19 in January of this year alone, up from 8 in January 2012.

These are, of course, market conditions in only two areas, but against a sea of headlines proclaiming an unprecedented heating-up of luxury sales around the country –  San FranciscoAtlantaNashvilleBostonMiami — it’s clear that the spikes are already beginning to happen. What no one knows is if or when the drop will come. That’s incredibly difficult to predict.

“However, another potentially alarming bit of information: During the opening general session at the AREAA summit, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said that the rising value of the dollar could make foreign buyers pull back on real estate purchases in the U.S. Foreign buyers have been responsible for a large percentage of high-end sales in these years of the fast-and-furious recovery of the luxury market. If they go away, are there enough buyers here who can sustain the price growth?

“Even realtor.com® Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke showed a slide pinpointing the correlation between the U.S. dollar and home-buying demand from international buyers. Beginning in November of last year, the dollar took a sharp turn upward in value, and at the same time, the number of non-U.S. visitors to realtor.com® drastically declined. Pair that with Yun’s statement at the conference that “there is still some uncertainty and risk consideration about where the U.S. is currently. It’s not necessarily the best of times,” he said, noting that GDP growth in the U.S. is expected to “fizzle” this year, though he attributed that to “one-time factors” without elaborating.

“That, of course, isn’t enough to say that doom and gloom is on the horizon for the luxury market or the market as a whole, but it’s something to take note of.

“Economists started to say last year that the potential for another housing bubble was present, but no one would go so far as to say it was actually happening. No one can say that now, either, but it’s worth noting that eerie signs — whether it speaks to a bubble or not — are popping up. And they’re starting to be acknowledged by some in the real estate community.”

Roseate Spoonbill Lovers

If you enjoy photographing these colorful birds, you may be interested to know that there have been many sightings at the J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge this week. If you want to see them, reports say that you need to get there early, as they are usually gone by 10 a.m.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity May 1-8 

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Sundial #H109 1/1 $339K, Sundial #H302 2/2 $599K, Pointe Santo #C4 1/1 $639K, Sundial #T302 2/2 $739K.

1 price change: Sanibel Arms #E7 1/1 now $349K.

6 new sales: Captains Walk #A2 1/1 listed for $239.9K, Seashells #27 2/2 listed for $323K, Seawind #A106 2/2.5 listed for $479K, Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 listed for $649.9K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4 2/2.5 listed for $699K, Sand Pointe #214 2/2 listed for $729K.

7 closed sales: Coquina Beach #4B 2/2 $409K, Sanibel Siesta #308 2/2 $475K, Sandpiper Beach #202 2/2 $611K, Lighthouse Point #127 3/2 $680K, White Pelican #123 2/2 $725K, High Tide #A101 3/2 $1.1M, Somerset #B101 3/2.5 $2.025M (our Seller).

Beach Path

Beach

HOMES

2 new listings: 1806 Ibis Ln 3/2 $470K, 513 Lighthouse Way 3/3 $1.995M.

3 price changes: 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $599.4K, 4241 Old Banyan Way 3/2 now $739K, 1525 San Carlos Bay Dr 3/2 now $1.975M.

13 new sales: 600 East Rocks Dr 3/2 listed for $535K; 3724 Agate Ct 2/2 listed for $549K, 1586 Century Ct 3/2.5 listed for $629K; 1325 Par View Dr 3/2.5 listed for $710K; 5406 Osprey Ct 3/2 listed for $729K, 1528 Angel Dr 3/2 listed for $749K; 1041 Blue Heron Dr 3/2.5 listed for $839K; 3351 Barra Cir 3/2.5 listed for $869,999; 4620 Rue Bayou 3/3 listed for $899K; 5076 Joewood Dr 3/2 listed for $949K; 518 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 listed for $398.5K, 4809 Tradewinds Dr 3/3.5 listed for $1.69M; 4525 Waters Edge Ln 3/2.5 listed for $4.495M.

13 closed sales: 1845 Ardsley Way 3/2 $525K, 542 Chert Ct 3/2 $551.25K, 4279 Gulf Pines Dr 4/3 $630K, 3131 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $665K, 547 Chert Ct 3/2.5 $690K, 2210 Camino Del Mar 3/2 $695K, 1173 Kittiwake Cir 4/2 $699.9K, 248 Daniel Dr 3/2 $719K, 2582 Wulfert Rd 3/3.5 $750K, 6101 Castaways Ln 4/2 $790K, 2617 Coconut Dr 3/2.5 $1.29M, 1842 Woodring Rd 3/3.5 $1.84M, 1779 Venus Dr 4/5.5 $3.819M.

LOTS

No new listings.

2 price changes: 5126 Sea Bell Rd now $220K, 5116 Sea Bell Rd now $226K.

1 new sale: 9277 Belding Dr listed for $179.9K.

2 closed sales: 2562 Coconut Dr $308K, 6419 Pine Ave $626K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: Bayside Villas #5324 3/3 $568.5K, Beach Homes #19 3/3 $2.695M.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 11461 Dickey Ln 3/2 now $1.455M.

1 new sale: 11513 Wightman Ln 5/5 listed for $1.795M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

mothers-day-clipart-1Best wishes for a happy weekend – especially all the Moms!

What’s Happening Now on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It’s SanibelSusan again with some Friday scoop. My team and I have been busy all week with action items on new listings, upcoming closings, and recently negotiated contracts, but new business was markedly slower this week, while traffic was markedly improved.

Yesterday’s Realtor® Caravan Meeting was lightly attended and showing activity/inquiries were down too. Below after a couple of news items is the activity posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service this week.

Community House Renovation Plans Moving Ahead

Community Ctr renovationCommunity House logoIt was with interest that the April-May newsletter of the Sanibel Community Association “The House News” reported the following:

“The long-anticipated renovation of the Community House is moving forward, with building and site plans being completed this year and primary construction now expected to happen in the Summer of 2016. This will allow the House to host its normal schedule of activities during next season (2015/2016) without disruption.

“The renewal project will restore the historic North Room, in a manner consistent with its designation as a historical landmark, and the overall outside appearance of the Community House will be designed to be compatible with the “Olde Florida” style. Inside, the House will receive a major modernization, with upgraded electrical, plumbing, and audio-visual equipment, expanded and modernized kitchen and rest room facilities, and more flexible interior space, and a fresh look.”

A subsequent, email update today from SCA covered some points from their recent annual meeting including: that the last major renovation there occurred in the 70’s when the auditorium was added. After the upcoming summer 2016 renovation, the facility is expected to reopen in October. Local architect (& fellow Sanibel Chorus alto) Amy Nowacki has been appointed to design the project. Benchmark has been engaged as General Contractor. Cost for the project is estimated to be slightly under $2M.

“In the presentation to SCA membership, a new vision was outlined for how the Community House could participate in the Civic Core operations. “While SCA’s Board has decided to renovate its current building rather than construct a new Community House on the north side of Periwinkle at this time, we hope to be able to move SCA’s major outdoor festival-type events across the street to the planned Civic Core Community Green. This would include things like the major Arts & Crafts Fairs which operate over several days during the height of season. Locating those events on the Community Green would give them a more comfortable setting and make for easier parking and pedestrian access.

“SCA’s vision calls for the Civic Core project to include construction of an open-air pavilion on the Community Green that would serve as a base for the outdoor festival events and be available for other types of open-air functions, with parking provided by the new Civic Core shared parking lots. SCA plans to advance this idea with the City and other Civic Core stakeholder groups.”

Sweet Island Message

Facebook logoA couple of my teammates scowl when they hear that I have posted something on social media, particularly Facebook. But being a forward-thinking professional, I want to ensure that our business is marketed in whatever way necessary to best serve our clients and customers. Experts advise that younger generations rely on social media for business as well as pleasure, and since I have both received listings and found new prospective buyers through social media, my adventure into technology will continue.

What really irritates me though about social media, especially this week, is the amount of negativity that is posted and then perpetuated. My Dad always said “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I know that I don’t always follow that advice, so it is heartwarming to read what I consider a “sweet message” once in a while.

Seal_of_Maine_svgOn Facebook, there is a closed group called “Beautiful Sanibel Island”. The only requirement to join is that you “love Sanibel Island”. With over 6,000 followers, it is bound to have some naysayers occasionally and it does; but when I read the below message this morning from a gal who was here on visiting, I said to myself, “I must share this.” (Warmed my heart even more to see that the author is from Maine too! Those gals tell it like it is!)

“I returned home after another week in paradise a few days ago. The respect that everyone, young and old has for this magical island never ceases to amaze me. I just want to share 2 of my favorite interactions. I noticed a little girl, approximately 7 years old on a sandbar, holding the most beautiful, HUGE Lightening Whelk. I approached her to take a look and she, in a very matter of fact way says, “we can’t keep it, he’s alive”. It warmed my heart. The second was while I was taking a walk near the lighthouse. I saw a gentleman in his mid twenties, nice looking, nice physique, carrying something toward the water. I walked over to see what he had. It was a little Leopard crab. The handsome, young man says, “poor little fella, I need to get him back to the ocean. I hope he’ll be alright”. God, I love Sanibel…”

The Sanctuary Golf Club says “Please, Pardon the Dust…”

The Sanctuary Sign2July08As yet another indication that “season” is over, the following article was in the April issue of the “Sanctuary Sound”.

sanctuary golf club logo“The Members of The Sanctuary Golf Club have made a decision to remodel, redecorate, and refresh! …

“First, the Clubhouse will be remodeled. The integrity of the brand will remain but new furnishings, paint, carpet, decorations, etc. will be added to refresh the Club. Next, the outside dining will be enhanced to capture the magnificent golf course view. Lastly, the fitness center and pool will be removed for a 5,000 sq. ft. Tennis & Wellness building. It will include new state-of-the-art fitness equipment, an aerobics room, massage therapy rooms, and locker rooms. The lap pool will augment the exercise programs to include water aerobics…these changes will begin May 2016.”

Note: Their social membership is capped at 100 with 14 currently on the waiting listing. With normal attrition just 2 to 4 members a year, if you are considering joining The Sanctuary as a social member, it makes sense to complete an application and get your name on the list now. There are no fees for the applying. For more info, contact Sheryl Tatum, Director of Membership, 239-332-5182 or statum@sanctuarygc.net.

RPAC Hair Color Challenge

rpacAt our Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® Caravan Meeting yesterday, I challenged colleagues to change their hair color as part of our annual fundraiser for RPAC. RPAC (Realtor® Political Action Committee) contributions support a variety of things affecting all of us. Those issues include electing Realtor®-friendly legislators who protect property rights, competitive and affordable flood insurance, protecting the environment, cleaning waterways, and re-nourishing beaches. Realtor® dollars contributed to RPAC are used: 30% to national issues, 45% to Florida (http://pac.floridarealtors.org), while 25% may be used by local associations.

SanCapAssnLogoEach May, after “season”, our Sanibel/Captiva Association hosts an event which originally was known as “The Over-the-Hump Party”. This year, the event includes advance raffle-ticket sales, a golf tournament, and both silent and live auctions with items donated by members, plus an after-party. The purpose is to celebrate that we made it through another “season” and to raise money for RPAC.

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® may be small, but we recognize the importance of RPAC. SanibelSusan’s challenge adds just a different twist to raising a few more dollars this year. Those taking the challenge only need to color their hair wild and colorful before the event on May 20. If they meet the challenge, I will make a contribution toward their RPAC goal, provided they are more than 50% vested themselves. Goal levels begin at just $100.

If I am the only one on the island with pink hair in a few weeks, you will know that no one took my challenge, but I am hopeful that you will see some fun local color soon! Sanibel/Captiva took home four of the five state RPAC awards last year for a board of our size. This year we are hoping for five out of five! The gauntlet has been thrown.

Six Florida Islands That Are Better (And Usually Cheaper) Than The Caribbean

huff post travel logoHere is the intro to an article posted this week on the Huffington Post’s “HuffPost Travel”:

“If you’re craving an exotic beach escape to one of the best islands in the world, then head to Florida. Floridian islands made up three of TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Islands In The U.S. this year. They’re so stunning that earlier this year, the tourism bureau of Ithica, New York even begged travelers to go, to forgo the city to visit Florida’s islands instead. While getting to the Caribbean can be a schlep for your luggage and tough on your wallet, visiting Florida’s islands will not require going through customs and are often, though not always, cheaper to get to.”

The write-up included the below photo and had this to say about Sanibel: “Sanibel Island – With no chain stores, no stoplights and a population of just about 7,000 people, this place is pure, quiet island bliss. Hunt for seashells on the beach, or chow down on chicken wings at the Lazy Flamingo.”

HuffingtonPost photo 4-28-15

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 24—May 1 

Sanibel

CONDOS

1 new listing: Sunset South #2D 2/2 $525K.

3 price changes: Mariner Pointe #813 2/2 now $459K, Blind Pass #G203 2/2 now $490K, Seascape #201 3/3 now $1.795M.

3 new sales: Lighthouse Point #231 2/2 listed for $670K, Lighthouse Point #323 3/2 listed for $899K, Nutmeg Village #214 2/2 listed for $995K.

2 closed sales: Lighthouse Point #132 2/2 $475K, Sundial #E408 2/2 $875K.

HOMES

8 new listings: 1744 Bunting Ln 4/2 $649K, 588 Boulder Dr 3/2.5 $795K, 1251 Sand Castle Rd 4/3 $824.9K (short sale), 557 N Yachtsman Dr 4/3 $849K, 236 Palm Lake Dr 3/2 $879K, 660 Oliva St 3/2 $950K, 2540 Coconut Dr 4/3.5 $979K, 750 Periwinkle Way 4/4 $1.998M.

8 price changes: 9032 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $599.65K; 420 East Gulf Dr 3/3 now $719K; 1528 Angel Dr 3/2 now $749K; 5424 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 half-duplex now $795K; 518 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 now $998.5K; 1224 Par View Dr 3/3 now $1.099M, 1137 Golden Olive Ct 5/3.5 now $2.175M; 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/4/3 now $3,999,999.

6 new sales: 2220 Camino Del Mar Dr 3/3 listed for $599K, 238 Southwinds Dr 3/2 listed for $625K, 1755 Jewel Box Dr 3/2 listed for $699K, 395 Old Trail Rd 5/4 listed for $815K, 1101 Schooner Pl 3/2.5 listed for $1.189M, 375 East Gulf Dr 4/3 listed for $1.395M.

7 closed sales: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 $325K, 744 Martha’s Ln 2/2 $449K (our listing, photo below), 1691 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $469K, 1228 Anhinga Ln 3/2 $570K, 543 Chert Ct 3/2 $630K, 5880 Sanibel Captiva Rd 3/2 $865K, 1331 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $891K.

Front1

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sales: 223 Robinwood Cir listed for $195K.

2 closed sales: 2324 Starfish Ln $425K, 4334 West Gulf Dr $850K.

Captiva

CONDOS

3 new listings: Beach Villas #2422 1/1 $539K, Beach Homes 37 2/2 $1.795M, Beach Homes #8 3/3 $2.7M.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5144 1/2 listed for $299.5K.

1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1601 2/2 $1.225M.

HOMES

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

2 closed sales: 16249 Captiva Dr 3/2.5 $2.025M, 1 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 $2.175M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Best wishes for a great weekend, SanibelSusan (Susan Andrews)

Hot Real Estate Market on Sanibel As High Season Winds Down


It’s another happy Friday with SanibelSusan again reporting a busy week for The Sanibel Susan Team. Who said “season is over?”

SANSLogoThis week, our company had good action with listings shown, new listings and new offers received, new sales negotiated, and we been out showing property too.

Below, after a couple of news items, is the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days.

What A Difference a Year Makes

sancap GO MLS logoThough plenty of “under contract” listings remain on the books with many expected to close in May, it is interesting to take a snapshot of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service statistics now compared to the same time last year.

Below are the closed sales from the first of the year until today. What a difference a year makes!

SANIBEL SALES from January 1 to April 24

                2015                        2014

Type       #      Average $        #     Average $

Condos   59   $718,979          52   $679,516

Homes    87    $860,546         68   $787,446

Lots        16     $283,150        10    $510,356

CAPTIVA SALES from January 1 to April 24

                2015                      2014

Type        #       Average $     #     Average $

Condos  13      $1,212,538    6     $443,667

Homes   8        $3,060,312   11  $2,732,045

Lots        2        $2,847,500      0     N/A

Wondering how many properties are available and remaining to be sold? Or how many are under contract awaiting closing?

SANIBEL UNDER CONTRACT: 29 condos, 64 homes, and 10 lots.

CAPTIVA UNDER CONTRACT: 6 condos, 3 homes, and 2 lots.

FOR SALE ON SANIBEL: 106 condos, 131 homes, and 77 lots

FOR SALE ON CAPTIVA: 41 condos, 47 homes, and 3 lots.

Yes, the market is on the upswing and The SanibelSusan Team is looking for listings!

April Membership Meeting – Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors®

SanCapAssnLogoYesterday, at our local Realtors® April Membership Meeting guest speakers were SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) Director of Natural Resources, Rae Ann Wessel, and two Sanibel City Councilmen – the newest member Chauncey Goss and long-standing member Jim Jennings.

With discussion focused around water quality and how it affects all of us including real estate values, the speakers were complimentary about the report recently finalized by Florida Realtors® titled “The Impact of Water Quality on Florida’s Home Values” (Here’s a link: valueshttp://www.floridarealtors.org/ResearchAndStatistics/Other-Research-Reports/upload/FR_WaterQuality_Final_Mar2015.pdf). The persistent hard work by many local Realtors® was the impetus behind this report which is now a tool available for and used by our speakers and other officials in proving their point about the effects of water quality on businesses and property here.

Rae Ann advised that this summer with El Nino effects expected, the rainy season may be much like it was in 2013 and 2005 when there were high water releases from Lake “O” which resulted in fresh water being pushed down the Caloosahatchee River and some miles out into the gulf.

Florida voters – 75% of them – spoke loud and clear in support of protecting the state’s natural resources when Amendment 1 was approved. Now, we also must assure that the funding (estimated at more than $700M this year alone) is spent for the projects and purposes identified in the amendment. If you haven’t yet voiced your support, please to go SCCF’s web site to learn more. The end of a 2015 Land Purchase Option is coming up so it is important that projects to both improve water flow and store water remain in the minds of our state and federal leaders. http://www.sccf.org/content/292/Amendment-1—-Protect-Our-Voter-Mandate.aspx

waterflowbeforeaftercombo-700px

Councilmen also spoke of the City’s recent work toward policies that will help in redevelopment, particularly of old commercial spaces. The need to come up with solutions to island “high season” traffic problems was discussed too. They expect we will hear more on that subject in the upcoming months.

During the Caravan portion of the meeting, only three properties were announced as being on tour, so beginning May 1 these Thursday morning weekly meetings will transition to the summer schedule of every other week. That schedule will continue until listing inventory increases significantly, usually November.

Time Is Running Out

Ding Darling signAs follow-up to my mention of the need to contact legislative leaders about using the funds to support Amendment 1, I noticed the following message yesterday on “Ding on the Wing” online:

 

“Only a very short time remains until the Florida legislature and Governor Scott decide on the use of Amendment 1 money.  The EAA Reservoir Project is an essential element in the restoration of the Everglades and, as a result, will help dramatically reduce the summer flow of contaminated water from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee and hence the  Refuge watershed.  Funding must be secured by April to make this happen. Buy the Land to Start the Plan. This is an investment in our community, our economy and our future.  Thanks for taking action today!

“Even if you have contacted Governor Scott before, please do so again  Click Here.  Even if you are not a Florida resident, but come to Southwest Florida or own a second home, your voice matters.  Drinking water and wildlife will be negatively impacted, as well as the economy.   Please contact the governor TODAY.”

Southwest Florida International Airport

SW FL international airportOur friends at Oceans Reach posted the following info on their Facebook page this week. Good scoop about how the local Southwest Florida airport continues to expand their service, making it easier than ever to get to your favorite beach destination!

“Here is the latest air service news from Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers. The following airlines are adding new or additional routes:

“Air Canada Air Canada will operate up to four weekly flights to Toronto (YYZ) this summer, compared to two flights during the same period last year. Flights can be booked at www.aircanada.com.

“Frontier Airlines Frontier will inaugurate daily nonstop service to Cincinnati (CVG) on April 30. Frontier recently started weekly nonstop service to Chicago-O’Hare (ORD), Cleveland (CLE), Milwaukee (MKE), St. Louis (STL) and Washington, D.C.-Dulles (IAD). This will complement their existing service to Denver (DEN) and Trenton (TTN). Flights can be booked at www.flyfrontier.com.

“Southwest Airlines Southwest will inaugurate weekly nonstop service to Houston-Hobby (HOU) on April 11, 2015. Southwest recently resumed seasonal daily nonstop service to Kansas City (MCI); Saturday-only service to Albany (ALB), Boston (BOS), Cleveland (CLE), Denver (DEN), Islip (ISP) and Minneapolis (MSP). Flights can be booked at www.southwest.com.

“Spirit Airlines Spirit will inaugurate daily nonstop service to Atlanta (ATL) on Sept. 10, 2015. Spirit recently started weekly nonstop service to Cleveland (CLE) and Latrobe/Pittsburgh’s Arnold Palmer Regional Airport (LBE). Flights can be booked at www.spirit.com.

“Sun Country Sun Country will inaugurate weekly nonstop service to San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU) on May 3. The flights will operate on Thursdays and Sundays through Aug. 23, 2015. This will complement Sun Country’s daily nonstop service to Minneapolis-Saint Paul (MSP). Flights can be booked at www.suncountry.com.

“WestJet WestJet will operate up to five weekly flights to Toronto (YYZ) this summer, compared to four flights during this same period last year. Flights can be booked at www.westjet.com.

“For additional details and the full list of nonstop destinations serviced from RSW, please click here.”

Upcoming Prescribed Burns on Sanibel

Ding Darling Society logoAs reported in today’s “Island Sun”, “on Monday, a public information meeting was held at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Visitors & Education Center with refuge personnel, city and conservation staff and officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service discussing the plan for prescribed burn location on Sanibel this spring and summer.

“Currently, six locations on the island are being targeted for burns this year. They include”

  • The refuge’s Botanical Site, located south of Sanibel-Captiva Road across from The Sanibel School.
  • SCCF’s Center Tract, located between Sanibel-Captiva Road and Lake Murex Circle.
  • The Postell Tract, located between Rabbit Road and the Lake Murex subdivision.
  • Sanibel Gardens Preserve, located off Island Inn Road.
  • Frannie’s Preserve, located off Tarpon Bay Road.
  • Gulfside City Park, located between Algiers Lane and Casa Ybel Road.

“These spots include not just what we’re planning this spring and summer, but what our partners are planning to do,” Refuge Manager Paul Tritaik told the crowd. “What we want to have is a safe and effective burn for us and for the local wildlife.”

“Fire is a natural part of Florida’s ecosystem, historically set by lightning. Because of this history of periodic fires, many of Florida’s natural communities are adapted to burning. “Many plants and animals depend on and benefit from fire. Without fire, native plants and animals have a much harder time surviving in these habitats,” said Tritaik.”

“…Carefully planning and conducting managed burns can prevent the likelihood of catastrophic wildfires and help preserve the natural ecology of the area. Fire managers evaluate environmental conditions – including temperature, relative humidity, recent rainfalls, wind speed and direction and soil moisture – in order to determine the type of burn that can be conducted.

“…Prescribed fire burn plans have been approved by regional fire experts from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and authorization will be obtained from the state of Florida immediately prior to conducting prescribed burns. The refuge will implement prescribed burning as soon as the property conditions are present. USFWS firefighters from the Southern Florida/Caribbean Fire District and other agency partners including the National Park Service and Florida Forest Service – will be conducting the burns along with assistance from local agencies, which include the Sanibel Police Department, Sanibel Fire & Rescue District, the City of Sanibel and Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.

“…”We’re not going to be burning more than one location at a time,” Tritaik assured residents attending the meeting.

“Prescribe burns have been conducted for many years at J.N. “Ding” Carling National Wildlife Refuge and have demonstrated to be a cost-effective tool for reducing the risk of serious wildfires. Due to difficulties in predicting weather, the refuge is not able to notify the public of the exact day the prescribed burn will be conducted. However, landowners adjacent to the burn areas and local fire departments will be notified as soon as conditions warrant the scheduling of a burn (usually 24 to 48 hours advanced notice).

“According to Supervisory Refuge Manager Toni Westland, burn managers and partners will staff an information booth at The Sanibel Recreation Center to answer questions before and during a prescribed burn….”

Reducing The Risk of Wildfires – As a homeowner, there are many things that you can do to reduce the wildfire risk around your home. Suggestions include:

  • Trimming dead palm fronds from trees.
  • Trimming any tall grasses near the home.
  • Pruning large, leafy hardwood trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet high.
  • Removing combustible materials such as gasoline containers, firewood and building supplies from being stored underneath or around the home.
  • Keeping mulch and other landscaping material well watered.”

Health Matters – What Should You Do? – On the day of a prescribed burn, people who may be negatively affected by health issues triggered by smoke should consider doing the following:

  • Stay indoors
  • Close your windows and turn on your air conditioning unit
  • Make sure you have all of your medications on hand (i.e., asthma inhalers, oxygen tanks, pills, etc.)
  • Bring your pets indoors
  • If possible, leave the island for the duration of the prescribed burn.”

The Sanibel School Seahorse Festival 2015

2015 seahorse festivalThe Sanibel School Seahorse Festival 2015 is coming up on Saturday, May 2 from 4 to 8 p.m. at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club. Open to the public, adults are free, children $10, parking $5.

Come out and support the island’s blue ribbon school.

Family fun for a great cause. www.SanibelSchool.org

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 17-24 

Sanibel

CONDOS

4 new listings: Spanish Cay #F2 1/1 $274.9K (our listing), Captains Walk #F6 2/2 $319.9K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #A301 2/2 $463K, Sundial #O201 2/2 $699K (our listing).

1 price change: West Shore #3 3/3 now $1.749M.

8 new sales: Spanish Cay #A7 1/1 listed for $249.9K (our listing), Coquina Beach #4B 2/2 listed for $449K, Loggerhead Cay #353 2/2 listed for $499K (our listing), Mariner Pointe #421 2/2.5 townhome listed for $599K, Nutmeg Village #304 2/2 listed for $649.9K, Pelicans Roost #101 2/2 listed for $775K (our sale), Seascape #105 3/3 listed for $1.825M, Seascape #205 3/3 listed for $1.849M.

4 closed sales: Sundial #I301 1/1 $365K, Sanibel Siesta #105 2/2 $398K, Kings Crown #216 2/2 $899.5K, Kings Crown #101 2/2 $1.05M.

HOMES

5 new listings: 1065 Fish Crow Rd 2/2 $799K, 9470 Balsa Ct 3/3 $825K, 1041 Blue Heron Dr 3/2.5 $839K, 932 Whelk Dr 3/3 $1.55M, 1126 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2 $1.695M.

4 price changes: 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $579K, 1024 S Yachtsman Dr 3/2 duplex now $599.9K, 1710 Sand Pebble Way 3/2 now $679K, 1490 Middle Gulf Dr 3/4.5 now $1.695M.

5 new sales: 4109 Sanibel Captiva Rd 2/1 listed for $389K, 741 Nerita St 3/2 listed for $639.9K, 1842 Woodring Rd 3/3.5 listed for $1.998M, 4627 Rue Belle Mer 3/2.5 listed for $2.995M, 1204 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 listed for $3.795M.

5 closed sales: 581 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $378K (short sale), 1825 Ardsley Way 3/2 $480K, 728 Windlass Way 3/2 $615K, 1209 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $730K, 401 Lagoon Dr 4/4 $845K, 3744 West Gulf Dr 4/4 $1.5M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 6411 Pine Ave $379.5K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: 643 East Rocks Dr listed for $335K.

2 closed sales: 1301 Par View Dr $207K, 9426 Sage Ct $212.5K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Sunset Beach Villas #2337 2/2 now $710K.

1 new sale: Bayside Villas #5318 3/3 listed for $625K.

1 closed sale: Bayside Villas #5222 1/2 $312K.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 15009 Binder Dr 4/5.5 now $2.595M.

No price changes or new sales.

1 closed sale: 11491 Dickey Ln 4/4 $1.58M.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

BEST WEEKEND WISHES TO ALL!

hawk

Friday on Sanibel: Real Estate, Ospreys, Earth Day, GoMLS, & more


It is SanibelSusan reporting the end of another week of terrific Florida weather. Traffic on Sanibel and Captiva Islands has subsided a little, but the islands remain fairly busy. The good news is the locals again are talking about being able to get in at restaurants without much of a wait. It also appears that most of the buyers returning to view property now are serious! Yay!

I missed chatting with client/friends from California who stopped in at the office last Saturday while I was writing an offer. While they were talking to Lisa, Scott gave me the AOK to share his recent osprey photos in my blog. So thank you, Scott.

SanibelSusan Realty Happenings

The SanibelSusan Team and I are happy to report that we had a nice closing yesterday, one of those where we had to go find the property as none were for sale in that particular complex. Big shout-out to Arika at VIP for coming to our rescue on that one. Picture below of the view at Gulfside Place #318. GSP 318 cropped

Though it does not happen often at this time of the year, Dave, Elise, Lisa, and I have all been on listing presentations this week. Good to know that some fresh listings may be coming on the market this summer.

Over the last couple of days, I also have been negotiating several offers. Some are still cooking and one has been accepted verbally. They include offers coming in on our listings and a couple that I have written. That confirms, it has been a busy week!

With at least two new listings coming our way, all-in-all, it was yet another productive week for SanibelSusan Realty and good to see island good real estate action continuing during the time we often refer to as the “shoulder” period. More buyers are coming over the weekend too. Over the next few days, Dave and I both will be out showing property.

Good Multiple Listing Service activity was posted over the last seven days as shown below. First a couple of news items:

SanCapGoMLS

sancap GO MLS logoThe Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service has announced a new mobile app. “SanCapGoMLS”, designed for use on smart phones/tablets, zeroes in on the user’s location and identifies properties for sale in the surrounding area. It also can perform quick property searches for any listings in the MLS. The user specifies the search criteria and the results are immediate, mapped, and with all the photos.

If you’d like us to email you a link so you can install the app too, just send me a quick email (Susan@SanibelSusan.com) or text message (239-565-3128). It’s free!

Fun to use too, if you are one of those folks who wonders about the details of a property when you see a “for sale” sign. Of course, the database also contains properties for sale in the communities that do not allow signs too. So get all the scoop about all the listings with SanCapGoMLS. It’s a great tool.

Celebrate Earth Day Tomorrow at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Ding Darling Society logoJoin in the celebration tomorrow at the “Ding” Darling Refuge where Wildlife Drive is FREE to hikers and bikers from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. FREE bike rentals will be provided by Tarpon Bay Explorers (pick the bikes up at Tarpon Bay Explorers’ location). Earth Day mascot “Bagzilla” will make appearances throughout the earth-friendly day and free program. Click here for flier.

Real Estate Likely to Ride a 3-Year Wave

realtor logoHere’s a positive article from last Friday’s “Daily Real Estate News”, sourced to “Urban Land Institute”:

“The real estate industry is expected to strengthen this year and continue to get stronger through 2017, according to a new report released from the Urban Land Institute Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate, which is based on a survey of the industry’s top economists and analysts.

“Survey respondents said that the residential, single-family housing sector remains in recovery mode and economists predict that housing starts will rise from 647,000 in 2014 to 700,000 in 2015; to 815,000 in 2016; and 900,000 by the end of 2017.

“Economists predict that existing home prices will rise through 2017 — rising 5% this year; another 4% in 2016; and by 4% in 2017.

“”In summary, almost all U.S. real estate participants would be very pleased if the future unfolded as predicted by the ULI consensus forecast,” says ULI leader William Maher, director of North American strategy for LaSalle Investment Management in Baltimore. “The forecast represents almost the perfect combination of strong economic and property market fundamentals, combined with an orderly wind-down of monetary stimulus.”

“Although an economic downturn could throw off these predictions, as well as interest rate spikes or oversupplies, “real estate pros predict three more years of smooth sailing for U.S. real estate,” Maher adds.

Survey respondents were also upbeat with their forecasts for the commercial market, including:

  • Office sector: Respondents expect rental rates in office space to rise 4% this year, 4.1% in 2016, and 3.5% in 2017.
  • Apartments: Respondents expect rental rates continue to push upward, rising by 3.5% in 2015, 3% in 2016, and 2.7% in 2017.
  • Retail: Analysts expect that rental rates in the retail sector to rise by 2% in 2015, 3% in 2016, and 2.9% in 2017.
  • Industrial/warehouse: Analysts expect rental rates in the warehouse sector to rise by 4% this year, 3.8% in 2016, and 3.1% in 2017.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 10-17 

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Loggerhead Cay #353 2/2 $499K (our listing), Nutmeg Village #214 2/2 $995K.

LC 353 View

View from Loggerhead Cay #353

 

5 price changes: Captains Walk #C7 1/1 now $229.9K, Spanish Cay #C5 2/2 now $369.9K, Tarpon Beach #204 2/2 now $750K, Sundial #F201 2/2 now $769K, Sanddollar #A104 2/2 now $799K.

4 new sales: Sundial #F303 2/2 listed for $495K, Sundial #R304 2/2 listed for $799K, Dosinia #2B listed for $1.299M, Seascape #205 3/3 listed for $1.849M.

5 closed sales: Sunset South #9D 2/2 $360K, Sanibel Arms West #L5 2/2 $500K, Gulf Beach #102 2/2 $695K, Gulfside Place #318 2/2 $1.25M (our buyer), Beachcomber #C102 2/2 $1.5275M.

HOMES

No new listings.

4 price changes: 778 Cardium St 3/3 now $449K, 2984 Island Inn Rd 3/2 now $619K, 4620 Rue Bayou 3/3 now $899K, 904 Almas Ct 3/2.5 now $1.045M.

5 new sales: 750 Martha’s Ln 3/2 listed for $579K, 1445 Causey Ct 3/2 listed for $849.9K, 757 Windlass Way 3/2.5 listed for $1.149M, 1138 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2.5 listed for $1.195M, 428 Bella Vista Way E 4/4 listed for $1.695M.

8 closed sales: 2621 Sanibel Captiva Rd 3/2 $247K, 702 Donax St 2/2 $370K, 1712/1714 Sand Pebble Way 4/2 duplex $389K, 1347 Jamaica Dr 2/2 $500K, 2596 Roosevelt Pl 3/2 $665K, 732 Durion Ct 3/2 $700K, 625 Sea Oats Dr 3/3 $748K, 5721 Sanibel Captiva Rd 3/3/2 $1.3M.

LOTS

1 new listing: 4538 Bowen Bayou Rd $299K.

1 price change: 1310 Par View Dr now $359,555.

1 new sale: 1336 Eagle Run Dr listed for $245K.

1 closed sale: 3792 Coquina Dr $305K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: Beach Homes #19 3/3 listed for $2.695M.

2 closed sales: Beach Villa II #2418 2/2 $630K, Lands End Village #1606 3/3 $1.85M.

HOMES

No new listings.

1 price change: 1105 Tallow Tree Ct 3/3 half-duplex now $2.15M.

No new sales.

1 closed sale: 16183 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 $2.785M.

LOTS

No new listings or price changes.

1 new sale: 16970 Captiva Dr listed for $2.995M.

No closed sales.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Sun clip artUntil next Friday, when I hope we have more good news to report,

Susan Andrews (aka SanibelSusan)

“High Season” Is Winding Down on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


sunset from master“Season” must be winding down. There were lots of empty seats yesterday at our Thursday Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtor® Caravan meeting.

Island traffic has eased up some too, but the bike paths, causeway, and beaches remain busy with lots of families continuing to enjoy the islands’ early summer-like weather.

Rumor has it that reservations are dropping from 100% occupancy to about 75% tomorrow. But, many of us still have buyers arriving – mostly those looking for investment properties that are hard to view in “season”.

Several states continue to have spring school breaks right through the end of the month, so the islands “shoulder” weeks this year should remain busy.

The action posted in the Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service follows a couple of news items. This week, we got a new home listing that went under contract in record-time. As the MLS report shows, over the last seven days, home sales outnumbered condo sales three to one.

141 Sanibel homes have already sold or are under contract this year, with just 135 remaining on the market. With Sanibel condos, 77 have sold and 112 are for sale. Lot sales are picking up some too; but 77 Sanibel lots remain for sale, with 24 sold/under contract this year to-date.

Below are a couple of photos thanks to teammate Realtor® Dave:

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Special SanibelSusan Gift

Old OfficeI got a great surprise Tuesday night after sponsoring the BIG ARTS 3rd Annual Photography Scavenger Hunt to benefit BIG ARTS scholarships. Island artist and BIG ARTS instructor, Bea Pappas, presented me with a thank you collage that she made. It includes an old Sanibel post card of our office building back in the days of City incorporation (1974). It was a gift shop then, called “The Last Straw”. Next time you are in the office, check it out. We have it proudly displayed by the front door, next to our antique Sanibel map from 1833.

Photo Scavenger HuntNext year’s Photo Scavenger Hunt already is in the planning stages, so if you will be on the island at this time next year, plan to join in the fun. After receiving just five clues, teams of two to four, with digital cameras in hand, scour the island to take pictures that they think best describe each clue. Some teams walk or bike, others ride. This year, the clues included: “warped”, “prickly”, “going up”, and “layered”.

Two hours later, the teams return to BIG ARTS and submit their photos. The pictures then are combined into a video showcase and judged, all while the teams enjoy a gourmet boxed dinner. After dessert, the video is featured during the awards show in Schein Performance Hall.

ButterflyScavengerHuntPrickly Scavenger HuntThis year, seven great gift basket prizes were awarded, one for each clue, a People’s choice award, plus the “best in show”. There were some creative entries.

Judges were Pam Broderson, well-known island artist and resident (www.PamBroderson.com), who for 24 years had a commercial photography studio in Chicago; island photographer David Meardon (www.SanibelPhoto.com) whose work is seen in many publications, including National Geographic; and long-time Fort Myers “News Press” photographer, Andrews West (www.AndrewPWest.com).

Steve Greenstein, Executive VP at the Sanibel Captiva Trust Company, was the emcee again this year and only lobbed a couple of Realtor® jokes my way. Thanks to all who participated and contributed! And to Bea, we love the collage!

Nesting Alert

Ding Darling Society logoBorrowed this from the April 2, 2015 issue of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society Newsletter:

snowy plovers“Spring means wildlife nesting season! Please be mindful of snowy plovers nesting on the beach. Click here for a bulletin about giving nesting shorebirds space. Please avoid areas on Sanibel beaches roped off to protect our plovers.

Alligators too are laying and hatching eggs this time of year. Mother gators can be very protective and aggressive, so avoid getting near their nesting areas and be extra observant out in the Refuge.”

The New Hot Housing Market: Vacation Homes

realtor logoTuesday’s “REALTOR®Mag” on line offered the following:

“It’s a good time to have a vacation real estate niche. Vacation home sales jumped to a record high in 2014, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2015 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey. Vacation home sales climbed to an estimated 1.13 million last year, the highest since NAR began its survey in 2003.

“Sales of vacation homes rose 57% compared to the 717,000 tally in 2013. Vacation sales in 2014 nearly doubled the combined total of the previous two years. “Affluent households have greatly benefited from strong growth in the stock market in recent years, and the steady rise in home prices has likely given them reassurance that real estate remains an attractive long-term investments,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Furthermore, last year’s impressive increase also reflects long-term growth in the numbers of baby boomers moving closer to retirement and buying second homes to convert into their primary home in a few years.”

Vacation home sales comprised 21% of all transactions in 2014 – the highest market share since NAR began conducting its survey.

“As vacation home sales soared, investment purchases dropped for the fourth consecutive year, the report showed. Investment home sales in 2014 fell 7.4% to an estimated 10.2 million in 2014 compared to 1.1 million in 2013. The market share of investment sales dropped to 19% in 2014 from 20% in 2013.

“”Despite strong rental demand in many markets, investment property sales have declined four consecutive years to their lowest share since 2010 as rising home prices and fewer distressed properties coming onto the market have further reduced the number of bargains available to turn into profitable rentals,” Yun says….”

Upbeat Economic Forecast for Realtors®: It’s No Joke

Florida Realtors logoYesterday’s FloridaRealtors® on-line, posted a summary of the recent Economic Summit in Naples (sourced to the “Naples Daily News”). The Naples market is much like that here on Sanibel and Captiva:

“Have you heard the one about two economists and an appraiser? Bearing happy national and regional forecasts, all three killed it before a cheering crowd of about 400 real estate agents at the annual outlook summit of the Naples Area Board of Realtors Tuesday afternoon at the Naples Grande Beach Resort.

“The jolly tone was largely set by Elliott Eisenberg, former senior economist at the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C., who now runs his own firm called Graphs & Laughs. He brought out the lighter side of household deleveraging, yield curve inversions and the quirky global dance between the dollar and deflation.

“Pointing out that lower energy prices and interest rates have allowed households to pay down debt and put an extra $1,600 in family budgets, he noted that this has allowed people to spend more on “stupid stuff, which is the American way – and this is good for the economy.”

“But while having more money to spend, coupled with a strong dollar abroad, has made it easier to buy pricey imported fripperies like red-soled Louboutin shoes and sporty BMWs, as well as cheap European vacations, there are some downsides, he said. That’s because a strong dollar makes it harder for American manufacturers to compete internationally, he said.

“”When it comes to manufacturing, things kind of suck,” said Eisenberg, noting that improvements in that sector are what pull an economy in and out of a recession.

“And because “corporations have become tightwads” and aren’t putting as much money as they could into new plants and their employees’ paychecks, the economy isn’t rebounding as quickly as it could, Eisenberg said.

That’s put a damper on homeownership among first-time buyers, who are just starting to emerge from their parents’ basements and form households.

“Nevertheless, on balance, the future is rosy, he predicted.

“Hiring is up and new unemployment claims down, which should put consumers on a strong footing in the future. While seven would-be workers pursued every job opening during the recession, now fewer than two do, he said.

“You can sleep with the boss’s wife and not get fired,” Eisenberg joked.

“Moreover, he expects the Federal Reserve is unlikely to raise short-term interest rates before the fall, and won’t do it quickly partly because it doesn’t want to spark deflation and partly because the “rest of the world is in the garbage can” and the global economy may suffer as a result.

“He expects rates will rise slowly from its current near-zero level to about 3.2% by the end of 2017.

“Eisenberg also doesn’t expect a return of the dreaded yield curve inversion, where short-term interest rates exceed long-term rates like mortgages, which generally presages a recession.

“”No recession is in the cards unless something external happens,” like a war or other unanticipated event, he said, exhorting the crowd of entrepreneurs to begin to take “prudent risks in your business – but don’t go nuts.”

“While he took a less jocular tone, Florida Realtors chief economist John Tuccillo drew smiles when he noted that “short sales have become museum pieces” and that the issues that once dominated the market – namely foreclosures and huge backlogs of unsold supply – are no longer the bugbears they were a few years ago.

“What seemed like a mountain has turned into a ski run,” he said.

“Negative equity loans – also known as underwater mortgages – have also declined to about 30% statewide from about 50% five years ago.

“Predicting positive effects on the state’s economy from the opening of Cuba and the expansion of the Panama Canal, as well as continued population and job growth, he expects home sales statewide will rise 10% year-over-year in the near future.

“Home prices also will grow, he said, albeit at a slower pace than in the past. Values should rise about 4.5% annually, he said, which are close to historical norms.

“Naples-based appraiser Cindy Carroll remarked that on a local level, both price growth and inventory levels vary markedly by location and neighborhood.

“For instance, some places, like Port Royal, may have already reached the top of their economic cycle and now have an oversupply of inventory, while others, like Royal Harbor and the Vanderbilt Beach area, still have room to run.

“But she still expects a long-term appreciation rate of about 6% in most neighborhoods.

“While that’s not a return to the go-go years of the housing boom, Carroll is still bullish about the region’s overall growth prospects.”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity April 3-10 

Sanibel
CONDOS
4 new listings: Mariner Pointe #121 1/1 $369K, Sundial #J401 1/1 $499K, Sanibel Surfside #117 2/2 $995K, Dosinia #2B 3/2 $1.299M.
2 price changes: Sundial #A305 2/2 now $799K, Seascape #105 3/3 now $1.825M.
3 new sales: Sundial #F306 1/1 listed for $379K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #201 2/2 listed for $459.5K, White Pelican #123 2/2 listed for $799.9K.
3 closed sales: Colonnades #44 1/1 $189.5K, Tennisplace #B23 2/1.5 $285K, Sedgemoor #206 3/3.5 $2.1M.
HOMES
5 new listings: 1593 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $529K, 4515 Bowen Bayou Rd 3/2 $585K, 238 Southwinds Dr 3/3 $625K, 554 East Rocks Dr 3/2 $699K, 1525 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 $829K.
12 price changes: 982 Main St 3/2.5 now $439K, 9106 Mockingbird Dr 2/2 now $525K, 220 Palm Lake Dr 3/3 now $565K, 741 Nerita St 3/2 now $639.9K, 4241 Old Banyan Way 3/2 now $759K, 3364 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 now $799K, 489 Lake Murex Cir 4/2 now $899K, 518 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 now $1.099M, 1245 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 now $1.695M, 4206 Dingman Dr 4/3 now $2.695M, 1204 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 now $3.795M, 3911 West Gulf Dr 5/5.5 now $4.895M.
12 new sales: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed for $329K; 766 Donax St 2/2 duplex listed for $415K; 659 Donax St 2/2 $499K (our listing); 3724 Agate Ct 2/2 listed for $549K; 542 Chert Ct 3/2 listed for $549.9K; 1347 Jamaica Dr 2/2 listed for $550K; 2984 Island Inn Rd 3/2 listed for $599,999; 1209 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 listed for $789.9K; 4458 Waters Edge Ln 3/2 listed for $829K; 667 Anchor Dr 4/3.5 listed for $1.1M; 2514 Blind Pass Ct 4/3/2 listed for $1.425M; 821 Sand Dollar Dr 4/4 listed for $1.589M.
6 closed sales: 1063 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $475K, 4037 Coquina Dr 3/3 $800K, 201 Violet Dr 3/2 $850K, 261 Ferry Landing Dr 2/2 half-duplex $918K, 819 Lindgren Blvd 4/3.5 $1.09M, 1309 Seaspray Ln 5/5 $1.835M.
659 Donax St

659 Donax St

LOTS
1 new listing: 2453/2441 Los Colony Rd $225K.
1 price change: 0 Pine Ave now $248.5K.
No new sales.
1 closed sale: 4019 Coquina Dr $200K.
Captiva
CONDOS
3 new listings: Bayside Villas #5310 3/3 $595K, Beach Villas #2414 2/2 $610K, Beach Homes #19 3/3 $2.695M.
2 price changes: Bayside Villas #414 1/2 now $265K, Marina Villas #707 2/2 now $595K.
1 new sale: Marina Villas #902 2/2 listed for $650K.
1 closed sale: Lands End Village #1654 3/3 $1.6M.
HOMES
No new listings.
2 price changes: 14981 Binder Dr 3/3 now $1.049M, 13550 Palmflower Ln 4/3.5 now $4.97M.
2 new sales: 19 Urchin Ct 2/2.5 listed for $889K, 16183 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 listed for $3.985M.
No closed sales.
LOTS
Nothing to report.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

TGIFHAPPY FRIDAY! SanibelSusan (Susan Andrews)

Just Another Week With Gorgeous Weather on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It’s the next to last week of high season on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, but the real estate action has been a little slower than expected. The fabulous weather with low humidity and warm summer-like temperatures with bright blue skies likely has kept the many families and visitors here instead engaged in other fun-in-the-sun activities.

Sundial Beach

 

Dave and Lisa took an afternoon drive through Babcock Ranch last Saturday. Check out Dave’s panther pictures below and you will understand why those animals are not on Sanibel. Takes a lot to feed a big animal like that. If you have not explored the ranch, it is an easy trip from the island and a nice time of the year to do it.

SanibelSusan Realty Associates

SanibelSusan Realty from Periwinkle WayTwice this week, we had a good walk-in interested in buying an investment gulf-front condo. Unfortunately, it is next to impossible to find any that can be viewed during what is traditionally one of the busiest weeks on the island. Tenant turnovers tomorrow are expected to be heavy too with many of rental organizations bringing on extra cleaners and inspectors to get them through the Saturday check-out/check-in rush.

We had a nice closing on Monday and are checking the boxes on the activities coming up on a few others, while we also said goodbye this week to some snowbird clients heading home.

Attendance was light at our Association of Realtors® Caravan meeting yesterday with not many sales announced. Below are a few news items followed by the activity posted this week in the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Multiple Listing Service.

What’s Driving International Buyers to Florida?

Florida Realtors logoGood article in the April 2015 issue of “FloridaRealtor®”. Here are a few excerpts:

“Patricia Tan expects strong demand for Florida vacation properties from United Kingdom (UK) buyers this year. “Changes in the U.K.’s pension regulations will allow retirees to take out a lump sum in 2015”, says Tan, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Sarasota and the National Association of Realtors® president’s liaison to the United Kingdom. “While some retirees will buy in France and Spain, there is still plenty of interest in Florida as a second-home destination,” she says.

“That’s just one example of the way political, economic, and policy changes in distant parts of the world can significantly impact global demand for Florida real estate.

“”Our state’s growth is strongly affected by the international economic environment,” says Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness in Orlando.

“With its sunshine, beaches, easy access by air and competitively priced properties, Florida is an attractive destination for foreign buyers and investors.

“Studies by NAR consistently show that Florida ranks third behind California and New York in U.S. international sales. Historically, Canada, Europe, and South America have been the three biggest sources of foreign buyers in the United States, with a recent upturn in interest from China.

“Now, Chinese citizens can obtain business and tourist visas for 10 years rather than just one, making it easier for Chinese buyers and investors to spend more time in the United States including Florida.

“Global demand patterns vary from year to year, based on factors like currency exchange rates that make Florida properties less or more expensive for foreign buyers, as well as visas and tax regulations that affect international investors.

“Steve Cook, co-publisher and editor of “Real Estate Economy Watch”, expects an overall slowdown in international demand, partly because housing prices have rebounded strongly, following the 2009 recession. “Global buyers saw tremendous opportunities in buying distressed properties, especially along the Gulf Coast,” he says. “While we are not seeing that same level of interest today, there is still plenty of demand for resort properties, and prices are still affordable for buyers worldwide.”…

“Historically, French-speaking Canadians have bought homes along the I-95 corridor on Florida’s East Cost, while English-speaking Canadians have gravitated to the Gulf Coast along I-75…The Canadian dollar has been stronger than the U.S. dollar…Since Canada didn’t go through the banking crisis as the United States did six years ago, buyers feel confident about investing in Florida vacation homes…Exchanges are important to European buyers as well…

“While the United Kingdom is Florida’s biggest feeder market from Europe, demand from other countries fluctuates from year to year, depending on factors like convenient air connections, says Tan. “I have seen more activity from French buyers who want to invest in the U.S. for tax reasons, and from Dutch buyers looking for vacation homes on the Gulf Coast,” she says. “German buyers continue to be interested in Florida, and there has been an increase in vacation buyers from Scandinavia, thanks in part to a new flight from Sweden to Fort Lauderdale.”…Demand may lessen slightly due to the euro’s losing value again the U.S. dollar.”

Who’s Moving Here?

Also from “FloridaRealtor®” April 15:

RealtyTracLogo_166x32“According to housing market firm RealtyTrac, interest in buying U.S. housing increased by 95% or more in 10 countries, and at least doubled in nine of these nations. RealtyTrac ranks the 10 countries where interest in buying American homes is on the rise.

  1. United Arab Emirates – Growth in prospective homebuyers: 352.2% – While the country has just 9 million residents, it had more than 1,000 ultra-high-net-worth residents in 2014. Roughly 40% of the Emirates’ GDP was tied to oil and natural gas output, according to OPEC. Despite oil’s recent price declines, the number of ultra-high-net-worth residents has not declined.
  2. Switzerland – Growth in prospective homebuyers: 269.7% – Helping to make U.S. properties more appealing, or at least more affordable, is the considerable appreciation of the Swiss franc against the dollar over the past five years, up nearly 27% in that time.
  3. Hong Kong & China – Growth in prospective homebuyers: 254.2% – While China’s economy remains one of the fastest growing in the world, there are concerns about slowing economic growth and shadow banking activity in the country. Concerns about wealth protection may encourage wealthy Chinese residents to consider U.S. property.
  4. France – Growth in prospective homebuyers: 190.0% – France had nearly 4,500 ultra-high-net worth residents as of 2014, more than in all but eight other countries globally. Many observers and residents have criticized President Francois Hollande’s socialist policy decisions and the resulting high taxes. A number of reports indicate that residents may be leaving the country due to high taxes and tough regulations.
  5. Italy – Growth in prospective homebuyers: 178.4% – The faltering economy may encourage Italians to consider U.S. property as a relatively good investment. Italy is also home to a number of extremely wealthy citizens with the resources to invest globally.
  6. United Kingdom – Growth in prospective homebuyers – 153.8% – The U.K. government’s Help to Buy program, which provides financial help to prospective homebuyers in the U.K., has drawn controversy. Detractors of the program have expressed concerns that home prices in the U.K. could rise to unsustainable levels. Thus, U.K. residents may see U.S. homes as a safe or profitable investment.
  7. Austria – Growth in prospective homebuyers: 121.9% – The country’s strong economic growth likely contributed to the increased interest in buying U.S. property. Despite recent declines, the Australian dollar has gained considerably against the U.S. dollar, also contributing to the increased interest.
  8. Canada – Growth in prospective homebuyers: 107.7% – The strength of the Canadian economy may have given residents more opportunities to invest. Some residents may also find U.S. properties attractive because some consider Canada’s housing market to be overvalued.
  9. Sweden – Growth in prospective homebuyers: 100% – Many Swedes may consider U.S. property to be a good investment, especially as Sweden’s economy has been stagnant. Additionally, many Swedes might find U.S. home prices more affordable, as experts believe Swedish home prices are precariously high.
  10. Germany – Growth in prospective homebuyers: 95.2% – Contributing to Germans’ ability to afford international property was the country’s high number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals in 2013, second only to the United States. Despite the weakness of the Eurozone economy and Germany’s slow growth, no major Eurozone country grew faster in 2013. However, interest in U.S. properties has tapered off recently.”

Some Ways International Buyers Can Own U.S. Real Estate

globe7Speaking of those international buyers, “FloridaRealtors®” April 2015, also offers this info:

“Here are some common ways international buyers can structure ownership of U.S. real estate to reduce their estate tax burden. Of course, buyers should always seek counsel to determine which course of action is best for them:

  1. Incorporation in a foreign jurisdiction. If the property has substantially appreciated in value since it was purchased, then a sale to a foreign corporation controlled by the nonresident alien or his/her family may be an option to eliminate exposure to estate taxes.
  2. Buy life insurance.       The proceeds of life insurance on the life of a nonresident alien are often not subject to estate tax and can provide liquidity to pay estate taxes.
  3. Draft a qualified domestic trust, if the foreign owner is married, either during the nonresident alien’s lifetime or upon his/her death. This may allow estate taxes to be deferred until the death of the surviving spouse.
  4. If other family members, such as adult children, are U.S. taxpayers, consider having them buy the property, perhaps subject to a mortgage in favor of the foreign parents.
  5. Consider using a two-tiered (foreign & domestic) partnership arrangement if the value and sophistication of the investment merits the additional expenses involved in doing so.”

How SanibelSusan Realty Markets Globally

TRC LOGOGlobal business begins with local relationships. Being a TRC (or Transnational Referral Certified) distinguishes SanibelSusan among over 2 million brokers and agents worldwide. It integrates referral business into my business plan and allows me to network through an international program, which also allows me to market myself and my listings on www.WorldProperties.com

This international network called The International Consortium of Real Estate Associations (ICREA), has resulted in the development of my own network of real estate professionals throughout the world who have personally selected me to be their real estate equivalent here on the islands. I currently have active agreements with 215 successful agents in ten different countries.

On the islands, just nine Realtors® also have earned their TRC. Only three of us are “Platinum” members of the group which gives our listings priority rankings, more visibility and translates them into the languages of the countries belonging to the consortium. Since my last name also begins with “A”, I am the top name on their island search list too (thank goodness for small favors like that).

Additionally, establishing a presence for international buyers through www.Proxio.com and www.Point2Homes.com has ensured that SanibelSusan listings make it around to the world to those searching for real estate in Florida.

Networking with other Florida colleagues is an important part of our global business too. Most Realtors® won’t give you a lead if they don’t know you, so when I am in Orlando each January and August at our FloridaRealtors® state meetings, I always make it a point to meet with other Realtors® with international clientele. Many of those in Miami and Orlando, where the global market is huge, know that SanibelSusan Realty is a go-to broker here for expert advice on SW Florida and island resources. (Here again my name helps, they remember SanibelSusan.) I have many life-long friends from years working on state committees and cherish their referrals.

My Friday island real estate blog brings international business too. This March showed the most readers to-date, with nearly 6,000 viewers. Subscribers in addition to those who sign up directly through the blog, others come through both Twitter and Facebook. I track the source of the readers, with 50% from Canada; 20% from United Kingdom; 15% Germany; 4% France; 2% each Australia, Sweden, Brazil; and 1% each Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, Argentina, and United Arab Emirates.

Upcoming Island Events

childrens ctr21st Annual Spring Festival – April 4, Saturday, sponsored by the Children’s Education Center of the Islands, event at the Sanibel Community Park (across the street from SanibelSusan Realty) from 9 to 11 a.m. Children are asked to bring an Easter basket for the FREE egg hunt at 9 a.m.

relay for life logoRelay for Life – April 10, Friday, at The Dunes Tennis & Golf Club, from 4 to 10 p.m., where cancer survivors and participants walk a loop with proceeds to benefit the American Cancer Society.

MOAA logo2nd Annual Bob Janes Memorial Golf Tournament – April 14, Tues, at Shell Point Golf Club. As a former Sanibel Mayor, Lee County Commissioner, and friend through MOAA (Military Officers Association of America), Bob installed me as President of the local Association of Realtors® back in 1998. This event named in his honor raises funds to benefit various veteran charities, including Wounded Warriors of Southwest Florida. I know Bob would be proud to know that they hope to beat the $21K raised last year. 2015 goal is $30K.

Farewell to Katie

katieDuring the Lion’s Club Arts & Crafts Fair two Saturdays ago, I ran over to The Community Center to relay best wishes to long-time island restaurateur and artist, Katie Gardenia. She will be moving to North Carolina soon to live nearer her daughter and granddaughter. To say she will be missed here is definitely an understatement. Many know Katie as the former owner of The Bubble Room and another island restaurant, famous for her cakes. Others know she is an admired artist, doll-maker, collector, and an all-round gem of a gal.

Here are a couple of tidbits from Katie’s book “A Bubble Moment” as described in this week’s “Sanibel-Captiva Islander”. Those of you who remember the early days of “The Bubble Room” should get a kick out of these. Each of Katie’s books is unique and contains some of her famous recipes. I cherish my copy and bought another one from her that very day, along with another piece of special Katie art. If you get to Flat Rock, NC, look for her new studio there.

  • “Another hiring ad in the local paper; and this time a couple, husband and wife from California responded to the ad. (At that point I was exhausted and would have hired anyone or thing that said they could cook.) They were hired on the spot and lasted all of two months. They went sailing one day and never came back…I was now doing lunch, baking from scratch sesame hamburger buns, quiche and adding more desserts.
  • “I always wanted to be a girl scout, but only made it the “brownies”. I went on a hunt for an old girl scout uniform, and finally found one at the Ortiz flea market in Fort Myers. It had all the bells and whistles, badges included. So our first server was a “real” girl scout, and I just loved the whole idea “living vicariously, I guess)…We were threatened with a lawsuit. Ok, we’ll just forget the girl and go to the boy, i.e. boy scouts. So, the servers (four by then) were dressed in boy scout uniforms.
  • “One of my favorite back screen door visitors was Mr. Paul Walken (Christopher Walken’s father)…he came to the screen door one day. I was baking: cakes were lined in rows ready to be frosted, icing in large bowls, dough rising, homemade bread waiting to be brushed with egg whites and popped into the ever-burning ovens. “Smells good in here. May I enter?”…he watched and said, “You don’t know the secret, do you.”
  • “I was baking my first batch of sticky rolls, and out of the corner of my eye I saw at the screened door a tall man with striped pajamas and a worn robe on, holding what looked like a skinned cat. Oh no, help me!”…you must be Mr. Rosse, Andy.” “Yep, that’s me, and I’m here to trade you this here possum for some of those sticky buns – SIX!” “What in the world do I do with a possum,” I asked. “Well, you boil it, of course.” (he said)”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 27-Apr 3 

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Captains Walk #F3 2/2 $289,982; Blind Pass #B209 3/2.5 $549K.

3 price changes: Blind Pass #E206 2/2.5 now $419.5K, Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 now $649.9K, Tanglewood #1A 3/2 now $1.124M.

1 new sale: Lighthouse Point #127 3/2 listed for $699.9K.

6 closed sales: Colonnades #11 1/1 $180K, Captains Walk #E5 2/2 $285K, Sanibel Siesta #701 2/2 $494K, Sandalfoot #5C1 2/2 $665K (our Seller), Loggerhead Cay #522 2/2 $670K, Blind Pass #G105 3/3 $700K.

Sandalfoot from beach

HOMES

4 new listings: 750 Martha’s Ln 3/2 $579K, 1409 Albatross Rd 3/2 $595.9K, 1445 Causey Ct 3/2 $849.9K, 863 Lindgren Blvd 3/2 $999K.

5 price changes: 1322 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 now $560K, 220 Palm Lake Dr 3/3 now $575K, 6019 Clam Bayou Ln 4/3 now $1.185M, 1138 Harbour Cottage Ct 3/2.5 now $1.195M, 2981 Wulfert Rd 4/4.5 now $1.54M.

4 new sales: 828 Rabbit Rd 2/1 listed for $399K, 5089 SanibelCaptiva Rd 3/2 listed for $489.9K (short sale), 9445 Beverly Ln 3/2 listed for $775K, 190 Violet Dr 3/2.5 listed for $1.05M.

3 closed sales: 240 Southwinds Dr 3/2 $480K, 1854 Farm Trl 3/2 $565K, 1075 Blue Heron Dr 3/2 $600K.

LOTS

1 new listing: 1815 Ardsley Way $197,555.

No price changes.

2 new sales: 9426 Sage Ct listed for $229,555, 2324 Starfish Ln listed for $449K.

2 closed sales: 1299 Par View Dr $212K, 6411 Pine Ave $320K.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Beach Villas #2517 1/1 $508.5K, Marina Villas #706 2/2 $625K.

3 price changes: Beach Villas #2417 1/1 now $520K, Sunset Beach Villas #2325 2/2 now $579K, Beach Homes #3 3/2 now $1.879M.

1 new sale: Sunset Beach Villas #2335 3/3 listed for $829K.

No closed sales.

HOMES

1 new listing: 19 Urchin Ct 2/2.5 $889K.

3 price changes: 11535 Wightman Ln 3/3 now $1.2M, 11535 Chapin Ln 4/4 now $1.449M, 11516 Andy Rosse Ln 6/6 now $2.349M.

1 new sale: 15879 Captiva Dr 3/3 listed for $2.695M.

1 closed sale: 43 Oster Ct 2/2.5 $730K.

LOTS

Nothing to report.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

happy easterHappy Easter!

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

More Real Estate Sales This Week on Sanibel Island


With Easter next weekend, “high season” on the islands is nearly over. Steady real estate sales were posted again this week making some Realtors® wonder what inventory will be left to sell through the summer. Yes, plenty of inventory remains in many complexes and subdivisions, but the in-demand water-view and near-beach homes are moving, as are large high-end condos.

Beach2

After a few news items below is a summary of the activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service this week. First a summary of the Sanibel sales activity this year, compared to 2014 and the current inventory.

Prospective sellers, usually those who bought in the “peak” (i.e. 2006), often ask how the market has rebounded as compared to when they purchased. Price-wise, the market is back to somewhere between 2004 and 2005 (when the market was rising) or about 2008 (as it was declining). In a nutshell, property values are coming back nicely. Volume-wise on Sanibel, the 73 condo, 128 home, and 21 lot sales posted this year are huge increases in units sold. That’s what has some Realtors® worried.

Captiva’s smaller inventory has not seen the same increased level of activity, but I bet it comes later in the year.

SANIBEL           CONDOS                       HOMES                            LOTS

                          No.   Price          DOM    No.   Price            DOM    No. Price         DOM

For sale             111  $729,019   364     139   $1,445,729   227     78   $476,635   765

Sales pending    32    $791,600   352      65     $903,405      195      12   $513,038   449

Sold & closed:

1/1-3/27/2015    41    $726,982    373       63     $904,342     309      9     $314,433   356

1/1-3/27/2014    32    $717,964    208       50     $771,469     299       6    $386,592   633

NOTE: Prices & DOM (days on market) are averages.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Upcoming Sanibel Capital Improvements Projects

Sanibelcityseal logoWith the on-site of “off-season”, at Sanibel’s Capital Improvements Review subcommittee meeting this week, several ongoing and upcoming projects were discussed and approved. Here are just three of the several that were mentioned in the “Island Sun” today:

  •  Lighthouse Beach restroom construction is under way.
  • Bowman’s Beach shared-use path project will install a pathway from San-Cap Road to the beach park. Expected completion just after July 4.
  • Two intersection improvements (Periwinkle Way/Casa Ybel Road and Tarpon Bay Road/Island Inn Road) are in the planning design phase. Construction to be completed by end of November.

Why Age 61 Is Important to Real Estate

realtor logoThis was posted on Realtor®Mag on-line last Saturday:

“By age 61, the majority of people feel free to choose where they most want to live, according to a new study by Merrill Lynch, “Home in Retirement: More Freedom, New Choices.” “Throughout most of people’s lives, where they live is determined by their responsibilities,” according to the report. “Most careers demand that people live within a reasonable commuting distance from where they and/or their spouse work. However, as people enter their 50s and 60s, they begin to cross what this study reveals to be the ‘Freedom Threshold.'” That’s the age when people say they can finally choose where they want to live, according to the survey of more than 3,600 retirees.

“Indeed, two-thirds of the retirees surveyed say they are now living in the best home of their lives. Most retirees move at least once during retirement. But surprisingly, only half choose to downsize into a smaller home. Three in ten of retirees decide to upsize into a larger home.  The top reason to upsize: They want to have a home that’s comfortable enough for family members to visit and stay with them, according to the survey. “Retirees often find their homes become places for family to come together and reconnect, particularly during holidays or summer vacations,” according to the report. Some choose to upsize so that family members can live with them too.

“Retirees say the ideal place allows spending time with others their own age yet they also seek to be around those of diverse ages. Compared to younger people, older Americans are far more likely to want diversity in age and generation among their communities and neighbors. As such, just 7% of retirees surveyed have opted to move into age-restricted retirement communities.”

NAR Takes the Global Stage at Cannes

globe7Posted in Broker IssuesCommercial Real Estate, by Wendy Cole on March 12, 2015, this article talks about how Realtors® are expanding into the international market. Cynthia Shelton, Florida Realtors® 2009 President, and others from Florida were in attendance.

“The improving U.S. economy and strengthening dollar provided a welcoming backdrop for the National Association of REALTORS®’ first foray to the major global real estate exposition known as MIPIM held this week in Cannes, Frances. More than 21,000 attendees from 93 countries have gathered to explore global investment opportunities at the trade show.

“The eye-catching 1,200 square-foot NAR-U.S. Pavilion highlighted the association’s commitment to global commercial interests while raising awareness about top markets for foreign investment in the United States. The pavilion showcased three robust U.S. markets that are internationally-recognized for their success in attracting foreign investment: Miami, Chicago, and Birmingham, AL. “There are quite a lot of connections to be made here at MIPIM,” said NAR Treasurer Mike McGrew, who is part of NAR’s delegation at the show.

“Attendee Cynthia Shelton, a commercial practitioner with Colliers International from Orlando, FL and current  Committee Liaison to the NAR Leadership Team was energized about the NAR’s presence at the show. “This is going to make the U.S.A. the place to be, to invest in even more than it is now,” she said, in an interview from a MIPIM broadcast on YouTube. “REALTORS® represent the boots on the ground. We’re hoping to bring more investors to the U.S. to invest in things like office buildings, residential developments, and retail.  When investments happen, cities give credits, get more taxes, and allow us to develop better projects which helps our schools and employers.”

“The wide range of countries at the show— from Belgium to Brazil— is generating considerable buzz. “Governments have invested large sums to attract attention from buyers, developers, and interested parties,” said Christopher Zoller, CRS, and 2015 residential president of the Miami Association of REALTORS®. “We are getting lots of inquiries here from people looking for investors or investments, developers or developments, small personal purchases or large scale opportunities. It is exciting to see the global scale of real estate excitement.”… NAR’s presence at the show has broadened awareness of the role of REALTORS® in commercial and global real estate. Approximately 70,000 NAR members offer commercial brokerage and related services. An additional 283,000 members are involved in a combination of residential and commercial work.”

Foreclosure Rates Near a ‘Significant Milestone’

RealtyTracLogo_166x32Realtor®Mag on-line Tuesday posted this article which is sourced to “RealtyTrac”. Florida continues to have a significant number of foreclosures, but has seen a 35% decrease since last year.

“Foreclosures continue to fall across the country and the return to normal levels may be on the horizon for many places, according to a new report. Foreclosure filings fell 4% in February, reaching the lowest level since July 2006, according to RealtyTrac’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. Foreclosure filings reflect the number of default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions. The U.S. foreclosure rate now stands at one in every 1,295 homes that received a foreclosure filing in February.

“”Given that August 2006 was the peak of the housing bubble, this eight-and-a-half year low in foreclosure activity is a significant milestone and a sign that nationwide foreclosure activity is on track to return to historic norms this year — and is possibly even headed below historic norms given the skinny-jeans-tight lending standards over the past five years,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “In markets where foreclosures were processed more efficiently we are seeing foreclosure numbers now below pre-crisis levels in some cases. Conversely, the cleanup of deferred distress is continuing in markets where a logjam of in-limbo foreclosures is still lingering from the housing crisis — as evidenced by rebounding foreclosure activity in those markets.”

“24 states posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity. Activity was most elevated in Massachusetts (up 53% year-over-year) and New York, up 19%.

“The following states posted the nation’s highest foreclosure rates:

  1. Maryland: 1 in every 564 housing units received a foreclosure filing in February (foreclosure activity has fallen 1 percent compared to a year ago there, however)
  2. Nevada: 1 in every 569 homes received a foreclosure filing (a 12% rise from a year ago mostly from a rise in foreclosure starts)
  3. Florida: 1 in every 570 housing units (despite a 35% decrease in foreclosure activity compared to a year ago)
  4. Indiana: 1 in every 871 housing units
  5. Idaho: 1 in every 877 housing units
  6. New Jersey: 1 in every 895 housing units
  7. Illinois: 1 in every 906 housing units
  8. Delaware: 1 in every 957 housing units
  9. Ohio: 1 in every 1,000 housing units
  10. North Carolina: 1 in every 1,088 housing units”

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 20-27 

Sanibel

CONDOS

6 new listings: Dugger’s Tropical Cottages #2 1/1 $329K, Sundial #C207 1/1 $429K, Seawind #A106 2/2.5 $479K, Mariner Pointe #842 2/2 $499K (our listing), Sanibel Arms #F2 1/1 $639K, Sundial #K102 2/2 $839K.

(A few photos from Mariner Pointe below. 1st one is the view toward bay from #842, 2nd one is the view toward the canal. Others are some of the water-front amenities. There is a 2nd pool, on-site manager, & deeded beach access too.)

1 price change: Tigua Cay #489 3/3.5 now $2.495M.

7 new sales: Sunset South #9D 2/2 listed for $399K, Sanibel Moorings #1622 2/2 listed for $439K, Lighthouse Point #132 2/2 listed for $497K, Sanibel Siesta #308 2/2 listed for $500K, Sealoft Village #105 2/2 listed for $529K, Blind Pass #G105 3/3 listed for $769K, Sanibel Surfside #211 2/2 listed for $798K.

5 closed sales: Donax Village #8 2/2 $449K, Loggerhead Cay #411 2/2 $475K, Sanibel Arms West #B5 2/2 $492K, Lighthouse Point #215 3/2 $522.5K, Atrium #204 2/2 $1.3M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 3364 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 $819K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 $985K, 1245 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 $1.749M, 5125 Joewood Dr 3/3 $3.195M.

8 price changes: 3724 Agate Ct 2/2 now $549K, 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $599K, 1409 Causey Ct 3/3 now $599K, 4648 Buck Key Rd 3/2 now $679K, 1173 Kittiwake Cir 4/2 now $699.9K, 428 Bella Vista Way E 4/4 now $1.695M, 6017/6019 Clam Bayou Ln 4/3 now $1.775M, 5615 Baltusrol Ct 4/4/3 now $4.25M.

13 new sales: 1452 Sandpiper Cir 2/2 half-duplex listed for $330K, 744 Martha’s Ln 2/2 listed for $479K (our listing), 1825 Ardsley Way 3/2 listed for $515K, 475 Sea Walk Ct 3/2 lissted for $524.9K, 9446 Beverly Ln 3/3.5 listed for $595K (short sale), 1228 Anhinga Ln 3/2 listed for $598.5K, 963 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 listed for $599.9K, 1586 Century Ct 3/2.5 listed for $629K, 543 Chert Ct 3/2 listed for $639K, 547 Chert Ct 3/2.5 listed for $695K, 603 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 listed for $670K, 3968 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed for $699K, 1173 Kittiwake Cir 4/2 listed for $699.9K, 5402 Osprey Ct 4/3 listed for $985K, 2980 Wulfert Rd 4/6.5 listed for $2.995M.

9 closed sales: 317 East Gulf Dr 2/2 half-duplex $415K, 315 East Gulf Dr 3/2 half-duplex $425K, 1294 Sand Castle Rd 3/2 $480K, 590 Lake Murex Cir 2/1.5 $635K, 297 Ferry Landing Dr 3/3 $1.2M, 600 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2.5 $1.275M, 960 Whelk Dr 3/3 $1.83M, 4204 Dingman Dr 5/4.5 $1.85M, 461 Lighthouse Way 4/4 $1.995M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 1310 Par View Dr now $369,555.

1 new sale: 6419 Pine Ave listed for $799K.

1 closed sale: 2380 Wulfert Rd $190K.

Captiva

CONDOS

2 new listings: Bayside Villas #5106 1/2 $289K, Marina Villas #902 2/2 $650K.

No price changes.

1 new sale: Lands End Village #1606 3/3 listed for $1.85M.

2 closed sales: Lands End Village #1610 3/3 $1.785M, Lands End Village #1606 3/3/3 $2M.

HOMES

1 new listing: 15843 Captiva Dr 3/3 $6.45M.

3 price changes: 16785 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 now $1.55M, 11523 Wightman Ln 4/4 now $1.999M, 16910 Captiva Dr 4/4 now $4.72M.

No new sales.

3 closed sales: 16585 Captiva Dr 5/4/2 $2.5M, 15747 Captiva Dr 6/6.5 $5.575M, 17020 Captiva Dr 7/8/2 $5.9M.

LOTS

No new listings.

1 price change: 856 S Seas Plantation Rd now $2.48M.

No new or closed sales.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 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, best wishes for a great weekend! Susan Andrews/aka SanibelSusan

Spring

Another Sunny, Make You Smile Kind of Friday on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


Another Friday here already? How can it be? It may be that with the onset of spring, a few winter residents are leaving Southwest Florida. At my off-island dry cleaners last night they said they saw a huge drop in business this week. We haven’t seen much of a drop on the islands though. Traffic continues to be a challenge and our pals in the rental business say there will be another big turn-over of vacationers tomorrow.

Office Happenings This Week

SANSLogoSeason is flying by with The SanibelSusan Team’s time this week filled with showings, opening listings for showings, chasing down feedback, tracking tenants, updating pro forma/fliers, home inspections, monitoring contracts, and even a couple of listing presentations. Not the usual time of the year for new listings, but as the saying goes, “it pays to be the first born, the second wife, and the third listing agent.”  I expect we have a couple of those to announce in the weeks to come. (“Those” being new SanibelSusan listings, as the first two requirements of that saying are already met.).

Photos below taken by Dave from his cell phone from the roof of Bldg 1 at Seascape during the home inspection this afternoon by Ron Dehler, Horizon Home Inspection Service. It’s a gorgeous beach day!

Seascape Boardwalk

Seascape Bldg 1 roof 3-20-15

The week’s activity posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Multiple Listing system is after a few other news items.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® March Membership Meeting

SanCapAssnLogoGood sales activity and again several price reductions were announced at our March Association of Realtors® Breakfast Meeting yesterday. There were two speakers at our meeting, both home inspectors. Their topics were radon and formaldehyde. Here are a few tidbits from their presentations:

  • Radon: Radon is the 2nd largest cause of lung cancer (smoking being first). The results of radon testing are tracked by state Departments of Health & EPA facilities. Interestingly the inspector, Adam Dalton with AmeriSpec, said that of the radon tests performed in Lee County 28.8% tested high for radon. (What is not known is how many are not tested. From my experience that answer is “many” or the majority by far.) He also said that the most radon has been found in high-rise condos. The composition of the concrete in the basic structures being the culprit. He also offered that the typical wood piling home on Sanibel with open lower level is probably the least likely to have a problem because this gas likely would dissipate because of the airspace below. When asked if granite – so popular in today’s remodels can be a cause – he said, “yes”. He also said that airing out a property before a radon test (rather than leaving it closed up for 12 hours as the test requires) will not produce a better reading, because the test protocol does not begin counting the test measurements until 4 hours into the test. The test is over an extended period (usually several days) and hourly records the amount of radon gas, temperature, pressure, and humidity. He also said that radon readings are usually higher during rain when the gas moves up.
  • Formaldehyde: Jonathan Tongyai with SanCap Inspections spoke on this subject. He said the formaldehyde scare is fairly new. As recently reported in a segment of “60 Minutes”, a synthetic wood floor product sold by Lumber Liquidators has tested high for formaldehyde. The company has been accused of selling contaminated laminated flooring made in China. As this inspector said, when in doubt have a test performed, but usually the smell is obvious when the product is new. Common sense should prevail for the consumers and inspectors, but when in doubt, test.

Florida Realtors logoFlorida Association of Realtors® 2015 Honor Society: At the same meeting, several Realtors® from our Association were presented with Florida Realtors® Honor Society pins. Local Association President Eric Pfeifer reminded members that only 20 of our 291 Sanibel/Captiva Realtor® members achieved local Honor Society status for their work in 2014, so to have several members also achieve state recognition is huge.  He then prefaced announcing that this is my 16th-year in Florida’s state Honor Society, by saying SanibelSusan is an old-timer. He can expect pay-back for that. Others in attendance and also receiving that state recognition are shown in the photo below: Jim Hall, yours truly, Eric Pfeifer, Toby Tolp, David Schuldenfrei, and Shane Spring. Congratulations to all!

2015 FL Realtors Honor Society

Favorite Refuge: Vote ‘Ding’

Ding roseate“Ding” Darling counts among the top 20 contestants for Favorite National Wildlife Refuge in USA Today’s Readers Choice Awards and is currently in 2nd place. They need our daily votes. Click here to vote once a day until noon on Monday, March 30, 2015. We know “Ding” Darling is the best, help them let the whole country know!

The Families Have Voted: These Are Their Favorite Destinations

Many locals have remarked this year that “since the islands keep making those lists, more people have come, and that’s why the traffic is so bad in-season.” If that’s the case, here’s yet another one. I saw the below article posted by Yahoo’s Travel Editor on-line yesterday.

“Sanibel, Fla., with its abundant seashells, was named the top overall family attraction. (Photo below by: Thinkstock)

Photo Thinkstock beach

“If you’re thinking of a family trip and wondering where in the U.S others are taking the kids these days, one survey suggests they favor an itinerary like this: picking up seashells on a small Florida island, observing animals in a rain forest, and of course, eating at the Cheesecake Factory.

FamilyFun magazine just announced its travel awards, the result of polling 2,000 American families to rate their favorite destinations across five categories. The top overall winner was Sanibel, Fla., an island town with ample white beaches and seashells, and the power to chill out even the most high-strung parents and kids. The magazine reports one Texas mom as saying, “It’s just a relaxing place that lets kids be kids.”

Also ranking in the top three for favorite tourist towns were Gatlinburg, Tenn., and Savannah, Ga….”

50th Anniversary of Island Water Association

island waterIf you have not taken a tour of the Island Water Association facility on San-Cap Road, be sure and add it to your “do list”. SanibelSusan has toured it several times and always found the whole process of producing island water to be fascinating and the facility to be amazingly clean! Here is some info from the “IWA Pipeline” Spring 2015 edition:

“This year marks 50 years of The Island Water Association providing fresh drinking water to its members. IWA was incorporated on January 19, 1965, as a not-for-profit association (501(c)4) whose purpose was “To construct, maintain, and operate a water system for the supplying of water for domestic, commercial, agricultural, industrial, and other purposes to its members….”  Its founders and first Board of Directors were John Kontinos, E. G. Konrad, C. Smith Kauffman, Francis Bailey, and Paul Stahlin.

“IWA’s first franchise agreement was granted by Lee County in July of 1965. Our first water supply came from the Pine Island Water Treatment Plant via an 8” subaqueous pipe laid across the bay from St. James City to the end of Dixie Beach Rd.  The pipe and all valving are still in place, but leaks in the pipe prevent its use. Our last gallon of usable water from Pine Island was obtained in 1983.

“By 1972, IWA realized it needed its own supply of water, as the 8” line from Pine Island was becoming insufficient to meet demand, and the price of bulk water was becoming prohibitive. An Electro-Dialysis plant was completed in 1973, drawing well water from the Hawthorn aquifer. It was able to produce around 1MBD of water, which served the population throughout the 1970’s. In the late ‘70’s, it was obvious the ED plant would not keep up with current population growth, so a reverse osmosis plant was commissioned on the present day site of IWA. It opened in 1980, originally producing about 1MGD, adding to the ED plant production. When the RO Plant was up to full production by 1992, the ED plant was shut down forever. The RO Plant is now capable of producing around 5.9MGD, although current demand is around 3.3MGD. It draws its feed water from 14 active production wells.”

Island Water Meter Access

Island Water logoFollowing up on the article above, here is a real-estate related article from the same IWA newsletter.

“When a new home is built on Sanibel or Captiva, or a water meter is upgraded due to a home remodel, the Island Water member must sign a Water Users Agreement. Item C.6 of the agreement states: “The Member shall keep an area clear and accessible for 2 feet on all sides of the water meter and backflow prevention device.” Before we changed all of our meters to radio read meters, Scott, our meter reader, had to hand read every meter, and often had to trim overgrown vegetation to access the meter. With the new remote read meters, inaccessible meter boxes and backflow devices have now become a problem for our Distribution Technicians when there is an issue that demands access to the meter or backflow device, such as high usage or a leak. Also, as a courtesy to our members, our technicians test the backflow devices on a semi-annual basis. We are the first to admit that we are not landscape experts, so we would prefer the homeowner maintain the 2’ radius surrounding the meter and backflow device. In addition, please make sure we have a clear path 3’ wide and 7’ tall to the meter and backflow device. Thanks!”

Is That Closet Worth More Than a Prime Location? Apparently Yes!

realtor logoSometimes the articles posted in real estate trade journals are not a fit for our island resort community, so it was with interest that I saw the above headline in an article in the March on-line REALTOR® Magazine. Of course location remains the most, if not one of the most, important considerations in Sanibel and Captiva real estate. Here, it is all about, location, location, location.

The rest of the article had some valid points, however. Island buyers are looking for these things too, just perhaps not as a compromise to location:

“So what features are so important that they are willing to make such big sacrifices as the location of the home? Here are the top items that home owners said they’d be willing to make sacrifices on location in order to have:

  • Move-in ready home: 64%
  • At least one bathtub in a home: 54%
  • More space than their current residence: 51%
  • His and her closets: 23%
  • Spa-like master bedroom: 23%
  • Large eat-in kitchen area: 23%
  • Kitchen island: 22%

“In addition to the more common home options, we’re starting to see regional trends emerging among homebuyer preferences,” says Ryan Marshall, executive vice president of homebuilding operations, marketing and sales for PulteGroup. “From outdoor kitchens in Florida, to spice kitchens in California, shoppers are increasingly discerning when it comes to home features that could be the deciding factor in their next move.”

Other popular regional trends the survey identified were accordion-style glass doors in the Southwest; multi-generation floor plans and screened-in porches in the Southeast; balconies off the kitchen and rooftop terraces in the Northeast; and “Jack n’ Jill” bedrooms and coffee bars in the Midwest.

“Overall, the most important areas to home buyers when choosing a new home: kitchen (29%), bedroom (22%), and living room (18%).”

Free Homeowners’ Seminar – Insurance Panel

SanCapAssnLogoThe Sanibel and Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® is sponsoring a free seminar at The Community House on Wednesday, March 25, from 10 to 11:45 am. Information will be provided by a panel of Association Affiliate Members who work in the insurance field. Enjoy coffee at the “meet and greet” from 10-10:15, followed by the seminar from 10:30-11:45. Join these seasoned insurance professionals for updates and answers to important questions and news on properly insuring your home and valuables. Featured speakers are: David Arter with Private Client Insurance Services, LLC; Chris Heidrick with Heidrick & Company Insurance; Angela Roehl with Rosier Insurance; and Dawn Zettler with Insurance and Risk Management Services.

Sanibel – New Residents’ Reception

Sanibelcityseal logoHosted by Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane and City Councilmembers Mick Denham, Chauncey Goss, Marty Harrity, and Jim Jennings, new residents of the island (within the past 24 months) are invited to attend a New Residents’ Reception at City Hall on Thursday, April 9, from 9 to 11 a.m. Please RSVP by April 3 to sancouncil@mysanibel.com or 239-472-3700.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 13-20 

Sanibel

CONDOS

3 new listings: Cottage Colony West #102 1/1 $649,946; Coquina Beach #2C 2/2 $729K; Seascape #201 3/3 $1.849M.

5 price changes: Sanibel Arms #E7 1/1 now $365K, Sundial #O201 2/2 now $699K, Sundial #F201 2/2 now $799K, Compass Point #111 2/2 now $1.95M, Sanibel Sunset #202 3/2 now $1.745M.

5 new sales: Colonnades #11 1/1 listed for $195K, Spanish Cay #B2 2/2 listed for $394K, Sanibel Siesta #701 2/2 listed for $525K, Beachcomber #C102 2/2 listed for $1.575M, Sedgemoor #206 3/3.5 listed for $2.499M.

7 closed sales: Sundial #F406 1/1 $329K, Sanibel Arms West #G5 2/2 $490K, Seawind II #2 2/2.5 $635K, Sundial #Q205 3/2 $800K, Kings Crown #317 2/2 $920K, Gulfside Place #125 2/2 $1.17M, Yacht Haven #1 3/2 $1.5M.

HOMES

4 new listings: 9248 Dimmick Dr 3/3 $649.9K, 5749 Pine Tree Dr 3/3 $749K, 1237 Isabel Dr 5/6.5 $2.995M, 1306 Seaspray Ln 3/4 $4.195M.

10 price changes: 4636 Buck Key Rd 2/2 now $419K, 220 Palm Lake Dr 3/3 now $580K, 2220 Camino Del Mar Dr 3/3 now $599K, 9012 Mockingbird Dr 3/2 now $619K, $603 N Yachtsman Dr 3/2 now $670K, 1182 Kittiwake Cir 3/3 now $699K, 9445 Beverly Ln 3/2 now $775K, 1528 Angel Dr 3/2 now $799.5K, 1048 Fish Crow Rd 3/2 now $815K, 1204 Isabel Dr 3/3.5 now $3.895M.

8 new sales: 1677 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 listed $440K, 257 Daniel Dr 3/2 listed for $649K, 3131 Twin Lakes Ln 3/2 listed for $689K, 2210 Camino Del Mar 3/2 listed for $695K, 6101 Castaways Ln 4/2 listed for $850K, 820 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2 listed for $989K, 4308 West gulf Dr 3/3.5 listed for $1.879M, 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 listed for $2.4M.

9 closed sales: 918/920 Main St 5/5 multi-family $380K, 320 Palm Lake Dr 2/2 $424K, 1613 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 half-duplex $455K, 739 Elinor Way 3/3 $550K, 218 Daniel Dr 2/2.5 $750K, 3840 West Gulf Dr 3/2.5 $849K, 1287 Par View Dr 3/2 $865K, 836 Sand Dollar Dr 3/2/2 $1.195M, 561 Lighthouse Way 5/4 $1.75M.

LOTS

3 new listings: 915 Main St $199K, 2133 Starfish Ln $399K, 2479 Harbour Ln $599K.

No price changes.

3 new sales: 1299 Par View Dr listed for $229K, 6411 Pine Ave listed for $339,999, 2494 Blind Pass Ct listed for $649K.

1 closed sale: 2403 Blue Crab Ct $470K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings or price changes.

2 new sales: Bayside Villas #5222 1/2 listed for $322K, Lands End Village #1654 3/3 listed for $1.685M.

3 closed sales: Tennis Villas #3232 2/2 $440K, Gulf Beach Villas #2012 2/2 $583.5K, Captiva Shores #5C 2/2 $837.5K.

HOMES

No new listings.

4 price changes: 16785 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 now $1.63M, 11500 Chapin Ln 4/4.5 now $1.995M, 15009 Binder Dr 4/5.5 now $3.75M, 11530 Paige Ct 4/5.5 now $4M.

No new or closed sales.

LOTS

No new listings, price changes, or new sales.

1 closed sale: 16915 Captiva Dr $1.195M.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 general real estate activity in the community and does not imply that SanibelSusan Realty Associates is participating or participated in these transactions.

Sun clip artUntil next Friday, here’s hoping your weekend is sunny too.

Susan Andrews, aka SanibelSusan

 

 

 

Woohoo, Real Estate is Moving on Sanibel & Captiva Islands


It’s the end of another terrific week on Sanibel, with bright blue skies and summer-like temperatures. The island again is reporting to be at full occupancy, including a few spring breakers here with families. The bike paths and beaches are busy, the Sanibel Thriller continues to draw the dolphin followers, the fishermen are reporting great catches, and waits are the norm at local restaurants. Multiple island day-time and evening events continue keeping everyone busy too.

Beach1

Most of us in the real estate business are crowing that is this is the busiest winter ever, with many of us working not quite 24/7, but certainly 10-14/7. Be sure to check out the action posted in the Sanibel and Captiva Multiple Listing Service over the last seven days after a few news items below.

SanibelSusan Realty Sponsors BIG ARTS Photography Scavenger Hunt

Photo Scavenger HuntMark your calendars for the BIG ARTS Photography Scavenger Hunt on Tuesday, April 7. SanibelSusan Realty again this year is sponsoring, with the proceeds to benefit BIG ARTS scholarship programs.

BIG Arts logoThis fun-filled event demonstrates what happens when a scavenger hunt meets the digital age. Grab your camera and some teammates to join in the adventure where you will walk, bike, or drive on your quest to photograph your own interpretations of the clues. Creativity is encouraged!

3 p.m. Pick up clues & map at BIG ARTS Center.

5 p.m. Return to BIG ARTS for a gourmet boxed dinner.

6 p.m. Dessert reception & video showcase of the day’s digital photographs, with awards ceremony.

Tickets are $45 for the full event or $8 for the reception only. Teams should have 2-4 members. Tickets available at the BIG ARTS Marks Box Office or for more info call 239-395-0900.

20 Housing Markets That Are Heating Up

Realtor_comlogoHere’s some good news just in time for spring around the country (posted on “Daily Real Estate News” on Monday.)

“Just in time for spring selling season to start, sellers are finally starting to put their homes on the market, upping the selections for buyers, according to the latest analysis from realtor.com®. Higher inventories and buyer demand are expected to boost closings this month, according to realtor.com®. “The biggest macro trend is that we’re finally seeing inventory grow,” says Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “This is a very important trend for many reasons – in particular, because it will help keep prices at a more moderate level down the road.”

“Affordability had become a chief concern recently in the housing market. So what’s changed and why are more sellers putting their homes on the market? Smoke says home owners are being encouraged by the current higher prices. But Smoke says those will level out as supply rises to meet demand.

“According to realtor.com®’s February data, 20 markets are already showing a big upswing based on the ratio of listing views at realtor.com® to the number of listings for-sale. Those 20 markets are:

  1. Waco, Texas
  2. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
  3. Santa Rosa, Calif.
  4. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo.
  5. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.
  6. Ann Arbor, Mich.
  7. Fort Wayne, Ind.
  8. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, Calif.
  9. Charleston, W.Va.
  10. San Luis Obispo et al, Calif.
  11. Columbus, Ohio
  12. Boulder, Colo.
  13. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich.
  14. Hartford-West Hartford et al, Conn.
  15. Manchester-Nashua, N.H.
  16. San Francisco-Oakland et al, Calif.
  17. San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.
  18. Charleston-North Charleston, S.C.
  19. Toledo, Ohio
  20. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H.”

BIG ARTS Community Chorus Spring Concerts

Community-Chorus-in-concertBIG Arts logoSanibelSusan’s March blog would not be complete without a plug for the BIG ARTS Community Chorus Spring Concerts. Most readers know that I stay sane “in season” with the Tuesday nite diversion of chorus rehearsals. Having grown from just a handful of singers in the early 90’s, the chorus is now 80+singers strong. Though we also will be performing the “Star Spangled Banner” at the Red Sox/Minnesota Twins last spring training game on April 1, our spring concert essentially ends the year for us, or at least until October rolls around again.

Tickets went on sale last week and already are going fast for the spring concert which this year again will be performed two nights to fill the demand. Get advance tickets at BIG ARTS Box Office at 900 Dunlop Road. Performances are at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, and Thursday, March 26.

Guaranteed to give you a few smiles and keep you humming for days, this year we are performing a variety of doo-wop tunes, a medley of “Carousel” show song, famous music from Strauss operetta “Die Fledermaus”, and my favorite, a patriotic number called “Song for the Unsung Hero”.

Sanibel Traffic

sanibel trafficIt seems that every island discussion this week has some mention of the traffic. Rental organizations are hearing complaints from tenants, Realtors® are hearing protests from prospective buyers, restaurants advise patrons are missing their reservation times, and the general public acknowledges that it takes longer and without reliability these days to get from one end of the island to the other.

Some say it is because the island is at 100% capacity. Some say it is because of the “day-trippers”. Others are convinced that though it’s a short-term problem (just a few months out of each year), it is one that has been neglected or not solved.

So, it was with interest that I read the article in the “Island Sun” today advising that the topic came up at Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting. Several members voiced support for a traffic study being conducted by local Metropolitan Planning Organization offering to lend their assistance in the execution of that investigation.

Here’s hoping that the subject does not get pushed to the back burner once island traffic gets back to “normal” after season, because the problem is bound to resurface again next winter when I bet there is even more traffic thanks to the extended bad weather up north this year. The accommodations businesses are reporting that their bookings for 2016 are already “off the charts”.

Sanibel and Captiva “may be enjoying too much of a good thing”, said one report commenter. That may be true, but there certainly are solutions to making the roadways safer and delay-free. It is good news to hear that Sanibel again is pro-active.

Sanibel & Captiva Multiple Listing Service Activity Mar 6-13 

Sanibel

CONDOS

2 new listings: Lighthouse Point #132 2/2 $497K, Sanctuary Golf Villages I #4-4 2/2.5 $699K.

5 price changes: Captains Walk #C7 1/1 now $237.9K, Sanibel Arms #E7 1/1 now $369K, Ibis at The Sanctuary #201 2/2 now $459.5K, Signal Inn #18 3/2 now $1.049M, Clam Shell #C 2/2 now $1.175M.

9 new sales: Colonnades #44 1/1 listed for $189.9K, Colonnades #41 1/1 listed for $194.5K, Sundial #I301 1/1 listed for $389K, Gulf Beach #102 2/2 listed for $749K, Kings Crown #216 2/2 listed for $940K, Kings Crown #101 2/2 listed for $1.195M, Lantana #102 4/3.5 listed for $1.495M, Seascape #104 3/3 listed for $2.195M (our sale), Somerset #B101 3/2.5 listed for $2.2M (our listing).

View from Seascape of Sanibel #104

View from Seascape of Sanibel #104

View from Somerset at The Reef #B101

View from Somerset at The Reef #B101

3 closed sales: Cottage Colony West #118 1/1 $600K, Wedgewood #305 3/3.5 $1.25M, West Shore #903 3/3 $1.7M.

HOMES

11 new listings: 1667 Sabal Sands Rd 3/2 $440K, 5089 SanCap Rd 3/2 $489.9 (short sale), 9106 Mockingbird Dr 2/2 $565K, 543 Chert Ct 3/2 $639K, 257 Daniel Dr 3/2 $649K, 1209 Sand Castle Rd 3/3 $789.9K, 2999 Twin Ponds Dr 3/2 $865K, 489 Lake Murex Cir 3/2.5 $975K, 820 Sand Dollar Dr 2/2 $989K, 5773 SanCap Rd 2/2 $1.159M, 1136 Golden Olive Ct 4/4.5 $2.4M.

10 price changes: 838 Rabbit Rd 2/1 now $399K, 4636 Buck Key Rd 2/2 now $429K, 778 Cardium St 3/3 now $479K, 2220 Camino Del Mar 3/3 now $649K, 5424 Shearwater Dr 3/2.5 half-duplex now $849K, 1351 Middle Gulf Dr #1A (Moonshadows) 3/3 now $899K, 4620 Rue Bayou 3/3 now $949K, 1328 Seaspray Ln 4/4 now $949K, 1314 Par View Dr 4/3 now $999.9K, 518 N Yachtsman Dr 3/3 now $1.129M.

10 new sales: 1938 Roseate Ln 3/2 listed for $329K, 868 Rabbit Rd 3/2 listed for $385K, 3716 Coquina Dr 3/2 listed for $459K, 1825 Ardsley Way 3/2 listed for $515K, 401 Lagoon Dr 4/4 listed for $875K, 5880 SanCap Rd 3/2 listed for $889K, 1331 Sand Castle Rd 3/2.5 listed for $945K, 261 Ferry Landing Dr 2/2 half-duplex listed for $998.5K, 2617 Coconut Dr 3/2.5 listed for $1.35M, 5235 Indian Ct 4/3.5 listed for $1.598M.

7 closed sales: 3001 Singing Wind Dr 3/2 $405K (short sale), 457 Lake Murex Cir 3/2 $475K, 1674 Bunting Ln 3/2 $525K, 598 Boulder Dr 3/2 $533K, 8987 Mockingbird Dr 3/2.5 $667K, 1287 Par View Dr 3/2 $865K, 857 Birdie View Pt 3/2.5 $925K.

LOTS

No new listings.

4 price changes: 1311 Par View Dr now $259.9K, 5290 Punta Caloosa Ct now $347K, 2494 Blind Pass Ct now $649K, 6217 Starling Way now $1.379M.

2 new sales: 1301 Par View Dr listed for $219,555; 1311 Par View Dr listed for $259.9K.

1 closed sale: 1316 Par View Dr $320K.

Captiva

CONDOS

No new listings.

1 price change: Captiva Bay Villas #B 3/3.5 now $1,995,555.

2 new sales: Sunset Beach Villas #2337 2/2 listed for $674.9K, Lands End Village #1654 3/3 listed for $1.685M.

1 closed sale: Marina Villas #903 2/2 $60K

HOMES

No new listings.

3 price changes: 11523 Andy Rosse Ln 5/5.5 now $2.695M, 16897 Captiva Dr 5/5.5 now $3.19M, 13550 Palmflower Ln 4/3.5 now $4.995M.

2 new sales: 1 Sunset Captiva Ln 2/2.5 listed for $2.395M, 16183 Captiva Dr 4/3.5 listed for $3.985M.

No closed sales.

LOTS

1 new listing: 16297 Captiva Dr $1.75M.

No price changes, new listings, or price changes.

This representation is based, in whole, or in part, on data supplied by the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of Realtors® or its 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 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 from SanibelSusan. Though I will likely be showing real estate all weekend, I bet teammate Dave is taking a few photos with his new camera lens. Here’s one he took earlier and shared with us in the office.

DSC_0279