Posted by Valerie Tutor on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015 at 11:50pm.
Happy New Year! It is 2015 already and they’re baaack…or I should say “you’re baaaack.” :) The season actually seems to have started in December 2014 with more visitors than I have seen in a long time this time of year riding the bike paths of Sanibel Island and enjoying the sparkling waters of the Gulf and the Bay.
I hope everyone had a great holiday and New Year’s celebration. We spent New Year’s Eve island-style at the timeless Jensen’s Twin Palms Marina in Captiva. Locals and visitors from all over the world look forward to the annual New Year’s Eve bash under the stars on the little beach at their Marina. The Troublestarters, our resident island band, gets the celebration going, jamming on the makeshift stage, cranking out original tunes about our island paradise that gets everyone up dancing in the sand especially with a dose of liquid courage. Coolers, cocktails, homemade appetizers, and beach chairs are the order of the night as folks meet up and socialize with other visitors that they haven’t seen since last New Year’s Eve. What a blast.
Then it was on to Tween Waters Resort Captiva to join their annual New Year’s Eve party featuring “The Modulators” a band from Ohio that has played the New Year’s Eve party every year at Tween Waters for the last 20-25 years; I lost count. It really is the place to be here on Captiva.
The weather has been just wonderful and not to rub it in, but the day before New Year’s Eve, my hubby and I were out fishing & boating with several of our friends enjoying warm weather, sunny skies and beautiful blue water. We had a fantastic lunch when we stopped off at Cabbage Key, a small, rustic resort island that has a very cool – and very popular restaurant. Dolphin watching and pool bar hopping capped off a perfect day & a great way to close out 2014.
Turning to real estate – the season is here! The island is filling up with our seasonal visitors as well as buyers from all over the U.S. & the world seeking just the right place here on Sanibel or Captiva. It has been so busy. Folks came down in December hurrying to buy something so they will not be left out. It is definitely a seller’s market with our low inventory and while price points are rising higher almost every month, a fairly priced home usually isn’t staying on the market more than 30 days. One house I showed last month was priced below market value (very rare here). It was on the market just 3 days and received 3 offers of which one was accepted. I have been hosting several open houses for John R. Wood Properties listings and interested buyers have been coming in with specific goals.
Last month the average sales price for a residential home here was just over $1,000,000 and condo’s averaged about $450,000. Still, the median (most popular) sales price for a home on Sanibel was $765,000 and condo’s median was $420,000. Listings are getting scarce although recently some owners have decided to get back into the market and sell since things have been getting stronger. Hopefully, we will be able to find a property for each buyer, but they will have to be savvy and move quickly.
Lastly, if you are looking to come down and rent for the season – or even partially – the islands are literally sold out for this month, February, March and most of April. Even our outstanding off island communities like Sanibel View in the south Fort Myers area are booked solid. There may be a few vacancies left for shorter vacation periods at the condos/resorts who are able to book weekly such as the Sundial Resort & Spa on Sanibel.
I hope I get to meet you in person this season – or at least via email. Feel free to drop me a line with your questions. I am happy to answer them. I love Sanibel and Captiva – frankly, I love Florida. So stay warm and we’ll talk.
I am a true Florida native and proud of my heritage growing up in South Florida on an 80 acre cattle ranch only two hours from Sanibel. Since the early 1960s, my family loved to spend our free time on Sanibel and Captiva, so I pretty much grew up here. After living and working all over South and Central Florida, my husband and I were thrilled to be able to move home to Sanibel Island.READ MORE