SARAH ASHTON: The Ebb and Flow of the Current Sanibel Real Estate Market

by Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
Ashton Kirchner Group, Keller Williams Realty

Sarah Ashton

The Real Estate market on Sanibel continues to evolve and re-define itself in the aftermath of 9/28/2022. During the first 60 days following the departure of “the storm which shall not be named” there were 3 single family homes and 1 condo that were sold. This quiet phase allowed us to assess what we were dealing with and make an attempt to see if there was still an appetite for our cherished island properties. The answer has been a solid, but qualified, “Yes”. Since then, an additional 68 homes have sold, 53 are under contract and 109 are listed for sale. There have been another 26 condos that have sold, 15 under contract and 55 listed for sale. Since December 1st, we have had a very active market. (Data from the Sanibel – Captiva MLS 2/24/23)

This market however, is unlike any we have experienced. Certainly all Realtors have all worked with properties that have had deferred maintenance, owners with financial concerns, and owners who were not in the area. Currently we are working to market some severely damaged properties, many that will be razed, and addressing financial issues related to insurance claims, serious repairs to critical infrastructure and in many cases, being the trusted advisor who works to get contracting help to make the properties safe. It is a very different and challenging time for all owners of island property. The situation is emotional and decisions are not easy.

The list and sales prices for properties are wide ranging . Some severely damaged properties are selling for roughly half of their pre-Ian value while others with lake or preserve views have gone for 75% to 80% of pre- Ian values. Roughly 90 properties have been razed and the property will either be re-built or sold for lot value, assuming they are permitted to re-build at all. Properties located on or near water have sold for 75% to 90% of pre-Ian value. It has and will continue to be a very unique market with values truly being determined by the buyers and how they value what is there.

The currently inventory is growing as owners work through the tangle of insurance and basic clean up. The buyers are gaining more clarity on what the path and obstacles areS when purchasing on Sanibel right now. The love and interest in Sanibel is strong and, while it will take time, Sanibel Island and Sanibel Island Real Estate is recovering and will be better than ever when all is said and done.

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