Sanibel’s new numbers show water quality affecting real estate

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Aerial footage over Lighthouse Beach on Sanibel, Aug. 10, 2018.

Sanibel Island has released staggering new numbers of the ongoing water quality crisis affecting Southwest Florida.  

Reportedly, 16,791 people cancelled their reservation or left them early this summer, and more numbers show it’s impacted everything from restaurants to real estate. 

Josh Burdine with the Royal Palm Coast Realtor Association says over a dozen buyers backed out of purchasing homes, and dozens more listed their properties for sale.  

“If the negative stigma of the red tide doesn’t subside then I don’t think the buyers will be coming to buy,” Burdine said.  

The number of listings in the area have increased recently.   

“In the last 120 days, we’ve seen 75 new listings come on the market on Sanibel,” Burdine said. “That brings a total of 192.” 

Burdine said most of the listing are waterfront properties, and no one is buying 

“In Cape Coral, we’re around seven months of inventory,” Burdine said. “Just as a general rule of thumb, four to six months is healthy.” 

The Sanibel and Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce released new numbers, showing nearly 17,000 people cancelled their hotel reservations or left vacation rentals early since summer.   

“When I heard about that, I thought it was between Fort Myers and Sanibel,” Burdine said. To hear it was just Sanibel, that’s just crazy. That’s a lot of people to cancel.” 

Burdine could not believe the numbers from this new report. He said those numbers are scary for the future market.  

“People, they come; they like to understand the area, learn about it first, so all these people who should be coming down to visit and vacation, those are our pool of future buyers,” Burdine said.  


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