Real Estate News

Southwest Florida July 2021 Real Estate Market Report

Below is a snapshot of July 2021 Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Report.

Closed Sales
Closed sales for the 12-month period ending July 31 were up 54.6% from the preceding 12-months. Year to date, closed sales posted a 58.6% increase over the same period last year.

Listing Inventory / New Listings
After several months of decline, the number of homes on the market stabilized in May and has since posted modest and steady increases. The 2,520 listings on the market as of July 31 were down 72.5% from the same date last year, and were up 11% since the end of May. Trends resulting in this increase slowly started to develop in recent months with a cooling of the feverish buyer activity that occurred early in the year and a greater than normal inflow of new listings.

Average Selling price
The average selling price for the 12-months through July 31 was $605,328, up 31.5% from the preceding 12-month period.

Our market continues to move in a positive direction. Demand, although having subsided somewhat from its previous intensity, remains strong. This, combined with favorable new listing activity, has stabilized listing inventory and provided more options for buyers. This is welcomed news for buyers who may have previously been reluctant to enter the market.

July 2021 SWFL Market Report

Click here for full market report

Island Update

In Celebration of our Founder’s Life

It is with sadness that we report that John R. Wood, founder of the oldest active real estate brokerage in Southwest Florida, passed away this week. He was six weeks shy of his 92nd birthday. However, we are also joyful to celebrate such a full and long life.

John R WoodJohn was born in 1929 in a small town near El Dorado, Arkansas. Growing up during the great depression helped him learn to be both frugal and resourceful.

He and his one-year older brother Jim, and their cousin Thomas, together formed a trio that was infamous for causing mischief. One of their best shenanigans was when they decided to drive the car when they were around 5 years old. One of the boys worked the accelerator while crouching on the floor. The other two managed the steering wheel. John’s father was on the porch as he angrily saw them coast down the hill in front of the home, before having a minor crash. They were duly disciplined.

Notwithstanding some of his childhood, John was a good student, and began college at Louisiana Tech before a two-year tour of duty in the Navy, shortly after WWII. One of his tours was on an aircraft carrier, which always amazed him for being a floating city with several thousand residents.

After the Navy, he attended Henderson State College in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where he met and married Wanda. To save money for graduate school, they worked at the local drive-in, with Wanda at the ticket booth and John in the concession stand.

After graduation, they went to the University of Arkansas, where Wanda earned her Master’s in English and John graduated from law school. They then returned to Arkadelphia, where Phil was born and John practiced law with his father-in­law. But after a few years, John decided that law was not his calling.

JRW associates

They packed up and followed some friends who had recently moved to St. Pete, Florida. But on a weekend jaunt, they discovered Naples with only a few thousand residents, and decided that was the perfect place. John’s father was living in Ft Myers at the time and encouraged him to go into real estate, because he thought Florida might have some good potential.

So Wanda taught in elementary school while John did his required one year as an agent. Then, in 1958, they opened John R. Wood & Associates, on Fifth Avenue South in the 600 block on the south side. Money was tight, so they rented a desk to John Gray State Farm Insurance, and another desk to No-Risk Chemical Pest Control, to help offset the rent.

There weren’t a lot of houses to sell in Naples, so many of their sales were lots or acreage. In the 60’s, many people were investing in acreage, and flipping the land within a year or two, almost always at a big profit. Thus, land was a big portion of the firm’s sales, although they also sold many homes in the still developing Aqualane Shores, and the newer developments of Port Royal, Coquina Sands, and the Moorings. Commercial sales, such as lots on U.S. 41 in the heart of town, also helped the cause, since they sold for enormous prices of around $50,000.

JRW Jeep

At that time, Florida was known for some less than scrupulous developers, so John focused the firm on ethics. He adopted a slogan of “Walk on it before you Buy”, so that acreage buyers would know they were not buying swampland. The firm had a number of 4-wheel drive jeeps over the years, available for the agents to show acreage, and the jeep always had the familiar slogan on the side.

John’s legal background was quite helpful as he did property exchanges and many land sales. He passed the Florida Bar just in case the real estate thing didn’t work out, but he never actually practiced law in Florida. The closest he came was a time when the one local judge went on vacation, and he had John fill in for a few days.

The town was still small. Total real estate sales for the entire Naples Board hit a record in 1963 at $4.6 million (the entire area). John was active in the local board, and served two years as President. He then went on to serve on FREC, then was President of FAR in 1971. In 1981, he achieved the ultimate honor, serving as President of the National Association of Realtors—quite likely the only NAR President from such a small town. JRW life

John also set the tone by being very active in various civic and philanthropic groups, including St. Matthew’s House, Junior Deputies, United Way, the Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts, Naples Community Hospital, the Conservancy, and many more, helping the small town grow and have the public benefits that government budgets could often not afford.

JRW with wifeHe mostly retired in the mid 90’s, but continued to be Chairman of the Board and serve on the Executive Committee. By 2005, when the company was setting pre-recession records, he was minimally involved since the firm now had a strong and diverse management team, and had grown to a size that he never could have imagined back in the 60’s.

In 2007, he was awarded the Naples Daily News Citizen of the Year, a special honor even though he had received numerous others in his time. And the company continued to prosper. Today, with 19 offices and over 700 total personnel, they have grown into the most successful real estate firm in the area.

While every other company from those early days has long since disappeared, John R. Wood Properties continues to thrive, thanks to the focus on service, ethics, and philanthropy that John Wood instilled as Founder of the company.

John R Wood

Island Update

South Seas Rocks This Yacht Rock Weekend!

Celebrate Yacht Rock Weekend in style at South Seas Island Resort. Receive 25% off our regular rates, 15% off food and beverage, special Yacht Rock swag and access to all the weekend activities! Plus, you’ll receive a coupon book with over $250 in savings at Resort outlets!

Resort Yacht Rock Weekend

Click here to book

Offer cannot be combined with other packages, promotions, Homes of Distinction or group rates, and cannot be applied to existing reservations. Offer is subject to availability and may only apply to certain accommodation types. Resort fees and room taxes are additional.

Island Update

The Islands of Southwest Florida Part 2

Island Update

Allen, Ray to headline Island Hopper Songwriter Fest


The Island Hopper Songwriter Fest kicks off its seventh year with an impressive lineup of talented singer-songwriters including Jimmie Allen and Michael Ray.

Allen, who won this year’s Academy of Country Music Award for New Male Artist of the Year, will perform on Sept. 26 at the pool party at the Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina on Fort Myers Beach. The Delaware native made history as the first Black artist to launch a career with two consecutive No. 1 songs on country radio. His hit, “Best Shot,” claimed the No. 1 spot for three weeks and his second single, “Make Me Want To,” climbed the charts in March 2020. Allen recently released an album featuring collaborations with Little Big Town, Keith Urban and Mickey Guyton.

A Florida native, Ray joins the festival with three No. 1 songs, including “Kiss You in the Morning,” “Think a Little Less” and “One That Got Away.” He will perform on Sept. 23 at Pinchers at The Marina at Edison Ford in Fort Myers. Ray kicks off his summer tour in June with country star Luke Combs.

Tickets are available exclusively in the official festival app.

The Island Hopper Songwriter Fest, a free 10-day music festival except for a few ticketed events, will run from Sept. 17-26. It kicks off on Sept. 17-19 on Captiva, then moves to historic downtown Fort Myers on Sept. 20-23, and wraps up on Sept. 24-26 on Fort Myers Beach. It is the largest songwriter festival in Southwest Florida and offers an experience to interact with songwriters at pool parties and beachside venues. This year, over 60 singer-songwriters will perform more than 100 shows.

In addition to the headliners, other award-winning performers include Jay Allen, Dylan Altman, Aaron Barker, Hannah Ellis, Frank Myers, Dave Pahanish, Fort Myers native Sheena Brook and more.

While most of the performances are free, a few exclusive ticketed shows are available on the official festival app under the schedule tab. Download the app in the App Store or on Google Play for free.

Since 2020, festival organizers have produced a virtual concert series, Songs from the Sofa and Songs from the Sand, in preparation for the Island Hopper Songwriter Fest. The monthly concerts have featured a preview of songwriters who will perform at this year’s festival. Click here To view the recordings, visit

Island Update

Captiva Update on Central Sewer Plan

Engineers from Kimley-Horn met with panel members during a recent Captiva Community Panel meeting to discuss the potential plan for Captiva’s central sewer system.

Earlier this year, the CCP moved forward with conversations on a central sewer system that would connect to Sanibel’s Donax Wastewater Reclamation Facility, as opposed to the septic tanks residents of the island currently use.

This potential change is mainly due to the harmfulness that septic tanks can cause surface water.

After discussions on a central sewer system proceeded, Kimley-Horn was hired to do an engineering study to figure out the best ways a central sewer system can fit within Captiva’s landscape. This study was presented to panel members on Tuesday, who saw two different kinds of pipes being used for the system; gravity pipes, and pressurized pipes.

Wastewater flowing through gravity pipes does exactly what the name says and uses gravity to flow down the system. Pressurized pipes use pressure to complete the same task.

Douglas Eckmann, the head of this study at Kimley-Horn, explained to panel members that high density areas, like The Village on Captiva, would benefit more from the gravity system due to it being more cost effective and less complicated than a pressurized system.

But while the cost of the gravity system may be lower, it requires much more construction than that of a pressurized system due to the pipes needing to be at a precise angle so that the water can flow with gravity properly.

Eckmann explained that construction for this gravity system would require digging a trench for each street that starts off shallow and gets deeper as it goes.

However, Eckmann explained that if this were to be completed, the construction would be conducted one street at a time, allowing residents passage on the road during construction, as well as fixing the road once construction is complete.

But while the gravity system is recommended for residential streets, Eckmann said a pressurized system would be put in place along Captiva Drive where all of the wastewater on Captiva will flow to.

Construction for this pressurized system will not require any trenches, and will greatly reduce the disruption from construction, Eckmann said.

He explained that for a pressurized system, directional drilling would be used. This is a type of construction where a drill underground pulls the pipping along while being controlled from above the ground.

Eckmann said the only disruption that would be caused would be the submerging and emerging of the drill, which will occur every 300-500 feet and will require digging a small pit, which will be repaired once it is no longer needed.

Panel members also heard an explanation of lift stations, which are already present in some areas of the island. Eckmann explained that lift stations, which are mainly underground, move the wastewater from one area to another and are placed strategically to receive water from the gravity system.

These lift stations will be placed around Captiva, flowing with the central sewer system all the way down to the Turner Beach lift station, which is owned by Sanibel. The sister island has agreed to expand this lift station to make room for Captiva’s wastewater.

After flowing to the Turner Beach lift station, Captiva’s wastewater will then end up for water treatment at Sanibel’s Donax facility, which has already started to expand for the same purpose.

While this is just a plan for now, a potential cost and timeline for the project are still being discussed, but Kimley-Horn made sure that the plan fits the needs of Captiva for a central sewer system.

Island Update

May 2021 Sets New Record; Traffic Returns to Pre-Pandemic Numbers

One year after the island began feeling the effects of COVID-19 traffic crossing the Sanibel Causeway has returned to pre-pandemic numbers and May set a new record. That is according to a report released in June by Lee County, which owns and operates the bridge.

The reports shows 1,582,182 vehicles were counted at the toll booth from January to May, up 26 percent over the first five months of last year even though traffic had continued to decline in January and February due to the pandemic.

The Causeway bridge was busy in May with a record 323,157 vehicles crossing it that month. The report shows it is the first time May reached 300,000 vehicles since 1975. The previous record was set two decades ago with 284,199 vehicles. Traffic was up by 45.79 percent in May compared to last year or 101,000 more vehicles.

April nearly broke a two-decade record with 330,664 vehicles counted that month. It was just 200 vehicles shy of the record set in 2001. Last year, a moderate 123,000 vehicles were counted in April resulting in a sizable 168.5 percent difference.

March also rebounded with 352,000 vehicles counted, a typical number before the pandemic. And it remains one of the busiest months of the year.

Island Update

Tips for finding a good fishing spot in open water

When learning the ropes — and rods — of saltwater fishing, thorough preparation involves more than just a rich arsenal of gear and the appropriate attire. Open-water fishing is challenging and requires technique and prior research.

If you’re embarking on an open-water adventure for the first time, keep the following saltwater fishing tips in mind.


The key to discovering a spot rich in saltwater fish is ample research. At least a week before your trip, you’ll want to read up on fishing reports, tide charts and weather forecasts.

Some areas are more crowded with fishing enthusiasts during different times of the year. Consider whether you are traveling in the spring, summer, fall or winter and do the appropriate research. You can get some ideas of where to go at MyFWC.com/Marine by clicking “Where to Saltwater Fish.”


The type of catch you’re after will dictate where you anchor your boat. Targets, such as yellowfin or other tunas, for instance, are surface feeders. Thus, you’ll want to be on the lookout for weed lines and baitfish breaking the surface.

On the other hand, some species including groupers and snappers are bottom feeders and prefer structures including reefs and wrecks. Angling for these species can require special equipment, such as a fishfinder, circle hooks, dehooking tools, descending devices and more. MyFWC.com/FishHandling explains much of this fishing gear.

Stay up to date on the latest regulations for saltwater fishing at MyFWC.com/Marine by clicking on “Recreational Regulations” or by downloading the Fish Rules app on your smart device. Learn about fish identification at MyFWC.com/FishingLines

Click here to read the entire article

Island Update


Alison Hagerup and Turner Beach Parks will be both be closed in full and partially during the Captiva Island Beach Renourishment Project. Captiva Erosion Prevention District apologizes for any inconvenience you may experience while this important project is completed. The scope of the project includes the restoration of Captiva Island beaches and dune systems from Blind Pass to Redfish Pass. CEPD has contracted with Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company. LLC to perform this work. Funding provided by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Lee County, Lee County Tourist Development Council, and the Captiva Erosion Prevention District. Anyone with questions regarding the Captiva Beach Renourishment Project is invited to contact the Captiva Erosion Prevention District at(239) 472-2472. The dates for closure are as follows:


  • Full Closure- 8/9 to 8/21
  • Partial Closure- 8/21 to 9/6
  • Full Closure- 9/6 to 9/13


  • Full Closure- 9/6 to 9/13
  • Partial Closure- 9/14 to 10/10
  • Full Closure- 10/11 to 10/25

CEPD Timeline

*Dates are estimated and subject to change.