The price of real estate in the Cayman Islands has been edging upward steadily, as demand around the world to live in the British Territory has increased exponentially.
For realtors, this particular boom comes on the heels of an already healthy market, before Covid-19.
However, there are some fundamental differences underpinning the trends that have emerged in the current dash for property in the Cayman Islands.
“The dynamics have changed somewhat and what we are seeing is prices going up for homes, whilst the rent market is holding fairly steady or in some instances prices have gone down; maybe 12 to 15 percent,” noted Cayman Islands Realtor Matthew Brown.
“Essentially, we are finding that many people who were once living in-land are able to now afford accommodations closer to the coast, as those properties sit empty, due to the pandemic. The majority of persons coming to the Islands are really looking to purchase or build their own properties,” he added.
With the tourism market now non-existent - for the most part - and the short to medium-term job markets in the Islands being decimated by Covid-19 restrictions on travel, it has meant that many apartments along the West Bay Road have had to sit empty, especially those that were used by a more transient demographic, according to Mr. Brown.
Beyond this reality is the fact that the demographic of buyers is also changing rapidly.
“What we are also seeing is people from as far as South East Asia attempting to own property in the Cayman Islands.
“As the jurisdiction continues to be featured in the News, the interest has peaked in circles where the Islands may have been once unknown.
“Add to that the fact that there is all but little crime here, the standard of living is among the best in the world and there is no income tax, property tax or inheritance tax and Cayman begins to sound more like the Promised Land, than just another Islands in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, “he remarked.
A move away from cash by many investors, bolstered by low interest rates, is also causing many high net worth persons to seek to put their money into hard assets as a safe store of wealth; fuelling the heightened interest in Cayman as an investment opportunity around the globe.
“It seems to be the perfect storm and everything from higher-priced properties to those on the lower end of the scale are up for grabs. People want a piece of paradise and that slice is continuing to rise in profile and price,” said Fund Manager George Hanni.
It remains to be seen what will happen with larger development projects on the Island of Grand Cayman. However, with the Covid-19 vaccine now available, developers say they are optimistic that once borders reopen and travel begins to return to pre-Covid levels, Cayman will be poised for success.
“With billions of dollars being spent in development over the past several years in the Cayman Islands, the construction industry continues to thrive, despite the hardship being experienced in many other areas of commerce.
“We are in a great position. This is in large part to the sacrifices we made early in this pandemic and we can now see other countries around the world following the strict approach we took at the onset of the Virus,” explained Resident Mark Terrance.
The Government has sought feedback on the Digital Identity bill which is to be debated in parliament. Do you support the introduction of this Bill?