So the Cayman property market is looking good! The latest property market statistics are very interesting - take a quick look:
As of the end of July 2016, property transfers are almost CI$100m, or 27%, up over the same time last year. The numbers of transfers are up too, but by a much lower amount - only 4%. However this just indicates the average transaction size has grown significantly since 2015.
To be fair the numbers have been skewed by some notable sales over the past year:
The Westin sold for just under CI$118 million in March 2016 and The Sunshine Suites for over CI$23m the month before. Turning to George Town, The Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital was bought out by some of its doctors for CI$16 million this April. The Marriott was sold in December 2015, however this transaction has still to be registered and as such will skew the 2016 numbers even further once it is.
That said, this is all good news and shows not only that the mid to high-end residential market is vibrant but the resort and healthcare sectors of the commercial market are just as vibrant too. IRG sold nearly all of its luxury residential listings during the first quarter of this year including 27 Ironshore Drive, Vista del Mar, at a record price for a Cayman Islands home, 453 Britannia Drive and 359 North West Point Road, shown above.
On the back of this success IRG is delighted to have won some great new instructions such as the charming South Bend residential community on South Church St., the tasteful Villa Zara Estate on Rum Point Drive, Unit #2 The Great House, Seven Mile Beach and the Beacon Point Estate in South Sound. Click on the images below for more details or to arrange a viewing:
On the development front, the market is looking similarly healthy, with significant new projects underway and some close to completion, many reflecting changes in architectural trends with a fresh modern aesthetic apprealing to the younger affluent and mid-level buyers. Examples include The Residences at the Kimpton, scheduled to open in early 2017, the recently announced "Fin" in South Church St, Vela on South Sound Road and the iconic St. James' Point, which should move forward substantially over the next six months.
That said, it doesn't appear we need to worry about the market overheating - at least for the moment. Whilst planning approvals remain strong, the value of building permits and certificates of occupany are steady at best, which indicates that developers are being encouragingly cautious. This is positive news for investors and property owners, since it implies that supply will meet but not exceed demand and hence the steady appreciation we've seen in the market over the past couple of years should continue for the foreseeable future.
St. James Point sets a new standard of contemporary design for Caribbean resort market:
Statistical Report For August, 2016 (All figures below in US $)
|Number of Active Listings||1643||Values||$1,407,469,596.34|
|Total Number of New Listings||80||Values||$53,159,585.88|
|Total Number of Sold Month to Date||58||Values||$29,239,592.44|
|Total Number of Pending Listings||0||Values||0|
Members of CIREBA, Cayman's real estate regulatory organisation, are also seeing positive trends in the local market. Jeremy Hurst, Past CIREBA President and Director, notes that its members are seeing improvements not only in the luxury end of the market, but also, more recently, in the low to middle-end markets, which seems to imply that the local economy is strengthening and benefits starting to trickle down after a difficult five year period. Mr. Hurst notes "Banks are clearly showing more appetite to lend and although remaining cautious, access to mortgages will be an important driver to the local real estate market over the next couple of years".
Finally, IRG welcomed three new members to its already stong team in the first half of 2016: Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Tracie Watler and Sales Associates, John Fletcher and Shelly Miller. So if you'd like some guidance on any aspect of Cayman real estate from any of our experts, including Trisha Johnson, Samantha Payne or, myself, Jeremy Hurst, just give us a call or drop us an e-mail.