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SMB corridor takes the lead

Cayman’s real estate industry seems to be making strides as it is currently experiencing a rise in land transfers and sales.

Real Estate agent Jeremy Hurst told The Cayman Reporter during the first quarter of the year, the country has seen a significant increase of 28 percent in terms of land transfers. In addition, market subsectors such as land properties, commercial properties and residential properties have increased by 16 per cent during the same period.

However, he indicated though substantial increase is the general picture; it varies depending upon the sub-markets. “If you look at the submarkets, you’re tending to find that the markets that are being more successful, as you’ll see in actually quite significant price increases, are the high end residential markets, in particular 7 Mile Beach condominiums,” said Mr Hurst. These condos, in Seven Mile Beach corridor, are possibly one of the most active markets in recent history and over the past seven years, Mr Hurst further stated.

Mid-level condominiums apartment complexes such as those on South Sound Road are also seeing good activity as new complexes and developments are breaking ground in that area, said Mr Hurst.

He indicated the key to the latest developments is that they are offering a wider range of amenities, whether it is larger pools or gyms, than they did in the past.

On the other end of the scale, he notes the market is not as active. Still, most of the residential market sectors are on the up-swing where more people can be seen purchasing lands and engaging in construction work.

Morne Botes is one developer who is taking advantage of the strong economic climate. Mr Botes and his wife are pushing ahead with the development of Boggy Sands Beach Club, a development that was to commence back in 2012. However, he says due to the 10 per cent export tax floated by governmentin the same year, plans to construct the club were postponed.

The $15-16 million development will include 20 three bedrooms and four bathrooms condos, 2,450 sq ft each, and amenities such as a beach volleyball court, a clubhouse with a gym, commercial laundry and entertainment. There is also a lounge area with two pools and beach access.

The plan will break ground in August and is expected to be completed by summer 2017. The first building will be finished February 2016.

“Investors just want to make some money so this is a fantastic spot because you can make a good rental return because our tourist numbers are so up on the island and it seems like it’s just going to grow in the next few years,” Mr Botes said. Nearly two million people visited Cayman for 2014, and this year the numbers are on track to surpass that number.

There has been significant increase in activity over 2014 and 2013 as well. Such activity has not been seen since 2007 and 2008, which was the last peak in the market, said Mr Hurst.