April 2015 Market Update


As published in the Cayman Compass

Cayman meets investors’ needs on Seven Mile Beach

We have seen a marked upswing on inward investment into the Cayman Islands in recent months, no doubt in response to the gains made in the US financial markets of late. What’s really exciting from my perspective is the fact that Cayman is now able to offer what prospective high net worth investors have been looking for all along when it comes to real estate: quality and service that is on a par or exceeds what they are used to at home. We are now able to offer a truly upscale experience.

The luxury end of the market
In my opinion, tourism is the key to the upswing. The bar was firmly raised in 2006 when The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman first opened its doors, a five-star luxury property that finally provided the amenities and services sought by high end clientele. The development and 2016 opening of the new Kimpton resort and properties is another reason to celebrate because this brand, too, delivers on so many fronts to its clients. The Ritz-Carlton and Kimpton properties have always been about service and now we have seen the opening of Cayman’s most luxurious condominium property on Seven Mile Beach, The WaterColours, which offers similar standards of the highest quality service but within a residential rather than resort property.

This luxury property offers owners sufficient support staff to ensure that high net worth owners can feel that their every need has been catered to, while at the same time enjoying the privacy and selectiveness that such a property affords them. Such owners do not want to worry about high densities of people sunbathing on their beach, they want exclusivity; they want all services to be unobtrusive and of the highest quality, delivered right to their doorstep. They also want to feel like they are away-from-it-all but still have the ability to be connected to their lives back home, if need be. That’s the beauty of such a high end product that we are now able to offer in Cayman.

Because The WaterColours delivers on so many fronts to its high net worth clients, each and every amenity and service has all added up to provide exactly what such investors are looking for in a home-away-from-home. As a result, we have seen sales figures ahead of what had initially been projected. As this article goes to print less than ten units will still remain unsold, which I believe is a tremendous achievement.

Mid-range and below
All other properties along the Seven Mile Beach corridor, both in the under $2 million and under $600,000 ranges, have seen an uptake in activities and in some cases the asking price is beginning to increase as availability diminishes.

Activity is increasing in two bedroom properties under $600,00, an important fact because this highlights the return of an area of our market which had been very quiet and almost lost for the last four to five years due to the down turn in the global economy.

In addition, three bedroom properties under $2 million are also on the upswing as buyers are looking for good rental properties with positive cash flow.

Please read my update in May for more information on this exciting and blossoming area of the market.

On a sad note: a Cayman pioneer passes

It is with deep sadness that I read of the passing of Mr Bob Soto, one of the greatest dive pioneers of our time. Bob was a true gentleman, always incredibly understated and a dedicated family man, and a true icon of his time. Cayman’s real estate industry grew because of pioneers like Bob who helped shape Cayman’s dive industry and as a result helped to grow Cayman’s economy as a whole. People came, and still come, to Cayman and bought property here because of its incredible diving. His contribution to the Cayman Islands should never be under estimated.

I had the honour of calling Bob a friend and his passing is a true loss to the Cayman Islands. My thoughts and prayers go to his family.