August Update: High-end home sales getting stronger

PR fiasco could harm real estate environment

High-end home sales getting stronger

Published in the Cayman Compass, August 16, 2017

I’d like to focus my update this month on a particularly interesting area of the market, that of the high-end residential home, i.e. those in the $3 million brackets and higher (with no price limit). This area of the market has seen slight variances in recent years. According to statistics from the Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association (CIREBA), there have been three homes in this price range sold so far this year (at the time of writing, to 18 July 2017). We had three homes sold during the same time frame last year, two in 2015, one in 2014, three in 2013 and 2012 and just one in 2011.

With the knowledge that there are additional sales in the coming month, I am confident that 2017 will be a buoyant year for sales of these high-end residential homes, which I see continuing for the future.

I have always been of the opinion that sales of these types of homes would come back and be more the norm going forward with an increase in coming months and years. This is primarily due to vacant parcels of land on which to build these luxurious properties is becoming limited, given the superb aspect homes in this price range require for such a high price. In addition, buyers can sometimes be put off by the unpredictability of construction (especially when it comes to costs), the time it takes to build and the challenges that go along with such a project. Buying a high-end home is, therefore, becoming a highly attractive proposition.

“Location, location, location” is an adage often applied to successful real estate sales and this particularly applies to high-end residential homes here in Cayman. Places in Cayman such as Crystal Harbour offer some beautiful homes for sale. But what makes a beautiful home a $3 million home rather than a $2 million home? The answer is the view. Location is therefore key for a home to attract a higher price tag. If a home has gorgeous sweeping vistas of the North Sound, for example, it will command a higher price tag than one with a canal view.

Next, people are enticed by the quality of the build. Top-quality furnishings and construction will always command higher prices. Square footage, layout and design are also important aspects that feature in a client’s ‘wish list’ for a high-end property.

Homes that have been taken to the next level, in terms of location, quality and design will always offer more for buyers and will, therefore, cost the most. In my opinion, such homes are becoming increasingly attractive and we will start to see a shift to sales volumes of old later this year. Buyers are frequently local residents looking to upgrade their existing homes, and I have also seen interest from part-time residents who own condos but who are looking for a more expansive property to call their own.

It is, therefore, an exciting time for high-end residential homeowners looking to sell in the coming months ahead.

Comment on my July Update

A few weeks have passed since my last article in which I wrote about the issue of Cayman Islands valuers needing to keep better up-to-date with current prices. I really appreciate the feedback – both positive and negative – to my article and the points that I raised. I believe it is important to have a healthy dialogue about issues facing our industry and it’s the only way to ensure that we move ahead as an industry and become better and stronger as a whole. We are a small community and we are all ultimately working together towards a common goal: for the good of our customers and clients and to ensure that we meet and satisfy their goals and aspirations.

I would love to hear from you if there are any points of interest as they relate to Cayman’s real estate industry that you would like me to discuss in future articles, or if there are any questions you would like me to answer. Email: