Market Update April 2011


Activity in Cayman is Improving

Although there is still a large amount of inventory available for purchase in specific areas (namely two and three bedroom inland town houses), there are very few new developments coming on line to compete with existing inventory. Aside from the above, the residential market has shown more activity in recent months; in particular with regard to canal front properties and homes, which are of special appeal. It is interesting to note that that US$1.5 million for canal front properties seems to be the price ceiling for such activity. The minute the price exceeds US$1.5 million the less interest there is, principally because working professionals who are interested in these types of properties generally have the ability and means to invest up to that price point but not much beyond.
Seven Mile Beach activity

There are promising signs of activity along the Seven Mile Beach corridor this year, indicating that foreign investment is returning to the Cayman Islands. On the Seven Mile Beach oceanfront side, 42 transactions took place in 2010. So far this year, to the end of the first quarter, 20 such properties have already been sold, with a further 9 units under contract that are either pending or pending fully (i.e. holding to proceeding to closing.)

I believe that such activity in just the first few months of the year is an excellent indicator of activity for the premier Seven Mile Beach corridor for the year ahead.

Another positive indicator for this section of the market is the price point at which properties are selling. Last year transactions generally took place in the under US1.5 million range, possibly extending to US$2 million. This year, however, there has been more activity in the higher price ranges, moving up from the under US$1.5 million to the US$2.5 and US$3 million and to the US$3 million plus range.

I believe this demonstrates extremely positive signs that foreign investors have started to return and we believe that this trend will continue throughout the year.

Unique value on Seven Mile Beach

Transforming the WaterColours luxury development from its original six-storey complex to a nine-storey structure has created a one-time opportunity for investors to purchase a three or four bedroom residence on Seven Mile Beach starting at just US$2.95 million.

Originally pegged at US$4 to US$5.5 million, the WaterColours residences, of which there are now 60, have seen a reduction in price because of the perfect timing of the announcement to permit construction to 10 storeys along the Seven Mile beach corridor.

Having already purchased the land on the understanding that the WaterColours would be a six storey construction, the developer decided to increase to nine storeys, just as the substructure work was being undertaken, an easy point in the construction process to make the change. By adding the extra 21 units and not taking any further profits, the developer has been able to pass a saving on to investors of around US$1.2 million per unit.

The WaterColours residences take luxury and exclusivity to a whole new level, with residents enjoying unrestricted views of their own special part of Seven Mile Beach through spacious glass balconies, while at the same time enjoying the finest quality marble, granite and wood finishes and state-of-the-art appliances and fittings.

The move to take the WaterColours to nine storeys has resulted in a healthy interest by savvy investors who realise that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that is too good to be missed.

Call James now to view.