Statistics round up
There were many positives figures for 2011, indicating a turning point in the market. The Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association showed 1,933 active listings for the end of 2010. This figure climbed by just over 10 per cent to 2,132 for the end of 2011. Likewise, the volume of active listings climbed from $1.65 billion to $1.8 billion over the same period of time. New listings for the last month of the year totaled 70 in 2010, while this figure rose over 60 per cent in 2011 to 114, ending the year on a truly buoyant note.
The total number of properties sold year-to-date as at the end of 2010 was 431, while this figure rose almost 7 per cent to 467 for the same period in 2011. The total value of all property sold by CIREBA members increased just over 45 per cent in 2011 over 2010, from $222,381,422 to $323,422,258.
House prices also increased in value 2011 over 2010, with the average listing price for all residential properties at $1,382,669 for 2010, rising over 6 per cent to $1,474,166 in 2011. This increase also applied to the condo market, with the average list price for condominiums also increasing year on year, from $762,501 in 2010 to $808,497 in 2011.
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Tentative signs of recovery for 2012
2011 has been a tough year even though we in the Cayman Islands appear to have weathered the economic storm better than most countries. In 2011 there appeared the first signs of a bottoming out of the market and a turnaround in terms of sales volumes, both locally and in the US. This sentiment is backed up by RE/MAX’s National Housing report, which highlights that home sales in the US were 8.1 per cent higher in November 2011 compared to the same month the previous year. This figure follows the current trend, with November the fifth consecutive month to show a year-over-year sales increase. In addition, November home prices were 1.4 per cent higher than in October 2011, making it the fifth consecutive month that prices have risen.
That said, US home prices still remain 4.2 per cent lower than prices in November 2010, an indication that this is just the turning point and the market still has a long way to go in terms of recovery.
A recent article on Bloomberg Business Week also suggests that the market is strengthening, with upbeat housing market statistics fuelling speculation that the economy as a whole is beginning to improve. Investors are attributing stronger housing figures to the strengthening of the US economy against the impact of the European economic crisis and as a result, the stock market rallied just before Christmas, with home building and banking stocks in particular rebounding to the news that in November 2011 builders broke ground on more houses than at any time during the past 19 months.
In Cayman I believe a surge of investment will take place once the major projects talked about for so long finally take shape, including the Shetty hospital, the Cayman Enterprise City development and the development of the George Town dock.