Activity on the rise
May 2011 saw a good deal more activity for RE/MAX as a whole than May 2010, with volume of transactions up 25%, a reflection of the market as a whole as the Cayman Islands Real Estate and Brokers Association (CIREBA) also had a better month. Although it saw a decrease in the number of transactions (41) as compared to May 2010 (43), the number of properties priced at US$1 million or over that sold increased by 25% and the volume of sales increased from US$1.2 million to US$2.6 million, month on month.
In parallel, stayover tourism has also been on the increase in recent months, in part due to the Canadian airline, West Jet, bringing in greater traffic from Canada, with at least one hotelier confirming a 35% increase in bookings for the first four months of 2011 versus the same period last year. With this new wave of tourists comes a renewed vigour in the real estate market. This has buoyed up the market along with an increase in clients coming to Cayman looking to relocate here. The latter clients are looking for a second home or possibly even their main home as they seek to move to Cayman due to changes in the tax structure in their country of origin.
Our industry is directly affected by overnight staying tourists who are more likely to want to invest in a second home here in the Cayman Islands. The local market is also strengthened by residents coming here to work and reside. This local market will no doubt be exponentially strengthened by the development of the Cayman Enterprise Centre, still currently in the negotiation phase but slated to bring massive growth potential to the islands, anticipated to create just less than 10,000 new jobs in around eight years.
We should be doing everything we can to encourage people to relocate offshore to the Cayman Islands; and the fact that they are choosing Cayman confirms that our current tax neutral status ought to remain as it is. I believe that the general consensus among the Cayman population is that nobody minds contributing, but the way in which we do so in Cayman means it is by choice. Our indirect consumption tax works because it is up to the individual to decide whether they want to expand or make purchases and therefore pay taxes. See my article in the up and coming edition of the Cayman Financial Review for more on this subject.
The issue of the term limit for work permit holders (otherwise known as the rollover) is another that I believe directly affects our market. Read my next
Market Update for more on this subject.
New Dreamfinders.com website goes live
In line with this upbeat mood I am extremely excited to be able to advise that my new www.dreamfinders.com website is now live and ready to serve our clients with brand new features and extensive information, not only on real estate buying and selling, but on the Cayman Islands as a whole. I encourage users to become familiar with the website and contact us with comments, questions and suggestions.
New initiatives for listers
Our new website adds tremendous value to our service for prospective buyers, allowing them to appreciate the broad range of properties that we have to offer. With almost 900 listings including access to rentals (residential) and leasings (commercial) facilitated through our sister company REM Services, we have developed an incredibly broad resource for clients, making the site as a whole a trusted point of contact for those looking to purchase property in the Cayman Islands.
The local market will also derive great benefit from a regular viewing of the www.dreamfinders.com website as we ensure that our market updates are also published on the web site, an invaluable source of market knowledge that is constantly evolving.
Please take time to become familiar with www.dreamfinders.com as you will find a wealth of relevant information at just a click of your mouse.