As far as the total number of active listings is concerned, it is interesting to note that the Cayman Islands Real Estate and Brokers Association (CIREBA) had 2,097 active listings as at the end of May 2012, almost exactly the same number as for the same period last year at 2,094. The volume in dollar terms of these listings has increased by 1.8 per cent from $1,800,935,660 as at the end of May 2011 to $1,844,793,045 as at the end of May 2012.
At the same time the average list price for all residential properties leapt up over the same time frame, from $1,399,352 as at the end of May 2011 to $1,613,156 as at the end of May 2012, an increase of 15.3 per cent, while condos also increased in average value, from $782,267 as at the end of May 2011 to $848,664 in 2012, an equally impressive increase of 8.5 per cent. This is an indicator of what is coming onto the market versus an increase in property values or prices being obtained in sales and going off the market.
International awards for RE/MAX
Several of our local RE/MAX brokers received awards at the RE/MAX International Convention which was held in early March at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. A healthy contingent from the Cayman office was in attendance to receive the awards and I was honoured to be inducted into the ‘Circle of Legends’, which is the highest career achievement within the RE/MAX network. In addition, the office won the Top Office in Total Sales Volume – Single Office – International (excluding USA & Canada). In the Caribbean/Central America Region the office reached Top Office – Transaction and runner-up Top Office – Sales Volume. These are all tremendously satisfying to receive as they serve to underscore the hard work and dedication that we at RE/MAX put into our work on behalf of our clients.
Shetty hospital project moves ahead
As discussed many times in this Market Update, the Cayman Narayana Hrudayalaya Medical Centre, known locally as the Shetty hospital (named after its developer, Dr Devi Shetty) is a massive medical tourism project that, once completed, has the potential to create many jobs and investment opportunities for locals. The recent announcement that the developers have hired local company Clan Construction to be the general contractor on the project is therefore excellent news and an indication that work will begin soon and which will be built on a 200-acre site in the High Rock area of East End. According to reports, ground breaking is expected in August and the hospital is expected to open to its first patients in September or October 2013.
Imparato’s City Services (Cayman) Ltd, from whom Dr Shetty purchased a considerable amount of land for the project last year, will be a co-developer of the project, working with the Shetty group to develop support facilities, such as hotel and residential accommodation. The opportunities for real estate growth in this area of Grand Cayman coupled with the possibility of tremendous new growth for the location are extremely exciting, especially as the developers are mandated to employ as many Caymanians as possible on the development, right from the very beginning.
Tourism still strong but slowing
The start of the year saw tremendous growth in Cayman’s visitor arrivals, both by land and by sea, however April’s figures took a bit of a dip, but were still healthy and in keeping with the upward trend. For the first quarter of 2012 cruise passenger numbers were up 8.4 per cent at 553,000 passengers while air arrivals in March 2012 were up 3.5 per cent on last year’s March with 38,763 air arrivals which was the best since March 2001. Air passenger arrivals declined in April 2012 by 2.6 per cent but our April arrival figures, taking out April 2011, were still the best since 2004. It’s good to see such vibrant numbers again as we welcome visitors to our shores as it brings in not only revenue for local business but also brand new prospective investors as well. We have noticed the difficulty in getting into occupied properties is more now than last year, coupled with the owners disclosing the improvements in their revenue statements.
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