Written for the Compass Supplement
I have been a part of the Cayman Islands real estate industry since 1991. Born in the Caribbean and raised in both the UK and the Cayman Islands, I have a great understanding of the intricacies of the Islands' real estate industry. I provide my clients and customers with peace of mind by ensuring a personal, private and professional service.
I have achieved great success in listing and selling many of Cayman's choice homes, estates, condominiums, beachfront properties, land parcels and investment opportunities. In November 1998, I proudly became Broker/Owner of one of Cayman's leading real estate companies, RE/MAX Cayman Islands, and have received many of RE/MAX's awards including the prestigious "Lifetime Achievement” and “Chairman’s Club Award."
With the past movement, future uncertainty in the stock market and mutual funds, real estate is a stable and consistent long-term investment.
Due to the market being soft over the last few years and government driven incentives, such as reduced building fees and stamp duties, which directly contribute to the bottom line, NOW is the time to purchase.
From a Local’s standpoint, I feel every Caymanian should purchase property as soon as possible, as currently first-time Caymanian buyers are exempt from paying stamp duty on homes/condos or land (some restrictions apply). The sooner that young Caymanians get involved in purchasing real estate or investing in it, the better it’s going to be for them. Prices will continue to rise over the long term, and there are genuine opportunities throughout the marketplace at this time.
If you are an expat and plan on being here more than 2-3 years, I would encourage you to purchase. The main reason for not purchasing sooner would be the actual time it would take for the market to rise so that you could recoup your stamp duty cost on the purchase of the property, and also your real estate fees in regards to selling the property. The reason for purchasing is to increase your own equity, rather than paying off someone else’s investment.
I believe that the local and expat market on the island is likely to rise a little quicker than the foreign investment market (i.e. Seven Mile Beach Condo’s). However, I do believe that this will strengthen through 2004, as this follows the tourist activity.
Prices will start climbing as the amount of available inventory is limited. There are a couple of developments that have a few properties remaining, however numerous properties do not have any inventory at all. This will contribute to raised prices. So as of the beginning of 2004, I see this area of the market strengthening and I imagine that this will in all probability continue over the next 2-3 years. Obviously, all of this is subject to a steady world climate without any major world events.
In my personal opinion, if there is one thing that is crucial to the development of our country, I would have to say that it is safety and stability. This directly impacts our tourism product and the day-to-day lives of us all.