I don’t know about you, but it feels like 2023 has started off with a bang! As soon as we all got back from the holidays it has been non-stop. Although I usually review Cayman Islands real estate statistics only a quarterly basis, I thought it was important to dive into the January numbers as we are seeing some very positive trends. I also thought I’d take this opportunity to highlight Cayman’s tourism statistics for 2022 which were just released.
Year-over-year sold transactions are down from 81 in January 2022 to 58 in January 2023 which is a 28% drop, but the value of those transactions is only slightly down from $66,676,796 in January 2022 to $65,037,266 in January 2023, which is a 2.5% drop but it’s important to also look at where we are month-over-month.
It is not uncommon to see a slight slowdown in the market from December to January. In fact, from 2019 through 2022 there were fewer sold transactions in January compared to December but in 2023 that changed. We saw more sold transactions close this January than the previous December. Yes, it was only 1 transaction, but the drop is usually more substantial than this.
Not surprisingly the number of active listings has increased substantially when you look at a year-over-year comparison. In January 2022, there were an average of 1,406 active listings on the market but that has increased to 1,574 in January 2023 which is a 12% increase.
As I mentioned in my year-end Cayman Islands real estate market review, the value of our active listings has been increasing every single month for at least the last two years. In January 2022 the value of those 1,406 active listings was $2,271,190,355 for an average of $1,615,355 per active listing. In January 2023 the value of the 1,574 active listings was $3,169,919,536, a 40% year-over-year increase given an average of $2,013,926 per active listing. In fact, the value of our active listings in January 2023 is the highest it’s ever been in CIREBA’S history.
As I’ve mentioned in previous articles visitors translate to real estate sales. They may not happen immediately, but visitors come to Cayman, fall in love, and want a piece of our paradise for themselves.
In January 2023 our pending transactions were 48 which is up from 40 in December 2022, a 20% increase. The value of the 48 pending transactions in December was $40,372,554 compared to $65,097,003 which means $24,724,449 more went under contract in January compared to December which is a 61% month-over-month increase.
Property Inquires are Rising
Now I cannot report what is happening with the rest of the real estate companies in the Cayman Islands, but I can tell you that we are seeing huge jumps in our website traffic. Comparing December 2022 to January 2023 we’ve seen a 94% increase in all users and a 100% increase in new users.
Not only are people coming to our site and spending time on there, but they are sending direct requests through the website for properties at all price ranges. We are seeing inquires across the entire spectrum including beachfront condos, luxury condos, land to build homes, luxury homes, investment property, starter homes, and more. Comparing December 2022 to January 2023 direct requests have increased over 75%.
This is great news for the health of our real estate market in the Cayman Islands. Even with current economic factors such as inflation and higher Cayman Islands mortgage rates, people are still searching out and purchasing property in the Cayman Islands. The traffic to our site, ongoing inquires and level of pending transactions all support this.
2022 Tourism Numbers Better Than Projected
In other good news, “the number of visitors to the Cayman Islands that arrived by cruise ship or plane both exceeded Cayman Islands government targets in 2022.”[i]
Stayover visitors hit 284,274 in 2022 which exceeded the Department of Tourism’s goal of 200,000 set at the start of our islands reopening, which is 42% more than projected.
In the fourth quarter of last year, with all travel restrictions lifted, the number of stayover tourists reached between 89% and 91% over those three months in 2019.[ii]
Not surprisingly the United States accounted for almost 81% of stayover visitors in 2022, but more people are visiting from Canada. With up to 4 weekly flights from Toronto on both Air Canada and WestJet, visitors from Canada exceeded the 2019’s visitor numbers in December of this year.
Stayover visitors are also staying longer. “The average length of stay increased to 7.6 nights in 2022 compared to 5.9 nights three years before.”[iii]
This is great news for our tourism industry and Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan anticipates that 2023 will be a momentous year for tourism.[iv]
Although none of us has a crystal ball and the challenges with ongoing inflation on a global scale as well as projected increases in interest rates are going to impact the real estate market in the Cayman Islands, all signs are still pointing to a very robust real estate market in the future.
At the Bovell Team, we pride ourselves with the experience and expertise to guide you through all of your real estate needs. We are here to answer any and all of your questions so please do not hesitate to contact me, Mabel McMillan or Claudia Subiotto or anyone else on my team at +1 345 945 4000.