Grand Cayman Real Estate Booming
- Source: Kim Lund - Broker/Owner - Remax Cayman Islands
Development and real estate activity in Grand Cayman is booming. If there was ever an opportunity to make a sound investment in our real estate market, this is the time. Almost anywhere you invest, now, should reap double digit returns on investment over the next five years or longer. However, there are some better locations and opportunities, based on where the demand and development will be focused.
You need to look at our market, identify the trends, and focus on areas where demand is increasing and the infrastructure is improving. In some cases, this is easy to see. Yet, there are other areas where activity and future potential is not so obvious. In these instances, yields will be greater due to the starting price point being lower.
The area of the greatest returns, bar none, will be the Seven Mile Beach corridor. This is the money strip for all of the Cayman Islands. Government gets the greatest return from Stamp Duty on real estate sales, customs duty on imported building supplies and food items, accommodation tax from tourist rentals, work permit fees from all the hospitality and construction staff working in this area, etc., etc., etc. Bottom line, this is the golden strip for government and the private industry. Period.
From a demand standpoint and infrastructure build out, where is the focus - Seven Mile Beach. Take a good look at the Seven Mile Beach corridor, today. In the next five years, you will hardly recognize it:
- At least three to four new shopping centers are being planned and built on West Bay Road across from Seven Mile Beach heading north from the Ritz-Carlton
- Camana Bay has nine buildings and about 400,000 square feet in Phase One going vertical right now, not to mention Phase Two, Three, Four, and so on
- Six and seven storey condominiums are rising up along Seven Mile Beach like Watercolours (under constructions) and The Montclaire (in planning)
- A new by-pass extension started construction in 2011 expanding from Raleigh Quay all the way into West Bay (other road infrastructure is also being planned and developed around the island)
- The Ritz-Carlton's Dragon Bay development is underway, a premier luxury community offering residences and hotel, as well as every feature desirable for Cayman living
- Demand for Britannia and SafeHaven will rapidly increase as critical mass builds in this area and both of these developments have golf courses and either vacant land to develop and/or current below market pricing on their condominiums
This is huge! You can still buy condominiums or homes on Seven Mile Beach for a bargain, compared to other high end resort markets around the world. But, not for long. Normally, this would not be the case, but we have had a collection of negative impacts within our market over the last 5 years, both external and home grown, that have held our real estate market down.
The healing within our market is well underway and 2010 was a transitional year. We are almost there. By winter season of 2011/2012, capital appreciation will begin an unprecedented run and Cayman will experience the beginning of their strongest Seller's market, ever, with little inventory to sell.
The signs are already obvious. In recent months, several Seven Mile Beach condominiums on Seven Mile Beach have listed and sold at record prices, in the seven figures.
So, where are the opportunities? Select locations on Seven Mile Beach still afford 1999 to 2000 prices or close to it - Laguna Del Mar, Regal Beach Club, Britannia, and a few others. This is way out of balance, but it is the case in some isolated instances, for now.
In addition to this, look at where else there is a paradigm shift occurring in our market. George Town will not be the same place in five years that it is today. Business is changing and changing fast. Cruise ship related businesses and tourism is taking over the town. That is where the opportunity is in George Town. The business/financial center will be Camana Bay in less than five years.
The far away sandy coves and inlets around the island are now not so far away. From Boggy Sand Road on the north end of Seven Mile Beach, which is probably the most prime area for capital appreciation, to Beach Bay, Pease Bay, East End, and Cayman Kai, there is tremendous opportunity. The fact that the Mandarin Oriental would locate their boutique hotel and residences as far away from Seven Mile Beach as possible, gives credibility to the once outer areas of Grand Cayman, now having come into the spotlight.
Cayman is an opportunity. Can you not see it? Recognize it or miss out.
Kim Douglas Lund is the Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Cayman Islands. He has over 20 years experience in Grand Cayman in property management and real estate. His accomplishments include being the Top Producer worldwide for RE/MAX International (currently in 57 countries with over 110,000 Agents and Brokers) and a member of their Circle of Legends of which there are only 38 members.