The ability of the Cayman Islands financial services industry to
effectively promote its worth to the global economy in its entirety to
the onshore world is extremely important because how our financial
services industry is perceived internationally reflects on the global
image of our country as a whole.
The fallout of the improper disposals of Crown lands in the Turks
& Caicos Islands has led to all manner of legal actions to unravel
the past illegal transfers, as well as transparency and governance
reforms designed to minimise the risks of similar events occurring
There are so many benefits that can be enjoyed by owning a property
in the Cayman islands, not least of which is that it is a beautiful
jurisdiction with year-round sunshine and just an hour’s hop from the
States, so buying a home in the Cayman Islands should be at the heart of
any investors wealth management programme.
The scenario is no different when it comes to governments, with some of
the largest economies in the world struggling with enormous deficits and
record borrowing that have pushed some into teetering on the brink of
These past few years have seen massive upheavals in the economies of
many countries around the world, big and small, yet Cayman remains
strong as a resilient jurisdiction that continues to offer a
professionally skilled workforce second to none, opportunities for
growth, innovation in development and a lifestyle that is still envied
the world over.
Much discussion has taken place over the past couple of years on the need for Cayman to expand its reliance on its two traditional economic pillars – financial services and tourism – and its quickly developing third, real estate, and look to embrace new forms of industry that will fit seamlessly with existing business, while at the same time broaden Cayman’s economic reach.
It is well understood that the first two industry power houses have
been mainstays of the economy over the years; however the real estate
and development industry has been intrinsically linked to both tourism
and financial services, providing the physical framework within which
both can operate, while at the same time contributing significant sums
to the Cayman Islands government’s finances and the country’s economy as
The economic headlines over the summer very much concentrated on
jitters on the world markets which forced dramatic drops in the various
international indexes, yet digging a little deeper behind the headlines
gives a picture of steady, if painfully slow, growth in the US which
ought to be carefully considered against this backdrop of market
Pressures from international regulatory bodies placed upon
entities to show a physical presence in their offshore location has meant that
the Cayman Islands are quickly becoming an attractive place for relocation.
It is certainly not a secret that the
volume and value of real estate transactions has fallen dramatically over the
last two years. Statistics from both Lands & Survey and CIREBA, our real
estate association have confirmed that time and time again.
When opportunity knocks…time is of the essence and timing is everything,
all these phrases epitomise the current timing of the real estate
market in the Cayman Islands.
Some of this is the fault of the media which in recent times has become much more of a sales tool than an objective source of information. But I think some of it is also the result of focusing on short term trends rather than taking a longer term view.
Here we are in the middle of summer which is not the usual time for good
news in the Caribbean real estate markets. And further, I am not known
for trying to make positive predictions without good solid evidence to
Happy New Year?
January 5, 2010
Hopefully amidst all the financial woes and gloomy predictions, we
will all find time to give thanks for all the blessings we have
received over this past Christmas Season.
So, what’s happening in the real estate market and what factors are there that may have significant impact on it in the coming months or years? Well, Coldwell Banker’s mid-year Market Report is now out in hard copy and on our website. There is not room to reprint it here, but in summary the last six months have continued the downward trend of prices and sales volume. However, just in the last month or two we have seen a marked increase in activity. Why? Well, there are several possibilities.
The frustrating part is that sellers do not want to hear what we have to tell them, in other words, that their property is not worth what they think it is and that they have to list lower if they expect to get their property sold. This was an inevitable reaction to the worldwide economic crisis, which is heavily affecting the US. Real estate values had been inflated in the US for some time and it was only a question of when (not if) their market would turn. That, combined with the decline in the stock market and very tight credit, has made it difficult for many Americans to make discretionary purchases. As much of our buying pool is from within the US, the slowing of our real estate market should surprise no one.
As the Baby Boomers age, finding ways to earn passive income has become more important. Many of them are ready to retire from their regular jobs and have been looking to supplement pensions, retirement accounts and Social Security to enable them to retain their usual lifestyle.