The announcement of plans for an expansion to the Cayman Brac airport is welcome news to the real estate industry in the Cayman Islands. Cayman Brac is one of the two smaller “sister islands” to Grand Cayman. The Brac (as locals call it) and Little Cayman…
…are snapshots of time gone by, where residents (and tourists too) ride their bicycles down the middle of the quiet two-lane roads, vast tracts of land are still undeveloped and a simpler pace and rhythm of life prevail. The Brac relies heavily on scuba diving tourism, but also appeals to tourists and even Grand Cayman residents who want the feeling of getting away from it all to spend long hours idling on the porch.
Air service to Cayman Brac began in 1954. Currently, however, the Brac airport is not equipped to take large jets or meet international requirements for departures. Although direct flights arrive once a week from Miami, return flights have to go through Grand Cayman. The Cayman Islands Airport Authority has announced that it is committed to funding an expansion of the Brac airport (Gerard Smith International Airport – CYB) to improve tourism and bolster the economy. It has already appointed a project manager for the expansion. The CIAA assures current residents that the airport will remain open and fully operational through all phases of the expansion.
The implications for real estate are clear. Direct traffic from/to the US and other destinations will make Cayman Brac an even more desirable destination. Property owners on the island will no longer need to lay over in Grand Cayman. Look for market activity to jump when the airport begins construction. Increased residential purchases and tourism will have the follow on effect of stimulating commercial real estate. A direct flight from US markets into Cayman Brac makes residential or commercial property purchases on this tiny little slice of heaven very appealing.