For this installment I would like to share a few thoughts on the local market here in the Cayman Islands.
As we review the local market trends many intriguing details begin to emerge.
The first thing that jumps out at us is that the local market seems to be steadily improving. This is never more evident in the areas surrounding central George Town, notably South Sound. With the flurry of development taking place and the fact that quality inventory is all but gone around the schools, we feel that locals are scooping up property in an effort to be close to work, school and play. While lagging behind vacation properties year-to-date, many of us now feel that real estate on the market geared towards local buyers has firmly turned the corner.
A contributing factor to the noticeable turnaround may be the run-up to the United States Presidential election coming in the autumn. While many may not see the connection to us here in Cayman, astute local purchasers could be choosing to acquire their homes and investment properties now before a would-be interest rate hike that could follow the election of a new president for our powerful northern neighbor. As we know, interest rates and dollar values here are interlinked with those in the ‘states…
Lastly, the local market is always aided by the government’s policy of waiving the 7.5% stamp duty for first time Caymanian homebuyers. As our youngsters grow older, many of them are setting out to buy their first homes. As more and more young Caymanians move out of the nest – we will continue to see them utilize this extremely important government benefit.
For years since the global financial crisis we have seen the local real estate market stagnant and in a slump. In the last 36 months we have seen a dramatic upswing in the vacation home portion of the Cayman market and now it is the local market’s turn for a rebound. Many of us in the business are seeing evidence of this and we all home the trend continues unabated.