Month: August 2018

2018 First Quarter Review

Cayman’s real estate activity and trends in numbers – Q1 2018.

Following the market statistics can be key to making the correct decision to continue or kick off your property journey the right way. Learn more with us today by reading over these market stats!

281 condos (US$16.15M – $385,000)
254 homes (US$39.95M – $445,000)
470 land (US$85.5M – $38,000)
37 commercial (US$7.49M – $239,000)

PENDING: (eg closing soon with no conditions)
30 condos (US$4.7M – $156,000)
13 homes (US$6.8M – $122,000)
15 land (US$1.9M – $35,000)

PENDING/CONDITIONAL: (eg further due diligence/mortgage)
94 condos (US$5.6M – $55,000)
48 homes (US$2.65M – $152,000)
73 land (US$5.23M – $24,000)

85 condos (US$5.75M – $134,000)
43 homes (US$3.05M – $88,000)
55 land (US$4.2M – $19,000)

2 condos (US$750,000 – $175,000)
10 homes (US$445,000 – $133,000)
83 land (US$3.62M – $23,000)

226 condos (US$16.15M – $265,000)
61 homes (US$8.95M – $567,000)
42 land (US$26M – $530,000)

Seven Mile Beach Rated As Top Beach

It’s no surprise that our very own Seven Mile Beach has been acknowledged as being one of the best in the world, this time by the readers of Condé Nast Traveller.

The Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards Survey also named The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman as the top destination to stay in the Cayman Islands.

We can’t argue with the beauty of the Ritz and this award is certainly well deserved. That being said, for those who can’t afford to stay or invest in property at the Ritz, there are certainly many other more affordable options along Seven Mile Beach to capitalise on this buoyant market.

Regional Winners!

#3 Regional Winners For The Caribbean & Central America!

Honoured to be named one of the top 3 teams in the Central American and Caribbean region but even more thrilled to have spent the week in Vegas learning and spending time with the rest of our RE/MAX family.

Team work really does make the dream work and this week at Property Cayman, we could not be more thrilled to celebrate our hard work and RE/MAX’s 45th Anniversary!

R4 provided the perfect opportunity for information, motivation, and great entertainment!

From a killer opening session with legendary Wayne Brady to expert level educational sessions that included the all-star Gary Vaynerchuk we thought we had it made but add in Jon Bon Jovi and there really is no beating this fabulous event. This year’s R4 Convention has definitely set Team Property Cayman on an energized and positive path for 2018!

We want to thank all of those who support us for making this possible – you are firmly a part of the Property Cayman family and we appreciate each and every one of you!


Buy or Rent?

Should I buy or rent?

With the idea that home ownership could be an unattainable dream, some of us have given up saving for something that may never happen.

There’s no denying that the cost of living in Cayman is notably high; food, entertainment and travel can eat into the savings budget quite easily here. But that doesn’t mean you should settle for paying someone else’s mortgage.

At Property Cayman, we want informed, financially secure and happy buyers, for the long term not just a quick sale.

Let’s look at the advantages of buying or renting and see where you end up:



You can do anything you want with the property – Paint the walls, change the floors, make the house your home.

When you pay off your home, it’s yours – You eliminate the expense of housing once you’ve paid it off and you have a tangible, hopefully profitable, asset in your name.

You could create “sweat equity” – Buy a fixer-upper, make financially smart improvements and increase the profitability of your investment.

It can be an investment property “cash cow” – The current boom in the renal market in Cayman means that you could potentially cover your mortgage, property fees and insurance and then some, whilst renting out your home to Cayman’s growing number of affluent professionals.

Leverage one property to buy another – Create a property portfolio by leveraging the value you have in your first property to purchase a second, and have the tenant pay off your mortgage.



No repairs and maintenance costs – You’re only a phone call away to having your property fixed, at no additional cost to you (assuming you haven’t initiated the damage!)

Live in a more desirable home – If you do not have a goal to save towards a home in Cayman, you can potentially afford to rent in a more desirable area, that you might not otherwise be able to afford, like Seven Mile Beach.

Try before you buy – It’s always a smart idea to try living in a certain area or style of home before making the big decision to buy.

Less stress – It’s not always possible to pool enough cash to pay for a property deposit (often up to 20% of the bank approved valuation). By renting, there’s no stress over a hefty financial investment.

Adaptable living – Don’t experience the stress of outgrowing your home; as a renter you can easily change your rental as your family expands.


The Bottom Line

The rent vs. buy debate ignores a vast grey area that exists between the two options. There are many variables to be considered and they will be completely different for each person.

What can you realistically afford? Do you have any savings or can you set up and achievable plan to start saving appropriately? Do you have assistance from family or support if something were to go wrong? Are you confident in where you will be in 5-10 years time and what you will be able to manage?

Sometimes it’s smarter to rent, and sometimes buying can work in your favour. Rather than giving in to one side or another, it’s more helpful to consider all options, crunch the numbers, then do what works and feels right for you.


Let Us Help For Free

The good news is you don’t have to do this alone. We are here to talk through your current needs and future plans to determine what’s important to you and highlight matters you might not have considered.

What’s even better, there’s absolutely ZERO cost to you, ever! A good realtor can help you find properties that are off market, help negotiate tricky deals and guide you to make the right decision for your unique property journey, regardless of what that looks like.

To find out more or to get started, contact us today!

How To Avoid Keeping Up With The Joneses

When hearing about a new home in exclusive Cayman neighbourhoods such as Crystal Harbour, you wouldn’t be totally wrong in assuming it’s most likely 4+ bedrooms, 4.5 bath and over 5000 square feet. Even though homes of this size seem common place in certain areas on Island, the question is always a personal one:

Does your current lifestyle require a property of this size? Frankly, if it doesn’t, there’s a lot more to consider before taking the banks money and spending it, only to repay it at an inflated cost over the next 25 years.

The reality is that not every buyer needs this amount of space nor should they plan to build, furnish and pay to air-condition all this square footage when there is no current need for a home of this scale. It just doesn’t make financial sense.

The clever folks of today use smart design to build a home to suit their current needs but always plan for the future, and that’s exactly what we’ve discovered in our stunning new listing – Crystal Harbour Designer Home. Designed by local architect, Eduardo Bernal, assisted by the incredible vision of the talented owners, this timeless property remains a leader in the market over eight years later; a true testament to its incredible design.



Here’s our latest case study on how to design, build or buy a property to suit your lifestyle, always:


1. Use Design That Functions For You

The elegant layout of this home coupled with its future-proof design enables the house to expand and compliment your lifestyle as it evolves over time.

Imagine living in a home where every bike, cushion, and pebble has its own place. A home where each space can be completely transformed with the push of a finger – hiding messy kitchen countertops and office work papers. A house where your home library for fifty weeks of the year can seamlessly transform into a spare bedroom for the two weeks when guests come to stay.



The functionality of this home runs to its core. The generous two-bedroom floor plan has been designed to easily extend into a three, or indeed a four bedroom if and when required. Adaptable design really is a no-brainer.


2. Choose Stylish AND Smart Design

Well elevated overlooking the tranquil waters of Crystal Harbour, each room has been specifically designed to maximize views through the internal courtyards, gardens and out across the water.

“Simply put, we wanted each space in this home to feel like it was outside, without actually being outside,” explains the owner.

The design and placement of each room has been carefully considered so that each room takes full advantage of canal living without wasting valuable space.

Despite being towards the back of the property, the second bedroom cum library has been designed with the foresight to provide floor to ceiling sea views. Your eyes are led through the stunning interior BBQ patio, through the living room with its foldaway doors, and onto the pool patio with fifty feet of unobstructed canal frontage.


The well-thought-out design of this indoor-outdoor flow came from the owner’s childhood spent in Cayman before the days of extensive air-conditioning.

The deliberate cross-ventilation throughout the property allows the modern home to take advantage of the fantastic North Sound breezes. The home is fully ventilated and truly comfortable without air-conditioning during Cayman’s cooler months. Another smart financial investment and clever design detail to this modern masterpiece


3. Building Isn’t Always For Everyone

The Cayman Islands property market has been experiencing a very strong upward turn in Island-wide development. This advance and surge in building activity has conversely had a significant impact on the rising cost to construct.

If you were to purchase land today in Crystal Harbour and build a bespoke property complete with custom detailing and high-end materials, it would almost be impossible to complete it  (inclusive of all stamp duty, planning fees, unforeseen costs etc) for what this property is currently asking. With the best intentions in mind, the potential headaches of dealing with the planning department, contractors, shipping parties, financial pressures, not to mention the potential strain on family relationships, can all take its toll. Building is certainly not for the faint-hearted. Clever design already exists in the current market, perhaps it suits you more to buy and adapt than build and blow your budget.

Property styles come and go, however, this timeless piece of modern architecture is turnkey and will continue to as desirable in 20 years times as it was when first constructed only 8 years ago.

Put simply:

“Good, design, sells.”



The Property Cayman Approach

At Property Cayman we love what we do and are extremely grateful to represent a wide variety of homes, both for sale and rent.

We hope this case study has been useful by sharing a little bit of the magic behind carefully considered design and the mantra of investing your dollars wisely.

Wherever you are along your property journey, if you are unsure what to do next and would like assistance, please feel free to get in touch.

Don’t forget to subscribe for our property newsletter and stay tuned for more insights on how to make property work for you!

Making Cayman Greener

You may have seen some snazzy little succulents flying across your news feed last week and wondered what it was all about. Besides the fact that every home should feature the most on-trend plant of the year (shop Vigoro or Every Blooming Thing for all things succulents), we wanted to share a little more about sustainable property and why we care; we’re hoping you do too.

On Wednesday 5th April, Property Cayman hosted a Sustainability Wine Mixer (a slightly different take on the Catalina version). Our event was deliberately hosted at our greenest current listing, Bimini Sun, to educate our clients on sustainable living in the Cayman Islands. Bimini Sun was built over 8 years ago by Judy and Jim Knapp and its ageless design and green technology is a testament to their vision of building a safe and sustainable home for the future. Guided home tours with Team Property Cayman and one on one discussions with Jim Knapp of Endless Energy allowed our guests to delve into the current sustainable options available to new builds and existing builds today in Cayman.  “This was a new experience for both of us,” mentioned Jim.  “Most of the guests had never seen an off-grid home before and were amazed that it operated just like a normal house but without electricity bills”.

Sustainability in Cayman
Smart investment in property is no longer limited to the location, size or design of a property – the “green” rating of a building is now just as important to consider. In the past, sustainable building has been cost prohibitive and somewhat untested in its results. However, with recent advances in “green” technology and improved consumer awareness, the sustainable home market has made significant and exciting progress. Purchasers are now seeking sustainably built properties with higher standards of energy efficiencies, which as an investment, poses significant financial savings and long-term market appeal. Although environmental solutions have existed for many years, the sustainable options of today are much more adaptable, functional and cost-effective than in years previous; providing a much wider and more accessible market for sustainable products and services.

“At Property Cayman we are excited to be involved in creating a greener, more sustainable Cayman, one home at a time” ~ Mike Joseph of Property Cayman.

11 Sustainable Options For Your Home

“Sustainable” is a broad term used to describe the way in which individuals and society reduce their use of natural resources in an effort to conserve the environment. Something that should be on the agenda for all of us living in paradise here. There are many ways to support sustainable living in your home and here are 11 methods that you may wish to consider in your home:

  • LEED building design (pre-construction);
  • Solar panels (pre or post-construction);
  • Ground source AC pumps (pre or post-construction);
  • Rain water harvesting (pre or post-construction);
  • LED lighting (pre or post-construction);
  • Building insulation (pre-construction);
  • High efficiency AC systems (pre or post-construction);
  • Eco-friendly building materials (pre-construction);
  • Energy efficient windows (double glazing, tinting and gas filled) (pre or post-construction);
  • Eco smart and saline pool systems (pre or post-construction); or
  • Energy-star certified appliances (pre or post-construction);

Embracing sustainable initiatives and a new, growing demand of energy-conscious buyers is a new trend in the Cayman real estate market and the main focus is on three areas:

Economic benefits – long-term savings;
Environmental impacts – conservation and responsibly sourced living to reduce waste and environmental damage;
Health and Lifestyle – focus on environmental effects by changing lifestyle, product choices and reducing exposure to chemicals and contaminants.

Property Cayman is proud to represent several LEED certified homes as well as a high number of sustainably built homes across our islands. The idea of sustainable living in a well-designed home has become a highly sought after product. On an island with an abundance of natural energy contrasted with soaring utility costs, sustainable homes can offer attractive solutions – from neutral energy bills to functioning “off the grid” entirely. It’s no wonder that this environmental progress has become an extremely attractive option to our Cayman clients.

The Sustainably Built Road Ahead
Our goal at Property Cayman is to continue to support our clients in the best way we know how: sourcing suitable homes that allow our customers to lead a healthy, happy and prosperous life. We believe that sustainable living is required to achieve this. We are passionate about representing buyers and sellers with the same ethos and care for sustainable living and we continue to support all efforts to preserve our beautiful Islands, one sustainable home at a time.

If you have an interest in making your home more sustainable or would like to talk through all things “property”, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to hear from you.


Cayman: A Sanctuary

Based on its definition, a sanctuary (sanc·tu·ar·y) is considered a sacred place, a haven from the turmoil of human existence. Throughout history, mankind have always searched for a place of safety and shelter, like the merchant sailors looking for a safe harbour from the terrible storms, or nomads searching for a place to stop over during their travels. It became a place most desired by the select few that were able to make the discovery.

For the past ten years, the wealth-generating populous of the United States has created a real estate market dominated by urban property investment, penthouses and high rises that sell for millions upon millions of dollars. Recently, those same investors are now looking for favourable climates and positive business environments since, rich in lifestyle and safe from the uncertain political and economic fluctuations that now affect many of the large cities worldwide.

The shift has made way for a growing appetite in island real estate, exclusive and rare, with city amenities and other incentives. The Cayman Islands is poised perfectly to satisfy this growing trend as investors have seen significant returns since the recession and the market continuing to rise. Thanks to the globalisation of our economy, today’s modern investor is helping drive real-estate purchases in offshore jurisdictions, spurring demand for premium properties.

The Cayman Islands is competitive among its Caribbean neighbours who offer similar advantages. The average prime luxury 4-bed house in Cayman will cost an average of US$2.37 million, compared to Bermuda at US$4 million and British Virgin Islands at US$3 million making the Cayman Islands an attractive investment. Not to mention the relatively low levels of crime, high standard of living, racial harmony and sociable atmosphere and ease of access with ample direct flights to key US cities and the UK.

There is no denying it that in today’s world everything has changed when it comes to real estate. The same old doesn’t cut it when a market evolves. The market is demanding growth, quality, increased infrastructure and unique properties that serves priceless lifestyle opportunities. Nevertheless, it is the sanctuary of peace and happiness that most people are searching for which the Cayman Islands delivers on… ten-fold.


Setting the stage

Once a house is actually on the market for sale, the current owners can be so fatigued with the process that staging the home is an after-thought. In large markets, designers have answered this apathy with turn-key home staging services. These “interior stylists” have made a science of taking your old home – now devoid of photos and mementos – and transforming it into a well-appointed, neutral oasis.

A prospective home buyer wants to “see” themselves in the space; something which can only be achieved if the space engages their imagination. Sound impossible? It really isn’t.

Aside from the necessary investments in cleaning and repairs, there are plenty of ways you can leave a distinct impression on potential buyers by playing to your property’s strengths, sans an expensive stylist or designer.

InsideOut caught up with Mike, who shared his tried and true tricks for home staging:


InsideOut: What do you feel is the most important thing to consider when staging your home?

Mike Joseph: There are numerous factors that all work in tandem, however, cleanliness really is key, followed by a clutter-free home.


IO: What big ticket items are worth investing in prior to putting your home on the market?

MJ: Kitchens, floors, and bathrooms are the big ticket items that are most important for value and lifestyle. You can gather quotes to make life easier for a prospective buyer if you’d rather not spend the funds, but know that a dated home will only encourage a buyer to negotiate you down. It is always advisable to maintain and upgrade your home gradually over time or suffer the consequences of style and value depreciation. Above all, whatever your budget any effort to clean, declutter, and freshen the property will go a long way.


IO: How important is curb appeal?

MJ: It is hugely important. First impressions count. Remember, it is not just your home but the neighbors’ homes too that will also impress buyers. Keep up with the Joneses!


IO: How would you go about decluttering a room, without sacrificing personality?

MJ: Thin out your personal effects and mute any unique wall colors. You want to de-clutter the space to a point that allows the prospective buyer to imagine themselves and their family in your home. A muted color tone will be far more palatable to a larger sector of the market than a uniquely furnished or brightly painted home.


IO: What is the most common mistake homeowners make when showing their homes?

MJ: Everyone has different techniques when it comes to sales. The most common mistake is assuming the buyer has no clue about home ownership and that you know everything. Respect the buyer, don’t state the obvious, and educate yourself on the market.


IO: If you don’t have the funds, what inexpensive improvements do you suggest people should make?

MJ: Cleaning goes a long way. Re-upholstering older and worn-out furniture, painting rooms with fresh paint and even caulking all help to clean up the general appearance and feel of the home. Additionally, don’t forget the outside of your home. Make sure you trim back and water plants and smarten up all landscaped areas.


IO: What about pets?

MJ: Ideally, there should be no pets at the home during a viewing. Additionally, there shouldn’t be any pet odors either. Cats are ok, and leaving a dog bowl out is fine too; it is a family home after all, but a barking, over-excited dog isn’t a good way to start a showing.


IO: Should a homeowner be at home to answer questions during a viewing, or leave it to the real estate agent?

MJ: Your sales agent should be there and should also be highly educated on all aspects of the home and market. The owners should be out of sight. A prospective buyer will feel uncomfortable with the owner essentially judging them as they inspect the home. Never a good vibe in these situations.


IO: Any other small touches that can really help sell a home?

MJ: Soft music and freshly-baked cookies on the counter with a note welcoming your guests make any showing more special. Flowers are also a nice touch. Avoid scented candles – they are often too strong. Before any showing make sure you open up all blinds and curtains, clean all the windows and trim back any foliage. You want to maximize the light coming into your home.

Read the full article here:

Setting the Stage

Giving Back

4 ways to give back to the community during the holiday season.

There is a famous saying that ‘money can’t buy love,’ but it can bring joy and happiness to many people around the Cayman Islands that are in need during the holiday season. Many non-profit organisations rely on donations from the community to continue their mission of making it a better place for everyone to live, work and enjoy.

Below are a few simple, yet effective ways that we can each do our part in giving back during the Christmas season. Big or small, every effort makes a difference!

1. Participate in a Toy Drive

There are many families facing difficult times, so rally up your coworkers to get involved in a company-wide toy drive that will provide needy children with the Christmas joy they deserve.

2. Cook up a storm at the local food kitchen

Who doesn’t love a hot meal on Christmas Day? Charities such as Meal On Wheels provide free, hot, nutritious meals to seniors, the homebound and the disabled throughout the Cayman Islands. Lend a helping hand by offering to deliver meals, assist in the kitchen or raising money in your community will go a long way to assist this wonderful charity.

3. Donate to a local charity

– Brighten Christmas for children by stopping by the Camana Bay Visitor Centre and learn about gifts you can buy for kids in need from the Department of Children & Family Services.
– Purchase a CI$1 North Pole stamp at Mail Boxes Etc. and watch your child mail a letter to Santa Claus to benefit Feed our Future.
– Pop an envelope in the mail and send a special message to your charity of choice with a surprise check that will go towards their efforts for 2017!

4. Wags and wiggles give a dog a bone

The Humane Society is always looking for volunteers to take their furry friends for a walk around the neighbourhood so they can stretch their legs and get some exercise. The shelter also relies heavily on numerous individuals to assist through animal wellness, special events, fundraising, administrative support, fostering, advocacy and much more. So if you love animals and can spare some time, this is the right opportunity for you!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Team Property Cayman.


First Time Caymanian Buyer?

Depending on the location of the property you wish to buy, as a First-Time Caymanian Buyer, you may be eligible for a reduced rate of stamp duty or, even better, a total stamp duty exemption!

Updates to the Stamp Duty Law in January 2019 took the threshold for the First-Time Caymanian Buyer concession from CI$300,000 to CI$400,000 for homes, and the threshold for ‘raw’ undeveloped land from CI$100,000 to CI$150,000.

Yusssss, we hear you shout! Well, there is a little more to it and we’d certainly recommend you seek legal advice once ready to begin. To get you started, we’ve put together a quick summary on Stamp Duty 101.

Here goes…


Normally, on every property purchase, a stamp duty is paid to the Cayman Islands Government at a rate of 7.5% of the value of the property or land.  E.g. if the property is CI$200,000, then CI$15,000 extra will be owed on closing (on top of your purchase price and mortgage down payment). It’s important to be aware that the banks who lend you the money to buy your home will not allow you to add the stamp duty fee to your mortgage.



First things first, you’ve got to be Caymanian (and we know this in itself can be complicated!). It’s advisable to make an application to the Minister of Finance’s office at the Government Administration Building prior to your property purchase to ensure your eligibility. (See link below)

You will need to prove that you are Caymanian and if you are applying with your spouse then you will need to provide a certified copy of the marriage certificate.  A sworn affidavit signed by a Notary Public or Justice of the Peace is required together with a copy of the land register of the property you want to purchase and recent private sector valuation report (within last six months from an approved valuation survey) proving the value of the land.



There are some exceptions that a first-time Caymanian buyer needs to be aware of when selecting potential properties to buy. Certain land or property located in the Seven Mile Beach corridor and in George Town will not qualify for the stamp duty waiver; the full 7.5% stamp duty would be due.

Also, be aware that stamp duty exemptions do not apply to overseas first-time buyers. Interests in property held in the name of a company also do not qualify for reduced rates of stamp duty, regardless of the ownership of the company.



Caymanian buyers may qualify for a reduced rate of stamp duty but only when the land or property is for your first owner-occupied dwelling and providing that the market value is below certain CI$ thresholds.

Simply put, to be eligible for the stamp duty exemption:



To be eligible for full stamp duty exemption:

Land – current market value of raw, undeveloped land cannot exceed CI$150,000
Property – current market value of building and land cannot exceed CI$400,000

To be eligible for 2% exemption:

Land – current market value of land must be over CI$150,000 but not exceed CI$200,000
Property – current market value of building and land must be over CI$400,000 but not exceed CI$500,000

The specific rates of duty applicable together with application requirements can be found here: CNS Library



Caymanian spouses: If a husband and wife who are both Caymanian first-time homeowner have been approved for stamp duty waiver and are taking title in both of their names, then they will effectively ‘use up’ both of their waivers on the purchase. If either spouse takes title in their name solely, then their spouse’s waiver may be used for another property purchase.

Caymanian and non-Caymanian spouse: If a husband and wife intend to take title in both of their names and only one spouse is Caymanian, then the stamp duty waiver will only be eligible on 50% of the current market value of the property. The non-Caymanian spouse will be required to pay the standard 7.5% stamp duty fees on 50% of the purchase price.



Stamp duty waivers also cannot be used partially or split between property purchases.

Once title has been taken, there is a restriction placed on the land register preventing the owner(s) from transferring title to the property for a five-year period. That means you won’t want to sell your home for five years after purchase or you’ll risk having to pay the full stamp duty owed. Any transfer of title which holds the restriction requires the consent from the Financial Secretary to remove or lift the restriction.

Don’t forget, team Property Cayman is able to advise you on ANY property on island, no matter if you discover it via CIREBA, Ecay, or private sale. We can help guide you through the process as our team of agents have over 20 years’ experience in the Cayman Islands real estate market. Even more importantly, we care about connecting good people with great places!

All you have to do is get in touch. Don’t worry, it’s free of charge; all we ask is that you trust us to do our job – to help you find your perfect home!

We look forward to helping you on your property journey.

Updated on 4 Nov 2019