Month: January 2022

The 2022 Cayman Real Estate Market and Beyond

2022 Cayman Real Estate

As tourism picks up and Cayman’s day-to-day life continues to inch toward its pre-pandemic self, I anticipate we’ll see the 2022 Cayman real estate market react in a variety of ways – just about all of them positive.

And with that backdrop, here are my predictions for what is to come for the 2022 Cayman real estate market.

Property Cayman 2022 real estate market


In time, travel to and from island will become easier, so logically we can expect an increase in Cayman’s tourism and population. That increase is going to fuel demand and this will be especially significant for certain sectors of the market like rental properties.

If supply is low, higher demand brings the potential for upward pressure on rental rates, until supply outweighs demand then the opposite takes effect. However, in key locations, there will always be limited supply so for the time being we project rental rates will initially stabilize, before increasing once more. In the outskirt areas supply currently outweighs demand so rental rates have already stabilized before an anticipated softening.

Regardless of location, landlords should take advantage of the relatively low demand we are experiencing and prep for future growth. Investing in your property through upgrades and improvements will always help command better rentability even in a high supply market. Differentiate your rental unit as it will either command easier renting or a higher rate. As evident by the amount of works underway in the Seven Mile Beach area alone, various condo complexes and individual properties have already invested in upgrades and renovations and we anticipate this trend to continue.

Capital investments like these, have been the case in Cayman after several major global events like September 11th, Hurricane Ivan, and the economic crisis of 2008 – 2013. Now the same will be true as we continue to adapt to the new normal of living within the Covid crisis. In a sense, these ‘shocks to the eco-system’ bring a forced market evolution. They are catalysts to healthy pivots, generating property upgrades as the jurisdiction adapts and the market readjusts.

There is a tremendous amount of confidence about what’s to come. We see the market continue its stabilizing and recalibrating before the next growth spurt. But don’t just take it from me, look what other players in the market are doing. Amongst many condo complexes and hotels, the Ritz-Carlton, for example, just reopened after completing a US$50 million renovation project. It’s beautiful. When you have entities like that investing in Cayman to that extent, it demonstrates that they too have confidence in what’s coming around the corner.


There was a time, maybe 50 years ago, when my father could have purchased a large tract of developable land on Seven Mile Beach for about $2,000 because nobody wanted it. There was low to no demand. Now, Seven Mile Beach is commanding up to US$200,000 for only a ‘running foot’ of that same land. Welcome to the most sought-after area in Cayman.

I say that to illustrate real estate is a long-term investment. Over the past 20 years or so, it has proven more difficult to sell a home if it wasn’t located in the Seven Mile Beach corridor, South Sound and pockets of Cayman Kai and Rum Point. However, those areas now demand some of the highest prices in Cayman. So, investors are examining other locations on the outskirts of those key locations with the long-term in mind. Secure tomorrow, today.

Case in point, years ago, many people considered the Grand Harbour development too far away from central George Town and the Seven Mile Beach corridor. Now, it’s undeniable, Grand Harbour and its surrounding edges are booming. In addition to the improved shopping centre itself, several major developments have been constructed or nearing completion nearby; Arvia, Bahia, Aura, The Lagoons, Grand Palmyra, Vela, Harbour Reach, Harbour Walk, and Indigo Bay have all gone up over the last several years. That’s a lot of development!

So, to predict and project what’s happening next, it’s a simple concept; much of George Town, the Seven Mile Beach area and South Sound have simply run out of space and pricing has forced demand further out.

The next options on the “outskirts” of those areas are becoming increasingly attractive and that’s where people should look for long-term real estate assets. That’s where we can get the benefit of buying now and holding for five or 10 years. It’s all relative to your personal property journey. We shouldn’t buy for that immediate return on investment, you’re buying it for a gradual, slow return. Shifting your mindset to longer-term gives you the competitive edge in your investments.


Cayman saw price increases across multiple sectors in 2021 and, while prices in certain sectors may soften for a short period of time, we do expect to return to what has become our normal incline over recent years. For instance, the pricing pressures will remain on Seven Mile Beach and South Sound.

The reality is that Cayman has been underselling itself for the better part of two decades. For Seven Mile Beach style condominiums, it’s common in other competitive jurisdictions like Miami, Hawaii, Turks and Caicos, Bahamas and Aruba to see asking prices around $1,800-$3,000 per square foot. In Cayman, the prices were at US$800 per square foot as little as 3 years ago and now range up to US$2,400 per square foot. I will not be surprised if in the next three to five years we see high-end condos along Seven Mile Beach going for about $3,000 per square foot.

In fact, the trends already show this is happening. In 2017, Seven Mile Beach beachfront condominiums netted an average of $961,000 per sale. Last year, they averaged $2.25 million, an increase of 134% during that four-year span.

At The Discovery Club, the average sale price of two units in 2020 was $1.19 million, a 169 percent increase over the average for 2015. It’s a similar story at other beachfront condominiums like George Town Villas (160 percent), Silver Sands (83 percent) and The Pinnacle (59 percent), all of which have experienced significant increases in average sale prices during that same span.

Cayman is a special place to live, work, play, invest and raise a family. We’ve seen demand drive price increases and that demand is justified because there really is no other place on earth quite like Cayman. So, if you are still thinking in yester-year’s mindset that, $2,000 per square foot is a ridiculous price, then brace for impact as it will only increase further. Don’t get me wrong, it is high, but we will be having the same conversation over even higher prices in five to ten years’ time.


I expect the slight increase we saw in listing inventory over the final two quarters of 2021 to slow down early in 2022. Prior to the third quarter of last year, we saw about 18 consecutive months of decreasing supply – and thus, increasing demand.

On the 13th of July 2020, there were 1,043 active listings in Cayman, the highest total through the end of 2021. That number dropped by 35 percent over the next year!  And while the drop in listings has begun to level off, starting in the third quarter in 2021, they decreased to 557 on the 13th of September 2021. That is the absolute lowest number of listings we have seen in the previous year-and-a-half. And a 47 percent drop from that highest mark in July of 2020. All that is simply to add perspective, some context, to the modest 2 percent increase in listings we’ve seen in the third and fourth quarters of 2021.

So, while we will continue to see an increase in supply for the first quarter of the 2022 Cayman real estate market, we are still at a very low inventory count. And what’s more, I fully anticipate that the supply will stabilize again before declining once more in the second and third quarters of the year. It’s the organic growth of the market.

Property Cayman 2022 real estate market

2022 Cayman real estate, the year ahead

Lest we not forget just how unique the Cayman product is. No matter the jolt to the marketplace, we recalibrate, adapt, pivot, and grow time and time again. December ended with the most sales we’d seen in nearly three months and Back on Market listings remain very low. Using this knowledge, we can choose to secure tomorrow, today by making long-term based decisions and not reacting to short-term happenings.

Inevitably, this year will bring continued difficulties around Covid-19, prolonged complications with supply chains, further market ebbing and flowing yet values remain stable and, in many locations, will only increase. Many projects will finish this year and next. The redevelopment of the incredible Lacovia, the new Watermark, and Aqua masterpieces serve a clientele that supports further growth and demand. We can also expect new sustainable development laws to be implemented in time. All this is to say, the property-market ‘ecosystem’ is healthy, and we have a very bright future ahead for 2022 Cayman real estate.

Of course, we are all at different stages of our respective property journeys and it’s crucial to understand your personal property plan, not for just today but also for tomorrow and beyond. Consider your property wants and needs into the future and tap into our guidance and tested strategies to help make your vision a reality.

(Source: CIREBA. Please note that this is a broad analysis of the overall market. Please reach out for a more bespoke detailed report tailored to your personal property journey).

Cayman Real Estate Fourth Quarter Market Review

Cayman Real estate fourth quarter market performance

Owning real estate in the Cayman Islands remains one of the strongest investments you can make. Even as we now start to see an increase in supply, it is a small increase that is occurring after a two year long, all-time low. Simply put, investing in paradise is still a great option for you, your family and your portfolio

As we approach the end of what has been another year full of twists and turns related to COVID-19, here’s my Cayman real estate fourth quarter market analysis of 2021.

Cayman Real Estate Fourth Quarter Trends

Cayman Real Estate Fourth Quarter Market Review

Supply Upswing Continues

Cayman saw an increase in housing supply for the second-consecutive quarter following a stretch of about 18 months, where buyers were purchasing properties at a faster rate than they were going to market. Don’t get us wrong – it’s still a seller’s market. But the fourth quarter did see a continued shift toward a buyer’s market in certain sectors, similar to the third quarter. (You can read about the start of this shift in our third quarter market analysis blog.)

It all started with an extremely slow summer and that makes sense when put into perspective. We saw a lot of Cayman residents leave the island for the first time since the pandemic began. That meant the money they were saving while they weren’t travelling was no longer there. Neither, presumably, was the liquidity provided to them by means of pension withdrawals that many used on down payments for property investments. With rules surrounding international travel relaxing even further in quarters three and four, more residents focused on travelling overseas.

Plus, with the delay of Cayman’s quarantine-free travel policies for travellers visiting the island, Cayman was unable to fully capitalize on the Thanksgiving and Christmas bookings that bolster local businesses and give visitors a chance to see and perhaps buy their slice of paradise.

Consumer Confidence

Anyone who lives in Cayman has clearly seen that November and December – usually the start of high season for Cayman’s tourism industry – has not been typical of what we’ve seen in the past. Potential visitors cancelled bookings and looked elsewhere for their holiday destinations as the delayed and full border reopening left many not wanting to visit with a quarantine mandate still in place. That softened consumer confidence and some potential buyers decided to look elsewhere not only for their vacations but for their property investments as well. It will take 3 to 5 years to win them back.

But the reality is this is a short-term situation. As more and more people get vaccinated, we learn how to live with COVID-19, and the Cayman Islands Government hopefully rolls back quarantine and testing requirements, travel to the islands will return to normal.

The Cayman Islands product remains extraordinary – beautiful beaches and harmonious society with top-tier medical and educational facilities alongside some of the best restaurants and hotels in the Caribbean. Mix in Cayman’s tax-neutral status and it’s easy to see why confidence in Cayman should remain high. Other jurisdictions simply cannot offer what Cayman can.

Pre-Construction Properties

Much like other sectors in the property market, pre-construction development and sales did extremely well over the first 18 months of the pandemic. So much so, that many who were in the process of building, even if they weren’t real estate developers, decided to build multi-unit homes on their properties because the demand was increasing at a fantastic rate.

However, like in other sectors, that demand waned in the fourth quarter of 2021. Many of those in Cayman already purchased properties, and the border restrictions made it difficult for Cayman’s population to increase. Stamp duty concessions aimed at encouraging potential buyers to purchase are no longer available. Pension holidays are closing and those who may have taken out lump sums of their pensions in the early days of the pandemic may have already spent portions of that savings and no longer have that sudden injection of cash. Combine all these factors with the increasing cost of construction and the global supply chain problems, and it’s easy to see why the pre-construction market slowed in the fourth quarter of this year.

Days on Market

Days on market, particularly for the North American investor, is used as an indicator of the quality of a property. In the United States, for instance, if a house is on the market for more than a month, people assume there’s got to be something wrong with it.

In Cayman, we have seen a record low in terms of that indicator – properties in some segments of the market are selling much faster than they ever had before. To put it in perspective, the average number of days on the market for a house in Cayman traditionally has been around 375-395 days and just shy of a year for condos. Those times reduced significantly during the pandemic, however, with some condos selling in a few days despite increasing property prices. Demand was just that high.

As of the last few weeks, we are starting to see days on market number rise again in certain sectors. This correlates with the slight uptick in supply, low tourism and the continued slow border reopening.

Cayman Real Estate Fourth Quarter Summary

The fourth quarter of 2021 did see a slowdown in sales. A trend that started in the third quarter and bucked the previous 18 months of high demand and fast sales. Consumer confidence has waned slightly as Cayman’s stringent border restrictions and testing protocols caused many potential visitors and property investors to look elsewhere this holiday season. At the same time, many of the residents who were purchasing properties at record rates during the pandemic no longer have access to the same levels of cash as they previously had.

All that being said, Cayman has long been one of, if not the most attractive jurisdictions in the Caribbean and will continue to be, long after rules surrounding quarantine and COVID-19 testing subside. We remain in a seller’s market even though we saw dips in some key metrics over the last few months. The fourth quarter of Cayman’s real estate market in 2021 was just the natural ebb and flow of the market, a small course correction amid an overall booming property market. In short, it’s advisable to think long term and not react to short term happenings.

(Source: CIREBA. Please note that this is a broad analysis of the overall market. Please reach out for a more bespoke detailed report tailored to your personal property journey).