These continue to be record times for the Cayman Islands real estate market. Never have we seen this consistent level of demand, spurred by unparalleled lows in housing supply. Properties are being sold quicker than ever, and the number of sales continue to rise month after month.
First Quarter Rebound
The third and fourth quarters of 2021 marked the first time since the start of the pandemic that the Cayman real estate market saw a momentary decrease in the number of sales. You can read more about it here: Cayman Real Estate Fourth Quarter. But as projected, the dip was short-lived.
The market rebounded in a significant way over the first quarter of 2022. There were many contributing factors the most notable of which is the return of tourism. Airlines like American, Delta, United, Southwest Jet Blue and more have resumed regular flights to Grand Cayman. We also welcomed back cruise ships in late March. This increase in air and cruise travel has been accompanied by the easing of COVID-19 testing and restrictions. In short, visitors have resumed travelling to The Cayman Islands in great numbers, and with them comes an economic boost in the market. We are back and ready to cater to the demand.
Increased Consumer Confidence and Demand
The resurgent of activity boosts consumer confidence. Rentals are up and this feeds potential investors, both locally and internationally as they consider safety and security in their investments.
In my 2022 Real Estate Market Forecast I stated that Cayman’s market would return to form, lamenting the record lows in listing count we saw before the third quarter of 2021 and sellers realizing new levels of returns. And this is exactly what has happened and continues to happen.
There were 653 active/available listings as of the 21st of March this year. That’s a 4.1% decrease from the end of the fourth quarter of last year. To put it in better perspective, that’s a nearly 22% decrease compared to the 20th of September 2021, when there were 833 active listings.
The median number of active listings has steadily declined every month since May 2020 and the current number of active listings is the second-lowest recorded by The Cayman Islands Real Estate Broker’s Association over that same period. Long story short, supply continues to be down, and demand continues to be up.
Cayman First Quarter Real Estate Sales
We are seeing continued growth in both completed sales and pending/conditional sales. In fact, we’ve seen steady growth in both of those categories since May 2020. A growth that has now accelerated through the first quarter of the year.
There were 87 properties under sales contracts on 28 March of this year. The total was 25 through the fourth quarter of 2021 which means we’ve seen growth at a clip of nearly 248% over the last three months. Not to mention, that we have also seen a further, nearly 5%, increase in completed sales this quarter compared to last quarter.
The surge in demand means properties are selling quickly when they go to market.
If you’re a potential seller, now may be the right time for you to think about moving your property as that demand is resulting in increased property values and sales prices.
Potential buyers, on the other hand, my advice is, to be prepared to move quickly. Decision paralysis is a real thing, especially in the current real estate climate. (One of our agents, Kate Ryley, even wrote a blog about real estate paralysis to help buyers avoid indecision. Check it out: https://www.propertycayman.com/blog/how-to-avoid-real-estate-decision-paralysis/.) Hesitation in this market is not really an option. In certain sectors of the market, properties are being sold within days. But rest assured, we have great advice and market insights to help you as it relates to your specific property plan and the sector you may be considering.
Cayman First Quarter Real Estate Trends
A good chunk of the increase in activity we’re seeing is coming in the market’s high-end sectors, including South Sound, Cayman Kai and of course the ever-steady Seven Mile Beach corridor.
Short-term rentals and bookings have returned with the opening of the borders so a lot of the growth is happening in the condominium sector. Whereas, in the second half of last year, the stand-alone residential homes sector was leading the charge. And while there is a mixture in the current motivation behind buying. We are also seeing a mix of who is buying. It’s not just non-residents looking to enter the market, residents are recognizing the imminent potential in real estate and deciding to invest in rental properties knowing they could also serve as a potential home if needed.
Cayman Real Estate is a Great Investment
Real estate is a long-term stable asset. It generally does not ebb and flow in step with the capital markets. And the Cayman Islands real estate market in particular remains a strong investment option. I say this for several reasons. We’ve already discussed the data – increasing sales, increasing demand, increasing value, limited supply – as well as the return of tourism to our islands serving as a catalyst for Cayman’s first-quarter market resurgence. But when you look at what else is happening in other areas of the world, be it geopolitical turmoil, humanitarian crises, economic instability, the Cayman Islands is a safe harbour. Truly.
Cayman is a mature jurisdiction with robust, globally recognized industries and professionals. For this reason, we can confidently project solid returns and growth of your investment over the course of time. Our strong real estate market will continue. No matter what level of your investment, or whether you have invested or soon will, you can expect to reap a healthy return — while enjoying these incredibly beautiful islands and its people at the same time.
I love to talk about real estate, and I love this island. So, if you have questions about the market or investing in real estate, reach out. Let’s chat.
(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).