Tag: Cayman real estate

A Testament to Cayman’s Strength

2021 has arrived. And in certain respects, the uncertainty and tangle of 2020 continues. But there can be powerful wisdom that comes from even the most negative experiences.

Traditionally January is a time for reflection. A time to take stock, a time to look back, and dare I say, find gratitude for the past year. So that is what I did. First personally, and then professionally.

And while I will not bore you with the details of gratitude and self-reflection (we’ll need some slow-sipping rum & coconut water for that conversation!), I do want to share a professional review of Cayman’s 2020 real estate market and what it means for 2021.

Cayman Real Estate – A long year. A brief review.

Since 2003, I have reviewed the industry movements every quarter, like clockwork. I analyse market-wide transaction stats, list to sold prices, inter-market relations, external pressures, and even average days on the market.

So last week, I sat down and pulled the numbers. Starting with the last quarter of 2020, and then the entire year. And I have to say I am beyond impressed.

In March 2020, at the beginning of lockdown, we all braced for impact. And yet despite the numerous challenges the year brought us, this island nation proved its resilience. The Cayman real estate market speaks volumes. And after taking a brief look at the stats for yourself, you will see why my national pride is at an all-time high.

Recap of Q4 2020 – Cayman Islands Real Estate

Year-on-Year Review- Cayman Islands Real Estate

Cayman’s 2020 Real Estate Stats Summarized

Even though the number of sale transactions was down this year, the total sales value was up 15%.

  1. The overall number of transactions was down but,
  2. The average residential sales price was up 27%
  3. The average value of total residential sales was up 4%
  4. The number of high-end sales increasing by 90%
  5. Land sales value was up 1% yet the average price was up 12%
  6. Supply of listings to market is projected to decline through 2021
  7. Record sales prices throughout the various sectors:
    • Highest homes sale in Cayman history was US$14M (in lockdown no less!)
    • Highest home sale in Rum Point was US$7.15M (in lockdown no less!)
    • Highest canal lot sales in Clipper Bay, CIYC, Crystal Harbour, Baccarat Quay, Diamond’s Edge and on…
    • Highest condo sale prices at Pinnacle, Ritz-Carlton, RPC, Vela, Palm Springs, Windsor Village and on…

*These are overarching stats, please let me know if you would like us to delve further into any particular analysis of your specific property performance.

These bigger picture market statistics are a clear testament to the strength of Cayman. Locked down on a closed border island that traditionally relies on tourism, would have you thinking otherwise, but Cayman has maintained a healthy economy. Real estate is, after all a reflection of, and supported by the stability of our government, the structure of our financial sector, the social harmony, compounded by warm sunsets!

Confidence in the 2021 Cayman Market

What’s the big deal? 2020 is done and dusted. But this impressive level of activity and stability nourishes our confidence in the year’s to come. It is the foundation of the real estate industry. So it comes as no surprise that we are receiving a record number of inquiries from local and international buyers. We all want to shelter in a safe environment. And the Cayman community weathered the storm of 2020 incredibly well, gaining global recognition for strength amid the pandemic.

Team Property Cayman in 2020 – Bucking the trend!

Let me share with you another one of my professional rituals; this one is weekly. At 10:00 am, every Monday morning, our team meets to review sales, listings, potential buyers, and new offers. We discuss challenges and market trends. It is the ideal way to start the week, allowing us to learn from one another, to support each other, and share the journey.

This past Monday our final 2020 stats were tallied. While the year-on-year market stats were stable for the industry as a whole, Property Cayman saw a 30% surge in the number of families we served and a 41% increase in property sales volume (the total value of properties sold).

One of the top-performing real estate agencies in Cayman

I am beyond proud to say that Property Cayman, the boutique firm that Stefan Prior and I formally launched in September 2019, is now one of the top-performing real estate agencies in the Cayman Islands.  We await the formal results next week on just where we ranked.

We are a team of six agents supported by four incredible administrative staff and currently recruiting. We are small but mighty. We work really, and I mean really, hard – but we never look at it that way. We remain grateful to the community that nurtured our success and gave back over 295 community service hours (with plans to double that this next year).

So, after reading the 2020 recap, maybe now you won’t think I am completely bonkers when I say we found gratitude for 2020! It served to accelerate much-needed change for businesses and industries alike. It also reaffirmed a continued confidence in the Cayman real estate market.

2021 Cayman Real Estate Predications

Before I provide my real estate predictions for 2021, let me preface that the real estate market has a series of different sectors – each with varying brackets of price. To an extent, they ebb and flow in their own eco-systems and will react to the various market pressures in different ways. But they are also co-dependent on the other. So, when you ask how is the market doing? Know that it depends on a lot of things. (If you would like a tailored market analysis, then please feel free to reach out.)

New Year. New Home.

Believe it or not, people have real estate New Year’s resolutions. Empty nesters looking to downsize, growing families needing more space, and first-time buyers, all spring into action with the new year. Our team is noticing a significant uptick in traffic. We expect to see a continued flurry of activity throughout 2021.

International Investors

The long-lasting effect of North American and European economic stimulus packages, the inevitable increase in taxation, as well as political turmoil and rolling lockdowns will continue to bolster the international demand for Cayman. We are a safe harbour, providing calm and stability amid a storm world.

The influx of high-net-worth individuals purchasing in Cayman will continue to decrease the supply of properties in the US$2.4M+ range (the magic number needed to qualify for permanent residency by independent means). What is already a hot commodity, will become even more so. In short, we project a shortage of inventory in the high-end residential market.

When it comes to the luxury real estate market, my colleagues and I are sharing similar stories. It is a challenge to secure feasible options for buyers, especially as we are working in an already small sector of a very small marketplace.

Seven Mile Beach has been looking for fresh inventory. And on that note, Property Cayman is proud to bring the new luxurious Lacovia’s redevelopment to the market place, and believe us when we say it is spectacular. The trend to redevelop older (80’s & 90’s) developments will continue for decades to come as it evolves to meet significant market demands. Lacovia only has 30% remaining and has yet to actually break ground!

A Seller’s Market

We are nearing an all-time low in inventory, not just in the high-end residential market, but across the board. On the whole, this drives pricing and values upwards. (Again, please keep in mind, that a large inland condo is different to a small beachfront condo. Just as a Rum Point homes is different to a preconstruction apartment in Grand Harbour. Each of these are mini markets with varying experiences.)

Low inventory, without a change in demand, means it’s a seller’s market. So if you were already thinking about it, perhaps it is time to cash in your chips and list your home. Whether it is time for you to sell and benefit from the current market demand will be determined by your personal property journey. But my advice is, and always will be, to only make a property move with a long-term mindset. This approach will protect the security of your tomorrow.

A Transitional Year

As vaccines take hold, we can anticipate more travel and further opening of borders. This will bring fresh economic winds to these shores. Population growth is economic growth, and whilst many sectors have survived or even ‘thrived’ in the 2020 market, it is not sustainable.

However, even with the vaccine rollout, 2021 will remain a transitional year. Tourism is not coming back quickly, so the return of seasonal workers will be gradual. Therefore, with a shortage of tenants, some landlords/investors may start to get antsy and begin negotiating further on their investment properties. In the more desirable locations, real estate under the CI$500,000 range will remain hard to come by. Whereas in other areas we may see an oversupply and therefore a new level of affordability for entry-level buyers. Not the worse news for first-time buyers looking to get into the market.

2021 Cayman Real Estate Take-aways

My final message to buyers, sellers, international investors, landlords, friends, and family is to play the long game. We all want a quick return on investment but be patient, realistic and be smart. Choose a growth mindset and harness the experience of the past. And most of all let’s enjoy and be grateful for a strong Cayman market. It is resilient. It is confident and all with valid reason.

Real estate is an investment for you and your family’s future. It is the choices you make today (that you can reflect on over a rum & coconut water), that you will be grateful for tomorrow.

Be kind & stay safe.

Working from home in Cayman, are you legal?

Did you know the Cayman Islands Government has regulations around the use of home offices?

The legislation applies to all companies conducting business in the Cayman Islands, essentially anyone with Trade & Business license. So, if you choose a residential premise as the base of your commercial activity, then I encourage you to take note.

Cayman Laws Pertaining to Home Offices

The Planning Department’s law and regulations prohibit the use of a residential property (a private home or condo) for activities that fall outside what the property is zoned for. In other words, you can’t conduct online business or administration from your house, just like you can’t have a chicken farm in the back garden of your apartment.

There is an exception to this rule, but it is a process. You can apply for permission, demonstrating a reasonable need for your home office.

Here are the Department of Commerce & Investments guidelines on the topic:

The Trade & Business Licensing Board is aware that residential addresses are sometimes put on application forms as this is where the proposed business is to be operated from. Typically, this is where the application is in relation to a small business where the owner is either unable or unwilling to obtain commercial premises. Whilst the Board has from time to time granted licences permitting the use of a home as the place of business, often subject to conditions restricting the types of business activity that may be conducted there, or perhaps prohibiting the storage of certain goods at that location, the Board is generally reluctant to allow private homes to be used as a place of business other than for administrative purposes relating to the business. This is due to concerns over residential neighbourhoods being used for unauthorized business activities and associated zoning, planning, safety and health concerns. Applicants should therefore endeavour to obtain a business address and location appropriate for their proposed activities.”

Cayman Trade & Business License Renewal

As part of your annual Trade & Business license renewal you need to prove that you are authorized to carry out commercial activity at your business’s address. Meaning planning laws and property by-laws and covenants take effect.

In the case of condos, your strata must consent to your home office by agreeing not to enforce the Strata By-laws that restrict commercial activity. This essentially means they are permitting business activity so long as;

  1. The activity has no branded work vehicles
  2. There are no on-site meetings with customers and,
  3. No employees come and go (other than those that live there)

Beware however, many Strata’s won’t consent. And if they do, Planning and ultimately the Trade & Business Licensing Board still may not provide the exemption.

In the case of a private home, the zoning laws will be consulted by the Trade & Business Board to determine if you are adhering to the residential zoning based on your activity. If not, then you will be conducting business illegally.

Commercial Real Estate and Shared Working Spaces

The take-home message here: despite ‘Covid times’, obtaining legal approval to set up an office at home in Cayman can be tricky. If you want to discuss the permission process, and perhaps if commercial real estate or shared working space might be better for you, please feel free to reach out.

I’d be happy to chat and provide recommendations Property Cayman style. Your journey is our priority.

[email protected]

@michaeljosephrealestate

Welcoming Digital Nomads to Cayman

The highly anticipated details of Cayman’s digital nomad program have been announced.

We’ve read the government regulations, listened to the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism webinar, and spoken to Cayman’s immigration expert Nick Joseph.

Here’s what you need to know:

Cayman’s Global Citizen Concierge Program

The Global Citizen Concierge Program is an initiative which allows individuals who are employed outside of the Cayman Islands with the financial independence to work remotely, to relocate and live in the Cayman Islands for up to 24 months.

Cited as the Global Citizen Exemption, the regulations were gazette on October 16th 2020, under the immigration transition law and will have effect until on November 30th, 2023.

Who qualifies for Cayman’s Global Citizen certification?

Individuals who can provide proof of employment, with the ability to work remotely, and meet the minimum annual salary requirements.

  • Individuals earning an annual income of US$100,000
  • Couples earning a combined income of US$150,000
  • Families with an annual income of US$180,000

Applicants and dependents must have current health insurance, and be able to provide a notarized bank reference as well as a police clearance from their country of origin.

How do you apply for Cayman’s Global Citizen certification?

Applications will be reviewed and granted by Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman in conjunction with the Cayman Islands Border Control. The deadline to apply is October 31st, 2021.

Application Form: https://ourcayman.formstack.com/workflows/gcc_application

Website: visitcaymanislands.com

Email: [email protected]

Call: 1-833-418-1191

The application fee is US$1,469 per annum for an applicant and spouse, with a 7% credit card processing fee. There is an additional charge of US$500 for each dependent.

The maximum period of residency under the Cayman Global Citizen certification is two years. The first-year fee is due upon application submission, and the subsequent annual fee is due on or before the first year expiration.

Cayman’s Global Citizen Bylaws

The regulations stipulation that the digital nomad must be present in the Cayman Islands for a minimum of 90 days in the year and can not provide goods or services to any person or entity within the Cayman Islands.

Cayman’s global citizen certification can be terminated upon the loss of employment, conviction of a criminal offence, or due to a communicable disease or severe mental illness. The Cayman government can also revoke the certification if the digital nomad fails to comply with any of the program regulations.

Impact on the Cayman economy and property market

Enticing financially independent, remote workers to Cayman, will stimulate the economy without affecting the local job market. The program is fantastic, long-awaited news for local businesses and landlords, as the remote workers will need accommodation, transportation, food and other necessities, as well as entertainment.

The Cayman property market will see an increased demand for long term rental units, reinvigorating the price of rentals since our border closure. There is also no stipulation against a global citizen purchasing property, so we anticipate an influx of buyers interested in affordable to midrange single-family homes.

Our Advice: Capitalize on the influx

For many overseas remote workers, this will be a straightforward and cost-effective way to dip a toe into all that Cayman has to offer. They will arrive on the island looking for ocean views and beachside living, so short-term vacation property owners should consider putting their property in the long-term rental pool. This will allow landlords to secure reliable income while the demand for long term rentals is high, and the borders remain closed.

Similarly, the wait is over for property owners who have been unsure of whether to sell. While individuals and families arriving as part of the Global Citizen Program are initially in Cayman temporarily, a good percentage of these will inevitably love the island and end up staying longer term. Naturally, a lot of these will want to own their own homes, and so will end up purchasing. We have seen a large increase in demand for homes in the $1 million to $3 million price bracket, so if you have a home that falls within these parameters and are considering selling, the time is right.

If you have questions about renting your property long term or listing your home for sale, please feel free to contact us.

Maximize your vacation rental property income.

Outside of a pandemic, the demand for short term vacation rentals in Cayman is more than steady. As a coveted travel destination, second home investment properties in Cayman, provide consistent healthy profits for owners – often generating returns in excess of 10%.

The current landscape has undoubtedly disrupted the playing field. While tourists may be dreaming of our white sandy beaches more than ever, travel restrictions and our border closures mean those visits will, unfortunately, have to wait.

Recapping COVID-19’s impact on the Cayman rental market

At the onset of the lockdown period, we were inundated with calls and emails from anxious vacation rental property owners. To counter the closed borders and lack of tourism, we strongly suggested that these property owners switch from short term rentals (nightly or weekly) to long term rentals (six to twelve months). This strategy proved effective at attracting local renters, jumping at the chance to live on the beach at discounted rates. And although the return on investment would be less than the previous year, it prevented landlords being stuck with vacant properties.

Other property owners with more remote East End, Northside, and Cayman Kai locations, have reduced their nightly rates and offered specials to encourage local vacations. With residents unable to travel overseas, this has spurred Cayman’s very own ‘Staycation Nation’. A trend which continues as residents seize the opportunity for a change of scenery, at a discount. We know we are!

The end result? The COVID-19 pandemic caused the average price of rentals in Cayman to drop. This drop is a short-term response. We foresee a rental market rebound once Cayman’s borders reopen and we start welcoming tourists back.

Tourist High Season

In March and April, when property owners first made the decision to offer longer-term rentals and reduced rates, they were holding out hope for tourism to return in time for high season. The winter months, November through to April, when you can’t find a spot on the beach, let alone a vacation rental in Cayman.

Fast forward to today, we are now approaching the middle of October, and the borders fully reopening before the new year is looking less and less likely. The last few government press releases have made it clear that the risk tolerance, when it comes to potentially exposing the island to the virus from inbound travel, is minimal.

If you couple that with the end of the mortgage holiday, offered by the banks, it’s now time for investment property owners to employ a more long-term solution.

Cayman’s Global Citizen Program

The Cayman Islands government has announced they will start what is commonly referred to as a digital nomad visa. A visa specifically designed to attract employed individuals to the island. Bermuda, Barbados, and Antigua have already introduced initiatives similar to what the government is calling Cayman’s Global Citizen Program. The goal is to entice entrepreneurs and other professionals who can work remotely, to set up office on our beautiful shores. These digital nomads would provide an inject of money into the economy, without affecting the local job market.

Positive news for the rental market

After the rental market dip early this year, the Global Citizen Visa Program is definitely a win for Cayman landlords. The demand for long-term rental properties is going to increase, as more working professionals swap their home office for a temporary beach view. This will drive rental prices back up and make second-home, income properties more valuable.

Our advice: Minimize your risk

If property owners continue to hedge their bets on the return of tourism in time for the winter refuge from the north, they may be left disappointed with empty apartments and pockets.

Rather than rolling the dice, owners should consider listing their apartments in the long-term rental pool. This way, they can attract a digital nomad looking to live the beachfront dream while they work remotely in Cayman.

Yes, the monthly rental income generated will be a reduction from last year, but when amortized across the lifetime that you hold the property, it is relatively insignificant. And some money earned is always better than none.

If you have questions about renting your property long term, please feel free to contact us.

How to choose a real estate agent?

Let’s call it how it is. Real estate agents don’t have the best of reputations.  We get it.

Unfortunately, like any profession, a few bad apples can ruin it for the bunch.

Such a big life decision, buying or selling your home, deserves to be met with professionalism and integrity.

We care about you, and because we care we’ve compiled a quick checklist to ensure that you get the best possible representation, wherever you are on your property journey.

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Your Realtor Checklist

Whether you are a first-time buyer or an experienced investor, your Cayman realtor should have:

1.      Real Estate Expertise

The property market, particularly right now, is fast-moving. To effectively meet your real estate needs, you need an agent:

  • well versed in the local Cayman property market
  • who understands the financial requirements for purchasing a property in Cayman
  • knows the Cayman stamp duty tax rules and exemptions
  • able to interpret strata regulations and bylaws
  • who is comfortable overseeing the complete property transaction (including contracts, due diligence screening, market analysis reports, disclosures, and other legal documents – effectively managing any roadblocks to ensure a seamless experience for you)
  • who cares about you! Above anything else, choose an agent that has your best intentions at heart.
2.      Objective Real Estate Information

Your agent should easily be able to provide accurate and up to date information on re-locations, utilities, the rental market, zoning, schools, and more. They have objective stats about each property, data that should be shared with you so you can decide how to move forward with listing your home or placing a purchase offer.

3.      CIREBA Qualifications

Real estate laws, regulations, and processes are intricate. You want a realtor who knows the ethical and legal requirements of buying and selling property inside and out. All members of the Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association (CIREBA) must complete specific training and testing to demonstrate their understanding of real estate law, contract law, and their duties as an agent. CIREBA also has a strict code of ethics that all members must adhere to. So by selecting an agent who is CIREBA member, you can rest easy knowing you have a qualified professional in your corner.

4.      Trusted and Candid Real Estate Advice

Life can throw us some unexpected curveballs. It is essential that during these times, you have a trusted and experienced professional that you can lean on. Someone who will tell you exactly how it is and the best way for you to navigate your way out the storm.

“We were about to close on a Seven Mile Beach condo, and then COVID struck. Our household income, like many others, took a hit. And like the rest of the world, we felt uncertain about the economy and the property market. So to say we were stressed about our pending property purchase, was an understatement. I reached out to Jude for advice. We discussed the situation, weighing all the possible scenarios, and ultimately ended up pulling our offer. The feeling of relief was instantaneous. It was the right decision for us, and we can’t thank Jude enough for her honest advice. She put our happiness and security above everything.” – Dr Derek Spence, Property Cayman Client

5.      Real Estate Negotiations Skills

In the property business, there are many elements, unique to each sale, that are up for discussion. You deserve to feel well informed and confident throughout the negotiation process. An experienced realtor should provide helpful insights and knowledgeable advice. They should safeguard your needs throughout the entire property journey.  With the right agent, there should be zero doubt that they have your best interest at heart. Remember, the highest offer isn’t always the best offer.

6.      Professional Networks

Property transactions are complex. There are a lot of cooks in the kitchen – buyers, sellers, agents, attorneys, inspectors, lenders, and often financial or investment advisors. An established, well-connected agent can provide their customers and clients access to an instant network of qualified and trustworthy professionals.

7.      Real Estate Marketing

Believe it or not, houses do not sell themselves. Your real estate agent’s marketing strategy is absolutely critical. How your property is listed and promoted will directly influence the number of buyers walking through your door, and the quality of the offers you receive.

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In a nutshell, a good agent can efficiently manage all the intricacies of the real estate transaction process, protecting their client’s interests and minimizing their hassle.

It is about the client, not the sale.

The business of real estate is about relationships.

We provide candid advice, helping clients avoid costly pitfalls, allowing them to minimize the headaches of selling while maximizing their profits.

Thinking about buying or selling? We’d love to chat.

The Market Moves In Mysterious Ways

A completely reasonable and fair assumption dictates that during an unusually slow summer season, closed borders, zero tourists, and a reduced population count all resulting from a world pandemic we should expect ZERO sales right!? Well, when a market moves against all expectations it’s worth looking a little closer.

We have reviewed the Association movements between June and July 2020 (the new dawn) how it differed from July last year (the old world) and finally we also reviewed what we are seeing in August so far and what the latter part of the year will look like.

 

June 2020 Vs July 2020

40% up in Condo sales
150% up in House sales
25% down Land sales – but watch out got lots of August activity.
No change in commercial sales

 

July 2019 (old world) Vs July 2020 (the new dawn)

52% down in Condo sales
44% down in House sales
65% down in Land sales
66% down in Commercial sales


Property Cayman had 9 transaction sides in July 2019 Vs  4 in July 2020 – 44% decline. However that’s 4 more than we were expecting.


Observation:
This decrease is expected however it isn’t what you could have expected with a pandemic underway. Also note it’s only a temporary shift. Despite internal and external pressures, transactions and demand are still very clear and present. This level of activity is returning with gusto which is a direct testament to local confidence. Many are seeing the opportunity to lock in (with the help of pension withdrawals in many cases) a new home or long term investment before the borders open and population with demand increases again.

With a steady incline of new listings, new contracts and a decline of the Back on Market listings, the August/Sept/Oct pipelines are filling up nicely. 

Source: CIREBA

August 2019 (old world) Vs August 2020 (new dawn)

24 Condo sales last August and 8 sales so far this August10 House sales last August and 1 sale so far this August32 Land sales last August and 3 sales so far this August0 Commercial sales last August and none this August… so far


Property Cayman had 10 transaction sides in August 2019 Vs 14 lined up to close this August 2020 (pipeline contracts) – 40% up and we have 3 weeks to go! Watch this space.


Observation:
Another summer season with record number of transactions? Despite a reduced July (year on year) there’s a surge of activity to rebuild the pre-covid momentum. It says a lot. Local demand and confidence is holding its ground and we can expect some good catch up this month.

August and beyond

With borders closed and pension withdrawals slowing down in the latter months of the year we can expect to see a decline in properties going to contract and a consequential increase in inventory (lowered demand with increased supply). We feel however that things won’t slow down and that when borders open up we can safely forecast new and positive influences on the market.

With open borders the market will quickly absorb any oversupply of inventory. With extended border closure into November we can expect pricing pressures to take effect but in reality it will be more of a stabilizing effect than a significant decrease in pricing.

Either way, whilst numbers are averaged down by 50%, most sectors of the market won’t see any significant decreases in pricing as seller’s continue to be patient. Markets ebb and flow over time so be sure to establish your big-picture property plan and consider the different chapters of YOUR journey. If you wait for a market to change to your advantage you will miss out on the opportunities currently in front of you.

This analysis is broad and general and more designed to spark the conversation. We would be delighted, as always, to assist you along your personalized property journey so feel free to reach out and let us know your thoughts, ideas and even concerns. We can cut through the noise and give confidence to your next move which every direction that might take you.

NB: ref: CIREBA stats

Why People are Seeking Sun, Sea & Safety in the Cayman Islands

All it takes is one visit to the Cayman Islands to fall in love. Of course our sandy white beaches, crystal blue waters and Cayman-kind smiles take a lot of the credit, but a few more critical factors make it a place that have people coming back time and time again. Especially now!

With the inevitable increases in taxes in the, U.K., U.S and Canada, and with “working from home”, now a realistic option more than ever as, it’s no wonder we are seeing an influx of family offices and high net worth families looking to move here. There was a trend pre-COVID from Canada and whilst this is continuing the inquiries are now coming in from the US, UK, Spain and France. C’est jolie ici.

Cayman is a tax-neutral, British Overseas Territory. We are a safe and sophisticated island, with excellent infrastructure and a high standard of living. Its ease of access to and from multiple major cities, including New York, Toronto and London make it easy for many to catch direct flights back home or to attend business meetings near and far. Sure you can meet on Zoom, but the work-life balance movement is real.

We have top rated international schools, excellent medical care, first world amenities, low crime rate, a top-class and fantastic culinary scene, and of course the endless recreational activities including golf, fishing, and all the water sports you can imagine, all right in your backyard. 

Buying real estate is a simple and straightforward process in Cayman. With no restrictions on foreign ownership, nor any property taxes, the prospect of owning a second home become feasible for many.

International buyers generally start out investing in a vacation condo/rental property, however given the direct impact of COVID on the world economy, we have noticed a (not so surprising) trend over the last few months with international buyers reflecting on their quality of life. So the shift begins; making the permanent move to enjoy life in a healthy and safe environment.  Why wouldn’t you invest in that?

New and/or existing buyers are either:

a) moving into their vacation home, with the intent on staying for longer and longer stints OR,
b) buying a primary residence with the direct intent on becoming a ‘Permanent Resident’ in the Cayman Islands, declaring non-residency in their home country, without impacting their current citizenship.

Owning real estate is by law a direct means to gaining Permanent Residency, so the concept of “living where you vacation” is being realized by many, now more than ever!

In conclusion:  We feel this is a trend we are going to see more and more of; COVID has highlighted new opportunities where ‘lifestyle migration’ is building momentum. Don’t forget there’s a reason why we live here. Ever thought of asking us why?

Your safety: Our priority

The impact of Covid-19 on our industry has been unprecedented. Showing properties, which has always been core to what we do, was no longer. 

Fortunately, 90% of what we do, can be done online. We have adapted to the current reality and continue to actively offer guidance remotely and online, keeping you apprised of trends, changes and projections in the Cayman Real Estate market.

As of Monday 8th June, with Government approval and strict safety measures in place, our office is back open and we are able to show properties again. We are definitely not ‘back to normal’ but welcome you all to the new normal…😷

Scroll down for new showing protocols and FAQ ⬇

Image: “The New Normal”-
Your Property Cayman team + Pablo 🐕

Update 17th July 2020: Property showings are in full swing and all properties are able to be viewed safely. Whilst restrictions have eased, we are still taking safety precautions- wearing masks, social distancing and sanitizing. Prospective buyers and sellers are no longer required to complete contact tracing forms.

Property Showing Protocols –Prospective Buyers

  • Property Access and Contact Tracing Forms to be completed and signed by every Prospective Buyer.
  • Maximum of 2 adults persons named on the PACT form shall be present at the property along with the agents.
  • Prospective Buyers will be required to meet the agent at the property and will not be driven to the property by the agent and must remain in their vehicle until called to enter the property by the Agent.
  • Everyone will wear a protective face mask(s) before entering the property.
  • Everyone will maintain 6 feet distancing at all times.
  • The viewing is contactless, and will not touch anything whilst in the property.
  • Everyone will sanitize their hands with hand sanitizer upon arrival to and departure from the property.
  • Neither the agent, nor the buyers will use the washroom facilities during access.
  • If prospective buyers should develop symptoms of the COVID‐19 virus, or are later diagnosed as having the COVID‐19 virus, they will contact the CIREBA agent immediately, so that the agent may follow the necessary procedures which could require testing and quarantine, to protect any parties that may be involved.

Property Showing Protocols –Sellers/Occupiers

  • Wherever possible, we will ask that properties are vacated for the duration of the showing.
  • If properties cannot be vacated, occupiers must stay 6 feet from the agent and Prospective Buyers at all times. The best way to achieve this is by staying in one designated room for the duration of the showing, then leaving that room when they need to view it.
  • Properties where someone is shielding, self-isolating, or has any symptoms associated with coronavirus (a fever, a new & persistent cough or flu-like symptoms) will not be shown.
  • We ask that occupiers leave all internal doors open, to minimise the need to touch any surfaces.
  • If the property is vacant the Agent is to disinfect the lockbox, all doorknobs, surfaces, light switches and counters with antibacterial/germ killing cleaners after Prospective Buyers have left.
  • A record will be kept containing the names of those who have visited the property.
Image: Property Cayman Agent Safety Kits

FAQ

I am interested in buying or renting a property, am I able to view it? 

Short answer yes, long answer below.

Viewings are only permitted on your corresponding day based on your surname. A-K being Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and L-Z on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

We also strongly encourage prospective buyers to exhaust all digital and virtual options before scheduling a viewing. There are lots of steps to buying a property, and most of these can and should be thought about before ever stepping foot in a property. Click here for a helpful list of considerations and questions that will help get you started. 

What steps must I take before viewing a property?

Contact your agent for the required forms to be signed prior to any viewing.

You must not be showing any flu like symptoms. If in doubt, stay home and reschedule the viewing for a later date. 

You will be required to find your own means for transport to the property, wear a mask and disinfect your hands prior to entering the property.

I would like to sell my property. Can I work with an agent in the current climate?

Yes. Our agents are able to meet via phone, video or in person to discuss the listing process. All documents required can be submitted digitally.

The majority of our industry has exemptions to operate so we are also able to get professional photos, videos and virtual tours done, in order to showcase your property in the best way possible. 

My house has been listed for sale/rent and I am worried about having potential buyers/tenants coming through. How do I handle the situation?

Your safety is our priority. In adherence to the Public Health Law we have implemented strict safety measures for all property showings. See details above.

We also offer virtual tours as an alternative to in person showings. The virtual tour will only require one person to enter your home to shoot the content which will then be made available to any prospective buyers or tenants. Reach out to your agent if you would like to schedule a virtual tour.

Is your office at 51 Fort Street open?

For the next few weeks, our office hours will be Monday – Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The reception door will be locked in order to control the flow of traffic in the building so please try and call ahead.

Our preference will be to schedule meetings in an open environment outside of the company’s premises.

If a meeting has been scheduled within our office,  we ask that proper hygiene and safety precautions have taken place prior to entering, masks or face coverings must be worn and social distancing must be respected.

Amidst uncertainty, we do know that this too shall pass. It may be weeks, it may be months, however, if we remain proactive to these changes, it will never be years. And know this — We are strong and able to overcome these challenges as any nation on earth.

As a final word, we say in unison, thank you, to our exceptional medical community, to those who wake up every day with the mission to be a helping hand, the people who are risking their health in providing essential services, and our political leaders at all levels, who are working tirelessly to keep us safe.  The Cayman Islands owe you all our endless gratitude.