Tag: rental market

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.