In line with the positive reinforcement of offshore to be found in this edition of the Cayman Financial Review I thought it would be useful to touch on why I believe that the future of Cayman specifically is bright and even more specifically, when it comes to our real estate industry. In recent years, we have built a very strong foundation for this country which is now reaping benefits for those who have invested wisely when it comes to real estate, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. A new government coming on board at the beginning of June will hopefully continue to reinforce Cayman’s standing as a world-class destination for financial services and tourism, each of which bring new blood to the island and new buyers for our real estate market.
A strong infrastructure is crucial for the strengthening of Cayman. It is anticipated that the brand-new underpass, built by Dart encompassing the re-routed Esterley Tibbetts Highway that has been built to an extremely high standard, will very soon come into use, when the expanded four-lane highway opens in the near future. This is a significant piece of infrastructure that will effectively help to create a four-lane highway from George Town to West Bay. Traffic congestion ought to be greatly alleviated with the strengthening of this section of Cayman’s roads, the heavy traffic created at certain times of the day by Cayman International School being alleviated by the widening of the road, thereby reducing the twice daily bottlenecks which occur here.
This will make for a far more pleasant experience driving along Cayman’s prized Seven Mile Beach corridor. This is a section of prime real estate that houses the majority of our tourists as well as high net worth residents who may have bought their second home at one of the luxurious condominium complexes that line this award-winning stretch of beach. In particular, creating more access for tourists means creating a better impression for would-be purchasers, encouraging more to come and call Cayman “home.”
It is also exciting to see that Dart is progressing with its second underpass, that will create a tunnel for part of the West Bay Road, which runs parallel to the ocean from George Town to West Bay. Creating this second underpass will mean that Dart will then have a seamless link from one side of the island (Camana Bay) all the way to the beach, in what they term “sea-to-sound” connectivity. The space that will be created above ground will afford Dart the opportunity to expand Camana Bay with even more shops, restaurants and homes, developing a welcome addition to the already superlative town. Camana Bay has been a huge draw for residents and tourists, a brilliant location that expands our residential and leisure offering at a very high level, thereby reinforcing Cayman’s global reputation as a sophisticated center of excellence, not only for financial services and tourism, but for local residents as well.
Opportunities for the mid to high-end buyer
Cayman’s most popular location for the mid to high-end buyer is undoubtedly Seven Mile Beach, primarily because of its unsurpassed location overlooking the award-winning Seven Mile Beach. While inventory in this location is at an all-time low due to rising demands on property at this location, I am pleased to reveal that properties in the $2 to $3 million region are relatively plentiful, at other highly sought-after locations. This means that would-be residents still have a fairly good choice of property, given Cayman’s limited size, when they move here, although this may not be the case in months to come. As I write this, there are around 30 homes in this price bracket available via the Multiple Listing System, 12 of which are within the Seven Mile Beach corridor. Some are located further east, along the quiet, family-orientated South Sound location and slightly further east, at Grand Harbour, a quickly up and coming location for those looking for peace in a friendly family neighborhood setting. Now that connectivity is opening up for West Bay we see some excellent buys also in The Shores in West Bay and, further south, in Crystal Harbour.
Having a decent inventory for new, high-end buyers looking to make Cayman home is essential if we are to meet the demands of our ever-growing population. But I issue a word of warning for buyers; if you find what you love and want, buy it now. Do not hesitate.
Cayman’s future is bright – it has set itself up to be the envy of the world when it comes to standard of living; it’s multiple industries of financial services, tourism, real estate/development and new medical tourism, are booming and as a result, it is real estate industry is seeing rapid growth and development.