Eastern Districts missing out on surge in property prices

| 28/05/2018 | 97 Comments
Cayman News Service

Seven Mile Beach property prices are on the rise

(CNS): The strong performance of the US economy has driven some phenomenal growth in property prices in the Cayman Islands over the past year, but in a bifurcated market the biggest gains have been strictly limited to the Seven Mile Beach peninsula. Property consultants Charterland, in their annual Cayman Islands Property Review, found that both the number of sales and the value of sales continued to climb last year, keeping the Cayman Islands market on a solid upward trend. 

Based on Land Registry data, there were 1,702 transfers in 2017, which was up 5% on the previous twelve months. The total value of sales was north of CI$679 million, which was the highest total for a recorded twelve-month period in Cayman.

“Sales have been as high as they have ever been,” said Charterland partner Simon Watson. “We had peaked in 2006 with the impact of Ivan, but this is the best we have seen since. There has been strong growth in the US economy and the property market overall is doing well.”

Amidst these gains, there is a clear divide in the market, with the SMB peninsula significantly outperforming everything east of Prospect. Some condos directly on SMB have seen amazing price increases of 30-40%, Watson said, while family homes elsewhere have been pretty static.

“There’s been no real drop in average prices,” Watson said, noting that Savannah, for example, has been essentially flat since 2006, so homeowners across the island cannot expect to see the same increases.

“The peninsula is driven by the performance of the US economy, with buyers looking for investments and holiday homes,” he said. “Since the low point in 2010, coinciding with the lag from the 2008 economic downturn, it has been nice to see steady growth since then.”

While the Cayman Islands is obviously a small property market, it is still remarkably steady, Watson noted, without the sharp fluctuations that you see in parts of Florida or the UK.

Big acquisitions by Dart make a big difference to the market as well. Their acquisition of the Stan Thomas portfolio in 2011, for example, accounted for 28% of total sales. Last year there was the acquisition of the Ritz-Carlton property (estimated to be worth around CI$220 million) and although that was not taken into account by Charterland’s report because it went through as a company share transfer and not a Land Registry sale, it would have added around 30% to 2017’s figures, Watson said.

With continued growth in the US economy, where economists expect second quarter GDP to top 3%, the outlook remains bright for the Cayman property market, at least over the short and medium term, although that could change if Cayman were to suffer a major hurricane or if there was a sharp reversal in the apparently overvalued US stock market.

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Comments (97)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    That is very nice to hear and doesn’t surprise me. I was really referring to their representatives!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Very well. Explain how a property sells for, in your words, “substantially less than their true value”. The true value is what it sells for, not an imaginary value owners want it to be. Sorry the simple fact is that whilst non Caymanians are not welcome you limit demand which will depress prices relative to other districts.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Or perhaps when you bought your half mill house and pool the area was good. But despite good upkeep, development in neighbouring plots over the years since you moved in have pulled down both neighbourhood and property values. Like the folk who built a lovely house next door to me, and then built loads of wooden studios round the back, likely without planning permission, to rent out to unskilled workers. And similar set-up are evident all over Cayman.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If by food you mean some fried garbage… LOL

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why would any non Caymanian invest or build in a district where the MLA openly hates you? I’ll stick to 7MB thanks.

  6. Anonymous says:

    but cig will have fixed the road issue with the linford pierson expansion???…..zzzzz
    otherwise known as…the road expansion to nowhere or to the next bottleneck.
    the usual nra nonsense.

  7. Anonymous says:

    cig had the option of boosting the eastern districts by decentralisation of their services and putting the gov admin building out east.
    the idiots did the exact opposite by putting it in central gt….hence creating more congestion and leaving the east in economic wilderness.
    the same idiots will now do the same with court redevelopment and new police station.

  8. Crab Claw says:

    Maybe it is because the Easter district side know better than to except the offers suggested by the Real Estate cartel, to do an initial sale that is worth nothing to have their properties then listed the next month for 10 to 100 times the initial selling price, why couldn’t the property be originally sold for that price, no we tired of been scammed in the East when it comes to land, we holding for the long run, go fool someone else.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Until the problem of derelect, abandoned vehicles in neighborhoods and communities and property owners have a sense of pride we will not see an increase in the value of properties or attractive enough to buyers in some areas of the island. This is becoming a eyesore throughout the islands. Some car and home owners abandon their old vehicles on their properties not caring for the consequences, creating an
    eyesore which could possibly endanger lives, devalue neighboring home owners property and environment issues such as rodent infestation and hazards during a hurricane. Some residential neighborhoods resemble an industrial site with homes doubling as auto mechanic garages. A law where any motorised vehicle, trailer, caravan, dump trucks, and other heavy equipment, horse-float or similar equipment whether derelect or abandoned, parked on any driveway, yard, roadside or public place should be implemented and strictly enforced with hefty fines until removed. The island is now looking like a third world country.

    • Anonymous says:

      another easy fix…if the police farce would actually do their job.

    • Anonymous says:

      I was going to buy a smith-villa until I drove around and saw what looked like a Jamaican slum. SMH. That place looked good just 5 years ago. What Happened?

    • Anonymous says:

      This comment from 9:15 is 100% accurate. The eastern districts tend to have the lower socioeconomic economic people and their yards are often utterly disgusting. Add to that, derelict property after Ivan which is still standing and lowering the value of property in the vicinity and you have a mess. A so called honorable member of the LA has derelict property in her area of Bodden Town but despite rodents and complaints from other residents she does nothing. And DEH is scared of her aggressive attitude and waspish tongue so nothing is done. That is the problem with Cayman today.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What strange news to come out just after we know there will be a public register that will affect every industry here. Hmmmmmm.

    • Anonymous says:

      I do not see the connection.

      • 11:05 – Once the public beneficial ownership register comes into force in 2020 there will be a drop in real estate prices especially in the SMB area. Expats and the so called driftwood working in the financial services sector will begin departing these shores.

        This report was obviously done before the British Parliament passed the legislation earlier this month.

        • Anonymous says:

          I call BS. A dollar says the impact of a public BOR is negligible. I’m on the BOR and have no intention of moving my fund. The devil will be in the detail, as yet unwritten.

          • Anonymous says:

            We arn’t worried about people who are already on the public BOR. The questions is how many are not now, and will leave if forced.

            • Anonymous says:

              Comment makes no sense. No one is “already on the public BOR”. There isn’t one.

            • There are two main groups that will be leaving Cayman:

              1) Groups / individuals from Mainland China

              2) Groups / individuals with ties to Russia / Ukraine

              These are the two groups that have the most to hide in terms of money laundering and ill gotten gains.

            • Anonymous says:

              Already on what public BOR? There isn’t one.

              • Anonymous says:

                If all the expats leave then hopefully the price of land/homes will fall as well. that would be nice.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Indeed they will fall. Precipitously. There will also be massive layoffs public and private. Sorry to say the place would implode.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Yet, all Caymanians discouraged each other from buying property anywhere close to WB because it was crime ridden. I bet they’re kicking them selves in the but now. Property in WB has increased by at least 30% in the last 5 years.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, but not alllll west bay.

    • Anonymous says:

      only in smb area of west bay!

      • Anonymous says:

        Not only. Since the new road to WB. The district is separated in two, good and bad. BTW no middle class Caymanian, which most are, cannot afford property on SMB. You look in WB close to The Shores and headed towards Morgans Harbour you will see how many expats purchased the properties that were for sale. In my neighborhood alone, I cannot count how the amount of expats have moved in. And before anyone takes my comment the wrong way, I am glad they did because they have beautified the surrounding properties so that mine can have it’s full value.

  12. Mesha says:

    Until the Eastern districts demand upgrades to roads, a working commute route and beautification they will be left behind. No sensible investor would buy in communities with no investment by CIG, spiractic civic pride and no DEH enforcement. Stand up to your politicians and demand improvements and you will get your piece of the pie. Lay down for a free fridge or turkey and you will be left on the farm.

  13. Anonymous says:

    So the US economy (under President Trump ) is affecting the Cayman real estate market.
    What, no complaints about this?? Or, do you wait until he does something you don’t like.?.?

    • Anonymous says:

      Trump inherited all of Obama’s policy’s and wonderful economy. Don’t you worry, trumpet, after everything is undone we will all be screwed again.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, he inherited his record unemployment rate and bad foreign deals… Obummer is thankfully gone and forgotten

        CNS: Do you remember what was happening to the economy when Obama became president in 2008? There was fear of global economic collapse, so yes the unemployment rate went up but by the time he left office the economy had stabilized and the unemployment rate had gone back to normal. Fact. Here’s the actual unemployment rate in the US by year. See here. Stop watching Fox News.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well done CNS. A much deserved slap down. Stop watching Fox News indeed. The only other place I have seen him called “Obummer” is on Facebook by rednecks and politically ignorant but socially active Republicans who just don’t like that a black man was twice elected, by landslides, to the US Presidency. Obama will never be forgotten. He will become a statesman of the highest order. His library hasn’t even been unveiled yet. Put your balloons away…you won’t need them until you will (likely) be dead.

          • Anonymous says:

            Very sad you use reverse racism…nothing to do with black or white…you and those who share the same thought process paint it that way. It’s an easy way for you to control the topic. And fundamentally it’s weak.
            But I have to tell you, the “statesman” part was a good laugh though.
            Thank you

          • Anonymous says:

            “statesman”, really??
            Do you know how people are going to remember Obama, that a country was so fed up with that side of government they were willing to put Trump into office and not re-elect another member from the same party.
            How’s that one taste? Bitter??

          • Anonymous says:

            A library? Thank goodness for that. What would we do without it.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thumbs up are for CNS not this ignorant poster

        • Anonymous says:

          This CNS comment won the internet today… CNS advising not to watch Fox news, is like the pot calling the kettle black… Now I’m no Fox advocate, but those right wing nut jobs are just as bad as the leftwingers… CNS is most definitely a leftwing site indeed…

          CNS: It’s not about being left or right; it’s about peddling in conspiracy theories and just plain flat lies. To be fair, Fox News also has some actual journalists who are right wing but legitimate. It’s the talking heads that are the problem. And yes, left wing conspiracy theories are just as bad.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh CNS….
          Good thing he and his administration negotiated all these great one-sided trade deals too.
          Fact is, the US became a WEAKER country under his leadeship, period. It’s not a black or white thing, nor a left vs the far right distinction. He left a trail of weakness that hurt the American economy, and now the demo’s don’t like it.
          You see, someone can actually lead the country and make change, as painful as you paint it to be. No Fox News, nothing like at all. Liberals just hate the truth.

          • 5:15 – What one sided trade deals? The U.S. is running a trade surplus with both Canada and Mexico. The PM of Canada had to point this fact out to Trump when he met with Trump earlier this year. Problem with Trump is he does not understand how to read basic trade statistics so makes up facts that all the trade deals are one sided.

            The U.S. does have a major deficit in trade with China, but has no trade deal with China. TPP which Trump scrapped, was meant to be a trade agreement with many Asian, South American countries plus Mexico and Canada and it would have been a bulwark against China but economic dummy Trump playing politics to the ignorant, convinced many Americans that it would be a bad deal although the origin of TPP was the Bush Administration not Obama.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh that’s rich. The U.S. economy recovered in spite of Obama and his anti-growth/business policies. Other than printing and dumping *T*rillions of destined to be worthless paper into the economy (Liberal crony slush fund) name an Obama policy that acted to stimulate the economy or create jobs other than government jobs. Obama lost control of government policy in 2010, thankfully.

          The liberal policies favored by the likes of politicians such as Obama propelled the U.S. into the financial crisis to begin with. See Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac failure and the affordable housing acts which essentially forced banks to lend to unqualified buyers under threat of having further licensing denied. This opened the door to unscrupulous lending of every sort, most notably mortgage credit swaps/derivatives sold and gleefully bought by the government sponsored entity (GSE) Freddie Mac. Mind you, several republicans tried to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac well before they collapsed and were labeled as racists. See congressional hearings on C-Span (available on Youtube) as early as 2004.
          Foxnews is successful because it is the only news network that does not spew liberal bias 24/7. You liberals have ABC,NBC,CBS,CNN,BBC,NYT,Wash Post on and on…all run by “journalists” and news organizations that consistently poll as liberals at more than double of those that poll as conservatives. But I’m sure they never let their bias views spill into their “reporting” nah.
          It’s funny what topics cause CNS to leap into the fray.

          CNS, liberal bias on parade.

          • Fox News no longer supports free trade, in fact they are outright protectionists in their economic perspective. Their inability to appreciate how integrated both the Canadian and Mexican economies are integrated can only be described a pathetic. Fox talking heads have more in common with economic socialists than conservatives. Sorry to tell you this 10:52, but real conservatives support free trade.

            Obama’s economic policies in 2008 after the Leham collapse saved the collapse of the American banking system and the American automobile manufacturing industry. You need to re-read what happened in the Fall of 2008. Dodd Frank was a direct result of the Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac failure. Banks are now forced to make greater provisioning for bad loans and retail banking is separated from investment banking which is a very good thing as their were too many speculators in the investment banks.

            By the way, I do not consider myself a conservative on economic policy but a free trader.

            • Anonymous says:

              Garfield, if you want to ignore the liberal policies and liberal stonewalling that led to the 2008 collapse then you are welcome to do so. The response to the collapse was to bail out the banks and print trillions in debt. Either party would have arrived at the same remedy, it really did not take a brilliant idea from Obama.
              By the way, what you call protectionism, most reasonable people would call fair trade. Free trade has to work both ways and for many years as is the case with China and many others it doesn’t work that way. That’s all being turned around now.

            • Anonymous says:

              Huh? TARP saved the banks and auto makers in 2008. Obama wasn’t president until 2009.

              CNS: Google is not always your friend. Read this.

              • Anonymous says:

                Bush signed Tarp into law, google isn’t your friend either…

                CNS: But he wouldn’t have had anything to sign if Obama, as president elect, had not intervened.

              • Anonymous says:

                Wow. Clearly you didn’t read the whole of that article which supports exactly what I said; “The $350 billion at issue represents the second half of Treasury’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, enacted in October”

              • Anonymous says:

                IMO Obama did a good job as president but CNS can’t rewrite history. Paulson famously wrote TARP (some of which was structured through Cayman!) and Bush signed it into law. Obama didn’t block the second tranche. You are perhaps confusing TARP with ARRA aka Obama’s stimulus package.

            • Anonymous says:

              Dodd Frank? Are you serious? Barney Frank is one of the chief architects of the collapse. He vouched for Fannie Mae time and time again as was rightfully torn apart for it.

              • Anonymous says:

                6 vs half a dozen. Frank certainly championed increases in HUD and CRA for years; the legislation that *forced* the creation of hundreds of billions of subprime loans but both programs were extended under Bush Sr and Jr.

      • Anonymous says:

        4:44, “wonderful economy”? Umm, we’re you hiding under a rock during that presidency? Obama will go down as one of the WORST presidents ever for the economy…just to name one thing.

        CNS: Here’s some homework for you. Yes I know it’s Wikipedia but it’s a good start for you. When Obama was first elected, the economy was in freefall.

        • Anonymous says:

          CNS, it’s hard for people to research truth when Fox News is just a click away.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes CNS, freefall…the same place Obama sent the US healthcare system.

        • Anonymous says:

          In free fall largely due to the types of policies Obama whole heartedly supported.

          CNS: So not Bush’s fault then? Just Obama’s? Got it.

          • Anonymous says:

            “CNS: So not Bush’s fault then? Just Obama’s? Got it.”

            Republicans tried to intervene well before the calamity happened and were called racists.
            In 2006 the democrats took control of the legislature. Had a bill to regulate the mortgage industry, namely Freddie and Fannie passed the democrat run legislature prior to 2008, perhaps he would have signed the legislation. What exactly was Bush supposed to do? Presidents don’t write legislation and have little influence in writing legislation when their party is outnumbered in both the house and senate. But let’s ignore all that.

            Cayman News Service? CNS= garden variety liberal blog

            CNS: What? Show me where I have tried to excuse Congress, both parties, since the roots of the financial crisis went back much further than 2006. The single point I was pushing back on was the old ‘it must be Obama’s fault’.

    • Anonymous says:

      MAGA baby!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Prices will not pick up in the East until new roads and infrastructure are in place to fix the slow crawl home for those of us unlucky enough to live there and suffer the daily commute. Several properties around me have sold for substantially less than their true values and vendors are repeatedly being told by prospective purchasers that they would rather spend their money in SS, GT or WB to ensure a healthy work life balance, rather than 10-12 hours a day including commute. Until there is new infrastructure in place to get traffic moving smoothly again, East is a last resort for many. I love living out here, but HATE the stressful and long commute each day.

    • nauticalone says:

      I agree with your post. I would add that I really cannot understand how CIG talks about the “Go East Initiatives” so much but yet go decades without even resurfacing the already inadequate roads? Cayman Kai is a glaring example where we have numerous million dollar homes with residents, owners and guests frequenting that area weekly and yet the road surface headed to Kaibo is enough to rattle your car to pieces! It really is inexcusable! What are we paying 42% import duty on vehicles for?
      And the road going to East End near the Blow Holes suffered near the same fate for many years past its time to resurface.
      But you’re right too in that the road artery from Newlands out to the Eastern Districts is sorely needed ASAP!

      • Anonymous says:

        Politics, dirty Cayman politics. That’s why the eastern half of the island is being neglected by Government. Pure and simple dirty Cayman politics.

        • Anonymous says:

          When 2/3 of the population are not welcome it’s hardly a surprise when they don’t want to buy property there!

          • Anonymous says:

            Don’t believe the poison that spews from the politicians mouths or what you read here on CNS. I moved East over a decade ago and live in the thick of the Cayman community. My neighbours and everyone I come across are exceptionally warm, welcoming, helpful and friendly. In fact many are now like family to me. I wouldn’t willingly move back to the ‘other side’ now as I found many fellow expats I came across along SMB were both arrogant, pretentious and suffering from serious entitlement issues. Much happier and safer experience here… except for the commute!

      • Anonymous says:

        To employ thousands of civil servants. That’s what the taxes are for.

    • Anonymous says:

      don’t worry when the big man finish on the west side he will be to the rescue !

      • Anonymous says:

        Hope you are right. At least he would come up with a sensible working solution unlike the dumb NRA.

    • Anonymous says:

      how can a property be sold for less than its true value?
      what is ‘true value’ by the way?
      more roads are not the answer.
      cig should decentralise from gt…..

      • Anonymous says:

        True value is what someone is willing to pay you for your property regardless of what your valuation says. Valuations are even based on the price that property surrounding yours was sold for. So to answer your question, a property can be sold for less than market value if,

        1. The properties surrounding yours, value significantly less than yours.
        2. Your property has not been maintained as it should.

        In other words, do not go building a $500,000.00 in a neighborhood where the highest valued house is half of that. I’ve seen that happen a lot in Cayman over the years.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry but the fair value of your property is what you can sell it for, not what it might be worth in the future with better infrastructure.

      • Anonymous says:

        I said the true value not the future value. You clearly take me for an idiot. I mean value as in the sale figures based on the valuations of the properties prior to them being put on the market. Don’t try to twist my words please.

  15. Anonymous says:

    It’s all going to be submerged in salt water in a few years. That should bring the value down a tad.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I would like to say to all Caymanians who may still own property here. DO NOT SELL IT! SOON YOU NOR YOUR FAMILY WILL EVER BE ABLE TO AFFORD TO BUY PROPERTY!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Thank goodness or else no young people at all would be able to afford to purchase any property.

    • Fyah says:

      And the banks quick to lend for a car, but will not lend to purchase something of value like a piece of land that will not depriciate like the vehicle.

      • Anonymous says:

        ???….land prices will never go down??…. this sums up the mistaken mentality of caymanian property ownership….

  18. Anonymous says:

    Until such time as the Eastern Districts change their representation, no investment shall take place.

    • Anonymous says:

      We good out here!

      • Anonymous says:

        Ah yes, the Eastern Districts. Grand Cayman’s very own version of Cayman Brac.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh, forgive us of the Eastern Districts for wanting to maintain some semblance of the traditional Caymanian way of life.

          We are one country with different types of communities – just like ANY other country. So please spare the divisiveness, cha man.

        • Anonymous says:

          Sunday, or a Holiday, cant come soon enough though. Then the whole western end, heads to the East. Running from the concrete jungle, looking for cool ocean breeze, and food.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps if we could sort out the crime in the Eastern Districts we could actually see everyone sharing the pie. The major condos like water colours etc have adequate security. Tourists who by homes in the Eastern Districts can only look to experience real horror stories of crime.

    • Anonymous says:

      I feel safer in the East than I ever did in WB or GT.

      • Anonymous says:

        WB is safer than EE or GT. Just look at the statistics of crime recently, and thank to the fair reporting of crimes by media outlets. Before WB used to be villified constantly, while crime in other districts did not make the news. Main reason why younger Caymanians do not own property. They either waiting to inherit or are paranoid of other districts like we live in other neighboring countries. Ignorance in bliss!

  20. Anonymous says:

    I remember that goof ball Arden saying Dont sell your property in eastern districts when The Mandrin Orient opens your property will be gold ……… rusty junk it has become

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