CIG tackling rising rent and house prices

| 27/02/2020 | 184 Comments

(CNS): The explosion in the cost of rent on Grand Cayman, which many believe is exacerbated by the growth locally in the use of short-term rental platforms like Airbnb, plus the rising property prices, often blamed on foreign investment, is having a huge effect on the cost of living. In response, Housing Minister Dwayne Seymour and Planning Minister Joey Hew are spearheading an initiative to make housing affordable, beginning with “think-tanks” to identify the problems.

The Strategic Reform Implementations Unit (SRIU), which falls within the Office of the Deputy Governor, is facilitating the process of finding solutions to these challenges, which was launched on 12 February with a series of “think-tanks” and one-on-one sessions that engaged more than 50 stakeholders.

SRIU Senior Advisor Matthew Hylton said in a release that the purpose of the sessions was “to engage stakeholders to explore the factors behind the housing challenges, discuss ideas to help alleviate the problem, and suggest solutions towards affordable housing in the Cayman Islands”.

The release about the new initiative acknowledged that programmes already in place, such as the National Housing Development Trust (NHDT) and the Government Guaranteed Home Assisted Mortgage (GGHAM), as well as concessions on stamp duty fees for Caymanians and first-time home-owners, had not solved the problem of the lack of affordable housing for all residents.

The Economics and Statistics Office’s second quarter 2019 Consumer Price Index Report, which is the most recent published, found that the average cost of rental accommodation in Cayman increased by 19.3% over the same quarter in 2018.  

In his 2020/21 Budget Policy Statement delivered to the Legislative Assembly in November 2019, Premier Alden McLaughlin said that housing is the largest factor in the rising cost of living in the Cayman Islands.

Seymour, whose ministry is also responsible for garbage collection and the dump, two major problems that have continued under his watch, stated, “The significant rise to the cost of living and its effects on residents is a priority that government is working towards finding a solution for.”

Hew, whose ministry is also tackling the horrendous congestion on the roads of Grand Cayman, recognised that the problem of high rent and unaffordable property prices, with its knock-on effect on the economy, will get worse as the population increases.

“The more people spend on housing, the less they spend on goods and services,” he said. “As our population grows, we have to examine sustainable solutions to avoid a housing bubble, while still being able to grow our economy.”

According to the release, during the first phase of consultations they received input from key government departments, such as the Needs Assessment Unit, the Department of Children and Family Services and the Department of Planning, as well as from representatives from relevant private sector businesses, including construction, development, consulting, utilities, finance, banking and real estate.

Simon Watson, a partner at chartered surveyors and property consulting firm Charterland, said, “We need to look at factors effecting housing issues from all angles in order to best determine a way forward. I am in full support of this great initiative and in helping to find solutions to make housing more affordable.”

Hylton said that after the initial series of think-tank sessions, the SRIU will be moving onto the second phase of consultations, “which will involve detailed exploration of the key issues and potential solutions identified in phase one sessions, in order to advance the work required to identify solutions that address the main affordable housing concerns”, the release said.

Anyone whose work impacts, or is impacted by, housing and accommodation, as well anyone who would like to be part of the process of finding affordable housing solutions for the Cayman Islands can contact Matthew Hylton at Matthew.Hylton@gov.ky


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Category: Business, Construction, development, Local News, Real Estate

Comments (184)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Looking at the big picture, the irony is palpable. Five thousand people are voting against a port, that would revitalize George Town, increase economic activity, and make everyone wealthier. At the same time, numerous people (perhaps some of the same) are protesting the cost of rent, food, and living expenses. The forefathers of Cayman’s current prosperity took many far-sighted decisions that made Cayman into what it is today – installing dike roads to control mosquitos, welcoming a financial services industry, building up a dive industry, developing Seven Mile Beach (which used to be mostly swamp, as anyone who is over 50 knows) and many more. A significant number of the current electorate are concerned only with welfare, and cannot see the benefit from making sensible long-term decisions.

    The obvious solution to high rents is to let developers build more houses and apartments. If the building costs have not gone up, then there is profit to be made. What people need to do is get out of the way and let the problem resolve itself.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, the obvious solution is to stop the idiotic policy of trying to have a population of 100,000 plus ASAP. You say people should get out of the way but growing the population the way we are growing means that there will be no room.

    • Anonymous says:

      10.25pm, so no agenda for you then? No one, including you, has ever given any evidence that a new dock will provide any wealth other than to a very small minority of already very wealthy Caymanians. Likewise there is much evidence that it will cause havoc with our already endangered reefs, the very reason many people want to come here. Shops are all over the world, reefs not. Your argument is asinine.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have a business here in GC. I have to abide by all regulations. I have to pay licensing fees, attend anti money laundering workshops, comply with regulations, pass inspections, have fire extinguishers, etc, etc, etc. Why, on gods green earth, would Airbnb not be held to the same standard? This is just stupid. Or some politically entrenched person is a stake holder.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you seen the requirements to having a license issued for letting your place on Airbnb?

      • Anonymous says:

        You would not believe the hell and paperwork one has to go through to simply rent a room in a house with Airbnb in Cayman. Costs thousands with all the requirements especially bringing a simple swimming pool up to a Ritz Carlton standard.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone confirm the regulations for Airbnb? Do they have to pay the accommodations tax! Do they need a T&B? If not this is a really unfair playing ground.

    • Anonymous says:

      They do not require a T&B. They are expected to be licensed under the Tourism Accommodation Law and pay Tourist Tax. Enforcement is inadequate, and there is no expectation of any Caymanian participation, so the Local Companies (Control) Law does not apply.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why should there be Caymanian participation when I sometimes rent out my one room in my house with Airbnb on Seven Mile Beach? I paid a big Stamp Duty when I bought my place. You are arrogant if you think you should have a right to participate in my room rental. Caymanian entitlement at its best.

        • Anonymous says:

          I think you misunderstood the comment and got blinded by you hate for Caymanians.

          • Anonymous says:

            Sorry Bobo no hate of Caymanians with me but you did say “no expectation of any Caymanian participation”. Please explain yourself.

        • Anonymous says:

          Are you carrying on a Trade or Business? Does it compete in the local economy?

          If your answer to both those questions is yes, then as a general principle there must be Caymanian Participation, or you must get an LC(C)L license.

          That has been the law since 1971, and has served these Islands well.

          As for your personal home, no, of course I do not think there should be any Caymanian participation expected or required. But if you had 100 units on airb’nb my answer would be very different.

          You are paying Tourist tax on your rentals, aren’t you?

      • Anonymous says:

        1:25, Believe me there is strong enforcement.

  4. Pastor Alfredo says:

    The problem with Airbnb, and it is a problem, is that CIG encouraged the expansion of the sector in Cayman because, unlike long term rentals, they get a 13% cut of the revenue through the tourist accommodation tax levied against each short term rental (plus a bit in fees, inspections, etc).

    If I buy an apartment and stick it on Airbnb then I can expect to net 50-100% more than I would by renting it long term to a caymanian or a resident, even after paying CIG their 13% of the revenue. Because I can net 50-100% more through Airbnb, that apartment for sale is now priced based on the potential Airbnb yield rather than the potential long term rental yield.

    I’m normally the last person to encourage more government but, rather than just banning Airbnb, CIG could effectively manage the impact of short term rental on the residential market by increasing the tourist accomodation tax from 13% to something higher.

    Existing Airbnb owners will whine and moan but they’re the ones who need to take a haircut here as the impact on housing negatively affects every single caymanian and resident one way or another. Even if you own your own house the cost of living trickles through the economy to everything because of the price of rent.

    Move tourist accomodation tax up to 20% on Airbnb. This reduces the potential yield and hence the perceived value of an apartment. If nothing changes move it to 30%.

    We need to get to a position where the risk and reward of converting an apartment in bodden town to Airbnb isn’t more attractive than renting it to someone living and working here.

    Pastor Alfredo

    • Anonymous says:

      Alfredo, You have no idea how many Caymanians require Airbnb so they can make their mortgage payments.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe they should buy a cheaper home.

        • Anonymous says:

          Where?

        • Anonymous says:

          Exactly, where!? Have you seen how much Dart wants for property right next to the dump? How can you even talk down to someone for using Airbnb to meet their mortgage payment? Seems to me like you missed out on the opportunity to purchase a repossessed home for a bargain.

    • Anonymous says:

      “unlike long term rentals”. Long term rental agreements attract a stamp duty but no-one pays it and CIG doesn’t pursue the matter.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hey, the law also says you cannot beat up a woman in the workplace, and government doesn’t enforce that either!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why are mortgage interest rates twice what are available in the US?

    • Anon says:

      Because of higher default rate in Cayman. There is higher chance people do not repay their loans in Cayman compared to USA. Therefore, the additional losses the bank takes on these loans in Cayman are passed onto all people who hold mortgages in Cayman through higher interest rates. Its as if the people who pay their mortgages on time are subsidizing all the dead beats.

      • Anonymous says:

        nope…wrong on every level.
        real reason rates are double is because of the greed of banks are their collusion on rates.

        • Anonymous says:

          US banks can repackage the mortgages, take their cut and sell them on, Cayman banks have to hold that loan until it repays or defaults. Most mortgages are priced off US Prime rates and I’ve seen rates around 4% in Cayman (prime +0.50), Best US rates I’ve seen are around 2.85%.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What is the difference between Caymanian workers and Expat workers? Honest question. If there was no difference there would be no problems for Caymanians. If Caymanian workers had the working skills, social skills, and work ethics of expat workers only then would employers choose them over expats. Here’s the big question. Why don’t Caymanians bring up their kids and themselves to be good workers so you can afford to live in Cayman Islands?

    • Anonymous says:

      Listen. I am a mid-management professional, been here almost 15 years. I am an extremely good worker with excellent work ethic and social skills, both at work and within the community I live in. I started in town and moved further and further out. Now I can’t afford to leave the basic place I’m leasing, and praying they don’t increase the rent. Over the last 10 years wages have barely moved but rentals here in Lower Valley have tripled. Back then I could have got a nice place on SMB for what they’re charging now. If I’m struggling on a half-decent salary, I feel sorry 🙏 for those less fortunate than me, especially if they’re raising families. Nationality is irrelevant. Nobody could have expected rentals and the cost of living to ramp up so dramatically. But ultimately only the wealthy can prosper the way things are going.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have multiple international degrees and excel in the workplace outside of Cayman. In Cayman, I and others face deliberate obstruction from some expatriates, in particular where they choose to operate at variance with local requirements.

      Caymanians expect overtime, pension payments, and opportunity for growth. Expatriates, particularly from poorer countries, are happy to overlook mistreatment, and are happy to just have a job.

      Therein lies much of the problem. Inadequate education and lack of “broughtupsy” plays a role, but there is much more to it.

    • Heart says:

      Just remember it was an educated well mannered caymanian who let you and all those other business owners into this country and set up businesses to make money here. You don’t see it that way though do you, the ignorance is sickening. Go elsewhere if you don’t like caymanians. There is do much I want to say to you but it would be such a waste of WiFi.

      A proud new Caymanian that loves Caymanians and Cayman.

  7. J .A. Roy Bodden says:

    What can we expect ? Greed, corruption ,injustice and immorality are all characteristics of frontier societies …and the Cayman Islands are a frontier society. For years I have been saying that “we have been measuring our progress on a faulty Report Card . The duality (expats vs. natives ) shows that the society is unravelling . Income inequality , disregard for our neighbours and contempt for the black poor are our undoing .
    Norman Mailer the American author said it best , “There is a s… storm coming .

  8. Anonymous says:

    What they should be thinking of doing they are not and that is putting a stop to making it so easy for these businesses getting work permits and bringing in all these people for cheap labor. Stopping their madness about growing our population. Make the minimum wage a decent wage so that Caymanians would want to and could afford to work for it. Consider their own people who put them where they are and make laws to benefit and prosper them. Intead of lining their own pockets with their greediness. Why does Government always need people to think for them? Can’t they see for themselves what the real problems are even though they are staring them right in the face.

  9. Elvis says:

    That’s not a very sharp spearhead to start with

  10. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile properties both residential and other are being retrofitted internally (without planning permission) to provide stacked bed space for rental….such close living and in disgusting public health and fire safety violations will make a great place for the coronavirus to fester….

  11. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians you are to blame. It is only Caymanians who vote in the politicians who make the laws in this country. A foreigner like me cannot vote – hence I have no say in making the laws. All I can do is follow the laws that you the Caymanians make.

    Look yourself in the mirror the next time you sell a piece of land or house to a foreigner or offer a job to a foreigner. And I ask you to think hmmn I would really like to see a Caymanian get this piece of land or house or I would like to see a Caymanian get this job.

    Caymanians have homefield advantage and know what is happening. And yet year after year, election cycle after election cycle, Caymanians do nothing about it. Truth.

    • Anonymous says:

      You right 336. Caymanians are easily bought off by politicians – pave a driveway, buy a fridge or stove, get some free furniture, maybe get a $25 or $50 bill, etc – and unna in every district including over there on Brac/Little Cayman know what I talking bout.

      • Anonymous says:

        And the police never prosecute a single act of high level, corruption.

        • Anonymous says:

          Will the two persons who voted that down please refer us to the instances of high level corruption that have been prosecuted?

          • Anonymous says:

            Canover Watson, Webb, XXXX and of course McKeeva for credit card use. Not saying there shouldn’t have been more, but you cant say there aren’t any.

            CNS: I deleted one name because the case is ongoing. I should also note that Bush was acquitted in the credit card case.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Can we please just blame all the foreigners for
    1. Buying a piece of land or a house from a Caymanian
    2. Accepting a job from a Caymanian owned business.

    Most assuredly the foreigner is to blame, as no Caymanian would truly want to sell out their family land or family home nor would they want to hire anyone but a real Caymanian to work in their Caymanian owned business.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Won’t be long now until Caymanians own no part of Cayman. Too busy blaming Dart to see the problem until its too late.

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians own majority – and don’t go block their front gate (they don’t use)!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yet Caymanian land owners are only too happy to sell to the foreigners.

      There is a segment of our society that would like to return back to the days before 1970, be careful what you wish for, the only thing that moves faster than Usain Bolt, is an American with his/her money to another place.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is not foreigners that s the problem. It is the group of Caymanian men and women (elected leaders) who allows the Caymanian businesses to steal from the poor and set ridiculous standards to live by. For example why is the cost of construction $200 per sq ft for the poor yet the wealthy gets concessions? Why is it market value les than replacement value? Technically then, homes should be sold at replacement cost verses market value. Why is it educated Caymanian paid less and less benefits yet the uneducated work permit holder gets all the perks and more salary? Why is that wealthy developers can destroy mangroves yet the poor Caymanians are fined for clearing their own land? Why is it Caymanians pay the same price for milk when the wealthy pays the same price? You have a person earning $250k per year paying the same price for utilities, same land taxes, same groceries as the persons that earns $35k per year. Yet these are not concerning to all?

        • Anonymous says:

          What is your definition of an educated Caymanian and an uneducated expat? The latest developer to destroy mangroves without permission was a Caymanian yes? Paying the same price for the same thing is a human right. CIG is allocating millions of dollars a year to help poor Caymanians and nothing for poor expats. It is not the expats that are the problem. Its what some Caymanians think of expats. Thank God most people do not think this way.

          • Anonymous says:

            Jamaican. Granted status, and legally Caymanian, but still Jamaican.

            • Anonymous says:

              A lot of these status holders only call them selves Caymanian when it suits. I’ve seen it a million times. Even had to remind a person that they had status and there for legally Caymanian.

        • Anonymous says:

          Also, why are work permit fees for mid-senior management positions in small businesses the same as law, accounting, audit firms and large corporations? I like the way they addressed this for T&Bs and really feel this needs to be done with work permit fees too. Currently it’s too easy to get unskilled staff (for minimum wage jobs Caymanians could do if the pay were a few dollars more). In contrast where there’s a genuine need to hire specialist skills and training from abroad, even if only on a temporary basis, it’s a huge blow to the bottom line for new and small businesses. Stifling growth potential.

        • Anonymous says:

          Because cayman isn’t communist. If that’s how you would like to live, head to Cuba.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Raise the stamp duty for non-resident owners to 10%. Simple to implement. It would act as a disincentive to foreign investment, which is fine because we have enough latent housing demand from residents.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Get ready government.

    We are facing the prospect of a dramatic decline in tourism and a Coronavirus induced recession.

    Personal incomes and government revenue could drop precipitously.

    Unemployment in the tourism and service sector might rise significantly.

    You have no plans, do you? You waste our money with impunity (how much is Mac’s jolly coating?) and are putting our economy at risk.

    A rainy day is coming. Do you have an umbrella? No, of course not. You only care about yourselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      Revenues from tourism only 4-5%

      • Anonymous says:

        Not the knock on revenue bobo… Tourism like 35% gdp and it is huge worldwide where CI provides financial services. The coffers will take a hit….

  16. Anonymous says:

    Here’s the story of my rent over the past 3 1/2 years:

    September 2016: CI$1,650 per month for a 2 bed, 2 1/2 bath, 1800 sq. ft. apartment 30 seconds walk from Eden Rock.

    September 2018: CI$2,200 per month for a 2 bed, 2 1/2 bath, 1400 sq. ft. apartment on South Sound Road next to Grand Harbour.

    April 2020: CI$2,800 for the same apartment. Fortunately I won’t be paying it for more than one month, because I bought an apartment.

    May 2020: Mortgage and strata payments about CI$2,000 per month for a 2 bed, 2 1/2 bath, 1600 sq. ft. apartment on South Sound Road not far from the dock.

    Moral of the story: do whatever you can to buy as soon as possible, or you will never be able to do it.

    • Anonymous says:

      This last year I have spoken to several tenants who have had to give up their homes and move into rooms because of rent being doubled. Cost of living is driving all but the politicians and the rich into poverty.

  17. Anonymous says:

    While you are looking into the cost of rent, you should also look into how you can lower the cost of food items. Everyone has to eat to survive. The cost of food items is sky high.

    • Anonymous says:

      The government could allow stores to claim back the duty paid on perishable items that don’t sell. In theory that brings the prices of all other items down too as they don’t have to cost more to cover the wastage. But the stores would just pocket the profit. Greed is the real problem here.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t understand why the grocery stores don’t reduce items. Only Fosters regularly “yellow tags” items. Hurleys sells good way past the deadline for full price.

        • Anonymous says:

          I don’t like paying triple/quadruple the marked retail price on UK brands. 🙁

          • Anonymous says:

            There is a simple solution – park your xenophobia and parochialism and don’t insist on buying British branded goods.

    • Anonymous says:

      We in the Cayman Islands need to stop being so dependent on all imported food items. Some of them we can grow even if you rent and things like herbs or tomatoe or small lime trees or peppers can grow on a back porch. Don’t need large plot of land. We need to start incentivizing for farmers so we can continue to buy more local. You are correct food is expensive!!

      • Anonymous says:

        I already do, but mealy bugs and caterpillars kill everything, despite regular sprays of neem oil. Any (organic) tips?

    • Anonymous says:

      I saw a tin mug for camping for sale at fosters….it was 49 CI. A TIN CUP. I thought it was a joke. Sadly, it was not.

  18. Anonymous says:

    A consumer-advocacy group like “Better Business Bureau” might help lower vendor and contractor costs for everyone by making “performance” a factor in competitive bidding. Like everything the Gov’t touches, the finished costs are often 3 or 4 times what they should be, often after two or three mid-stream vendor-swaps, because there are no performance benchmarks or commercial incentives for good reputational feedback. Sadly, an accepted culture of poor performance, artificially inflates the cost of everything in the Cayman Islands. The Chamber of Commerce should establish a Better Business Bureau, with proper contract templates, arbitration panel, and dispute resolution mechanism – without having to file a $15,000 FSD claim, and proceed to $1mln litigation in the Grand Court.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Here is a great idea to fix the problem once and for all.

    Step 1 – Control all the rent prices to NOT what the OWNER thinks they should get based on their expenses, but what the RENTER think they should pay.

    Step 2 – Repeat for Fuel, electricity, healthcare, grocery stores, education and all other private commerce

    Step 3 – Banish direct income and have a government based national income that is all the same wage.

    Step 4 – Convert everyone to veganism to save the climate

  20. Blacklisted says:

    Does anyone have info on the Government Guaranteed Home Assisted Mortgages?

    I tried to go for one a few years back and they were just taking info as it wasn’t up and running yet. Said they’d call when it was operational, but we all know how that goes.

    Now I don’t even see a decent website up…

    • Anonymous says:

      Hahahaha…. Raw cash bobo… They won’t even let u take your own pension without a rigmarole and going through the bank… Imagine that paying interest to a bank on your own pension money 🤔… Bank lobby got involved with that one mate along with pension lobby on that pension law…. Anyways big corona recession coming think they will need to free up that pension money fast e. g. Let u withdraw like Canada or US for a 10% tax just so they can pay the bills or buy a house bail the construction and real estate lobby out…. Its only for corporate welfare that they do these things not the ppl

  21. Anonymous says:

    Odd that this regime should suddenly need a think-tank to come to understand what gov’ts are supposed to do: they shape and enforce policy. That’s it. Gov’ts aren’t supposed to “gladhand their buddies”, “create jobs” or “build affordable housing”, in election run ups, they are supposed to shape policy (for everyone), throughout their term, so that the environment is created for these things to manifest organically. It is noteworthy that there is next to zero drug and alcohol rehabilitation, which disproportionately affects lower-income, and crime-riddled areas. Addiction has a material affect on spending and reproductive priorities, and is also the building block for future crime. When will the societal impact of addiction problems be taken seriously?

  22. Round and round in circles we go. says:

    Reduce Real Estate fees to a reasonable percentage.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean reduce real estate fees to reflect more accurately the very little work that real estate agents do while assisting to money launder as a “career”

  23. Anonymous says:

    I’m a young Caymanian man in my 20s, making way more than minimum wage and split $1200+ to rent a one bedroom with my boyfriend.

    When we moved in 3 years ago it was less than $1000. Landlord wants to convert it to an Airbnb so raised the rent literally 150% in 2 years, and told us young Caymanians to pay up or get out as the Airbnb option would be more lucrative.

    I have NO IDEA how other Caymanians my age are surviving on their own on entry level wages.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not a Caymanian thing that you mention – it’s a global thing. Save up, buy a property – you get way more help than any other people I know in similar situations.

      • Anonymous says:

        So how are you supposed to save and buy a property if you have to spend it all on paying rent and trying to survive.

        • Anonymous says:

          You stay at home with your parents and save for the deposit. You then buy with a couple of friends and build equity. You forgo meals out and new cars. You keep your old phone. You set the AC at 78. You do what the rest of the world has to. You work double shifts and as much overtime as possible. You sacrifice or you fall behind.

          Helps to have a stable family unit to start with.

          • Anonymous says:

            You forgot to mention you work for a minimum wage of $6.00 too. By the time you are nearly 200 years old you might have enough for a deposit. A good recession might knock a few years off the 200.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wages are much too low, artificially depressed by a mismanaged minimum wage scheme which is being applied to skilled foreign nationals cutting off any room for wage growth.

      It is an immigration problem. Alden is directly responsible.

    • Richard S says:

      1000 + 150% = 2500. Certainly it is in the UK but maybe maths is different in the Caymans.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is sad, however Landlords’ can maximize their rent immensely with Vacation Rentals. If you were a Landlord wouldn’t you do the same?
      The CIG may form a new Ministry in 3-5 years to address this issue…

    • Anonymous says:

      I had a similar experience. Rent raised from $1500 a month to $2200. Which is 3/4 of my salary as a college grad.

    • Anonymous says:

      Airbnb’s should only be allowed in tourist designated zones on Grand Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        its a tiny island the whole place is a tourist zone luckily!

        • Anonymous says:

          Not correct. Certain areas are not tourist designated zones such as Grand Harbour, Savannah, South Sound, etc.

          Most of the Seven Mile Beach Corridor is a tourist designated zone. Just look at a zoning map and see for yourself.

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you suggesting tourists only be allowed to visit certain parts of the island?

        • Anonymous says:

          3:05, Are you stupid? Read carefully. I suggested only that AirBnb’s only be allowed in areas designated as tourist zones by zoning. I never implied or said anything about people not being allowed to visit certain parts of the island.

    • Anonymous says:

      I guess the downvotes are because you’re gay. Petty.

      You’re young. You’re saving $6000+ per year by splitting with your boyfriend. More power to you brother.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I strongly believe the government need to start expedite plans in planning first.

  25. Anonymous says:

    The Government actively encouraged this situation. When one foreign investor turned up and brought huge numbers of homes, many occupied by residents, and then put them on air bandb, did the government express any concern on the effect on housing? Did it express any concern as to lack of Caymanian participation? No, it gave the guy status!

    • Anonymous says:

      The fact of the matter is this: Cayman MUST now put a moratorium on foreign ownership of properties on these 3 islands.

      While doing so, Caymanians and those legally resident on these islands might just be able to purchase an abode that they can call their own sometime in the future. Hopely, the near future.

      Competition is not best in the current situation. Caymanians in particular the young Caymanians are being outpriced by the money creedy foreign persons, who let’s face it, will always out bid little man or woman.

      If this is the case in current times, AND I TRULY BELIEVE IT IS, imagine what it will be like 5, 10 and 15+ years down the line.

      Change MUST come NOW and in the best interest of CAYMANIANS. That’s the bottom line.

      Law/policy makers MUST start looking out for the people of the country and put aside their self interest if not, extreme poverty, homelessness, public unarrest, further increase in crime etc will be some of the end results of this ‘so-call development for all.’

      • Anonymous says:

        Ownership is not the problem. Being allowed to rent unlimited numbers without licensing is.

      • Anonymous says:

        Result of this kind of policy would be fewer properties being built, which would reduce supply and the result being higher rent.

    • Anonymous says:

      And then he formed his own construction company, and now can compete (perfectly lawfully) directly with locals who do not have millions in income from foreign businesses and airb’nb’s, and employs foreign nationals at low wages on cheap work permits.

      Well done Alden. Great foresight there. This is leadership the Caymanian people can take to their own graves. Hope you like the tile job!

      Mac Mark II.

  26. Anonymous says:

    If some greedy billionaire (yes that you Dart and the Joke) hadn’t land-banked most of the island then perhaps some more affordable housing would be built. #leashkendart

    • Anonymous says:

      blaming dart is the easy foolish/wrong option.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dart was gifted over 200 acres in prime SMB Hotel Tourism for a little over $50k per acre. Neighbouring land is $200k per quarter acre. Nobody batted an eye!

    • Anonymous says:

      Dart and Canadian Monopolies do NOT want Caymanian people to thrive.
      They take up plenty of housing for the people they bring in on Work Permits, at low wages.

    • Anonymous says:

      doubt it, all developers are out to make the largest profit they can, bot just the billionaires. Unfortunately people don’t build houses to sell out of the goodness of their hearts.

      The Government need to pass laws like other countries that major developments only get permission if a certain number of the properties build are low income housing.

    • Anonymous says:

      The ignorant option. Lots of backing here.

  27. Anonymous says:

    First they took your land and paid you in trinkets and beads. Now they are going to take your cars and confine you to housing projects. Reservations are here.

  28. SKEPTICAL says:

    Seymour and Hew couldn’t organize a piss up in a brewery. Cayman has passed the “ Point of No Return “ in property prices and rents, and there is nothing can be done to stop it. There is a generation of Caymanians coming who will not be able to live in their own country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mission of Foreigners is being accomplished then… pushing Caymanians out.

      • Anonymous says:

        Please don’t generalize. Although I can well understand your reasons, we’re not all like that.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Remember Dwayne (John John) campaigned to limit work permit numbers! What happened JJ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Took the ministerial position and the $ – which comes with the requirement to do as you are told.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Fix the Dump!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Remember Dwayne said he was going to put a moratorium on work permits, what happened?

  32. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely nobody cares. So nothing will happen.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Why is there a need for “think-tanks”? What I charge for my rental units has only gone up to cover the increased insurance premiums and cost of living. Unless the government can institute price controls on my insurance premiums then this exercise is a waste of time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wait until there are actual fire inspections, and the paint, alarm, extinguisher, and sprinkler retrofitting costs to factor.

    • Anonymous says:

      My rent was hiked by $600/month just because the owners heard a neighbouring unit rented for more than I was paying. The owners don’t even live here, and are retired. The cost of living is much lower where they live. They have no mortgage.

  34. Anonymous says:

    anytime i hear the the term stakeholders…i know nothing is going to be done.
    do-nothing ppm are masters of waffle, buzzwords and management speak.
    tara has taught them well.

  35. Anonymous says:

    It is a real problem and will lead to wider-scale homelessness if they do nothing now. But will they or just form committees, think-tanks and talk?

  36. GT Voter says:

    Like some islands in the Channel Islands, the Cayman Islands Government should only permit the sale of property under KYD 800,000 to Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a good idea.

    • Anonymous says:

      KYD800K is not the end of the scale where there is a problem. People living hand-to mouth are the ones suffering. The situation has been componded by the last price increase that was allowed for the utility companies. Such had a knock-on effect with every seller of goods or services being forced to raise prices on everything. The supermarkets are the ones with the biggest impact on us. No way should those increases have been allowed and those whose job it is to safe-guard us from such abuse should be held accountable and heads should have rolled.

      • Anonymous says:

        They not even looking at shipping… Global rates have been in the gutter for years yet magically they have increase only for GCM for years with fail….

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly – let the expats rent from us for a change.

  37. Anonymous says:

    How about allowing no AirBnb’s (they are becoming a real problem in most large cities resulting in homelessness) and rent controls. Rent subsidies for low income Caymanians. That would be a start.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have a quota or cap on airbnbs to find the balance.

      • Anonymous says:

        A quota or cap is more reasonable. I know many older caymanians with apartments that rent out as air b and b to cover their cost of living. Pensions aren’t always enough after retirement particularly for people with medical problems. the cost of medical care is also extortionate. And with inflation and the cost of insurance going up it just adds makes everything worse. You cant label all air b & b owners as greedy.

      • Anonymous says:

        And stop allowing people to have an unlimited number of them with no Trade and Business License!.

        • Anonymous says:

          This is the problem! Why is it an expat on a work permit can apply for a license to “rent Airbnb” without have a trade and business license? Since when can a work permit holder run a business without a T and B or local partner.Rediculous.

          • Anonymous says:

            Because Alden and company encourage it. Our laws are either not enforced, or laws our politicians tell us exist, in fact do not. Airbn’b requires no Trade and Business license. It should, but doesn’t.

          • Anonymous says:

            Economic substance 😂

          • Anonymous says:

            I am a retired expat who paid a big Stamp Duty on my place so why should I have to pay another tax on top of all the other taxes I have to pay to rent an Airbnb room in my house?

    • Anonymous says:

      don’t hey need a trade and business license? start enforcing the law will shut many down

      • Anonymous says:

        No they do not need a Trade and Business license. They should, but are not required to. Thank Joey for that one!

    • Anonymous says:

      or, everyone who Airbnb’s must register their property and pay a fee/tax on it. the monies collected then go towards subsidizing those trying to find an apartment.

      • Anonymous says:

        They do. Each one pays thousands in tourist tax, which the government then spends on Mac’s airfares and hotels overseas.

    • Anonymous says:

      How about only allowing Airbnb’s in tourist designated zones?

      Airbnb’s serve a useful segment of the tourism market especially when all the hotels on Seven Mile Beach are fully booked.

    • Anonymous says:

      The hotels on Seven Mile Beach would love a ban. They could then raise their rates even higher in high season. Are you the manager of the Ritz?

  38. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry folks. A major correction is coming thanks to coronavirus.

    • Anonymous says:

      you wish, loser.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lmaoooo!!

        I’m guessing you just bought property at the peak of an overinflated market. Sucks to be you 😂😂😂😂

      • Anonymous says:

        With a real loser in the White House who has no idea how to deal with a massive crisis, we probably are headed into a major recession.

        You don’t put a political party hack with no background in health in charge of a major national health crisis. What stupidity.

        • Anonymous says:

          An ignorant Caymanian who thinks he is smart enough to second guess one of the most powerful men in the world. What ignorance. Look to fix your own government problems first then maybe someone will listen to you.

          • Anonymous says:

            He may be the most powerful man in the world but certainly not the most brightest. In fact, the man is totally stupid as he does not accept basic science.

            You are obviously dazzled by a brilliant con man.

          • Anonymous says:

            Too bad the most powerful man in the world is an out and out racist.

            I am not a big fan of racism are you?

          • Anonymous says:

            You have a President who contradicts the top scientists in the Center For Disease Control on the conoravirus. Amazing what a guy who spent his life selling real estate knows.

            I may be a Caymanian, but I will back the scientists before I back a very ignorant President.

            Suggest you might consider doing the same thing. Might be good for your health in the long run.

            • Anonymous says:

              Mind boggling that the President would say that coronavirus is the latest Democratic Party hoax. Just incredible what this man will say.

              • Anonymous says:

                It is more incredible that 45% idolize this idiot and believe he’s the best president ever. If he wins again, the US is lost.

        • Anonymous says:

          Cheer up Hillary!

  39. Anonymous says:

    Stop AirBnb. Same issue as in Barcelona.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Wake up people!

    The problem is the UDPCDPPPMALDENMACDART GOVERNMENT’S MAD RUSH TO TAKE OUR POPULATION TO 150,000 AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.

    The high rent and traffic problems are a direct result of too many imported people.

    Stop new work permits.

    For every one going allow a new one to come, until the ratio of Caymanians reaches at least 70% of the population.

    This of course goes against the Chamber of Commerce and Government’s “Growth, Growth, Growth Madness”

    • Anonymous says:

      Completely agree. The Immigration issue should be a top priority in the next election since that’s the issue that impacts everything else including jobs, traffic, prices.

    • Expat married to a Caymanian says:

      Home ownership is a big factor in obtaining Cayman status so the wealthy expats are buying up property. This should be reevaluated. Maybe owning a house should not contribute to gaining status. In other countries, foreigners have to pay an additional tax to purchase homes. Canada imposed something like this to help cool the housing market as the average Canadian is struggling to purchase homes in BC and Southern Ontario.

      Cayman is small with a limited supply if housing and livable land. We need to consider the population growth and immigration policies as everyone wants a piece of the pie and the locals are being left out. Very sad where the elected officials are not prioritizing their constituents. At some point there is a trade off to this so called wealth that a population and economic boom provides. It’s not really trickling down to the average Caymanian. The island now caters to wealthy people that are buying “affordable housing” with an average cost of 1M KYD. A proper joke.

      Expat married to a Caymanian.

      • Anonymous says:

        To help you with a clarification, the 20% tax in Canada is applied to non-resident buyers. There is no such tax on buyers who are residents – be they Canadian or non-Canadian.

  41. Anonymous says:

    The ridiculous levels of rent being paid by NAU for very sub-standard accommodations needs to be seriously investigated. Some of these properties are not fit for human habitation!

  42. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry folks, Dwayne and Joey are on it.
    At least now they’re fixed the damn dump and the effing traffic, they’ll have plenty of time on their hands!

    • Anonymous says:

      Very sad state of affairs. I don’t think they can do a thing about these problems but I guess we should give them the benefit of the doubt. 🙂

  43. Anonymous says:

    I see all the “solutions” and “committees” are quickly being passed before the election. John John and Joey Joey are Gone-y Gone-y!

    • Anonymous says:

      They say “a camel is a horse designed by a committee”. That’s what our roads are starting to look like.

      • Anonymous says:

        Never forgotten my late great aunt’s wise words:

        “It’s a road! Should be straight!”

        CIG: Let’s curve the road around our politicians’ and family members’ and supporters’ properties, and let’s put a slightly different roundabout every 1,000 feet, and let’s see what else can we do…

    • Anonymous says:

      zzzz 😴😴😴😴

    • Anonymous says:

      And replaced by WHO? WHO? WHO? They are our best and brightest. There is no one else.

  44. Anonymous says:

    “Let’s consult with the people making record profits on how we can reduce prices….” 😉😉😉😉

    Yeah
    anyone have that video of John John winking from when he said “Gaypril” and thought he was the king of comedy cause It’ll ft right in with this initiative

    Up next on the PPM’s agenda: time to talk to bank robbers about how to properly secure
    the nation’s bank vaults 😉😉😉😉
    followed closely by talking to Mckeeva about how to avoid abusing alcohol and attacking people

    • Anonymous says:

      Bet all these committees and think tanks… sorry that’s as far as I can go without laughing. Joke joke on a think tank.

      • Anonymous says:

        The dump, healthcare, garbage collection, Coronavirus, Duwayne Seymour need I say more…..

    • Anonymous says:

      And while we are at it lets appoint a serial arsonist to be the Chief of the Fire Service

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