Grand Cayman has many residential districts, and each one has its attractions when overseas buyers are looking for a home or rental property.
Despite its modest size, Grand Cayman has much to offer the resident in terms of diversity of lifestyle. Everything is on offer in the Cayman Islands – from the glitz, glamour, and conspicuous consumption of a Seven Mile Beach waterfront mansion to a modest and secluded getaway in the quietness of the East End.
Districts rise and fall in popularity over the years, but the ease of access, availability of services, affordability, and ambiance of a neighborhood are always reliable indicators of a desirable place to live. There are at least eight distinct residential districts in Grand Cayman, and each has its own unique selling points.
Thanks to a well-regulated property market overseen by CIREBA, the Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association, buyers of Cayman Islands property are dealing with trained, qualified professionals who conduct business under CIREBA’s strict Code of Ethics. The Association’s 180 local real estate agents are responsible for the vast majority of realty transactions in The Cayman Islands.
The average house price in the Cayman Islands is predicted to break the US$1 million mark in 2021, and CIREBA Rentals notes there is high demand for affordable rental options meeting the current median asking price of around US$2,000 a month.
Here, in a clockwise spin around the island, is a brief overview of Grand Cayman’s six most popular places to buy or rent residential property.
George Town, the capital of the Cayman Islands, is the center of government and the financial services industry which, generates most of the territory’s income. This is where cruise ship passengers disembark and where families and younger professionals choose to live, enjoying the atmosphere of a busy area with plenty of attractions and proximity to work and school without a lengthy commute. Property prices here are lower than those in nearby areas with waterfront access, and the area has a reputation for offering more space at a lower cost.
Seven Mile Beach
Continuing clockwise, next to George Town is the world-famous Seven Mile Beach, where millionaire properties and statement living are the norms. This five-and-a-half mile west-facing crescent of white sand is a mix of waterfront mansions, hotels, and condo developments with the best sunset views in the Cayman Islands and easy access to the beach, business, and entertainment centers, restaurants, and events. This convenience and high-end living come at a cost, of course, so property prices in this area are the territory’s most expensive, with high demand for both rental and purchase properties and a low supply.
West Bay residential district is next to Seven Mile Beach and occupies the northwest corner of the island, where a mix of modern and traditional homes has created a more affordable community space popular with first-time buyers. Conveniently close to attractions such as the Cayman Turtle Centre, West Bay is known for quiet and shady streets, island-style bungalows, and has numerous canal-front properties. The district has seen a boost in both popularity and prices since a bypass road opened, cutting commuting times to George Town to around 10 minutes instead of more than half an hour on a bad day.
Rum Point, eastward across the North Sound, is a more traditional Caribbean neighborhood popular with overseas buyers looking for a rental property or second home. A ferry from Camana Bay, behind Seven Mile Beach, makes the North Side and Rum Point accessible from the capital George Town and an alternative to a sometimes frustrating drive. Rum Point’s millionaire beachfront and lagoon-facing properties enjoy a quieter environment than Seven Mile Beach and are interspersed with more affordable condo developments. Residents have easy boat access to popular water attractions such as Stingray City and the spectacular North Wall scuba diving sites.
East End is the most sparsely populated part of Grand Cayman and is where you head if you really want to escape the crowds and the eye-watering price of a property in the western and central districts. Leisure and entertainment activities revolve around beaches and watersports in areas that are mostly free of crowds and cruise passengers, offering a level of quiet and tranquility not found elsewhere on the island. Of course, the downside to peace, quiet, affordability, and easy access to excellent diving and watersports is a fairly lengthy commute to George Town and sparse amenities and services.
Bodden Town is the oldest town in the Cayman Islands and sits on the southern shore midway between the East and West sides of Grand Cayman. A quaint and historic area, it’s popular with long-term ex-pats looking for a quieter lifestyle away from the tourists and the crowds of West Bay and Seven Mile Beach. Here can be found both older style elegant beachfront homes as well as quiet traditional bungalows and privacy. Property prices have been rising here for a number of years, but a long commute, fewer services, and the generally smaller scale of the area’s property development still make it a good place to find affordable homes in a small-town atmosphere.