Real Estate

Thinking of Buying a Property in the Cayman Islands? Don’t overlook Sister Islands!

September 24, 2021
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When someone mentions residential property for sale in the Cayman Islands, what places can you think of? Most people, including residents and real estate agents, recommend areas like West Bay, Bodden Town, Seven Mile Beach, Rum Point, South Sound, or Georgetown in Grand Cayman.

Blame it on the tourism industry or online promotions, but Grand Cayman always hogs the limelight. Most people may not know that the Cayman Islands is a 264-square-kilometre territory that consists of three islands – Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman.

The sister islands – Cayman Brac and Little Cayman have quickly become a preferred choice for Caymanians and expatriates. This blog will delve into the details and look at the recent property buying trends in the Cayman Islands.

The Property Market In The Sister Islands After Covid-19 Lockdown

The Cayman Sister Islands have been witnessing a property investment boom lately, thanks to staycationers. Not just homes but even land is being purchased at exceptional prices post-pandemic.

Once travel restrictions were lifted for people wanting to travel outside Grand Cayman, almost every property in the Sister Islands was sold for a handsome price.

People were unable to fly outside the Cayman Islands for travel. Hence, Grand Cayman residents were forced to visit other places in the Cayman Islands. People visited the Sister Islands and fell in love instantly, leading to quick property sales, including one that had remained unsold for over 15 years.

As per CIREBA, not just one but almost all its registered real estate agents dealing in Cayman Sister Islands real estate experienced the same upward buying trend.

So far, 76 properties have been sold in 2021. The total number of properties sold in 2019 was 19 and 26 in 2020. Not surprisingly, sales started to pick up in the second quarter of 2020 but reached an all-time high in Q2 of 2021.

As per Carla Reid, a former chairperson of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, most of the interest in the Sister Islands comes from native Cayman residents and not property developers.

Why are expatriates and Cayman residents flocking to the Sister Islands to buy properties? Seemingly, they have realised that the Sister Islands offer something unique. The peace, tranquillity, absence of traffic in the lap of nature has charmed many.

Long-Term Vision Of Big Fish In The Real Estate Ocean

Top dog real estate investors have also shown a keen interest in buying land plots in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. One would wonder why is that bigshot investors are showing interest in Sister Island properties?

The answer lies in their long-term vision. Intelligent real estate investors will understand the vast potential of Sister Island’s market. Everyone knows that the real estate demand in Grand Cayman far exceeds the supply.

Right now, the Sister Islands lack significant airlift plus massive luxury resorts and thriving tourist destinations. This is primarily due to the restrictive policies implemented by the Development Control Board.

Despite the restrictions, there is some promising news for investors. Most of you may know the famous German-Canadian internet investor-billionaire Frank Schilling, whose net worth is over $500 million. Frank has proposed the construction of a new village and a marina on Cayman Brac.

Another company, Peppercorn Investments Ltd., has expressed the desire to construct a resort in Little Cayman. Such news is a positive indication that things are about to change in the Sister Islands and for good.

Nobody could have anticipated the boom in Sister Island real estate post-pandemic. After the lockdown, a sharp slump in the tourism industry, and people losing jobs in every industry, a real estate boom was the last thing that anyone would have expected.

If you are an expatriate thinking of relocating to Cayman, consider your options in the Sister Islands. Talk to a reputed real estate agent for more clarity.

Concerns Regarding Development And What The Future Holds

It is crystal clear that the Sister Islands have limitless opportunities and potential for real estate development. However, bodies like the National Trust for the Cayman Islands have expressed concern that the development could seriously impact the flora and fauna and nature’s delicate balance.

Gregory McTaggart, the current chairman of Little Cayman’s District Committee of the National Trust, feels that the level of development witnessed in Grand Cayman is not feasible for the Sister Islands. One needs to bear in mind that any development has to be done so that it doesn’t impair the environment while preserving the unique character of the islands.

Moreover, Gregory McTaggart also adds that the Little Cayman district committee wants to frame a development plan after gathering feedback from the residents rather than negotiating solely with the builders & developers.

New construction and development in the Sister Islands have to consider infrastructure limitations and that the number of vacant land plots is comparatively less.

What does the future hold for real estate projects, investors, and investors in the Sister Islands? Nobody knows for sure. At the moment, the future looks bright. But one thing is for sure, any development that occurs has to respect the environment and the sentiments of the locals. Time will tell.