From the breathtaking canal front properties tucked away in the North Sound waterways, to the new Bahia terraces overlooking the South Sound shoreline, the Cayman Islands’ property market is continuing to flourish this year.
For an independent guide on what is happening in the property market in the Cayman Islands please see facts and figures as quoted by the Cayman Islands Lands and Survey department and also the Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association.
Cayman Real Estate Overview
Guide to the real estate market in the Cayman Islands: learn about property trends, new developments, and the Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association.
Buying Real Estate
Learn about purchasing real estate in the Cayman Islands, including mortgages & borrowing, home insurance, importing furnishings and associated costs.
Guide to the new real estate developments in the Cayman Islands including recent developments and upcoming projects scheduled in the near future.
Find the top real estate agents in the Cayman Islands to assist with your real estate transaction.
The 2021 Census Report was published in late July 2022, and it shows that the population of the Cayman Islands has grown by 29.2% over the ten years since the last census in 2010 to a total population of 71,105 residents. This figure breaks down to 34,921 people living in George Town, 15,335 people living in West Bay, 14,845 people living in Bodden Town, 1,902 people living in North Side, 1,846 living in East End and 2,257 living in the Sister Islands. It implies that the annual growth rate of Cayman's population is 2.4% which is its lowest since the 1979 Census when the implied growth rate was 5.8%. However, the volume and scale of open market transfers on property and land have far exceeded this annual percentage increase. According to the Cayman Islands Government's Land Registry, there were 2,730 open market transfers in 2021, which was a 90% increase on 2020, and during the first half of 2022, real estate sales were 10% higher over the same period in 2021. These numbers suggest that the total value of real estate sales in 2022 will beat the CI$1,476 million recorded in 2021, which was already up from CI$700 million in 2020.
Real estate agents consider this a seller’s market due to the low inventory and great demand, but inflation, triggered by the massive rise in fuel costs as well as the shortage of materials for building and problems with supply chain issues, all mean that while property prices are at a record high, a recession may well decrease the demand side of the equation, and with higher interest rates announced in July 2022, more properties might become available. However, at the time of writing there is still a strong demand for properties in Cayman.
The most recent Government initiative for Caymanians is the availability of loans at a 3.75% fixed interest rate for two years through the Cayman Islands Development Bank (CIDB) for properties costing up to CI$600,000. The problem is that the inventory of homes in that price range is very limited.
According to Charterland's annual property report, there are only a few hundred single family home property sales in Cayman each year. The vast majority of property sales are for condos and townhouses. However, of what was recorded, there was an upward trend in the value of property sales, showing that the increase in sales is now very much Island-wide. In Savannah, the average sale price in 2021 was CI$221 per square foot (psf) which is a significant increase of 31% over the preceding year and 139% over 2015. In West Bay, the average sale price was CI$231psf which is 6% higher than in 2020 and an 89% increase compared to the average sale price in 2015. However, inventory is somewhat of a problem as the number of properties for sale has dropped by 15% year-on-year, despite the demand still being there. Island-wide there was an 18% increase in the number of homes sold in 2021 over 2020, and the number of total sales in 2022 for single family homes is projected to be down 14% from 2021. However, the general upward trend in pricing continues with 2022 sales prices being projected at 10% higher than 2021.
Land continues to be in high demand but rarely comes onto the market, and when it does, it does not stay on for long. Land prices in Crystal Harbour, a high-end, canal front sub-division, saw a dramatic price increase of 34% between 2020 and 2021 with an average sale price of CI$52.12psf compared to CI$38.90psf in 2020. The lack of inventory as house lots get built out in this maturing sub-division is the most likely factor driving such significant increases in value. Grand Harbour has been another very popular area for house lot sales, with the average sale price being CI$32.20psf which is an 8% increase on 2020. In 2015, house lots in this area were selling for CI$17.97psf which shows a 79% increase from 2015 to 2021. Land in Savannah has shown a huge 64% increase from 2020 to 2021 with average sale prices of CI$12.83psf in 2021 compared with CI$7.83psf in 2020. Land prices in Frank Sound have also risen from CI$4.95psf in 2020 to CI$5.71psf in 2021. In Cayman Brac there were 27 land sales in 2021 compared to only seven in 2020, six in 2019 and five in 2018. The average sale price is only CI$2.15psf in Cayman Brac which is only 5% higher than the average in 2020. Over the past 12 years, Cayman Brac has been the only place in the Cayman Islands where land prices have remained stable.
Condominiums & Apartments
When considering the market for condominiums in the Cayman Islands, it is often worth noting that there are two main sectors: condos located on Seven Mile Beach, which are often bought by overseas residents and are usually for 'daily rental' investment purposes, and others which are often inland apartments and townhouses. As our 'New Developments' section shows, there is an ever growing inventory in these condos.
Condos on Seven Mile Beach have risen in value by an average of 189% since 2015, which is the year that property values in general along the Seven Mile Beach corridor really started to escalate significantly. There were two condo sales in The Pinnacle in 2021 with an average sale price of US$3,284,954 which is a 10% increase on the average sale price in 2020, and a 64% increase on 2015. There were four property sales in the Discovery Point Club in 2021 with an average sale price of US$1,539,910 which is an 8% increase on the average sale value in 2020 and an 189% increase since 2015.
Inland apartment complexes with 2 and 3 bedroom units have also seen a steady increase in price. These units are usually acquired for owner-occupation or for long-term rental income. The Retreats in George Town are a good indicator of how prices have risen between 2020 and 2021. Of the 185 property sales, the average price of a 2 bedroom unit in 2021 was CI$355,645 which is a 17% increase on the average sale price of CI$304,263 in 2020, and an 84% increase on average prices in 2015.