2014 saw the world’s wealthiest buying up the most luxurious real estate available on international markets, particularly London, Paris, Madrid and New York.
Prime real estate on the Cayman Islands was no exception, with sales increasing by a whopping 40% last year, boosted by American buyers amid a strengthening US economy.
The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea. The territory comprises the three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, located south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica.
A popular tourist and retirement destination for Americans, property transactions in the Cayman Islands rose by US$150m last year representing an increase of 50% year-on-year, according to figures from the Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association (CIREBA).
Industry insiders have speculated that the market dynamics are veering towards becoming a sellers’ market for the first time since the global financial crisis.
J C Calhoun, owner of realtors Coldwell Banker said: " We haven’t seen the same increase in the local residential sector. Typically you have to have a couple of good years in tourism sector before you see a jump in the local market. This was the first really good year for us since 2007 ".
The islands have been a draw to the world’s richest for many years as they seek to take advantage of the benefits the little-known Caribbean tax haven has to offer. There is no tax on income, corporations or capital gains and no death duties or VAT on the Cayman Islands and that combined with the tropical climate appeals to many of its residents.
Among the billionaires invested in the Caymans is Ken Dart, the Michigan-born businessman from the family behind the manufacture of Styrofoam cups. He is the second-largest landowner in Grand Cayman behind the government.
His Cayman Islands portfolio includes a Kimpton brand hotel, a new highway, a yacht club and a Camana Bay, a super-stylish 500-acre site with schools, offices, restaurants and shops that has become a hub for Cayman’s expat community.
Around 80% of tourists to the Cayman Islands are from the US although residents come from 130 different nationalities, creating a vibrant mix of cultures. With world-class sandy beaches and arguably the best diving in the world, it’s no surprise the islands are a perennial favourite with Americans.
International property buyers looking for an excellent location for a holiday rental investment would be well-advised to check out the Cayman Islands to capitalise on its year-round tourism. As one of the most developed countries in the Caribbean, Cayman has much to offer businesses seeking offshore locations, further bolstering rental markets on the islands.
Source:: Property show rooms