Residences sales soar

Three sales since December at $4-5 million each at The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman could be the bellwether of the much forecasted long-term, sustainable growth in the island’s high end real estate market.

While general consensus among Grand Cayman’s real estate experts has been that the top market segment will emerge from the hurricane recovery period even stronger than before, developers, buyers and sellers have been holding their collective breath. All of the major developments that were in progress before the hurricane are proceeding and redevelopment of older Seven Mile Beach properties is a hot topic. But the brisk sales leading up to 10 September 2004 are now showing indications of reemergence.

‘Without exception our clients have voiced the expectation that Grand Cayman will come back stronger and better than ever before,’ said Nicola de Lima, vice president of sales for The Residences. ‘Our buyers have been coming here for years and have an enduring love for Cayman. They’re loyal.’

Estimates drawn from published sales figures for Seven Mile Beach properties have shown an increase in the value exceeding 12 per cent over the past 15 years. This figure trends even higher when the sample is reduced to properties priced over $2 million.

‘There’s only so much beach, and we’re fortunate to be sitting on the widest, most beautiful stretch,’ said Ms de Lima. ‘It is fundamental economics.

Despite the hurricane, the scarcity and inherent appeal of a Seven Mile Beach address coupled with the new standards being set by The Ritz-Carlton brand will more than sustain the price buyers will pay. They’re buying with confidence.’

Situated on 144 acres stretching sea-to-sea from the acclaimed Seven Mile Beach to the North Sound, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, blend a lush Caribbean backdrop with classic British-Colonial architecture. The resort features 365 guestrooms and suites, the first La Prairie Spa in the Caribbean, five dining venues including two restaurants by Eric Ripert of top-ranking New York restaurant Le Bernardin, several bars and lounges, a 6,000-square-foot luxury retail emporium featuring premium brands, the island’s largest ballroom, a tennis centre by Nick Bollettieri, the Ambassadors of the Environment by Jean-Michel Cousteau children’s programme and a Greg Norman-designed nine hole golf course.