Hurricane recovery

It was heartening to hear realtors in the Cayman Islands report that market conditions, as least as they relate to Seven Mile Beach, have now returned – and perhaps even surpassed – the high levels of last summer.

The rebound of the local real estate market is another important step in the recovery from Hurricane Ivan on Grand Cayman.

Most of the Seven Mile Beach real estate is being purchased by old clients, one of Cayman’s leading realtors said.

These clients, who know Cayman very well, have a high level of confidence in our country, and in the long-term prospects of their investments here.

The financial industry, which bounced back from the hurricane very quickly, is also seeing more business than pre-Ivan levels also as a result of the high confidence in the Cayman Islands as a jurisdiction.

This confidence has come partially because of Cayman proving it can take a big hit – in the form of a major hurricane – and recover very quickly.

Indeed, Cayman has recovered at a faster pace than even some communities in the United States have recovered from severe hurricanes.

Although stay-over tourism is still low due to the lack of available hotel rooms, cruise tourism is back to high levels, helping many tourism-related businesses stay afloat until all of the hotels are repaired.

Construction has almost become Cayman’s third major economic industry with all the hurricane repairs and new projects planned or under way, and it looks like it will stay that way for the next two or three years.

Restaurants are opening or reopening, as are retail shops and other small businesses.

The rental accommodation problem is starting to sort itself out, with more and more apartments coming on line on a weekly basis, something that will start to drive down rent prices.

All of these recovery advances might not offer any help to some of the unfortunate residents who still do not have roofs on their homes or transportation to replace what was lost in the storm.

But in relative terms, Cayman’s recovery from Hurricane Ivan is progressing quickly and steadily, and every time we reach or surpass a pre-Ivan performance threshold, we move one step closer to full recovery for all of us.

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