CIREBA takes on challenging times

In these challenging economic times
there is no question the newly elected president of the Cayman Islands Real
Estate Brokers Association Jeremy Hurst of International Realty Group will have
his hands full.

At the Association’s recently-held
Annual General Meeting, Jeanette Totten of Cayman Luxury Property Group was
elected Vice President, Curtis Eldemire from Tropical Real Estate retained the Treasurer
post, while Michael Day from Regal Realty returned as Secretary. 

The other elected members of the
board include Past President Kel Thompson of Just Condos, Past President JC
Calhoun of Coldwell Banker Cayman Islands Realty, Tony Catalanotto of Rainbow
Realty, Past President James Bovell of RE/MAX Cayman Islands and Steve Cummins
of Vision Real Estate.

“It has been an interesting year in
terms of the global financial crisis and the current world market,” said Mr.
Thompson.

Statistics compiled by the
Association for the previous three years shows a drop in sales volumes of 24.8%
between 2007 and 2009 and a corresponding drop of 19.83% in the number of
sales, compared with an overall drop of 27.12% for all freehold property
transfers recorded at the Land Registry.

During the same period, CIREBA
members represented a total of 1910 active listings valued at a total of
$1.67billion.

Mr. Hurst said 2009 sales reached
$291 million, where volumes fell by 8.2% in 2009 compared to 2008 and the
number of sales decreased by 5.01%, a decrease over 2008’s figures.

He noted last year’s sales were
boosted by a lot of activity in November and December.

“The market decline has slowed and
started to stabilize during 2009, especially during the last half of the year,
which accounted for 60% of the sales volume,” he said.

“December 2009 was a particularly
good month, which accounted for 17% of the annual sales although this may have
been skewed by a few relatively large closings.”

He also remarked that Cayman has
not been affected by the massive price reductions which occurred in other parts
of the world.

Parlaying its expertise in the real
estate sector, CIREBA has also been playing an active role in dealing with the
general impacts of the financial crisis on Cayman.

“The Cayman Islands government was
extremely supportive to CIREBA this year with its willingness to solicit our
input and suggested response to the pressures from the UK regarding the Cayman
property market,” noted Mr. Thompson.

Mr. Hurst said CIREBA intends to continue
its proactive and positive role working alongside its members, other professional
associations and Government in ensuring Cayman returns to a path of long-term
stability, prosperity and growth.

“Some of the issues we will be
focusing on include the promotion of the Cayman Islands internationally to help
generate new international investments into the economy,” he said.

“We are working as part of the
newly formed cross-industry Cayman Investment Council to have some say on the
way we do business here to promote Cayman to the rest of the world,” he
continued.

 “When selling real estate you are selling a
society, economy, and community – without them bricks and mortar have no
value.”

Mr. Hurst also said the Association
will continue to support community building activities in Grand Cayman and
address current concerns like crime.

“I am heartened by the activities
by the activities of some of our board members in addressing this issue,” he
said.

He noted CIREBA is also continuing
its efforts in other areas including anti-money laundering.

“In that regard we stand head and
shoulders above other markets in the world,” he said.

BUZCirebaSTORY

Front, from left Steve Cummins, Vision Real Estate, Jeanette Totten, Cayman Luxury Property Group, Curtis Eldemire, Tropical Real Estate, Michael Day, Regal Realty Rear, from left Jeremy Hurst, International Realty Group, Kel Thompson, Just Condos, James Bovell, RE/MAX Cayman Islands.
Submitted