New residents investing

All is not doom and gloom in the
real estate industry in the Cayman Islands, with pockets of high end
developments and luxury homes being purchased and built by new residents at a
steady pace making up for much of the business of contractors and realtors at
the moment, according to several industry insiders.

“This is the result of large groups
of account managers, lawyers, bankers and doctors who have lived in the Cayman
Islands for some time, becoming residents, feeling secure about their position
here and wanting to invest,” said Hugh Murphy, contractor and developer of the
Chimes development in South Sound. He added that though the market is a bit
soft at the moment, as more people receive residency, he expects that would
“free up a lot of money.”

“These people are fed up with
living in condos and in many cases, because they have kids, they want their own
garden, their own yard and their own privacy,” said Mr. Murphy.

This sentiment was echoed by the
developers of the Vista Del Mar, who pointed out that all of the owners of
property on their development – an island off Seven Mile Beach – were residents
of the Cayman Islands.

Consultant to Vista Del Mar,
Architect Arek Joseph said, “The homes in Vista Del Mar are not the traditional
winter homes built in Cayman for snowbirds, which only come in the winter. That
requires discretionary income, which there is not a lot of these days. The
people inhabiting Vista Del Mar live and work here and are putting their faith
and money into the Islands, which is essentially a testament to the faith
people have in the Cayman Islands. It’s a huge compliment.”

There have been at least 10 parcels
sold at Vista Del Mar, all of which are half acre house lots that sold for
between $500,000 to just over $2 million. With over $20 million of development
expected to go into those parcels, Mr, Joseph said the immediate benefit to
Grand Cayman from this scenario was over $750,000 in transfer taxes being

Vista Del Mar is the only secured,
gated community in the Cayman Islands and features four private marinas,
including a facility for mega yachts and a bird sanctuary, as only a few of its

Mr. Joseph remarked, “When you have
quality it will always sell. The condo market, which has received much negative
press, was based on speculation and worked like our very own stock market here,
where people or groups would buy property in the presales phase and sell them
for more down the line. However, with things the way they are in America at the
moment that model has taken a big hit and the immediate future of the market
seems to lie with those new residents and Caymanians who live and work

Of the 12 plots to be developed at
the burgeoning Chimes neighbourhood, five have been sold, with construction on
the fifth house nearing completion. Mr. Murphy explained that the Chimes
operation was a turnkey one and was attractive because it took a lot of
pressure of professional people who were very busy. He added that there were
only seven more homes to build to complete the development.

The name Chimes comes from the
tradition of wind chimes that people used to put on their porches in South
Sound in order to hear the sea breeze make music.

There was more good news from
developers of Dragon Bay, who reported that the highly anticipated Secret
Harbour development was in full stride and construction would be ramping up in
October. With regard to the 19 DeckHouses to be built in Safe Haven, five have
been completed and one is under construction.

“We try and design our products so
that almost all of the work can be done by local contractors,” said representative
for Dragon Bay, Ms Tina Trumbach, who added, “As our commitment to maintaining
our excellence in service and quality has seen the Ritz-Carlton hotel continue
to be recognised as the leader in the region, this same commitment to long term
value and quality has seen our various real estate offerings hold their value
and create the platform for future growth as the market recovers.”

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  1. Thanks to the Premier’s dismissal of the ROLL-OVER POLICY from one year to 30 days, population will surely increase on the island and their won’t be much beach front left in the nice areas at 2020. Also, the traffic will not flow so well as it is flowing now.

    NO ROLL-OVER POLICY = MORE POPULATION – a hugh impact on the Caymanian people as a whole. having to deal with their burdensome population.

    Just some food for thought… I hope you swallow it 🙂

    Editor’s note: The Premier has not ‘dismissed’ the one year term limit policy in Cayman’s Immigration Law. Please refer to our earlier stories on the matter.


    now that we have that out of the way.

    I am sure that if the roll over policy is done away with. DROVES of expats will come to cayman, with no jobs available. Just want to camp out on the beach because …. *rolls eyes.

    If expats truly did come in the numbers this fear mongering commenter is stating. Then that would mean jobs. Which means jobs for caymanians as well. What are these people missing here? What do they not understand about job’s and job creation? They seriously can’t be that obtuse?!

    I am not an economist. But if 10 jobs are made. Chances are, that at least 3 are going to be for caymanians. AT LEAST 3 jobs out of those 10.

    What don’t you people understand about this basic concept.

    so then…whats the problem?

  3. Obviously the Immigration Policy and Roll Over is a "hot" topic. As a suggestion, would the powers at be consider varying the roll over time dependant of the works classification? For example: Key Employees could be given 30 days say rather than the standard for other class workers.