October real estate numbers solid

The Cayman Islands property market showed a solid amount of activity in October, especially compared with October of last year, according to statistics released by the Lands and Survey Department.

There were 181 recorded freehold transfers in October 2011, with a total value of $42.1 million. That is an increase in value of 113 per cent compared with the $19.8 million in transfers in October 2010, when 93 freehold transfers occurred. In October 2009, there were 235 transfers worth $41.6 million. In October 2008, there were 225 transfers worth $50 million. In October 2007, there were 232 transfers worth $58.7 million. In 2006, there were 227 transfers worth $39.2 million.

The average value of transfers in October 2011 was $232,000, the third-lowest average value for any month this year, which has been defined by high-end property transactions. (In May, the average value was $214,000, and in August the average value was $178,000.) For the first 10 months of 2011, the average value of transfers is $385,000, which is more than double the average in 2010 ($190,000), nearly double the average in 2009 ($194,000), and far above the next-greatest average of $249,000 in 2006.

Year-to-date

For the year-to-date, there have been 1,511 transfers worth $581.3 million. During the first 10 months of 2010, there were 1,389 transfers worth $259.0 million. So far in 2011, the total value of property transfers is up 124 per cent compared with January-October 2010, and the number of transfers is up 9 per cent. With two months left to go in 2011, there has already been an 89 per cent increase in the total value of property transfers compared with the entire 2010 year, which had $307.2 million in transfers.

Compared with the periods of January through October in previous years, year-to-date sums for total value of property transfers in 2011 are up 71 per cent from 2009, 14 per cent from 2008 and 20 per cent from 2007. The only year in which January through October numbers were greater, in terms of total value, was 2006, when $614.8 million of property transfers took place in the first 10 months. That is about 6 per cent greater than the year-to-date total for 2011.

The Lands and Survey Department has statistics from 70 months online, dating back to the beginning of 2006. Compared with the previous months, October 2011 ranked 28th in terms of number of freehold transfers, 28th in terms of total value of freehold transfers and 32nd in terms of the average value of freehold transfers.

Sales prices

According to average sales prices compiled by the Valuation and Estates Office, which are recorded on a different time schedule than freehold transfer numbers, there were 168 sales transactions in October, totalling $38.5 million. Of that, 80 transactions were land sales, 66 were condominium sales, and 22 were other residential sales. The value of land sales was $14.7 million (38 per cent of the total for the month). The value of condo sales was $16.1 million (42 per cent of the total). The value of residential sales was $7.6 million (20 per cent of the total).

For all sales, the average price was $229,000, including $184,000 for land sales, $245,000 for condo sales and $346,000 for residential sales.

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