Cayman property market sets new low mark in November

The Cayman Islands property market set an undesired mark in November, posting the fewest number of freehold transfers for any month on record. In line with 2011 trends, however, the average value of transfers ranks among the highest, according to statistics provided by the Lands and Survey Department.

The effect is that the total value of transfers in November 2011 is 60 per cent greater than the value of transfers in November 2010.

There were 86 recorded freehold transfers in November 2011, with a total value of $31.3 million. By comparison, 107 freehold transfers occurred in November 2010 worth $19.5 million. In November 2009, there were 145 transfers worth $18.4 million. In November 2008, there were 130 transfers worth $27.2 million. In November 2007, there were 185 transfers worth $40.6 million. In November 2006, there were 203 transfers worth $36.9 million.

The average value of transfers in November 2011 was $364,000, the fifth-highest value for any month this year and eighth-highest of the 71 months on record since 2006.

For the first 11 months of 2011, the average value of transfers is $384,00, which is more than double the average in 2010 ($186,00) or 2009 ($191,000), and far above the next-greatest average of $251,000 in 2006.

The previous lowest total for number of freehold transfers was set in October 2010, when 93 transfers took place.

Year-to-date

For the year-to-date, there have been 1,597 transfers worth $612.6 million. During the first 11 months of 2010, there were 1,496 transfers worth $278.5 million. So far in 2011, the total value of property transfers is up 120 per cent compared with January-November 2010, and the number of transfers is up 7 per cent. With one month left to go in 2011, there has already been a 99 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 November 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 17 per cent from 2007. The only year in which January through November numbers were greater, in terms of total value, was 2006, when $651.7 million of property transfers took place in the first 11 months. That is about 6 per cent greater than the year-to-date total for 2011.

The Lands and Survey Department has statistics from 71 months online, dating back to the beginning of 2006. Compared with the previous months, November 2011 ranked 71st in terms of number of freehold transfers, 51st in terms of total value of freehold transfers and eighth 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 90 sales transactions in November, totalling $33.9 million. Of that, 48 transactions were condo sales, 30 transactions were land sales, nine were other residential sales, and two were industrial property sales. The value of the condo sales was $20.9 million (62 per cent of the total for the month). The value of land sales was $8.4 million (25 per cent of the total). The value of residential sales was $3.9 million (11 per cent of the total). The value of industrial sales was $716,000 (2 per cent of the total). Additionally, there was one recorded commercial sale with no value associated.

For all sales, the average price was $377,000, including $435,000 for condo sales, $281,000 for land sales, $433,000 for residential sales, and $358,000 for industrial sales.

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