Census: Even mix of houses, apartments, owners, renters

The 2010 census illustrates the mix of housing in the Cayman Islands, where roughly the same number of households live in purchased dwelling as in rented ones, and where houses are about as popular as apartments, condominiums and studios. The census results also demonstrate distinctions among the different districts; for 
example, George Town households are more likely to rent or live in apartments, while Bodden Town households are more likely to have bought or live in houses. 

According to the report, census workers visited about 30,000 “dwelling units” in all three Islands. Of those, 4,706 units were vacant, or nearly 16 per cent. The number of vacant units does not include the 2,289 “temporary second homes/short term rentals” or 566 units where workers were unable to contact occupants. 

 

Rent or buy 

About 49 per cent of households live in rented dwellings, while 47 per cent live in their own dwellings, with or without a mortgage. About 19 per cent of households owned their homes outright without a mortgage, while 28 per cent had a mortgage on their homes. 

The census report notes that since 1999, there has been no change in the percentage of households renting homes. However, the percentage of households with mortgages increased from 23 per cent in 1999 to 28 per cent in 2010, and the percentage of household dwellings owned without a mortgage decreased from 22 per cent in 1999 to 19 per cent in 2010. 

In George Town, 59 per cent of households rented, compared with 45 per cent in West Bay and 30 per cent in Bodden Town. The rental percentage in East End and North Side was 25 and 26 per cent, respectively. In the Sister Islands, 38 per cent of households rented. 

In George Town, 37 per cent of households lived in purchased dwellings, compared with 51 per cent in West Bay. In Bodden Town, East End and North Side, about 67 per cent of households lived in purchased dwellings. 

East End had the highest rate of home ownership without mortgage (47 per cent), and George Town had the lowest (15 per cent). Bodden Town had the highest rate of home ownership with mortgage (47 per cent), while the lowest mortgage rates were in East End and the Sister Islands (about 20 per cent). 

 

Houses, apartments, etc. 

Overall, 41 per cent of households lived in detached houses, while 43 per cent lived in apartments, condominiums, townhouses or studios. About 9 per cent lived in duplexes or semi-detached houses, while 7 per cent lived in “one-room dwellings”, typically sharing a bathroom and/or kitchen with another household. 

Only in George Town did the majority of households live in complexes with multiple units, where 57 per cent lived in apartments, and 26 per cent lived in detached houses. In West Bay, 38 per cent lived in apartments and 48 per cent in houses. In Bodden Town, 19 per cent lived in apartments and 63 per cent in houses. 

In North Side, East End and the Sister Islands, the vast majority of households lived in houses – 76, 72 and 70 per cent respectively. 

Bodden Town had the highest percentage of duplexes and semi-detached houses, 14 per cent, followed by West Bay at 10 per cent. George Town and East End had the highest percentage of one-room dwellings, at 9 and 7 per cent. 

Overall, about 17 per cent of Cayman households stated it shared a kitchen and more than 12 per cent shared a bathroom with another household.  

Most homes had two bedrooms or fewer in George Town (73 per cent), West Bay (66 per cent) and the Sister Islands (60 per cent). However, most homes in Bodden Town had three bedrooms or more (54 per cent). The split in East End and North Side was about even. 

In the entire territory, 65 per cent of homes had two bedrooms or fewer. 

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