In what has become a continuing trend, the Cayman Islands real estate market posted relatively decent numbers in the month of October.
According to Lands and Survey Department statistics, there were 174 freehold property transfers worth $42.2 million last month. That’s the third-most number of transactions through the first 10 months of the year, and the second-highest total value of transactions.
Freehold property transfers are mostly, but not all, sales.
The average value for freehold transfers in October was slightly more than $240,000, which is the third lowest for 2012.
The numbers for October 2012 were nearly identical to October 2011, which had 181 freehold transfers worth $42.1 million, for an average value of slightly more than $230,000. Those numbers were a vast improvement over October 2010, which posted 93 freehold transfers worth $19.8 million, for an average value of slightly more than $210,000.
Through the first 10 months of 2012, there have been 1,474 freehold transfers worth $361.9 million, for an average value of about $245,000. The year-to-date statistics are down compared to 2011 (when the numbers were influenced by a handful of major real estate deals), but are generally up compared to 2010 and 2009.
Compared to 2011, there have been 2 per cent fewer freehold transfers, with a 38 per cent lower total value, and a 57 per cent lower average value per transfer. Compared to 2010, there have been 6 per cent more freehold transfers, with a 40 per cent greater total value, and a 32 per cent greater average value per transfer. Compared to 2009, there have been 15 per cent fewer freehold transfers, with a 6 per cent greater total value, and a 25 per cent greater average value per transfer.
All numbers for the year are down compared to 2008, 2007 and 2006, before the global financial crisis and property value meltdown.
Compared to 2006-2011, the number of freehold transfers in 2012 is down 19 per cent from the historical average, the total value is down 21 per cent, and the average value is down 3 per cent.
While The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, properties were sold at auction 31 October for US$177.5 million, that sale isn’t reflected in the most recent Lands and Survey Department statistics. The Ritz auction will undoubtedly dominate the department’s statistics for the month when the sale is posted.
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 148 sales transactions in October, totalling $31.2 million. Of that, 66 transactions were land sales, 50 were condominium sales, 29 were other residential sales, and three were commercial sales. The value of land sales was $12.9 million (41 per cent of the total for the month). The value of condo sales was $9.7 million (31 per cent of the total). The value of residential sales was $8.4 million (27 per cent of the total). The value of commercial sales was about $52,000.
For all sales, the average price was $211,000, including $196,000 for land sales, $194,000 for condo sales and $292,000 for residential sales.