Government stands to collect almost $34 million in charges and stamp duty from land and property transfers in the second quarter of this year.
The quarterly record almost doubled the stamp duty revenue of close to $18 million in the first quarter. Between 2010 and 2020, the quarterly average was about $12.4 million.
The data from the Lands and Survey Department shows that the new record is well above the previous high of $26.8 million in the first quarter of 2018, during a year that set the record for property transactions in Cayman.
Last year, real estate activity dipped slightly, as the industry was initially impacted by lockdown measures. The value of property transfers amounted to $807.1 million, a decline of 6.4% relative to 2019.
The reduction was the result of lower values for both freehold and leasehold property transfers, which fell by 5.7% and 18.7%, respectively. At the same time, the number of property transfers dropped by 1.9% to 2,074.
This decline has completely reversed this year. Last year’s total number of property transfers had already been reached in early August and the value of property transfers through July – of $906 million – already exceeded the 2020 full-year total.
Panellists at the 2021 RICS Cayman Real Estate Forum in May pointed to the luxury market as the segment generating a lot of momentum in the property sector with record numbers of high-value properties of more than $3 million sold since summer 2020.
Uche Obi, chief valuation officer at Lands and Survey, noted in May that this year’s stamp duty revenue could reach $90 million, close to the 2016 high that was influenced by the sale of two hotels.