Market Review - June 2010
- Jun 30, 2010
Market Review - June 2010
So now we know what it’s like to experience a real downturn in the economy as a result of recession! For perhaps the first time in a quarter century we’ve seen substantially falling sales volumes coupled with significant reductions in sales and listing prices. However a lot has changed since my last report and the encouraging news is that the fundamentals that directly affect these statistics have changed substantially for the better.
The prime cause of the substantial drop in the Cayman market was the uncertainty caused by the continual rearing of the ugly head of possible direct taxation. The mere mention of it was enough to deter both foreign and local investors from parting with their funds in our direction. Now that’s been hit squarely on the head and relations with the FCO under the new Conservative Coalition Government in the UK appear to be on a much more positive footing, international investors are definitely coming back into the Cayman market again and starting to spend their money.
As one of our premier local realtors is renowned for saying – now is the time to buy! Well I have to say on this occasion I wholeheartedly agree with him. There has probably been fewer better times to buy Cayman real estate. Let’s consider what we have to offer:
- We still have no direct taxation – at a time when the rest of the world are increasing the tax burden of its corporations and private citizens.
- We are still a very safe location – it appears the communities and police’s efforts in fighting crime are showing results. An investor can walk our beaches without fear of intimidation or harassment.
- We have a stable and open (believe me compared to most places this is true) legal, economic and governmental system which creates social stability. Where else in the world would you find 106 nationalities living in relative harmony on an island of around 76 square miles?
- We are a great place to live, work and play – with good schools, healthcare, great amenities, infrastructure and resources and a choice of restaurants and entertainment that would be the envy of most large cosmopolitan towns elsewhere in the world and a skilled and specialized multinational worksforce.
Oh and by the way – we still have no direct taxation in case in case you missed the point!
In short, at a time when the living in the rest of the world is becoming more difficult, Cayman is becoming increasingly attractive by comparison.
The National Investment Council supported by the Cayman Islands Investment Council, The Chamber, CIREBA and of course Government is starting to deliver results. The red carpet treatment they are able to offer major investors is impressive and presents Cayman in the best possible light. Those investors who are new to Cayman are wowed for the reasons mentioned above. However let’s not forget that their investment dollar is being keenly competed for so we cannot afford to relax. The reforms that are being discussed in terms of the streamlining of the bureaucratic road blocks within Government Departments and the general cost cutting to make Government more effective and efficient need to be thrust forward and must not lose momentum. Bear in mind our competitors are doing exactly the same thing. We also need to continue to work on areas such as immigration and education that are key to our continued stability.
However real estate prices are down and the market has been slow. But for once that is the best possible news! Cayman is on the rebound and prices will start to rise again we feel within the next 6 months. Certainty has replaced uncertainty in the market and as such the next few months there may never be a better time to invest in Cayman property. Get in whilst you can!