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JC Calhoun, Broker and Owner of Coldwell Banker Cayman Islands Realty researches, writes and publishes his well known and much awaited Market Report bi-annually. 

In his latest report JC notes a "freshening in the market" and a "definite increase in activity". As realtors and brokers, staying on top of global real estate trends is a vital part of what we do. As we peruse reports we find that, in tandem with JC's predictions and thoughts, investors from the United States, Europe, and Canada have started seeing real buying opportunities and are showing renewed confidence in the Caribbean Market.  

UK, USA and Canadian buyers still represent the largest component of foreign demand across the Caribbean and higher disposable incomes from the mid market are looking at the $2.5 to $4.5 million dollar properties. 

The weak USD has also caused European investor interest in the Caribbean with an increase of enquires from Sweden, France and Eastern European countries. For example, a European investor looking at purchasing a $2 million property in Barbados would have paid $1.53 million in 2010. In 2013, due to currency rates and price movements, the same property would cost the buyer closer to $1.26 million. 

Prime prices softened on Grand Cayman in 2013 but, in tandem with JC's report, activity is rising, which is an indication of renewed confidence and limited new supply. Sales in 2013 were focused on Seven Mile Beach, South Sound and the Eastern Districts. 

It is estimated that prime prices slipped by around 5% on Grand Cayman in 2013 but it is also predicted that price growth will remain fixed in 2014. Sales have been particularly strong in the $1 million to $5 million price bracket with interest from US, Canadian and British buyers as previously noted. 

 
Investing in commercial real estate certainly has its challenges but can be incredibly rewarding too as you can earn a lot of money. It is vitally important that you choose the property and your funding sources wisely. 

The headline location, location, location that you always heart from realtors applies to commercial real estate too. You need to take the neighbourhood into consideration, how it's growing compared to similar areas. A fast growing location is attractive but you don't want the neighbourhood to to stagnate in times to come. 

It would also be wise to keep your focus on one type of property at a time, so for example either office blocks or retail as each type is going to require your undivided attention, also when you focus on just one type you will develop your expertise in that particular area. Look for an investment that has room to grow, for example look at properties that have a large number of units as more units means more cash in your pocket. 

Prior to purchasing, get a surveyor to do an in depth valuation so as to be aware of any structural or aesthetic concerns that could turn into a huge expense once you are the owner. 

Now let's go back to the topic of location and look at investing outside of the area, city or country where you would normally consider. The Cayman Islands as a tax free country, requires only a one time property tax which is payable upon purchase. There is no personal tax and no income tax. As an ever growing offshore financial centre , the Cayman Islands' corporate industry comprises a significant part of commercial real estate. Financial services account for 67% of the GDP. 

Coldwell Banker Cayman Islands has a significant list of commercial real estate listings, and as part of CIREBA's multiple listing system we have access to many more. 

 
The official opening of the Shetty Hospital, also known as Health City in the East End of Grand Cayman is a momentous and historic moment not only for the Cayman Islands but also for quality affordable health care to citizens of the USA, the Caribbean and Latin America. 

Hundreds of dignitaries gathered at the opening of what is known as the "third pillar" of Cayman's economy. Health City is a dream come true for Dr. Devi Shetty, an Indian Philanthropist and surgeon. Dr. Shetty has already opened medical tourism facilities in India, Cayman was his next focus to build a hospital of the future that could be compared to the best hospitals in Europe and the UK. 

The direct impact of Health City on the Cayman Islands has already been seen in the field of construction and labour as only local contractors and many Caymanians were hired to work on the project. 

Capital expenditure is expected to be $300 million by 2017, in total it is projected that Health City will constitute over a $2 billion investment over 15 years. 

Needless to say Health City will impact other areas of Cayman's services and industries, and as Realtors and Brokers Coldwell Banker Cayman Islands Realty sees possibilities of positive growth in the residential and commercial market. A 2009 Grant Thornton Impact Study estimated hundreds of additional hotel rooms for family members of patients, restaurant, retail and transportation requirements are expected to be huge. 

Now more than ever, the prospective investor who's setting his sites on the Caribbean, needs to sit up and pay attention. The East End of Grand Cayman has many large parcels of land and you as an investor can expect guaranteed ROI over 10-15 years. 

As Coldwell Banker is one of the longest standing and trusted brokerages in the Cayman Islands we are in the position to advise investors every step of the way. Coldwell Banker Cayman Islands has just completed the sale of several parcels of land in the Seven Mile Beach area and we currently list several parcels and commercial opportunities in Cayman's East End, very close to the new Health City.

 
We know from looking at the most recent Coldwell Banker Cayman Islands Market Report written by Broker and Owner JC Calhoun that the Real Estate Market is seeing increasingly positive trends. 

As we here at Coldwell Banker in the sunny Cayman Islands are in the business of selling homes, we also make it our business to advise our clients on tips and how to's in order to ensure a quick and above all profitable sale. 

We are quite sure that you have heard and read all there is to know about staging your home, but have you ever wondered why? Yes it's to make the home look more appealing of course but have you ever stopped to think that your home, just like so many other things in life, appeal to the senses...or not. 

We found the below on Coldwell Banker NJ LLC's Facebook page and we thought it was certainly worth sharing, because it really is a slightly different way to think about the same concept, but it will certainly help you look at your home prior to a showing in a different way and who knows, it may just sell your home! 

Whether you're having an open house or allowing a private tour, while your house is on the market it will experience a lot of foot traffic. Realistically, you can't please everyone but there are at least five things you can do to appeal to the senses that will encourage a more pleasurable showing experience. Keep reading to find out more. 

Try this quick checklist that will definitely make the world's difference. 

Touch - A clean home is a must when trying to attract buyers. Do the dust test. When you swipe your finger along surfaces does it come back clean? Also, try to remember not to leave out anything that holds a significant to you. Just about everything that is left out is fair game for contact, so really access what you have on display. 

Sight - When you look around your home do you see clutter? Floors should be completely clear of any distracting items. Also remember- the chances of prospective buyers looking through every nook and cranny is highly likely, so no shoving things in the closet or under the bed. People need to be able to visual how your space can become theirs. 

Smell - If I had to choose, this would be the most important sense to pay attention to. A smelly home can be completely discouraging and off putting, not to mention it can totally ruin the chance for a sell. If you have carpets, invest in a good thorough cleaning as this is usually the source of harboring most foul smells. Also, make sure all the laundry is done, you wouldn't want an offer to pass you by because of smelly socks. 

Taste - If you can, try leaving a little snack for your guests. If your having a morning showing, coffee and sweets can really make an impression maybe not upon your home but on you as the seller. 

Sound - Another good way to spark the interest of prospective buyers is to not be there. Yes, I said it, you've (hopefully) followed all of these steps and now the last one is to beat it! Being in the home can be distracting in terns of noise but also in terms of the level of comfort your visitors will feel. They may be less inclined to really get into the nitty-gritty of your home if you are there. They may also feel compelled to limit their line of questioning in hopes you not over hearing. 

Happy selling! 

 
(Unseasonably colder and windier weather is bringing fresh ideas to our office.  

After a huge level of activity for us these past weeks we're taking stock and refreshing our New Year's resolutions. Join in, refresh your goals for 2014: 

1. Eastern Inspiration 

Property hunters with longer term goals are asking about our East End land offerings - why not follow their lead? 

Knowing the area where you plan to buy land is critical and, as J.C. said the in latest 'Market Report' Phase One of the new Health City in High Rock will finish soon. We're compiling everything we can on East End Districts. Who's putting in services? What amenities will be available? Where do you find concrete plans for the area's future development? 

What advantages and disadvantages are there to buying in East End now?  

Email J.C. for his advice.
 

2. Eastern Promise 

Alongside development is the need for community talks. Congratulations to all involved in fixing and passing the Conservation Law. Our natural environment comes before our built environment and the year ahead should include some important discussion and debate regarding developing land and creating neighbourhoods out East. 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

3. Let small designs drive your Big Ideas 

New directions in home building - tiny home; new bungalows are trends for the first time buyer to follow. 

Tailor your dreams to a smaller more energy efficient home for lifestyles centered on simple living. Clutter is out, cleaning time is short, and quality splurges make a huge impact. How you dream about your future home affects the outcome. See our inspiration for your first home on our pinterest. 

4. Build your dreams on bank rates.  

It may seem counter-intuitive but the red tape of mortgage application gives you a blueprint for designing your dream home. The best way to learn about owning a home is to jump in it and get pre-approval for a mortgage

Use the numbers to work out what kind of property you can actually afford.. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage means some reading, some forms, and some savvy saving. If you believe you're not ready to own a home, or don't have the means, think again. 

5. Resolve to be part of the solution 

What gets in the way of New Developments; New neighbourhoods; New homes; New opportunities for you?  

New crime rates. How can we as a community hope to stop criminal activity increasing on our Islands? Tell us on Facebook what you believe will curb a rise in crime in the Cayman Islands this year

Comment on Facebook


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