“Limited optimism” in Caribbean property market

Integra Realty Resources’ report for the second quarter of 2013 says that while the tourism industry is seeing growth, investors in the Caribbean property market are cautious.

Indeed, the Cayman Islands saw stayover tourist arrivals climb 8.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to 2011, while occupancy rates and average daily rates for the hotel sector have improved. 10 projects are in the pipeline for the Dominican Republic, while the Bahamas has 2,300 rooms in the pipeline.

Caribbean Managing Director James V. Andrews wrote: “There appears to be some, but limited optimism on the part of developers and investors in Caribbean property, as we see continued modest improvement in the sectors of tourism (hotel rates and occupancy, tourist arrivals to major destinations and spending), construction and housing prices in domestic markets. Some caution is being advised by investor services, in that government debts in many Caribbean nations continue to escalate relative to the GDP, and the offshore financial services sector continues to see intense pressure from major world governments on issues of transparency.”

Mr. Andrews added: “The condominium market on Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach is virtually flat, with 25 sales totalling $25.6 million in the first six months (through 6/10/13) in the MLS [Multiple Listing System] system. This compares with 25 sales of $24.9 million in the same period for 2011. Prices average $560 per square foot.

He continued: “Sales volume in the Cayman Islands for the first quarter of 2013 is consistent with the 2012 average quarterly figures, but demonstrates a continued downward trend when compared with prior year quarters.”