Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2010 Cayman Census Report

The preliminary 2010 census results have been reported and the population of The Cayman Islands was 54,397. The breakdown by district is as follows:
George Town - 51%
West Bay - 21%
Bodden Town - 19%
North Side - 2.7%
East End - 2.5%
Cayman Brac and Little Cayman - 4.2%

Results of the 1999 census reported 39,020 residents living in Cayman, a 39% increase in the population in 11 years. “If the population were to continue to grow at this rate, it would double its size by the year 2033,” stated the census report. The full census is due to be released in October. 

With this amount of growth rate continuing in the Cayman Islands, real estate proves to be a worthy investment. Contact your Cayman Islands real estate agent today and invest your money in paradise.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Homeowner's Insurance in Cayman

When shopping for homeowners insurance, the average cost is 1.8% of the value of the property, unless you live on the water where rates can go upwards of 2%. It pays to shop around when buying homeowners insurance as rates will vary amongst companies and rates may not necessarily be the best with your mortgage banker. Ensure you have enough coverage for replacement if your home is completely destroyed. If your home is destroyed and you chose not to replace it, know the actual cash value. Your insurance company will give you replacement cost less depreciation. If you are purchasing a condominium, insurance rates are usually based on a per square-footage basis and is often included in your monthly strata fees. 

Contents insurance is highly recommended here in Cayman due to the risk of flooding and hurricane damage. Unless you live in a condo where strata insurance usually covers major kitchen appliances, these items should be included in your contents insurance coverage as they will not be covered in building insurance alone.

Be aware of exclusions to your coverage. Flood, earthquake or wind damage are usually not covered as standard items, these types of coverage must be purchased separately. Ask about any dollar limitation on claims as some insurers may limit how much they will pay.

Liability insurance is generally included with your policy, but it pays to know any upper limits on this amount of coverage. Ensure it is sufficient if you have significant assets.

Your Cayman Islands Real Estate agent is knowledgeable and will answer any of your questions regarding homeowner's insurance.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How Do I Get a Mortgage in the Cayman Islands?

After you have found the property of your dreams, mortgages are still available here in The Cayman Islands for residents, expats and foreign investors. It pays to shop around as rates are competitive and can be negotiated. Interest rates follow New York Prime as quoted by Citibank, usually +1%. Standard mortgage terms require a down payment of 20-35% plus closing costs. The usual mortgage length is 10-15 years and can be in US or CI dollars. Most banks do not charge pre-payment penalties.

When considering your mortgage allowance, please keep in mind stamp duty will be charged on the money you borrow. Loans less than CI $300,000 require a 1% stamp duty fee, loans over CI $300,000 require a 1.5% stamp duty fee. Legal feels are typically .5% and the bank will charge .5% on the cost of the mortgage. Interest only mortgages are not available in the Cayman Islands.

For any questions regarding mortgages, lenders, etc. please see your Cayman Islands Real Estate Agent for all the answers to your questions. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Stamp Duty in Cayman Islands Real Estate

Because there is no income tax, property tax, capital gains tax or inheritance tax charged in the Cayman Islands, one of the ways the government generates revenue is through stamp duty on the purchase of real estate. This is a one time tax on land or building transfers assessed at the time of transfer. If a land purchase is being made, stamp duty is payable on the land value, not on the building after it has been built. For building purchases, furnishings are deducted from the sale price before stamp duty is calculated.  

Presently, stamp duty rates range from 6-7.5% based on the location of the land or property. Purchases along the Seven Mile Beach corridor incur a 7.5% stamp duty due to the high infrastructure in that area. All other areas fall in the 6% bracket.

Further information can be obtained from your Cayman Islands Real Estate Agent.