4 Myths About Investing in Luxury Real Estate in the Cayman Islands

Situated about 180 miles (290 km) northwest of Jamaica are the islands of Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac. This archipelago of heavenly paradise has massively developed in recent years, consolidating itself as one of the fastest-moving property markets in the Caribbean, making investing in luxury real estate a promising venture. This is especially true for Grand Cayman’s luxury real estate market, which continues to flourish even amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

When delving into the history of Grand Cayman and its massive evolution, one name stands out as a pioneer vision: Mike Ryan. As a leader and innovator in luxury resort and residential development, Mike Ryan and his associates are responsible for unleashing the vast potential of Seven Mile Beach nearly fifteen years ago. They achieved this through their Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman project. A resort with 365 keys and 69 private residences that increased the area’s real estate value by over 300% won dozens of awards and transformed Grand Cayman’s tourism industry and lifestyle. 

As the island’s luxury real estate has matured, the number of investors purchasing properties continues to boom. And the predictions show that this trend is here to stay. Cayman’s security, beauty, superb quality of life, and appealing tax incentives continue to make it an attractive destination for investors. However, doubts or reservations are bound to arise when investing in a different country and an unknown market. And the Cayman Islands have had their fair share of misconceptions associated with them. 

From the buying process’s inner workings to the implied legal issues, many people have false impressions about the complexity of investing in luxury real estate within this trio of islands. If you are considering entering the Cayman Islands property market but have questions about doing so, you have come to the right place. Read on and debunk four common myths about real estate that people tend to assume about investing in Cayman’s luxury real estate market.

Cayman Islands luxury real estate

City of Georgetown in the Grand Cayman Islands. Source: Getty Images.

Myth #1: The process of buying a property can be complex

This could not be further from the truth. Buying property in the Cayman Islands is pretty straightforward. As an autonomous British Overseas Territory, the government heavily welcomes investments from overseas buyers, guaranteeing the right of ownership for each parcel of land. Apart from having no restrictions on foreign ownership, the highest additional cost will be the Stamp Duty, which amounts to 7.5% of the purchase price or the market value. But after that, property, income, or capital gains taxes are non-existent. Properties can also be bought by an individual or a corporation, which can be highly beneficial for tax purposes. 

Another upside is that the Cayman Islands have no requirements to develop or build on the purchased land within a specific time frame, which does happen in other Caribbean islands. Furthermore, even a mortgage application is an easy and viable process in the Cayman Islands. Both residents and overseas investors can access it when purchasing a property.

FIN luxury real estate

FIN Grand Cayman

Myth #2: Legal and taxation issues are too intricate

Again, this is a complete misconception. The Cayman Islands are internationally known for their tax-neutral status, establishing them as an excellent location for investing in luxury real estate. As mentioned above, apart from the stamp duty, no inheritance, income, property, capital gains, or tourism taxes apply, regardless of whether the property is being rented out as an investment.

Furthermore, the Cayman Islands make it relatively easy to obtain citizenship. An effective way to do it is through property ownership. Moreover, the government recently introduced the Global Citizen Concierge Programme, which allows digital nomads to work within the islands for up to two years.

Myth #3: The pandemic diminished the investment potential

Even though COVID-19 shut Cayman Island’s borders for some time, the luxury real estate market within them continued to thrive. Now more than ever, investors from all across the globe have chosen this as their destination to relocate. This is primarily upon recognizing how safe the Cayman Islands are due to their world-class infrastructure, healthcare system, and stable government. And in more than twenty months, the islands were utterly Covid-free, and their economy remained stable, giving the real estate market a chance to grow even more.

Myth #4: The environmental impact is too damaging 

With world-class beaches and astonishing natural landscapes, considering real estate’s environmental impact is a priority within the islands. However, it is essential to understand that while the luxury real estate market plays a big part in the matter, it can also mitigate it. Through good design and planning, many environmental hazards today can be reduced and oriented toward more amicable resolutions for the environment. Furthermore, luxury property investors can present a better return for the island than mass tourism. An example is the economic influence of a single high-net-worth visitor outranking the revenue generated by numerous cruise ship passengers. Therefore, luxury real estate can represent a significant economic influence on the island while maintaining a lower environmental consequence.  

Overall, investing in the luxury real estate market in the Cayman Islands remains a viable and strategic investment. More than ever, the business appears to be thriving and positioning itself as a safe haven for local and overseas investors because of its many favorable conditions. Its high standard of infrastructure, tax-neutral status, economic and political stability, top-notch health care system, breathtaking scenery, and sunny tropical weather, among many others. 

As Chairman of the Cayman Islands National Investment Council and board member of the Private Finance Initiative Oversight Committee, the Cayman Islands Investment Council, and the Planning Review Committee, Mike Ryan’s interest in Cayman remains latent. His company, Silverfin Development, is based in Grand Cayman and focuses on projects in the Caribbean and Latin America as Mike continues on his mission to innovate and revitalize the luxury real estate market.

Weather in Cayman Islands

Disclaimer: Mike Ryan is not an investment agency, and this information is provided for general educational purposes only, without any guarantee as to the accuracy, validity, or suitability of this information for any purpose whatsoever. Mike Ryan does not provide legal and/or tax advice.