Cayman

Whether you're relocating to Grand Cayman or would like to learn more about Cayman Brac real estate, RE/MAX Cayman Islands can help. Here's a brief look at the beautiful Cayman Islands, the place we call home.

The Cayman Islands are situated approximately 480 miles south of Miami, just a little over an hour by air. Cayman consists of three islands: Grand Cayman, the most populated; Little Cayman, the smallest and least developed; and Cayman Brac, known for its spectacular spine-like bluff.

Interested in Cayman Brac or Little Cayman real estate? Both Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are located about 90 miles from Grand Cayman. All three islands are coral outcroppings of an undersea mountain range, which extends from Cuba to Belize. The "Cayman Trench" lies between Grand Cayman and Jamaica. This is the deepest part of the Caribbean Sea, with depths charted down to four miles.

As you fly into Cayman to visit the popular vacation spot or to tour Grand Cayman real estate, you will be awed by the ever-changing hues of the water. Colors range from the palest of lime to aquamarine to inky cobalt and finally to deep sapphire, as the sea pulls away from the Island walls. This section of our website will give you an insight about living in the Cayman Islands and purchasing Cayman luxury property. We introduce you to the different neighborhoods, legal requirements and other useful information. For links to local businesses and services please click here

Grand Cayman

Is the largest of the three islands and has an area of about 76 square miles. Its most striking feature is the shallow, reef protected lagoon known as the North Sound which is approximately 35 square miles.
Around 40,000 people live and work in Grand Cayman. The island has an exceptional well developed infrastructure. Daily flight from many US destinations and four times weekly flight from Europe; bring you to this Caribbean island.

 

Little Cayman

Little Cayman is located 5 miles west of Cayman Brac and has an area of about 10 square miles. You can get to Little Cayman by boat or plane, if you take a plane it is only about a 40 minute ride from Grand Cayman Owen Roberts Airport. Only around 150 people live permanently on the island. Only part of the island is paved.

Cayman Brac

Cayman Brac lies about 89 miles northeast of Grand Cayman. It is about 12 miles long and 1.25 miles wide with an area of about 14 square miles. Its terrain is the most spectacular of the three islands, this is because of the bluff which is a massive central limestone outcrop which rises steadily along the island. You can get to Cayman Brac by boat or plane, if you go by prop plane it is only a 30 minute plane ride. About 2,000 people reside in Cayman Brac which has essential amenities such as a hospital, school, shopping and a police station.

Immigration

Visitors may be granted permission to land in the Islands for a period of up to six months although this period may be extended. There are 6 ways to be legally resident in the Cayman Islands if you are not Caymanian.

  • Student Visa
  • Full Time Work Permit
  • Temporary Work Permit
  • Permanent Residency
  • Residency Certificate for Persons of Independent Means
  • Residency Certificate for Retirees
  • Residency & Employment Rights Certificate

All non-Caymanians that wish to work in the Islands must apply for a work permit.

Residency Certificate for Persons of Independent Means

To be eligible to apply for a Residency Certificate for Persons of Independent Means a person must be at least 18 years old, with no serious criminal conviction and in good health with adequate health insurance.

Where the applicant intends to reside in Grand Cayman, he must satisfy the Chief Immigration Officer

  • that he has a continuous source of annual income in the amount of CI$150,000, without the need to engage in employment in the Islands; and
  • that he has invested the sum of CI$750,000 in Grand Cayman of which at least CI$250,000 must be in developed residential real estate.

Where the applicant intends to reside in Cayman Brac or Little Cayman, he must satisfy the Chief Immigration Officer

  • that he has a continuous source of annual income in the amount of CI$75,000 without the need to engage in employment in the Islands; and
  • that he has invested the sum of CI$250,000 locally of which at least CI$125,000 must be in developed residential real estate.

Further information can be found at the immigration website: www.immigration.gov.ky

Cayman Islands Government
PO Box 1098
Elgin Avenue
Grand Cayman KY1-1102
Tel: (345) 949 8344
Fax: (345) 949 8486

Important Notice

The information provided is for guidance, and decisions will be made on each individual case by the Immigration authorities acting under the powers granted by the Immigration Law, 2003, amendments thereto, regulations made there under, and any instructions issued under the provisions of the law. For further information please contact an agent

Buying and Building

Cayman building contractors and developers offer quality products for those choosing to buy residential land and design their own dream home, or for those buying into a developer's project. Cayman's Building Control Department follows stringent codes for approving and monitoring on-site construction. The relevant Government inspectorates similarly use codes for plumbing and electrical installations. To ensure adequate structural protection against hurricane threats, contractors regulations here are similar to the building codes used in South Florida and in some cases are of a higher standard. Apart from high quality builders, Cayman also has some of the best architects in the Caribbean. They will take your vision and make it reality.

Building cost will reflect any shipping charges and import duty and therefore tend to be higher then in many other countries.

Find a list of contractors and architect in our Links section Links

 

Cost of Living

 

The Cost of Living in the Cayman Islands is relatively high compared to Europe or the United States. Nearly every item available for sale needs to be imported from overseas this includes essentials like milk and butter as well as luxury items like boats and cars.
Each of these items is subject to an import duty payable to the Cayman Islands government. The duty varies with the items but most fall under the 22% rate. Some items such as cameras are actually duty free. Complete information on the custom tariff can be found on www.customs.gov.ky

Added to the cost of living are high rental prices for apartments.

The high costs of everyday living are being off set by the absence of income tax. However you may encounter other cost that you won't have in your home country. Children of non-Caymanian parents, for example, will have to go to one of the private school which will require a school fee to be paid. There are many private schools for all ages. Many of which are faith school reflecting the strong religious society in the Cayman Islands.

 

The Economy

 

The Cayman Islands economy is dominated by three pillar of economy development: International Financial Service, Tourism and the Real Estate industry.

The Cayman Islands historically have been popular as a tax-exempt destination. Legend has it that Caymanians in 1788 rescued the crews of a Jamaican merchant ship convoy which had struck a reef at Gun Bay and that the Caymanians were rewarded with King George III's promise to never again impose any tax.

From the earliest settlement of the Cayman Islands, economic activity was hindered by isolation and a limited natural resource base. The harvesting of sea turtles to resupply passing sailing ships was the first major economic activity on the islands, but local stocks were depleted by the 1790s. Agriculture, while sufficient to support the small early settler population, has always been limited by the scarcity of available land. Today Caymanians enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world.

The Cayman Islands economy has been affected by the global recession, which affected all three pillars to some extend. Tourism to the Cayman Islands also was in decline for the past couple of years however number of cruise ship arrivals and stay over tourist are on the rise. 2010 figures are the sixth-best in the past decade.

West Bay

West Bay is geographically the second largest district in Grand Cayman. It is approximately 5 square miles and has a population of about 11,500 residents. The district of West Bay is home to the Cayman Turtle Farm also known as Boatswain's Beach. This is an 24-acre marine park, The world's only commercial Green Sea turtle Farm. West Bay district is also home to Hell West Bay. This is a common tour stop. It consists of black volcanic rock formations lying in a flat area less than one acre in size. It is thought to resemble what hell might be like.

In the district of West Bay there are 15 known restaurants, a few of the most established ones are Cracked Conch by the Sea, Alfresco, Calypso Grill; Morgan's Harbour Restaurant & Marina; OsetraBay, Dock Bar and Grill at Morgan's Harbour and Ristorante Pappagallo.

In this district is one public primary school. That is The John A. Cumber Primary formerly known as West Bay Primary School. There are two private schools starting from kindergarten straight up to High School. We have the Grace Christian Academy and Wesleyan Christian Academy School. There are several registered pre-school in this district as well. The district of West Bay has one public library, one Clinic and one Police station all of which are located 5minutes of each other.

Properties in West Bay are of a great variety from low priced condos to the very high end homes on the prestigious Boggy Sand Road. Boggy Sand Road is the only community of single family homes that is located directly on Seven Mile Beach. Another up and coming area is The Shores with land still available.

West Bay

West Bay is geographically the second largest district in Grand Cayman. It is approximately 5 square miles and has a population of about 11,500 residents. The district of West Bay is home to the Cayman Turtle Farm also known as Boatswain's Beach. This is an 24-acre marine park, The world's only commercial Green Sea turtle Farm. West Bay district is also home to Hell West Bay. This is a common tour stop. It consists of black volcanic rock formations lying in a flat area less than one acre in size. It is thought to resemble what hell might be like.

In the district of West Bay there are 15 known restaurants, a few of the most established ones are Cracked Conch by the Sea, Alfresco, Calypso Grill; Morgan's Harbour Restaurant & Marina; OsetraBay, Dock Bar and Grill at Morgan's Harbour and Ristorante Pappagallo.

In this district is one public primary school. That is The John A. Cumber Primary formerly known as West Bay Primary School. There are two private schools starting from kindergarten straight up to High School. We have the Grace Christian Academy and Wesleyan Christian Academy School. There are several registered pre-school in this district as well. The district of West Bay has one public library, one Clinic and one Police station all of which are located 5minutes of each other.

Properties in West Bay are of a great variety from low priced condos to the very high end homes on the prestigious Boggy Sand Road. Boggy Sand Road is the only community of single family homes that is located directly on Seven Mile Beach. Another up and coming area is The Shores with land still available.

7 Mile Beach

The 7 Mile Beach area (actually 5.6 miles of beach) is properly the most prestigious housing area in Grand Cayman. It is divided by West Bay Road into beach front properties and canal living away from the beach. On the beach side you mainly find high rise condominium complexes and hotels. Many of the condominiums on the beach are investment properties owned by overseas investors in the Cayman Islands. They are open for long term and short term rentals. Property prices start from midrange for a one bedroom condo and go up into the millions for the more upscale complexes like Cayman Club, Caribbean Club, Plantana, WatersEdge, WaterColours and of course the Ritz-Carlton, to name just a few.

On the canal side of the Seven Mile Beach area next to single family homes you will also find condominiums of which many have directly to a canal and come with a dock for your boat. The option of boat docking is what attracts most renters and the canals all lead in the islands favourite playground - the North Sound.
Condo prices are below the price for beach front property but are still high. Residential living without canal access is in the higher end of the mid ranges pricing. Canal front homes are in the high price range.

The Seven Mile Beach area in Cayman still sees development especially with the newly planned Dragon Bay development near the Ritz Carlton and continuous growth at Camana Bay

The whole area boosts a ton of amenities with restaurants and bars in walking distances, supermarkets and shops close by. The area also is home to the only two golf courses in the Cayman Islands.

Camana Bay

The Town of Camana Bay on Grand Cayman is a very new community which has been built on 500 acres, stretching from the North Sound to Seven Mile Beach just recently.

The Town Centre has the feel of a European pedestrian shopping zones with shops, bars, restaurants and a six screen state-of-the-art cinema. A selection of small parks and courtyards allow for social gatherings and a sense of community. The centre is adjacent to a canal leading into the North Sound. Boat docking facilities are part of the concept. The contemporary style of the building is inspired by traditional Caribbean architecture and is landscaping.

Part of Camana Bay is the International School with its modern facilities including a 25m pool, tennis and other sports court as well as a multi purpose hall.

Camana Bay offers fully furnished apartments for rent and will soon add residential sales to their offerings. The first phase of the 'for sale' residential product will be available for pre-construction sales by early 2011. It will offer a mix of courtyard homes, cottages and town homes, canal-front homes as well as future condos to suit a variety of different audiences and price points. The Centre is also very popular with corporate offices. Two of the biggest law firms - Ogiers & Mourant Ozannes - have already or will soon be opening offices here.

The future for Camana Bay looks bright with more and more business opening and more building commencing.

George Town

George Town is the capital of the Cayman Islands and over 50% of the populations live here.
The city centre is the busiest place in the whole of the Cayman Islands. Bankers, Lawyers and Accountants are rubbing shoulders with hundreds of cruise ship passengers during weekdays and at night cargo ships get unloaded.

Here lies the very heart of Cayman's financial industry. But where international financial institutions now stand were once modest wooden buildings, cow pastures and homes. It is a great location for families as most of the schools are located in the area on and around Walkers Road. Both hospitals are in the district and the commute into town is very short.

Most of the properties in George Town are low to mid-range in price. There is a wide selection of condominiums and family homes. Some of the properties are a bit tired but certainly are full of potential. Some of the newer condo developments are Fountain Court, Triumph Village and Hilton Estate.

South Sound

South Sound is a sought after area and very popular with Expats and locals alike. Close to Walkers Road's schools, town and sport facilities like the Rugby Club, Tennis Club and the Squash Club, it is a very convenient location for executives working in George Town.

There is a dock for launching boats which is used by many residents. Residents are a very active bunch who enjoy to jog and walk in the morning and evening along the breezy road which follows the seashore.

South Sound Road snakes along the coast line and properties can be found on both sides. Properties available include executive homes and two and three-bedroom apartments and townhouses. Property on the oceanfront is naturally more expensive then property across the street. One of the most expensive homes in Grand Cayman can be found just across from the Rugby Club.

Prices for a one bedroom apartment can be as low as CI$ 130,000 in complexes like South Palms and Sunrise. For a 2 bedroom/ 2 bath condominium the minimum investment would be around just below CI$ 200,000 in one of the older condo complexes and around CI$ 250,000 for the new ones like Cayman Crossing, St. Tropez and the new development of San Sebastian.

Houses are not easy to come by in this area with prices starting at around CI$ 500,000.

Spotts, Prospect & Red Bay

In proximity of George Town and with its own shopping centre in Grand Harbour, this area is developing fast. It is traditionally an area with many residential homes but due to recent developments more and more condominium complexes like Lantern Point and South Shores can be found here. Cayman's first skate and surf park, The Black Pearl, is located behind Grand Harbour. Also in the Red Bay area are the Cayman Islands Sailing Club, King's Sports Centre and the Prospect Playhouse. Prospect primary school as well as the Lighthouse school and Montessori by the Sea can be found here. If you are looking for a more affordable canal-front property Red Bay is a great choice. Canal front homes can be found in the mid-range prices.

Prospect Point Road and Patrick's Island are two very exclusive areas with in Red Bay, situated on the canals with lush gardens and multi-million dollar homes. Patrick's Island, still has some land available for your Cayman dream home.

Savannah, Northward, Newlands

Further east from the Prospect area lie Savannah, Northward and Newlands. The areas are very residential with many bungalows and two storey homes. There are only a small number of condominium complexes located here. Prices are in the low to mid range with some high end properties available.

This area has also canal-front properties and the most sought after areas are Sunrise Landings and North Sound Estates. These areas still have land available at reasonable prices and therefore attract many young families.

The commute into town can take a bit longer but has been improved due to the newly finished road work. The Countryside Shopping Village, in the heart of Savannah and boast a large supermarket, a hardware store, a liquor store, restaurants and many local businesses, which means residents in the area no longer have to drive to town for everyday essentials. The local farmers market is a source for freshly grown produce. In the district is the Savannah Primary School.

Bodden Town

Bodden Town was one of the earliest settlements on Grand Cayman, dating back to the late 17th century. It was the island's first capital town.

The community still has the feel of a small Caymanian town, with a mixture of locals and expats living alongside one another. Although further out of town it still only takes about thirty minute commute to George Town if timed around rush hour.
The town has some convenience stores, tourist shops as well as two gas stations. Main shopping can be done in the Countryside Shopping Village ten minutes away. The Bodden Town Primary school is the only public school in the district.

Housing in this district is mainly compromised of family homes. The prices in the area are low to mid range.

North Side

North Side is a small community which preserved its island charm. Life seems to go a bit slower here. Life's necessities are taken care of by a convenience store, a garage, a post office and the North Side Primary School. The Countryside Shopping Village is half an hour away to make bigger purchases. The district has a few restaurant and bars to show for.

Mainly residential home are to be found on the north side of Grand Cayman.

Very few condo complexes have been built on the coast line. Some beach lots with breathtaking water views are still for sale.

Rum Point & Cayman Kai

Located on the North Sound and on a reef protect beach far away from the hustle and bustle of Seven Mile Beach this is a favourite with holiday makers who enjoy the tranquility of island life.

Amenities and shopping is limited on this end of the island. Many residents own a boat and jet across the North Sound to get their groceries, to go to work or to drop off the kids for school. By road the closest school is the North Side Primary School.

Condos as well as private residences can be found here. All are mainly catering for holiday makers. There is a variety of multi-million dollar homes which puts the area on the high end of the price range.

Several restaurants and bars cater for holiday makers and locals alike. Some tour operates have their base here.

East End

This is one of the most untouched areas in the Cayman Islands wit picturesque views of fishing and dive boats, tall palms and sparkling blue seas.

East End is also home to several old shipwrecks, fragments of which can still be seen from shore. To the east of the village is the Wreck of the Ten Sails Park, commemorating the spot along the reef where a legendary shipwreck took place in 1794.

On the east side of Grand Cayman there are several time share properties including Morritt's. In the resort's proximity are several shops including a bakery and a supermarket.

Apart from timeshare, condominium and mainly homes can be found in this area. Fairly secluded multi-million dollar homes are dotted along the coast line. Modest homes can be found in Gun Bay, Cottage.

Frank Sound is developing area with one big high school being built there. Affordable house lots attract young families. The East End primary school already caters for the young ones.

Cayman Brac

The Brac is the second largest of the Cayman Islands with 14 square miles is just a bit larger then Little Cayman which is only 5 miles away.

With a population of less than 2,000, the Brac is a friendly, laid-back destination where relaxation is the order of the day. There are some glorious dive sites off Cayman Brac, including a renowned Russian ship wreck dive at the MV Capt. Keith Tibbetts off the north shore.

The Island is known for its beautiful scenery and its bird life, which is world class. Hotels and resorts are mainly found on the south side of the Island, while the majority of long term residents live on the north side. The Brac (a Gaelic word meaning 'bluff') has the highest elevations in the whole of the Cayman Islands and many build their houses on the Bluff now.

Cayman Brac's West End is probably the most densely populated area on the Island. You will find the airport, two grocery stores, a gas station and couple of condo complexes in this area.

Like Little Cayman there is a limited selection of condos and homes to purchase. However there are many house lots available. Prices can be lower then in Little Cayman.

Little Cayman

The smallest of the Cayman Islands is approximately 80 miles away from Grand Cayman and is probably the most picturesque one. Only ten miles long and 1 mile wide it is surrounded by white sandy beaches. Just over 100 people live permanently on the island. Little Cayman attracts many divers from all over he world with its outstanding coral reefs and marine life.

This island hideaway is ideal for people looking for a quiet holiday getaway. There are several condominium complexes with units for sale available. Residential homes are also available but not many come on the market.

Currently there are many lots of land available for sale in Little Cayman at reasonable prices.