New Trends in Residential Development

2005-08-10 00:00:00 (GMT) ( - Real Estate News News)

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A new wave of condominium development is being planned and already starting to pre-sell along the George Town and South Sound waterfront. The last big boom of development in this area was during the mid to late 1990’s. During this period, the area was overbuilt and it took several years for the surplus of condominiums to be sold and/or rented.

The difference, this time around, is that the seafront developments are much higher priced and generally have larger, more luxurious residences. However, prices are rivaling Seven Mile Beach condominiums, so it will be interesting to see how well they sell and what sort of absorption occurs.

The first development to be listed in the CIREBA (Cayman Islands Real Estate Broker’s Association) MLS System is named “Kisha”. It is a 14 unit seafront development about a mile from George Town and started preselling in May. Some of the features of this property include 10 foot ceilings, 8 foot doors, crown moldings, solid wood cabinetry, granite countertops, travertine tile floors, elevator, and seafront pool.

The Cayman condominiums are a mixture of both seafront and gardenview and range in size from 1,375 square foot one bedroom plus den/two bathroom residences to 3,095 square foot three bedroom plus loft/three bathroom residences. Prices range from US$500,000 to US$1.7 million. To date, the two condominiums that have been reserved are the two most expensive, priced at US$1.7 million.

Another new development, also about one mile from George Town, will likely be the next project to start construction. It is named “The Colonnade” to illustrate its Mediterranean style and distinctive level of luxury. This is an ultra-exclusive development of nine seafront residences, all comprised of three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms with 3,116 square feet. Prices will range from about US$1.7 million to US$2.1 million.

The Colonnade will be one of the most exclusive residential condominium developments in South Sound. The appointments are all top of the line from marble tile floors to gourmet kitchens. On site will be a seafront infinity pool with spa, fountain, and swim up bar, and hurricane proof storage units. Lessons learned from Hurricane Ivan include hurricane impact resistant windows and exterior doors, main roof concrete slab, ground floor elevation of 15 feet about sea level, generator, drilled water well, and other features.

The 4 acre vacant site beside Windsor Village is in the early planning stages for a large development of 50 high end condominium residences. This site has approximately 400 feet on the seafront and the developer has permission to cut a cove into the ironshore to make a small inlet, in order to enhance the access into the Caribbean Sea. This was the site of the proposed Mediterranea development, which never took off and has been redesigned.

There is not much information available, as yet. However, prices will start in the US$1.3 million range and go upwards from there. If this development proceeds, then there could be at least 60 seafront condominium residences in George Town and Sound Sound on the market in 2005 for over US$1,000,000.

That is a lot to absorb into a market whose target Purchaser is residents in Grand Cayman. Along Seven Mile Beach, sales are targeted at a resort market, which is infinite in size since Purchasers come from all over the world and are buying vacation homes versus primary residences. That is not the case in residential areas like George Town and South Sound.

The Seaview Hotel is under contract and should be sold shortly. Preliminary plans for this property, which was badly damaged from Hurricane Ivan, are to redevelop it into residential condominiums. The property has approximately 300 feet of sea frontage and 1.5 acres. It is the closest property to George Town that will be developed into condominiums. Although too early to tell what exactly will be developed, some market research will indicate that condominiums under US$1,000,000 would probably do well, in light of the saturation of units above that price point.

Another new trend which has just started is three storey residential homes. Previously, a home could only be two stories high. However, in Britannia Estates, which is zoned hotel/tourism, a three storey home is being built fronting the Hyatt golf course. Two other three storey homes are planned for Britannia Estates fronting the waterway to North Sound. Considering the cost of the lots in Britannia Estates, a three storey home is a good way to maximize the value of your land. If this type of development is permitted outside of the hotel/tourism zoning, it could be a trend that catches on very quickly.

The Cayman Islands continue to break through the old barriers that many of us thought were untouchable. These new and exciting trends are foreshadowing a transition to more affluent times ahead. Real estate development and prices are not standing still anymore and unless you move soon, you will be looking back at when you should have bought. - Press Release Distribution Service


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