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Starting to Recover - Nov 2013

Publish Date : 19 Nov 2013

STARTING TO RECOVER – It has been a difficult four to five years for our economy, and the real estate industry has been no exception. 

Since the global financial crisis in late 2008, real estate activity and prices have fallen off from the levels achieved in 2006 and 2007, which were the peak years in that decade.  However, this downward trend finally appears to be changing.

While we have had some spurts of progress during the last 5 years, a sustained market improvement has been fleeting.  2013 appears that it will be the first year, in which we experience a better, leveled off, real estate market.  There now appears to be a strong enough foundation established to be able to slowly and steadily improve on a consistent basis.

Statistics are indicating, more and more, that this gradual progression has already begun, despite it being difficult to see, at times.  Several economic indicators are confirming that this progress has started, from growth in our population to more development and economic activity taking place.  Indeed, a quiet boom is getting started in the construction of hospitality industry properties.

Over the last several years, it has been difficult to make money as a real estate investor.  Even for individuals wanting to invest in a home or condominium for personal use, there has been serious concerns about losing value after the purchase, as there was a great deal of uncertainty as to whether the market had bottomed out or not. 

This year, we are seeing that the real estate cycle is changing, as prices have now stabilized and leveled off, from last year and are not going lower.  There are some cases where prices for new listings are coming onto the market higher than previously listed property.  That has been an extremely rare occurrence, since 2008.

Despite being negative on the Cayman real estate market for the last several years, my best current estimate would be that we will see a sluggishly improving real estate market, this year, but a bit better improvement, next year (2014), and a substantially improving market in the following few years (2015+), barring any major worldwide shocks to the global economy.  The rationale for this will become more apparent as you read through this newsletter.

If you want to buy at or near the bottom of the market, you should seriously look at investing within the next year.  Our market seems to have finally healed from the shock of the financial crisis and the global recession, very possibly to the point of over correcting.  We are starting a renewed phase of economic expansion.  Prices and availability are going to continue to change, but not in favour of the Purchaser.